Currently, the Union sit 3 points behind Columbus Crew for the sixth and final playoff position. With 16 points to their name, the Union lie just 3 points above last-placed Montreal Impact.
While last week’s loss to Real Salt Lake was devastating, the Union must quickly bounce back in order to regain control of their season. Now is a good time to take a closer look at which teams could threaten the Union’s ascension up the table into a playoff position.
New York City Football Club, June 3.
The next match for the Union could prove to be their most difficult.
NYCFC, the team that plays in the house that Derek Jeter rented out, currently sits third in the Eastern Conference. In the teams’ last meeting back in April, NYCFC picked apart the Union defense with their passing throughout the night. Despite the heroics from Andre Blake, who managed to stop all but one of the shots he faced going into the final minutes, the Jamaican keeper was left stranded by a 45 yard prayer courtesy of NYCFC striker, David Villa. The goal, which made its rounds on just about every social media networks, stunned everyone inside Talen Energy Stadium. But it really should not have –– Villa is keeping pace for the Golden Boot with 8 goals to his name this season.
It was the type of performance that showed what David Villa is capable of on any given night. The Spaniard will be no less dangerous come this Saturday.
Sporting Kansas City, July 6.
SKC currently sits atop the Western Conference with 22 points accrued. They sit ahead of the two Texas based clubs –– the heady Houston Dynamo and previously unbeaten Football Club Dallas. The Kansas club boasts a pretty potent attack as well, one that has barraged opposing defenses with a league leading 201 shots through the first few months of the 2017 Major League Soccer campaign. Between the sticks for SKC is Tim Melia, whose 7 shutouts thus far have warranted him a nod for this year’s All-Star game
FC Dallas, August 5.
Previously unbeaten FC Dallas currently sits third in the Western Conference. Now I will admit, this one is still several matchdays away. While both teams’ seasons could completely change course in the next two months, Dallas is always a dangerous side in MLS and even without any bonafide household names. One name fans should remember is forward Maximiliano Urruti, who has six goals to his name and is keeping pace in the Golden Boot race alongside CJ Sapong.