Two weeks down and already some patterns are starting to emerge.
Although it is far too early to be definitive on whether clubs have responded to poor 2016 campaigns, the Chicago Fire look to be much better this season and the Houston Dynamo continue to turn heads with their form – though both their wins have come at home, which should be remembered.
Minnesota United's rough introduction to the league continued with a humbling 6-1 loss at home to expansion cousins Atlanta United. The visuals of the snow game and orange ball, as well as the general jubilant atmosphere, were pluses, but the on-field struggles for the side will be a talking point for the foreseeable future. There may be some mercy in the short term, though - this weekend they head to Colorado and a 1-0 loss, as is the Rapids way, would be an improvement over an 11-2 accumulation in the first fortnight.
The Galaxy have lost both their matches thus far – though FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers are tricky fixtures – while D.C. is yet to score a goal, drawing 0-0 in the opening round and then getting hammered 4-0 by New York City last weekend. Both will be looking to turn the tides of fortune this weekend.
Aside from the all-Canadian Vancouver-Toronto tie, a trio of other matches to keep an eye on include the opening match that pits NYCFC against the Montreal Impact, Saturday's closer that sees Portland host Houston and Sunday's lone fixture between the Seattle Sounders and the New York Red Bulls.
With the Impact and NYCFC expected to be two of the better sides in the East, this match is a good chance for TFC fans to get a look at the competition - plus, whenever the two meet, there tends to be some fireworks. The Western Conference nightcap sees red-hot Houston hoping to take their perfect start on the road for the first time – a point in Portland, against the similarly perfect Timbers, would go a long way towards dispelling any lingering concerns about the Dynamo's possible output. And the cross-conference meeting between last year's MLS Cup winners and a Red Bulls side making a strong case to repeat as Eastern Conference champions will make for some intriguing viewing.
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On to the games!
|Saturday||New York City FC||Montreal Impact||2 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Atlanta United||Chicago Fire||4pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Toronto FC||4 pm||CTV TSN1|
|Saturday||D.C. United||Columbus Crew SC||7 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Orlando City SC||Philadelphia Union||7:30 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||FC Dallas||New England Revolution||8 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Sporting KC||San Jose Earthquakes||8:30 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Colorado Rapids||Minnesota United FC||9 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Real Salt Lake||LA Galaxy||9:30 pm||MLS Live|
|Saturday||Portland Timbers||Houston Dynamo||10:30 pm||MLS Live|
|Sunday||Seattle Sounders FC||New York Red Bulls||7 pm||MLS Live|