St. Louis City will be desperate to snap a record six-game winless run in MLS when they host Colorado Rapids at CityPark Stadium on Thursday.

The Missouri-based side have just three wins from their 17 league matches this term, falling down to 11th in the Western Conference standings.

Bradley Carnell's men have not triumphed in MLS action since a 3-1 win over Chicago Fire in the middle of May, and were defeated 2-0 by FC Dallas last time out.

St. Louis coach Carnell referenced injury struggles, however, as his side continue to battle through a troubling period.

"Obviously, it doesn’t take a genius to look at the roster and see where we are. We're not the first team to struggle with this.

"Now we get challenged and now get to prove what we are as a group, team, organisation and unit – sticking together.

"We have a plethora of young players who are performing [for our academy] and we will keep some of those guys with us through the week."

The Rapids have enjoyed a better season, sitting sixth in the West table after returning to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Austin FC at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

That ended a four-game winless streak for Colorado, who secured a much-needed victory after a rocketed finish from Cole Bassett before Rafael Navarro netted his 10th goal of the season.

The next challenge for the Rapids is to secure back-to-back victories for the first time since April, though they have lost three straight on the road.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Jared Stroud

Jared Stroud was involved in a goal in both matches (one goal, one assist) against the Rapids last season.

The St. Louis man has eight assists to his name in MLS this season, too, and will hope to deliver once more when Colorado come to town.

Colorado Rapids – Djordje Mihailovic

Djordje Mihailovic has scored in each of the Rapids' last three away matches.

He is the first Rapids player to score in three straight away from home in a single regular season since Shkelzen Gashi scored in five straight on the road from June-October 2016.

MATCH PREDICTION – ST. LOUIS CITY WIN

St. Louis are the heavy favourites for victory in this encounter, considering their record against the Rapids.

Carnell's side collected four points from their two matches against Colorado last season, including a 2-0 win at home last July.

Colorado have lost their last three road matches, conceding 10 goals in those games, and that run of form comes as no surprise.

Indeed, the Rapids have lost 15 of their last 21 away from home in all competitions (W3 D3), dating back to last May.

Yet a home win is by no means a foregone conclusion.

St. Louis are winless in six straight matches (D2 L4) for the first time in club history. They have just three wins so far, tied for the fewest in MLS this season, though all three have come at home.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis City win – 48.8%

Colorado Rapids win – 25.5%

Draw – 25.7%

Marco Reus waved farewell to Borussia Dortmund after Champions League agony on Saturday, with former team-mate Roman Burki expecting the Germany veteran to join him in MLS.

Burki ended a seven-year stay with Dortmund in 2022, switching the Bundesliga for MLS football as the goalkeeper joined the newly created St. Louis City.

The St. Louis goalkeeper faced Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba in Sunday's 3-3 draw with Inter Miami, and hinted that the league could soon welcome another European star.

"I talked to Marco Reus ahead of the Champions League game, I texted, we didn't talk about the move then because he was obviously focused on the game, but Major League Soccer has a very good chance of seeing him next year or the summer," Burki told ESPN.

"I can't tell which team, I am still trying [to convince him] but at some point it's up to [sporting director] Lutz [Pfannenstiel] and [club owner] Carolyn [Kindle] to make a move."

Reus leaves Dortmund after 12 years with the German side, signing off with a heartbreaking 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium.

Previous reports have suggested Reus could make the switch to the United States, opening up the potential for a reunion with Burki.

St. Louis head coach Bradley Carnell would love to bring the pair back together, though warned that the move is not guaranteed.

"Every time there is a transfer window opening, whether it's our club or not, everyone gets names thrown out at them. We've had plenty of names, whether it's to join now or in six months," Carnell told ESPN.

"We go through our lists, and we see if it makes sense or not. When we are in the position that we are in, sure maybe something comes around.

"The Marco Reus rumours are flattering, it would be something interesting for the league and our team. It's one of Roman's best friends, it would be a nice fairytale story.

