I have come to the conclusion that I just like different types of goals than anybody else. Fanendo Adi got nominated for goal of the week for his second goal, but his first goal was both cheeky and brilliant and was my favorite of the opening week in MLS action:
Oh, and that's just Nagbe being Nagbe shuttling the ball from end-to-end like a champ.
The Portland 'Happy Little Trees' Bob Ross tifo game was strong, but the real story for me in this game was how David Guzman was acquired from Saprissa, walked into the first team and completely bossed the midfield for the entire first half of his first MLS game. Portland likely has the best defensive midfield pairing in the league between Diego Chara and Guzman playing side-by-side. That should take them pretty far. Meanwhile, their other new Argentinian designated player Sebastian Blanco did nothing and looked equally disappointing as the Argentinian DP he replaced in Lucas Melano. I know it is early, but I'd rather see Asprilla play.
Expansion Atlanta United looked decent enough. Bobby Dodd (Georgia Tech) stadium looked like a fantastic venue for soccer. I'm surprised they don't just do that. They were the 4th highest attended soccer game in the world that weekend with 55,000 but it sure seemed pretty quiet on TV. Red Bulls looked out of sorts for most of the game, but did a professional job closing out the game with a win on the road late. For whatever reason, Jesse Marsch has switched from his 4231 with Kljestan at #10 to a 442 with Kljestan further up the field at striker. I didn't like it. Daniel Royer looked like the best player on the field.
Chicago earned a hard-won draw on the road at Columbus. They looked pretty bland except for David Accam. Columbus looked pretty as usual, but their defense let them down yet again. Central defenders may once again become the hardest commodity to find in the MLS.
San Jose was a pleasant surprise. They looked really solid playing a deep sitting 442 counter as the home team. Anibal Godoy looked brilliant playing the Nagbe shuttling role, but he has more of a killer instinct than Nagbe.
Colorado has mastered the art of the 1-0 win. New England looked poor. Like Red Bulls, they also switched from their successful 4231 with Nguyen as #10 to a 442 with Nguyen further forward at striker. I must have missed this tactical memo, but the new partnerships didn't seem to work for either team. #10 instincts like Nguyen and Kljestan are not the same as the instincts of Dempsey or Wondo as a second striker.
Dallas pulled off a road win in LA. Kellyn Acosta seems to be progressing nicley and has USMNT potential. According the the Audi player index, LA was the better team, but I didn't think they looked good at all. The young Joao Pedro looks intriguing. He clearly wanted to boss the midfield while in the vicinity of Jermaine Jones, so he has some confidence and determination. Of course the bigger story is news that the Galaxy have made another offer for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to join in the summer after his contract at Manchester United expires. He is 35 with 15 Premier League goals this year. Would any other big team pay big money for a 1 year contract on a 35 year-old striker?
Also of note from FC Dallas, they announced a plan to disperse 1% of their retained transfer revenue from player sales among season ticket holders. They sent out the first checks and published the details for the recent sale of Fabian Castillo. The league kept 33% so the 67% of the transfer sum retained by the club was $2.8M. 1% of the retained amount, $28,000 was divided up among all current season ticket holders (about $3 each). It is a small amount, but an interesting idea to consider season ticket holders as shareholders. FC Dallas has an excellent academy system with 17 current MLS players and 28 graduates with youth international experience. Those $3 checks might start to add up someday.
Orlando opened their new stadium with a win over NYCFC. The legend of Cyle Larin continues to grow to the point where it is not inconceivable that Canada could qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. The most talked about moment of the match was this fan chant appropriation of Ludacris that I hadn't encountered before: