Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
What to look for on Saturday
by Ridge Mahoney, March 26th, 2010 7:06PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  d.c. united, fc dallas, houston dynamo, kansas city wizards, mls, new england revolution, new york red bulls

MOST COMMENTED

At a Quakes training session Friday a colleague asked me if it felt like the MLS season started a month ago, and reflecting on all the CBA stuff I’d read and written during that time I felt compelled to agree, with a caveat.

Once games commenced, as occurred Thursday when the expansion teams of 2009 and 2010 played in the rain before a pumped-up crowd at Qwest Field, those feelings of fatigue and frustration would fade. And if the opener itself didn’t wipe them out, surely this weekend’s slate of seven games will generate far sexier talking points than unilateral options and 401(k) contributions, as important as they are.

Ridden with faults yet buoyed by the CBA agreement, MLS embarks on its 15th season with the strongest sense of stability in his history from a business perspective, yet also imbued by as much volatility as can be generated in a single-entity league festooned with parity.

Ergo, here is presented perhaps the most intriguing element of each of MLS's six Saturday matches:

CREW CALL. Preki’s move north of the border to take over Toronto has prompted a few personnel changes; right back Marvell Wynne joined the list of departees earlier this week in a trade with Colorado. Preki starts off his second head coaching job with a tough test at Columbus Crew Stadium, where the fans are still seething over last year’s playoff elimination by RSL, which rallied from a 2-1 aggregate deficit to win, 4-2 in the conference semifinals. Question: Did the Crew’s narrow 5-4 aggregate loss to Toluca in the Concacaf Champions’ League indicate the Crew is back on track?

TEXAS TEST. The retirement of left back and captain Wade Barrett casts yet another variable into the Dynamo equation from which Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark have already been subtracted. FCD Dallas nearly snuck into the playoffs last year with a late-season surge forged by some personnel changes. Question: Without Dave van den Bergh, can FCD take advantage at home of a good opponent testing out a few tweaks?

STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND. Speaking of new, Carlos de Los Cobos and Hans Backe coach their first MLS games against each other when Chicago “helps” New York unveil Red Bull Park on Saturday. The Red Bulls new playground drew rave reviews last week as the hosts dismantled the Santos Teenage All-Stars. Question: Can the Red Bulls come close to matching their spiffy, impressive surroundings against a perennial Eastern Conference contender?

REVENGE REMATCH. Curt Onalfo starts off his stint at D.C. United against the team that fired him last year, but regardless of how the Onalfo-Peter Vermes schism plays out, Wizards’ fans need assurances that the change, as well as the radical roster renovations that ensued, have steered their team back on-course. Question: Can Kansas City, which moves into a new stadium next year, shake off the malaise that has plagued it at CommunityAmerica Ballpark?

THE RSL REPEAT. San Jose sets out on its third season with political approval for the funding mechanism of its stadium project and a stronger roster than it had a year ago. It opens at home against RSL, which by building a championship-winning team constantly reminded how far behind were the Quakes in their own guest for success. A lot of elements have to fall into place for the Quakes to challenge for a playoff spot, yet they brought in Bobby Convey last year to do just that, and he didn’t make all that much of a difference. Question: Can he parlay his impressive season form into real results?

RUEFUL REVS. During their injury-riddled 2009 season, New England needed Shalrie Joseph to be superman just about every week. He played up top, he took over playmaking duties when Steve Ralston went down injured in August, he took on the burden of willing his team into the playoffs. He succeeded, but with Ralston, Jay Heaps and Steve Larentowicz gone and starting keeper Matt Reis injured sidelined for the start of the 2010 season, the Revs will play the Galaxy at Home Depot Center without Joseph as well. Question: Without so much leadership and experience, who can lead the charge?



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Legal primer explains past and (possible) future of soccer litigation    
The lawsuit filed by U.S Soccer against U.S. Women's National Team Players Association in U.S. District ...
Chicago Fire's Paunovic is counting on new youngsters    
A major makeover of the Fire under head coach Veljko Paunovic and general manager Nelson Rodriguez ...
For once, USA starts off a year just as it's supposed to    
Defensive miscues. Sloppy touches. Blown assignments. Confusion. These negative facets of play have been part and ...
Jozy shows he's still the man up front    
U.S. soccer fans have a love-hate relationship with most of their big stars. For every fan ...
Lee Nguyen on how he parlayed longer offseason into national team success    
Revs attacker Lee Nguyen got his first U.S. start against Iceland last Sunday and turned in ...
Revs' Heaps relishes competition and preaches consistency    
Aside from the apparent departure of Jermaine Jones, not a lot has changed on the New ...
USA-Canada match underscores Olympic issues for Klinsmann    
A games against Canada Friday may be the last opportunity for USA coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and ...
Christian Pulisic, 'the American Jewel,' must be protected    
I can think of 10 reasons we should be excited about Christian Pulisic. Those are each ...
Paths of Miazga and Cropper cross with both at crucial points    
An FA Cup match this weekend between MK Dons and Chelsea is a tussle between a ...
Return of Movsisyan reconnects Real Salt Lake with its rise to success    
After five years in Europe, striker Yura Movsisyan has come back to Real Salt Lake on ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives