The MLS season kicked off with plenty of excitement as two of the most exciting teams this season in Toronto FC and Atlanta United FC suffered comprehensive defeats at home and away respectively. Elsewhere, debutants LAFC earned a lot of firsts with their first ever game, goal, and win against a Seattle Sounders team that did everything they could to get on the board themselves but were continually denied by LAFC shot-stopper Tyler Miller.
FC Dallas 1-1 Real Salt Lake
An own-goal ruined the night for RSL as Dallas fail to find any luck.
RSL took a first-half lead after Joao Plata opened the scoring in the 25th minute following a poor turnover in possession by Dallas that led to a brilliant run started by Albert Rusnak and ending in a quick strike at the near post. Dallas just managed to grasp a point from the game after a poor clearance by Marcelo Silva of a Maximiliano Urruti cross ended up in the back of the RSL net.
Toronto FC 0-2 Columbus Crew SC
Reigning-champions TFC suffered a surprise defeat at BMO Field to a revitalised Crew.
Federico Higuain opened the scoring for the Crew in the 44th minute with an incredible half-volley of Milton Valenzuela’s cross that just managed to sneak under the arms of Toronto keeper Alex Bono. Gyasi Zardes made it two for Columbus with a well-struck finish of Pedro Santos’ searching through-ball into the box. Toronto nearly found the net several times in the second half, but it simply wasn’t to be as the champs were kept silent.
Houston Dynamo 4-0 Atlanta United FC
The Dynamo ran rampant at home against an Atlanta team that excited last season, but still seems to have a lot to prove.
The Dynamo began their onslaught only five minutes into the game, with Andrew Wenger making quick work of the sitter that he was provided by Alberth Elis. In the 23rd minute, Philippe Senderos hit a powerful header past Atlanta keeper Brad Guzan following a solid cross into the box by Boniek Garcia. Mauro Manotas made in three for the Dynamo in the 27th with a fantastic finish following the expert cut-back by Wenger. Darwin Ceren scored the final of the Dynamo’s four goals in the fifth minute of extra-time in the first half with a deflected strike following a poor clearance by Guzan.
Philadelphia Union 2-0 New England Revolution
The Union earned a well-deserved victory at home against a Revolution side that seems like it still needs to sort itself out from the off-season.
The Revolution’s night began to truly get bad when Antonio Dalamea Mlinar was shown a red card in the 24th after he denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity to C.J. Sapong. Anthony Fontana was able to capitalise on the man-advantage for the Union with a quick finish of a loose ball in the box. C.J. Sapong doubled the Union lead in the 69th minute with a wonderful final touch of Cory Burke’s cross. The Rev’s night was made worse when defender Claude Dielna was sent off following a second yellow—card after a rough tackle on Burke.
Orlando City SC 1-1 DC United
Former Atlanta man Yamil Asad’s beautiful freekick earned DC a point away at Orlando.
DC had the opportunity to take an early lead when they were awarded a penalty after a VAR review determined there had been a handball in the Orlando penalty area. Darren Mattocks stepped up to take it but hit the crossbar. DC did take a first-half lead in the 32nd minute thanks to a Yamil Asad freekick from way out wide just managed to sneak into the net. Victor (PC) Giro was shown a red card in the 41st minute for a rough challenge in the air on Yamil Asad. Orlando found their equalizer in the third minute of extra-time in the second half thanks to a solid shot from close-range by Stefano Pinho, assisted by Jonathan Spector.
San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 Minnesota United FC
Minnesota earned two late consolation goals in a defeat away to a dominant San Jose.
Danny Hoesen put the Quakes ahead in the 27th minute with a first-time finish of Valeri (Vako) Qazaishvili’s forward pass. Vako made it 2-0 only a minute later as he found himself on the end of a Chris Wondolowski Cross. Hoesen earned his brace in the 59th minute following a quick 1-2 pass with Vako. Kevin Molino put Minnesota on the board in the 81st minute with a strong finish assisted by Christian Ramirez’ touch. Molino earned a brace of his own four minutes later after his shot from 22-yards out curled into the far corner of the net.
Seattle Sounders FC 0-1 LAFC
Bob Bradley’s new LAFC side managed a scrappy away win in a difficult opening game at Seattle.
Diego Rossi netted LAFC’s first ever goal with a first-time strike from 20-yards out in the eleventh minute following a superb through-pass from Carlos Vela. LAFC keeper Tyler Miller then put forth a phenomenal performance in front of the net to deny a hungry Sounders team their equaliser.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Montreal Impact
The Whitecaps edged a win over Canadian rivals Montreal in a scrappy win full of late goals.
Kei Kamara put the Whitecaps on the board first with a quick header in the 63rd minute, made possible by a whipped cross from Alphonso Davies. Davies netted a goal of his own to make it 2-0 in the 70th minute, assisted by Cristian Techera. Matteo Mancosu netted the Impact’s one and only goal with a headed finish of Daniel Lovitz’ cross.
Sporting Kansas City 0-2 New York City FC
NYCFC earned a solid win away at SKC to open their season.
NYCFC took the lead in the 32nd minute thanks to a sliding finish by Maximiliano Moralez of David Villa’s pass in front of the net. Jesus Medina made it two for NYCFC with a two-touch finish of Ben Sweat’s low cross. SKC will want to do better in front of goal in the future, as they failed to find the net despite making 18 shots, with three of them being on goal.
LA Galaxy 2-1 Portland Timbers
The Galaxy earned an important win at home to open the season following the enormous disappointment that came about last season.
Ola Kamara made a goal-scoring debut with a headed finish just past Timbers keeper Jake Gleeson in the 32nd minute, assisted by Rolf Feltscher. Romain Alessandrini netted the Galaxy’s second two minutes later with a second strike past Gleeson after his first rebounds off the post. Sebastian Blanco gave the Timbers their only glimmer of hope in the 66th minute as he managed to strike the ball just past Galaxy keeper David Bingham.