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MLS Preview: Eastern Conference set for top-of-the-table clash
Jul 25, 2013 9:00 PM EST
Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City will see their supremacy threatened when they travel to face Montreal Impact.
The Canadian club sit just four points short of Sporting ahead of the fixture at Stade Saputo and will improve their chances of securing a favourable play-off draw should they win.
However, the Impact suffered a 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in March and will need to both end their poor run of five games without a win and inflict Sporting's first defeat in six fixtures.
New York Red Bulls are just behind Kansas and Montreal in the Eastern standings but their chances of closing the gap are somewhat hindered by the fact that they host Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake next up.
Real suffered defeat at the hands of Sporting in their last outing, but had gone seven games unbeaten prior to that and will hope to set off on a similar run of form.
Elsewhere in the Western Conference, defending MLS champions LA Galaxy travel to take on the Colorado Rapids while second-placed Portland Timbers take on the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The weekend's fixtures also see fourth take on fourth as Eastern Conference side Philadelphia Union go head-to-head with their Western counterparts Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada.
Philadelphia have lost just once in their last six games but will come up against the threat of MLS top scorer Camilo, who has netted on 13 occasions so far this term.
Meanwhile, in the mix for the Eastern Conference play-offs fifth-placed Houston Dynamo host Chicago Fire, who will hope to shorten the five-point gap between the teams.
But, should Dynamo lose, they face the possibility of being leapfrogged by sixth-placed New England when they take on rock-bottom DC United away from home.
And just above United, Columbus Crew and Toronto - who sit ninth and eighth respectively - will meet at BMO Field.