Alejandro Pozuelo close up - Toronto FC
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Pozuelo getting kicked, Atlanta streaking and more to watch Wednesday

Guess what? More midweek MLS action!

Week 12 starts on Wednesday with four matches. Here's something to keep an eye during for each game:

Pozuelo getting the Lodeiro treatment

Toronto FC vs. D.C. United | 8 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US

Since Nico Lodeiro entered the league in 2016, no player has been fouled more. And it's not even close — he led the league in fouls won in 2017 and was tied for first last season. He's leading that particular category yet again in 2019, but he may start getting some competition. 

As Bobby Warshaw pointed out in his 24 Thoughts column, Toronto FC star Alejandro Pozuelo is starting to get kicked. A lot. With five goals and six assists in eight games, it's really all defenders can resort to at the moment. It's a compliment, conveyed in a way that Pozuelo wouldn't particularly appreciate.

Expect D.C. United to follow suit. But will it stop the Spaniard? TFC are in the midst of five games in 15 days, so the bruises may be adding up. 

All eyes on Brian Fernandez

Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers | 8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada

Will Brian Fernandez make his much anticipated Timbers debut against the Dynamo? They could have used their club-record signing while chasing a goal last weekend, an eventual 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

If Fernandez does play, where will he line up? Right wing, where he starred for Necaxa, or center forward, where US international Jeremy Ebobisse earns his minutes?

As for the Dynamo, they've won plaudits for their performance in Seattle against the Sounders. It was just a moral victory, though, and they'll hope for an actual victory at home against the Timbers. 

Shutout streaks

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Atlanta United | 10 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US

Atlanta United are streaking.

The defending champs have won four consecutive games, keeping a shutout each time. Meanwhile, the Whitecaps have conceded just once in their last three home games, which includes visits from LAFC, Philadelphia Union and the Timbers. Not bad!

Both teams have generally been defensively sound all season long, but both had issues in attack. Lately, for both, the goals are coming, including one Pity Martinez's first ATL UTD goal last weekend while Fredy Montero has scored in two straight for the 'Caps. 

Also: No Darlington Nagbe or Michael Parkhurst for Atlanta, who are in the midst of five games in 15 days. The Whitecaps last played Friday, too, getting an extra two days of rest on Atlanta who beat Orlando on Sunday.

Can Orlando City start finishing?

Seattle Sounders vs. Orlando City SC | 10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada

Dom Dwyer is underperforming his expected goal numbers by -3.69, worst in MLS. He had an opportunity from six yards out against Atlanta that could have salvaged at least a point that didn't find the back of the net.

It's been the story of their season. They are in the top third for big chances created but are third worst in big chance conversion (33%). It's costing them points. 

They can't afford to squander the opportunities they get at CenturyLink Field against the Sounders. 


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