MLS Opening Weekend: 30 interesting stats from Sunday’s ten games

The opening weekend of the 2016 Major League Soccer season is upon us, so here is a look at a few stats to be aware of ahead of what should be an excellent evening of MLS action.

Sunday 6th March

New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC – (18:30 GMT)

  • New York Red Bulls are unbeaten against Toronto FC in their last eight home matches against the Canadian side.
  • Including the playoffs, New York Red Bulls have won 11 of their last 12 at Red Bull Arena.
  • On the other hand, Toronto FC haven’t won on the road in MLS since 4th July, a total of nine away fixtures.

For more information read our New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC Match Preview.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Orlando City vs Real Salt Lake – (19:00 GMT)

  • Orlando City finished the 2015 MLS Season on a six-game unbeaten streak, with four wins and two draws.
  • Real Salt Lake finished the 2015 MLS season on a three-game losing streak, managing just one goal in the process.
  • However, Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in six consecutive MLS opening games, with five wins and one draw.

For more information read our Orlando City vs Real Salt Lake Match Preview.

Chicago Fire vs New York City FC – (19:00 GMT) – Live on Sky Sports 1

  • Chicago Fire lost seven of their last eight matches in the 2015 season, winning the other.
  • New York City FC won only once in their last eight away games of last season, losing six of them.
  • Chicago haven’t won on the opening day for the last six seasons, as they’be endured four losses and two draws.

For more information read our Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Match Preview.

FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union – (20:00 GMT)

  • Philadelphia have never beaten FC Dallas in Major League Soccer.
  • FC Dallas have won four season openers in MLS in a row.
  • FC Dallas won the most matches at home in MLS last season, with a total of 13 out of 17.

For more information read our FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union Match Preview.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution – (20:00 GMT)

  • Houston Dynamo have lost to the New England Revolution on three consecutive occasions – run that started in April 2014.
  • Houston Dynamo have lost just once in their last ten home matches in MLS, with seven wins and two draws.
  • New England Revolution conceded 35 times on the road last season – their worst away defensive record since 1998.

For more information read our Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution Match Preview.

San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids – (20:00 GMT)

  • San Jose Earthquakes are unbeaten in 12 consecutive matches against the Colorado Rapids, winning six and drawing six.
  • San Jose haven’t conceded at home against the Colorado Rapids since May 2013.
  • Colorado Rapids have lost four of their last five away matches in MLS, winning the other.

For more information read our San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids Match Preview.

Portland Timbers vs Columbus Crew – (21:30 GMT) – Live on Sky Sports 1

  • Including the MLS Cup Final last year, Portland Timbers are unbeaten in their last three matches against Columbus Crew.
  • Including the postseason, Portland Timbers are unbeaten in their last nine consecutive MLS matches, winning six and drawing three.
  • Columbus Crew won five of their last six 2015 MLS regular season games.

For more information read our Portland Timbers vs Columbus Crew Match Preview.

Embed from Getty Images

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact – (22:30 GMT)

  • Vancouver had the joint best defence in Major League Soccer in 2015, conceding only 36 goals.
  • Montreal Impact won their final two matches away from home in the regular season last term but lost nine of the 15 previous road trips.
  • Octavio Rivero was the Whitecaps’ leading goalscorer with ten last season. He is only the fourth player in Whitecaps history to reach double-digits in a single season.

For more information read our Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact Match Preview.

Monday 7th March (UK Time)

Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City – (00:00 GMT)

  • Seattle Sounders haven’t won against Sporting Kansas City in their last three attempts, drawing twice and losing once.
  • At home, Sounders are undefeated in all four MLS matches against Sporting Kansas City, winning twice and drawing twice.
  • Seattle are unbeaten in their last seven MLS outings. They’ve won six of those seven, drawing the other.

For more information read our Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City Match Preview.

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas Fans

LA Galaxy vs DC United – (03:00 GMT)

  • DC have only won once in their last eleven matches against LA Galaxy, drawing five and losing the other five.
  • LA are unbeaten in their last eight home matches against DC United, recording four wins and four draws.
  • DC United only managed to score nine away goals in the regular season in 2015 – a league low for the season.

For more information read our LA Galaxy vs DC United Match Preview.

What are you most looking forward to on the opening day of the 2016 MLS season?

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto FC

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, March 6 – 13:30 ET (18:30 GMT) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 8/13 – Draw 3/1 – Toronto 4/1

Match Preview

The wait is over. The New York Red Bulls host Toronto FC in the 2016 MLS Season opener on Sunday evening in what is a fascinating early contest between two sides looking to challenge high up the Eastern Conference this season.

Both sides have enjoyed extensive preseason schedules and will hope to hit the ground running in a game that looks set to entertain.

The Red Bulls are the reigning Supporters’ Shield holders and will have their sights firmly set on retaining that title come the end of the 2016 regular season. Jesse Marsch has a great squad and will be confident of enjoying another fine season.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Toronto will start their second successive season with a long stint of away games as BMO Field continues to be worked on. Their trip to Red Bull Arena on Sunday will be the first of eight consecutive road games for the Canadian side.

They ended 2015 with a poor away record, losing six-straight games away from home, including their 3-0 playoff defeat at Montreal, and face a tough task in taking anything away from New York this weekend.

Both of these sides spent time in Florida this preseason and played each other in a light 70-minute game two weeks ago. That contest ended 1-1 but very little would have been learnt from that scrimmage.

Embed from Getty Images

Both clubs have been waiting to get back into real action for months and Sunday’s 2016 opener is expected to set the tone for what should be another truly special year in MLS.

The Red Bulls beat Toronto 3-0 in the corresponding fixture last season, but the Reds retaliated with a 2-1 win at BMO Field in the most recent clash back in October.

Team News

New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch will be sweating over the fitness of Gonzalo Veron ahead of the season opener. The DP attacker suffered a hamstring injury in the Red Bulls’ final preseason game after scoring a hat-trick and is doubtful. Damien Perrinelle is continuing his road to recovery following his playoff injury last term but won’t feature here. New signing Gideon Baah is expected to start alongside Ronald Zubar in defence.

Toronto could enter the new season without striker Jozy Altidore. He is suffering with a hamstring injury that is likely to leave him on the sidelines for a couple more weeks. Sebastian Giovinco could start as the lone striker in Altidore’s absence.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ preseason form: W/W/L/W/L/W/D/D/W

Toronto FC’s preseason form: D/W/W/W/L/D/L/D/L

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have won seven of their last eight home games against Toronto and have only once lost on home soil to the Canadian side (October 2008).

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Toronto superstar is the league’s reigning MVP and is expected to pick up where he left off this season. A trip to Red Bull Arena represents a stiff challenge for the Italian forward but he scored what was probably his best MLS goals in the most recent clash with New York and will hope for another memorable game here.

Video – Sebastian Giovinco’s incredible solo goal against the Red Bulls last October (via MLS on YouTube):

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Toronto – This is expected to be a close-fought battle as neither side will want to suffer defeat in the opening game. That could lead to quite a cagey game but goals are still to be expected, given the attacking quality that both sides possess. The Red Bulls should make home advantage count by edging this one by the odd goal.