"But sometimes reality is far from that. We're working ways and figuring things out, but right now there's nothing to be said about the Marco Reus rumour. But the window opens up pretty soon."

St. Louis owner Kindle echoed Carnell's sentiment, adding: "It's absolutely amazing [being linked to Reus.] In full disclosure, it's difficult to separate fact from fiction.

"Sometimes I call and ask about the rumours, but I thought it would take us three to five years to get to this point of being linked to these figures and we're on year two and these rumours are amazing."

Lionel Messi heads off to Copa America with Argentina after starring once again in MLS, with Jordi Alba calling on Inter Miami to battle in the forward's absence.

Former Barcelona forward Messi made MLS history on Sunday, reaching 25 goal contributions in just 12 appearances this term to shatter the previous fastest record held by Carlos Vela (16 in 2019).

Messi was on target in the 3-3 draw with St. Louis City, while Alba – who assisted Miami's first two goals – salvaged a point at Chase Stadium with a late leveller in a thrilling contest.

Yet Gerardo Martino will not have Messi to call upon for the foreseeable future, as the legendary attacker prepares for Argentina's Copa title defence.

"Knowing the player that he is for us, it's hard, but the team will continue to compete as much as possible, and that will be noticed," Alba said of Messi's absence. 

"It's an important absence for us, but we hope he does well in Copa America, we hope he has a great tournament and joins us again when it's time.

"If that's after the final, well – but in the meantime, the team will continue to fight and play."

The 2024 Copa runs from June 20 to July 14, with Inter also potentially losing players to the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris at the end of next month.

Martino remains aware of the availability issues that could follow for the Eastern Conference leaders, though Messi leaves with Miami's well wishes.

"In today's game, Leo was practically responsible next to Jordi for the participation of the attack," the Miami head coach said.

"He was involved creating chances, he insisted throughout the game. He finished the game well – and now will do what has corresponded to him his whole life, which is play for Argentina."

Argentina face Ecuador and Guatemala in warm-up fixtures before opening their Copa defence against Canada on June 21.

Lionel Messi achieved an unprecedented MLS feat on Sunday but his heroics, and a star Jordi Alba performance, could not drag Inter Miami past St. Louis City in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

The Argentina and Barcelona great levelled proceedings after Chris Durkin's early opener, taking Messi to 25 goal contributions this term in just 12 MLS appearances – shattering the previous record by Carlos Vela.

Indiana Vassilev edged the visitors back ahead before Luis Suarez restored parity on the stroke of half-time at Miami's Chase Stadium.

Gerardo Martino's side fell behind again after Suarez turned into his own net but Alba, who assisted Miami's first two goals, saved the day with an 85th-minute equaliser to salvage a point.

The draw left Miami top of the Eastern Conference by two points but second-placed FC Cincinnati have two games in hand over Martino's star-studded line-up.

Meanwhile, St. Louis remain 11th in the Western Conference but just three points adrift of ninth-placed Portland Timbers having played two games fewer.

Data Debrief: Messi history in MLS

Having shattered records across historic spells with Barcelona and Argentina, Messi now has another MLS achievement on his sparkling resume.

Messi became the fastest player to 25 goal contributions in an MLS season, recording 12 goals and 13 assists to surpass the previous record established by Vela in 2019 (16 games, four more than Messi).

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are expected to feature when Inter Miami host St. Louis City in MLS on Saturday, with the Herons looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat.

Miami saw a 10-match unbeaten run in league play halted on Wednesday, as they were beaten 3-1 by Atlanta United.

That result came despite Messi and Suarez returning to Gerardo Martino's lineup, having both missed a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend.

According to assistant coach Javier Morales, both players will be fit and available for this week's match as Miami target a return to winning ways.

"Everyone is optimum to play," Morales said. "Today we will train, and the coaching staff will watch players but there is no physical problem. 

"Afterwards we will talk to the players but most of all Martino will feel the game and what it needs. 

