A Canadian Perspective of Week 2 in the MLS

Kyle Degab@@kdegabContributor IIIMarch 18, 2012

A Canadian Perspective of Week 2 in the MLS

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    Week 2 of MLS play saw all three Canadian teams in action for the first time in MLS history.  

    Montreal hosted Chicago Fire at a packed Olympic Stadium. The Vancouver Whitecaps were on the road to face Chivas USA, and Toronto FC had a tough season opener at Century Link Field in Seattle. 

    Here's how all these fixtures played out.

Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire

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    Montreal played their very first MLS home game yesterday in front of an incredible record crowd of 58,912 at the old Olympic Stadium.  

    In the 56th minute, Davy Arnaud secured the first ever MLS goal for the Montreal Impact when he connected with a beautiful head off a Sanna Nyassi cross (viewed here).  

    Chicago pressed back hard looking for an equalizer, which finally came from Dominic Oduro in the 71st.

    Chicago then held on for the draw despite a magnificent effort by Josh Gardner in the last remaining seconds of added time (viewed here). Montreal earned their first MLS point, but a victory would have tasted so much sweeter for this massive home crowd. 

    Starting Lineups


    Montreal   Chicago
    GK Donovan Ricketts GK Paolo Tornaghi
    D Josh Gardner D Gonzalo Segares
    D Tyson Wahl D Cory Gibbs
    D Matteo Ferrari D Jalil Anibaba
    D Jeb Brovsky D Dan Gargan
    M Justin Mapp M Pavel Pardo
    M Felipe Martins M Marco Pappa
    M Patrice Bernier M Logan Pause
    M Davy Arnaud M Sebastián Grazzini
    F Justin Braun F Patrick Nyarko
    F Sanna Nyassi F Dominic Oduro

Chivas USA vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

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    The Vancouver Whitecaps earned their first ever away win in the MLS with a 1-0 victory of Chivas USA in Las Angeles last night.

    This game also would feature another record, the very first MLS goal of Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit. DeMerit's goal would become the eventual game-winner in the 68th minute of play (viewed here). 

    Earlier in the match, Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon was injured after beautifully deflecting a shot by Casey Townsend over top of the bar and out to safety (viewed here).

    Overall, this was an important road win for Vancouver, especially because three points are very difficult to find away from home in the MLS. 

    Vancouver has come off with a very quick start to their new MLS campaign, earning 6-of-6 points in their first two matches. Vancouver will return home to take on D.C. United on March 24.

    Starting Lineups

      Vancouver   Chivas USA
    GK Joe Cannon GK Dan Kennedy
    D Alain Rochat D Ante Jazic
    D Jay DeMerit D Heath Pearce
    D Martin Bonjour D Rauwshan McKenzie
    D Lee Young-Pyo D James Riley
    M Jun Davidson M Peter Vagenas
    M Matt Watson M Oswaldo Minda
    M Davide Chiumiento M Laurent Courtois
    M Sebastien Le Toux M Nick LaBrocca
    M Camilo Sanvezzo F Ryan Smith
    F Eric Hassli F Casey Townsend


Seattle Sounds vs. Toronto FC

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    After successfully clinching a CONCACAF Semifinal berth with a win against LA Galaxy earlier this week, Toronto would face another difficult test with their first MLS action of 2012. 

    This game was rather disastrous for Toronto for more reasons than one. Firstly, Toronto again employed a very high offside trap that made dealing with the Galaxy on Wednesday very nerve-wracking. However, unlike LA, the Sounders took advantage of the weak Toronto defense and very risky defensive tactics. 

    Toronto rested a few starters on this occasion; however, Seattle too played midweek. David Estrada took advantage of the weak back four of Toronto, netting three and securing the hat trick and Sounders victory.

    His first goal was rather embarrassing, as two Toronto defenders tripped over each other in the box. When the cross went in a mad scramble in the box ensued.  Canadian Terry Dunnfield tried his best to wriggle the ball out of the box with his head from all fours before it is placed in the back of the net (viewed here).  

    Despite the terrible defensive play, Ryan Johnson scored a beautiful world-class strike for Toronto to make the score closer (viewed here). Despite his strike, Toronto could not work their way back into the match and coincided yet again to seal their fate, 3-1.  

    Even greater than the loss of three points, Toronto Captain Torsten Frings was injured early in the match with a hamstring injury. The extent of his injury is not yet known, though he did leave the match.

    Starting Lineups

      Toronto FC   Seattle Sounders
    GK  Milos Kocic
    GK  Michael Gspurning
    D  Richard Eckersley
    D  Marc Burch
    D  Miguel Aceval
    D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
    D  Ty Harden
    D  Patrick Ianni
    D  Logan Emory D  Adam Johansson
    M  Luis Silva
    M  Alvaro Fernandez
    M  Torsten Frings
    M  Osvaldo Alonso
    M  Terry Dunfield M  Brad Evans
    F Eric Avila
    M  Mauro Rosales
    F  Ryan Johnson
    F  Fredy Montero
    F  Nick Soolsma F  David Estrada


Conclusion

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    Week 2 saw both highs and lows for Canadian MLS clubs.  

    Vancouver has gotten off to a very fast start, earning 6-of-6 points in two matches.

    Montreal has successfully earned their first MLS point in a very exciting atmosphere at "The Big O."

    Toronto's 2012 debut was an overall disaster; it would appear that Champions League fixtures have and will continue to stretch this club very thin. Injury still dampens the strength of their back four.

    Overall, it was an exciting Week 2 for Canadian MLS fans. 

    Oh Canada!