MLS Weekend Recap: LA, Seattle Bounce Back

Enter the second weekend of the 2012 MLS Season. Most players have gotten past their early season jitters, rust, or preconceptions and are now fully engulfed into the year.  Whether a team fell or fulfilled their Opening Weekend wishes, each second match was important for squads to come out strong. So if you were too busy in St. Patrick’s Day celebration or unable to catch the action throughout the weekend, here is your fix to catch up on all the goodness of MLS Weekend 2.

Impact Captain Davy Arnaud scoring the first goal for Montreal as an MLS franchise.

Montreal 1 Chicago 1: In their first home match as an MLS franchise, the Montreal Impact came out with a strong showing going up 1-0 on Chicago thanks to their Captain Davy Arnaud who headed home a cross in the 56th minute. Although Montreal conceded a equalizer Chicago, it did not take away from the amazing environment at BC Place, where 58,000 Canadians supported on their new MLS team.

San Jose 0 Houston 1: Played at AT&T Ballpark (home of the San Francisco Giants), the Earthquakes hosted the Dynamo on a rainy afternoon. Brian Ching drew a penalty early on when he was interfered with by San Jose keeper Jon Busch on a play for the ball in the box. Brad Davis finished the PK with power, just barley beating Busch in a frustrating opening 15 minutes for the hosts. Even through the brilliant efforts of striker Chris Wondolowski, the Earthquakes were unable to obtain an equalizer and fell 1-0 to the defending Eastern Conference Champions. Houston is now 2-0, opening the 2012 season with two road wins.

Dallas 1 Portland 1: Two of the most exciting franchises in the league faced-off Saturday night as FC Dallas looked to open up the season with two straight home wins. It was a tight battle the entire 90 minutes, with Dallas controlling early on, scoring on the strike from newcomer Blas Perez in the 22nd (first goal in the MLS). But Portland bounced back putting extended pressure on Dallas’ backfield, which lead to a turnover and opportunity for Darlington Nagbe to strike an equalizer in the 51st minute. The last 39 minutes saw multiple chances for the Timbers, but they were unable to gain the three away points and ended the match with a draw.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTzAQk7qCDc&w=560&h=315]

Kansas City 3 New England 0: Stephen McCarthy was sent off in a controversial tackle that left the Revs down to 10 men for 76 minutes. Sporting step on the gas pedal and never looked back scoring three goals on the helpless New England defense. Kei Kamara and CJ Sapong celebrated the thrashing with a little jig in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6Xg_uqnAy0&w=560&h=315]

Salt Lake 2 New York 0: Salt Lake once again showed that they can dominate the league’s best opponents by defeating Red Bulls Saturday evening. Salt Lake’s midfield possessed the entire match, leaving the opposing midfield no room to breathe. Red Bull killer Fabián Espíndola pulled through on the offensive end, once again giving nightmares to Hans Backe and the New York staff. With two straight road losses, New York has plenty of problems that need immediate solving, while Real Salt Lake looks in MLS Cup contending form.

Forward David Estrada celebrates his third goal versus Toronto FC.

Seattle 3 Toronto 1: Both squads opened their 2012 regular season on Saturday due to Champions League responsibilities. After a thrashing at Santos Laguna, Seattle looked to come out strong in front of their usual packed crowd at Century Link Field; while Toronto was attempting to recover from their celebration of defeating LA. An unlikely hero emerged in the Rave Green scoring a hat trick in a dominating performance at home for Seattle. Forward David Estrada only made five appearances for Seattle before this season and Saturday he chose a perfect way to display himself in his first MLS start. Estrada became a hero Saturday night in Seattle, but will he be able to be a consistent sidekick along Montero for the lengthy 2012 season?

Chivas 0 Vancouver 1: Chivas USA fell once again in a saddening defeat at home versus Vancouver Whitecaps. Without Juan Pablo Angel, Chivas was still able to get quality chances, such as an upper ninety strike from Casey Townsend that was barley saved by veteran keeper Joe Cannon. Vancouver took their opportunity in the 68th minute with a header by Captain Jay DeMerit as Chivas once again will have to relish on missed opportunities and another slash in the loss column.

Philadelphia 1 Colorado 2: Another disappointing result for the home side Union,  who were unable to defeat a 10-man and less athletic Colorado squad Sunday afternoon on the NBC Sports Network. Philadelphia’s youth and inexperience shown brightly as Colorado was able to score the go-ahead winner just four minutes after going down a man. Philly was able to bring the deficit down with a goal from Lionard Pajoy, but weren’t even able to scrounge a draw at home. In threatening circumstances Colorado came away with three impressive points, while Philadelphia left with nothing on a blown chance at home.

It was a belated St. Patrick's Day gift as Irishman Robbie Keane celebrates his second goal of the day.

LA 3 DC 1: Two historic MLS franchises battled Sunday evening in the Galaxy’s first official MLS regular season home game. After a tough exit in the Champions League to the underdog Toronto FC, the Galaxy now will look to defend their title in 2012. They opened their MLS campaign with a exciting victory, with two goals from Irish forward Robbie Keane, just a day short of St. Patrick’s Day. Galaxy shutdown Dwayne De Rosario and the United attack, all the while having chances galore with the first goal coming from a header by Keane in the 45th. It was a victory we are used to seeing by the Galaxy, with a furry of offense and solid defense controlling the pace of the game. After an early mishap it seems the Galaxy have returned to their championship form.

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