Major League Soccer is back after the international break with Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls in action

Major League Soccer returns to a full schedule this weekend following the international break.

Friday, 1st April 2016, 3:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 5:22 am
LA Galaxy stars Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard

Three games are being shown live on Sky Sports this weekend.

New England Revolution host the New York Red Bulls in the first live televised game of the weekend.

Both sides have struggled to impress in the early stages of the season – the Red Bulls winning just once and the Revolution, remarkably, still looking for their first win yet still having only lost once.

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The hosts will be hoping to leapfrog their visitors with a win that will transform a moderate campaign opening into a decent one.

New York will be hoping to continue where they left off two weeks ago, when they gained their first victory of the season with an exciting 4-3 win at home to Houston Dynamo.

New England will be without their Ghanaian midfielder Gershon Koffie, who was sent off in their game against New York City last week following a rash challenge on Thomas McNamara.

They also have Je-Vaughn Watson missing, as he serves the second game of his suspension following an earlier sending off.

The visiting Red Bulls are still without long term injury victim Damien Perrinelle.

The French defender has not made an appearance this season following a knee injury sustained near the end of the 2015 season.

The game is live on Sky Sports 1 at 00.05 on Saturday.

The second live game of the weekend sees Chicago Fire – another side searching for their first win – play the joint leaders of the eastern Conference, Philadelphia Union.

Having lost their first game at Dallas, the Union have put back to back wins together, and will travel to Toyota Park confident of making it three in a row.

Chicago have looked less than impressive this season, although have shown signs that they could improve, having drawn each of their last two games.

The home side will hope to benefit from the international break, and finally find their winning touch, but they will have to be on top of their game against a Philadelphia side that will hope their good start to the season will see them challenging for the Eastern title in October.

The Fire have goalkeeper Patrick McLain side-lined with a knee injury, while another keeper, Sean Johnson and Forward David Accam are both doubtful.

Philadelphia are still without Maurice Edu for the long-term, while questions remain about the fitness of midfielders Tranquillo Barnetta, Vincent Nogueira and Cole Missimo.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports 5 on Saturday evening at 9.50pm.

The final game of the weekend is a mouth-watering inter-conference clash between the very impressive Orlando City and the defending MLS champions, Portland Timbers.

The two sides have made contrasting starts to the season. Orlando remain unbeaten, and have looked good in the early stages, and highlighted that with victory at star-studded New York City in the last outing.

The Timbers, however, have made a fairly average start having won one, drawn one and lost one of each of their first three games.

The Florida side are boosted with the likely return of their superstar Brazilian Kaká this weekend. The news will give a further lift to a team already brimming with confidence.

The Timbers are without their captain and former Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion defender Liam Ridgewell, who faces another four or five weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury that he picked up in training a couple of weeks ago.

Andy Thoma, the Timbers’ versatile defender/midfielder is also out with a long-term knee injury.

With Cyle Larin in tremendous goalscoring form for Orlando and the return of Kaká, the home side will be favourites to win, but the reigning champions will be hoping to rain on the City parade.

The game is live on Sky Sport 1 in the early hours of Monday morning (1.15am), but if you can’t stay up for it, make sure you set your set-top box to record, as it promises to be a game not to miss.

This weekend’s MLS Fixtures:

Saturday, April 2

New England Revolution vs New York Red Bulls Midnight (Live Sky Sports 1)

Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia Union 10pm (Live Sky Sports 5)

Sunday, April 3

Colorado Rapids vs Toronto FC (1am)

Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake (1.30am)

FC Dallas vs Columbus Crew SC (2am)

Seattle Sounders vs Montreal Impact (3am)

Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy (3am)

San Jose Earthquakes vs DC United (3am)

Monday, April 4

Orlando City vs Portland Timbers 1am (Live Sky Sports 1)