The first game of the evening is between NYCFC and the Impact, two teams who struggled last week. NYC lost to the Philadelphia Union by a score of 2-0, struggling to create chances in midfield without Andrea Pirlo in the lineup. The trio of Kwadwo Poku, Mikey Stephens and Federico Bravo failed to provide service to David Villa and the two wingers, stagnating the attack and allowing the Philadelphia Union's defense to have a relatively easy day.
Here's a perfect example of how they had trouble making that final pass:
Poku's pass is way behind Villa, who, without many other options, takes a low-percentage shot from outside the box. All game, the City Blues saw plays like this hamper their attempts at Andre Blake's goal.
When Pirlo comes back in the lineup, that should change at least slightly for the better, because Patrick Viera doesn't have any other real chance creators. It would also help to put Tommy McNamara and Mix Diskerud in the starting XI.
They will be looking to correct their recent deficiencies against the Impact, who lost to Toronto FC on Saturday. They too will be looking for chance creation, as Ignacio Piatti and Harry Shipp were held down by a compact TFC defense last week. Didier Drogba didn't get the opportunities needed to put goals on the board as a result, and Montreal were shut out.
The Timbers had a week off last weekend, but they don't get much of a rest. After a victory in week seven against the Earthquakes at Providence Park, they will play in Massachusetts on Wednesday before heading back to Portland for Sunday's match against Toronto FC. It's a tough stretch, but they have to settle down and play against the Revs in their second mid-week game of the season.
New England played on Saturday, losing to D.C. United at RFK Stadium. They came out looking flat and failed to get much going in attack while making sloppy mistakes on defense. They have to rebound fast against the defending champs, who got things together against San Jose in their last match.
Key in this one will be the play of Timbers' number-nine Fanendo Adi, whose hold-up play and strength on the ball will be a test for Revs center-back Andrew Farrell. The former first-overall draft pick, after a solid start to the season, experienced difficulties against DCU.
This is a matchup of two of the hottest goalkeepers in the league.
David Ousted shut down FC Dallas's attack in the Whitecaps' 3-0 victory on Saturday, making saves that harkened back to one of the best keepers in history, Peter Schemeichel. He was a brick wall, and made stops like this one all night:
20' 0-0 Great save by David Ousted at full stretch pic.twitter.com/BzBl5afJp2— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) April 24, 2016
Across the field will be Tim Melia, who has been excellent all season. He was crucial for them against the Earthquakes last week, and will have to be important again as it will be hard for SKC to get anything by Melia.