Major League Soccer: Round 24 Peview

Major League Soccer: Round 24 Preview

Our soccer writer previews the Major League Soccer round 23 action which takes place on Sunday the 6th of August 2017.

The business end of the Major League Soccer season is slowly but surely approaching and those teams who mean business will be participating in the MLS Cup at the end of the regular season. The mandate is very simple, finish in the top six to qualify or finish in the top two to avoid play offs. Now that we all know what’s at stake let’s predict the outcomes of round 23 matches.

Sunday 6 August 2017

Philadelphia Union 33/20 | Draw 23/10 | FC Dallas 15/10
Last week was disappointing for Philadelphia, off the back of a 3-0 victory they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of New England Revolution which shows how inconsistent they are. They currently lie ninth on the Eastern Conference table and breaking into the top six looks a long shot.

With only 20 games played so far, this season, FC Dallas are hot on the heels of Western Conference table-topping Sporting Kansas City who have played two games more and the difference is only two points. With the leaders not playing this week, Dallas will have their sights set on topping the standings. Dallas are the most determined side here and I'm backing a comfortable win for them.

DC United 5/2 | Draw 5/2 | Toronto FC 19/20
This is a battle between top and bottom of the table so a one-sided encounter is expected. DC United anchor the Eastern Conference standings and they have unsurprisingly lost all their six recent league games. They have collected only 18 points in 22 games.

On the other hand, Toronto FC at the top of the standings are enjoying a five-point gap over their nearest pursuers, Chicago fire. They have only lost one of their recent six games. This should be a comfortable victory for Toronto FC.

Montreal Impact 19/20 | Draw 26/10 | Orlando City 5/2
Montreal Impact are languishing in 10th place and they come into this fixture having lost three and won two of their recent five games. Their chances of breaking into the top six look very slim as they’re six points off the pace and six points adrift but lacking consistency. This is a must-win game if they want to keep their hopes alive.

Orlando City lie seventh on the Eastern Conference log and collecting three points in this must-win could see them break into the top six or at least putting pressure on the front runners. Their recent run of form leaves a lot to be desired though as they have registered one victory in five matches. I’m tipping Montreal Impact to win this one.

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Minnesota 24/10 | Draw 51/20 | Seattle Sounders 1/1
Minnesota are second from the bottom of the Western Conference standings and only a miracle could see them compete in the MLS Cup as picking up results isn’t their style. After failing to record a single victory in four games they have finally returned to winning ways, thrashing struggling DC United 4-0.

The Sounders are unbeaten in six games having recorded three victories and three draws. They’re hoping to cement their place in the top six as they currently lie fifth on the log. I think there’s only one result here, a convincing win for Saunders.

Chicago Fire 7/10 | Draw 29/10 | New England Revolution 34/10
They might have lost their previous two games but Chicago Fire are unbeaten at home this season, collecting maximum points on 10 occasions and drawing only twice. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s team have been struggling against other top of the table teams though especially away from home. They currently lie second on the Eastern Conference log and winning the match is the only option to steer away of third placed NY City and avoid play offs.

New England have won their last two league games but they remain winless on the road, losing a whopping nine games and drawing three. They still have a chance though to break into the top six as they are six points adrift so if they start collecting points anything can happen over the next few weeks. Chicago should win this one easily.

Real Salt Lake 11/10 | Draw 24/10 | Houston Dynamo 22/10
This is a fight between a team that wants to break into the top two and a team that wants to make the top six. Real Salt Lake are currently eighth and they’re five points adrift from the top six and winning this match can out pressure on the teams above them. They have lost one, drawn to and won two of their previous five games.

Houston Dynamo are only one point away from second-placed FC Dallas and they want to avoid the play offs by finishing in the top two. Their record over the last five games is identical to their opponents’. This will be a tight one and it’s likely to end in a draw.

Colorado Rapids 12/10 | Draw 9/4 | Vancouver Whitecaps 22/10
The Western Conference strugglers, Colorado Rapids are rooted to the foot of the table after being leapfrogged by Minnesota into 10th place. They have lost three of their last five games and they don’t look likely to return to winning ways.

The Whitecaps are currently sixth on the log and they returned to winning ways last week when they drubbed FC Dallas 4-0. To be honest, they’re way stronger than their opponents going into this encounter and they will give them a baptism of fire. This is likely to be a heavy defeat for Colorado Rapids.

San Jose Earthquakes 21/20 | Draw 24/10 | Columbus Crew 23/10
San Jose are seventh on the log and within touching distance of sixth placed Vancouver Whitecaps and they’re in a situation where winning your game and letting the rest sort itself out is the case. After losing three in a row they managed to bounce back last week thanks to the 1-0 victory over bottom-placed Colorado Rapids.

What makes this match exiting is the fact that Columbus are sixth on the Eastern Conference log and if they lose this encounter they might crash out of the MLS Cup places. They have won two, draw one and lost two of their recent five games. This will be a cagey affair and a draw would suit the visitors so I’m expecting San Jose to attack more and edge their opponents out.

Portland Timbers 5/10 | Draw 32/10 | Los Angeles Galaxy 9/2
Portland Timbers are fourth on the Western Conference log and the result of this match can either be fantastic or horrible as they can find themselves in the top two or outside the top six brackets. They need to either win or draw to stay in contention for the top two spots. They have drawn three of their last five games.

LA Galaxy are enduring a very tough season and they lie ninth on the log after being winless in six games, losing five of those. Unless something dramatic happens, they’re only playing to finish the season and see what the next campaign has in store for the. Portland are tipped to win.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya for

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