"But we will play the strongest team to conclude this part of the season strongly before the international window. Everyone is fit and wants to play.

"The plan was always to play the strongest side against St. Louis, the result on Wednesday did not modify that strategy."

St. Louis have lost three successive games to slide to 11th in the Western Conference standings, three points outside the wild-card places.

They were beaten 2-1 by the Seattle Sounders on home soil last weekend, and head coach Bradley Carnell knows a swift response is important.

"I challenge the staff, the players challenge me, and then we try to execute on gameday," Carnell said after that defeat.

"None of us are happy with the situation, let me be clear. We've experienced far better, we've had a lot more joy and a lot more smiles on our faces.

"But we get up in the morning and we go again. That's the message for the boys."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Inter Miami – Lionel Messi

Messi scored Miami's only goal in their defeat to Atlanta on Wednesday. 

It was the first time Messi's club had lost a match in which he scored for over three years, since he netted for Barcelona in a 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in May 2021.

St. Louis City – Eduard Lowen

Lowen recorded his 17th MLS assist for St. Louis against Seattle last Saturday, setting up a goal for Tomas Totland. His 17 assists have set up goals for 10 different team-mates.

MATCH PREDICTION – INTER MIAMI WIN

St Louis have lost three straight regular-season matches for the first time in franchise history. 

They had lost just three of their previous 18 regular-season matches in a run dating back to last September, winning five and drawing 10 in that span.

St. Louis did beat Miami 3-0 in the teams' first meeting last July, but a lot has changed since that game, which was the Herons' last before Messi debuted in the Leagues Cup six days later.

Miami's 3-1 loss to Atlanta was their first home defeat with Messi in their starting lineup, having previously won 10 and drawn one of 11 matches with the Argentine starting on home turf.

They are strong favourites to bounce back with victory over struggling opponents this weekend. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Inter Miami – 59.8%

St. Louis City – 19.1%

Draw – 21%

Bradley Carnell has challenged St. Louis City to make Citypark a formidable place to play as they prepare to welcome the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

St. Louis have lost just one of their six MLS home games this season, helping them to ninth in the Western Conference.

Carnell’s side have, however, lost their last two matches, including their most recent home outing, but the head coach is not worried about their recent form.

He said: "The standings are not an indicator of if we give everything or not. Everything should be on the line every single day.

"For sure, there are moments of ebbs and flows through a season, and you get to mitigate through those just like every other team in the league. We're just focusing on our next game against a respectable opponent.

"We want to see if we can keep up and keep on pushing and turn Citypark into the fortress we know it can become to get three points."

Seattle sit two points below St. Louis in 10th after failing to win their previous two matches.

Head coach Brian Schmetzer wants his side to use last season’s win over St. Louis as inspiration to get back to winning ways.

"It's a tough place to play, they were on a good roll last year," he said.

"This year their results aren't quite as good, but they're still a good team. Last year's performance there away from home was good, it was solid. We scored early goals and held on. Good defence. Solid performance."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Joao Klauss

Klauss has scored in four of St. Louis’ last nine matches in the MLS, netting the opener on two occasions. He is also the club’s top scorer this season with five goals.

Seattle Sounders – Cristian Roldan

Roldan completed 82 of 88 passes in Seattle’s draw with Vancouver on Saturday, both the most in a match by a Sounders player this season. It was the most passes Roldan has completed in an MLS match since connecting on 109 passes against the Galaxy in August 2019.

MATCH PREDICTION: ST. LOUIS CITY WIN

After losing only one of their first 11 regular-season matches in 2024 (W3 D7), St. Louis have lost consecutive games. This is the fifth time they have lost two straight regular-season matches, though they have never lost three in a row in league play before.

Seattle have won both of their matches against St. Louis, outscoring them, 5-0, in those two games. The Sounders were the only team to keep clean sheets in two matches against St. Louis last season.

