MLS Week 3 Preview: California Classico, big game in KC, more

NYCFC

After a week of unexpected results, perhaps week three will teach us more about what this Major League Soccer season has to offer. Old rivalries will be renewed Saturday out West, while national TV viewers will see an interesting early season clash in Kansas City.

New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC, Friday at 7 p.m. on UniMas and Fubotv

MLS’s two newest teams meet again on Friday night when New York City hosts Orlando. When they played in the Bronx last year, it was a 5-3 thriller, with Cyle Larin grabbing a hat trick in a losing effort for the visitors. Larin has two goals already this season, and seems to perform best on the big stage of New York. The Blues will be hoping to squeeze him out on Yankee Stadium’s narrow pitch.

Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew SC, Saturday at 5 p.m. 

The defending Eastern Conference champs head to Chicago without a point so far in this young season. The Fire have rarely looked pretty in their two games so far, but David Accam poses a speedy threat to Columbus’ back line. The Crew will probably need to score more than once to net their first victory.

New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Red Bulls face Houston on Saturday night in search of their season’s first points—and first goals, for that matter. The Dynamo, meanwhile, has produced eight goals in their two games so far, including a shocking trouncing of Dallas last week. The Red Bulls will have to be cautious in their approach to avoid being burned.

FC Dallas vs. Montreal Impact, Saturday at 9 p.m.

Didier Drogba will join the Impact in Dallas, where they face a side looking to bounce back from last week’s performance. Montreal has won their first two games in Drogba’s absence, and they have looked like a very potent team. Oscar Pareja needs to show that his team’s embarrassment was merely a blip if they are to slow the Impact.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Saturday at 10 p.m.

The season’s first Cascadia Cup game arrives as both Seattle and Vancouver are still looking to get their feet under them in this season. Both teams have lost their opening two matches, making this an unexpected battle at the bottom of the Western Conference. It’s safe to assume that neither intends on staying there, giving a little extra pressure to this early-season meeting.

Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake, Saturday at 10:30 p.m.

The Timbers had a hiccup on the road last week, but return home to take on Salt Lake. RSL has done alright for themselves so far this season, though they wish they had that final minute against Orlando back. They defeated Seattle last weekend and now attempt a Cascadia double.

LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday at 10:30 p.m. 

The California Classico caps off Saturday night. It’s not often that the Earthquakes enter these matchups above the Galaxy in the standings, but they sit on six points after two solid home victories. LA hasn’t quite found their rhythm yet, having scored only in the second half of their opener.

Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Philadelphia holds their home opener early Sunday afternoon against New England. The Union can feel good about themselves, heading home after a surprising win over Columbus last weekend. The Revs have two draws so far, and will be looking for the full three points this time around.

DC United vs. Colorado Rapids, Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2

Presumably it was popular demand that resulted in DC and Colorado being given a national showcase. The Rapids come to RFK with the wind in their sails following a late winner over LA. DC is seeking their first victory of 2016.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Toronto FC, Sunday at 7 p.m. on FS1

Early signs suggest that Kansas City and Toronto are among the most capable teams in their respective conferences. SKC has historically done well at home, but TFC has taken points from both of their road games so far. This sets up what should be a very entertaining match for mid-March.


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