Happy Sunday, Mane Landers and welcome back to the MLS regular season! Let’s skip the formalities and hop right in. We’ve got a lot of stuff to wade through today.
Orlando City and Real Salt Lake Share Points
In (my opinion) a rather uninspiring home opener against Real Salt Lake, the Lions failed to take advantage of numerous opportunities and drew with the Utah-based club, 0-0. There were some positives. Ruan’s pace was on full display as usual, Chris Mueller did well to create a few chances (though he failed to finish those created for him, too), and Pedro Gallese didn’t concede a goal. But boy, there were some obvious negatives — no goals scored by the boys in purple, Exploria Stadium didn’t fill in until after kickoff, and the lack of teeth in the middle of the park and the attacking third was painfully obvious. It’s only the first match of the season, and patience should be stressed, but this one was a rough watch in my eyes. Hopefully the Lions come home from Colorado next week with the full three points in hand.
Check out Dave Rohe’s five takeaways, Scott Carnevale’s player grades, and Carlos Romero’s photo gallery later today.
Other Results from Around the League
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the opening weekend of the 25th MLS season, Colorado beat D.C. United (2-1), the Montreal Impact gave Thierry Henry his first win as at the helm as they beat the New England Revolution (2-1), the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo drew (1-1), Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes drew (2-2), FC Dallas beat the Philadelphia Union (2-0), and Atlanta United beat Nashville SC (2-1).
Today’s slate of matches includes Columbus hosting New York City FC, the Red Bulls hosting FC Cincinnati, the Chicago Fire travel to play the Seattle Sounders, Inter Miami plays Los Angeles FC in LA, and Portland hosts Minnesota United.
MLS Supporters: Week 1 Tifos
The Lions may have only taken a point from their season opener, but man, the Wall did a great job with their Wolf of Wall Street tifo. The same could be said of FC Dallas and their Baby Yoda/Mandalorian tifo, which also featured the MLS Cup. Elsewhere, as previously highlighted, in CCL, LAFC debuted a tifo of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi — a touching tribute to the California legend. I expect nothing less from MLS supporters, who, over the last few years, have shown just how much they care about the clubs they support. Major props, folks. Major props. No pun intended.
Chicharito Lukewarm in LA Debut
I mean, I have to be honest; I fully expected this one, and while I also expect Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to find the back of the net a few times this season, I also fully expect this to be more normal than abnormal. The El Tri star was frustrated throughout his first match with his new club, playing in front of a sold out crowd in Houston, and failed to make much of an impact on the match. He attempted two unsuccessful dribbles, didn’t register a shot on target, and was visibly upset throughout his first match. Keep an eye on this. You know, with the way the league has been covering this story, you won’t have an option. It seems to be all they care about.
Tarde frustrante para @CH14_ y el @LAGalaxy .— herculez gomez (@herculezg) February 29, 2020
Poco servicio para el Mexicano, pero el equipo mostró mejor desempeño defensivo que el torneo anterior.
Eso dicho, punto como visitante. #LAGalaxy pic.twitter.com/o283IIG2Lu
- Orlando City B took on UCF in some friendly action yesterday, with both sides walking away with two goals and invaluable experience.
- The Orlando SeaWolves return to action to take on the Turlock Cal Express today in Silver Spurs Arena. Maybe the SeaWolves will find their second win on the season (1-15)? Yikes.
- LAFC is set to become the most valuable club in MLS after just three seasons. Impressive and depressing, depending on your perspective.
- D.C. United may have found their cheap Wayne Rooney replacement, as they’ve officially announced the signing of Estonian forward Erik Sorga.
- Curious who scored the first goal of the 2020 MLS season? Look no further than D.C. United’s Russell Canouse, who managed to nod home a header from a corner kick. Why is this surprising? Canouse has scored only once in his previous 56 appearances for D.C. United.
- The New York Red Bulls have waived Rece Buckmaster, who once looked to be a promising young wingback for the club.
- Bayern Munich beat the brakes off of Hoffenheim yesterday, 6-0, but that didn’t stop both sides from participating in a bit of a protest of their own, as some Bayern supporters displayed a banner that attacked Hoffenheim’s owner, Dietmar Hopp. The match was temporarily suspended several times in the process.
Don't see this every day...— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 29, 2020
Bayern and Hoffenheim played keepy-uppy for the final 10 minutes in protest of the Bayern fans who interrupted the game with hateful banners directed at Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp pic.twitter.com/hOODJnWvqf
All right folks, that’s it from me today. I’ll be off playing a match in the Central Florida Soccer League. Our club won 3-0 last weekend, so hopefully we can build off of that momentum and find another win today. Have a great rest of your Sunday and an excellent week!