We are gaining speed towards Decision Day in the MLS 2023 season and we move closer to that with a near full set of matches in the competition on Wednesday night where plenty of teams have a lot to play for.
As ever all of these matches will be available on the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV but those who just subscribe to Apple TV will be able to watch five of them without the Season Pass. All of the games will be live with the bookmaker streaming consoles.
Wednesday’s fixtures are as follows: (00.30 unless stated)
CF Montréal v Houston Dynamo FC
Charlotte FC v Toronto FC
FC Cincinnati v New York Red Bulls
New England Revolution v Columbus Crew
Philadelphia Union v Atlanta United
Austin FC v D.C. United (01.30)
Chicago Fire FC v Inter Miami CF (01.30)
FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids (01.30)
Nashville SC v Orlando City SC (01.30)
Los Angeles Football Club v Minnesota United FC (03.30)
Seattle Sounders FC v LA Galaxy (03.30)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC v St. Louis City SC (03.30)
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We know that FC Cincinnati have won the Supporters’ Shield and that MLS Cup will go through Ohio and they will celebrate that piece of silverware when they host a New York Red Bulls side who really need to win to keep their playoff chances alive. We also know that St Louis City SC will top the Western Conference table in their first season in the competition. They will look to enhance their form when they head north of the border to take on Vancouver Whitecaps who are battling for a top four position in the West. In terms of big names, Seattle Sounders host LA Galaxy in a huge game for the visitors who probably have to win out from here to reach the postseason.
Best of the Rest
Speaking of teams who probably need to win out in order to see their season extended, Inter Miami are in action on Wednesday night when they head to a Chicago Fire who themselves could do with winning to boost their playoff hopes. Charlotte FC are also in the win out position and they will look to start a run of four wins when they host Toronto FC in what simply has to be a home win. Austin FC are probably in an even greater need to win and they host DC United who are very much in the same boat. CF Montreal are clinging onto a playoff spot and can enhance their hopes when they host the US Open Cup winners Houston Dynamo while two of the best in the East meet at Subaru Park where the Philadelphia Union host Atlanta United.
We are at that stage of the season where some teams are effectively playing knockout football before the playoffs begin and two of those sides meet each other on Wednesday evening when Austin FC play host to DC United. The equation is pretty simple for these two sides. Anything but a win and their season will end on Decision Day and with the home side having finished second in the table last year, and the latter having a world class footballer as manager, it would be seen as a huge underachievement not to make the playoffs when nine teams in each Conference get in.
With that in mind, I think we have to expect goals to come naturally in this match because the first goal is going to completely change the dynamic of the contest. Whoever gets it will have to further open up as they will need two goals to keep their campaign alive. These sides are not averse to a high scoring match anyway. 11 of the last 15 Austin FC matches have had three or more goals including a 6-3 loss, a 3-3, 4-1 results both ways and a 2-2 while in their last 10 matches DC United have lost 5-3, won and lost 4-0 and had a pair of 2-2 draws. These sides aren’t great defensively but can score and I expect over 3 to land given the way this one is set up going in.
Back Austin FC vs DC United – Over 3 goals for a 3/10 stake at 2.03 with Bet365