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MLS preview: Impact out to punish plummeting Rapids

Eastern Conference leaders Montreal Impact will be hoping to maintain their good form when they face struggling Colorado Rapids.

Montreal sit four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference with two games in hand on nearest challengers Philadelphia Union, and head into the match with plenty of reason for cheer after easing to a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo in their last encounter.

Brazilian midfielder Felipe Martins and top scorer Marco Di Vaio were on that target on that occasion, and Impact fans will be eager for Italian veteran Di Vaio to add to his tally of 10 goals against a Colorado team that has fallen to three consecutive defeats.

Despite that poor run, the Rapids are just two points adrift of a spot in the Western Conference play-offs, and will be looking to the likes of Deshorn Brown and Atiba Harris to help them cause an upset.

Two sides with title ambitions meet when Philadelphia take on FC Dallas at PPL Park on Saturday, the hosts aiming to maintain the pressure on Montreal, while Dallas can overhaul Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake at the top of the Western Conference with a win.

Portland do not play this weekend following their 3-0 win over the Rapids on Monday, but Dallas will need to rely on struggling Toronto if they are to move to the top of their conference.

The Canadian side sit second from bottom in the Eastern division, but will hope to spring a surprise against Real Salt Lake after going unbeaten in their last three outings.

Two Californian rivals will do battle as San Jose Earthquakes welcome LA Galaxy looking to reignite their play-off hopes after a run of just one win in their last five games.

Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls meet the Houston Dynamo, with both teams aiming to maintain their respective top-five charges.

Former Arsenal man Henry has netted six times this term, and the onus will be on him to deliver the goods against a Houston side just two points below them in the Eastern Conference.

DC United host Vancouver Whitecaps at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, with the visitors gunning for their third win on the bounce, while Columbus Crew can move level on points with Sporting Kansas City should they secure victory at Sporting Park.

Elsewhere, Chivas USA, currently bottom of the Western Conference, take on New England Revolution and are aiming to halt a run of 10 games without a win.

Fri 28 Jun, 2013
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