Date: 5th May 2016 at 4:30pm
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Eastern Conference

Chicago Fire

Velko Paunovic’s side are bottom of the conference having played at least one game less than every other side. Despite being bottom, there are signs of promise from the Men in Red and a run of good results later in the season could be enough to send them quickly up the table. They’ve proven difficult to beat so far with only two defeats, only Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy have lost fewer, but they haven’t clicked going forward. Fans might be wondering what difference Harry Shipp would have made had he not been traded to Montreal.

Columbus Crew

The Crew are languishing a point ahead of their rivals Chicago in ninth place in the East. Beaten MLS Cup finalists in 2015, the side have been disappointing so far this season. With a long way still to go, manager Gregg Berhalter will be hoping to pick up points with three home games in their next four to put pressure on the sides currently occupying the play-off places.

D.C United

United are one of four teams tied on 10 points in the Eastern Conference but haven’t really shown any signs of being close to the finished article. An inability to convert draws into wins has cost them so far. Patrick Nyarko has been in good form however, and is arguably one of the best performing players in the entire league at the moment.

Montreal Impact

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Didier Drogba’s Montreal Impact side are currently leading the Eastern Conference in the MLS. (Source – MLS)

The East leaders aren’t in quite the same vein of form as their West counterparts, however l’Impact are still very much the side to beat in the East. Two draws in a week will not have helped, although Didier Drogba is always someone you can rely on to dig you of of a hole. Defensive lapses have cost them a few times now but if they can get those ironed out, Montreal could be serious contenders this year.

New England Revolution

The Revs have had a fairly average start so far and some really dodgy defending hasn’t helped matters. They’ll probably go on a run and bag a play-off place before imploding. It’s actually quite fun to watch. One of four teams tied on ten points.

New York City

City have been pretty brutal to watch this season (and if you’ve been watching on Sky then you’ve DEFINITELY been watching NYCFC). A win over Vancouver only papers over the cracks in Patrick Viera’s side. Frank Lampard has spent more time recording, admittedly funny, quiz shows than playing at Yankee Stadium this season and the best thing Andrea Pirlo has done is win a best hair competition on Twitter. Tied with the Revs, Orlando and D.C United on 10 points.

New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls haven’t got started at all this season. Like Montreal they’ve got a real chance of going far in the play-offs and the thumping 4-0 win over Dallas recently could be the catalyst for them to kickstart their campaign. The signing of Aurelien Collin should make them just a little bit more secure at the back.

Orlando City

The fourth team tied on 10 points, Kaka and co haven’t had the best of starts so far. Four draws in eight games shows they’re almost there but, and this seems to be a trend here, defensive weaknesses are costing them repeatedly. They seem to be lacking that extra creative spark they had towards the end of last year.

Philadelphia Union

Union sit a point behind leaders Montreal with a game in hand and have been something of a surprise package so far this season. The recent draw with San Jose will definitely feel like two points lost rather than a point gained, but given the fairly young age of the Philadelphia squad it’s not to be unexpected. As long as they keep doing what they’ve been doing so far, 2016 could be a big year.

Toronto FC

Third-placed TFC will be hoping to keep on the coat tails of Philadelphia and Montreal in the Eastern Conference. They’ll have the advantage of playing two-thirds of the remaining games at home thanks to an eight-game run of away fixtures to allow building work at BMO Field. A good run of home results could see Toronto pick up the Supporters’ Shield at the end of the year and have a good run in the play-offs. Only two points behind Philadelphia and having played the same number of games, they’ll be hopeful of quickly getting comfortable in their expanded home, and FC Dallas will give them a good test this weekend.

 
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