A busy weekend awaits for Major League Soccer with all 16 teams in action in a span of 36 hours. Several intriguing matchups are on tap. In Seattle, Sigi Schmid’s current team faces his old one with whom he won an MLS Cup in 2008. Columbus has played fewer matches than any team in MLS but with a 2-0-1 record is the only Eastern Conference side without a loss on the young season.
Speaking of Eastern Conference, what would you think if we told you DC United and the New York Red Bulls (who face each other tomorrow) occupied first and last place in that table? That DC was first and New York last, right? Wrong. The situation is exactly reversed. Hans Backe’s men, though far from impressive when fielding their first team, have a five point lead in the East, which means they will maintain their hold on first regardless of what happens this weekend.
The only team to take points from the LA Galaxy this season, the Kansas City Wizards, are the Red Bulls’ nearest competitor in the standings. With its 2-1-1 record the team formerly known as the Wiz visit the Houston Dynamo, who are off to a better-than-usual (for them) 2-2-1 start.
Further west, the best team in MLS hosts one of the worst. The Philadelphia Union, fresh off some draconian punishment from their coach, visit the Home Depot Center late Sunday. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, the newest MLS side respond to Peter Nowak’s motivational methods. ASN Philly has a full preview of that match.
Another surprising team, the Colorado Rapids, also play on the west coast, at San Jose. The Earthquakes finally appear to be gelling into something more reminiscent of the team they became, the Houston Dynamo, than the one they were the last two seasons.
The defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake return home after a tough three game swing. They host Toronto FC on Saturday night. Read that preview here.
FC Dallas try again for their first win at New England Revolution, who face a difficult challenge without captain Shalrie Joseph.
Lastly, Chivas USA visit the Chicago Fire in a battle of teams in mid table in their respective conferences.