MLS Week 2: A Look Ahead

MLS Week 2: A Look Ahead

Major League Soccer

MLS Week 2: A Look Ahead

March is a month for overreactions and not much else when it comes to establishing who is going to succeed in Major League Soccer.

With most of the focus on the CONCACAF Champions League at the moment, some of Week 2’s results won’t give us a proper look at certain teams.

The Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids and New York Red Bulls make their 2018 MLS debuts in Week 2, while FC Dallas, the Philadelphia Union, Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes and Toronto FC have the weekend off.

Here’s a closer look at this weekend’s action:

Montreal Impact at Columbus Crew (Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, CTV, MLS Live)

Columbus unleashed the biggest surprise of Week 1, as it went into BMO Field and knocked off Toronto FC in the first edition of the 2018 Trillium Cup.

Although the Crew doesn’t have an obscure rivalry trophy with the other Canadian club in the Eastern Conference, they have battered the Impact net in their last four meetings.

The Crew have outscored Montreal, 11-7, in the last four contests, with a 7-3 advantage a year ago.

The Impact enter Mapfre Stadium on the heels of a 2-1 defeat to the Whitecaps in Remi Garde’s MLS managerial debut, and a similar result could be in the cards given the starts of the two teams.

Colorado Rapids at New England Revolution (Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Trying to strum up intrigue in the other Saturday afternoon clash is a thankless task.

The Revs are playing without both of its starting center backs following Week 1 red cards and the Rapids are opening their slate with a cross-country trip following a subpar showing in the CCL against Toronto FC.

New managers Brad Friedel and Anthony Hudson have a lot to figure out about their respective sides before we can consider either a legitimate playoff contender.

LAFC at Real Salt Lake (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Univision)

Saturday afternoon’s national television matchup pits a veteran goalkeeper against a young netminder who impressed in his first start for an expansion club.

Nick Rimando made five saves to preserve Real Salt Lake’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas a week ago, while Tyler Miller stood on his head in Seattle for LAFC, as he stopped seven shots.

The matchup at Rio Tinto Stadium is also a clash of youth products brought up through an established academy against the flashy new side with an array of high-priced talent.

Sporting Kansas City at Chicago Fire (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Sporting Kansas City gets another clash with an Eastern Conference team out of the way in Week 2, as they visit the Chicago Fire.

Peter Vermes’ side fell to NYCFC at home in Week 1, and it needs to produce a better attacking output in Week 2 to earn points on the road.

The Fire are going to be an intriguing side to watch Saturday, as it finally gets a chance to test its new additions while Veljko Paunovic tweaks his lineup due to injuries.

Tony Tchani and Aleksander Katai are among the new faces Paunovic could plug into the lineup in an attempt to find the right combination.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Houston Dynamo (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

Everyone’s new favorite team plays at BBVA Compass Stadium for the second straight week in search of another dominant win.

While the Dynamo might be on the tip of everyone’s tongue because of a 4-0 win over Atlanta United in Week 1, it faces a difficult task against the unbeaten Whitecaps.

With Kei Kamara and Alberth Elis running the show on both sides of the field, this game could end up being the most entertaining of the weekend.

Portland Timbers at New York Red Bulls (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

New York Red Bulls fans are still raving about Luis Robles’ performance in net Tuesday night in the CCL, and rightfully so.

With all the momentum in the world on their side, the Red Bulls open their MLS slate against a familiar face in Portland Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese, who played three seasons for the MetroStars from 1996-1998.

There’s a chance the Timbers, who are coming off a Week 1 defeat to the LA Galaxy, leave Red Bull Arena with a result as Jesse Marsch is expected to use squad rotation to keep his guys fresh for the second leg against Club Tijuana.

Minnesota United at Orlando City (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

The second edition of the Inchy Cup takes place at Orlando City Stadium Saturday night.

Minnesota United manager Adrian Heath led the Loons to a 1-0 victory in his first meeting with former club Orlando City in 2017.

Heath brings the Loons into central Florida with an opportunity to earn a result against an Orlando team that will be without Sacha Kljestan, Dom Dwyer, Josue Colman and Oriol Rosell.

Don’t be surprised if Kevin Molino, who scored twice in Week 1, creates chances in the final third against his former side.

D.C. United at Atlanta United (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

One of the most bizarre stats from the 2017 season was D.C. United’s 3-0 record against Atlanta United.

Ben Olsen has “Tata” Martino’s number, and he’s not ready to let the Black and Red lose to the Five Stripes for the first time in franchise history.

D.C. is coming off a heartbreaking draw in Orlando, while Atlanta’s defense was torn apart by Houston.

Both teams are trying to erase the memories from Week 1, but look for Atlanta to finally get the upper hand on D.C.

LA Galaxy at NYCFC (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET, MLS Live)

The major-market clash between the LA Galaxy and NYCFC has lost a bit of its luster due to the Galaxy’s struggles a year ago.

Sigi Schmid’s side comes into Yankee Stadium as the clear underdogs, even though it beat Portland by a goal at home in Week 1.

NYCFC flew under the national spotlight a bit with a 2-0 road win in Kansas City, and Patrick Vieira’s men should prove in Week 2 that the new additions to the squad are force to be reckoned with in MLS.

If you want to make a mild overreaction after Week 2, and this is allowed because it’s most likely true, it’s that NYCFC has improved and MLS Cup is not out of the picture in 2018.

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