Major League Soccer began its 16th season this weekend with all 18 teams in action. There were some nice goals, scattered sloppy play, curious red cards, physical tackles, terrible fashion, unknown players and inflated attendance reports.
In other words, just like the 15 other MLS seasons.
You probably know by now, but
Debut Doubles: Omar Bravo wasn't the only MLS newcomer to open his account with two goals, Vancouver DP Eric Hassli did it and so did returning U.S. striker Charlie Davies. New York's new hope, Juan Agudelo, also scored his first MLS goal.
The Vancouver Experience: The Whitecaps did it all right this weekend -- great stadium, great fans, great kits, great win by playing wide-open soccer that led to a lot of goals. Oh, and Steve Nash.
Colorado defends Cup: Lost amongst the predictions of Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles and New York taking the 2011 Cup, the reigning champs took care of business against Portland with 3 goals by halftime.
The decline of Columbus and Toronto: It was expected that Toronto would suffer -- after all, the team went deep into the off-season without a coach or technical director. They don't have a lot of players outside of Dwayne De Rosario (who did score the 8,000th goal in MLS history this weekend). The demise of Columbus is more shocking. They let a lot of players go after a good 2010 campaign and it showed as they struggled to find any identity against D.C. United.
Seattle's duct-tape strap jerseys: I hate to go all Jerry Seinfeld all on you, but who are the ad wizards who came upwith these
? Are they wearing invisible backpacks? Are they reflective strips for night soccer? Do they serve some sort of sweat-wicking purpose? They are awful.
An early candidate for miss of the year: