MLS Week 2 Preview: Winter Wonders

IMAGE, NEWYORKREDBULLS.COM

By RYAN BRISTER

Week 1 of the 2017 Major League Soccer season was short on goals — 20 from 11 games, which includes the 5 goals scored by Portland against expansion Minnesota. A number of games this weekend will be played up north — one has already been postponed — where snow and temperatures will keep fans shivering and players running hard. Here is a look at games this weekend (home teams listed first, all times Eastern).

Chicago vs. Real Salt Lake, Saturday, 2 p.m.

In the first game of the weekend, Chicago is hosting Salt Lake. Both teams kicked off their seasons with draws, and both will view this as a match they should win.

New England vs. Orlando City, Postponed

A late-winter snowstorm on the East Coast caused the Revolution to postpone their home opener — on Friday. The match was rescheduled for Sept. 2. Though making the opponent from Florida play in the snow might have seemed like a good idea!

Red Bulls vs. Colorado, Saturday, 4 p.m.

Two of 2016’s best sides meet at Red Bull Arena on Saturday. It’s an interesting meeting of New York’s offense and Colorado’s defense. This is the only game of the weekend between two teams who won their first game of the year. It also marks a return to a chilly New Jersey for Tim Howard, who began his career at Giants Stadium with the MetroStars.

Philadelphia vs. Toronto, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia has an early-season chance for revenge as it hosts Toronto. The Union were bounced by TFC in the first round of last year’s playoffs. More recently, both sides picked up draws on the road in the opening week.

Montreal vs. Seattle, Saturday, 7 p.m.

A crowd of more than 30,000 will be on hand at Olympic Stadium when Montreal hosts the defending champs (sorry, no game outside). Both teams were on the road in Week 1 and put in poor performances in losses. The Impact will be without Hassan Camara after his red card last week.

Houston vs. Columbus, Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

Columbus heads south for a Week 2 clash in Houston. The Dynamo put together one of the most surprising performances of the opening weekend with their win over Seattle. Dynamo fans will remember that they also impressed in the first game of 2016, only to finish last.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Dallas, Saturday, 9 p.m.

Dallas won on the road in Los Angeles last week, and would love to continue with a win in Kansas City. SKC made news off the field this week, cutting concession prices, including beer. If Children’s Mercy Park sounds even louder than it has in the past, you’ll know why.

San Jose vs. Vancouver, Saturday, 10 p.m.

San Jose hosts the last game of the night. This week, it takes on Vancouver, which  started the season with a dull draw at home against Philadelphia. The Earthquakes were convincing in their opening week win over Montreal.

New York City FC vs. DC United, Sunday, 2 p.m.

NYCFC hosts DC for a Sunday matinee at Yankee Stadium. Both teams are looking for their first goal of 2017. A cold, narrow pitch at Yankee Stadium might play into DC’s hands as Ben Olsen likes to hunker down on the road.

Minnesota United vs. Atlanta United, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Minnesota has sold more than 30,000 tickets for its first game at TCF Bank Stadium in the first meeting between the league’s two expansion teams. The weather forecast is calling for snow and temperatures in the 20s (hey, this in Minneapolis after all). Both teams had frustrating results in their MLS debuts, with Minnesota getting blown out and Atlanta losing an early lead.

Los Angeles vs. Timbers, Sunday, 7 p.m.

This matchup has often produced some of the most dramatic games in recent years. Jermaine Jones has been suspended by the disciplinary committee for a tackle last week against Dallas. That’s bad news for the Galaxy as they try to slow the Timbers’ prolific attack.