The MLS 2023 season is rattling along and it continues on Wednesday evening when 12 fixtures take place across the entirety of America and heading into Canada. We’re into the second half of the regular season now so the matches are getting more and more crucial.
As is the case all season, you can watch any of the 12 matches via the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV although six of them are available for free for Apple TV subscribers. They can all be seen via the bookmakers too.
Wednesday’s fixtures are as follows: (00.30 BST unless stated)
Atlanta United v New York City FC
CF Montréal v Nashville SC
FC Cincinnati v Toronto FC
New York Red Bulls v Charlotte FC
Orlando City SC v Philadelphia Union
Houston Dynamo FC v San Jose Earthquakes (01.30)
St. Louis City SC v Real Salt Lake (01.30)
Austin FC v FC Dallas (02.30)
Colorado Rapids v Vancouver Whitecaps FC (02.30)
LA Galaxy v Sporting Kansas City (03.30)
Los Angeles Football Club v Seattle Sounders FC (03.30)
Portland Timbers v Chicago Fire FC (03.30)
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It is a night where both of the top two in each Conference are on show on Wednesday and in the Eastern Conference the runaway leaders FC Cincinnati will look to continue to blaze their trail out in front when they host Toronto FC while second placed Nashville SC will be hoping there is a slip up which they can take advantage of when they cross the border to face CF Montreal. Over in the Western Conference the leaders St Louis City SC will look to bounce back from their defeat to Nashville at the weekend when they entertain Real Salt Lake while the champions Los Angeles FC have moved up to second in the table and they host Seattle Sounders in an appealing matchup.
Best of the Rest
Whenever two of the Texas teams meet there is a sense of anticipation and that is the case on Wednesday evening when Austin FC host FC Dallas while two relatively recent MLS Cup champions collide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where Atlanta United welcome New York City FC. Much of the narrative of the season so far has been about the struggles of LA Galaxy and they will get the chance to show they have turned the corner when they host Sporting Kansas City. Two form sides meet when Orlando City host Philadelphia Union while Portland Timbers welcome the Chicago Fire to Providence Park.
We are at the stage of the season where teams are losing players to the Gold Cup and I think that massively gives FC Cincinnati a huge edge when they go up against a Toronto FC side for whom Canada have taken some key players away and the USA have others. Cincinnati are without forward Brandon Vasquez for the next few weeks but his impact this season in terms of goal involvements haven’t been what they would have wanted anyway so that might not be the bad thing it might have been had there been a Gold Cup last season. Importantly, Cincinnati, who rely a lot more on their solid base at the back, do have Luciano Acosta available for this one and he can be the difference to keep the home side perfect on their own patch this season.
The other team I like on Wednesday evening is Houston Dynamo, who like FC Cincinnati have been very good at home this season. They host a San Jose Earthquakes who have done much of their better work on home soil this term and who will be missing some key players who have either just left for Gold Cup duty or who have been away with their international team during the break which has just concluded. Houston have only lost one player to either event and they were without him last week but still came out on top away to the champions Los Angeles FC. Houston are now 6-1-1 at home this season and have only conceded two goals in those eight games, with only their opponents in this match winning more points at home in the Western Conference this season, albeit from a game more. I like the home side in this one.
Back FC Cincinnati (-0.75AH) to beat Toronto FC for a 3/10 stake at 1.88 with Bet365
Back Houston Dynamo (-0.75AH) to beat San Jose Earthquakes for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365