America’s take on professional soccer has returned, and not without drama. MLS has proven again why you should never trust a favorite. Unfortunately, we’re gonna do most but not every game this week.
Toronto FC 0-2 Columbus Crew SC
Toronto, last years’ most successful team, hosted Columbus Crew, a team that it took down last year in the post season. Of course it wasn’t crazy to expect them to get a win in the season opener. The Columbus counter attack proved too much and they did not get a win. Toronto overall had the most possession and several shots on goal, they could’ve definitely put at least a few on the scoreboard. Understandably, you could tell that Toronto was holding off on some moves because of the upcoming Champions League game against Tigres this Wednesday. Some takeaways, Zack Steffen is a great goalkeeper, Zardes can score now? and Higuain is still class.
Houston Dynamo 4-0 Atlanta United FC
Another favorite absolutely demolished. From the start Atlanta’s defense was shaky but masked by the open offensive play. The first half was just back to back goals destroying the Atlanta morale. The second half Houston was content with sitting back and absorbing. The defense did an outstanding job, and despite Atlanta missing golden opportunities that would’ve put them closer, the Dynamo earned this one. Many questions are already being asked about whether they made the right moves in the off season acquiring Barco instead of a defensive midfielder or another solidification of the back.
Orlando City SC 1-1 DC United
Once again Orlando does it, for the third time in the last four years, they end their home opener in dramatic fashion to secure some points. Before we get to that, this new DC United team is something else, it completely looks like a much better squad with Arriola, Mattocks, and Asad all proving to be smart moves from the off season. While not securing the win over a 10 man Orlando City squad might look bad, they still generated a lot of offense and were away to one of the best atmospheres MLS has to offer. Great goal for Pinho to be welcomed to the league, both of these teams are gonna be a force to be reckoned with.
Seattle Sounders FC 0-1 Los Angeles FC
An amazing opener for the LAFC franchise, a win away to Seattle and keeping a clean sheet. The talent on the defense really showed, Ciman, the former Impact defender had quite the impact on the game, if you get my drift. Anyways, they truly stood up Will Bruin and Nico Lodeiro. Despite still being fairly recently put together, LAFC looked like it was gelling right of the bat. The first goal was an amazing strike from the young DP Diego Rossi, after receiving a great through ball from Carlos Vela. After that however, LAFC also decided to cool down its offensive jets and let that back line shine. Seattle will be disappointed in the result of course, but it’s clear Schmetzer is trying to save some legs for the opening leg against Chivas in the Champions League.
LA Galaxy 2-1 Portland Timbers
The other LA team also got off to a great start to the season. Ola Kamara keeps proving to be a savvy trade, and overall great for both teams involved. Alessandrini also is continuing his form from last year, and hopefully that hamstring injury isn’t something to be worried about because he is the spark they need in offense. Another positive sign for Galaxy fans will be the appearance late in the game of Sebastian Lletget. Da Boy has returned from his long term injury which he suffered while on national team duty with the United States. He proved to still be the play maker he made his name on. Now to give Portland fans love, the offense was doing the right things but the pieces wouldn’t fall into place, Bingham made mostly the saves he had to, and the defense held strong. With the help of Perry Kitchen and Jonathan dos Santos in the midfield, it was gonna be an uphill battle. The core of this Timbers team is still there and there’s no reason it shouldn’t make the playoffs, don’t sweat it Timbers’ fans.
That was the MLS review, next week I’m going to try and do some previews and CONCACAF Champions League coverage, hope you stick around for it!