MLS Preview: Kansas City look to bounce back, Red Bulls face Chivas USA
Sporting Kansas City will be out to atone for their surprising loss to San Jose Earthquakes when they meet Chicago Fire on Saturday.
The Eastern Conference leaders fell to a 1-0 defeat against struggling San Jose last Monday, with USA international Chris Wondolowski scoring the only goal of the game.
That defeat allowed New York Red Bulls to draw level on points with Peter Vermes' side at the top of the conference and they will be hoping to re-establish a gap with a win at Chicago, who sit five points adrift of a play-off place.
The Red Bulls face bottom-placed Chivas USA on Sunday as they look to overhaul Kansas, and the onus will be on strikers Thierry Henry and Fabian Espindola to add to their tallies of seven goals each against the side with the worst defensive record in the division.
Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake have won just one of their last five outings, and they face another difficult challenge when they host Columbus Crew - who head into the clash gunning for their third consecutive win - on Sunday.
Portland Timbers are three points behind Salt Lake after the dramatic 3-3 draw between the two sides on Thursday, but they could have the chance to go top on Monday if they are able to overcome a Seattle Sounders side whose three-match unbeaten run was ended by Houston Dynamo last time out.
Houston travel to Montreal Impact on Sunday with the Canadian team attempting to keep pace with Kansas City and New York, while Philadelphia Union visit a New England Revolution outfit still very much in contention for the play-offs.
Defending champions LA Galaxy face a difficult trip to Vancouver Whitecaps, and they will need to be wary of Brazilian striker Camilo Sanvezzo, who is joint top of the MLS leading scorers charts having found the net14 times so far this season.
Elsewhere, FC Dallas - 3-1 winners over Chivas USA on Thursday - host San Jose and DC United meet Toronto.