April 20, 2016
A look at the upcoming games
New York Red Bulls (4-7-1, 13 pts) @ New York City FC (4-3-5, 17 pts), 3 p.m. ET (FS1/FOX Deportes; TSN2)
NYC comes into their clash with the Red Bulls with the upper hand for the first time, unbeaten in five and leading the Eastern Conference – albeit only four points ahead of the Red Bulls. Coach Jesse Marsch noted after NYRB's 1-0 victory over Chicago on Wednesday that his Bronx counterpart rested several regulars in NYC's midweek draw with Toronto, in probable anticipation of Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium. Marsch used his regular 11, although Connor Lade played in place of Sal Zizzo. Center back Gideon Baah was listed as available for the Red Bulls after his hamstring injury. The Red Bulls' early season issues are lingering, with only two goals in the team's last three games. NYC has only one victory at home in six games, that coming against Vancouver three weeks ago.
Columbus Crew SC (2-4-4, 10 pts) @ Toronto FC (4-4-3, 15 pts), 5 p.m. ET (TWC-OH / CW Clb, SNet 360)
Toronto hasn't had the most successful of homestands, winning one, drawing one and losing another after enduring an eight-game road trip to open the season. In the two positive results, it scored only one goal in each game, and in its loss it scored three – but allowed four. Now Jozy Altidore's out after injuring a hamstring in last weekend's loss to Vancouver, an absence that could last two months. Sebastian Giovinco has had his streak of either scoring or assisting on all of Toronto's goals this season end when Will Johnson tallied his second of the season without Giovinco's help in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with NYC. But the Italian still passed Ronald Cerritos' old mark with 13. Columbus is unbeaten at home (2-0-2), but winless in its last three overall, including two at home. With Kei Kamara gone to New England, the Crew is turning to Ola Kamara (no releation), a 26-year-old who made his first start in last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Colorado after playing in his native Norway, Austria and Germany.
Houston Dynamo (3-6-2, 11 pts) @ Chicago Fire (1-5-4, 7 pts), 5 p.m. ET (ROOT-SW, CSN-Chi+)
Chicago coach Veljko Paunovic sounded upbeat after Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Red Bulls despite another loss, another shutout, surrendering 65 percent of the possession (75 percent in the first half) and being the only team with fewer than 10 goals. Both teams are at the bottom of their respective conferences, although Houston has won two of their last three, both at home. Chicago has gone winless in six, with five losses and 208 minutes without a goal. Its best chance to score on Wednesday came from a 35-yard drive off the bar by David Accam, who's played in two straight games after returning from injury, but was suspended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for throwing an elbow at the Red Bulls' Connor Lade on Wednesday. Houston is tied for scoring the fourth-most goals this season, getting a balance of four from Giles Barnes and three each from Andrew Wenger and Will Bruin. Joe Willis has returned to goal after Tyler Deric had a brief two-game stint.
FC Dallas (7-4-2, 23 pts) @ New England Revolution (2-3-7, 13 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (TXA-21, CSN-NE)
Dallas will take its two-game winning streak at home, which has pulled it within a point of league-leading Colorado, to New England, which finally ended a six-game winless skid with a 2-0 win last Saturday, albeit against Chicago. Lee Nguyen scored once and added an assist against the Fire to give him a goal and three assists over New England's last three matches. Adding to that is Juan Agudelo, whose assist against Chicago gave him a goal or assist over the Revs' last three games. FCD has outscored its opponents 4-1 after being outscored 8-0 in the three previous matches. Maxi Urruti did not travel with FCD, having been forced out of the win over Portland 10 days ago because of sprained left ankle.
Montreal Impact (4-3-4, 16 pts) @ Orlando City (2-3-5, 13 pts), 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN2/RDS, WRDQ-27)
Orlando City already has matched its longest winless skid from last year (six games) and has benefited from seven own-goals this season, five more than the next closest club. Orlando's unbeaten at home in five games, but has won only once – 4-1 over Portland on April 3. Kevin Molino has been enjoying a run of good form with a goal in each of OCSC's last three games, two of those with Kaka returned to the lineup after an injury. Montreal has drawn its last four matches, including the three-goal rally to tie the Crew in Columbus two weeks ago. Didier Drogba has scored in three straight matches and has four goals and three assists in six games after missing four of the first five matches due to his resistance to playing on artificial turf, but was subbed out of last weekend's 1-1 tie with Philadelphia with a hip flexor injury and reportedly is receiving treatment in London.
Real Salt Lake (5-3-2, 17 pts) @ Sporting Kansas City (5-6-2, 17 pts), 8:30 p.m. ET (KMYU-12, KCMI-38/SKCTVN)
After suffering a second-straight 1-0 loss, Real Salt Lake has gone 200 minutes without scoring and lost three of four, all on the road. Considering it's won only once away from home in six games this season, the task doesn't get easier as it plays the third of its five-game road trip to give the grounds crew at Rio Tinto time to replace the grass playing surface. KC stemmed its bleeding last Sunday, ending a 313-minute scoreless streak with a 2-1 win over Orlando and also halting its seven-game winless slide. Dom Dwyer ended the goalless run with his fifth strike of the season in the 74th minute, but first in seven games.
Colorado Rapids (7-2-3, 24 pts) @ Seattle Sounders FC (4-5-1, 13 pts), 10 p.m. ET (Altitude, JOEtv/ROOT-NW Alt)
Colorado has stretched its league-leading record to 24 points with a seven-game unbeaten streak, which has seen goals from seven different players. Tim Howard is not due to arrive in Commerce City until after the Copa America, but the Rapids don't seem to be in any hurry with Zac MacMath leading the league in victories (seven) and goals-against average (0.75). Of course the defense has also helped, requiring MacMath to make only 30 saves, only 60 percent of league-leading David Ousted's 50. Seattle has won four straight at home, allowing only one goal, but is winless away with three losses. Last week's 2-0 loss at Dallas slowed its recovery from its 1-3-1 start, which included Jordan Morris' four games with a goal.