Saturday’s Major League Soccer action started off in Southern California as the latest edition of El Trafico saw the Galaxy come out victorious over Los Angeles FC. Cristian Pavon’s pair of assists led the way for Galaxy, who posted their first win of the season, and first shutout against LAFC.
Elsewhere, Pity Martinez’s double led Atlanta United over Nashville SC while Julian Carranza also scored a brace to lead Inter Miami over Orlando City for the first win in club history.
Real Salt Lake snapped its three match winless run with a dominant 4-1 victory over rivals Colorado.
Here is the full rundown of Saturday’s MLS action.
LAFC 0, LA Galaxy 2
(Zubak 26′, Lletget 54′)
A pair of assists from Cristian Pavon provided the LA Galaxy with the two goals they needed to take down their crosstown rivals.
The Galaxy grabbed their lead in the 26th minute off a corner. The Galaxy took the set piece short, which allowed Pavon to loop a cross onto Ethan Zubak’s head for the smashing finish. They doubled their lead early in the second half thanks to another Pavon assist, this time leading to a first time shot and finish by Sebastian Lletget.
LAFC lost a lot of hope shortly after the goal when Carlos Vela, who opted out of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, left with an apparent knee injury. The LAFC attack was already struggling to create serious chances and the loss of their superstar goal scorer didn’t help their cause.
Both of these teams are next in action on Wednesday night. The Galaxy return home to take on the Seattle Sounders while LAFC is on the road against Real Salt Lake.
Atlanta United 2, Nashville SC 0
(P. Martinez 40′, 87′)
Josef Martinez may be out for the season, but Atlanta United has another high profile attacker in Pity Martinez, who scored twice to lead his team past Nashville SC.
Martinez’s first goal came from a long pass from Eric Remedi. Martinez collected the lob and took a couple of touches before cutting inside the defense and smacking a shot past Joe Willis. His second came at the tail end of an 87th minute counter attack. Martinez started the move with a nice through pass from the center of the park and he managed to follow up his feed to provide the finish a few seconds later.
Nashville did have their chances to get on the board. They controlled a fair amount of possession later on in the match and actually outshot Atlanta 10-5 on the entire game. None of that was enough to penetrate a well organized Atlanta defense or to hold off the attacking prowess of Pity Martinez.
Both sides leave Atlanta and head for matches in Florida on Wednesday night. Atlanta will take on Orlando City while Nashville heads to Fort Lauderdale to face Inter Miami.
Inter Miami 3, Orlando City 2
(Carranza 12′, 23′, Pizarro 48′)-(Dike 18′, Nani 80′)
Inter Miami opened up its home venue, Inter Miami CF Stadium, in style with the first win in team history via a 3-2 victory over rivals Orlando City in the second edition of the Sunshine Clasico.
Julian Carranza scored twice for the expansion side, while Rodolfo Pizarro also scored to establish a two-tally lead through 49 minutes, but a late header from Nani made for a nervy finish.
Inter Miami scored an early opener against its rivals, as turnover in midfield led to a quick hit in transition. Pizarro ultimately fed a streaking Carranza, who hit a low finish that surprised Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese at the near post.
The Lions did not have to wait very long to find an equalizer, scoring six minutes later off a follow-up effort from Darryl Dike. The rookie forward took an initial shot that Inter Miami goalkeeper Luis Robles parried, and then collected the rebound and fired a second attempt that was deflected on the way in.
Carranza reclaimed the lead for Inter Miami in the 23rd minute, looping a nice header into the net after getting on the end of a precise Ben Sweat cross.
Rodolfo Pizarro added to the expansion club’s lead to ensure the victory in the 49th minute, clinically pushing home a deflected cross in the penalty area before jumping into the stands to celebrate with a cardboard cutout of a fan.
Refusing to give up, Orlando City pulled one back 10 minutes from time when Chris Mueller curled in a ball towards the back post that Nani headed past Robles.
Rapids 1, Real Salt Lake 4
(Herrera (OG) 38′ – Kreilach 57′, Chang 76′, Baird 85′, Meram 89′)
Real Salt Lake overturned a first-half deficit into three points after storming back for a 4-1 Rocky Mountain Cup win over rivals Colorado Rapids.
Herrera’s unfortunate own goal put Freddy Juarez’s side down going into halftime, but RSL would have the last laugh. Damir Kreilach’s right-footed missile in the 57th minute beat William Yarbrough to tie things at 1-1.
Maikel Chang slotted home a rebound in the 76th minute for his first MLS goal. It also proved to be the winning goal in the end. Corey Baird was set up by Chang for his right-footed finish in the 85th minute before Justin Meram got in on the action four minutes later.
The Rapids winless run continued heading into a midweek showdown with FC Dallas. RSL returns to Rio Tinto Stadium to welcome LAFC to town.