Let me be the first to say, welcome back to your weekly dose of MLS action. For those knew to the league, this is the readers digest to every MLS game that has gone on that week and the news that has broke throughout the week. Just enough content to fill your lunch hour, or read while dinner is on the stove. So let's dive into it shall we?
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire (2-1 LA)
In the first match of the twentieth season it is only right to start it off with one of the original clubs, the LA Galaxy. And just as they have been for the past 20 years the Galaxy got off to a great start. Just a few months after winning the MLS Cup they have shot into the new season. Over working and out hustling the Fire they had better chances all game and got two great goals from Jose Villarreal 65' and Robbie Keane 81'. The answer to the great question "Will the Galaxy be okay without Donovan?" for the moment seems to be yes.
DC United vs. Montreal Impact (1-0 DC)
After only a few days from the CONCACAF Champions League games each team played, it was expected to be a rough first game for both teams. While both teams had good opportunities the home team showed to be more clinical in the final third and got the winning goal from Jairo Arrieta 58'.
Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids (0-0)
This is a game that should be looked at for both teams in the near future as a determinant for the season to come. Neither team made large changes in the off-season and it showed in this game. With a 68' double yellow resulting in a red card for Bobby Burling the Rapids had to dogfight the final 20 minutes to maintain the draw, while the Union lacked any offense to score at home.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC (3-1 Toronto)
A great game for Toronto who's last season had been considered a failure due to their lack of success despite spending a lot of money on the team. However, for this game that seemed to change as the big additions of Giovinco and Jozy Altidore came up big. The goal for Vancouver came from Raul Octavio Rivero 19' while goals for Toronto came from Altidore 32' and 90' along with Robbie Findley 59'.
Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew (1-0 Houston)
In the first game to launch the Owen Coyle Era, the orange men came out with a huge win despite being overworked and overshot by the talented Crew. The Dynamo's Man of the Match Tyler Deric came up huge with 6 saves three of which stopped amazing chances for the Crew. Goal by Giles Barnes 66'.
FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes (1-0 Dallas)
Two clubs on very different paths converged in Frisco, Texas as the successful FC Dallas took on the rebuilding San Jose Earthquakes run by Ex-Dynamo HC Dominic Kinnear. In what was mostly a midfield battle an inability to close out the game hurt the Earthquakes as Blas Perez scored in the 92' on a last minute header.
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake (0-0)
In what turned out to be a good game, neither team was able to find consistency or goals. The Portland Timbers were the better side on the night but were unable to get any of their chances past Nick Rimando. While on the other side of the pitch the Timbers Defense shut down Real Salt Lake all game long.
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC (1-1)
This was a much hyped game that lived up to expectations. NYCFC seemed to be in control of the game when Mix Diskerud curved a ball into the side netting in the 76'. However the big talking points came in the 83' when Aurelien Collin scissor tackled David Villa and earned a straight red. But the home side down a man would not be stopped and got a last minute goal from Kaka 91'.
Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls (1-1)
Neither team ended last season how they wanted to and they got this season off to an interesting start. In a very open affair the goals came from Ike Opara for Sporting KC and Lloyd Sam 54' for NYRB. However Sporting KC appeared to continue to struggle on the defensive side when Captain Matt Besler got a second yellow in the 70'.
Seattle Sounders vs. New England Revolution (3-0 Seattle)
In a soccer rematch of the Super Bowl the two sides brought more questions than answers. The New England Revolution looked ragged all night with no real chances of scoring. Seattle left us wondering if this is the year that they win the MLS Cup as the attack looked fluid and clinical. Goals came from Clint Dempsey 25' & 67' along with Obafemi Martins 41'.
Other Major News:
With the CBA agreed upon the MLS season got underway. MLS released the attendance of every game opening weekend.
Orlando had a crowd size of 62,510 which showed the reason why they were promoted to MLS however it is unclear if they will be able to maintain a size anywhere near that.
DC United despite being one of the most successful teams last year DCU had a poor first game attendance. They recorded 11,549 which was 4,000 away from the nearest number around the league. To say this is disappointing is putting it lightly, but if they find success they could see the stands fill up.
While the Dynamo were ahead of most other clubs they recorded a record home crowd of 22,351 which shows just how interested the city is in this new era. If the Dynamo continue their winning ways we can expect the number to hover around 21,000 however if they slip at all it will likely fall drastically.