10 things we learned from MLS gameweek 3

Here are the 10 things we learned from week three of MLS.

1. New beginnings in San Jose

Thanks in large part to MLS’ generous hand in scheduling the Chicago Fire as the opposition on opening day at the new Avaya Stadium, the San Jose Earthquakes’ big day went off without a hitch.

Avaya is gorgeous, easily one of the best venues in the league. The soccer is coming along, albeit slowly, with San Jose’s best coach since they returned in 2008 in Dominic Kinnear, and a roster finally transitioning from brawn to true skill.

It appears that the ‘Quakes are turning the corner. In their Supporters’ Shield winning year of 2012, San Jose were the league’s villains, bashing heads together and bashing in goals in jet-black uniforms at a college stadium in front of the historically thuggish 1906 Ultras supporters group.

Now, San Jose has completely rebranded with a new logo, a new look, and a new stadium. The result is a sleeker feel, and while ‘Quakes fans loved the Goonies, this new setup is a much better bet for long-term success.

2. Good vibes at Red Bull Arena

No Red Bulls fan will ever fully forgive the Red Bull brass and Ali Curtis for the firing of Mike Petke in December. Nor should they. But Jesse Marsch has been winning over people left and right since he got the job in the aftermath of Petke’s dismissal.

Calm, confident, and poised, Marsch’s vision meshed with what Curtis wanted the post-Henry Red Bulls era to look like, and so far, results have been promising. New York dominated from wire-to-wire in their home opening win against rival DC United.

Bradley Wright-Phillips turned in a fantastic performance, the trifecta of Dax McCarty, Felipe Martins, and Sacha Kljestan owned midfield, and an inexperienced defense was rarely threatened. This Red Bulls team looks like a playoff outfit, especially in the weak East.

No one will forget Petke, but no one everyone will come to disassociate his firing with the Marsch era – which is exactly what Curtis and Co. hoped would happen when they made the move last winter.

3. More woe in Philadelphia 

The Union lost 2-0 to FC Dallas at home on Saturday afternoon, in freezing whether, in front of a paltry crowd. Zach Pfeffer was sent off for a vicious elbow, Rais M’Bohli continues to confound in goal, and Philadelphia continue to frustrate.

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