The good times continue for Los Angeles’ newest collection of heroes, last season’s wunderkinds rebound and woes in Cascadia in the second week of Major League Soccer (MLS) action.
LAFC followed up their debut – and debut win – in MLS with a 5-1 thrashing of Real Salt Lake, the first time the Utah club has conceded five goals at home in its history. Diego Rossi scored a brace to add to his goal from last week, with Benny Feilhaber and Carlos Vela pegging their first goals of the season. LAFC exploited the space between RSL’s two centre-backs and hammered the duo with their pace and quick ball movement.
The result led to a slightly surprising apology from RSL head coach Mike Petke to the team’s ownership and fans along with the admission that “in a lot of places in the world I’d be fired right now or I’d resign…it’s embarrassing.” Seems a bit of an overreaction to the first loss of the season, albeit to an expansion club.
“I apologize to the fans.” pic.twitter.com/3DKOE46j3w
— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) March 10, 2018
Tata Martino’s Atlanta United rebounded from their opening day thumping to beat DC United 3-1, debuting their first use of a 3-5-2 formation as well. Atlanta controlled possession and peppered David Ousted’s goal throughout the match. Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron led the charge for Atlanta, with both scoring and setting up each other’s strikes.
Over in Cascadia, a teenager grabbed the headlines as the Portland Timbers fell miserably to New York Red Bulls. Seventeen-year-old Ben Mines marked his debut with a goal, sliding in to get on the end of a cross after flicks from Derrick Etienne Jr. and Carlos Rivas. The second loss of the season has prompted some criticism for the new regime of Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese, who like Petke for RSL, called the match embarrassing. Probably not the best way to lift squad morale.
- Atlanta United’s home opener drew a crowd of 72,035 for the largest single-game crowd in MLS history. The staggering attendance breaks Atlanta’s previous record of 71,874
- Ben Mines signed a homegrown contract two months ago and marked his debut with a goal. Pretty good for a guy who can’t yet vote
- Columbus continued their quest for on-field good news with a last-gasp 3-2 win over the Montreal Impact
- Disappointing times for Minnesota United’s Kevin Molino who laced up to face his old team for the first time after spending six years in Orlando, only to go off with a season-ending injury in the 50th minute
- Ashley Cole showed none of the skill he had back with Arsenal and Chelsea, miscontrolling the ball and then fouling David Villa who had nipped in to steal it away. Cue second yellow card and an early bath for LA’s captain