Seattle and LAFC put MLS play-off credentials to the test in Matchweek 2

Western conference’s big two battle it out; Real Salt Lake a week late to the party; champions sit it out.

With week one in the rearview mirror, MLS is ready to roll right into weekend number two.

There are no midweek matches as the CONCACAF Champions League takes a week off before the quarter-finals.

That lets the 26 teams in action this weekend prepare for game number two, or in the case of Real Salt Lake, the opener.

With Austin FC joining the league and Charlotte's expansion delayed a year, MLS is rolling with 27 teams this year.

Defending champions Columbus Crew will be idle in Matchweek 2.

Games to watch

LAFC vs Seattle Sounders

The drama is always at its peak when Seattle Sounders play Los Angeles Football Club. These teams have battled for the top of the Western Conference the last three seasons with memorable regular season and play-off tilts.

This year we get a Seattle/LAFC matchup in week two as the Black and Gold host Seattle.

In the opener, the Sounders offense was explosive, even without the injured Jordan Morris and Nico Lodeiro.

Seattle crushed Minnesota United 4-0 as Raul Ruidiaz scored a brace allied to goals from Joao Paulo and Fredy Montero.

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LAFC, meanwhile, played without Diego Rossi in the opener, and Carlos Vela played just 20 minutes.

They spoiled Austin FC's league debut, though, with a 61st-minute goal from Corey Baird and a stoppage-time effort from Jose Cifuentes.

Manager Bob Bradley is hopeful to have Rossi and Vela available for this early-season showdown.

LAFC are evens with Sky Bet for the Saturday afternoon kick-off. Seattle are 21/10 and a draw is 13/5.

Sporting Kansas City v Orlando City

The Friday night game between Orlando City SC and Sporting Kansas City is an interesting match-up.

Both teams are among the favourites to win their conference in 2021 but had vastly different starts to the season.

Sporting KC went on the road and beat New York Red Bulls 2-1 despite not having starting keeper Tim Melia. Captain Johnny Russell and SKC legend Alan Pulido didn't start either, but SKC had eight homegrown players in the line-up. Gadi Kinda and Daniel Salloi scored the goals, while teenager John Pulskamp earned the win in goal.

Orlando City, led by Nani, made a big leap last year and reached the final of the MLS is Back Tournament plus the MLS Cup play-offs.

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They won't surprise teams this season and they were caught flat-footed, 0-0 at home against Atlanta United last week.

They are missing striker Daryl Dike, on loan to Barnsley, while Alexandre Pato injured his knee in the opener.

Orlando City SC are 23/10 on the road, and they will be desperate to find the back of the net to avoid two straight shutouts - a Sporting KC clean sheet is 5/2. Sporting KC are evens to win the game, while a draw is 13/5.

READ MORE: Highlighting the best and worst MLS jerseys for 2021

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