The 2020 MLS season is just two weeks old, and we have already seen a few surprises. This week was no exception. In Chicharito’s LA Galaxy home debut, the Vancouver Whitecaps spoiled the party with a goal from Tosaint Ricketts in the 74th minute. Through two matches, the Galaxy have only a single point and are struggling to look like the Galaxy of old. Just down the road, Los Angeles FC, quite possibly the best team on the continent was held to a 3-3 draw by the Philadelphia Union in a match of the year candidate. Carlos Vela has continued his incredible play with two phenomenal goals in the first two weeks. In just a few seasons, Vela is a bonafide can’t miss player each week.
Staying out west, Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United have shown to be dominant clubs to start off the season, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 15-4. Both clubs have secured all six points from their two matches so far. The Loons knocked off the San Jose Quakes, 5-2, on the road with the help of two goals by Ike Opara. Sporting Kansas City did a number on the Houston Dynamo, with a 4-0 thrashing at Children’s Mercy Park. Former Liga MX scoring champ and new Sporting KC designated player Alan Pulido got Sporting rolling just 16 minutes into the match, and there was no stopping it. Coming into the season, the Western Conference looked to be the class of the league, and that has been what we have seen thus far. The third and final on maximum points out west, the Colorado Rapids, once again secured a victory with a goal in stoppage time. After a scoreless first 63 minutes, Younes Namli got things going for Colorado in the 64th minute until Chris Mueller drew Orlando level with eight minutes remaining. Last week, Colorado knocked off D.C. United late with a goal, and this week, it was Drew Moor who scored late to snag the victory for Colorado.
This season was supposed to be one with high expectations for the Columbus Crew, and so far, the Crew have lived up to those expectations. After a 1-0 victory over New York City FC in week 1, Columbus headed to the Pacific Northwest to face defending MLS Cup Champion Seattle Sounders in one of the premier matchups this past week. After crashing out of the Concacaf Champions League, the Sounders can now focus on a MLS Cup Championship repeat. Their quest to repeat was tested after Gyasi Zardes put the Crew ahead just 33 minutes in. The Sounders put on a lot of pressure but were unable to capitalize until Raul Ruidiaz leveled the match from the spot with 11 minutes remaining. Both sides can be relieved and frustrated with coming away with only a point.
It has been a tough go of it for the two expansion sides, Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF. Both clubs have yet to secure their first MLS point. Between the two sides, Nashville SC looks to be the more promising side at this point, after being in competitive matches against Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers. Nashville seemed to outplay the Timbers at points in the match, but if not for a Diego Valeri goal just 12 minutes in, Nashville would have secured their first point. The other expansion side, Inter Miami, was on a rollercoaster of emotions during its 2-1 loss to D.C. United. Rodolfo Pizarro scored Inter Miami’s first goal in club history just two minutes into the match, and Inter looked to heading for its first win. It wasn’t until a Roman Torres red card in the 54th minute where the wheels fell off for Inter. D.C. United scored two quick goals just two minutes apart through Yamil Asad and Frederic Brillant to sink the hopes of a victory for Inter Miami.
This is another big week for MLS sides in CCL play with the first leg of the quarterfinals set to start Tuesday. Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action this week.
Montreal Impact vs. Olimpia – 8 p.m. (FS1) (Concacaf Champions League)
New York City FC vs. Tigres – 8 p.m. (FS2) (Concacaf Champions League)
Club America vs. Atlanta United – 10:30 p.m. (FS2) (Concacaf Champions League)
Los Angeles FC vs. Cruz Azul – 10:30 p.m. (FS2) (Concacaf Champions League)
NYCFC vs. FC Dallas – 12:30 p.m.
Inter Miami vs. LA Galaxy – 3 p.m. (FOX)
Toronto FC vs. Nashville SC – 4 p.m.
Columbus Crew SC vs. Real Salt Lake – 5 p.m.
FC Cincinnati vs. D.C. United – 5:30 p.m.
Atlanta United vs. Sporting Kansas City – 7 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Rapids – 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. San Jose Quakes – 7:30 p.m.
Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire – 7:30 p.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. Seattle Sounders – 8:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Portland Timbers – 1:30 p.m.
Minnesota United vs. New York Red Bulls – 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we take a look at Saturday’s home opener for FC Cincinnati against D.C. United.