Week 26 Preview

While most eyes will be on the World Cup Qualifiers this weekend, the most diehard of MLS fans will have their eyes on league games tomorrow! There aren’t many as most teams have the week off for the international break, but we do get four MLS matchups. Two of these matchups have playoff implications and should be entertaining to watch, and two of them, well, they’re games I guess…

Best game of the midweek: FC Dallas v. New York Red Bulls – Saturday, September 2, 9:00PM ET, UniMás, facebook.com

What the heck has happened to FC Dallas? This was a team that was widely considered the best team in MLS before the season started. Now with less than ten games left in the season they find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs. Sure, they have two games in hand on San Jose and there’s only six points separating first and seventh, but this is not how Dallas fans foresaw this season going. Dallas lost last week 2-1 on the road to Columbus, extending their winless streak to six games. The only thing Frisco fans can take solace in is that the front office isn’t giving up on this season yet, as they reportedly rejected $5M offered by San Lorenzo for Michael Barrios and Maxi Urruti. Had FCD accepted that offer, it would have been curtains on 2017. The Red Bulls are sitting fifth in the East, but they are only one point behind Chicago and three points behind the Crew, with games in hand for both. RBNY drew at home last week against NYCFC, but earning any points on the road at FCD would be huge.

Worst game of the week: LA Galaxy v. Colorado Rapids – Saturday, September 2, 11:00PM ET, MLS Live

Every week I am shocked at just how bad the LA Galaxy are this year. Once again, the Galaxy were embarrassed at home, this time at the hands of their rival Earthquakes in the Cali Clasico. If a 3-0 home loss against their biggest rival doesn’t sum up the season for the Galaxy, I don’t know what does. They’re on a ten game MLS winless streak, and they’ve lost the last four straight. Not acceptable for the Galaxy. LA are tenth in the West and the second worst team in the league. Guess who is the only team below LA? That’s right, it’s the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s form has been just about as bad as LA’s as of late. The Rapids are in the midst of an eight game winless streak, and they lost last week 4-1 to the resurgent Real Salt Lake. Last time LA and Colorado played the Galaxy took the full three points in a 3-1 victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, but given how poor LA plays at home this year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rapids take this one.

The rest:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

New England Revolution v. Orlando City SC – 7:00PM ET, MLS Live

The good news is this game is slightly better than LA v. Colorado. The bad news is it’s still a terrible game. Orlando is ninth in the East and New England is tenth. They both have no shot at the playoffs. Orlando City was riding high after they acquired Dom Dwyer for $1.6M in allocation money from Sporting KC, but Dwyer has yet to score a goal for the Lions and Orlando has yet to win a game since the big trade. New England made a big offensive acquisition of their own when they signed another former SKC forward Krisztian Nemeth, but the Hungarian has yet to make an appearance for the Revs. Might we finally see him this week? These two teams have yet to face each other this year, but Orlando is bad on the road and all of New England’s wins this year have come at home. I think it’s safe to say the Revs have the edge in this one.

Montreal Impact v. Chicago Fire – 7:00PM ET, MLS Live

This is a huge Eastern Conference game in terms of playoff implications. Montreal is desperately trying to get above the red line, although they will have a hard time jumping Atlanta United who plays eight of their last ten games at home. Chicago, who once was fighting with Toronto FC for the top spot in the East, is now fighting just to host a knockout round game. Montreal lost last week at home 3-1 to TFC, but they’ve won four of their last five games. On the flip side, Chicago has lost four of their last five games, including last week’s embarrassing 2-1 loss at home to Minnesota United. Just two weeks ago the Fire traveled to Stade Saputo and were destroyed 3-0. I see nothing to indicate that the Fire have changed anything significant enough to reverse that result. This should be a victory for the Impact.

Hot take of the week: Chicago’s skid continues with a loss to Montreal at home, and the Fire will eventually have to travel in the knockout round of the playoffs. The wheels have totally fallen off for the Fire, and I’m not sure there’s enough time to fix things.

GIF of the week: You gotta watch out for the grass. Sometimes it jumps up and bites you.