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The Daily Dirt, March 10: Players to Watch in Week 2

Eyes are on these guys this weekend

FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Week 2 of the MLS season is almost upon us. These are some players to keep an eye on this weekend:

  • Juninho, Chicago Fire: The Fire acquired Juninho via the MLS Allocation Order on a one-year loan from Club Tijuana. Considering the price they paid (General Allocation Money and a 2nd round SuperDraft pick this year), expectations are high for the former LA Galaxy star. He was suspended for the Fire’s 1-1 draw with Columbus last weekend and should make his debut this week. Can he lead Chicago to a home win over RSL?
  • Matías Pérez García, Orlando City: With Kaka expected to miss six weeks, MPG will have to step up for the Lions. He has typically played wide for Orlando since joining them last season. In Kaka’s absence, he is expected to slide into a more comfortable central attacking midfield position.
  • Tim Howard, Colorado Rapids: With USMNT World Cup qualifiers looming, will Howard make his 2017 debut this weekend? He is attempting to return from an injury suffered last fall against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Romell Quioto, Houston Dynamo: The breakout star of Week 1, we’ll have to see if Quioto can continue that form. The Honduran international seemed to flourish in manager Wilmer Cabrera’s system.
  • Patrick Mullins, DC United: Mullins returns to Yankee Stadium as a member of the opposition. He was the spark in a late season attacking revival for DC. Can he do it again after a bland opener last week?
  • Jerome Thiesson, Minnesota United: It is still unclear if Thiesson will see the field on Sunday, but he could be rushed into action after a poor defensive effort last week in Portland. Thiesson could replace Jermaine Taylor at right back for the Loons after arriving from Switzerland this week.
  • Joao Pedro, LA Galaxy: With Jermaine Jones suspended this week, Pedro will need to improve on a so-so performance in Week 1’s loss to Dallas.

Domestic

Univision to stream MLS games in English on Facebook starting next weekend (Wall Street Journal)

Portland’s backline banged up (Oregon Live)

Information on Justin Meram’s new contract with the Columbus Crew (ESPN)

New York Red Bulls look to Norway for striker help (NY Post)

The chase is on for Vancouver Whitecaps’ star youngster Alphonso Davies (NBC Sports)

Can the economics of San Diego’s MLS bid work? (NBC San Diego)

The USL’s Division 2 sanctioning is “validation” according to Jake Edwards (Goal)

Sacramento Republic’s home stadium gets a title sponsor (Sacramento Bee)

International

This summer’s International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and Barcelona will be the first time they meet in a friendly since 1982 (Marca)

Diego Maradona is an ambassador for the Chinese Super League (SBS)

Local

Feature on the Station Soccer project from Soccer in the Streets, MARTA, and Atlanta United (FIFA)