Cristian Roldan proved the difference as Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders edged San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in their top-of-the-table clash in MLS.

Roldan struck in the 18th minute for the unbeaten Sounders, who left PayPal Park in San Jose with maximum points on Wednesday.

After the Earthquakes failed to clear their lines, Roldan riffled a thunderous half-volley into the back of the net from outside the penalty area.

The Sounders are now four points clear of the Earthquakes and LA Galaxy, who have played a match less in the west.

David Beckham's Inter Miami – coached by former Manchester United defender and midfielder Phil Neville – suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Montreal following a 140-minute weather delay.

Bjorn Johnson scored twice in the space of 11 first-half minutes to give visitors Montreal a 2-0 lead inside the opening half an hour in Miami.

The match was then suspended in the 47th minute due to lightning strikes at DRV PNK Stadium, where Montreal held on for victory after more than two hours of waiting.

Montreal top the Eastern Conference, level on eight points with New England Revolution, who played out a 1-1 draw against Philadelphia Union, while Inter Miami have five points from five games.

Elsewhere, Toronto celebrated their first win of the season after topping defending champions Columbus Crew 2-0, Houston Dynamo were 1-0 victors over Sporting Kansas City, while Minnesota United defeated Vancouver Whitecaps by the same scoreline.

Substitute Chris Wondolowski stunned Real Salt Lake with two late goals as the San Jose Earthquakes rallied for a 2-1 victory. 

The MLS career scoring leader entered after 72 minutes and soon erased the Rubio Rubin tally that had put Salt Lake ahead just before the half. 

Wondolowski's first goal came from three yards out as he knocked home a rebound from a Carlos Fierro shot that had been parried away by David Ochoa to equalise in the 83rd minute.

The 38-year-old former USA international completed the brace four minutes later, heading home a cross from Fierro to put San Jose on top for good. 

Wondolowski now has 168 goals in his MLS career, 23 more than the next man on the league scoring list, Landon Donovan. 

The striker had signalled his intent to retire following the 2020 season but had a change of heart and re-signed with San Jose on Christmas Day. 

The Earthquakes now sit atop the Western Conference table with nine points from four matches. 

Nani produced a moment of magic to help Orlando City beat FC Cincinnati 3-0 in MLS, while San Jose Earthquakes and Dallas recorded crushing victories.

Tesho Akindele scored the fastest goal in club history as Orlando got off to a quick start at home to Jaap Stam's Cincinnati on Saturday.

Akindele found the back of the net after just 33 seconds, surpassing the Orlando record set by Chris Mueller (62 seconds) in April 2018.

Nani doubled the lead in stunning fashion in the 19th minute – the former Manchester United star leaving Yuya Kubo on the floor after cutting to his right foot and then his left as he curled the ball past Przemyslaw Tyton.

After Nani hit the post minutes later and saw his shot saved by Cincinnati goalkeeper Tyton just past the hour mark, Junior Urso sealed the victory with 10 minutes remaining.

Orlando – who remain unbeaten through three games – are third in the Eastern Conference, behind leaders New England Revolution and second-placed New York City.

The Revolution edged Atlanta United 2-1 and New York City defeated reigning Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia Union 2-0.

The Earthquakes and Dallas, meanwhile, both won 4-1 against DC United and Portland Timbers respectively.

Jackson Yueill's brace and a pair of assists from Cade Cowell fuelled the Earthquakes, who are top of the Western Conference on goal difference but level on points with Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy and Austin FC.

Dallas showed no mercy at home to the Timbers after Andres Ricaurte and Jader Obrian scored in the opening 13 minutes.

Real Salt Lake came from behind to top Sporting Kansas City 3-1 courtesy of Rubio Rubin's second-half double, while MLS newcomers Austin prevailed 1-0 against Minnesota United.

Elsewhere, New York Red Bulls were 2-0 winners over Chicago Fire, defending champions Columbus Crew were held to a goalless draw by Montreal Impact and Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles FC played out a 1-1 draw.

Gonzalo Higuain made it two goals in two games as Inter Miami came from behind to 2-1 win away to Philadelphia Union in Saturday's Major League Soccer.

