Minnesota secured a dramatic 3-3 draw in the opening match of Allianz Field while Seattle is off to its best start in franchise history and set the stage for an important upcoming stretch with two games in seven days against Los Angeles FC.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had two goals and an assist to help New York City FC forge a 3-3 draw Saturday in the first game for Minnesota United at Allianz Field.
Valentin Castellanos also scored for NYCFC (0-1-5), which survived an egregious own goal by goalie Sean Johnson in the 32nd minute to tie it after halftime and send a raucous crowd home a little less satisfied.
Osvaldo Alonso and Angelo Rodriguez scored for Minnesota (3-2-1). United gave up the equalizer in the 64th minute on a corner kick by Tajouri-Shradi that grazed defender Francisco Calvo's left foot on the way past goalie Vito Mannone.
The opener at the $250 million facility, built halfway between the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, was a brisk one with the high temperature at 40 degrees in the afternoon the day after a storm finished dumping as much as a foot of snow around the Twin Cities.
Seattle Sounders 3, Toronto FC 2
SEATTLE — Will Bruin understands it's not like the past. He doesn't have a set starting role with the Seattle Sounders. His chances of playing long stretches likely come because others are injured or may need rest.
So when he does get a chance to start, like Saturday in a 3-2 victory over Toronto, Bruin must make the most of the chance.
''I always want to play whenever I can and (coach Brian Schmetzer) wants to put out a squad that's going to get three points,'' Bruin said. ''I understand that. It's a business and my job is to when I get opportunities, score. I was glad I could do that.''
Bruin scored twice and Cristian Roldan's first goal of the season proved to be the difference as Seattle remained unbeaten through six games and continued putting to rest the narrative of the past two seasons when terrible starts forced the Sounders to spend most of the season trying to rally from behind.
Seattle (5-0-1) is off to its best start in franchise history and set the stage for an important upcoming stretch with two games in seven days against Los Angeles FC.
Since July 4 of last season, Seattle is 20-2-3 in its last 25 regular season matches, taking 63 of a possible 75 points. They were the hottest team at the end of last season and one of the hottest to begin this year.
''It's definitely carry over. We have a lot of the same pieces that went on that great run and just having that confidence we have of knowing we're one of the best teams in the league,'' Bruin said.
Bruin and Roldan scored two minutes apart midway through the second half as Seattle held off Toronto despite two goals from Jozy Altidore. Toronto was the only unbeaten team in the Eastern Conference entering the weekend, but couldn't get a late equalizer in the only regular-season matchup between the MLS Cup finalist from 2016 and 2017.
''Our issue is we've got to not allow goals. We have to make sure that we can deal with things, stay in our shape and not chase things all over the field,'' Toronto coach Greg Vanney said.
Bruin was starting in place of injured striker Raul Ruidiaz for the second straight game due to a bruised heel. His return will be important with Seattle having three games in seven days between April 21-28, including bookend matchups with LAFC. There's also injury concern about Bruin after he limped off in the 79th minute with a hamstring injury. The Sounders don't expect an update whether Bruin will miss time until early next week.
Bruin was just fine on both of his goals, each coming off excellent passes by Brad Smith. Bruin's diving header in the 24th minute pulled Seattle even and he ran onto Smith's low cross to beat Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg in the 66th minute. Roldan's goal in the 68th minute gave Seattle a 3-1 lead.
Altidore continued his resurgence from a disappointing season a year ago scoring a pair of goals for Toronto. Altidore's header in the 11th minute gave Toronto a 1-0 lead, and his right-footed flick past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the 70th minute pulled Toronto to 3-2.
Altidore has five goals in four games after scoring seven times in 13 MLS matches all of last season. Both of Altidore's goals came off assists from Alejandro Pozuelo, who has four assists in three games since joining Toronto from Genk in Belgium.
Pozuelo nearly pulled Toronto even in second-half stoppage time but his curling shot was pushed wide by Frei.
''It's frustrating because you get out on top and it's a game you don't want to give up goals the way we gave up goals,'' Vanney said.
Atlanta United 2, New England Revolution 0
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Ezequiel Barco scored in each half and defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United won for the first time this season, beating the New England Revolution 2-0 on Saturday night.
Hector Villalba dribbled from the left channel into the penalty area and fed it back to Barco for the opening goal in the 29th minute.
