Los Angeles Galaxy 1, New England Revolution 0
Saturday, Home Depot Center (A: 21,376)
The scoreline probably doesn’t reflect well how much L.A. controlled this one (minus a couple late chances by the Revs). ESPN’s match report credits the Galaxy with a 12-4 shot advantage. Though as a disclaimer, N.E. had personnel issues and Shalrie Joseph didn’t play.
With Landon Donovan back on the pitch, it was actually Edson Buddle who stood out. The young forward scored the game’s only goal in the 6th minute by heading in a Donovan free kick and had some other chances.
Buddle could actually be a key figure for the team this season. Adding another consistent scorer is paramount for L.A., which also added an influx of Brazilians this offseason.
LA: Edson Buddle (Landon Donovan) 6′
San Jose Earthquakes 0, Real Salt Lake 3
Saturday, Buck Shaw Stadium (A: 10,589)
People weren’t sure what to expect from the defending champs this season. While a game against lowly San Jose might not reveal much, a decisive road-win for RSL is certainly a good place to start — especially for a team that went 2-11-2 and scored just nine goals away from home last year.
The star of the weekend was surely Javier Morales. The youngster had two world-class goals: first, an incredible strike from distance into the top corner in the 14th minute and then a perfectly-taken free kick that bent into the upper 90 in the 54th (highlights embedded below).
Fabian Espindola added the other score in the 27th minute by getting behind the defense and chipping a shot past the onrushing S.J. goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who did not take the loss well. Could be a rough season for the Quakes.
RSL: Javier Morales (Fabian Espindola, Robbie Findley) 14′
RSL: Fabian Espindola (Morales) 27′
RSL: Morales (un) 54′
Kansas City Wizards 4, DC United 0
Saturday, Community America Ballpark (A: 10,385)
This was the shocking result of the weekend. Who knew Kansas City had this in ’em? I’m sure everyone in and related to the Wizards organization took a little joy out of thrashing ex-coach Curt Onalfo.
K.C. newcomer Ryan Smith played a big role in the win, helping set up the first two goals and adding the third. Kei Kamara scored the first goal on a simple rebound in the 9th minute, then Davy Arnaud doubled the lead in the 35th with a great strike from the left side past D.C. goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Smith added the third in the 54th off another rebound and Jack Jewsbury capped the scoring with a 70th-minute penalty kick. The Wizards are also getting reinforcements soon.
So is K.C. going to be good this year, or is D.C. really that bad?
KC: Kei Kamara (un) 9′
KC: Davy Arnaud (Ryan Smith, Stephane Auvray) 35′
KC: Smith (un) 54′
KC: Jack Jewsbury (pk) 70′
New York Red Bulls 1, Chicago Fire 0
Saturday, Red Bull Arena (A: 24,572)
A great day for soccer in the Big Apple. A packed crowd opens up league-play in a sparkling new stadium and everyone, including first-year coach Hans Backe, goes home happy with a win (remember NY only won five games total last year).
Joel Lindpere scored the game’s only goal on a brilliant right-footed volley from the top of the box that curled in past a diving Andrew Dykstra — maybe Jon Busch would’ve saved it?
The Fire didn’t look bad by any means. Chicago created numerous chances and could’ve had a brilliant goal if Brian McBride’s bicycle kick didn’t clang off the post. Can N.Y. keep it up on the road here in Seattle on Saturday?
NY: Joel Lindpere (un) 40′
FC Dallas 1, Houston Dynamo 1
Saturday, Pizza Hut Park (A: 8,016)
The disappointment of a great First Kick weekend was probably the dismal crowd for this Texas derby. According to this site, it was down about 50% from last year from the Hoops faithful.
On the field, it was cool to see ex-Washington Husky Mike Chabala score his first career MLS goal with a great run as a left back in the 36th minute. The lead didn’t last long as Dallas forward Atiba Harris bended in a long-distance equalizer in the 38th.
These are two mystery teams in the league. I’ve seen prognosticators rank each really high and others really low. Not sure the opener answered many questions.
HOU: Mike Chabala (Dominic Oduro, Brad Davis) 36′
FCD: Atiba Harris (David Ferreira) 38′
Columbus Crew 2, Toronto FC 0
Saturday, Columbus Crew Stadium (A: 13,536)
No trouble at all for one of the league’s favorites in its home opener. And once again it was Guillermo Barros Schelotto that ran the show.
The Argentine set up the Crew’s first goal in the 29th minute with a free kick that was headed home by Englishman Andy Iro. Schelotto bagged a controversial second when a collision between TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei and Columbus defender Danny O’Rourke at the edge of the box left an open goal for a Schelotto empty-netter in the 87th minute.
Toronto, led by first-year coach Preki, had some moments, but were clearly overmatched by the Crew, which played without defender Chad Marshall.
COL: Andy Iro (Guillermo Barros Schelotto) 29′
COL: Schelotto (un) 87′
Chivas USA 0, Colorado Rapids 1
Friday, Home Depot Center (A: 18,653)
A solid showing from the L.A. crowd, unfortunately new coach Martin Vasquez’s side couldn’t match it. This was a huge away win for Colorado, which won just two games on the road all of last season.
Omar Cummings, perhaps the league’s most underrated player (on the league’s most underrated team?), scored the winner in the 55th minute with a great turn and strike that found the side netting.
Lots of new faces on the field in this one. The Goats had new signings Osael Romero and Michael Umana out there. The Rapids played Marvell Wynne, normally a speedy outside defender, at centerback. Danny Earls, Jeff Larentowicz, Ross LaBauex and Wells Thompson also debuted for Colorado.
COL: Omar Cummings (Colin Clark) 55′
Seattle Sounders FC 2, Philadelphia Union 0
Thursday, Qwest Field (A: 36,241)
Your hometown boys opened the season in style with a solid 2-0 win at home. Seattle could’ve been up by as many as three goals at halftime, then cruised in the second half with a man advantage.
The trio of Fredy Montero, Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Zakuani was incredibly dangerous despite the Union’s physical play. The test now will be doing it against established clubs, not the newbies.
Brad Evans scored the opener in the 12th minute on a brilliantly choreographed goal involving a great string of passes. Montero added one later in the 43rd minute by diving to head in a bouncing shot from Osvaldo Alonso.
SEA: Brad Evans (Steve Zakuani, Fredy Montero) 12′
SEA: Montero (Osvaldo Alonso) 43′
WESTERN CONFERENCE 1. Real Salt Lake 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +3 2. Seattle Sounders FC 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +2 3. Colorado Rapids 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +1 4. Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +1 5. Houston Dynamo 0-0-1 1 pt. GD 0 6. FC Dallas 0-0-1 1 pt. GD 0 7. Chivas USA 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -1 8. San Jose Earthquakes 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -3
EASTERN CONFERENCE 1. Kansas City Wizards 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +4 2. Columbus Crew 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +2 3. New York Red Bulls 1-0-0 3 pts. GD +1 4. Chicago Fire 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -1 5. New England Revolution 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -1 6. Toronto FC 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -2 7. Philadelphia Union 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -2 8. DC United 0-1-0 0 pts. GD -4
VIDEO HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Check out the two incredible goals by Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales (0:40, 1:05)