MLS Preview

Friday, March 18, 2011 | View Comments
- Keith Hickey

While First Kick feat. MC DaveyBecks was on Tuesday, most MLS teams don't begin play until tomorrow. Here's our quick rundown of what you need to watch out for.

Vancouver v. Toronto FC (6:30pm ET)

Canuckistan's second team gets to open against their "country's" first MLS club. Toronto are in a rebuilding phase right now, so this should be a pretty even game. I can see the Whitecaps having the motivation to get started on the right foot and taking all three points here.

D.C. United v. Columbus (7:30pm ET)
"Olsen's Army" gets its first test of the season against a Crew team almost unrecognizable from the juggernauts of recent years past. I think we're looking at a draw here, or possibly a home win. I don't see Columbus coming away from RFK with three points in hand.

New York v. Seattle (7:30pm ET)
Seattle are coming off of a close lost to Los Angeles in first kick, and coming up against the most expensive roster in the league. New York have a talented blend of foreign veterans and promising young American players. The Sounders will be very, very lucky if they escape with a point.

Houston v. Philadelphia (8:30pm ET)
The Union were the expansion team last year, but they seemed to have the Dynamo's number, taking four points off of Houston, including the club's first away win. The Dynamo have a lot of questions to answer, while the Union have stocked up on talent in the offseason. I wouldn't be surprised by an away win, but a draw seems likely to me.

FC Dallas v. Chicago (8:30pm ET)
FC Dallas made the MLS Cup Final last year, but shed several key players. Still, they have a very good team and should be able to deal with a Chicago team that struggled last year, especially at home. I expect a Dallas win.

Colorado v. Portland (9:00pm ET)
Has there ever been an MLS champ to get less respect than Colorado? They may not be as good as some of the other teams, but they're a team of veterans who are willing to work when it matters. That said, they shouldn't have to work that hard to beat expansion team Portland at home, Kenny Cooper notwithstanding.

Chivas USA v. Kansas City (10:30pm ET)
The AmeriGoats play host to the team formerly known as the Wizards, who are looking to get their new era off on the right foot. They'll be looking to make the playoffs, while Chivas should be thankful MLS doesn't relegate. An away win should be expected.

San Jose v. Real Salt Lake (10:30pm ET)
The Quakes were the surprise package of the 2010 MLS season, making the playoffs on the back of Chris Wondolowski's lightning-in-a-bottle season. RSL are probably the best team in MLS, and will have been frustrated to exit 2010 without a trophy. This should be a good match, but I have to give the edge to the Royals.

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