COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 22: This man - HATE HIM (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Even though the Chicago Fire will be off this weekend, there will still be a few matches this weekend that should interest Fire fans. All of these matches will impact the Fire's playoff chances and the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. All Matches are available on MLS Live unless indicated. A list after the jump.
Montreal has been a force at home since moving into Stade Saputo. On the season overall, Montreal has netted 28 of their 39 goals at home (that's 72% of goals scored at home). The biggest problem for Montreal this season has been their defense. They've conceded 44 goals this season which is the second highest in the league behind Toronto F.C. The defense has been improving for Montreal since bringing in Alessandro Nesta and Troy Perkins. Montreal has only given up 2 goals in the last 5 games.
For D.C. United, the match against Philadelphia was the start of a really tough stretch in their schedule (5 matches in 14 days). This match falls right in the middle of this stretch. While a win is always preferable, D.C. might be happy to come out with a draw.
Both of these teams are fighting for playoff spots, but Montreal will only have 6 matches left after this. A loss or a draw against D.C. could put their playoff hopes in danger.
If you haven't watched Columbus recently, you might no want to. At the beginning of the season, Milovan Mirosevic was touted as the second coming of Guiltermo Barros Schelotto. That hasn't worked out so well. A couple of weeks ago, Columbus signed Argentinean midfielder Federico Higuain. Senor Higuain has also been touted as the second coming of Guiltermo Barros Schelotto. This time, however, they might have gotten it right. Higuain made his debut as a sub against Houston last weekend and already has 2 assists and a goal to his name. Also, Crew striker Jairo Arrieta made his debut for Columbus on July 14th and has been making his name know around the league. He has 3 goals in 5 appearances this year.
With the changes Columbus has made this mid-season to their starting lineup, they have a legitimate chance of clawing their way back into a playoff spot. Even though they had a mid-week match on Wednesday, I fully expect that they are going to take New England apart.
Toronto F.C. @ Houston Dynamo - 7:30 p.m. CST - MLS Live and TSN
Houston is still undefeated at BBVA Compass Stadium, but Toronto still has some fight in them. Between all of the traveling and this being their third game in seven days, Toronto might not be up for this one. This should be a win for Houston.
Talk a bout a match-up to end the weekend. Both of these two teams have 9 matches left in the season and 3 of those matches are against each other. These two teams also occupy first and second place in the Eastern Conference (Sporting 1st, New York 2nd) with 2 points separating them in the standing. If Kansas City wants a rival, here is their opportunity. This is going to be a fun one to watch.