Seattle drew 1-1 with Vancouver last Saturday, thanks to a Ryan Gauld equalizing penalty for the Whitecaps at 93:59. It was the latest result-changing goal the Sounders have ever conceded in a regular-season MLS match.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis City – 44.8%

Draw – 27%

Seattle Sounders – 28.2%

Despite watching his side beat Atlanta United in midweek, FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan still wants more from his side when they host St. Louis City this weekend.

Kevin Kelsy's seventh-minute strike was enough to earn Cincinnati a 1-0 win over Atlanta to make it five straight MLS victories.

Cincinnati currently sit second in the Eastern Conference, but Noonan is still demanding more from his side than Wednesday's performance.

"I wouldn't say 'negatives' but [there are] things we could have done better, and here we are with the guys keeping a clean sheet and winning the game," Noonan told reporters.

"They deserve credit and to be proud of the fact that they're still walking off the field with a win tonight."

St. Louis saw a five-game unbeaten streak end as they lost 2-0 to Los Angeles FC in midweek.

The defeat leaves St. Louis ninth in the Western Conference, though they are just three points off sixth-placed Austin FC.

Bradley Carnell is looking to get players back fit and raring to go for the visit to Cincinnati at the weekend, saying: "It's about how we manage over the next couple of days to get a solid, fit line-up for Cincinnati.

"We don't have much time to sit and dwell, and we have to be brave and positive to head to Cincinnati."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Cincinnati – Kevin Kelsy

In his first MLS start, Kelsy scored Cincinnati's lone goal on Wednesday. The 19-year-old has scored in consecutive games, making him the first teenager to score multiple MLS goals for Cincinnati, and if he gets the nod from the off again here, he will once more hope to mark it with a goal.

St. Louis City – Joao Klauss

Having netted four in his previous four games, Klauss drew a blank against LAFC as St. Louis slumped to defeat. He is clearly a key man in St. Louis' attack, and he will hope to get back among the goals this weekend, and with a win too.

MATCH PREDICTION – CINCINNATI WIN

St. Louis beat Cincinnati 5-1 in the lone previous meeting between the sides last April. The four-goal margin is Cincinnati’s largest defeat since the start of last season and equals St. Louis' largest ever margin of victory.

But St. Louis are winless in eight straight away matches in all competitions (four draws, four defeats). St. Louis have won three of their last 23 on the road after winning the first three away matches in club history.

Cincinnati have won five straight regular season matches with all five wins coming by one-goal margins, the first team to do so since the Red Bulls in 2012, and though it may be a tight game again this weekend, the hosts will fancy their chances of coming out on the right side of the result and collecting another three points.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Cincinnati: 44.3%

St. Louis: 28.2%

Draw: 27.5%

Bradley Carnell has warned his St. Louis City side they can't get comfortable despite a four-game unbeaten run.

Carnell's men last lost in March, since winning one and drawing three to leave St. Louis ninth in the Western Conference, just three points behind sixth-placed Austin FC.

As his team prepares to host the Chicago Fire this weekend, Carnell has cautioned his players not to become complacent.

"We can speak so many nice positives, especially with our three clean sheets in four and there are so many good moments," Carnell said.

"But I also don't want to get comfortable with that. I don't want to be used to getting draws. I don't want to hype up getting ties."

Carnell's side will look to extend their unbeaten run against a Fire team winless in four, currently 13th in the East after a poor start.

Chicago head coach Frank Klopas hopes his team don't lose faith, telling reporters: "Our focus is to continue to stay positive with the group.

"It's a process of evaluating and looking at how we can improve as a team, and then making sure once we analyse the games we look at certain things we did well and our mistakes to look to improve.

"It's a long season. I feel the team has been playing well, but we have to find a way to get points."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Joao Klauss

No St. Louis player has managed more MLS goal contributions than Klauss so far this term, scoring three and adding an assist. He will likely lead the line on Saturday and will hope to score the goals that start turning draws into wins.

