MLS Soccer

Improved Whitecaps spoil Impact’s debut

There were so many former Seattle Sounders on the pitch at BC Place that it was hardly a surprise when two of them hooked up for the first goal of the new Major League Soccer season Saturday in Vancouver, B.C.

That came in the fourth minute of Vancouver’s 2-0 win over Montreal, when Sebastien Le Toux broke past Tyson Wahl and finished for the earliest First Kick goal in MLS history.

“I didn’t know it was him,” Le Toux said of his former Seattle teammate. “It went very fast. I think he was a bit surprised by the bounce. The ball kind of stayed on the turf. It’s a little bit of a different bounce for him because (the old FieldTurf in Seattle was) faster than this one. … But I took advantage of it, and it was a good start for me.”

Naturally, it wasn’t the way expansion Montreal wanted to begin its first MLS match.

“I probably should have been just a little bit more conservative,” Wahl said. “I thought we responded pretty well to that mistake. We had some good moments, but they’re pretty lethal up top. We made a couple of mistakes, and they finished their chances.”

The Whitecaps put the game away in the 54th minute when Camilo lost defender Matteo Ferrari on a sharp cut in the penalty area before finishing the scoring.

Former Sounders Wahl and Sanna Nyassi were among the Montreal starters, while Mike Fucito and Miguel Montano came on as late reserves. Lamar Neagle of Federal Way was nursing a minor injury and did not travel with the Impact.

Montreal coach Jesse Marsch said there wasn’t any grand plan to load up on Sounders, but there could be some advantage in it.

“There is something to be said for being with a good club and playing in front of a big crowd,” he said. “I think there’s potential for our club to have some similar kinds of environments. They’ve played in a lot of big games in front of big (crowds) and everything else. So I think that’s a factor. But more than that, it’s how they fit with the team.”

Real Salt Lake 3, at L.A. Galaxy 1: Javier Morales scored the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute, Fabian Espindola added another late score, and RSL spoiled the defending MLS champion Galaxy’s season opener.

David Beckham’s dazzling pass set up Edson Buddle’s goal on a header for the Galaxy in the 71st minute, but Sean Franklin’s own-goal moments later evened it for Salt Lake, which lost to Los Angeles last season in the Western Conference final.

Morales then capitalized on a miscommunication in Los Angeles’ defense to score the winner, banging a short shot past Josh Saunders in the box.

Espindola got another in the 85th minute on the run as Salt Lake handed the Galaxy its first home loss in 26 matches since Nov. 14, 2010, thoroughly ruining a celebratory night for Beckham and Los Angeles’ star-studded roster.

At Rapids 2, Crew O: Drew Moor scored in the 44th minute, and Colorado beat Columbus, giving first-year coach Oscar Pareja a victory in the season opener.

Quincy Amarikwa added a goal in the 89th minute.

Matt Pickens had his 34th career shutout and 23rd with the Rapids.

Sporting Kansas City 1, at D.C United 0: Substitute C.J. Sapong scored on a header in stoppage time in Kansas City’s victory over D.C. United in another opener.

Bill Hamid made seven saves to keep United in it but had little chance to stop Sapong’s header off Graham Zusi’s corner kick.

Kansas City dominated, outshooting D.C. 17-7 overall and 8-1 in shots on target as it began defense of its Eastern Conference regular-season title. K.C. goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen needed to make just one save.

At Earthquakes 1, Revolution 0: Chris Wondolowski scored in the 15th minute to help San Jose beat New England.

It was the Earthquakes’ first win in a home opener since entering the league as an expansion team in 2008. San Jose lost its four previous home openers by a combined score of 6-0.

Wondolowski, who tied for the MLS lead last season with 16 goals, extended his scoring streak to six games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

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