Former Juventus and Real Madrid forward Higuain along with brother Federico made history as the first time two brothers scored in the same game.

Last season's Supporters' Shield winners Philadelphia had taken a 54th minute lead through Jamiro Monteiro.

But Federico Higuain came off the bench 10 minutes later to devastating effect, getting the assist for Gonzalo's 73rd minute leveler from a set-piece.

Federico proceeded to head home the winner on 83 minutes and lift Inter Miami to their first win of the 2021 season, while Philadelphia are winless after two games.

 

Barco launches Atlanta rocket

Ezequiel Barco netted a spectacular goal as Atlanta United made a statement with a 3-1 home win over the Chicago Fire.

Barco's initial free-kick set-piece cannoned into the wall but he fired home the rebound emphatically to give his side the lead.

Chicago leveled through Serbian midfielder Luka Stojanovic straight after the break, but Atlanta re-claimed the lead after a 66th minute Johan Kappelhof own goal and Emerson Hyndman's 85th minute strike.

Last season's beaten MLS Cup finalists Seattle Sounders managed a tie away to LAFC with Australian full-back Brad Smith scoring a 54th minute equaliser.

Colombian midfielder Eduard Atuesta had given the hosts a second minute lead.

Christhian Paredes went from zero to hero after scoring an own goal before netting the winner as the Portland Timbers edged Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Paredes' 73rd minute winner came from a superb long ball by Bill Tuiloma which was headed into the Paraguayan's path by Felipe Mora.

 

Ochoa sparks fracas

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa, 20, sparked a post-match fracas after punting the ball into the Minnesota United home fans area, the Wonderwall, upon the final whistle after his side's 2-1 away win. He drew the ire of United coach Adrian Heath who said: "It's a no-no. He's got some edge on him for a kid who's not that good."

 

History-making Austin victory

Austin FC made history with their first-ever franchise goal in the MLS and their maiden MLS win, coming from behind to triumph 3-1 away to the Colorado Rapids.

 

Saturday's results:

New York City 5-0 FC Cincinnati
Nashville SC 2-2 CF Montreal
Toronto FC 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps
San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 FC Dallas
Los Angeles FC 1-1 Seattle Sounders
New England Revolution 1-0 D.C. United
Real Salt Lake 2-1 Minnesota United 
Atlanta United 3-1 Chicago Fire
Inter Miami 2-1 Philadelphia Union
Austin FC 3-1 Colorado Rapids
Portland Timbers 2-1 Houston Dynamo

 

Red Bulls at LA

The Los Angeles Galaxy host the New York Red Bulls, who lost on the opening weekend, in Sunday's only match.

Raul Ruidiaz netted a brace and Joao Paulo scored a stunning goal as Seattle Sounders started their 2021 MLS season with a 4-0 drubbing of Minnesota United.

Ruidiaz scored twice in the second half after Joao Paulo's memorable opener to give last season's runners-up Seattle the perfect start on opening day.

The Sounders – beaten by Columbus Crew in the 2020 MLS Cup final – hit the front four minutes into the second half, Joao Paulo cushioning a cleared cross with one touch before rifling a thunderous volley into the top corner on Friday.

Ruidiaz entered the new season on the back of 12 MLS goals last term. According to Stats Perform, his 0.76 goals per 90 minutes led the league in 2020. When the Peruvian star was on the field, the Sounders scored two goals per 90 – besting their average of 1.5 goals per 90 when he was not last year.

A dominant force in the Western Conference since Brian Schmetzer succeeded legendary former boss Sigi Schmid in 2016, the Sounders doubled the lead with 20 minutes remaining when Will Bruin teed up Ruidiaz.

Ruidiaz made it 3-0 three minutes later after Cristian Roldan turned provider before Fredy Montero completed the rout four minutes from time at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, where the Sounders had an expected goals (xG) difference of 20.9 last season, well clear of next-best team Los Angeles FC (12.0)

In the only other match on Friday, Houston Dynamo edged San Jose Earthquakes 2-1.

Houston built a two-goal buffer by the 55th minute thanks to Memo Rodriguez and Maximiliano Urruti.

A stunning 74th-minute strike from San Jose substitute Paul Marie set up a tense finish, but the Dynamo held on for maximum points.

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