Our picks and predictions for the MLS matches you need to watch this St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Week No. 4 of the 2024 Major League Soccer season has already seen some fireworks.

Specifically in the Eastern Conference, eight of the 15 teams in the conference still are unbeaten on the season, and this is happening despite the East having seven teams competing in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Teams will fight for some separation from the pack this weekend, while two teams will hope to log their first points of the season.

In the west, you have it all. Our picks have a team have the class of the West on the road, both of the Los Angeles teams in action, with one of them assuredly going to be in a dogfight in a revenge match that stems from last season.

This weekend, fans get a St. Patrick’s Day treat, as each match is available for free on Apple TV. That should mean these three matchups will be extra fun to watch.

Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls

Saturday March 16, 7:30pm ET (Apple TV, MLS Season Pass)

Columbus looks good so far this season. Their stars are in midseason form, their defense is tenacious, and they’re playing like the team that won MLS Cup last season. They are unbeaten on the season with seven points from three matches, and they go up against the New York Red Bulls, who are also on seven points.

The Red Bulls are looking to continue their form, and with new DP signing Emil Forsberg scoring his first goal last week, the club feels confident they can walk into Lower.com Field and take out the champs.

Prediction: The last three matches against these two teams have ended 2-1, with Columbus winning twice. Both teams won 2-1 last week. We shouldn’t tempt fate here … Columbus will win 2-1 again.

Nashville SC vs. Charlotte FC

Saturday, March 16, 8:30pm ET (Apple TV, MLS Season Pass)

Nashville is coming off a midweek match in Concacaf Champions Cup against Inter Miami, but they’ve only managed 3 draws on the season in league play. They’re looking for their first win and what better way to do that than to be at home where they take on Charlotte in a budding rivalry.

Charlotte has come out of the blocks so-so, with a win, loss and draw so far. They’re looking to get back on track against a team that serves as a litmus test for them on the young season under new coach Dean Smith.

Prediction: Nashville thinks they have a game-winner late in the match, but an equalizer on the verge of second half stoppage time levels it for Charlotte in a 1-1 draw.

Atlanta United vs. Orlando City

Sunday March 17, 7pm ET (Apple TV, MLS Season Pass)

Ever since Atlanta United entered the league, Orlando City has been their biggest rivals, so this will be a fun match this weekend. Atlanta finally got 3 points in a big way last weekend, taking out the New England Revolution in a home opener that saw their two main stars be the best players on the field.

They remain at home this weekend to welcome Orlando City, who got destroyed midweek in Concacaf Champions Cup play at Tigres and will head to Atlanta looking for their first win of the season against a team they really don’t like. The stars will be looking for open green space to do work on St. Patrick’s Day.

Prediction: Atlanta keeps the pain train centered on Orlando. They win 3-1.

Portland at Houston

Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ET (Apple TV, MLS Season Pass)

Houston has had a slow start to its MLS campaign, but it’s coming off a strong 2023 campaign that saw head coach Ben Olsen’s team capture the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. This game will only be the Dynamo’s third in MLS action, given the bulk of its run has been taking part in this year’s CONCACAF Champions Cup.

However, after a round-of-16 exit courtesy of Columbus, the Dynamo have only the regular season to focus on. That starts with an undefeated Portland team sitting at the top of the Western Conference — but at home inside Shell Energy Stadium.

Prediction: Saying all that, Portland has been the class of the conference early. I don’t see that stopping, even away from Providence Park. Portland takes this one, 2-1.

St. Louis at Los Angeles Galaxy

Saturday, 10:30 p.m., ET (Apple TV, MLS Season Pass)

The Galaxy have gotten out to a fast start and are undefeated in League play (1-0-2), behind tough matchups against Inter Miami, a 3-1 win over San Jose in the Cali Clasico earlier this month, and a hard-fought draw against Nashville last week.

However, enter a St. Louis collective that also enters with no losses on the season sitting just behind the Galaxy in the standings, edged only by goal differential. Both games between these two last season ended in a draw, but there’s a strong feeling in the air that LA on the run it has had could snap the stalemate at home.

Prediction: The Galaxy have been balling early on this season. Not sure that slows, albeit against a very good St. Louis team. LA takes this one, 2-0.

LAFC at Minnesota

Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ET (Apple TV, MLS Season Pass)

Minnesota certainly hasn’t forgotten the last time these two teams got together. Historically, this match has typically ended in a draw (five of them all-time, to be exact) but in October it was LAFC celebrating a 5-1 defeat of Minnesota.

You don’t forget a 5-1 loss. It’s the kind of thing that sticks and with Minnesota seemingly coming out of the gate firing this season as they currently sit second in the west, LAFC might be in for a rough night.

Prediction: Minnesota shows out in front of the hometown crowd on primetime and take this one, 3-1

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