Published On: Fri, Aug 26th, 2016

MLS Week 24 Preview: English reunions and coast-to-coast cup clashes

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Week 24 of the 2016 MLS season has all 20 teams locking horns in a full weekend of action, with the San Jose Earthquakes kicking things off on Friday against the Houston Dynamo and a pair of regional-cup clashes wrapping it all up on Sunday night.

Here are three matchups worth watching in Week 24:

An English reunion in New York


On Saturday, New York City FC hosts the LA Galaxy in a match that sees a handful of former England internationals reunite on the playing field for the first time in Major League Soccer.

Frank Lampard takes on his former Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole and his Liverpool adversary (and England midfield partner) Steven Gerrard at Yankee Stadium, and the NYCFC midfielder had this date marked in his calendar.

“I’m going to try and see Ash and Stevie at the hotel. I’ve got a couple of Chelsea friends over from London as well for the game,” Lampard said, as quoted by MLSsoccer.com.

“We might go and see them if I have the chance. But we’re focused. We’re friends, but in the build-up to games I like to keep my head down and Ashley is the same. If they stay over after the game then maybe we’ll share a dinner or a beer afterwards.

“We’re very close knit, all of us. It will be a pleasure again to play against Ashley. I played against and with him before. For me, the best left back England has ever produced and the best left back in the world for quite a consistent period.”

Cascadia Cup clash: Seattle vs. Portland


The Seattle Sounders host the Portland Timbers in the fifth of nine Cascadia Cup matches in 2016, so here’s a refresher on where things stand midway through the competition:

Team Pts (W-L-D) GF GA GD
Portland Timbers 6 2-1-0 8 5 +3
Vancouver Whitecaps 6 2-1-0 6 6 0
Seattle Sounders 0 0-2-0 2 5 -3

These two fierce rivals last met on July 17, when the Timbers made short work of the then-slumping Sounders with a 3-1 win. Seattle has since parted ways with manager Sigi Schmid and brought in Designated Player midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, and the team enters this match feeling much more confident.

Atlantic Cup clash: Red Bulls vs. D.C. United


The New York Red Bulls travel to D.C. United to contest the second of three Atlantic Cup matches in the 2016 regular season earlier in the day on Sunday, and while this particular derby competition isn’t quite as high profile as the Cascadia Cup to the west, it still has the potential for a riveting fixture or two.

D.C. United holds the edge in this one after defeating the Reds Bulls 2-0 at RFK Stadium back on May 15, and will have a chance to capture the cup at home on Sunday with another win.

Should the resurgent Red Bulls come out victorious, however, then Ben Olsen’s side will need to wait until Sept. 11 to decide a winner at Red Bull Arena. Both teams are coming off positive results and go into this cup clash in fine form.



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