Expansion San Diego Loyal was held to
a 1-1 tie by the Las Vegas Lights in its first USL Championship game before a sellout crowd of 6,100 fans at Torero Stadium.
Junior Burgos stunned the San Diego crowd with a goal from 35 yards for the Lights, but Englishman Charlie Adams evened the score for the Loyal.
The Miami FC, the other first-year USL Championship team, fell at Saint Louis FC, 4-1. Russell Cicerone scored a pair of goals for Saint Louis SC, which also got goals from Kyle Greig and Tyler Blackwood.
A day after celebrating his 41st birthday, Tim Howard endured an inauspicious debut in goal for Memphis 901 FC, which fell to Indy Eleven, 4-2, before 8,571 fans at AutoZone Park. Memphis led 2-0 after just 16 minutes but could not hold on against Indy Eleven, which got two goals and an assist from Tyler Pasher in the second half.
Top scorer. Azerbaijan international Rufat Dadashov, who played his entire career in Germany, scored a hat trick in his USL debut to lead the Phoenix Rising to a 6-2 win in front of a sellout crowd of 6,585 fans at Casino Arizona Field.
Top crowd. The weekend's top crowd was in Sacramento, where 11,569 fans watched Republic FC tie Tulsa FC, 1-1.
USL Championship, Week 1 Results:
Friday, March 6
Orange County SC 0 El Paso 0
Tacoma 1 Reno 1868 3
Saturday, March 7
North Carolina FC 0 Louisville City 1
NY Red Bulls II 0 Tampa Bay 1
Memphis 901 4 Indy Eleven 4
Philadelphia Union II 0 Loudoun United 0
OKC Energy FC 1 Colorado Springs 2
Saint Louis FC 4 Miami FC 1
Austin 1 New Mexico United 0
San Antonio FC 1 Real Monarchs 0
Phoenix 6 Timbers 2 1
San Diego 1 Las Vegas 1
Sac Republic FC 1 FC Tulsa 1
Sunday, March 8
Atlanta United 2 0 Charleston 1
Sporting Kansas City II 1 Charlotte 2
Rio Grande Valley FC 1 LA Galaxy II 5