We have reached the penultimate full match day in the MLS 2023 regular season with a full bunch of matches taking place in the early hours of Sunday morning UK time as teams fight for spots in the postseason or a better seeding in the playoffs.
As ever this season if you want full coverage of any of these matches you need an Apple TV subscription for some of the games or the MLS Season Pass for all of them. Bookmaker live streams will also show the matches.
Saturday’s fixtures are as follows: (00.30 unless stated)
Atlanta United v Columbus Crew
CF Montréal v Portland Timbers
D.C. United v New York City FC
Inter Miami CF v FC Cincinnati
New York Red Bulls v Toronto FC
Orlando City SC v New England Revolution
Philadelphia Union v Nashville SC
Austin FC v Los Angeles Football Club (01.30)
Chicago Fire FC v Charlotte FC (01.30)
FC Dallas v San Jose Earthquakes (01.30)
Houston Dynamo FC v Colorado Rapids (01.30)
Minnesota United FC v LA Galaxy (01.30)
Real Salt Lake v Sporting Kansas City (02.30)
Seattle Sounders FC v Vancouver Whitecaps FC (03.30)
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We already know that FC Cincinnati have won the Supporters’ Shield and that MLS Cup goes through the TQL Stadium but they have the chance to end the hopes of Lionel Messi winning the title in his first season in the league when the best team in the competition head to Florida to take on Inter Miami in a marquee match. The two highest scoring teams in the league meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Atlanta United host Columbus Crew while over in the Western Conference we have the Cascadia Cup clash between Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps, a match which could well be revisited in the playoffs between now and the end of the season.
Best of the Rest
The race for the playoffs is very much in the spotlight on Saturday night. In the Eastern Conference, CF Montreal are clinging onto the final spot in the postseason and they host Portland Timbers knowing they really need to win. If they don’t win then the door will be open for New York City and DC United who meet in the capital and to Charlotte FC who make the trip to Chicago Fire. Over in the Western Conference, the last two teams in the playoff zone meet when FC Dallas hosts San Jose Earthquakes. The loser of that will be vulnerable to Austin FC who host the champions and to Sporting Kansas City who head away to Real Salt Lake. Minnesota United and LA Galaxy still have playoff hopes but one of those will see their season end when they meet.
I’m very surprised that the Chicago Fire are the price that they are to get the job done when they host Charlotte FC on Saturday evening. Charlotte beat Toronto in midweek but that was just their second win in 16 games and it will need a whole lot more than a win over one of, if not the worst sides in MLS to convince me that they are on the straight and narrow again. Those two wins were at home and Charlotte are now eight without a win on the road.
Chicago Fire looked like they were going nowhere but all of a sudden back to back wins have put them in the playoff spots and they know if they win out their season will be extended. They will be full of confidence having taken Miami to the cleaners in midweek. Those two wins came with Brian Gutierrez back and that is no coincidence. Xherdan Shaqiri is also showing signs of life and while Charlotte are tough to beat with just 11 losses in 31 games, I think they get the Fire at the wrong time here.
Back Chicago Fire (-0.25AH) to beat Charlotte FC for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with Bet365
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