Jack Price

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MLS Week 2 preview: Rapids aim for 2-0; LAFC hosts Philly

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Major League Soccer’s first week of the 2020 season was low on surprises excluding Colorado’s 2-1 win at DC United.

The Rapids will hope for a surprising 2-0 start after that road triumph, with Orlando City headed to Colorado for Week 2.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Colorado didn’t win its first match until Week 13 of 2019, when it started a seven-match unbeaten run. The Rapids haven’t started 2-0 since 2012.

Head coach Robin Fraser would love to keep the good times rolling against an Orlando side that didn’t have Nani in a Week 1 draw with Real Salt Lake.

The Rapids announced a new deal for captain Jack Price on Thursday, the former Wolves defender entering his third year with the club and set for two more after that with an option for 2023.

“We like people that don’t fancy us, we’re not really bothered about them,” Price told The Denver Post’s Jake Shapiro. “They can talk, we know that we’ve got a good squad. We’ve added quality, and the players that were here towards the back end of last season. We were one of the best teams form-wise.”

That match, a 9 p.m. ET kickoff, is one of 11 Saturday matches. Other curious encounters including Columbus visiting Seattle and Toronto entertaining NYCFC.

That leaves just a pair of tilt Sunday, with a pair of 0-1 teams colliding when Portland hosts Nashville and a big test for cross-country traveling Philadelphia.

[ MORE: 5 things we learned from Week 1 ]

The Union opened with a loss at FC Dallas, and Sunday gets no easier with a home opener for LAFC.

LAFC now has an international roster slot open because Carlos Vela has an American green card.

Philly has a change of its own, as Alejandro Bedoya has had his Designated Player deal bought down with TAM.

That leaves the Union with only one DP.

MLS Week 2 schedule

Saturday (all times Eastern)
New England v. Chicago — 1:30 p.m.
Real Salt Lake v. New York Red Bulls — 2 p.m.
FC Dallas v. Montrela — 3 p.m.
DC United v. Inter Miami — 3:30 p.m.
Toronto v. NYCFC — 5 p.m.m
Atlanta United v. FC Cincinnati — 7 p.m.
San Jose v. Minnesota — 8 p.m.
Sporting KC v. Houston — 8:30 p.m.
Colorado v. Orlando City — 9 p.m.
Seattle v. Columbus — 10 p.m.
LA Galaxy v. Vancouver — 10 p.m.

Sunday (all times Eastern)
Portland v. Nashville — 7 p.m.
LAFC v. Philadelphia — 10 p.m.

MLS comings & goings: Kitchen, Castillo, Henley arrive for 2018

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The next two weeks, leading up to players reporting for the start of preseason, are sure to be chock-full of signings made by all 23 MLS teams. A handful of key deals have been announced in the last 24 hours alone…

[ MORE: FC Dallas block USMNT call-ups in favor of CCL prep ]

For the last three seasons, the LA Galaxy attempted to play without a functioning midfield. It turned out… well, quite poorly, particularly in 2017 when Curt Onalfo’s Sigi Schmid’s side finished dead last in MLS, for the first time ever. Enter: Perry Kitchen (from D.C. United, for $300,000 in combined allocation money), five-year MLS veteran and fringe-U.S. national team defensive midfielder seeking a new club after two years in Europe (Hearts and Randers). Kitchen, who’s (somehow) still only 25, has more than 150 MLS appearances to his name (plus another 50-plus from his time in Europe). The Kitchen-Jonathan dos Santos/Joao Pedro double-pivot is a fantastic foundational unit. 7/10 — not flashy or sexy, but highly functional and priority no. 1

After finishing 20th in 2017, the Colorado Rapids’ massive rebuild has begun. Enter: USMNT and Monterrey left back Edgar Castillo, and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Jack Price. Castillo is 31 and brings a wealth of experience at the club and international levels. Price, 25, joined the Wolves academy at the age of 8, and never left (save for a pair of loan spells) and made nearly 100 appearances between League One and the Championship. 5.5/10 — plugs a pair of holes with replacement-level (maybe slightly above) starters

For the first half of 2017, Real Salt Lake were arguably the worst team in MLS; for the second half of the season, Mike Petke’s side was inarguably one of the best (and youngest), ultimately missing the playoffs by a single point. So far this winter, RSL have made Brooks Lennon’s loan permanent, signed 26-year-old Spanish forward Alfredo Ortuño, and on Tuesday completed their capture of 23-year-old right back Adam Henley — an American-born Welsh international. As he’s only ever appeared in friendlies for Wales (and never played for U.S. youth national teams), Henley would be eligible for a one-time switch, should his development and play warrant such a move. 6/10 — a starting right back with upside, without giving anything away in a trade

Giles Barnes, 29, has bounced around MLS in recent seasons — from Vancouver, to Houston, to Orlando, all since 2016. Now, the English-born Jamaican international is headed south of the border, to Leon, where he’s been given a Cristiano Ronaldo-like VIP welcome.

Other lesser-known (but perhaps just as impactful) signings in MLS

Columbus Crew SC — 21-year-old Venezuelan midfielder Eduardo Sosa, from Venezuelan side Zamora (FULL RELEASE)

Minnesota United — 24-year-old Cameroonian attacker (2 caps, 1 goal) Frantz Pangop, from Cameroonian side Union Douala (FULL RELEASE)