Major League Soccer is back. I'm excited, you're excited and everyone who likes watching people try to hit a ball in a net with their feet and heads is excited.
I was so excited, I watched a whole bunch of games Saturday for you in case you missed the action.
Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City (1-0)
The defending MLS Cup champions kicked off the 2014 MLS season in Seattle. Because the game was played in Seattle, it was wet. But the first game of the year featured everything we love about both of these clubs. Aurelien Collin was in a perpetual state of anger/confusion/pain, Deandre Yedlin had insane hair and Benny Feilhaber fouled most things that moved.
It didn't take long for controversy to arise with the replacement refs. Less than 20 minutes in, CJ Sapong tried to give Kenny Cooper a hug around his leg, which while a nice gesture, is a strange place to hug someone. It's also not advisable to try and hug someone in the box during a soccer game. Nonetheless, it wasn't called and people booed.
As far as soccer goes, Sporting Kansas City looked to be the better team for the first half. Seattle upped its game in the second half. Lamar Neagle had a nice game throughout, but it was Clint Dempsey who came on in the second half and got all European over everyone. He had a delicious combo play with Sean Okoli that led to Dempsey putting a header off the crossbar in extra time.
Stupid Chad Barrett came in and cleaned up the rebound for the most Chad Barretty goal of all time to give Seattle the 1-0 win. Fun fact: All three subs combined to make the lone goal happen.
DC United vs Columbus Crew (0-3)
So this game ruined all the good feelings I had about opening day. I have a hard time saying nice things about Columbus, but I will just try to say the first goal with the long one-touch passes was well executed I guess. Arrieta finished off a nice string of play between Giancarlo Gonzalez and Hector Jimenez and a great pass from Josh Williams, but no one came here to read about the Crew doing anything well.
United's midfield was just awful. It's nice they paid Eddie Johnson $600,0000 (because that's a smart idea), but they could pay Cristiano Ronaldo $1 billion and it wouldn't matter if the midfield plays like that. It's only the first game and the future is probably brighter than the black hole of despair that was United's attack Saturday. Parkhurst and Gonzalez brought their A-game to stifle any thought of offense throughout the game.
Too bad no one in Columbus saw it, BWAHAHAHA!
Vancouver Whitecaps vs New York Red Bulls (4-1)
I kind of feel bad for Luis Robles. The poor guy must look at Armando and Richard Eckersley in front of him and wonder what he did to deserve this fate. It was Eckersley's turn to disappoint, committing a hand ball violation in the box with his toothpick thin frame. Kenny Miller was free to shoot the soccer ball at Luis Robles unchallenged and he netted it. No Thierry Henry made the Red Bulls a less intimidating side to be sure.
Whitecaps always look up to the task at home and play inspired in front of their supporters. Darren Mattocks and Lloyd Sam were a whole bundle of fun to watch in this game.
Houston Dynamo vs New England Revolution (4-0)
Will Bruin is on my fantasy team! He was sensational in this game, clearly earning all sorts of player of the week awards from all sorts of places. His two goals were not easy nor without hard work, netting a blast that required tremendous balance in his first mark and following it with a beautiful sliding finish off a great cross from Corey Ashe on the second. To make it more impressive, he did it in the first 15 minutes.
TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE, he danced around with the ball at the top of the box and delivered a great pass to Boniek Garcia for an assist to put the Dynamo up 3-0. Hanging three goals on the vaunted New England defense is impressive. Doing it one half is even better. Having it all flow through one man is just silly. Knee-jerk reaction: Will Bruin for president of everything.
FC Dallas vs Montreal Impact (3-2)
When the Montreal Impact took a 1-0 lead, I was positive Frank Klopas would never lose a game again. Considering the first goal was set up by former Fire man Justin Mapp, I was sure this whole Montreal thing was one big trolling device for Fire fans. But then the Impact started playing as we all expected and reminded us why we are happy we have the other Frank leading our team. Defensive errors led to a failed clearance, a penalty shot and a free kick from right outside the box.
There was nothing too special about the goals Dallas FC put up and the squad was not as high powered as I expected it to be out of the gate. Oscar Pareja is a great coach though and I am sure we'll see improvements throughout the year.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake (0-1)
A game the Galaxy dominated in many ways but a game Real Salt Lake won. The refs stood out a bit in this one for me. Real Salt Lake should have been on the board with a Luke Mulholland goal but it was waved off for unknown reasons. Apparently all 5' 3" of Joao Plata made devastating contact in the penalty box that led to the goal being discounted. But Plata gained revenge and netted a nice pass from Kyle Beckerman just minutes later.
The refs then went on to make the worst call of the day, giving LA a penalty kick in extra time after Rob Friend did the Canadian Superman and somehow drew a call. Rimando then told Robbie Keane to politely go away when he stonewalled his penalty attempt. It was awesome.
Stefan Ishizaki was super aggressive for LA when he came on. I enjoyed it.
Portland Timbers vs Philadelphia Union (1-1)
I don't know much about the man, but it is clear Gaston Fernandez is a murderer of dreams. Philadelphia was poised to pull off the biggest upset of the day when Fernandez decided he preferred if that didn't happen and scored an equalizer in extra time. It's a shame too because Philadelphia was going to beat the super-duper hyped Timbers by Jack McInerny just sort of standing around in front of the goal and accidentally having a corner kick glance off his forehead. Our good friend Austin Berry had a nice game for Philly as well.
Max Urruti is a dangerous dude.