A memorable performance for Thiago Almada, a historic day for St Louis CITY SC, and a stellar debut goal from Mateusz Klich headlined the Best of MLS for Week 1.
Almada scored twice in stoppage time as Atlanta United overcame a first-half deficit to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The 21-year-old called his own number on two different occasions as Gonzalo Pineda’s squad used the heroics from Almada to avoid an opening day loss.
St. Louis CITY SC overcame a late deficit to defeat Austin FC and earn its first three points as an MLS franchise. Bradley Carnell’s squad used two goals in the final 12 minutes to win 3-2 at Q2 Stadium, setting an early standard on what we could expect from the expansion club.
Mateusz Klich opened his MLS account on Saturday in D.C. United’s comeback 3-2 victory over Toronto FC. The Polish international raced upfield in the 13th minute before unleashing a right-footed strike into the bottom-left corner of Sean Johnson’s net. Klich logged 90 minutes in his club debut as Wayne Rooney left Audi Field pleased with his new acquisition’s immediate impact.
Here are the top moments in Week 1:
Player of the Week
Atlanta United waited until the dying moments to turn things around against the San Jose Earthquakes, but Thiago Almada saved the best for last with two stellar goals in stoppage time.
Almada’s right-footed missile in the 98th minute deflected in off the crossbar, giving the Five Stripes a 2-1 comeback victory over the visiting Quakes. The Argentine playmaker had tied things up earlier in second-half stoppage time with a perfectly-placed free kick and followed that up with an early Goal of the Year candidate.
Almada will be crucial to Atlanta United’s hopes this season with the club still trying to replace Josef Martinez.
Jordan Morris, Julian Carranza, and Theodore Ku-Dipietro were honorable mentions for the Player of the Week honors.
Team of the Week
Not many teams have found much success heading to Q2 Stadium over the past year, but expansion side St. Louis CITY SC began life in MLS with three points on Saturday.
Bradley Carnell’s squad used an 86th minute winner from Joao Klauss to claim a 3-2 victory over Austin FC, giving the Western Conference club its first MLS victory. Tim Parker and Jared Stroud also scored goals of their own as St. Louis returned home with a crucial opening day win.
St. Louis CITY SC handed out nine MLS debuts on Saturday night in Austin, giving several standouts from last season’s MLS NEXT Pro campaign a strong opportunity to shine.
The Philadelphia Union, Nashville SC, and Real Salt Lake also earned important opening night victories with three points.
Goal of the Week
Mateusz Klich needed only 13 minutes to open his MLS account on Saturday night at Audi Field, delivering an early glimpse of his long-term potential.
Klich rifled home past Sean Johnson in the 13th minute of D.C. United’s eventual 3-2 home win over Toronto FC. The 32-year-old lined up a shot outside of the TFC box and watched as his effort nestled into the bottom-left corner.
Klich finished the match with two duels won, six recoveries, and an 87% passing completion rate to go along with his stellar debut goal.
Both of Thiago Almada’s goals for Atlanta United also were among the standout finishes in opening weekend action.