Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MLS Week 1 Recap

The 2012 MLS season is upon us. Sixteen of the league's nineteen MLS clubs, including the expansion Montreal Impact, were in action between Saturday and Monday with everyone but the Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire and Toronto FC taking the field. Here's a rundown of the 8 games:

Colorado 2 Columbus 0 - Former UC-Davis Aggie Quincy Amarikwa scored an absolutely brilliant goal in the 89th minute to seal Colorado's 2-0 win in their season opener over the Columbus Crew. Kosuke Kimura assisted on both Colorado goals and Matt Pickens made three saves to preserve the shutout. Columbus Crew and U.S. U-23 midfielder Dilly Duka left the match with a hamstring injury early in the first half, but an MRI showed no significant damage so he's only expected to miss a couple weeks.

Vancouver 2 Montreal 0 - The Montreal Impact have arrived, but probably not in the fashion they had hoped. Newly acquired Sebastien Le Toux scored just minutes into the match for the Whitecaps and Brazilian Camilo used some brilliant footwork to net an insurance goal as Vancouver defeated their new Canadian rivals 2-0. Andrew Wenger, the first overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, made his MLS debut for the Impact as a substitute coming into the match in the 73rd minute for striker Justin Braun.

Kansas City 1 DC United 0 - Reigning MLS Rookie of the Year C.J. Sapong (you may remember him from his Hope Solo rap) scored in the 3rd minute of stoppage time to give Sporting KC a hard fought 1-0 win over DC United. U.S. National Team keeper Bill Hamid made 7 saves in the match for DC, but Graham Zusi picked out C.J. Sapong on a corner for the game winner.

Real Salt Lake 3 Los Angeles 1 - Edson Buddle's return to the Galaxy lineup appeared to be a memorable one when he headed in the first goal of the match with under 20 minutes to play, but that train was quickly derailed when Real Salt Lake scored 3 unanswered goals to win it. Sean Franklin deflected in an own goal for the equalizer and Javier Morales delivered the game winner from close range for Real.

San Jose 1 New England 0 - 29 year old Chris Wondolowski continues to shred MLS defenses. After scoring 18 goals in 2010 and 16 more in 2011 Wondo got off to a terrific start in 2012 with a first half game winner against the New England Revolution. Newly acquired Shea Salinas sprung Wondo on a through ball that put him 1 on 1 with Revs keeper Matt Reis and Reis had no chance as San Jose opened the season with a win at home.

Dallas 2 New York 1 - The Dallas defense kept Thierry Henry and Juan Agudelo off the scoreboard and even chimed in with a goal of their own as Dallas opened the 2012 season with a win. Panamanian striker Blas Pérez turned in a memorable MLS debut with 2 assists as he set up U.S. National Team defender Zach Loyd and Brazilian Ricardo Villar in the win. Kenny Cooper came on as a substitute for the Red Bulls and got on the end of an Henry through ball and chipped Kevin Hartman for New York's only goal.

Houston 1 Chivas USA 0 - 25 year old Canadian defender André Hainault broke a scoreless draw in stoppage time when a loose ball in the box found his foot late in the match and he was able to beat keeper Dan Kennedy for the game winner. Kennedy, to that point, had been sensational making 8 saves in what would be a losing effort.

Portland 3 Philadelphia 1 - Scottish Premier League all-time leading scorer Kris Boyd scored in his MLS debut and Jack Jewsbury added two assists as the Portland Timbers opened the 2012 season with a big 3-1 come-from-behind win at home over the Philadelphia Union. Boyd scored 164 goals in Scotland with Rangers and Kilmarnock over 11 seasons.

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