Chicago Fire – Brian Gutierrez

Despite his team's poor collective start, 20-year-old midfielder Gutierrez has performed well and leads his team with three MLS goals so far this season, while also registering an assist. He will look to build on that and try to turn his side's fortunes around, starting this Saturday.

MATCH PREDICTION – ST. LOUIS WIN

St. Louis have kept clean sheets in three of their last four matches, including in the scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo last time out. St. Louis had managed just two clean sheets in their previous 23 matches in all competitions dating back to last July.

The Fire, meanwhile, have failed to score in four straight matches. This is the fifth time Chicago have gone four or more consecutive league matches without scoring since the start of the 2021 season.

Six of St. Louis City's last eight matches have ended in draws, but home advantage should be enough to see off a struggling Chicago team on Saturday.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis: 55.5%

Chicago: 19%

Draw: 25.5%

Bradley Carnell is eager to get going again when St. Louis City return to MLS action against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, two weeks on from their last game.

St. Louis were last in action on April 21, when Tomas Totland's last-gasp equaliser saw them claim a 3-3 draw against rivals Sporting Kansas City.

Carnell's team have only lost one of their last eight MLS games, though five of those have finished level to leave them ninth in the Western Conference standings, one point behind the Dynamo.

Speaking about the challenges of their long wait for a game, Carnell said: "The week off was nice, it gave us some time to plan and prep for the next few weeks and where we're going.

"There's going to be a ton of games so it's really important for us to do that. We can't change the calendar and it is what it is.

"We're excited about the games coming up, there's a lot of good teams among our opponents in the next couple of weeks."

Houston, meanwhile, have lost three of their last four league games including each of their last two, both of which came against Texas rivals in Austin FC (0-1) and FC Dallas (0-2).

Despite their downturn, boss Ben Olsen is choosing to remain upbeat and is certain things will turn, saying: "I can take a loss and I will say the guys gave everything, they continue to fight. 

"We'll get back to work and try to make the fans proud next week.

"We prepare for St. Louis the same way we prepared for Dallas. We'll just get back to work and keep going. 

"It's very early in the season. The last two games didn't go the way we want so we have to learn from it."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Houston Dynamo – Ibrahim Aliyu

Aliyu is the only Houston player with more than one goal to his name in MLS this year, netting three times. However, he has failed to score in their last three games, so he will be desperate to end that mini-drought here.

St. Louis City – Joao Klauss

Klauss is St. Louis' joint-leading scorer this season, his three goals only matched by Celio Pompeu after both players were on target against Sporting KC last time out.

The Brazilian has attempted a team-high 29 shots this term as well as creating 12 chances for team-mates, a tally only bettered by Pompeu (17).

MATCH PREDICTION – HOUSTON DYNAMO WIN

The Dynamo's first victory over St. Louis came in the second leg of this year's CONCACAF Champions Cup first round, a 1-0 home win that saw Houston into the round of 16. 

St. Louis had previously gone unbeaten in the first three meetings between the teams (two wins, one draw), including winning both matches in Missouri.

After winning their first three away matches in club history last year, St. Louis have only managed three wins in 22 road trips (six draws, 13 defeats). Houston, meanwhile, have won two of their last three at Shell Energy Stadium so enter Saturday's game as favourites.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY 

Houston Dynamo – 42%

St. Louis City – 29.7%

Draw – 28.3%

Mikael Uhre netted a hat-trick as Philadelphia Union snapped their five-game MLS winless run with a 4-2 victory over Toronto on Saturday.

Union took an early lead after Lukas MacNaughton's 16th-minute own goal before Denmark international Uhre bagged a double before half-time.

Uhre added a third in the 56th minute to round out his hat-trick, tapping in Julian Carranza's low ball across goal and put the contest to bed.

Toronto pulled one back through Italy international Lorenzo Insigne in the 66th minute, before Richie Laryea's stoppage-time consolation.

New England reinforced their grip on top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 home win over Sporting KC, who are last overall.

