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MLS Open Thread: Round 5

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Follow all the weekend's action here at Waking the Red.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Ten matches are on the docket for this round of MLS action, which kicked off on Friday night with Toronto FC's 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City.

Following a limited round during the international break, the league returns in full force, as all but two sides – the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas – get back on the pitch.

Lacking in obvious key matchups, there are nevertheless several games worthy of attention.

The first is Saturday's Eastern Conference encounter between the Chicago Fire and the Montreal Impact. The Fire are off to a decent start, winning and drawing before losing 4-0 to Atlanta in round three, when Johan Kappelhof's early red card did little to help. The Impact are winless through three and must contend with the absence of Ignacio Piatti due to a hip/groin issue. The match is notable in particular after this week's massive signing in Chicago; whether Bastian Schweinsteiger is ready to step right onto the pitch and help Chicago to that elusive World Cup remains to be seen, however.

Saturday also sees a potentially mouth-watering cross-conference clash when the Houston Dynamo welcome the New York Red Bulls to BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston, after a few years in the wilderness, have been the surprise side of this new season thanks to their offensive trident, though Romell Quioto dislocated his shoulder on international duty. The Dynamo have won both matches at home thus far, over Columbus and Seattle, while scoring plenty of goals; their loss came on the road, away to red-hot Portland. The Red Bulls have been their usual steady selves, employing Jesse Marsch's peculiar four-line formation to great effect, and currently are level with Columbus for the top spot in the East on seven points from four matches, though their lifeless 0-0 draw with Salt Lake last weekend allows plenty of room for growth.

Finally, Sunday's lone fixture pits league-leaders Portland against the New England Revolution. The Timbers, with nine points, are perfect at home through two, riding the potent pairing of Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri. That duo will look to continue their goalscoring ways against a New England side that is still looking to find consistency despite its formidable attacking pieces. The Revolution got a big 5-2 win over lowly Minnesota last weekend and will be hoping to parlay that result into a run of good form.

Like Toronto, the Seattle Sounders also played out a 0-0 home draw on Friday night against Atlanta United. The first game on Saturday, at 2pm ET, sees New York City FC take on the San Jose Earthquakes.

Lastly, Real Salt Lake will head into Minnesota under the tutelage of new bench boss Mike Petke, who will look to translate the draw in New York last round into a positive run against the league's strugglers. Minnesota have been scoring, which as folks in Toronto know is not easy, but their defence has been a sieve, conceding a mind-melting record 18 goals through four matches.

Weekend Fixtures

Date Home Away Time (EST) View On
Date Home Away Time (EST) View On
Friday Toronto FC Sporting Kansas City 7:30 pm TSN4
Friday Seattle Sounders FC Atlanta United FC 10 pm TSN2
Saturday New York City FC San Jose Earthquakes 2 pm MLS Live
Saturday Chicago Fire Montreal Impact 3 pm CTV TSN4
Saturday Columbus Crew SC Orlando City SC 4 pm MLS Live
Saturday D.C. United Philadelphia Union 7 pm MLS Live
Saturday Minnesota United FC Real Salt Lake 8 pm MLS Live
Saturday Houston Dynamo New York Red Bulls 8:30 pm MLS Live
Saturday Vancouver Whitecaps FC LA Galaxy 10 pm TSN1
Sunday Portland Timbers New England Revolution 9 pm MLS Live
March 31st - April 2nd