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MLS Preview: Red Bulls seek to close gap on Impact

New York Red Bulls will be looking to rein in MLS Eastern Conference leaders Montreal Impact when the two sides meet on Saturday.

After losing their last game 2-0 to Colorado, Mike Petke’s men will need to improve to defeat the league pacesetters, but the Impact will be seeking a return to winning ways at the Red Bull Arena too having drawn their previous two games.

Fomer Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, who was named as one of 10 players in the MLS All-Star Fan XI at the end of June, will as ever be one to watch as he looks to add to his six goals for the season.

There is also another top-of-the-table encounter in this round of fixtures, as FC Dallas take on Real Salt Lake in a battle for supremacy in the Western Conference.

Dallas will not be able to overtake Real Salt Lake – unless they win by a huge margin – but can keep themselves in contention for the Western crown if they can beat the league leaders.

However, they have not won in their last six games and lost 2-0 to LA Galaxy last time out.

Nevertheless, Salt Lake have three players in the United States’ Gold Cup squad, meaning this may as good a time as any for Dallas to pick up three points against their title rivals.

Another side hungry to keep in touch with the Eastern Conference table toppers are Sporting Kansas City, and they will have a strong chance of remaining in the hunt if they can beat Toronto FC.

With the Canadian side posing just two wins in their last 17 outings, Sporting will be confident of continuing their recent positive run of form that has included two wins and two draws.

Elsewhere, New England Revolution host the Houston Dynamo, while LA Galaxy travel to the Portland Timbers. Galaxy are currently fourth in the Western Conference and could move within touching distance of Salt Lake with a win at the Jeld-Wen Field.

Bruce Arena’s side have won their last two games, with goals coming from Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez in their 2-0 victory over Dallas last time out.

Revolution have the chance to secure a play-off place if they can overcome the Dynamo and they will be hoping for a repeat of the reverse fixture where they came through 2-0.

The other two matches of the gameweek will see the Seattle Sounders come up against fellow strugglers San Jose Earthquakes and then, in Sunday’s only fixture, the Chicago Fire travel to Canada to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Wed 10 July, 2013
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