While the calendar may say it's Memorial Day weekend, the pair of high-profile playoff rematches on the docket will be giving MLS fans a tantalizing taste of November soccer.
After having their 36-game home unbeaten run ended by Sporting Kansas City earlier this month, the Houston Dynamo will look to return the favor with a road result of their own at Sporting Park in a key clash for the crowded Eastern Conference.
Week 11 continues apace after the biggest slate of midweek matches so far this season. It all starts with the Chicago Fire playing host to the Philadelphia Union at 1:30 on NBC Sports Network. The weekend will wrap up Sunday night at 8:00, when you should absolutely take advantage of this weekend's free trial of MLS Live to watch the two-time defending Eastern Conference playoff champion Houston Dynamo host the two-time defending Eastern Conference regular season champion Sporting Kansas City.
Article by Anders Aarhus It's no secret DC United is desperate for goals. Picked by many as a Supporters Shield and MLS Cup contender before the season, Ben Olsen's team is currently last in the Eastern Conference with four points from six games and only two goals scored.
The struggling United attack will get a lift this weekend as captain Dwayne De Rosariois primed to return to the lineup. The club's attack has been anemic so far in 2013 scoring just two goals in five games. With Nick DeLeon on the shelf as well, getting De Rosario back is the boost that will, hopefully for D.
We're barely a month into the 2013 MLS campaign, but it's already time for Round 2 of one of the league's most heated rivalries.
After playing to a 1-1 draw three weeks ago at Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids will write the next chapter of the Rocky Mountain Cup story Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The New England Revolution host Western Conference leaders FC Dallas this weekend. Hopefully the conditions at Gillette will be better than last weekend windfest, which made any type of passing game near impossible.
The Revolution go into this game in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 3 matches, while FCD sit atop the Western Conference with 9 points from 4 matches after beating RSL 2-0 last weekend.
Real Salt Lake started their home campaign at Rio Tinto Stadium with a tightly contested 1-1 draw with their bitter rivals Colorado Rapids on Saturday. The visitors scored in the 37th minute through Deshorn Brown, which was equalized late in the 81th minute by Alvaro Saborio.
Both teams suffered losses to Eastern Conference teams heading into the Rocky Mountain Cup tie, a derby which generates strong emotion from both sets of supporters.
DeAndre Yedlin was a MLS darling after his performance in week one, drawing rave reviews for his pace and tackling (if not for his crossing). We're talking Rookie of the Week from Soccer By Ives, and a member of the Starting XI at MLSsoccer.com. It's hard not to take notice of the hair.
His performance wasn't enough to avoid a surprising week one loss to a team that might make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
It's here. It's finally here. No more meaningless games filled with mass substitutions and players I've never heard of. No more "hot stove" transfer news, no more combines, no more drafts.
It's go time.
The 2013 New England Revolution will begin the quest to improve on last year's performance on Saturday night against hated rivals Chicago Fire, and I, for one, couldn't be more ready for this season to get started.
Just like any other season opener both teams will look to have a fast and strong start to the game and to the season. A win for either team could have a positive effect on the rest of the 2013 campaign, as it's always nice to get off on the right foot.
Both teams ended their 2012 seasons in different fashions.
Last year's record: 10 - 18 - 6 (eight out of 10 in the Eastern Conference, 16 out of 19 in Major League Soccer)
Key additions: Conor Casey, Sebastien Le Toux, Pat Anding
Key losses: Gabriel Gomez, Peter Nowak, Carlos Valdes
Projected starting lineup: (4-3-3 / 4-3-2-1) Zac MacMath / (r-l) Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Bakary Soumare, Gabriel Farfan / Brian Carroll (CDM), Amobi Okugo, Michael Farfan / Le Toux, Jack McInerney / Casey - Bench: Chris Konopka (goalkeeper), Antoine Hoppenot, Roger Torres, Michael Lahoud, Raymon Gaddis, Chris Albright, Danny Cruz
It's that time of year again, guys. Temperatures are trying to warm up, birds and flowers seem to be beginning their return to life, and all around us are the signs that spring is in the air. With spring, of course, comes the return of MLS play. At this point in the year, everyone's still in contention (yes, even Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake), and nobody should have to think about pressing that panic button for a few months.
Since I somehow managed to pick last year's MLS Cup winner (okay - I admit tabbing LA to win it wasn't exactly stepping out on a limb), I'm taking another crack at 2013 MLS season predictions. I had the Fire finishing third in the Eastern Conference and they actually did finish tied on points with New York for the three spot but lost out on the strength of the goals for tie-breaker.
