Skip to main content

MLS Week 1 preview, TV schedule

Sunday, March 6
1:30 New York Red Bulls-Toronto FCMLS Live/TSN4
2:00 Orlando City-Real Salt LakeMLS Live
2:00 Chicago Fire-New York City FCMLS Live
3:00 Houston Dynamo-New England RevolutionMLS Live
3:00 San Jose Earthquakes-Colorado RapidsMLS Live
3:00 FC Dallas-Philadelphia UnionMLS Live
4:30 Portland Timbers-Columbus CrewESPN
5:30 Vancouver Whitecaps-Montreal ImpactMLS Live/TSN1/RDS
7:00 Seattle Sounders-Sporting Kansas CityFS1
10:00 LA Galaxy-D.C. UnitedUniMas

All times p.m. ET

New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC: We'll get a look at TFC's new-look defense, with goalkeeper Clint Irwin, center back Drew Moor and right back Steven Beitashour, but the attack will be without Jozy Altidore because of a hamstring strain. The Supporters' Shield-winning Red Bulls won't be at 100 percent either — Damien Perrinelle is still recovering from a torn ACL and Gonzalo Veron suffered a hamstring strain late in preseason.

Orlando City vs. Real Salt Lake: It's another long road trip for RSL, which is fresh off a two-leg defeat to Mexican side Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Orlando must rely on its central midfield depth in this one, with Cristian Higuita serving a red card suspension and newcomer Antonio Nocerino just arriving in Florida on Friday.

Chicago Fire vs. New York City FC: A pair of European coaches make their MLS debuts, with Veljko Paunovic taking over the Fire and Patrick Vieira at the helm of NYCFC. Paunovic could be missing two key cogs, with David Accam (hip strain) and Matt Polster (lower leg strain) questionable, while Frank Lampard is doubtful for NYCFC with a calf strain.

Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution: Each team is moving on from a U.S. national team veteran, as the Dynamo enter their first-ever season without Brad Davis and the Revolution take the field after dealing Jermaine Jones to Colorado. This game could offer an intriguing matchup in the final third between shifty Houston striker Erick Torres and the bruising New England center back pairing of Andrew Farrell and Jose Goncalves.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids: The excitement surrounding Colorado's acquisition of Jermaine Jones will be tempered by the fact that this match represents the start of a six-game ban he now must serve. The Earthquakes also will be missing a key player to suspension, as Matias Perez Garcia sits out the match following a red card in the 2015 finale.

FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union: A revamped Union attack, featuring Roland Alberg, Ilsinho and Chris Pontius, carries plenty of intrigue, but injuries to Tranquilo Barnetta (knee tendinitis) and Maurice Edu (sports hernia) mean we won't see Philadelphia at full strength just yet. The shorthanded Union could have trouble against a lethal Dallas team that added Maynor Figueroa, Carlos Gruezo and Maximiliano Urruti during the offseason.

Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew: The schedule-makers decided to unleash the MLS Cup final rematch right off the bat, with both clubs poised for a strong 2016 after maintaining their cores. Once again, this matchup features a battle between perhaps the league's top two midfield trios: Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe and Diego Valeri vs. Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani and Federico Higuain. If they see the field, Chris Klute and Jack McInerney will get the chance to face their former club after swapping Columbus for Portland during the offseason.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact: Didier Drogba will be sitting out this Canadian derby as the former Chelsea star avoids artificial surfaces to kick off 2016, but this remains an appealing matchup between teams on the cusp of being true title contenders. New Whitecaps right back Fraser Aird faces a tough assignment to start life in MLS as he likely goes head to head with Montreal playmaker Ignacio Piatti.

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City: Both clubs should enter 2016 with plenty of hunger after being eliminated from last year's playoffs in penalty kicks. The Sounders have a short turnaround after being ousted from the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday, but Clint Dempsey and Co. get to face a Sporting KC team nursing a slew of injuries — Benny Feilhaber (abdomen), Brad Davis (groin), Justin Mapp (toe), Paulo Nagamura (lower leg), Ike Opara (thigh) and Seth Sinovic (neck) all are dealing with knocks.

LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United: These teams will be looking for some early redemption after being knocked out of Champions League play Tuesday. Playing on short rest could be a challenge for a Galaxy squad featuring a slew of players in their mid-30s, but United isn't exactly a young team either. The home side should have Ashley Cole back in the lineup after he missed the loss to Santos Laguna for the birth of his son, while United can debut offseason addition Lamar Neagle, who was cup-tied for the CCL matches.