MLS Week 3 Preview

Friday, April 01, 2011 | View Comments
- Keith Hickey

We're just two games into the 2011 campaign, but already patterns are emerging. Real Salt Lake tops the board, while Chivas USA and expansion Portland are slumming it at the foot of the table. But there's still plenty of season left to go, and week three could throw up some interesting results.

 Columbus Crew (0-1-1) v. FC Dallas (0-1-1)
7:30 PM ET - Friday, April 1, 2011 - Crew Stadium, Columbus, OH

Both teams will be looking to reverse a winless start to the season. Columbus are coming off a draw at home with a depleted New York side, while Dallas lost to San Jose in Frisco. Neither team look particularly threatening at the moment, but Dallas look better on paper.

Toronto FC (1-1-0) v. Chivas USA (0-2-0)
1:00 PM ET - Saturday, April 2, 2011 - BMO Field, Toronto, ON

Both of these teams are legitimate contenders. For the wooden spoon. With or without Dwayne De Rosario, (most likely with) Toronto have to see this as an opportunity for all three points. Chivas will be looking to escape with a draw.

Vancouver Whitecaps (1-1-0) v. Sporting Kansas City (1-1-0)
7:00 PM ET - Saturday April 2, 2011 - Empire Field, Vancouver, BC

The 'Caps came down from their opening week high with a loss to Philadelphia, while Kansas City ended up on the ugly side of a five-goal encounter with Chicago after their opening week win. Despite the identical records, the deck is always stacked against an expansion team. With Vancouver leading scorer Eric Hassli suspended, KC should be able to press with near-impunity, and I see the away team coming away with the win.

New England Revolution (1-0-1) v. Portland Timbers (0-2-0)
7:30 PM ET - Saturday, April 2, 2011 - Gillette Field, Foxborough, MA

The Revs may have had some officiating-related assistance beating D.C. last week, but hosting expansion Portland at home, they shouldn't need any help. The Timbers will be hoping to get their first MLS point, but New England should be winning this game.

 New York Red Bulls (1-0-1) v. Houston Dynamo (0-1-1)
7:30 PM ET - Saturday, April 2, 2011 - Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ

Both teams are coming off away draws, and I think Houston will be happier with their point. New York will want to win this to stay in the hunt for the Supporters Shield, and that, combined with home field advantage and the return of several starters, should be enough for the win. Houston will have to keep looking for their first win.

Los Angeles Galaxy (1-1-1) v. Philadelphia Union (2-0-0)
10:30 PM ET - Saturday April 2, 2011 - The Home Depot Center, Carson, CA

The Supporters Shield holders had quite the embarrassment last week, losing 4-1 to title rivals Real Salt Lake. With captain Landon Donovan back, they'll be out to set the record straight, but the Union are a different team than they were last year, being the only team in the league yet to concede a goal. I can see a scoreless draw going down in Carson.

San Jose Earthquakes (1-1-0) v. Seattle Sounders (0-2-1)
10:30 PM ET - Saturday, April 2, 2011 - Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

What has happened to the Sounders? Three games in, the model expansion team is without a win, having lost twice in their first three games and drawing at home with Houston. On the other hand, the Quakes (and Chris Wondolowski) are showing that they are more than one-season-wonders. Home win.

Colorado Rapids (2-0-0) v. D.C. United (1-1-0)
7:00 PM ET - Sunday, April 3, 2011 - Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce, CO

The Olsen Revolution may have given D.C. newfound belief, but that confidence will be tested by the undefeated defending champions. Colorado have gotten results against the teams propping up the table, and  beating United will help them prove that there's more to their success than being half-decent with lucky timing. Draw.

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