The MLS regular season is rapidly nearing its end, and more teams have secured playoff spots. The Eastern Conference playoff picture is wrapped up, with New York City FC taking hold of the top spot in the conference. Defending MLS Cup champions Atlanta United and the Philadelphia Union are battling for second place in the conference. The last spot that can host a game in the first round is up for grabs. D.C. United currently sits in the fourth spot in the East, just a point ahead of the New York Red Bulls and two points ahead of Toronto FC.
Out west, the playoff picture is not as clear. There are two spots remaining and four teams in position to claim one of those spots. The Portland Timbers drew 2-2 twice last week, gaining a valuable two points in the playoff race. The Timbers have had a wild up and down ride all season and are in place to wrap up one of the final playoff spots with a positive result.
Carlos Vela had another solid week, scoring twice, once in each of Los Angeles FC’s matches, giving him 31 goals on the season. Vela is now two goals ahead of crosstown rival Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Like Vela, Ibrahimovic kept pace scoring a goal in each of the Galaxy’s matches. With one match left in the regular season, decision day will also confirm who will claim the MLS Golden Boot.
The Canadian Championship wrapped up with the Montreal Impact claiming the title.
Off the field, the player news saw a massive report come in. According to reports, Inter Miami will be bringing in Manchester City star David Silva. Silva, 33, is one of the more well-known players in Europe, having very successful stints in Spain and England. Silva would join David Beckham’s Inter Miami in the summer after his contract would expire. Another report out there is stating Atlanta United superstar Josef Martinez could be heading to England during the January transfer window. Newcastle United reportedly has Martinez on their radar and could make a move for the Venezuelan striker. Martinez’s teammate, Michael Parkhurst, announced he will retire at the end of this season. The center back has had a fantastic MLS career, including a stint overseas.
Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action this week.
Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution – 4 p.m.
D.C. United vs. FC Cincinnati – 4 p.m.
FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City – 4 p.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy – 4 p.m.
Los Angeles FC vs. Colorado Rapids – 4 p.m.
Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls – 4 p.m.
Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire – 4 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC – 4 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Quakes – 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United – 4 p.m.
Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew – 4 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Real Salt Lake – 4 p.m.
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for all things FC Cincinnati as the club wraps up its inaugural MLS season with a trip to the nation’s capital to face D.C. United to close out the 2019 season.