The MLS game of the week features the hottest team in the league trying to keep a foot in the final playoff spot, while its opponent attempts to creep closer to that playoff line. Saturday-night soccer takes flight with the New England Revolution squaring off against Orlando City.
Orlando City at New England Revolution, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+
MLS free pick: New England (-175)
Back on May 10, New England was sitting toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with just eight points. The Revolution had just fired coach Brad Friedel and looked to be a sinking ship. Since then, under the guidance of new coach Bruce Arena, New England has rattled off a 10-game unbeaten streak and now has 30 points, good enough for the seventh and final playoff position in the East. The Revolution has played inspired soccer under Arena, with players like Carles Gil, Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury scoring goals along the way. Even though New England is only in seventh, it is the hottest team in MLS and a squad few want to play right now. To maintain that hot streak, the Revolution will need to continue the creativity up front, which is leading to a lot of scoring chances.
Orlando, on the other hand, is in ninth place in the East with 26 points, just four behind the Revolution. This is a prime opportunity for City to make up some ground and hopefully get back into the playoff chase. To do that Orlando will have to play like a team that wants playoff soccer in October. Orlando is 1-2-2 in their last five matches and will need production from Nani, Tesho Akindele and Dom Dwyer. Midfielder Sacha Kljestan needs to be the quarterback to keep Orlando in possession and put the Revs on their heels.
It will be a tough night for Orlando City, as it is running up on a team that is firing on all cylinders. Look for New England to win this match easily.
The Saturday slate in the MLS is chalk full of solid matchups. Check them all out at BetAmerica!