Kick Off: Newest MLS stadium set to open doors Saturday
We can get used to this.
Another MLS season and another new MLS stadium is set to open its doors on Saturday afternoon when the Houston Dynamo christen BBVA Compass Stadium against club legend and D.C. United star Dwayne De Rosario (4:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network). Prepare for the main event of the weekend with this video tour. (VIDEO)
The curtain raiser at the stadium took place last night with a soft opening that featured the US Under-17 national team downing the Dynamo Academy 3-0.
Former Dynamo striker Chris Wondolowski will look to add to his goal-scoring total when his San Jose Earthquakes welcome Chivas USA (Sunday, 7 pm ET on Galavision). Pro Soccer Talk’s Steve Davis explains why he thinks Wondo will give fans “a season like we haven’t seen in some time.”
Also on Sunday, the Philadelphia Union will host Eastern Conference rivals New York Red Bulls just in time for Mother’s Day brunch (12:30 pm ET, ESPN2). And if you think the special occasion will bring warm fuzzy feelings to either team, think again: "I don't think they like us and I don't think we like them," says Union assistant coach John Hackworth.
The big match on Saturday night will feature a battle for the Western Conference lead as Real Salt Lake travel to face the Seattle Sounders (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
Sporting Kansas City will hope to get back in the hunt for the best overall record in MLS alongside RSL and Seattle when they travel to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday night (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star examines whether SKC have scoring issues to grapple with.
The MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy announced late Thursday that they will be celebrated by President Barack Obama next Tuesday. They will hope to show up to the White House on the heels of a win but they’ll have their hands full on Saturday afternoon against the expansion Montreal Impact, who have more points than the Galaxy (4 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS LIVE in US). The Impact could shatter their own attendance record for the event.
Will midfielder Davide Chiumiento break into the starting lineup for the Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday in New England (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)? That’s the question posed in this article about the player who provided the assist on all three goals in Wednesday’s Amway Canadian Championship triumph.
It’ll be a test of depth when the Columbus Crew face FC Dallas in a Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup match (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET on MLS LIVE). Both clubs’ infirmary lists are lengthy and the Crew added yet another name to their injured group yesterday.
When the name of Spanish legend Raúl comes up in connection with MLS, it’s typical for rumors to say New York or LA. That’s again true in the case of this report originating from Spain, but what may come as a surprise is that the club making the push for him is said to be Chivas USA. (SPANISH)
In another rumor that may surprise some, it looks like Michael Ballack could be targeting a reunion with former German national team midfielder Torsten Frings at Toronto FC. (GERMAN)
If you’re looking for a clue as to what Alessandro Nesta’s future destination might be, Marco Di Vaio offers a clue in this interview in which he says: “Now we’re leaving Italy together and we probably will be going to play in the same place.” Does he mean country or team? (ITALIAN)
Wales international forward Robert Earnshaw, who has one year left on his contract at Cardiff City in the English second tier, was close to a move to MLS in the January transfer window. That interest could be rekindled after his statements to this online publication.
His name may mean very little right now, but this report claims that MLS teams are after Brazilian playmaker Elton da Costa, who plays in the lower divisions in Germany. (GERMAN)
Back in the USA, the NFL's Minnesota Vikings’ new downtown stadium is now only a governor’s signature away from becoming a reality. Soccer fans in Minnesota are now waiting for word on what this means for the possibility of MLS expanding to the state.
Former New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream is hoping to avoid relegation this weekend with this EPL club Bolton Wanderers, who need a win against Stoke City and a QPR loss. "I don't know if anybody who follows American sports like basketball, baseball or American football would even understand what [relegation] is like," Ream says. "The pit that I had in my stomach watching [Blackburn] be relegated was something I've never experienced."
Lastly, from a nightmare scenario for Ream to a feel-good soccer story that will have its culminating moment this weekend: Detroit City Football Club plays their first match ever and you’ll be inspired to read how it came about.
The Throw-In: It's time for a true Canadian Open Cup
WATCH: Preview of Houston vs. D.C. United on NBC Sports Network
Gringo Report: Which Mexico-based yanks have earned USMNT call-ups?
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