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MLS Week 2 preview, TV schedule

Friday, March 11
7:00 Orlando City-Chicago FireUniMas/
Saturday, March 12
3:00 New England Revolution-D.C. UnitedMLS Live
4:00 Real Salt Lake-Seattle SoundersMLS Live
4:00 Montreal Impact-New York Red BullsMLS Live
7:00 Colorado Rapids-LA GalaxyMLS Live
7:30 Columbus Crew-Philadelphia UnionMLS Live
8:30 Sporting Kansas City-Vancouver WhitecapsMLS Live/TSN2
8:30 Houston Dynamo-FC DallasMLS Live
Sunday, March 13
5:00 New York City FC-Toronto FCESPN2
7:00 San Jose Earthquakes-Portland Timbers Fox Sports 1

All times p.m. ET

Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire: Kaka remains sidelined by a thigh strain for Orlando, but this match should mark the MLS debut of former Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino. Between his introduction and Cristian Higuita's return from suspension, Orlando will have some tough choices to make in central midfield. Although Chicago likely will be without Gilberto because of a calf strain, Dutch playmaker John Goossens should be available after acquiring his visa.

New England Revolution vs. D.C. United: It's a rematch of an Eastern Conference knockout round clash from last season, which saw United secure a comeback victory at RFK Stadium. United could have limited options in this match, with Patrick Nyarko dealing with concussion symptoms and Fabian Espindola plagued by a hamstring strain. In Nyarko's absence, Lamar Neagle likely will draw the assignment of helping contain New England's lethal left side of Chris Tierney and Diego Fagundez.

Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders: These Western Conference foes will meet in an intriguing tactical battle, with both teams having shifted to a 4-3-3 formation over the past year. Expect a congested central midfield with plenty of room for fullbacks to attack on the overlap. The Sounders could need to rely on their depth in this one — Brad Evans (shoulder) is out while Erik Friberg (head) and Tyrone Mears (quad) are questionable.

Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls: Another match on turf means another game without Didier Drogba for Montreal, which didn't miss a beat in a 3-2 win in Vancouver. This game will mark a return to Red Bull Arena for Impact midfielder Eric Alexander, who delivered a strong season opener after a disappointing first year in Montreal. The Red Bulls will need to shake things up defensively, with Karl Ouimette likely stepping in for suspended center back Ronald Zubar.

Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy: The Galaxy will not have the services of Giovani dos Santos because of a leg injury, but that's not necessarily a bad thing after Mike Magee replaced him for the second half against D.C. United on Sunday and recorded two goals, assisted another and drew a penalty kick. The more pressing absence could be goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who suffered a leg injury of his own against United and will again give way to Brian Rowe against the Rapids.

Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union: Columbus returns to the comforts of Mapfre Stadium in a meeting of teams that opened 2016 with tough road losses. Although Tranquilo Barnetta (knee tendinitis) seems unlikely to take part, Union coach Jim Curtin could turn to newcomer Roland Alberg or veteran Sebastien Le Toux as he looks to spark his lineup with more attacking vigor. But with Maurice Edu sidelined by a leg fracture, the Union could have issues containing Crew playmaker Federico Higuain.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Sporting KC returns home after recording three points in Seattle and gets some key players back from injury, with Brad Davis and Seth Sinovic poised to play and Benny Feilhaber questionable (abdominal strain). The Whitecaps, on the other hand, will be hoping to improve on a shambolic defensive outing against Montreal. Look for Kekuta Manneh to earn the start for Vancouver out wide, with Christian Bolanos suspended.

Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas: The battle for El Capitan begins as Houston and Dallas meet in an early-season Texas derby. FCD had the look of an MLS Cup contender in Week 1, with newcomers Maynor Figueroa, Carlos Gruezo and Maximiliano Urruti bolstering a strong core. Although winger Fabian Castillo went down with an adductor injury late in that match, he is optimistic about his status for Saturday. Houston fullbacks DaMarcus Beasley and Sheanon Williams, meanwhile, are carrying minor knocks into this one.

New York City FC vs. Toronto FC: These big-spending Eastern Conference clubs both opened 2016 with road wins, as NYCFC triumphed over Chicago and TFC took down the New York Red Bulls. Midfielder Frank Lampard (hamstring) will be a game-time decision for NYCFC, though where he would fit in Patrick Vieira's 4-3-3 alignment remains a question. Also up in the air is the status of TFC striker Jozy Altidore, who sat out Week 1 with a hamstring injury of his own.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers: The MLS Cup champions carry a six-game unbeaten streak on the road to Avaya Stadium, where the Earthquakes secured a 1-0 win over Colorado to open the season. San Jose could have holding midfielder Fatai Alashe back from a hernia injury, but the Timbers remain without left back Chris Klute because of a knee problem. Keep an eye on Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who could expose the extra space in midfield freed up by San Jose's 4-4-2 formation.