MLS round-up: Atlanta spoils Nashville's opener as Chicharito debuts for Galaxy

  • Atlanta spoil Nashville’s debut but lose Martinez to injury
  • DC United start life after Wayne Rooney with late winner
  • Manotas salvages point for Houston in 1-1 draw with Galaxy
Nearly 60,000 spectators turned out for Nashville’s first ever game, a 2-1 loss to Atlanta United. Photograph: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports

Emerson Hyndman scored in the 37th minute in Atlanta United’s 2-1 victory over Nashville, spoiling the expansion team’s MLS debut Saturday night.

Ezequiel Barco also scored in the ninth minute for Atlanta, the 2018 MLS Cup winners who won both the US Open Cup and Campeones Cup last season.

Walker Zimmerman scored the first goal for Nashville off a set piece in the 28th minute, giving the biggest crowd ever to see a soccer game in the state of Tennessee something to celebrate. A handful of NFL players also were on hand, including Titans Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern and teammate Cory Davis along with San Francisco tight end George Kittle.

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Biggest crowd for soccer in Tennessee history. ??

March 1, 2020

The 30,000 fans who filled the lower bowl at Nissan Stadium stood from start to finish.

“I’ve had a couple of new team openings in the last 20 years, and this one ranks as at least for me one of the most exciting,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “I literally got chills in pregame ceremony ... The crowd over-delivered as well.”

Nashville acquired Zimmerman from Los Angeles FC on 11 February, adding the veteran with five goals in 51 MLS games to a roster featuring 14 making their league debut this season. Zimmerman headed the ball, then scored with his right foot kicking the ball past keeper Brad Guzan.

That only lasted until Hyndman scored into the right corner for the lead.

The win was costly for Atlanta. Josef Martinez, the 2018 MLS Golden Boot winner who had 27 goals last year, was taken off the field on a stretcher in the 68th minute after going down for the second time in a few minutes with an apparent right knee injury.

DC United 2-1 Colorado Rapids

Jonathan Lewis scored in the second minute of stoppage time to give the Colorado Rapids a 2-1 victory over DC United on Saturday in the first game of the 25th MLS season.

The ball found Lewis at close range during a scramble inside the box and he put it inside the the near post for the winner.


New-look DC United, now without Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta on the attack, got the first goal of the season in the 60th minute. Russell Canouse converted a header from the six-yard line at the back post on a corner from Julian Gressel.

Just six minutes later, Kei Kamara tied it on a header after a long service from Jack Price.

Houston Dynamo 1-1 LA Galaxy

Mauro Manotas scored the tying goal for Houston in the 64th minute in the Dynamo’s draw with Los Angeles.

Mexican forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez made his debut for Los Angeles, and Tab Ramos directed Houston for the first time as head coach.

Manotas tied it with a shot 17 yards away from the left side of the penalty box.

Cristian Pavon scored for the Galaxy in the 13th minute with a shot 20 yards out from the edge of the box, with goalkeeper David Bingham getting an assist.

Mexican forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez made his debut for the Galazy against Houstan Dynamo.
Mexican forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez made his debut for the Galazy against Houstan Dynamo. Photograph: Michael Wyke/AP

San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 Toronto FC

Oswaldo Alanis scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to give San Jose the tie with Toronto FC.

Alanis scored on a 30-yard shot from the left side of the penalty box.

Andy Rios pulled San Jose within one in the 53rd minute, scoring from the the left side.

Alejandro Pozuelo opened the scoring for Toronto on a penalty shot in the 40th minute, and Richie Laryea made it 2-0 in the 51st minute from the right side of the box.

Montreal Impact 2-1 New England Revolution

Maximiliano Urruti broke a tie with a long shot in the 80th minute in Montreal’s comeback victory over New England.

Romell Quioto scored in the first half, and Clement Diop made five saves in Thierry Henry’s MLS coaching debut.

Teal Bunbury scored for the Revolution.

FC Dallas 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Zdenek Ondrasek and Paxton Pomykal scored and Jesse Gonzalez made three saves to help FC Dallas beat Philadelphia.

Ondrasek opened the scoring in the 61st minute on a shot from the center of the box. Pomykal connected ion the first minute of stoppage time with a shot from 15 yards from the right side of the box.

Andre Blake made three saves for Philadelphia.

Orlando City 0-0 Real Salt Lake

Zac Macmath made two saves for Real Salt Lake in a scoreless draw with Orlando City.

Orlando City outshot Real Salt Lake 5-2, with two shots on goal to one for Real Salt Lake.

Pedro Gallese saved the only shot he faced for Orlando City.