MLS Opening Weekend
This was one of the most exciting season opening weekends in the past few years for MLS. Two new expansion teams (Atlanta United and Minnesota United), David Villa, Kaka, Pirlo, and Giovinco, and the offseason acquisitions had begun to shake the tag of a "retirement league".
The two most exciting games of the weekend were: NYCFC vs. Orlando City and Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls.
Atlanta United had made all the right moves on paper. Signing young South American attacking talent, and experienced MLS defenders, everyone agreed that this franchise was making the right moves to be an instant hit in the league. Unfortunately, their first home game ended in a 2-1 defeat with Bradley Wright-Phillips scoring a late game winner.
However, Atlanta fans have something special, and there will be plenty of fans ready to take part. This is just the beginning. They look to be one of the most exciting outfits in the league this season. An absolutely packed crowd for their first home game. Check out some pictures below from their first home game:
Orlando City also opened the season with a special occasion, their first home game at their new stadium. Six years in the making, and it certainly did not disappoint. Another club that came into the league only a few seasons ago, they look ready to make a strong push for the playoffs.
Orlando is a club heavily involved in the community, and no more so after the tragedy that occurred at the Orlando nightclub last year. Orlando played the first game after the tragedy occurred, and in a touching tribute, a section of 49 seats with rainbow balloons were sectioned off in memory of those who passed away. Also, in the 49th minute the game was stopped for a minute of silence, paying respect to those involved in the tragedy.
In the unveiling of their new stadium, it was announced that there would be 49 seats in a rainbow pattern, dedicated to those who lost their lives.
A pioneering feature that Orlando City has added to their stadium is a standing only end. Emulating the famous Borussia Dortmund Yellow Wall, hopefully this becomes the norm in MLS. Standing only sections garner and encourage soccer culture that is still lagging behind in MLS. Hopefully this will encourage supporters to sing and make noise for the entire 90 minutes and it will catch on around the league.
Results Roundup from the rest of the league:
Portland Timbers 5 Minnesota United 1
Columbus Crew 1 Chicago Fire 1
Real Salt Lake 0 Toronto FC 0
DC United 0 Sporting KC 0
San Jose Earthquakes 1 Montreal Impact 0
La Galaxy 1 FC Dallas 2
Colorado Rapids 1 New England Revolution 0
Houston Dynamo 2 Seattle Sounders 1
Vancouver Whitecaps 0 Philadelphia Union 0
What did you think of MLS opening weekend? Let us know who you are most excited to watch this season and why in the comments below!