Major League Soccer first kick 2011 magic

By Ryan Fleming

Did you see the atmosphere in Vancouver this past weekend? If not, you’re missing out. What a special day for the city and even the country. While it was true bliss for one side, it was utter shame for the other. The 4-2 scoreline saw Toronto on the losing side and more than that, the embarrassed side.

For midfielder Dwayne de Rosario, who happened to score the league’s 8,000 goal in his team’s loss, the Canadian international claimed that his team had “no fight.” Watching the game, Rosario’s words couldn’t have been more accurate. Aron Winter’s team looked lost while his defense looked as sturdy as tumbleweed. The Dutch manager has reiterated that the changes wouldn’t come right away, but the first week is an indicator that much needs to be done in Toronto.

Something magical in DC

Since we are still on the topic of special things, let’s talk about Charlie Davies. The American international is back from the severe injuries he suffered in the deadly car accident about a year and a half ago and he has been put on the spotlight. Davies scored twice in DC United’s 3-1 win over Columbus. It really wasn’t the win that was important, though. Natural to those who pay attention to US Soccer and the heart-warming story of Davies, all eyes were on him. It has been said before that the player’s success won’t be judged by the amount of goals he scored, but rather if he can play a full 90 minutes and the frequency it happens.

Davies’s two goals were an exclamation point. For the player who was jerked by tears in a post-game interview, the goals symbolized a greater achievement – the zenith of his current comeback. The eyes of the US Soccer world will continue to be on Davies, but their hearts are now shared by the recent Stu Holden injury. It is going to be hard to top last weekend’s output, but then again, just playing has to be enough, doesn’t it?

Starting out perfect in NY and scoreless in Seattle

Ask any Red Bulls fan and they’ll tell ya, Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Seattle wasn’t the prettiest. But, now, does that really matter? New York started the season off unblemished, playing stingy defense, led by USMNT defender Tim Ream and a late strike by youngster Juan Agudelo. The Red Bulls have a lot of pressure on their backs this year, arguably more than any team in the league (sorry Seattle and LA), which just reiterates how important to start the season off with a win was.

Seattle on the other hand is feeling blue, or in its case, green. The Sounders are 0-0-2 this season, having yet to score a goal. Like predicted this preseason, Seattle’s main problem seems to find a suitable partner for forward Fredy Montero. Option No. 1, Blaise Nkufo has jumped ship and left the club on what was described as “mutual terms.” So for Sigi Schmid, things have turned hectic in the Northwest fast, especially for a team that was an early season cup contender.

Ryan Fleming can be reached at

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