Giacomo Vrioni netted a first-half brace for the Revs, but Sporting pulled one back in the 50th minute from Johnny Russell, only to be reduced to 10 men when Andreu Fontas was sent off 10 minutes later.

The Revs are ahead of second-placed Cincinnati on goal difference, with Cincy winning 2-1 over Portland Timbers after strikes from Sergio Santos and Brandon Vasquez.

New York City moved up to fourth in the East with a 3-1 home win over Dallas sparked by Santiago Rodriguez's double.

Western Conference leaders St Louis City were denied victory after Michael Barrios' 90th-minute equaliser as they drew 1-1 at Colorado Rapids.

St Louis remain top in the West but only on goal difference from Seattle Sounders who condemned Minnesota United to three straight losses with a 1-0 victory.

Denis Bouanga netted his seventh goal of the MLS season as LAFC drew 1-1 at Nashville, while LA Galaxy snapped their winless start to the campaign with a 2-0 home victory over Austin.

Inter Miami's losing run extended to six in a row, compounding the pressure on boss Phil Neville, as they went down 1-0 at Houston Dynamo.

Real Salt Lake beat San Jose Earthquakes 3-1, Charlotte defeated Columbus Crew 1-0, struggling Montreal edged New York Red Bulls 2-0 and Christian Benteke scored as DC United won 3-1 at Orlando City.

St Louis City snapped their two-game losing skid with a statement win where they piled on five goals within an hour in a 5-1 hammering over Eastern Conference-leading Cincinnati on Saturday.

The MLS expansion side had suffered back-to-back losses after creating league history by winning their first five games but responded at CityPark.

Jared Stroud fired in a third-minute opener from a set-piece before Eduard Lowen lashed home a volley in the 39th minute.

Kyle Hiebert glanced in Stroud's cross in first-half stoppage-time and St Louis did not relent after the break, with Nicholas Gioacchini adding another from Rasmus Alm's classy touch in the 53rd minute.

It was five in the 57th minute when Alm's rifled strike from outside the box hit the post and deflected in off goalkeeper Roman Celentano.

Sergio Santos grabbed a consolation for Cincy, who were unbeaten coming into this encounter.

Dairon Asprilla netted an early goal of the year contender with an acrobatic bicycle kick to equalise for Portland Timbers before they raced away with a 4-1 win over Seattle Sounders.

Asprilla brilliantly netted in the 71st minute before Portland added a further three goals in the final 20 minutes, meaning Seattle slipped from top spot in the West.

Sean Zawadzki netted a 90th-minute equaliser as Columbus Crew pinched a 1-1 home draw with 10-man New England, who move up to top spot in the Eastern Conference ahead of Cincinnati.

Lorenzo Insigne returned from a groin injury as Toronto drew 2-2 with Atlanta. Toronto have drawn four games in a row.

DC United ended their six-game winless run with a 1-0 victory over last-placed Montreal, while New York Red Bulls' streak without a win extended to four games after a 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo.

Keaton Parks and Maxime Chanot scored excellent early goals as New York City moved up to fifth in the East with a 2-1 win over Nashville.

Austin drew 0-0 with Vancouver Whitecaps, while Orlando City rallied from behind to get past Minnesota United 2-1.

Bernard Kamungo scored an 88th-minute winner as Dallas moved up to fourth in the West with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, while San Jose Earthquakes crushed Sporting KC 3-0 with a Jeremy Ebobisse double.

Struggling Charlotte drew 2-2 with Colorado Rapids and Philadelphia Union's winless run extended to five games with a 2-2 draw at Chicago Fire although they fought back from 2-0 down.

Denis Bouanga netted a hat-trick as reigning MLS champions LAFC claimed a statement win with a 3-0 rout of Austin on Saturday.

Bouanga opened the scoring with a low strike with five minutes left in the first half, before adding further goals in the 57th and 68th minutes.

The Gabonese winger fired in a powerful right-foot volley from a corner for 2-0, before side-footing home at the back post for the third.

