The second round of matches in the new season of MLS captured many people’s imagination.
We start at Toyota Park where Chicago Fire took on Real Salt Lake in front of 13,024 fans. Chicago took the lead on 11 minutes, Nemanja Nikolic ran through with some suspicion of offside to slot the ball home. Nikolic was signed as a designated player for the Fire this season.
Four minutes later the Fire scored again, this time Arturo Alvarez with the shot which took a wicked deflection, sending Salt Lake keeper Rimando in the opposite direction.
The Fire managed to hold out in the second half to record their first win of the season 2-0, after their 1-1 draw on the opening game of the season against Columbus Crew.
Salt Lake however have some improvement to make, especially in front of goal. Their opening match finished scoreless against Toronto FC.
New York Red Bulls faced Colorado Rapids at the Red Bull Arena. Bradley Wright-Phillips almost opened the scoring but Tim Howard pulled off a good save. Howard was making his debut for the Rapids after missing most of preseason recovering from surgery.
The deadlock was finally broken on the stroke of half-time as Eric Miller tucked in a cross passed ex-Everton keeper Howard.
The Red Bulls managed to keep things tight in the second half securing a 1-0 win. They have now won their first two matches after beaten Atlanta United 2-1 away. For the Rapids, it was a disappointing result having won their first match 1-0 against New England Revolution.
Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Talen Energy Stadium. Jay Simpson opened the scoring with a header to put the Union 1-0 up after 11 minutes. Alejandro Bedoya then had an excellent chance to put the Union further ahead from a penalty, but smashed the spot kick against the bar.
Toronto were awarded their own penalty on the stroke of half time, Jozy Altidore slotting the ball home to level the scores at the break. Altidore had been pulled down in the area, giving the referee no choice.
The Canadian based team took the lead in the 71st minute. Michael Bradley crossed in a deep free kick which Justin Morrow chested down and fired into the net. But the lead was short lived, as two minutes later a delightful dribble from Fabian Herbes set up CJ Sapong, to take the ball around the keeper and score. The match finished 2-2. Both teams drew their first match 0-0. The Union had played Vancouver and Toronto played Salt Lake.
Another entertaining match saw Montreal Impact take on Seattle Sounders. The game did not start well for Seattle as they found themselves 1-0 down after 17 minutes, Matteo Mancosu opening the scoring. Impact then went further ahead in the second half with a long shot from Ignacio Piatti. The Sounders were staring another defeat in the face after losing game one 2-1 to Houston. However, Oniel Fisher was brought down in the box giving Seattle a penalty. Nicolas Lodeiro scored the resulting spot kick with 8 minutes left to play.
Finally, in the dying seconds of the match, a cross from the right hand side caused panic in the Impact defence, leaving Will Bruin to hit home from close range to send the Seattle fans into raptures, as The Sounders drew level to finish the match 2-2.
Houston Dynamo had a comfortable result against Columbus Crew as they ran out 3-1 winners. The Dynamo started brightly, opening the scoring after two minutes, Romell Quioto latching on to a stray pass to score. The second goal came from a corner by Alex which was volleyed in by Alberth Elis. The Dynamo scored number three on 65 minutes. Erick Torres scoring a delightful curling shot into the top corner. Columbus Crew scored a consolation on 93 on the stroke of full time, with the goal coming from Ola Kamara.
A second win for Houston after their impressive 2-1 win in match one against Seattle. Columbus Crew are still without a win following their 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire in their first match.
Sporting Kansas City played out their second goalless draw this time against FC Dallas. Their first match was against DC United.
FC Dallas were excellent defensively and although Dom Dwyer, Jimmy Medranda and debutant Latif Blessing came close, FC Dallas held firm. Dallas brought on Kellyn Acosta at half time to strengthen the midfield which proved effective as they managed to hold on and frustrate the host in front of 19,117 fans. That was the 88th straight full house for the club.
FC Dallas won their first game away 2-1 to LA Galaxy.
San Jose Earthquakes continued their good start to the season with a second win against Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2.
The Whitecaps started well scoring in the 2nd minute to go 1-0 up. Erik Hurtado scoring on the volley after a mix up in the Quakes defence. Things went from bad to worse for the Quakes as 15 minutes later they were 2-0 down. Hurtado passing to Nicolas Mezquida, who finished well.
After being in the driving seat, Whitecaps keeper David Ousted charged out of his box to close down Chris Wondolowski who had broken clear. Ousted got nowhere near the ball and brought down the striker. The referee had little choice but to show the red card with only 23 minutes gone.
With Vancouver forced to make a change they reverted to a more defensive formation. But the red card would cost them dear. On 31 minutes, following a corner, Wondolowski squeezed the ball in the goal. San Jose had hope.
10 minutes after the break right back Nick Lima popped up in the area to drill the ball last the goalkeeper. Suddenly there looked only one winner. With 12 minutes remaining Anibal Godoy scored from outside the area, curling a shot over the keeper and into the net.
After such a good start from Vancouver they ended up on the losing side. The Quakes fans going home happy. San Jose had beaten Montreal 1-0 in game one, while Vancouver drew with Philadelphia.
New York City FC ran out 4-0 winners at home to DC United at the Yankee Stadium. NYC completely dominated the match and Rodney Wallace opened the scoring after he turned in a shot from Jack Harrison, that had hit the bar. Then on 23 minutes David Villa looping header dropped into the net after some good work by Wallace again, crossing from the by-line.
With City dominant, a third goal was inevitable and Maxi Moralez slotted home after being put through by Villa. City went into the break 3-0 up. DC United tried to come back into the game in the second half, but despite chances could not find a way past Sean Johnson in the City goal.
Villa wrapped up the points on 75 minutes as he curled his shot around the keeper from a difficult angle. NYC needed the win after losing 1-0 to Orlando in game one. DC United drew 0-0 with Kansas in their first match.
After Minnesota had been beaten 5-1 on the opening day of the season against Portland Timbers, they were hoping for a better performance when they faced Atlanta United. Atlanta had lost their first game in the narrow loss to New York Red Bulls.
The match was played in difficult conditions on a snow covered pitch but it was Atlanta who were smiling at full time as they racked up the goals in a 6-1 win.
It was hugely disappointing for majority of the 35,043 supporters who turned up to see Minnesota play their first ever game in the MLS. They were 3-0 down in 27 minutes, with goals from Josef Martinez who scored two on 3 and 27 minutes, and Miguel Almiron getting his goal in between, after a great ball from Gressel. Then with 30 minutes gone the home crowd had something to cheer about in the freezing conditions, as Kevin Molino scored a penalty to make it 3-1. But it was short lived.
Almiron got his second on 52 minutes a fantastic volley from 20 yards and Martinez completed his hat trick scoring well on 75 minutes after outpacing three defenders and rounding the keeper.
As the weather worsened and the Minnesota supporters wished for the final whistle, Atlanta delivered the final nail in the coffin, as substitute Jacob Peterson scored making it 6-1.
LA Galaxy were again disappointing in their home game versus Portland Timbers. Portland started well with Diego Chara finishing a superb counter attack after Diego Valero unselfish pass.
The Galaxy’s task was made harder after Jelle Van Damme was sent off after two bookable offenses. Portland managed to hold on to record their second win after their match day one hammering against Minnesota. The Galaxy however need to turn things around having lost their first match 2-1 at home to FC Dallas.