Facundo Torres scored on a penalty kick in the 56th minute as Orlando City held on for a 1-0 victory over the visiting New York Red Bulls Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Orlando City (1-0-0, 3 points) began its ninth MLS season by capitalizing on a miscue by New York (0-1-0).
After New York’s Sean Nealis was called for a handball in the penalty area, Torres was awarded a penalty kick. He easily converted his 10th career MLS goal when he took a left-footed shot that sailed by Carlos Coronel when the New York goalkeeper dove to his left.
The handball was given after the ball glanced off Nealis’s side, then high on the bicep of his outstretched right arm – a penalty that hasn’t been given in previous years
Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese recorded his 20th career clean sheet by making four saves, including a stop on Cristian Casseres Jr. in the 88th before Orlando City withstood eight minutes of stoppage time.
Facundo Torres converted a controversial penalty kick to win the game for Orlando over RBNY
Red Bulls captain Sean Nealis (15) committed a handball foul in the box to give Torres the kick
After Torres scored, he nearly gave Orlando a two-goal lead 10 minutes later but his left-footed attempt from outside the box following a set piece missed to the right.
Coronel was not credited with a save as Orlando took five other shots besides Torres’ penalty kick.
New York finished with 14 shots but six missed the net and four were blocked. One of the Red Bull’s big misses came in the sixth minute of stoppage time when Lewis Morgan was unable to score.
Morgan also missed another scoring chance in the 52nd when his right-footed attempt sailed to the left. That came after New York took seven shots in the opening half.
New York nearly scored in the 10th minute but Frankie Amaya’s right-footed shot from well outside of the box sailed wide left. A minute later, a similar shot by Morgan from close range also sailed to the left.
Martin Ojeda nearly scored in the 18th for Orlando but was unable to connect on a header from right in front of the net.
In the 22nd, Morgan was unable to bury a left-footed shot from the left side of the box and four minutes later Amaya fired wide again after Morgan had a shot blocked.
The Red Bulls missed another scoring opportunity late in the first half when Cameron Harper had a shot blocked in the box.
Shot attempts from Frankie Amaya (L) and Lewis Morgan (R) couldn’t find the back of the net
PHILADELPHIA UNION 4-1 COLUMBUS CREW
Julian Carranza had two goals and Daniel Gazdag scored twice on penalty kicks as the host Philadelphia Union defeated the Columbus Crew 4-1 Saturday night in Chester, Pa., in the opener for both teams.
Patrick Schulte made his MLS debut in goal for the Crew.
Gazdag tied it 1-1 late in the first half then extended the lead to 3-1 in the 72nd minute. On each, Schulte went to his right as Gazdag, who had 22 goals last season, shot the opposite way.
Schulte, 21, played because Eloy Room, who started every match last season, is working on securing a green card and was unavailable.
The Union have a 24-game home unbeaten streak dating to Sept. 3, 2021, including a 12-0-5 record last season.
Daniel Gazdag (left, 10) scored the goal to tie the match for the Philadelphia Union
Columbus took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute on an own goal by Union defender Jakob Glesnes before Gazdag tied it in third minute of first-half stoppage time. Carranza scored in the 52nd minute to make it 2-1.
He was 6 yards in front of the goal to convert a cross by Alejandro Bedoya.
After Gazdag scored following a handball to Milos Degenek, Carranza made it 4-1 in the 80th minute. Gazdag was awarded the secondary assist.
Columbus missed the playoffs for the second straight year in 2022 and fired coach Caleb Porter and replaced him with Wilfried Nancy, who led Montreal to a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference last season.
The Crew had not scored in the previous five matches against Philadelphia but got a little help to end the 484-minute drought.
After an early own goal, Philadelphia responded with four of their own to bag 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 a season opener on Saturday. Kessler’s game-winner was unassisted.
The Revolution outshot Charlotte 15-14 with a 5-4 edge in shots on goal.
Pablo Sisniega had four saves for Charlotte.
The two teams split two matches last season with both clubs winning at home.
New England went from a MLS-record 73 points in 2021 to 42 a season ago. Charlotte had 10 wins and 42 points as an expansion team last season.
Henry Kessler (4) scored the lone goal in New England’s 1-0 victory over Charlotte FC
FC CINCINNATI 2-1 HOUSTON DYNAMO FC
Obinna Nwobodo scored his first MLS goal to help Cincinnati beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Nwobodo side-footed a shot from the center of the area that deflected off a Houston defender that gave Cincinnati a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute.
Sergio Santos, acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia last July, scored his first goal for Cincinnati to make it 1-0 in the 19th minute.
The Dynamo tied the game when Tate Schmitt headed home a corner kick played by Hector Herrera in the second minute of first-half stoppage time.
Roman Celentano, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, had six saves in his Cincinnati debut.
Obinna Nwobodo (5) scored his first MLS goal in a 2-1 win for FC Cincinnati over Houston
FC DALLAS 0-1 MINNESOTA UNITED
Mender Garcia scored the lone goal early in the second half and Minnesota United protected the lead to notch a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas in the season opener for both teams at Frisco, Texas.
Dayne St. Clair made one save while recording his 12th career shutout for Minnesota United.
Maarten Paes made three saves for FC Dallas, which had their streak of 13 consecutive unbeaten season openers halted.
Garcia scored on a rebound in the 48th minute.
Mender Garcia (28) grabbed a rebound to score the lone goal in a Minnesota United victory
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS 1-2 REAL SALT LAKE
Croatian midfielder Damir Kreilach scored the game winning goal in the 73′ as Real Salt Lake held on to defeat the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place in Canada in the season opener for both teams.
Kreilach took a one-time shot off a low pass and sent it past the keeper’s left side into the netting.
His goal came just three minutes after Salt Lake center back Justen Glad followed a free kick at the far post – touching it in after it sailed over the heads of everyone else in the box for Real’s first goal of the night.
Vancouver took a 1-0 lead in the 24′ thanks to a goal from Javain Brown off a corner kick. Brown’s header just beat Salt Lake keeper Zac MacMath, who guessed the right way, but couldn’t keep it out of his own net.
Damir Kreilach (captain) scored the game-winning goal for Real Salt Lake over Vancouver
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