MLS weekend preview: Chicharito return can help Galaxy bounce back against Austin

LA Galaxy will hope Chicharito’s return against Austin can end their bad run, while New England are tipped to continue their hot form on top of the standings against Orlando.

From the three games that took place on Wednesday, all sides except for Inter Miami are back in action again this weekend.

Alongside the MLS action, CF Montreal and Toronto FC won their Canadian Championship games on Wednesday, and Seattle Sounders faced off against Club Leon in the final of the Leagues Cup.

Back in the MLS, Inter Miami were humbled 5-1 at home by Nashville SC, while New England solidified their spot atop the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 win over Chicago. Additionally, the New York derby saw NYCFC draw 1-1 with the New York Red Bulls.

Following their win, the Revolution are now 15 points clear of Nashville in the standings, while NYCFC occupy third place, 20 points back.

Inter Miami's comeback took a blow, and Phil Neville's side now find themselves three points off from a playoff spot, while surrounding teams now also have a game in hand.

This weekend's action gives the New York sides a second chance to get one over their rivals, while New England welcome Orlando City and Sporting KC clash with Seattle Sounders.

The Revs host Orlando

While it is hard to imagine anyone in the East catching the Revolution at this point, Bruce Arena's squad have their sights set on the Supporters' Shield as well as earning a home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Orlando City heads to Massachusetts this weekend in fourth place, sandwiched one point behind NYCFC and one point ahead of Montreal.

The Orlando goalscorers have gone quiet lately, namely Nani and Daryl Dike. As a result, the Lions have lost three straight games, outscored 10-3.

They have just two wins since July 30, and Dike has been coming off the bench more times than not since returning from the Gold Cup.

The Revolution lead the league in goals with a startling 51, and they got a late game-winner from Carles Gil on Wednesday in Chicago.

Gustavo Bou leads the team with 12 goals, while Gil boasts 16 assists. Adam Buksa, who scored last weekend against Columbus, has a knack for clutch goals, and could be crucial again.

In terms of previous meetings, New England upset Orlando City 3-1 in the playoffs last November. The teams played three high-scoring games in 2020, with the Revs winning 4-1 in July before a 3-3 draw in September.

New England enter as favourites, but history suggests that we're set to witness a fair few goals, even if Orlando's forwards need to rediscover their shooting boots.

Chicharito can lead Galaxy bounce back against Austin

LA Galaxy's long wait for Chicharito's return is finally over, and the Mexican forward has been back training for a week now.

He's made one start and one substitute appearance since returning from a June calf injury. The experienced striker scored ten goals in ten games before the injury but has yet to be involved in a goal since his return.

This weekend, the Galaxy make their first trip to the Q2 Stadium to face expansion side Austin FC. The Galaxy beat Austin 2-0 in Los Angeles in May, and the crowd will no doubt ramp up the atmosphere for their debut this weekend.

Diego Fagundez leads Austin's scoring charts with six goals, while Sebastian Driussi has four assists.

The last-place team put together by Claudio Reyna has struggled in their first season in MLS. Through 25 games, they have 19 points with just five wins, 25 goals scored, and a -15 goal differential.

The Galaxy are in a fight for playoff positions and currently sit fourth after 25 games. After a run of bad form they find themselves six points behind Colorado Rapids and just one point ahead of Portland Timbers. A loss could see the Galaxy fall to sixth place.

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