MLS kicked off its 17th season on Saturday with matches across North America. Goal.com rounds them up, including Montreal's league debut.
The Vancouver Whitecaps spoiled the MLS debut of their long-time Canadian rivals with a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
Sebastien Le Toux opened the scoring just four minutes into his first match with the Whitecaps. His hard work up top saw him pressure the Impact defense into a mistake, and the former Philadelphia Union star pounced, slotting home after breaking in on goal.
Montreal rebounded well enough but couldn't find a way through Vancouver's defense, leading to a 1-0 score at the break.
Camilo put the match to bed early in the second half after a brilliant team move from Vancouver saw the Brazilian played into space down the right. A nice cut inside a defender opened up just enough room for him to curl a shot into the corner to give his side a two-goal lead.
Montreal tried to get back into the match but the Whitecaps' defense held firm and eventually the home side took control of the second half to make the win look rather comfortable.
Colorado Rapids 2-0 Columbus Crew
The Colorado Rapids got their season off to a bright start with a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night.
After a somewhat sloppy start to the match, Drew Moor scored the match winner just before the break. The defender headed home from a Kosuke Kimura corner that fell kindly to him to give the home side 1-0 lead.
That goal would be the only one until late in the match as both sides struggled to create clear chances, though Omar Cummings did have a few decent looks at goal along the way.
Quincy Amarikwa put the match to bed in the 89th with his first goal of the season, giving the scorline a comfortable look for the Rapids.
The game marked Oscar Pareja's debut as Rapids head coach.
D.C. United 0-1 Sporting Kansas City
93 minutes. That's how long it took Sporting Kansas City to break down D.C. United.
In the end -- very nearly literally -- the winning goal came down to a set piece. Graham Zusi played a corner to fellow U.S. international C.J. Sapong, who wriggled free of Daniel Woolard's attention and headed home.
It had been coming.
Sporting KC outshot D.C. 17 to seven (eight to one on target). Bill Hamid started the season in blistering form, pulling off seven saves, but even the 21-year-old couldn't keep out Sapong's near-post header.
Early in the second half referee Mark Geiger handed out the only two yellow cards of the match, to Teal Bunbury and Branko Boskovic. Bunbury was later replaced by Sapong 75 minutes in.
After the match, the Washington Post reported that D.C. United has renewed its lease to stay at RFK Stadium, which drew 16,314 for the match.
LA Galaxy 1-3 Real Salt Lake
Don’t hand the Galaxy the 2012 MLS Cup yet. Real Salt Lake came into the Home Depot Center Saturday night and reminded everyone why it hoisted the trophy in 2009 with an emphatic 3-1 victory over the defending MLS Champion.
Few would have expected that scoreline when Edson Buddle opened the scoring in the 71st minute after a laser-guided David Beckham free kick found the American forward in between three RSL defenders. Buddle nodded past goalkeeper Nick Rimando for a 1-0 lead after the Galaxy had enjoyed a majority of the quality chances.
But it was all downhill for the defending champ after that. Sean Franklin mishit a clearance from a Sebastian Velasquez cross three minutes later for an own goal on a night he’d rather forget. In the 80th minute, RSL went ahead when Javier Morales pounced on a failed Michael Stephens clearance in the Galaxy penalty box off a Ned Grabavoy cross. Franklin was to blame again in the 85th minute. Fabian Espindola took a flick-on from Alvaro Saborio and blew by the defender after the right back misjudged his challenge and slotted a low shot past a helpless Josh Saunders to complete the surprising 3-1 scoreline.
Many have tapped the 2012 version of the Galaxy as perhaps the most talented team n MLS after the club retained David Beckham and brought back 2010 Golden Boot winner Edson Buddle along with midfielder Juninho. But the loss of last year’s MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez to a long-term knee injury reared its head more than the influx of attacking talent.After coming on in the 67th minute in a double switch, RSL stars Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio tipped the scales in the visiting side's favor for good. The experienced pair energized the RSL, and a re-tooled Galaxy backline was unable to deal with the frequent attacks.
San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 New England Revolution
The San Jose Earthquakes shook off their opening day blues, defeating the New England Revolution 1-0 behind a first-half goal fom Chris Wondolowski. The win was the Quakes’ first in a home opener since 2002.
The Earthquakes took the lead on the stroke of 15 minutes. Shea Salinas picked up a loose pass from Shalrie Joseph and threaded a ball to put Wondolowski through on goal. The 2010 Golden Boot winner finished with aplomb.
Wondolowski’s goal proved to be the only clear-cut chance through the 90 minutes, though the Revolution’s Benny Feilhaber and San Jose’s Simon Dawkins both saw efforts fly just wide in second-half stoppage time.