MLS Commentary: Opening weekend

By Herb Scribner

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What an opening weekend for Major League Soccer.

Saturday seriously felt like Christmas for me, with all the matchups taking the place of all the splendid gifts under the tree. Here’s a look at what went down this weekend in the MLS, with a few comments by yours truly.

Check out tonight’s game between Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers on ESPN2, live at 9:30 p.m to cap off the opening games.

Saturday, March 10

Colorado Rapids 2 – 0 Columbus Crew: Like the end of the 2011 season, the Crew lost on the road to the Rapids. The two goals were netted by Drew Moor (44 min.) and Quincy Amarikwa (89 min.) to solidify the win. Good win for the Rapids at home here, one that could inspire more fans to make their way out to Dick’s Sporting Good Park.

Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – 0 Montreal Impact: Well, Sebastian Le Toux didn’t waste any time getting into his goal-scoring ways as he nailed a shot, all poised and controlled four minutes into the contest. Camilo Sanvezzo added one at the 54th minute. Disappointing loss for the expansion Impact, but time will help them build.

D.C. United 0 – 1 Sporting KC: Sporting KC seems to have everything going for them, at least since they redid the logo, got the new stadium and let Chad Ochocinco go from the squad. A 1-0 win here, with a goal from C.J. Sapong, at RFK Stadium is solid to open the weekend. D.C. United really needs to sort out getting their own stadium and attracting a better fan base.

San Jose 1 – 0 New England: Oh, big surprise, the Revolution didn’t win. Looks like the one sore spot in New England athletics continues, despite the recent coaching changes. A goal by Chris Wondolowski did the job for the Earthquakes. Look for him to pour more goals in this season.

Los Angeles 1 –3 Real Salt Lake: Well if anyone wasn’t questioning the legitimacy of the reigning MLS champion LA Galaxy, they are now. RSL, down 0-1 with 19 minutes remaining, kicked it into high gear. Not only did they find luck with LA’s Sean Franklin committing an own goal (73 min.), but both Javier Morales (80 min.) and Fabian Espindola (85 min.) netted strikes to cap the comeback. Big win for RSL at LA’s Home Depot Center – where the Galaxy hadn’t lost since 2010.

Sunday, March 11

F.C. Dallas 2 – 1 Red Bull New York: Not only was this game the first of both these teams’ respective seasons, but it was the first MLS broadcast on MLS Sports. What a game it was. Zach Lloyd (11 min.) struck early to give F.C. Dallas the lead. Dallas’ Ricardo Villar netted one as the second half opened to add some insurance. Kenny Cooper, new to the Red Bulls from Portland, rounded up the scoring (78 min.), but it would prove to be not enough.

Chivas USA 0 – 1 Houston Dynamo: Good win for the Dynamo here, who are looking to build momentum and a fan base with a stadium on the way. Andre Hainault netted the only goal of the contest (92 min). Not your greatest opening-weekend match.

Herb Scribner can be reached for comment at [email protected]