Kendall Waston scored FC Cincy's first home goal in the MLS as the expansion team won its MLS home opener in style; Carlos Vela scored two game-tying goals to give LAFC a draw and Jozy Altidore scored the winning goal in his season debut.

By Associated Press
March 17, 2019

CINCINNATI — Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne scored two minutes apart in the second half and FC Cincinnati won their first MLS game in a home debut, topping the 10-man Portland Timbers 3-0 on Sunday.

Kendall Waston scored FC Cincy's first home goal in the MLS in the 15th minute by heading home Leonardo Bertone's free kick in front of a sold-out crowd of 32,250 at Nippert Stadium, including MLS commissioner Don Garber.

Cruz scored on a back-heel shot in the 61st, settling a deflected shot and rolling it inside the far post. Two minutes later, Deplagne finished off a busy sequence in the box with a redirection.

MLS expansion teams are now 9-6-2 in their opening home matches.

FC Cincy goalkeeper Spencer Richey denied a point-blank shot by Dairon Asprilla at the back post on a corner kick. Portland defender Larrys Mabiala received yellow cards in first-half stoppage time and the 70th for the Timbers (0-2-1).

Cincinnati striker Fanendo Adi, who spent four-plus years in a star role with Portland before being traded in July, shared greetings with his old teammates in the lineup line before the game.

FC Cincy (1-1-1) got its first point last week, rallying in the closing minutes for a 1-1 draw against defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United.


NEW YORK — Carlos Vela had two game-tying goals to help Los Angeles FC tie New York City FC 2-2 on Sunday.

Vela tied it at 1 in the 43rd minute for LAFC (2-0-1) by getting to Latif Blessing's through ball and poking it into the back of the net. Vela leveled the match in the 76th on a penalty-kick goal.

Vela had one goal and three assists as LAFC routed the Portland Timbers 4-1 a week earlier.

Alexandru Mitrita opened the scoring in the 39th minute, running alone down the left side, cutting back two defenders in the box and finishing it into the upper corner. Alexander Ring gave NYCFC (0-0-3) a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute. Ben Sweat kept the ball in play near the end line and fed it back to Ring at the corner of the 6-yard box for his second goal of the season.

In the only other meeting a year ago, Vela gave LAFC a second-half lead before an Ismael Tajouri-Shradi tied it at 2.

Atlanta United 1, Philadelphia Union 1

ATLANTA — Ezequiel Barco came on in the 67th minute and scored three minutes later to help Atlanta United tie the Philadelphia Union 1-1 on Sunday night.

Defending champion Atlanta (0-1-2) used a series of quick passes to move to ball from the left to the right side where Julian Gressel first-timed a high entry and Barco side-netted a header inside the far post.

Brenden Aaronson, an 18-year-old homegrown making his MLS debut, ripped a right-footer that, as it went through the legs of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, deflected off the defender's leg past goalkeeper Brad Guzan to give Philadelphia (0-3-0) the lead in the 47th minute.

Atlanta had 71.4% possession—finishing with 669 passes compared to just 267 by the Union—but came up empty on a handful of chances. Josef Martinez, who set an MLS record with 31 goals last season, missed wide left on a shot early in the second half and later had his bicycle kick stopped by goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Toronto FC 3, New England Revolution 2

TORONTO — Jozy Altidore came off the bench to score the winner in the 80th minute and Toronto FC beat the New England Revolution 3-2 on Sunday night in its home opener.

Altidore tapped in Justin Morrow's cross. Shut down late last season to have ankle surgery, the U.S. star came on in the 68th minute for his season debut.

Ayo Akinola, with his first MLS goal, and Jordan Hamilton, on his 23th birthday, also scored for Toronto (2-0-0). Carles Gil scored twice to pull the Revolution (0-2-1) even at 2.

Colorado Rapids 1, Sporting Kansas City 1

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Johnny Russell scored in the closing minutes to help Sporting Kansas City tie the Colorado Rapids 1-1 on Sunday night.

Gianluca Busio drew a foul against defender Axel Sjoberg a few yards outside the area and Russell put away the ensuing free kick , lifting it over the leaping 6-foot-7 Sjoberg and bending it inside the near post in the 88th minute.

Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia mishandled a pass from Seth Sinovic and Diego Rubio capitalized, charging in to finish into an empty net from the corner of the 6-yard box to open the scoring in the 54th.

Johan Blomberg was shown a yellow card in the 80th minute and again in the 87th, leaving Colorado (0-1-2) a man down. Sporting is 1-1-1.

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