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MLS: New England Revolution and LA Galaxy both in action on busy weekend

There was plenty of drama in the MLS last weekend, including Seattle Sounders’ 3-1 thrashing at the hands of Kansas City. When you chuck in William Yarbrough’s comical own goal for Colorado Rapids, you never know what to expect in this league. We will preview two games this weekend — LA Galaxy v Portland Timbers, and New York Red Bulls v New England Revolution.

LA Galaxy left with egg on their faces after FC Dallas drubbing

Perhaps it was just a bad day at the office. But against FC Dallas last weekend, Galaxy fell flat, and they were on the wrong end of a 4-0 hammering. Galaxy seemed to offer little going forward, and they were rather leggy. Greg Vanney rotated his starting XI, but it seemed to have little effect as they were run ragged.

Dallas’ Ricardo Pepi was the chief tormentor, and he walked away with the match ball after the game, as he netted a stunning hat-trick. The 18-year-old has been a revelation for struggling Dallas this campaign, who are languishing in 10th spot in the Western Conference. The result will have served as a wake-up call for Galaxy ahead of their Friday evening clash with the Timbers.

LA Galaxy has formidable home record to fall back on

Although their woes on the road have been well documented, Galaxy has been impressive on home soil. Despite suffering a 2-0 defeat to fellow playoff hopefuls, Kansas City, it’s their only loss to date at home this term. Although the Dallas defeat will have been a bitter pill to swallow, this is a must-win if Galaxy is to keep pace with the Sounders.

Portland Timbers on the fringes of the playoffs

As things stand, the Timbers are just outside the playoff places, as they lie in eighth spot in the Western Conference after 14 games. Last weekend, they crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Minnesota United, but they were outplayed in every aspect of the game. Although the alarm bells won’t be ringing yet, Friday evening will be a good place to start to make amends.

New England Revolution could run away with the Western Conference

While the Western Conference is tighter at the top, the same can’t be said in the Eastern Conference. Although they have a game in hand over closest challengers Nashville, the Revs are seven points clear after playing 16 games. They have only tasted defeat three times this term, and they have been sensational this campaign. A recent thumping 5-0 victory over Inter Miami illustrated this.

Carles Gil sets sights on breaking new record with New England Revolution

Carles Gil has been instrumental for the Revs this term. And he is eager to carve out his own bit of MLS history. In the 5-0 victory over Inter Miami last week, Gil registered two assists, and he has racked up 12 assists through his first 15 games. He has been going at an extraordinary rate of knots, and he could break the all-time record.

The current assists record is held by Carlos Valderrama, who managed an astonishing 26 assists from 32 appearances in 2000 during his spell with Tampa Bay Mutiny. Although there were two fewer games when Valderrama played, nothing should be taken away from that feat. Gil thrives on laying on goals, and Valderrama’s record is under serious threat of being broken.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls have ground to make up if they want to cement a playoff berth come the end of the season. They are winless in their past three matches, and they are four points adrift of seventh-placed Montreal in the Eastern Conference. However, they need to shore up a defence that has conceded (17) nearly as many as they have scored (18).

New York Red Bulls v New England Revolution: Unlocking the vault on past encounters

There have been some fascinating encounters over the years between the Red Bulls and the Revs. The head-to-head recording makes for interesting reading too. There have been 14 MLS contests between the two sides, but there is little separating them, as they have both picked up six wins apiece, and there have been two draws.

In more recent times, the Revs have come out on top in the past two matches. Last month, the Revs edged out a five-goal thriller as they raced into a 3-0 lead through goals from Tajon Buchanan, DeJuan Jones, and Gustavo Bou. Although the Red Bulls pulled back two goals in the second half, the Revs clung on for all three points.

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