Week 23 of MLS regular season action carries with it a fair bit of uniqueness. It’s one of the few weeks of the year where all the games take place on Saturday. Ten matches are on tap, with the two 2017 expansion sides Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC on a bye week.
Another unique aspect of the games our writers panel is predicting: the first one comes up on Wednesday while we conclude things next Tuesday. Why is that? Because we’re adding the two U.S. Open Cup semifinal ties. First up is a tussle in the Heartland as Sporting KC welcomes the San Jose Earthquakes to Children’s Mercy Park. Six days later, FC Cincinnati looks to continue its Cinderella run in the tournament with a win at home against the New York Red Bulls.
Of the four teams remaining in the tournament, only Sporting have come away with the cup previously. In fact, they’ve won it three times, having last done so in 2015. Both the Red Bulls and Quakes are in uncharted territory. Their last forays this far into the tournament came in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Cincy is looking to become the first non-MLS side to win the cup since the Rochester Rhinos way back in 1999.
The weekend slate of MLS matchups boast plenty of intrigue. It starts in the Pacific Northwest as a suddenly surging Seattle Sounders side hope to catch SKC a little weary after their mid-week U.S. Open Cup match. Their Cascadia rival Portland Timbers are heading to the other side of the country, facing Supporters’ Shield leading Toronto FC at BMO Field. For the night cap, things head back west with the LA Galaxy needing a win at home against New York City FC to salvage any hope they have for the playoffs.
Daniel takes the week 22 title after going .500 and is on a roll with a two-week winning streak. He moves into a tie for second overall with Robert. John remains the overall leader but is just six ahead of both Robert and Daniel. With two and a half months remaining in the regular season, anything is possible.
With all that out of the way, it’s time to reveal our picks for Week 23. Here they are!
Last Word SC MLS Pick ‘Em: Week 23
|EXPERT||SKC v. SJ||SEA v. SKC||TOR v. POR||DC v. RSL||CLB v. CHI||RBNY v. ORL||DAL v. COL||NE v. VAN||PHI v. MTL||HOU v. SJ||LA v. NYC||CIN v. RBNY||RECORD||PCT|
|John Bava (8)
|Robert Kerr (6)
|Daniel Sperry (3)
|Matt Pollard (4)