The 2014 MLS Season has started and there were definitely some interesting results around the league. Chalk it up to opening weekend or maybe it is a sign of things to come this year?
Saturday kicked off with a mouth-watering matchup between defending champions Sporting Kansas City and the Seattle Sounders. Instead of wonderful soccer we got a match overly influenced by terrible weather and an MLS record number of fouls. Seattle stole it at the death though as Chad Barrett stabbed home the winner from close range in the 94th minute of play. Certainly a tough result for KC as they deserved something from the match.
The biggest shocker of the weekend has to be the Vancouver Whitecaps ripping up New York Red Bull 4-1. Truthfully it wasn't even that close. New York only scored in the closing minute to avoid the shutout. After hanging tight for thirty minutes, NYRB fell apart. Kenny Miller opened the Vancouver scoring from the penalty spot. Three more goals in the second half completed the rout and Vancouver had an eye opening victory.
FC Dallas showed their offense is the real deal as they defeated the Montreal Impact 3-2. Attackers Mauro Diaz, Blas Perez and Fabian Castillo ran wild all night long and FC Dallas certainly could have easily had more than the three goals they claimed. Unfortunately for Dallas fans, the defense looks shaky at best. Still they were good enough on the night to give new boss Oscar Peraja his first win at FCD.
The Houston Dynamo opened 2014 in a big way as they blasted the hapless New England Revolution 4-0 behind two goals and an assist from Will Bruin. The Dynamo jumped ahead in only 64 seconds and never looked back as the shell-shocked Revs never got their feet under them.
The LA Galaxy laid an egg in their home debut Saturday missing chance after chance and falling to Real Salt Lake 1-0. Robbie Keane had his injury time penalty kick saved by Nick Rimando. The Galaxy fired a whopping 27 shots on the night, but ended with absolutely nothing but a goose egg and a loss.
“Soccer's a cruel game sometimes,” noted Landon Donovan, who was stuffed one-on-one by Rimando near the end of the first half. “We get judged on results, so I think we can be happy with how we played, but at the end of the day, we have to score."
The Philadelphia Union earned an impressive tie on the road at the Portland Timbers. They were very unlucky to not have grabbed all three points too. Only an injury time Gaston Fernandez goal off a corner kick saved the Timbers from a very poor result to start the MLS season. New Union additions Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira and Cristian Maidana were particularly impressive for their new squad.
The Columbus Crew went into the nations capitol and blasted DC United 3-0. A revamped DC United backline were not up to the task as they had no answer for Frederico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta. On the other end DC only were able to manage a single shot on frame the entire evening. Not a good start to 2014.
Finally on Sunday Chivas USA hosted the Chicago Fire. Chivas has been not much more than a mess all winter with changes everywhere, while the Fire rolled through an impressive preseason. Out of nowhere, Chivas USA put on a brilliant display and aside from a five minute stretch where the Fire scored twice Chivas dominated play.
So the opening weekend is in the books with several surpising results. A look at the standings also shows a Western Conference dominance as five West sides won against only a single defeat to the East.