By RYAN BRISTER
It may be only the middle of April, but tensions will be high for the weekend’s set of rivalry games, which include the Atlantic Cup and the Cascadia Cup.
Here is what to look for this weekend:
Once again, the Red Bulls (2-3-1, 7 points)are off to a slow start. RBNY is winless in its last four games, including three losses away from Red Bull Arena. The struggles have caused Coach Jesse Marsch to consider a different approach. Back home this weekend, New York faces long-time rival D.C. United (2-2-1, 7) in a renewal of the Atlantic Cup.
Orlando City (3-1-0, 9) has played and won all three games in its new stadium. The Citrus Bowl had become a place of disappointment for Coach Jason Kreis and the Lions in 2016, where they often failed to finish game. Saturday’s matinee against Los Angeles (2-3-0, 6) will get the full network treatment on Fox.
Week 7 is an unofficial rivalry week with four games. In addition to the Atlantic Cup, Colorado (1-2-1, 4) and Salt Lake (1-3-2, 5) will vie for the Rocky Mountain Cup, Columbus (3-2-1, 10) and Toronto (1-0-4, 7) are playing for the lesser-known Trillium Cup, and Vancouver (1-3-1, 4) and Seattle (1-1-3, 6) are starting this year’s Cascadia Cup. Fredy Montero will face the Sounders for the first time after spending four seasons in Seattle.
Houston (3-2-0, 9) was shut out away from home last week, but the Dynamo have scored 11 goals in five games. Cubo Torres has led the way with six. Houston has won all three of their home games this season. Now, it gets to host Minnesota (1-4-1, 4), which has allowed 22 goals , by far the most in MLS.
Two teams enter Week 7 without a win; Montreal (0-2-3, 3) is one of them. Coach Mauro Biello‘s side has failed to find the form that carried it deep into last year’s playoffs. The Impact averages only a goal a game so far in 2017. If there is a reason for optimism, it’s that the Impact have only played one home game. Expansion Atlanta (2-1-2, 8) travels to Canada in the middle of a five-game road trip in which United has taken a point in each game.