So here we are again, fans and followers, Week 3 in Major League Soccer's 20th Season.
Eight games on the 3 day schedule with two teams in the Eastern Conference (New England & Chicago) working on the Bizzaro Perfect Season - ie: 0 Points for the full season. New England will probably find a way to ruin that, but Chicago, if Andell Holdings is too gutless or cheap to fire (HAHA) Frank Yallop, I believe that they can be that team of destiny.
So here we go...
March 20 - Friday
Your regularly scheduled Football Friday Match on Unimas between Philadelphia Union & FC Dallas has been rescheduled to 4:00 PM EDT on Saturday March 21. Blame the Snow Miser.
Just think, with a Fall/Spring Schedule, this could be the 4th or 5th postponed match already for Northern Teams this season.
March 21 - Saturday
New England Revolution v. Montreal Impact - 3:00 PM EDT | Direct Kick | MLS Live & Canadian TV
Based on CCL Results - Frank Klopas may not be an awful coach. There's no indication yet that he's a good coach, but he may not be awful. Of course, the often temperamental and meddling Joey Saputo, may be a better owner than Andrew Hauptman, by giving Klopas a few difference makers that are at least motivated to play soccer. No one doubted Klopas' ability to motivate in Chicago, he just couldn't coach and would never have the resources to demonstrate if he could improve. Now is his chance.
New England has too many players out to deal with Montreal's speed and new found quality players to likely get a point for their home opener. IMFC 2 | 0 Revolution. Entertainment Value: Meh.
ALERT - Rescheduled | Philadelphia Union v. FC Dallas - 4:00 PM EDT - Direct Kick | MLS Live & Unimas | ALERT - Rescheduled
FC Dallas is undefeated so far this season and will likely continue to do so. Philly can score, but Dallas' defense is more solid than RSL's, so don't expect them to hang more than one on Dallas, at best. Blas Perez will eventually cool off, but not likely this week. Dallas 3 | 1 Philadelphia - as Perez makes and early case for the scoring title & league MVP. Worth your time if you want to see goals.
Colorado Rapids v. NYCFC - 4:00 PM EDT | Direct Kick | MLS Live | Local
Colorado has a point because the Union couldn't score. Chances are, they won't get a point against NYCFC as David Villa is delivering on the investment made in him, being not only great, but making players around him markedly better. Colorado 0 | 3 NYCFC. If New England continues to be die and Montreal aren't racking up goals, drop them and watch NYCFC's quality on the ball.
Orlando City v. Vancouver Whitecaps - 7:30 PM EDT | Direct Kick | MLS Live | Local/Canadian TV
Chicago made Vancouver work a lot harder than that should have had to, to get their three points last week. Don't expect Orlando to let Vancouver have unlimited breakaways on goal and hope for the best. When Chicago tried, and that wasn't often, they proved they could put Vancouver on their heels. Orlando with Kaka & a solid supporting cast and a loud stadium should have no problem with Vancouver. Orlando 2 | 0 Vancouver. Entertainment Value - Appetizing.
Sporting KC v. Portland Timbers - 8:30 PM EDT | Direct Kick | MLS Live | Local
Sporting aren't very good, yet & Portland are getting better, but I can't recommend watching this unless you're just fans of either team. Both teams have players that can be dazzling, but Dom Dwyer isn't yet and Adi, Nagbe & Wallace showed the ability last week. The question is, will they, on the road? Probably not this week. Sporting 0 | 0 Timbers.
LA Galaxy v. Houston Dynamo - 10:30 PM EDT | Direct Kick | MLS Live | Local
The Galaxy midfield and back line won't be tested with speed like they were against Portland by the Dynamo, and they will be in the friendly confines of the StubHub Center. The Dynamo are somewhat solid defensively, but don't really have any type of attacking threat. Chances are LA puts this one to bed at the half. LA 2 | 0 Houston
March 22 - Sunday
New York Red Bull v. DC United - 5:00 PM EDT | ESPN2
Normally, I'll take any opportunity to watch DC get punched in the mouth, it makes me forget for a few hours how far Chicago has fallen. But Theirry Henry isn't at Red Bull this year and they are pedestrian at best. DC did beat Montreal, but got slapped around, badly, by Alajuelense in CCL play 7-3 on aggregate. Montreal then turned right around and hung two on the Costa Rican club, which leaves a lot of questions about who DC is going to be this season. Bradley Wright-Phillips is likely the only credible that RBNY will have this season and that won't last long unless others stand up. RBNY 0 | 0 DCU. Worth watching? I may go to work on a Sunday to avoid this.
San Jose Earthquakes v. Chicago Fire - 7:00 PM EDT | Fox Sports 1 | Fox Sports Deportes
Congratulations QuakeFan, you long suffering bastards finally get a home of your own. Perhaps this will cut down on the persecution complex that permeates your collective fan base. Seriously. Also, smart move in scheduling homecoming sacrificial lamb in the Chicago Fire. You have scheduled the functional equivalent of the University of Buffalo Bulls for homecoming and I fully expect the Goonies to stomp a mudhole in a team that Yallop and his MLS 1.0 coaching talent lost last year and probably won't ever get back. If you don't hang 3 or 4 on Chicago, it's only because Sean Johnson, if healthy, had the game of his life. San Jose 3 | -2 Chicago (Yes, I believe it is possible via own goals). Entertainment Value: Over the top, watch just to hear the broadcast crew gush over the stadium and marvel at how bad Chicago can be.
As always, should you be disinterested in the homerism and general C- quality of the MLS Broadcast crews, I invite you down the Week 3 MLS PBP Match thread on BigSoccer. The commentary quality isn't any higher, but the snark is exquisite and beautiful. See you there.