The result meant LAFC kept in touch with the top two in the Western Conference, with Seattle Sounders moving above St Louis City into top spot with a 3-0 win in the late game.

The Sounders netted three second-half goals to condemn the expansion side to their second straight loss after winning their opening five MLS games.

Phil Neville's Inter Miami slumped to their fifth straight loss, going down 1-0 at home to Dallas. US international Jesus Ferreira scored the only goal in the 27th minute. Dallas moved up to fourth in the West with the victory.

Cincinnati remained top of the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 home win over Philadelphia Union, who are winless in four. New England are second in the East behind Cincy, thrashing Montreal 4-0.

Tom Barlow scored deep into stoppage time to rescue a 1-1 draw for New York Red Bulls against San Jose Earthquakes, while Colorado Rapids edged Sporting KC 1-0 on the road.

New York City and Atlanta United drew 1-1, Nashville and Toronto drew 0-0, while Columbus Crew secured their third straight win with a 2-0 victory at D United.

Kei Kamara scored a double as Chicago Fire won 2-1 over Minnesota United, while Amine Bassi also netted a brace as 10-man Houston Dynamo beat nine-man LA Galaxy 3-0.

Real Salt Lake came from behind to win 3-1 over Charlotte, while Vancouver Whitecaps beat Portland Timbers 1-0.

Brian Schmetzer is looking for Seattle Sounders to use Lumen Field's home advantage to beat the visiting St. Louis City on Saturday and leapfrog them to the Western Conference summit.

Expansion franchise St. Louis have enjoyed a brilliant start to MLS life, rattling off five victories from their first six matches to sit top of the West.

They were beaten at home by Minnesota United last time out, though, and Schmetzer wants his Seattle team, who sit just two points behind St. Louis and will go top with a win, to embrace familiar surroundings against the early frontrunners.

"It's another home game," Schmetzer told reporters. "We want to make sure that Lumen Field is a hard place to play.

"I have confidence that if our team plays up to our potential, chances are we'll come up with a good result."

St. Louis' first MLS defeat came against an unbeaten Minnesota team, who scored with their only shot on target as the hosts lost despite managing more attempts and shots on target than their opponents while also holding 55 per cent of the possession.

 

Head coach Bradley Carnell is keeping a positive outlook as they try and get back on track against Seattle, saying: "It's a new window for us.

"It's a new window of opportunity to go and start something fresh, start something new."

Goalkeeper Roman Burki feels the first defeat has shown St. Louis' character, explaining: "Five games in a row, everything's good and sunshine every day.

"But I learned that we have actual winners and fighters in the team, guys who can speak up, get loud. I would say this group are a team."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Seattle Sounders – Leo Chu

After keeping his place in the starting XI following his four-assist performance against Sporting Kansas City, Chu followed it up by scoring his first goal and setting another goal up in the 2-1 victory at the LA Galaxy last time out. Can he make it three straight games with a goal involvement against St. Louis on Saturday?

St. Louis City – Eduard Lowen

Lowen (four assists) and team-mate Joao Klauss (two goals, three assists) have both contributed to at least one goal in each of their first three road matches in MLS, with only six players managing it in their first four games. Can Lowen join that exclusive club here?

 

 

MATCH PREDICTION – SEATTLE WIN

Seattle have taken 13 points from their first six matches of the season, the eighth time in 13 MLS campaigns they have managed at least 10 points from their opening six games, and they are yet to concede a goal at Lumen Field so far this term.

St. Louis, meanwhile, have the opportunity to become just the second team since 2000 to win their first four road matches of a season after the New York Red Bulls managed five in the last campaign.

But the Sounders have lost just one of their 10 home games against expansion sides, and they look the favourites to come out on top in this meeting of two of the Western Conference's early pacesetters.

 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Seattle: 49.5 per cent

St. Louis: 23.7 per cent

Draw: 26.8 per cent

Expansion franchise St Louis City's perfect start to their inaugural MLS season was ended by Minnesota United who triumphed 1-0 after Luis Amarilla's 78th-minute penalty on Saturday.

