LAFC did not pay for its blunder in the first half with the change from Carlos Vela as he defeated Austin FC 2-0 in the expansion squad’s debut in MLS on Saturday.
Early in the game, LAFC star Vela appeared to injure a knee while attempting to collect a throw from Corey Baird. The forward received treatments in the 22nd minute on the pitch and the coach immediately signaled for a change.
After the fact, Vela showed that he would have been ready to continue, but it was too late.
The California team put the blunder aside as Baird gave LAFC the lead in the 61st minute when his shot from outside the box deflected to end up behind goaltender Brad Stuver.
Jose Cifuentes secured all three points for his team in stoppage time as he rocked the ropes.
Victorious debut for Hernan Losada in Washington
Brendan Hines scored on his debut with his new club, and Russell Canouse added what turned out to be the winning goal, as DC United defeated New York City FC 2-1 at Audi Field.
United, who were certainly overlooked for this inaugural game of the 2021 season, managed to hand Hernan Losada all three points on his debut at the helm.
Valentin Castellanos scored early in the game for the NYCFC. The New York team lost their opener for the second year in a row.
The ‘Cityzens’ had the ball 62 percent of the time in this game, but that seemed to fit the bill for Losada, who emphasizes pressing and transitioning, much like the Red Bulls did. regularly face their neighbors.
Sporting is launching its campaign on the road
Kansas City Sporting started their season 2-1 on the road, coming from behind to gain the upper hand over the New York Red Bulls.
The Bulls took control just three minutes after the two teams returned from the locker room for halftime. A Sporting player tried to clear the ball from its area, but it found itself at the feet of Caden Clark. The 17-year-old didn’t miss his chance to find the back of the net.
The New York team had the lead only for 11 minutes as the official awarded a penalty after a hand from Andrew Gutman in the box. Gadi Kinda leveled the score with a shot in the upper left side from the penalty spot.
It only took a minute to see Daniel Salloi redirect a discount from Khiry Shelton for Sporting’s second goal of the game.
Atlanta and Orlando have no answer
Orlando City SC and Atlanta United had to settle for a 0-0 draw for their first game of the season.
Alexandro Pato, in his first game with Orlando, almost put his team in the driver’s seat by redirecting a Chris Mueller throw-in to the back of the goal in the 72nd minute. The intervention of Anton Walkes and goalkeeper Brad Guzan, however, kept the score intact.
Pato left the game eight minutes later with what appeared to be a right knee injury.
Josef Martinez was back for Atlanta after missing most of the last campaign with a ligament tear in his knee.
Atlanta hoped to save themselves with the 90th-minute stoppage win, but Franco Ibarra’s throw was stopped by Pedro Gallese.
Another home opener without defeat for Dallas
FC Dallas had not suffered the defeat in its home opener since 2009, and that of 2021 was not a game-changer for the Texan team.
Dallas and the Colorado Rapids played cautiously in a 0-0 draw to kick off the new season.
The first half was the job of both goalies, as Freddy Vargas and Jader Obrian tested William Yarbrough of the Rapids in the opening 10 minutes. On their return, the Rapids forced Jimmy Maurer to report; the latter had to make three saves in the space of six minutes in the first half.
Intensity kicked up a notch in the final 10 minutes of the second half, but on the final whistle neither club had managed to get the mark.
The Fire and the Revolution have quite a start
The Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution traded four goals in the first 30 minutes of the game and the score remained thereafter to leave a 2-2 draw at Soldier Field.
Robert Beric gave Boris Sekulic a goal on a silver plateau. Beric came back in the 11th minute as his pass caught up with Luka Stojanovic who had no difficulty pushing the ball into the back of the goal.
The Revolution returned to the game on a corner kick before the 15th minute of play. Adam Buksa’s header beat Bobby Shuttleworth. Gustavo Bou tied in the 27th minute taking advantage of the nonchalance in the camp of the Fire.
Cincinnati slows down
FC Cincinnati got off to a great start, but had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Nashville SC.
Cincinnati took a 2-0 lead in just 12 minutes of play thanks to Luciano Acosta and Brenner. The latter inherited a penalty after being mown in the area by goalkeeper Joe Willis.
Nashville did not give up as a beautiful game orchestrated by Anibal Godoy and Randall Leal set the table for Jhonder Cadiz. The latter thus scored the third goal of his career in MLS.
Leal beat the FC Cincinnati goaltender in the 64th minute with a nice curling shot.