|Edson Buddle of the Galaxy (right) wins a high ball against the Revolution’s Emmanuel Osei. (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)|
Edson Buddle scored in the sixth minute to give the Los Angeles Galaxy a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution in the Major League Soccer season opener for both teams last night in Carson, Calif.
Buddle converted a 6-yard diving header off Landon Donovan’s 32-yard free kick. Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts needed to make just one save for the shutout.
Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis left the game in the 26th minute with a left foot contusion. New England’s Kevin Alston tripped Lewis in the 18th minute and received a yellow card.
Red Bulls 1, Fire 0 — Estonian midfielder Joel Lindpere scored on a sparkling 19-yard shot in the 40th minute of his MLS debut, and host New York opened the season by beating the Chicago Fire in the first official match at $200 million Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
It was 39 degrees at gametime, 34 degrees cooler than the previous Saturday when the stadium opened with the Red Bulls beating Brazil’s Santos, 3-1, in an exhibition game. Perhaps that’s why there were pockets of empty blue seats at the 25,000-seat, two-deck stadium, where attendance for the game was announced at 24,572.
New York improved to 4-0-3 in its last seven home openers and made MLS home teams 4-1-3 in the first games of soccer-specific stadiums, with Kansas City winning, 1-0, at Toronto’s BMO Field in 2007. The Red Bulls ended a five-game losing streak against Chicago.
There were few good chances before the goal by Lindpere, 28, signed last month from Tromso in the Norwegian arctic. New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul made a leaping save to deny Mike Banner on a free kick from just behind the arc in the 61st minute, then stopped Baggio Husidic on the rebound. He made an easy stop on Patrick Nyarko’s 10-yard header in the 79th.
Former US national team star Brian McBride nearly put Chicago ahead in the 23d minute with an 18-yard bicycle kick that went on a hop off the post to Coundoul’s right.
Crew 2, Toronto FC 0 — Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored one goal and assisted on another to lead host Columbus to a win over Toronto FC in the season opener for both teams.
The Crew went ahead in the 29th minute. Andy Iro was 7 yards in front of the goal when he took a free kick from Schelotto that started near the right sideline. Iro headed the ball toward the left post and the ball skipped once before crossing the goal line.
Schelotto got the insurance goal in the 87th minute into an open net after goalkeeper Stefan Frei collided with Crew defender Danny O’Rourke on the fringe of the penalty area.
FC Dallas 1, Dynamo 1 — Atiba Harris scored in the 38th minute and Dallas tied Houston in Frisco, Texas, in the season opener for both clubs.
Harris dribbled around Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell and curled a right-footed shot from 15 yards away into the right corner of the net.
Two minutes earlier, the Dynamo took a 1-0 lead after Mike Chabala scored his first career MLS goal in the 36th minute. Chabala took a sliding shot from the top of the penalty box with his right foot that landed inside the left corner of the net.
Wizards 4, United 0 — Ryan Smith had a goal and an assist in his MLS debut, and the host Wizards spoiled former coach Curt Onalfo’s return to Kansas City with a victory over D.C. United.
Onalfo was Kansas City’s coach for 2 1/2 years until he was fired in the middle of the 2009 season and replaced by current coach Peter Vermes.
Salt Lake 3, Earthquakes 0 — Javier Morales scored two goals and Fabian Espindola had a goal and an assist as Salt Lake opened its season with a victory in San Jose.
Morales hammered a 35-yard shot on the bounce to open the scoring in the 14th minute, then scored in the 54th minute with a curling free kick from the top of the penalty box.