The opening round has come and gone with a rather underwhelming series of matches last weekend. This round should offer some more entertaining fare, with the teams having had an extra week to get their fitness up to match speed, though it could take a few weeks before teams start to emerge from the offseason rust and begin putting their best foot forward.
Looking over the 11 matches on the docket for this round, a few key games emerge:
Unfortunately the first falls around the same time as when Toronto FC plays the Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon, but a meeting between two of the top sides from last season, the New York Red Bulls and the Colorado Rapids, is one to definitely keep an eye on.
Though there are some other interesting matches on Saturday – Montreal and Vancouver facing Seattle and San Jose, in particular – the next two must-watch fixtures come on Sunday when the two expansion sides meet in Minnesota United's first-ever home match in MLS. The Loons struggled in Portland last weekend, keeping the match close until the final 10 minutes when the wheels came off and a similar fate awaited Atlanta, who were on course for a debut win before crumbling in the face of relentless Red Bulls pressure.
And the round's night cap on Sunday night, when the LA Galaxy host the Portland Timbers, has the making of an entertaining affair. The Galaxy are coming off a defeat at home to Dallas, while the Timbers took an early lead in the Supporters’ Shield race with their 5-1 defeat of Minnesota in the season opener last Friday.
Losing two straight, at home no less, would be an inauspicious start for the ever-contending Galaxy, but do they have the fortitude to withstand the pressure that Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi will put them under.... Find out on Sunday night.
And please take a few moments to let WTR know what you would like from this column. Should we link to match reports and video highlights? Should there be running commentary of matches or quick recaps of what occurred? Curious how former TFC players spread around the league are performing? Or would interesting stories, eye-catching moments – whether they be turtlenecks or goals – be the main impetus?
Feedback will be much appreciated.
On to the games!
|Saturday||Chicago Fire||Real Salt Lake||2 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||New England Revolution||Orlando City SC||2 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||New York Red Bulls||Colorado Rapids||4 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Philadelphia Union||Toronto FC||4:30 pm||TSN4&5|
|Saturday||Montreal Impact||Seattle Sounders FC||7 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Houston Dynamo||Columbus Crew SC||8:30 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Sporting KC||FC Dallas||9 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||San Jose Earthquakes||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||10 pm||TSN1&3|
|Sunday||New York City FC||D.C. United||2 pm||MLS Live|
|Sunday||Minnesota United FC||Atlanta United||5 pm||MLS Live|
|Sunday||LA Galaxy||Portland Timbers||7 pm||MLS Live|