This week’s Viernes de Futbol matchup between the Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas kicks off week three of the 2015 MLS season at PPL Park at 7:00 p.m. ET (UniMás). Philadelphia will return home looking for its first win of the year after playing to disappointing draws in its first two matches of the year. The Union will have a tough task ahead as FC Dallas enters the City of Brotherly Love atop the Western Conference, fresh off a 3-1 dismantling of Sporting Kansas City last Saturday in Frisco. Dallas striker and Panamanian international Blas Perez continues to be a constant threat in front of goal, recording three goals in two games to get his season off to a torrid start. The Union have yet to claim a victory over the Hoops, posting a 0-3-4 record all-time against the Texas side.
Canada will make its first foray to the Sunshine State as Vancouver Whitecaps FC take on Orlando City SC at the Citrus Bowl on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET (TSN1). New ‘Caps Designated Player Octavio Rivero is settling in nicely into the team’s starting lineup, notching two goals in as many games, including the game-winner in the club’s first victory of the season, a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire. Orlando enters Saturday’s clash on the heels of its first-ever MLS win, after an unfortunate own goal by Houston dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric gave the Lions all three points at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Citrus Bowl will be rocking once again on Saturday night as Orlando City SC has increased capacity for the game from 20,000 to 23,000.
I-95 rivals, NY Red Bulls and D.C. United, to clash for the first time this year
The New York Red Bulls welcome east coast rivals D.C. United to Red Bull Arena for their home opener on MLS Soccer Sunday at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes). This replay of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinal matchup features a showdown between D.C. ‘keeper Bill Hamid, who was crowned 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, who took home the MLS Golden Boot with 27 goals last season. Both clubs secured points in their opening weekend matches, with D.C. United topping Montreal and New York playing Sporting Kansas City to a draw. With crucial early-season points up for grabs in the first I-95 derby of the year, Jesse Marsch and his new-look Red Bulls squad are tasked with staving off a revenge bid from a motivated D.C. United.
Avaya Stadium ready for its close-up
The San Jose Earthquakes and Chicago Fire will christen Major League Soccer’s 15th soccer-specific stadium when they meet at Avaya Stadium for the backend of MLS Soccer Sunday’s doubleheader at 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes). San Jose’s new state-of-the-art, open-air stadium is the world’s first cloud-enabled professional sports venue and features the largest outdoor bar in North America, in additional to several other high-tech amenities.
A capacity crowd of 18,000 is expected at the match, which pits Chicago against a confident San Jose team returning home from an upset win in Seattle. Earthquakes captain Chris Wondolowski, who recorded a brace in Saturday’s win over the Sounders, will look to maintain his scoring touch and give Avaya Stadium’s inaugural crowd something to celebrate.