Whitecaps’ Alphonso Davies has big opening day
This past weekend, 17-year-old Alphonso Davies made a massive impact in Vancouver’s Home Opener against Montreal Impact. Davies had his hand in both of Vancouver’s goals as the Whitecaps defeated Montreal Impact on Saturday 2-1. In the 63rd minute, Davies sent in a beautiful ball to Kei Kamara who headed it in past the keeper to put the Whitecaps on the board. Just seven minutes later Davies polished off a teasing driven ball from Cristian Techera to put the Caps up by two. It was quite the season opener for Davies, as many expect him to have a breakout year this season.
The Crew come up big North of the Border
Columbus Crew made waves in the MLS community on Saturday as they went into BMO field and defeated reigning MLS Cup champion Toronto FC. Columbus began the scoring in the 44th minute, as Federico Higuain hammered home an excellent cross from Milton Valenzuela, to put the Crew up by one. The Crew continued the scoring right out of the second half as this time it was new forward Gyasi Zardes getting in on the action. Zardes one-timed a wonderful through ball by winger Pedro Santos in the 46th minute to put the Crew up by two. Despite several close chances by Toronto, the Crew were able to hang on and grab a big three points on the road.
A win for the New Kids on the Block
This past Sunday was a significant day for expansion side LAFC. Not only was it the club’s first game ever, but it was the club’s first win as well. LAFC upset defending Western Conference Champion Seattle Sounders in a hard fought 1-0 contest. It was the two Designated Players who linked up for LAFC early in the first half to make it 1-0. In the 11th minute midfielder Carlos Vela played a teasing ball just outside of the box to forward Diego Rossi who curled a one-timer into the back of the net. Defender Laurent Ciman and former Sounders’ keeper Tyler Miller kept up their already stellar play for LAFC, as they were vital in keeping the 1-0 lead. The win marks head coach Bob Bradley’s second season-opening win with an expansion club, as he won with Chicago Fire in 1998. LAFC looks to continue their winning ways Saturday, as they travel to the RIOT to play Real Salt Lake.
Houston Keeps Hustling
Houston Dynamo continued their 2017 form that saw them make a Western Conference Finals appearance. The Dynamo put up an impressive four goals against Atlanta United and cruised to a home victory. Former Union man Andrew Wenger poked in a pass right in front of the net in the 5th minute to give Houston the early lead. Then, the Dynamo continued to pile on as goals were given up to Philippe Senderos in the 23rd minute and Mauro Manotas in the 27th minute. Dynamo midfielder Darwin Ceren continued the route in the fifth minute of stoppage time in the first half, as he struck home a tipped ball by Brad Guzan. Atlanta will look to bounce back this coming Sunday as they return home to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to host D.C. United.
This past opening weekend in MLS was historic for many reasons. One of those reasons was the increase in Homegrown players being featured in games this weekend. A whopping 21 Homegrown players played as they allotted 1,141 minutes in Week one. Among the 21 players who played, two Homegrown players scored this past weekend, as Philadelphia Union midfielder Anthony Fontana and Vancouver’s Davies both found the back of the net. Sounders’ midfielder Handwalla Bwana was dangerous on the attack yesterday despite scoring, and Earthquake youngsters Tommy Thompson and Nick Lima both got action in a big win for San Jose. 2018 will be the year of the Homegrowns in MLS, as many of these Homegrown players will look to make big impacts for their clubs.