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The Daily Dirt, March 4: 7 MLS games today on the docket

What to watch for around the league today

Minnesota United FC  v Portland Timbers Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Big day of MLS action on tap for the first Saturday of the season, here’s a few notes to keep in mind as you watch:

  • Chicago has invested heavily in becoming relevant again after some awful results in recent years. That investment will be tested at Columbus today as the Crew try to bounce back to 2015 form.
  • FC Dallas heads into LA after a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal win. Can Javier Morales be the replacement for Mauro Diaz that Dallas requires?
  • Toronto seems to be a team on a mission after coming so close to lifting MLS Cup. That journey begins in Salt Lake City against RSL today, a team that is still straddling the past and the future with some young stars and aging veterans.
  • One of the biggest questions in my mind this season is if Colorado can repeat their form from 2016. It’s a tall ask to be as good defensively as they were, and they have to find some consistency in the attack. They will likely go as far as Shkëlzen Gashi can take them.
  • DC United flipped the switch from a vanilla team to an attacking team after they acquired Patrick Mullins last year. Will that continue to be their m.o.?
  • Wilmer Cabrera is trying to complete a pretty dramatic makeover of the Houston Dynamo. They get a tough opener as the MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders come to town.
  • Lots of eyes on San Jose in 2017 as Dominic Kinnear starts the season on the hot seat. They host Montreal in the opener.

Domestic

Minnesota United takes the worst loss in an expansion team’s debut, falling 5-1 to the Portland Timbers (E Pluribus Loonum)

The big stories for Week 1 of MLS (SB Nation)

Finishing touches being made on Orlando City’s stadium ahead of Sunday’s opener (Orlando Sentinel)

With the Chargers coming to town, stadium enhancements coming for the LA Galaxy as well (Corner of the Galaxy)

Vancouver’s 16-year-old star Alphonso Davies is ready for the spotlight (The Province)

The atmosphere at BMO Field is the backbone of Toronto FC (TSN)

Questions across Real Salt Lake’s backline ahead of today’s opener (Salt Lake Tribune)

Miami is still doing Miami things (Miami Herald)

Landon Donovan joined the MLS to San Diego bid (Facebook)

The U.S. U20’s won and clinched their spot in this year’s World Cup (Stars and Stripes FC)

Eryk Williamson scored an absolute world class goal:

International

Players go on strike in Argentina (BBC)

Catch up on Australia’s A-League (FourFourTwo)