MLS Weekend Preview: Montreal, Dallas Try To Solidify Conference Leads

It’s going to be all about soccer on Saturday. This round of Major League Soccer is squeezed into only one day again. However, of the five games to be played this weekend, at least two are sure to be entertaining.

The most anticipated one is the Portland Timbers hosting FC Dallas. The Timbers are five points behind Western Conference leaders FC Dallas and are currently third. Both teams have played 14 games and hold two matches in hand over their biggest opponent in the conference, Real Salt Lake. Obviously, a win is practically mandatory for both teams.

FC Dallas may be the leaders now but they have not been very consistent in recent form. Their last three games are a loss, a win and a draw. The Timbers, on the other hand, have not lost a game since March 9, 2013.

The two club’s last games ended in a draw at the end of May but the Timbers performed better. Realistically speaking, FC Dallas don’t have many impressive wins against challenging teams. Their goal difference is only six goals, which suggests a problem could be on the horizon.

Assist leaders David Ferreira and Michel are likely to be the playmakers to make a difference for Dallas and Kenny Cooper will be interesting to observe since he is set to make his return to the pitch and will look to impress.

The other key match of the round sees the Columbus Crew take on the Montreal Impact. Columbus may still be fighting for a playoffs berth but the Canadians are fighting to hold onto the top spot of the Eastern Conference and they have a realistic chance of claiming it. Montreal are back in first place, after dropping a few spots a few weeks ago, but their single point lead is on shaky ground.

The good news is that they have played only 12 matches compared to 16 for the New York Red Bulls who are currently in second. Needless to say, the Impact are in good shape if they can regain their early season form. Montreal should be rejuvenated due to the returning of both defender Andrea Pisanu and striker Daniele Paponi to the first team. The bad news is that their captain, Davy Arnaud is out with continued concussion symptoms which have plagued him and his club since the first of May.

Full schedule:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

5:00 p.m. ET Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas at Jeld-Wen Field

7:00 p.m. ET DC United  vs. Toronto FC at RFK Stadium

7:30 p.m. ET Columbus  vs. Montreal Impact at Columbus Crew Stadium

9:00 p.m. ET Colorado vs. San Jose at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

10:00 p.m. ET Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New England at BC Place


Posted in: Pre-Match, USA

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