Miguel Almiron - Atlanta United
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 storylines: Can FC Dallas stay unbeaten? Are the Galaxy back?

Let’s get right to the Week 12 weekend storylines:

Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers

Saturday, 3 pm ET | TVA Sports in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US

Will Montreal ever start clicking? We know the Impact have the talent (Ignacio Piatti, Blerim Dzemaili and Laurent Ciman make for a really solid top of the roster), but Mauro Biello hasn’t been able to get results out of his group. They have just 10 points through 10 games after Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat to Columbus, and need to start putting together points to avoid falling into an even deeper hole in the East. Portland could use a positive too – after a hot start, the Timbers have won just twice in the last two months.

D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire

Saturday, 4 pm ET | UniMás in the US, MLS LIVE in Canada, Facebook Live

Everything’s gone wrong in D.C. over the past two weeks. United began their home stand with a 1-0 loss to Montreal, which they followed up with a 4-0 beatdown at the hands of I-95 rival Philadelphia. Three of the Union’s goals came after Luciano Acosta was sent off last Saturday, meaning D.C. – who were getting dominated even before Acosta’s ejection – will be without their most creative player as they close out their three-game stretch at RFK against the streaking Fire, who've won their last two games by a combined margin of 7-1.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 5 pm ET | MLS LIVE

After both playing on Wednesday night, Seattle and RSL meet at CenturyLink Field in a match that could prove key for both sides. RSL finally shook off their recent struggles with a gutsy, snowy 2-1 comeback win over New York City FC on Wednesday and now face a quick turnaround in hostile territory. Losers of three straight, the Sounders were humbled in Kansas City at midweek but have a solid chance to get back on track against an RSL backline that’s been hit hard by injuries and call-ups all season long.

Atlanta United FC vs. Houston Dynamo

Saturday, 7 pm ET | MLS LIVE

On paper, Atlanta have a huge advantage in this one. The expansion club will be more rested than the Dynamo, who were soundly defeated at Philadelphia on Wednesday, and after playing six of their last seven on the road, ATL will finally be back in front of another 40,000-strong crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium. You’d think that Atlanta, who are coming off of a solid 1-1 draw at Portland, would be able to handle this one, but Tata Martino’s bunch has dealt us some surprises this year. We’ll see if they can take care of business against the dangerous Dynamo.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Sporting Kansas City

Saturday, 7 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US

Vancouver lost their last time out, but a strong argument could be made that they deserved better in their 2-1 defeat at Houston last Friday. Even with the loss, the ‘Caps completed their tough, four-game road trip with a solid 2-2-0 record. They’ve got a clearer idea of who they are and how they want to play, and should be able to take the game to SKC – who will be playing their third match in their third different time zone in a week on Saturday – at BC Place.

Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids

Saturday, 7 pm ET | MLS LIVE

Squad rotation, squad rotation, squad rotation. That’ll be the name of the game for Pablo Mastroeni and Jim Curtin on Saturday night after both of their teams played on Wednesday. Curtin and the Union will have a slight advantage with both of their matches coming at home, while Mastroeni and Colorado got thumped at Chicago before continuing their trip east ahead of Saturday’s contest at Talen Energy Stadium. We’ll see whose depth is better served on the weekend.

FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, 8 pm ET | MLS LIVE

FC Dallas will be the heavy favorites to stay unbeaten on Saturday, when they’ll host a San Jose team that’s 1-4-1 on the road this year and will be on short rest after scrapping to a home draw with Orlando on Wednesday. Trust that FCD, who had the best points per game average in the league entering Week 12, will be out for blood at Toyota Stadium this weekend after drawing their last two home matches.

New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew SC

Sunday, 2:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE

Just two weeks after Columbus topped the Revs 2-0 in Ohio, Crew SC will pay a visit to New England on Sunday. Both teams are coming off of very impressive performances, with Justin Meram netting a hat trick to lead Columbus to a 3-2 win at Montreal last Saturday and earn Week 11 Player of the Week honors and the Revolution getting a standout performance from Diego Fagundez to end a five-game winless run with a 4-0 throttling of RSL last weekend. It’s fair to expect fireworks in this one: Columbus and New England are both in the top five in MLS in both goals scored and goals conceded.

Minnesota United FC vs. LA Galaxy

Sunday, 5 pm ET | ESPN in the US, MLS LIVE in Canada

Have LA finally hit their turning point? Has Curt Onalfo truly made his mark on the Galaxy? After coming back from an early 2-0 hole to draw Chicago in Week 10 and smashing the Red Bulls 3-1 in Harrison on Sunday, it certainly looks like it. That’s only a one-and-a-half game sample, however. We’ll learn more about the Galaxy on Sunday at Minnesota, who nearly stole a result at Toronto last weekend and will absolutely punish any team that doesn’t bring their best.

Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC

Sunday, 7 pm ET | FS1 in the US, MLS LIVE in Canada

The 2015 expansion siblings will meet for the third time this season on Sunday, with both coming off of Wednesday night matches out west. It remains to be seen how Patrick Vieira and Jason Kreis rotate their squads, but it’s probably safe to pencil Cyle Larin into the lineup. The Orlando star owns NYCFC, scoring nine goals in seven career matches against the Pigeons, including all three of the Lions’ tallies in their two wins over New York City this year. 

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