With the 2023 Major League Soccer season underway and Matchday 2 firmly in the books, it’s safe to say there have been more than a few surprises. After all, this is MLS and things not making a lick of sense are commonplace around these parts. With that in mind, let’s look back on the weekend with the winners and losers of the second round of games.
Winner: St. Louis City SC, again!
St. Louis City SC, have a bow. After becoming the first team since LAFC to win their inaugural MLS game by stunning Austin FC on the road, St. Louis was welcomed home for its first match at CITYPARK in front of a raucous crowd and kept the good times rolling, dispatching Charlotte FC 3-1. The team has a pretty favourable schedule over the next few weeks, so there’s no reason why this form shouldn’t continue.
Loser: Canadian fans
Six games, zero wins, a draw, five losses, five goals scored, 11 goals against, and a partridge in a pear tree. Times are tough for fans of the three Canadian MLS teams who between them have just a single point after Toronto FC drew Atlanta United away from home. Things are sure to get better since CF Montreal and the Vancouver Whitecaps will face off on Apr. 1, meaning points for a Canadian team are guaranteed to come… eventually.
Winner: Emerald City looking like diamonds
A lot was made about the Seattle Sounders' attacking lineup and the competition for spots that could bring out the best in those who eventually get the nod. Well, that experiment has worked brilliantly with the attacking trident of Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, and Héber scoring all six of Seattle’s goals in their first two games.
On top of that, two convincing clean sheets makes this team a serious threat in the Western Conference.
Loser: H-Town struggles
Things are seemingly going from bad to worse for a Houston Dynamo team that was already not brimming with optimism at the start of the season. They seem to be leaking goals and with no real solution available, this could be the new normal for Dynamo fans who will have to sit through a long season.
Dylan sliced and diced up the defense ✂️
🅱️🅱️ put it to bed 🛌 pic.twitter.com/LsG6JPpVu9
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 6, 2023
Winner: Silencing the doubters
Miami had a lot of questions and concerns going into this season. Losing two of their best players did not instill a whole lot of confidence. However, Phil Neville has tapped into something special here and if they can manage the fixture congestion and stay healthy, South Beach could become a very difficult place to visit after two convincing home wins. The last one came against who many consider to be the best team in MLS, and Miami saw the game out confidently all while scoring a few bangers along the way.
Loser: CF Montreal General Hospital
As if two losses and zero goals scored isn’t bad enough, but Montreal’s injury list just refuses to stop growing. In addition to defenders Joel Waterman, George Campbell, Robert Thorkelsson, Ousmane Jabang and Jojea Kwizera being hurt, Samuel Piette and Romell Quioto had to leave Saturday’s loss to Austin after picking up injuries of their own.
They literally only have three fit central defenders left and they play a three-back, so the math isn’t mathing. There is a lot of talent and promise in this Montreal side, but that won’t be unlocked if they’s stuck playing Rush Hour every week just to get a starting XI together.
Winner: Armo excellence on display
It’s no secret that under Wilfried Nancy, Djordje Mihailovic became one of the best attacking midfielders in MLS while in Montreal. That is why Lucas Zelarayán was probably licking his chops when it was announced that Nancy was moving to Columbus. Along with Cucho Hernandez, we may be looking at one of the most lethal one-two punches in the league by a long shot, and the Amernian’s brace is proof.