Four weeks down... 30 to go. Here are the five biggest questions looming in Week 5 of Major League Soccer.
Will “El Trafico” live up to the hype?
Major League Soccer’s newest rivalry is set to kick off this Saturday on Fox’s main channel. Even with the immense heat surrounding the name, “El Trafico,” the contest between the Los Angels Galaxy and LAFC will be one you won’t want to miss. MLS’s newest expansion side Los Angeles FC is set to travel cross-town to Carson, California to the StubHub Center to take on the Zlatan FC . . . I mean, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Apart from the rivalry hype, this match should see the league’s newest star take the field for the first time. Newly signed striker Zlatan Ibrahimović trained with his club Friday morning and is expected to make his debut this weekend. The stars are aligned in Hollywood. It is only a matter of time before we get to see Major League Soccer’s newest spectacle.
Can the New York Red Bulls silence their former captain?
During the offseason, the New York Red Bulls lost one of their best franchise players of all time. Sacha Kljestan jumped ship after struggling to win the league cup and traveled south to Orlando to join the Lions. Now, the former United States Men’s National Team midfielder is having a tough time in Orlando. In their first three matches of the season, the Lions have only been able to grab one point, currently placing them ninth in the Eastern Conference. The issues continue for the Lions this weekend as they will host of the league’s hottest offensive clubs, the New York Red Bulls. Having already scored seven goals in three games this season, it will be a shock to see Orlando’s leaky defense contain Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Does Minnesota have what it takes to beat Atlanta United?
Flashback to last year when Atlanta traveled to the Midwest and beat Minnesota United, 6-1, in a blizzard. Now, in 2018, Minnesota United has a chance to redeem themselves at home. With no blizzard in the forecast, Minnesota may be able to play their best game in temperate conditions. United has started their season well, winning two out of their first four games. This record is good enough to place them fourth in the Western Conference. However, it still feels like a fluke. Minnesota will have a chance to prove everyone wrong with a win against Atlanta this weekend. Perhaps, new designated striker Darwin Quintero will make an appearance.
What does another week off mean for Dallas?
FC Dallas’ early-season schedule is delightful. Play a game, you get a week off, play another game, get another week. That is the case this weekend as FCD gets a full Texas weekend to relax and catch up on some training. Dallas has started the season off on the right foot by going undefeated in their first three. However, two of those results were underwhelming draws. FCD will be back in action next week as they are set to host the Colorado Rapids.
Who will continue to slip down a hole: Portland or Chicago?
Collectively, the Portland Timbers and Chicago Fire have one draw and four losses shared among themselves. After enjoying decent 2017 campaigns, the beginning of 2018’s has been rough. Portland’s misery was somewhat expected with the coaching change and the loss of Darlington Nagbe, but Chicago’s? No one expected that. The Fire is in desperate need to get themselves momentum this season. They will have a chance this weekend to grab a win as they prepare to host the Timbers at Toyota Park.