Whitecaps win another opener

The Associated PressMarch 3, 2013 

Gershon Koffie’s goal in the 60th minute lifted the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday in the teams’ season opener in Vancouver, B.C.

Koffie helped the Whitecaps win their opener for the third year in a row. He scored following some beautiful passing shortly after Vancouver took control of the play.

The Whitecaps won their first MLS game against Toronto in 2011 and beat Montreal in last year’s opener en route to becoming the first Canadian team to qualify for the league playoffs.

The loss spoiled the debut of new Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen, a recently retired English Premier League star and New Zealand international, who has undertaken several lineup changes in a bid to improve the team’s 10th place finish in the Eastern Conference last season.

At Dynamo 2, DC United 0: Ricardo Clark scored and helped create a D.C. United own goal to lead Houston to the victory.

In a rematch of the 2012 MLS Eastern Conference title playoff, the Dynamo took a 1-0 lead on an own goal by United’s James Riley in the 80th minute. Off Brad Davis’ corner kick, Riley and Clark went up for the ball, with Riley heading it into the left net.

Clark extended Houston’s lead to 2-0 in the 89th minute, taking a pass from Warren Creavalle outside the right 6-yard box and sending it high inside the far post.

Sporting KC 3, at Union 1: Graham Zusi had a goal and an assist, leading Sporting Kansas City to the comeback win over Philadelphia. Sporting KC is 12-4-2 in season openers, the best mark in the league.

Oriol Rosell (66th minute) and Claudio Bieler (83rd) also scored for Kansas City. (1-0), the defending Eastern Conference champions.

The Union took a 1-0 lead on a goal by former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux, the club’s career leader with 26 goals who was reacquired by Philadelphia in the offseason.

At FC Dallas 1, Rapids 0: Jackson scored in the 11th minute, and FC Dallas held on to beat Colorado.

Colorado, which went 3-13-1 on the road last season en route to missing the playoffs, just two years after defeating Dallas in the 2010 MLS Cup Final, started five newcomers — including four who were making their MLS debuts.

Dallas, also looking to return to the postseason after finishing sixth in the Western Conference last year, improved its all-time home record against the Rapids to 20-6-4.

Jackson, who had four goals last season, struck after David Ferreira launched a lead ball from beyond midfield. Jackson tried to chase it down and as goalkeeper Steward Ceus charged out of the penalty area, it bounced over him, allowing Jackson an easy shot into an open net

Crew 3, at Chivas USA 0: Federico Higuain scored in the 51st minute off the right post to ignite a three-goal outburst in the second half as Columbus beat Chivas USA.

Josh Williams (88th minute) and Dominic Oduro (stoppage time) added the other goals for the Crew.

Referee Chris Penso handed out four yellow cards to Chivas, which featured nearly an entirely different roster from 2012. Seven players made their MLS debuts, as did coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola.

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