With the 2017 Major League Soccer season kicking off this weekend, we preview week one action Stateside.
Friday, March 3
Minnesota United FC at Portland Timbers.
Minnesota United kick-off their MLS history looking to become just the third expansion team in league history to start off with a victory (Chicago, 1998; Seattle, 2009). The teams did meet in the preseason, reaching a 2-2 draw as part of the Timbers Preseason Tournament.
Saturday, March 4
Chicago Fire at Columbus Crew SC.
The Fire last started a season with a victory in 2009, having lost their season-opening contest each of the last four years. Crew SC enter the 2017 season after claiming the championship of the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C.
FC Dallas at LA Galaxy.
Ahead of the MLS season opener, FC Dallas will look to reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals in a trip to Panama, winning the first leg against Arabe Unido 4-0 last week. It’s the first game in charge for Curt Onalfo, who replaces Bruce Arena as Galaxy head coach after three MLS titles in charge.
Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake are undefeated in their last seven season openers, reaching a draw each of the last two years after winning five in a row. TFC have won their season opener each of the last three years.
New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids.
The Revolution have won the last three meetings between the teams; the Rapids have gone 293 minutes since their last goal versus New England. The Rapids went through the entire 2016 regular season without a defeat at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, allowing just seven goals in 17 league games (an all-time MLS low).
Sporting Kansas City at D.C. United.
United are riding a five-game undefeated streak in the all-time series, with Sporting’s last win coming in 2014. Sporting are 5-1-1 over the last seven seasons to start off the new year; including season-opening wins against United in 2010 (4-0) and 2012 (1-0). United are 2-5-0 in season openers in the same span.
Seattle Sounders FC at Houston Dynamo.
The Dynamo have never lost to Sounders at home, with three wins and four draws in Houston in eight meetings. Sounders FC begin defence of their first MLS title; defending champions are 10-7-3 all-time in the opening match of the season after lifting MLS Cup.
Montreal Impact at San Jose Earthquakes.
The Impact have never lost to the Earthquakes, with three wins and two draws in five all-time meetings between the teams.
Sunday, March 5
New York City FC at Orlando City SC.
The expansion class of 2015 again begin the season against each other; they played to a 1-1 draw in the first MLS game ever for both clubs, the first time in league history expansion teams started their history against each other. NYCFC and Orlando City are both undefeated in their first games to start a season.
New York Red Bulls at Atlanta United.
The Red Bulls enter the season riding a 16-game undefeated streak in league play, tied for fourth-longest in league history. Atlanta United kick-off their first MLS season at home; overall, expansion teams are 9-4-2 in their inaugural home match.
Philadelphia Union at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Whitecaps FC will come into their regular season opener after playing host to the New York Red Bulls in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Thursday at BC Place; the teams reached a 1-1 draw last week at Red Bull Arena. Union have won just once in their history to open a new season, a 1-0 win at the Houston Dynamo in 2011.