One match is officially in the books on Opening Weekend of the 2017 MLS regular season.
With seven Week 1 matches on Saturday and another three on Sunday, there's a ton of action on tap with plenty of interesting storylines – including the opening of a new stadium in Orlando and the debut of another expansion side, Atlanta United. There are incoming players, players moving to rival squads, coaching changes – you get the picture.
Here's what to look out for:
Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire
Saturday, 2 pm ET on MLS Live
No trade made bigger headlines or saw more bitter fallout this past offseason than the surprise trade of midfielder Dax McCarty from the New York Red Bulls to the Chicago Fire. McCarty wasn't happy about the deal, and has said so in no uncertain terms -- but rather than stew about it, he has promised to focus his energy on helping the Fire get things turned around after years of disappointment. It remains to be seen how much of an impact he can make in the early going, but McCarty's characteristic drive will be on display from the opening whistle. Also, just in case you missed it, Chicago went unbeaten in the preseason.
LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas
Saturday, 4 pm ET on Univision
No Robbie Keane. No Steven Gerrard. No A.J. DeLaGarza. No Landon Donovan (again) -- and no Bruce Arena. It's going to be a new-look Galaxy taking the pitch for former LA Galaxy II coach Curt Onalfo on Saturday, as he begins his third head coaching job in MLS. It couldn't come against a more challenging team, either, with FC Dallas coming off a Supporters' Shield/Open Cup double -- but at the same time, Dallas also will be coming off a trip to Panama for CONCACAF Champions League play earlier in the week. Will that make a difference? Only Saturday will tell.
Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC
Saturday, 4:30 pm ET on MLS Live (TSN1 in Canada)
Toronto FC haven't had a lot of time off since their bitter MLS Cup Final loss to the Seattle Sounders early last December. Whether that short rest will cause ripples this season remains to be seen, but one thing is not in doubt: If the Reds stay healthy, they have the talent and experience to be Canada's first Supporters' Shield winners. That will mean picking up points out of the gate -- though if fresh legs won't carry them through the early going, experience and familiarity should. TFC essentially stood pat during the offseason, believing that they have the pieces in place already -- and that means no early-season roster adjustment curve.
Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution
Saturday, 6 pm ET on MLS Live
All other questions surrounding this match pale next to one: How close is Tim Howard to returning to action -- not only for the Rapids but also for the US national team? Both Howard and US coach Bruce Arena have said that the longtime No.1 could get in some MLS action in the first month, after a season-ending right adductor injury in last November's 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Mexico. If so, that could clear him to be back in goal for the Yanks in crucial Hexagonal matches against Honduras and Panama later in the month.
D.C. United vs. Sporting Kansas City
Saturday, 7 pm ET on MLS Live
What will it be like to have striker Dom Dwyer and center back Matt Besler healthy at the same time? Sporting are about to find out for the first time in a long time. Both underwent offseason ankle surgery to repair bone spurs, and both have been working themselves back into full fitness since then. The question for United, meanwhile, is whether their record offseason transfer fee for playmaker Lucho Acosta will prove to be (a lot of) money well spent. Acosta rang up three goals and 11 assists last year, on loan from Boca Juniors, and United are counting on him to step that up even more this year.
Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders
Saturday, 8:30 pm ET on MLS Live
Seattle got off to a horrible start last year and then went on a late run to win their first MLS Cup title. Houston -- well, the Dynamo just struggled in 2016, continuing a recent run of frustration. But under new coach Wilmer Cabrera, Houston loaded up on Latin American internationals this offseason and also landed a proven veteran leader in DeLaGarza, in a trade with the Galaxy. The Dynamo took the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz., during the run-up to the regular season; can they get similar results now that the points matter?
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Montreal Impact
Saturday, 10 pm ET on MLS Live, TVAS, TSN1/4/5 in Canada
Some coaches find themselves on the hot seat just a few months into the season. Others, like the Earthquakes' Dominic Kinnear, start the year there. New GM Jesse Fioranelli has made it clear that he expects San Jose's four-year postseason drought -- two under Kinnear -- to end this season. Kinnear, who coached the old Earthquakes to a Supporters' Shield and then won two MLS Cups in Houston after that move, wants the same thing, but he'll need to see results sooner rather than later. Taking down an Eastern Conference playoff team from 2016 would be a good start.
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC
Sunday, 5 pm ET on ESPN
Were this taking place at Camping World Stadium, we might have to trot out the whole "No More Frank Lampard for NY" theme. Not this time. This time, the venue is the story. Orlando City have a shiny new stadium, with a natural grass surface, and players and coach Jason Kreis alike raved about the new digs after Saturday's preseason soft opening in front of a select group of invited fans. Oh, and the Carlos-Rivas-to-Cyle-Larin connection is looking good so far, the two combining for a pair of goals on Saturday -- and Frank Lampard won't be there, in case we didn't mention that before.
Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls
Sunday, 7:30 pm ET on FS1
Between Tata Martino's coaching pedigree and acquisitions fueled by salary-cap wizardry and Targeted Allocation Money, it's no wonder that the prevailing mood in Atlanta is "It's 1998 all over again, only us this time instead of Chicago." Do United have enough talent to contend for MLS Cup -- or even, as the Fire managed, an MLS Cup/Open Cup double -- in their expansion season? Yes, they do. But as every expansion team since then has found out, it takes time to get talent on the same page. Still, we don't begrudge Atlanta fans their excitement. The front office has put together an exciting roster, and Martino plans to use it to get after opposing teams -- starting on Sunday, against a Red Bulls team coming off Thursday's away date at Vancouver for their second quarterfinal leg of CCL play.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Philadelphia Union
Sunday, 9:30 pm ET on MLS Live, TSN1 in Canada
Up until Saturday night, the main storyline was Fredy Montero's return to MLS and to Cascadia -- albeit with a different club for the former Seattle star. Then the Whitecaps traded for Brek Shea, sending Giles Barnes to Orlando City in return, and the narrative became "Vancouver are serious about creating threats in the attack, aren't they?" Both may take some time to get adjusted, though that midweek CCL outing could help with that -- but even with growing pains, it will be interesting to see how these two work together at BC Place.