Around the League Recaps: Mike Magee returns to LA with force, Portland defends its crown and Orlando remain the comeback kids

MLS categoryThat was quite a fun Soccer Sunday to kick off the season, was it not? 35 goals across 10 matches. The usual suspects showed up in each conference to grab three points, and Orlando City SC showed they can still win in stoppage time.

Let us take a look.

New York Red Bulls 0, Toronto FC 2

The first game of the season saw a Supporter’s Shield banner raised for NYRB, but a hot start for last season’s MVP and his opposing Toronto FC. Sebastian Giovinco picked up right where he left off. Gio scored in the 82nd minute from the spot to cap off an active day, and Marky Delgado added another on a counter attack in stoppage time. Good start for the Reds.

FC Dallas 2, Philadelphia Union 0

Oscar Pareja and his men/boys came out firing on all cylinders as they dominated the Union on the way to three points on Opening Day. Fabian Castillo scored in the 22nd minute by going five hole on Andre Blake, but left with an injury late. Pareja downplayed the seriousness of the adductor injury, saying Castillo should be back in two to three weeks. Maxi Urruti added his first goal in a FC Dallas shirt after linking up with Mauro Diaz to cap off the day. The Union looked bad, and FC Dallas looked good. Especially Carlos Gruezo in his first start for Dallas.

Chicago Fire 3, New York City FC 4

This was a wild one, boasting goals from seven different players. Thomas McNamara scored in the 10th minute, the first of the MLS season. Tony Taylor, Khiry Shelton and U.S. national Mix Diskerud rounded out the scoring for the winning NYCFC. Razvan Cocis, Kenendy Igboananike and David Accam scored for the Fire.

Portland Timbers 2, Columbus Crew SC 1

The rematch of last year’s MLS Cup final did not disappoint with Fanendo Adi scoring the winning goal in the 79th minute off a rebound in front of goal. Federico Higuain scored an early goal of the year contender with an outstanding bicycle kick 68th minute. Higuain smacked the ball down to the turf for control then rode his bike for a 1-1 score after Diego Valeri opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. Then came along Adi. Good start for the Timbers cup holders.

Orlando City SC 2, Real Salt Lake 2

Orlando City are starting to look like they play better with 10 men and when trailing going into stoppage time. Real Salt Lake lead after a brace from Joao Plata with goals in the 26th and 66th minutes, and Real Salt Lake went down to 10 in the 20th minute after Demar Phillips earned a second yellow. Not to be out done, OCSC went down to 10 in first half stoppage time when Darwin Ceren got a straight red. With the score 2-0 in the 94th minute, Cyle Larin scored first, then assisted Adrian Winter in the 95th minute for a winner. Wild things happen in the Citrus Bowl.

Vancouver Whitecaps 2, Montreal Impact 3

No Drogba, no problem. Ignacio Piatti bagged a grace and Dominic Oduro added one as the Impact opened up MLS play with three points. Jordan Harvey scored on the grasp of halftime for the Whitecaps to trail 2-1, and Kendall Watson scored in second half stoppage time to make for an exciting finish, but the Whitecaps late surge was not enough.

San Jose Earthquakes 1, Colorado Rapids 0

The Rapids finished as basement dwellers last season, and they looked that way again on Opening Day in 2016. Chris Wondolowski made his presence known in the 46th minute with a free header after a great run. It was Wondolowski’s 110th MLS goal. The Rapids had chances, but no finishing, with five shots on target and seven off target.

Seattle Sounders 0, Sporting Kansas City 1

The Sounders did not look all that great after Oniel Fisher got a red card and left the Sounders down to 10 men for more than a half. Nuno Coelho took advantage of the space with a nice goal from outside of the box. The young man viewed as MLS and US Soccer’s prodigal son, Jordan Morris, made his debut in the 83rd minute, but did not score. He did show his creativity and skill however, but his finishing lacked, especially when he blasted a one-on-one chance over the bar.

Houston Dynamo 3, New England Revolution 3

This was a fun one. The clubs traded goals, until Daigo Kobayashi slotted home a header in the 93rd minute with the entire Houston backline ball-watching for the draw. Diego Fagundez opened the scoring on a cracker in the 3rd minute, then Cristian Maidana and Andrew Wenger scored for Houston on both sides of halftime. Charlie Davies answered in the second half, then Giles Barnes took the 3-2 lead back for Houston in the 77th minute. Then, bad defense, an effective cross and Kobayashi happened. Good times in the most humid city on the planet. FC Dallas will drop another 4-1 score line on Houston if they defend like that on Saturday.

LA Galaxy 4, D.C. United 1

The Mike Magee Show returned to LA with a primetime spot on Fox Sports 1 in the finale of Opening Day, as Magic Mike bagged a brace, an assist and drew a penalty that Robbie Keane converted. D.C. opened the in the fifth minute with newcomer, Lamar Neagle, and the Galaxy looked poor in the first half. Bruce Arena must have used the speech from “Miracle” at halftime as his squad came out guns blazing. Magee scored a second half double including a beautiful flick header off a Steven Gerrard free-kick late in the match.

 

 

 

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