A full set of fixtures returns to the MLS this week as only 5 fixtures took centre stage in Week 15 with 4 home wins and LA Galaxy the only side to muster a point on their travels with a 1-1 draw at Columbus. It continued the poor run for Columbus who have gained just 3 points in their previous 6 MLS games and is creeping them further and further down the table and they now sit in 15th position.
Colorado Rapids v FC Dallas
Colorado are becoming known as the draw specialists having drawn 8 of their 14 games so far this season. They’ve scored just 11 goals which is the division’s lowest total but in contrast they’ve also conceded the 2nd least amount of goals (12) coming only behind 1st placed Seattle Sounders. Colorado have won just 2 games all season and they’ve only defeated Dallas once in their previous 5 meetings. FC Dallas aren’t particularly covering themselves in glory either and are winless in 5 games themselves, losing 3 of those and they haven’t scored in their last 3 matches after firing blanks against Kansas City, San Jose and most recently Seattle. It will be Dallas’s 5th away game in succession.
Gabriel Torres is having the heavy burden of scoring the goals on his shoulders as he has scored 4 goals so far this season. The Panama international scored against FC Dallas in their last victory over them and will be looking to add to his account. Colorado’s star performer this season has been Axel Sjoberg in central defence but he recently announced on social media he’ll be missing for a ‘little while’. Vicente Sanchez will also be missing for the Rapids. FC Dallas meanwhile have no fresh injury concerns and will be hoping to get back in the playoff positions.
LA Galaxy v Philadelphia
LA Galaxy are another side hoping to get back into the playoff positions this game week but they’ve played more games than any of the sides around them. Galaxy had a difficult spell starting from late April where they drew 3 games in a row before suffering 2 defeats. Back-to-back 1-0 victories looked to have stopped the rot but have since gained 2 points from a possible 9. Philadelphia have been on the receiving end of 2 4-1 defeats in their last couple of games against Galaxy and have also won just 1 of their last 10 away MLS matches.
Philadelphia Union’s Vincent Nogueira is flirting with suspension as he’s just 1 caution away from receiving a ban. Philadelphia limped over the line against Rochester Rhino’s in the US Open Cup which won’t exactly fill them with confidence. They have a number of injuries with Andre Blake, Michael Lahoud, Steven Vitoria, Conor Casey, Antoine Hoppenot and Fernando Aristeguieta all out. Galaxy have just goalkeeper Brian Perk out whilst defender Todd Dunivant is a doubt with a knee injury.
DC United v New England
2nd placed DC United welcome 5th placed New England to the RFK Stadium on Sunday. The game will be covered by ESPN and they’ll be hoping for a fierce game with just 4 points separating the two sides. DC United have lost 2 games in succession for the first time this season after their 1-0 defeat to Orlando City. New England meanwhile put a stop to a winless 6 game run with victory against Chicago Fire which was their first victory since 2 May.
Eddie Johnson continues to be a big miss for DC with his heart problem as the clubs highest paid player has been missing for a few months. Michael Farfan is also nursing a hamstring injury which he got in the reverse fixture at New England and hasn’t featured since. But Chris Pontius and Sean Franklin could both return. New England meanwhile have 2 long term injuries with Darrius Barnes out for 6 months with a serious knee injury and Jermaine Jones out after undergoing a surgery on a hernia problem.