Connect with us

Brotherly Game

Eastern Conference provides great thrills on MLS Opening Day



What an opening day of MLS action! If there ever was a day of play to show a friend the league in an attempt to convert them to MLS fandom, especially the soccer fans you know who will only watch European play, this was it. There was a high quality of play throughout the first slate, with a ton of the frenetic finishes that we love about this league. Two games with 90+ minute winners on the same day, you can’t ask for any more than that!

This has been a prevailing thought on social media all day, and I’ll be the next to say it. Today felt different. Maybe it’s because of the exciting offseason that we just had, with both a World Cup and Apple deal to stoke interest in the beautiful game in America, but today felt like it really mattered. There was a fantastic energy to be found right off the bat in a packed GEODIS Park, and that atmosphere just carried throughout the day. You can see it reflected on the players too in how they played.

It was an extremely fun first weekend of MLS play for the Eastern Conference, and hopefully that just continues throughout the season. Here is a look at how it all played out in the East on Saturday.

Nashville SC Makes a Statement in Their Eastern Conference Return

This was the perfect game to have to kick off the season as mentioned earlier, and it appears that Nashville will be a big time threat in the Eastern Conference. They pressured New York City FC from the start in this one, clearly looking like the better squad even with C.J. Sapong and reigning MVP Hany Mukhtar out of the starting 11. They are a very dangerous squad with high quality players all over the pitch.

As for New York City FC, they have to figure some things out fast. They looked like a team that lost their top players over the offseason and failed to replace them. Please get a true number nine so Talles Magno can star on the wing!

Big Second Half Propels Philadelphia Ahead of Columbus

This was truly a game of two halves for the Union. They were lucky to head into halftime level at 1-1 after a Daniel Gazdag penalty, because the Columbus Crew really swarmed them early. The Union made the correct adjustments and pounced on their opponents in the second half. They locked in, fought and clawed for possession in the midfield, and earned the 4-1 victory. Expect another big year from both Gazdag and Julian Carranza, both with braces in this victory. The preseason hype definitely looked warranted for Philly here.

D.C. United Defeats Toronto FC in a Very MLS-Fashioned Finish

This right here is the type of game that can make you fall in love with the league. No lead is truly safe in the MLS, and until there is a final whistle, no team should ever be counted out. It felt like it was going to be a great come-from-behind story for Toronto FC here after Mark-Anthony Kaye’s go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute. D.C. thought differently though.

How does TWO goals in added time sound to you? Unless you are a Toronto FC supporter, or someone with The Reds on your bet-slip (guilty), that has to sound pretty dang good! Christian Benteke, yes the same Benteke who was probably on your Fifa 15 Ultimate Team, brought Wayne Rooney’s squad level in the 90th minute. Ted Ku-Dipietro then provided the game winner in the 98th minute, his first career MLS goal. What a win for a D.C. United squad looking to shake off recent years of mediocrity.

New England Snatch Last Minute Victory Over Charlotte FC

What’s that? You wanted another late game winner? Henry Kessler has you covered. In front of a packed crowd at the Bank of America Stadium, the New England Revolution were able to squeak out a 1-0 victory. Don’t let the lack of scoring fool you, this was an extremely close and compelling game. Both sides were neck and neck with each other for 88 minutes until Henry Kessler broke the deadlock for the visitors.

Thiago Almada Puts on Super Hero Cape in 90th Minute for Atlanta United

WHAT’S THAT?! YOU WANT ANOTHER LATE MINUTE WINNER?! Just look at the insanity that was the 7:30 window, as described by the MLS’ Tom Bogert.

The young Argentine Almada clearly looks like he’s taken that next step this year, ready to become Atlanta’s next superstar. Not only did he tie it up in the 93rd minute, he hit a walk-off free kick in the 98th minute to rescue three points for Atlanta. The biggest thing that may prevent Almada from being one of the front runners for MLS MVP is a potential summer move.

FC Cincinnati Sees Out 2-1 Victory Over Houston

It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest victory for FC Cincinnati, nor their best performance, but three points is three points. Houston largely outplayed the hosts in this one, but Cincinnati finished the night ahead on the scoresheet thanks to Sergio Santos and Obinna Nwobodo. Being able to see out this victory despite maybe not playing up to their full potential can definitely be cause for some excitement about Cincinnati for this season.

Facundo Torres Provides Winner for Orlando City SC Over New York Red Bulls

Who else? Facundo Torres is quickly cementing himself as a club legend for Orlando City, despite his 22 year-old status. The Uruguayan was the star-man for the Lions last year with a team-leading 13 goals. Torres already placed his name on the scoresheet early on in the season, converting a penalty in the 56th minute. Give a large amount of credit for the victory to goalkeeper Pedro Gallese as well, Gallese stood on his head and made multiple big saves to preserve the clean sheet.

Two Debut Goals Earn Inter Miami Three Points Over Montreal

Inter Miami are a team that a lot of people are excited for, and their 2-0 victory over Montreal shows why. While all the headlines were around former Atlanta star Josef Martinez, it was actually two other offseason acquisitions who provided the difference in this one. Ukrainian center back Serhiy Kryvtsov and homegrown player Shanyder Borgelin scored in their Inter Miami debuts, Kryvtsov keeping a clean sheet on the back line.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

Be the First to Know When Philadelphia Soccer News Happens!

Sign-up now to get all of our stories sent directly to your inbox, as soon as they're published.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.