Major League Soccer announces home opening dates

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Major League Soccer announced opening dates for all 19 clubs on Tuesday.

First kick (the earliest one yet) happens March 2 with six contests. Here are the notable matches over the first two MLS weekends:

Saturday, March 2

Eastern Conference regular season champion Sporting Kansas City opens in at PPL Park (pictured) in Pennsylvania at the Philadelphia Union. Coaches and players in Philly will want to put 2012 behind them, while this will be a first look at Benny Feilhaber in SKC’s midfield.

Houston hosts D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium in Texas in a rematch of the Eastern Conference final series. United, you may remember – and D.C. United fans almost certainly do – has never won in Houston. Ouch!

Biggest crowd on opening weekend? Well, where else? In Seattle, of course! The Sounders host Montreal at CenturyLink, where the only question will be how many seats the club chooses to open up in the upper reaches of its downtown ground.

Sunday, March 3

The champion L.A. Galaxy opens at home against Chicago. This has the potential to be a very different Galaxy team, definitely without David Beckham and perhaps without several other starters from the bunch that just successfully defended its MLS Cup title.

Speaking of new looks, the reconfigured New York Red Bulls, under new management, will be at Jeld-Wen Field to face Portland. Those Timbers will have a new sheen, too, now under Caleb Porter and presumably equipped with a different roster to go with a much different style.

Saturday, March 9

RFK Stadium regained some of its hope and groove in 2012, and D.C. United’s first home contest comes against Real Salt Lake and its fortified roster. Those big crowds returning to RFK Stadium late last year really were nice, weren’t they?

Please, please, please … let the good fans of Toronto FC have something better to cheer for when the Reds open their home season against Sporting Kansas City.

The entire list of home openers is here.

STREAM LIVE: USMNT looks for 3 more points in Panama

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The United States looks to finish the international break in an automatic qualifier spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table when it faces Panama in Panama City at 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

A lot of the faces are the same from the 6-0 demolition of Honduras in California on Friday, though John Brooks and Sebastian Lletget are out with injury.

Jermaine Jones replaces Lletget while Tim Ream moves into the fray for Brooks. Geoff Cameron played Friday’s match with a minor injury, and moves out of the XI for Graham Zusi.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Ream, Zusi; Bradley, Jones, Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore

Subs: Bingham, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Camron, Zimmerman; Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Kljestan, McCarty, Pulisic; Wondolowski

Reyes header gives Mexico three points in T&T (video)

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Diego Reyes’ 58th minute header off a corner kick gave Mexico a lead it wouldn’t give up in a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

The win gives Mexico a table-topping 10 points, seven ahead of last-place T&T.

[ MORE: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica ]

The Soca Warriors were in fine, stingy form early, and looked to have gone ahead on the counterattack when Joevin Jones belted a left-footer into the Mexico goal.

The linesman, however, ruled that Jones was offside. He almost certainly was not, as Mexico’s supreme luck in CONCACAF play continued for at least one night.

Hector Herrera hammered a shot off the far goal post early in the second half as Mexico attempted to grab control.

T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams jammed Miguel Layun’s shot over the bar moments before the breakthrough from Reyes.

Williams then saved Javier Hernandez’s 64th minute offering as Mexico looked to put three points to bed.

Joevin Jones won a free kick in the 76th minute that gave a brief moment of light to T&T’s hopes, but Jones hit the wall and Mexico cleared the ball.

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.

WATCH: Video Assistant calls back Griezmann goal

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France and Spain used the Video Assistant Referee program on Tuesday in a friendly, and the French likely rue that decision.

Antoine Griezmann had an incorrectly allowed goal reverse for offside, while Gerard Deulofeu saw an initially ruled offside goal allowed upon review in Spain’s 2-0 win over France.

[ MORE: Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina ]

Here’s an example, as Griezmann’s barely offside goal was overturned in less than a minute (Both calls took less than a minute to decide):

At the risk of sounding like a caveman, I really don’t like these razor thin offside calls being subject to review.

When you consider the improbability of timing the moment of contact with the ball — how many times have you seen a freeze frame conveniently used to make a case? — it just seems to mess with the spirit of sport.

What do you think?