Happy United Day, ladies and gentlemen. D.C. United are hoping to end their horrible skid today ... against probably the best team in the Eastern Conference. Yikes. Hopefully all of the positive things everyone around the team have been saying actually lead to some positive results.
Wednesday night, D.C. United hosts the two-time defending Eastern Conference (Playoff) Champion Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium. It will be the second meeting this season between two of the more decorated sides in MLS history - though the Dynamo have certainly had more recent success than the Black-and-Red.
If you thought that the past two games looked like the D.C. United team that battled its way into the playoffs in September and October last year, you would, of course, be right. But with the return Dwayne De Rosario, hopefully the team can conjure up a more potent offensive threat, one that saw United score the second most goals in the Eastern Conference last season.
I said last week that there would be volatility in the Power Poll this early in the MLS season, but wow, did I never expect some of the results we saw this weekend. Should be lots of churn in this week's edition, but I suppose that's up to all of you. Here's a little cheat sheet of this week's results before we get to the voting.
The Portland Timbers will face each Eastern Conference team only once during the season, which is unfortunate as there are some fun teams to watch. There are also a couple of teams, *Cough* Toronto FC *Cough*, who might not be so fun to watch. As a reminder is how the standings ended up at the end of 2012:
Last week we saw the Timbers take on the New York Red Bulls and come away with only a single point to their name. It was enough to put them over some key teams such as the Seattle Sounders, but it fell far below of the expectations the Timbers fans have for their home openers.
Today, the Timbers will take on another Eastern Conference rival in a must-win game.
We have the best defense in the league! That's the mantra that New England Revolution supporters have to repeat over and over. After all, the offense is nothing to brag about. One goal over the course of four games is pathetic. Sure, the defense has only allowed a pious two goals for the season, but in a league where the first tie-breaker is "Goals For", and not "Goal Differential", it leaves New England in the precarious situation of looking up at the rest of the Eastern Conference.
The New England Revolution earned a hard-fought point tonight against Eastern Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City as they were able to deny the sky blues too many chances and ultimately and keep a clean sheet. Dominating possession, but failing to put anything significant on frame, the Revs settled for the draw and will now try to learn from their shortcomings as they look onward to their 2013 campaign.
After a rough start to the season last week, the Chicago Fire returned home to face a team widely considered to be one of the lesser teams in the Eastern Conference. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to get back on the right track.
For some reason, things didn't turn out quite that way.
The Fire fell 1-0 to the New England Revolution on Saturday night in front of 13,242 fans at Toyota Park in the club's home opener.
The New England Revolution's season opener against the Chicago Fire this Saturday is nearly upon us. With every new season comes hope, possibility and wild speculation. A positive performance tonight could springboard the Revs into the 2013 season, raise the morale of the collective and fill some seats.
less than 48 hours from the start of the 2013 Sporting KC season in Philadelphia. After 2 straight regular season Eastern Conference titles, and a US Open Cup title, expectations for Sporting KC have been raised.
Via downthebyline.com: Last night during the jersey unveiling at Sporting Park, Robb Heineman said that "we gotta win MLS Cup this year.
We're less than 48 hours from the start of the 2013 Sporting KC season in Philadelphia. And I'm not sure there's been a time where expectations for the team were higher. The only time they may have been higher was the start of the 2012 season. This year though, expectations feel higher. After 2 straight regular season Eastern Conference titles and a US Open Cup title, expectations have been raised.
TBG: It's only two months into the season, but the Eastern Conference appears to be tiered with New York, Houston, Kansas City, and Montreal on top, Philadelphia and Columbus in the middle, and New England, Chicago, Toronto, and D.C. on the bottom. Do you believe the Fire can break through that bottom pack and contend for a playoff spot this year?
The Fire will almost certainly be in direct competition in the later stages of this season with the Columbus Crew for one of the five Eastern Conference playoff berths so the importance of this match shouldn't be understated. Columbus has played well enough (although somewhatunspectacularly) to begin the season at 2-1-3 and have gone four matches without a defeat.
The big talk this off-season across MLS was the number of teams looking for head coaches three of them being in the Eastern Conference. Surprisingly not all of the teams who axed their coaches were bottom feeders and not all teams held onto their top players.
Here's how it breaks down-
The Chicago Fire made it into the first round of the playoffs only to be knocked out by the Dynamo.