What to watch for Wednesday: Pivotal Canadian Classique showdown, Houston Dynamo go for four wins in a row

Mauro Manotas - Houston Dynamo - September 5, 2020

Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact meet again, and the Houston Dynamo look to stake their claim as the hottest team in MLS when play resumes on Wednesday night. Here's what to watch for:

Inter Miami CF vs. Atlanta United

8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and DAZN in Canada (Local TV)

2018 FIFA World Cup-winner Blaise Matuidi went 79 minutes in his MLS debut for Inter Miami in Sunday night's scoreless draw against Nashville SC, and Wednesday's game will provide the first insight into how Miami coach Diego Alonso plans to handle the 33-year-old central midfielder against the demands of a congested schedule. His bigger concerns may be going forward, however. 

Atlanta are still figuring its out its own attack and how additions Jurgen Damm and Erick "Cubo" Torres fit in, but Adam Jahn scored his first goal for the club after coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw on Saturday against Orlando City SC

Minnesota United vs. FC Dallas

8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and DAZN in Canada (Local TV)

The Loons are coming off a much-needed and almost certainly cathartic 4-0 home win against Real Salt Lake, and now will be looking to avenge one of the defeats in their recent three-game losing skid against FC Dallas. Their previous loss in Dallas was the last game before Emanuel Reynoso made his MLS debut, and the talented Argentine contributed an assist against RSL in his first start.

Meanwhile, Dallas are taking a modest four-match unbeaten run on the road, having drawn three of those. They'll hope Franco Jara can start to heat up after scoring his first MLS goal in a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City.

Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC

8 pm ET | TSN 4/5, TVA Sports 2, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US

This will be the fourth meeting of the Canadian Classique rivals since the MLS is Back Tournament in July, yet if it's possible that may only add to the spice of this latest encounter. In Round 3, it was Montreal who halted Toronto FC's unbeaten run a game shy of tying MLS history, and yet the Impact left the occasion at least a little insulted by Toronto's unsuccessful penalty kick trickery.

There's also Canadian Championship implications. A Toronto win would give them a six-point cushion for the MLS berth in the CanChamp final, with two matches in hand on Montreal. But the Impact could put themselves one point away from their own berth with another victory over their rivals.

Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo

9 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and DAZN in Canada (Local TV)

Colorado are still searching for its first victory since March, but Kei Kamara's late leveler at the San Jose Earthquakes will have raised some morale around Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Whether the 36-year-old, who is fifth all-time in goals, can make a return to the starting XI is uncertain. A minor injury has reduced him to a bench player over the last three matches.

The Dynamo, meanwhile, are getting goals from everywhere during their three-game winning streak, with Darwin Quintero, Ariel Lassiter, Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas all finding the back of the net over the last two games. Another victory would see them match the Galaxy for the league's longest active win streak and be the lone side in MLS with an active unbeaten run of six matches.

Real Salt Lake vs. LAFC

9:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and DAZN in Canada (Local TV)

The Claret-and-Cobalt's schedule in Phase 1 of the restart has been brutal. They host LAFC to wrap a four-match run that included matches against MLS is Back Tournament Winners Portland Timbers, defending MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders and a Minnesota United squad that was ticked off after a three-match skid.

It seems unlikely they'll get overlooked by an LAFC squad that is dealing with its own angst of losing a pair of El Trafico clashes over a short stretch. And as they proved recently in a 5-1 win over San Jose, LAFC on a good day remains as good as anyone in the league.