City had made MLS history by winning their first five games but that was ended by the Loons with Amarilla drilling home the spot kick after a needless challenge by Kyle Hiebert.

Hiebert brought down Amarilla just inside the box with a rash tackle when Jakob Nerwinski appeared to have Kervin Arriaga's wayward pass under control.

Substitute Samuel Adeniran came closest to equalising for St Louis, with a 95th-minute shot going over the bar after a great first touch from Klauss' right-wing cut back.

St Louis remain top of the table with 15 points from six games, but unbeaten Minnesota climb up to fourth in the Western Conference.

Cincinnati continued their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 home triumph over Inter Miami who slumped to their fourth straight defeat.

Yerson Mosquera scored the 45th-minute winner for Cincy, who are top of the Eastern Conference.

Giorgos Giakoumakis scored an early winner as Atlanta United moved up to second in the East with a 1-0 home win over New York Red Bulls, who are down in 12th in that conference.

Jordan Morris and Leo Chu scored first-half goals as Seattle Sounders stayed second in the West with a 2-1 victory at LA Galaxy, who are without a win and have only three points from five games.

LAFC remained unbeaten and third in the West despite a 0-0 draw at the winless Colorado Rapids, while SJ Earthquakes climbed to fifth with a 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo with all three goals coming from penalties.

Vancouver Whitecaps snapped a run of three straight draws with a resounding 5-0 win over 10-man Montreal with Simon Becher scoring a double. Becher is the fastest player (87 minutes) in MLS history to score his first four goals.

Franck Boli rescued a 1-1 draw for Portland Timbers at Dallas, Chicago Fire and DC United drew 0-0 and Nashville triumphed 2-0 at Orlando City.

Federico Bernardeschi netted another spectacular goal with a strike straight from a corner in Toronto's 2-2 home draw with Charlotte.

Sporting KC remained winless after a 0-0 draw at Philadelphia Union, New England drew 1-1 with New York City and Real Salt Lake suffered their fourth straight loss, going down 4-0 to Columbus Crew.

St Louis City extended their dream start to life in the MLS with a 3-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday making league history as the first expansion team to win its first four games.

The Missouri club powered past the Earthquakes with first-half goals from Nicholas Gioacchini and Joao Klauss, before Tomas Ostrak sealed the win in the 68th minute.

St Louis' fourth straight win surpassed the Seattle Sounders' three-win start in their debut MLS season in 2009.

The new franchise have scored 11 goals in four games, with Saturday's win marking their first clean sheet, having been forced to come from behind in all three other victories.

Argentinian midfielder Thiago Almada continued his stellar start to the new campaign with a  double in Atlanta United's 5-1 win over Portland Timbers.

The 21-year-old, who was called into Argentina's squad for the upcoming international window, netted a stunning free-kick in first-half stoppage time to make it 2-0.

Montreal upset 10-man Philadelphia Union with a comeback 3-2 win aided by a game-changing video review for Chinonso Offor's 90th-minute equaliser which split opinions.

The goal had initially been disallowed upon video review, only for that to be overturned when it was realised Union left back Kai Wagner, who was off screen from the initial angle, had actually played Offor onside.

Reigning MLS Cup winners LAFC were held to a goalless draw at Seattle, while last year's beaten conference finalists New York City got past DC United 3-2.

New England made it three wins from four games with Gustavo Bou netting the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Nashville, while New York Red Bulls came from behind to win 2-1 over Columbus Crew.

Chicago Fire remain winless after blowing a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Cincinnati, while LA Galaxy are also without a win after a 1-1 home draw with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Charlotte bounced back from their losing start to the season with a 2-1 home win over Orlando City, while Toronto beat Inter Miami 2-0, Dallas won 2-1 over Sporting KC, Houston Dynamo downed Austin 2-0 and Miguel Tapias scored late to earn Minnesota United a 2-1 win at Colorado Rapids.

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