With four games being played on Wednesday, Major League Soccer continues week 14 full of teams caught in the tricky position of choosing which players to rest verses which players to play.
The weekend starts with Portland versus San Jose on Friday night (11:00 PM EST). Both teams lost their rivalry match-ups in week 13 and will want to rejoin the winning train in week 14 and regain momentum. Both teams need a win here as they sit right next to each other in the standings.
The week continues on Saturday with eight MLS games followed by an international friendly between the United States and Venezuela (10:00 PM EST on FS1). The first game includes NYCFC and Philadelphia at 1:00 PM EST. This should be a good matchup between a New York side that is struggling to find consistency and a Philadelphia squad that, although losing last week, has found their form quite well recently. Next, Sporting KC plays host to Minnesota who is coming off of an impressive win against Orlando City (5:00 PM EST on ESPN).
DC United hopes to return to winning ways against a Los Angeles Galaxy group that is picking up steam, winning three on the bounce including a California Clasico win over rivals San Jose. New England hosts Toronto in a game that will test the Revolution, who have been struggling this year and currently sit in eighth place. The New York Red Bulls travel to Montreal to play the Impact who looked impressive in a four to one win over Portland.
FC Dallas welcomes Real Salt Lake and will be aiming to return to the form they had earlier in the season, after winning only one out of their last five games. Colorado and Columbus will finish the slate of MLS games on Saturday with Colorado looking to begin a winning streak after beating Sporting KC one to zero last Saturday. However, Columbus looks confident entering the weekend after manhandling Seattle on Wednesday three to zero, and will definitely put Colorado to the test.
Sunday begins with Orlando City playing host to Chicago, which is our favorite match up of the week in MLS because it puts second and third in the east up against each other after both teams won their last game. This game is also intriguing because it is being played in Orlando, which has a new atmosphere and stadium that was built specifically to enhance the sound of the crowd. Finally, it includes one of the strongest midfields in the league with Schweinsteiger and Juninho leading the way. This is a tricky situation for Orlando, who played midweek but are not in the ideal position to feel safe resting players.
MLS week 14 concludes with Seattle hosting Houston at 10:00 PM EST on Sunday. This game has upset written all over it as Houston has failed to win on the road all year, and Seattle usually makes it extremely hard for opposing teams to pick up points in their home stadium.
Week 14 serves as a huge opportunity for teams at the top to start to inch away from those below, but could also be and opportunity for those below to put everything right back in the balance.