MLS Matchday 2 recap: St. Louis make history, LA Galaxy fall
The 2023 Major League Soccer season is in full swing.
Several teams came into Matchday 2 in full force, earning much-needed victories to fuel momentum, with others fell extremely short. Though we didn't quite see the same chaos as 'MLS is Back' weekend, there was still much that shocked.
Here's everything you missed...
1. St. Louis make history
St. Louis CITY recorded their second victory, and first ever home win at CITYPARK in front on a sell-out 22,000 fans. The expansion team triumphed 3-1 against Charlotte FC, as goals from Joao Klauss, Bill Tuiloma and Eduard Lowen sealed the three points.
“Tonight was not about the result. We were fighting with the emotions of 70 years of history and bringing MLS to St. Louis,” declared St. Louis CITY SC’s head coach Bradley Carnell.
“We knew coming up against a Charlotte team that is very gritty, very, very aggressive, very athletic, have some difference makers in that team – we knew this was going to be a very, very difficult challenge. So, that we came out victorious on the day, not expected, just in terms of the whole process. I mean, we're truly happy, we'll take the three points, but there was many more messages than the result today.”
The expansion team remains unbeaten in the Western Conference, after defeating Austin in their inaugural match and earning the win against Charlotte.
“I’m feeling amazing,” added Klauss. “Today I think was the perfect first game at home for us…amazing night.”
2. Inter Miami get the win
Inter Miami defeated favorites Philadelphia Union 2-0 at DRV PNK Stadium on Saturday, as goals from Robert Taylor and Corentin Jean secured the three points. Phil Neville’s side stands as one of just two unbeaten teams in the Eastern Conferences, proving many wrong.
“What we've done in the first two games this year, we've knocked down a lot of the psychological barriers, not winning in the first couple of weeks of the season [previously], I think that was hanging over this football club,” said Neville.
“I wasn't overly a hundred percent pleased with the performance tonight and I think that's a good thing. And the players know that they need to be better in plays, the players know that they can improve and there's still a long way to go.”
The six-point haul is a sharp contrast to last year’s achievements, as the team struggled with consistency throughout the campaign. Though it may be too soon to judge the team’s upward trajectory, the back-to-back victories should be recognized as a milestone.
“I think it's too soon to start making big statements,” Neville said about the magnitude of the result. “This is just a continuation of the journey and the build from last year where we do feel like there's a different feeling around this football club.”
3. FC Dallas stun LA Galaxy
Jesus Ferreira propelled FC Dallas to a 3-1 comeback win against the LA Galaxy, taking over in the second half.
Though Dejan Joveljic opened up the scoring for the visitors, Alan Velasco quickly found the equalizer to reach half-time with the 1-1 draw. Jesus Ferrera then stepped up, and kicked off his Golden Boot campaign with two goals.
"We needed to give it to the fans," Ferreira said. "We had to see what we did wrong in the first game that we weren't able to take three points and apply it to this game. And I think the team was excited and ready for the challenge."
It was an important victory for FC Dallas, after falling 0-1 to Minnesota on opening weekend at Toyota Stadium. The team still has much to prove given their momentum during last year’s season, but a 3-1 victory against LA Galaxy with a stellar Ferreira performance is a good place to start.
"I think he, overall, [used] that learning experience that he had there to grow," FCD head coach Nico Estévez said of Ferreira. "We can't forget that he's a very young player still [and] it's his second year playing as a No. 9. I think we have to be very calm with him, help him to keep growing as a person, and as a player, and we'll see what he can do in the future.”
4. Key results
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps: New San Jose head coach Luchi Gonzalez earned his first victory at home
Seattle Sounders 2-0 Real Salt Lake: Second consecutive victory for Brian Schmetzer
LAFC 3-2 Portland Timbers: the reigning MLS champions opened up the 2023 campaign with a dramatic victory at home