By Ridge Mahoney
Colorado won a season opener for the first time in its history, Chicago coach Dave Sarachan
got his first victory on opening day, Dallas tied its first
season opener on the road, and two matches ended goalless as the 12th MLS campaign kicked off. RAPIDS 2, D.C. UNITED 1.
Colorado christened Dick's Sporting Goods Park Saturday
in 27-degree weather and biting winds with a 2-1 defeat of D.C. United on goals by Herculez Gomez
and MLS debutant Roberto Brown
of Panama. Both goals were set up by Englishman
, who has a few months to pad his lead in assists over former Manchester United teammate David Beckham
. Cooke led MLS last year with 12 assists. Luciano Emilio
scored four goals for D.C. in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup during preseason, bagged his first in MLS regular-season competition on a feed from 19-year-old Kasali Yinka Casal
REAL SALT LAKE 2, FC DALLAS 2
Another of last year's stat leaders, top goalscorer Jeff Cunningham
(16), got off the mark quickly by scoring twice as neither team could hold a
one-goal lead. Kenny Cooper
gave Dallas a lead in the 19th minute, Cunningham equalized and then sent Real a goal up early in the second half. Carlos Ruiz
struck deep into stoppage
time for his 90th MLS goal (75 regular season, 15 playoffs), a milestone reached by only four other players. FC Dallas had never before opened a season on the road; not surprisingly, it is 6-3-3
in its opening games. COLUMBUS 0, NEW YORK RED BULLS 0.
There were no goals but a fair amount of action as the Crew and Red Bulls endured frigid conditions of 30 degrees.
Columbus broke through several times but was let down by mediocre finishing that allowed debuting RBNY keeper Ronald Wattereus
to save from Eddie Gaven
and Joseph Ngwenya
's powerful runs caused some problems for the Crew defense and he nearly scored with a close-range shot he drilled it low and hard, but Andy Gruenebaum
kicked it away.
"I don't think it was a 0-0 game that was a boring game," said Crew coach Sigi Schmid
. "I thought it was an exciting game." CHICAGO 1, NEW ENGLAND 0.
scored in the fourth minute and a few sparking saves by Matt Pickens
frustrated the Revs as Chicago handed Dave Sarachan
his first opening-day win as a head coach. Pause
stooped to meet a low Justin Mapp
cross and direct a header that deflected off James Riley
and bounced into the net off the inside of the post. In 96 previous MLS games, he hadn't
scored and had managed just four shots on goal. New England controlled much of the play but was denied by the crossbar and Pickens, who robbed Andy Dorman
with a spectacular stab of his
rising shot in the 58th minute. Pat Noonan
came on as a sub just 16 days after hernia surgery and almost immediately set up Dorman for a blistering shot that went just over the crossbar,
which earlier in the match Taylor Twellman
had hit after evading three defenders. CHIVAS USA 2, TORONTO FC 0.
Keeper Brad Guzan
denied the 2007 expansion team with
four excellent saves as Chivas USA coach Preki
gained a victory in his debut at the helm. Sacha Kljestan
and Maykel Galindo
set up Ante Razov
for the first goal and
Kljestan scored the second -- the first of his MLS career -- with a blistering low shot to give Preki a win over his former Kansas City teammate, Toronto coach Mo Johnston
. Razov is one
goal shy of becoming only the third MLS player to reach 100. (Quiz: Name the other two and how many goals they have. Hint: Both are active players. Answer below.)
Guzan repelled Paulo
(long-range blast), Alecko Eskandarian
(breakaway), and Edson Buddle
(twice -- header and follow-up of Nagamura's rebound). Those were the only four shots Toronto FC put
on target as Chivas USA outshot its opponent, 17-5. HOUSTON 0, LOS ANGELES 0.
The teams shared 22 shots equally and the defending champ Dynamo played the last 14 minutes down a man
following a red card to defender Ryan Cochrane
. Pat Onstad
saved smartly from Landon Donovan
and Nate Jaqua
. Galaxy keeper Joe Cannon
, facing a few former
teammates from his 2001 and 2002 seasons in San Jose, stopped Brad Davis
and Eddie Robinson
to keep his net clean. Cannon earned his 52nd career regular-season shutout (4th on the
all-time list), Onstad got his 33rd (7th). QUIZ ANSWER:
Jason Kreis (108 goals), Jaime Moreno (105).