MLS Rivalry Week
While Whitecaps FC are on a bye from MLS play this weekend, there will still be a number of quality matches to watch.
If you are a ‘Caps fan, the Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact match (1 p.m. PT on TSN) will surely pique your interest, as we would face one of these two teams in the Amway Canadian Championship finals in May if we can get past FC Edmonton in the semifinals.
Across the border, soccer fans are in store for a full menu of tasty treats.
NBC and the NBC Sports Network will do something that has never been seen in soccer broadcasting in the United States. As part of the league’s first ever “Rivalry Week”, they are going to present a full day of MLS action starting at 9:30 a.m. PT, with the last match kicking off at 5 p.m. PT.
That will be 10 hours of goals, saves, tackles and chants!
NY-DC (9:30 a.m. PT on NBC)
The day starts at Red Bull Arena with the grudge match between New York Red Bulls and DC United (9:30 a.m. PT on NBC) – a rekindling of last season’s fierce Eastern Conference playoff series. New York are coming off of two road matches in which they blew leads. First they let two points slip when their 3-1 lead at Portland turned into a 3-3 draw. Most recently, they’re coming off a crushing defeat where San Jose scored two goals in the last eight minutes to win 2-1, with the winning goal coming in the 92nd minute. With one point from their first two away games and a rookie coach at the helm, a defeat to archrivals D.C. United could cast a lot of doubt on New York’s season.
SKC-CHI (12 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network and MLS Live)
Chicago have no points from their first two games. In their first game of the season they were crushed 4-0 in LA and in their home opener and last weekend they were shocked 1-0 by New England at home. Even though Sporting Kansas City started with a 3-1 victory in Philly, they are coming off a devastating loss to a Toronto FC – a team that had not won in MLS in 15 matches going back to last season. A win for either team will give them a major boost, while a loss will increase the pressure to succeed.
MTL-TOR (1 p.m. PT on TSN)
Montreal have had a fantastic start to the season so far, winning in Seattle and Portland – two of the toughest places to play in MLS.
That said, anything but a win against TFC at home will greatly diminish what they achieved in their first couple of games on the road. For Toronto, who are coming off a morale boosting victory at home over Sporting Kansas City, knocking their Eastern rivals off their perch would not only give their traveling fans something to cheer about, but it could also set TFC on course for a surprise season.
SEA-POR (5 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Network and MLS Live)
I’m sure we will all be keeping attention on this game as the Sounders try to get their first points of the year after losing at home to Montreal to start the season. It would be a disastrous start to the season to lose their first two games at home, especially if the second were to dreaded rivals Portland Timbers.
For Portland they started with two home games and have a draw and a loss. Having not got the job done at home, they will not want to dig their hole any deeper by not picking up something in Seattle.
There is a lot to wet your appetite with a number of big games on hand and crucial points to be had. And it does not stop on Saturday either, as Sunday provides the “Battle of Texas” between FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo and the first SuperClasico of the season between LA Galaxy and Chivas USA.
Though our ‘Caps are not partaking in this particular Rivalry Week, our fans are surely gearing up for when we join the fight for Canadian and Cascadia bragging rights.
Already at BC Place there have been new songs and some brilliant tifo, and it was a thrilling sight to see a large part of the stadium bouncing up and down as our fans look to take it to the next level.
This weekend though it will be fun to size up the competition.
Tune in to see who will be beating their chest.