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MLS Preview: Leaders go head-to-head in Eastern Conference

SoccerNews in MLS 1 Aug 2013

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Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City aim to extend their lead over New York Red Bulls when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City will aim to extend their lead over New York Red Bulls when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Sporting have not lost their last five matches against the Red Bulls so Thierry Henry & Co will have their work cut out to secure victory.

New York will be without Tim Cahill, however, with the Australian likely to miss the best part of a month with a knee injury, sustained in mid-week against Real Salt Lake.

Head coach Mike Petke was furious afterwards, and commented: “It’s a very big loss to us.

“I think it was a very reckless and careless challenge. I don’t think it was intentional. I don’t think Salt Lake plays like that, but I think it was just a very careless challenge to the knee and it’s going to be a very big loss for us.”

Third-placed Montreal Impact travel to bottom placed DC United aiming to take advantage of any slip ups by the top two.

The Impact are just one point behind Sporting and level with Red Bulls going into the game, and they will hoping top scorer Marco Di Vaio can add to his 11 goals this season to give them a chance of victory.

Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia Union host Chicago Fire, while Columbus Crew travel to Houston Dynamo keen to boost their play-off prospects with a win.

Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake make the trip to Colorado Rapids hoping to maintain their three point cushion at the top of the table.

Real have lost their last two matches and need to get back on form to hold off the challenge of the Portland Timbers in second place.

Caleb Porter’s side will be doing everything they can to ensure they are perfectly placed to take advantage of any mistakes by the leaders when they take on Vancouver Whitecaps.

Kenny Miller has been leading the frontline for the Whitecaps this season with six goals in 13 appearances, keeping them just two points behind their opponents in the table.

The bottom two in the conference meet as San Jose Earthquakes meet Chivas USA, with 10 points between the sides already all Chivas can hope for is a victory that makes a small indent in that margin.

The final game in the Western Conference sees Dallas face the Seattle Sounders, a side they have not beaten in their last 10 meetings.

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