Three Big Storylines
- We’re two weeks into MLS season and only four of the 24 MLS teams have a perfect record. And one of those — Toronto FC — already had a bye, so their perfect record is just one win on opening day. The Seattle Sounders and Los Angeles FC both have two home wins for their six points, but the unlikely other team to join them with a perfect start is Minnesota United. The Loons have two away wins to open their season, with victories in Vancouver and San Jose. Minnesota will continue their new stadium opening-induced early season road trip as they travel to the Zlatan-less LA Galaxy on Saturday (7:30 PM, ESPN+).
- It was not the best week for MLS in Concacaf Champions League as the New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo and Atlanta United were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Liga MX sides. Sporting Kansas City did manage to advance past CAI Panama into the semifinals. The Red Bulls gave MLS backers hope with two goals in the first nine minutes to level their match at Santos Laguna 2-2 on aggregate. The game stayed that way until the 72nd minute, at which point Santos Laguna put the tie away with four goals over a nine minute stretch to advance 6-2 on aggregate.
- FC Cincinnati will play their first home match in the club’s MLS history on Sunday as they host the Portland Timbers in the second game of the FS1 doubleheader. Cincinnati is coming in with a point in hand as they got a late equalizer in Atlanta for their first MLS point. The Timbers will be without Diego Chara, who was sent off because he flicked Diego Rossi’s ear in their 4-1 loss at LAFC last weekend. The bizarre event was Chara’s second yellow card and his first ejection for a second yellow card in 234 MLS matches played. FC Cincinnati will play their first two seasons at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati as they build their own soccer specific stadium to be ready for the 2021 MLS season. FC Cincinnati averaged 25,717 fans last season in the same venue in their final year in the USL. Over 30,000 are expected on Sunday with the stadium capacity at 40,000 for college football.
From a Sounders Point of View
With the international break commencing after this weekend’s games, the Sounders have a bye next weekend and return with the first Cascadia Cup match of the season as they travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps March 30th.
It sure would be nice to head to the first international break on nine points, how about we do that?
Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan will join the USMNT after the weekend, while Jordy Delem, Nicolas Lodeiro and Gustav Svensson have all been called up to their respective national teams, as well.
National TV Listings
New York Red Bulls v San Jose Earthquakes
Date/Time: Saturday, 12:30 PM PT
NYCFC v LAFC
Date/Time: Sunday, Noon
TV: Fox Sports 1
FC Cincinnati v Portland Timbers
Date/Time: Sunday, 2:00 PM PT
TV: Fox Sports 1
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