Facundo Torres scored from the penalty spot in the 56th minute as Orlando City held on to win 1-0 over visiting New York Red Bulls on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Orlando City (1-0-0, 3 points) started their ninth season in the MLS taking advantage of an error by New York (0-1-0).
After New York’s Sean Nealis was called for a handball in the area, Torres was awarded a penalty. He easily converted his 10th MLS goal when he volleyed a left-footed shot past Carlos Coronel as the New York goalkeeper dove to the left.
The handball was given after the ball had bounced off Nealis’ side, then high on the biceps of his outstretched right arm – a penalty that had not been scored in previous years
Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese recorded his 20th clean sheet as he made four saves, including a stop on Cristian Casseres Jr. at 88, before Orlando City held out eight minutes into stoppage time.
Facundo Torres converted a controversial penalty to beat Orlando over RBNY
Red Bulls captain Sean Nealis (15) committed a handball foul in the penalty area to kick Torres
After Torres scored, he nearly gave Orlando a two-goal lead 10 minutes later, but his left-footed attempt from outside the penalty area after a set piece fell wide on the right.
Coronel was not credited with a save, as Orlando took another five shots in addition to Torres’ penalty.
New York finished with 14 shots, but six missed the net and four were blocked. One of Red Bull’s biggest failures came in the sixth minute of stoppage time, when Lewis Morgan failed to score.
Morgan also missed another scoring chance in the 52nd when his right foot attempt went wide to the left. This came after New York took seven shots in the first half.
New York nearly scored in the 10th minute, but Frankie Amaya’s right-foot shot from outside the box went wide to the left. A minute later, a similar shot by Morgan from close range also flew wide to the left.
Martin Ojeda almost scored in the 18th minute for Orlando, but failed to hit a header into the net.
In the 22nd minute, Morgan failed to sink a left-footed shot from the left side of the area and four minutes later Amaya fired wide again after Morgan had blocked a shot.
The Red Bulls missed another scoring opportunity late in the first half when Cameron Harper had a shot blocked in the box.
Shot attempts by Frankie Amaya (L) and Lewis Morgan (R) failed to find the back of the net
PHILADELPHIA UNION 4-1 COLUMBUS CREW
Julian Carranza scored twice and Daniel Gazdag scored twice on penalties as the host Philadelphia Union beat Columbus Crew 4-1 on Saturday night in Chester, Pennsylvania, in the opener for both teams.
Patrick Schulte made his MLS debut in goal for Crew.
Gazdag tied 1-1 late in the first half and extended their lead to 3-1 in the 72nd minute. In each, Schulte went to the right while Gazdag, who scored 22 goals last season, shot wide.
Schulte, 21, played because Eloy Room, who started every game last season, is working to secure a green card and was unavailable.
The Union has a 24-game unbeaten home streak going back to Sept. 3, 2021, including a 12-0-5 record last season.
Daniel Gazdag (left, 10) scored the game-tying goal for the Philadelphia Union
Columbus took a 1–0 lead in the 28th minute with an own goal by Union defender Jakob Glesnes before Gazdag equalized in the third minute of first-half stoppage time. Carranza scored in the 52nd minute to make it 2–1.
He was 6 meters from goal to convert an Alejandro Bedoya cross.
After Gazdag scored following a handball to Milos Degenek, Carranza made it 4–1 in the 80th minute. Gazdag received the secondary assist.
Columbus missed the playoffs for the second straight year in 2022 and fired head coach Caleb Porter and replaced him with Wilfried Nancy, who led Montreal to second place in the Eastern Conference last season.
The Crew hadn’t scored in their last five games against Philadelphia, but had a little help to end their 484-minute drought.
After an early own goal, Philadelphia responded with four to secure all three points.
CHARLOTTE FC 0-1 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
Henry Kessler scored in the 89th minute and Djordje Petrovic made four saves to lead the New England Revolution to a 1-0 victory over Charlotte FC in Saturday’s season opener. Kessler’s game winner had no assist.
The Revolution outscored Charlotte 15–14 with a 5–4 lead in shots on goal.
Pablo Sisniega made four saves for Charlotte.
The two teams split two matches last season, with both clubs winning at home.
New England went from an MLS record 73 points in 2021 to 42 the previous season. Charlotte had 10 wins and 42 points as an expansion team last season.
Henry Kessler (4) scored the only goal in New England’s 1-0 win over Charlotte FC
FC CINCINNATI 2-1 HOUSTON DINAMO FC
Obinna Nwobodo scored his first MLS goal to help Cincinnati beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Nwobodo side-footed a shot from the center of the box that deflected off a Houston defender to give Cincinnati a 2–1 lead in the 48th minute.
Sergio Santos, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia last July, scored his first goal for Cincinnati and made it 1-0 in the 19th minute.
Dinamo leveled the game when Tate Schmitt headed home from Hector Herrera’s corner two minutes into stoppage time.
Roman Celentano, the #2 pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, made six saves in his Cincinnati debut.
Obinna Nwobodo (5) scored his first MLS goal in FC Cincinnati’s 2-1 win over Houston
FC DALLAS 0-1 MINNESOTA UNITED
Mender Garcia scored the only goal early in the second half and Minnesota United protected the lead to score a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas in the season opener for both teams in Frisco, Texas.
Dayne St. Clair made one save as he recorded his 12th career shutout for Minnesota United.
Maarten Paes made three saves for FC Dallas, who had their season-opening 13-game unbeaten streak snapped.
Garcia scored on a rebound in the 48th minute.
Mender Garcia (28) grabbed a rebound to score the only goal in Minnesota United’s victory
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS 1-2 REAL SALT LAKE
Croatian midfielder Damir Kreilach scored the winning goal in the 73rd minute as Real Salt Lake held on to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place in Canada in the season opener for both teams.
Kreilach hit a single shot off a low pass and flicked it past the goalkeeper’s left and into the net.
His goal came just three minutes after Salt Lake defender Justen Glad curled a free-kick against the far post – hitting after he’d scrambled over everyone else in the area for Real’s first goal of the night.
Vancouver won 1-0 after 24′ thanks to a Javain Brown goal from a corner kick. Brown’s header beat Salt Lake goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who guessed the right way but couldn’t avoid his own net.
Damir Kreilach (captain) scored the winning goal for Real Salt Lake over Vancouver