Barco gave Atlanta (1-2-2) a 2-0 lead in the 49th minute when he curled home a right-footed shot from just inside the left corner of the area.
DeJuan Jones had a goal for the Revs (1-5-1) that was flagged offside in the 37th minute.
Houston Dynamo 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1
HOUSTON — Tomas Martinez scored his first goal of the season, Mauro Manotas had two assists and the Houston Dynamo beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.
Martinez ripped a left-footer from near the spot just inside the post to make cap the scoring in the 60th minute.
Alberth Elis first-timed a cross by Manotas to give Houston (4-0-1) a 1-0 lead in the 52nd. On the counter-attack, Elis raced down the right side and beat a defender as he cut back toward the middle, where he played a through pass to Manotas at the corner of the box, who dropped it back to Elis for the finish.
Jackson Yueill, a 22-year-old who was the sixth overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft, scored his first MLS goal to make it 1-1 in the 56th minute. San Jose (1-5-0) has lost 12 of its last 14 MLS games.
The match was delayed 73 minutes at halftime because of inclement weather.
LAFC 2, FC Cincinnati 0
LOS ANGELES — Carlos Vela scored his eighth goal of the young season, Tyler Miller earned his third consecutive shutout and Los Angeles FC extended its unbeaten start to seven games with a 2-0 victory over expansion FC Cincinnati on Saturday night.
Mark-Anthony Kaye headed home a corner from Vela in the 32nd minute, and Vela scored on a remarkable individual effort in injury time as the overall MLS leaders improved to 6-0-1 with few their usual offensive fireworks.
LAFC has shut out three straight opponents for the first time in franchise history, allowing no goals since March 23.
LAFC extended its impressive start in the first meeting between MLS' two newest franchises.
Cincinnati has two wins out of its first seven MLS games.
Montreal Impact 1, Columbus Crew SC 0
MONTREAL — Harry Novillo scored his first MLS goal to lead Montreal to a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew in the home opener on Saturday.
Evan Bush made five saves for his third consecutive shutout for the Impact (3-2-2), who are unbeaten in their last three games.
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen made six saves for the Crew (4-2-1), who began the day atop the Eastern Conference.
After starting the season with six consecutive road games, Montreal played its first match at Saputo Stadium before 18,634 fans.
Novillo scored his first goal in the 55th minute. Maxi Urruti fed the Frenchman for the strike from 18 yards out. Urruti leads Montreal with three assists this season.
FC Dallas 2, Portland Timbers 1
FRISCO, Texas — Jesus Ferreira and Reto Ziegler scored and FC Dallas handed the Portland Timbers their fifth straight loss, 2-1 on Saturday night.
The Timbers' Diego Chara deflected Michael Barrios's back pass toward goal, and Ferreira took advantage, slotting the loose ball under goalkeeper Jeff Attinella in the ninth minute.
Ziegler converted from the spot to give FC Dallas (4-2-1) a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute. Jorge Moreira was called for the foul, tripping Pablo Aranguiz near the goal line.
Cristhian Paredes scored on a header in the 67th minute to pull the Timbers (0-5-1) within a goal.
FC Dallas has won three of its last four.
Real Salt Lake 2, Orlando City 1
SANDY, Utah — Sam Johnson and Damir Kreilach scored and Real Salt Lake snapped a four-game skid with a 2-1 victory over Orlando City on Saturday night.
Johnson opened the scoring in the 17th minute with his first MLS goal. Johnson slipped to the ground while chasing a ball from Kreilach, but recovered his footing and sidestepped a defender to get open for the finish.
Kreilach smashed home Jefferson Savarino's cross to double the lead for Real Salt Lake (2-4-1) in the 55th minute.
Nani scored on a free kick in the 81st minute for Orlando (2-3-2).
LA Galaxy 2, Philadelphia Union 0
CARSON, Calif. — Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in the first half and the LA Galaxy beat the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a header in the 27th minute for the Galaxy (5-1-0). He drew a penalty five minutes later and converted it into the left corner in the 36th minute. The Swedish forward has six goals this season and 28 in 31 MLS appearances.
Philadelphia went down a man in the 76th minute when Auston Trusty was shown a red card for unsporting behavior.
The Union's Marco Fabian left in the 23rd minute because of a left ankle injury.
Philadelphia (3-3-1) had won three straight and was unbeaten in four.