MLS Week 6 Preview: Sunday triple-header caps weekend

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by RYAN BRISTER

Major League Soccer heads into week six with a full 10 games scheduled for the weekend ahead. The match-ups include a rivalry game in the Rocky Mountains, a playoff rematch, and a meeting between recent champions.

Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City SC, 7 p.m. on Unimas

So far, Philadelphia and Orlando have two of the best records in the Eastern Conference. They meet on Friday to kick off week six. The Union will be without Warren Crevalle, who was sent off in their loss last week against Chicago. Having scored a wondergoal on Sunday, Brek Shea will not be in Philly on Friday; he is suspended for a challenge he made on Diego Valeri.

New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC, Saturday at 4 p.m.

TFC’s season-starting road trip makes its fifth stop in Foxboro as the Reds take on the Revolution. New England should feel good about themselves heading into this one, they grabbed their first win of the season last week. The Reds haven’t won since opening day, and have lost two in a row. Toronto’s Benoit Cheyrou is one of the several players who will miss this week’s action due to a red card.

Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew SC, Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Montreal Impact have a chance at some revenge on Saturday when they host the Columbus Crew. Montreal was bounced from last year’s playoffs by the Crew, though it took every bit of two legs and extra time to find a winner. Columbus hasn’t had that sort of success so far in 2016; they still do not have a win under their belts. This game will be played on the turf at Olympic Stadium, which likely means Didier Drogba will again sit out.

DC United vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

MLS’s other winless team will host Vancouver on Saturday in search of their first victory. In their last home game, DC lost 3-0 to Dallas; they will be hoping for something better against another of the Western powers. In DC’s favor: Matias Laba is suspended after getting a red card last week. The Whitecaps have not scored from open play since their first game of the season; their four goals since all came from the penalty spot.

New York Red Bulls vs. Sporting Kansas City, Saturday at 7 p.m.

New York and Kansas City will face off on Saturday night. So far this season, these teams have had opposite fortunes, with New York stumbling out of the gate and SKC posting strong early performances. The Red Bulls will be without the constant midfield presence of Felipe, who was sent off last week in New England.

FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday at 9 p.m.

On the week MLS celebrated its 20th anniversary, the former Burn and Clash will meet in Dallas. FC Dallas has more points than anyone else so far, but they are one of the few teams with five matches already under their belts. Both sides are coming off of home draws last weekend, both needing second-half equalizers to earn a point.

Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

The first Rocky Mountain Cup match of 2016 is Saturday night in Utah. The Rapids will bring the trophy with them, having won it last year on the basis of goal differential. These teams were at the bottom of the Western Conference in 2015, but so far both find themselves above the red playoff line. RSL is the sole team in MLS to enter week six with an unbeaten record.

Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders, Sunday at 4 p.m. on ESPN

Soccer Sunday gets an early start, with a 4 p.m. kickoff in Houston. The Dynamo, who didn’t play last week, still have a league-most eleven goals through four games. Seattle was able to eke out their first three points against Montreal last weekend, and will look to build upon that against a Dynamo side whose back line has been as shaky as their attack is potent.

New York City FC vs. Chicago Fire, Sunday at 7 p.m. on FS1

Six weeks into the season, NYCFC and Chicago are meeting for the second time. The first game was a wild, high-scoring affair, with City beating the Fire 4-3. That remains New York’s only win in 2016, and Chicago’s only loss to date. The Fire grabbed their first win last weekend, while their hosts should be well rested having not played in two weeks.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers, Sunday 9:30 p.m. 

The week is capped off with a match between the last two champions. This same fixture late last season may have been the one that catapulted Portland towards the title. But despite recent trophies, neither the Galaxy nor the Timbers enter Sunday night’s game riding high. Last weekend, LA couldn’t break through against 10-man Vancouver, while the Timbers were torn apart in Orlando.