Major League Soccer’s regular season has reached its home stretch.
MLS is nominally in Week 27 out of 34, but some teams have played more or fewer than 27 games due to scheduling quirks. Nevertheless, the 22 teams in the top U.S. soccer league are jockeying for playoff position, trying to reach peak form and preparing for the final sprint toward the postseason.
Here’s a look at where things stand following last weekend’s MLS games:
MLS Scores (home team listed first)
Chicago Fire 1, New York Red Bulls 1
Toronto FC 4, San Jose Earthquakes 0
New York City FC 0, Portland Timbers 1
DC United 1, Orlando City 2
New England Revolution 1, Montreal Impact 0
Minnesota United 1, Philadelphia Union 1
Houston Dynamo 0, Colorado Rapids 1
Vancouver Whitecaps 3, Real Salt Lake 2
Columbus Crew 1, Sporting Kansas City 1
Atlanta United 3, FC Dallas 0
Seattle Sounders 1, Los Angeles Galaxy 1
Key talking points:
— Portland’s Diego Valeri tied the MLS record by scoring in his seventh consecutive game. He joins Raul Diaz Arce, Wolde Harris and Carlos Ruiz in MLS’ annals.
— Atlanta United christened Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a comprehensive win over Dallas in front of a sold-out crowd of 45,314. Expect fans to continue packing the $1.5 billion facility.
— USA international forward Jordan Morris injured his hamstring in Seattle’s draw against Los Angeles. The injury might rule him out of upcoming MLS and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying games.
Toronto has a nine-point lead in the Supporters’ Shield race and is the favorite to finish the regular season as MLS’ best team.
Upcoming MLS games (home team listed first)
Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution, Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Minnesota United, Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 10 p.m. ET
Atlanta United vs. Orlando City, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. ET
Montreal Impact vs. Minnesota United, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire vs. DC United, Saturday, Sept. 16, 8:30 p.m. ET
Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Colorado Rapids vs. New York City FC, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 9 p.m. ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 9:30 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Toronto FC, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 p.m. ET
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Houston Dynamo, Saturday, Sept. 16, at 10:30 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. ET
New England’s first trip to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium has major playoff implications, as does Atlanta’s home game against Southeastern rival Orlando. San Jose’s meeting with Houston is similarly crucial.
Los Angeles’ contest with Toronto will be a study in contrasting fortunes. Both clubs spend a lot on players, but only Toronto is winning.
Top MLS Rumors
Sporting Kansas City’s Erik Palmer-Brown reportedly signed a pre-contract with Manchester City. The 20-year-old defender is a highly rated prospect, who drew interest from PSG, Ajax and PSV.
Former Italy international Alberto Gilardino is practicing with Montreal. We’re not sure whether this is an official tryout, but the 35-year-old striker is a free agent.
Former Arsenal and France midfielder Abou Diaby told Canal Football Club he’s considering moving to an MLS team, but didn’t reveal which one.
“Yes, I’ve had contacts in the United States, Diaby said, per I Geek Soccer. “I had the opportunity to go there after Arsenal, but thought it was too soon. This time may be the right time.”
Diaby is suffering from a long-term injury but he might recover by the start of the 2018 MLS season. Then again, he might not.
Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images