Welcome to Best 11, your weekly recap of the MLS slate that didn’t include America’s favorite team, Atlanta United. All quotes hereto are definitely made up but it’s way more fun to pretend like they’re real. This will be dumb. But maybe also informative? Like most things on this site, you’ll likely end up saying just like one commenter did so long ago: This was a waste of time. Nothing here folks.
In the opening weekend’s most high-profile matchup, Adama Diamonde scored a 94th minute winner to give LAFC a 2-1 win over Sporting KC.
90' + 4 | #LAFC GOOAAAAALL!!!— LAFC (@LAFC) March 4, 2019
DIO GIVES US THE LEAD IN THE FINAL SECONDS!!! #LAFCvSKC pic.twitter.com/ay30PW8n5X
“Well, it’s really good to see Adama shine like a Diamonde,” LAFC manager Bob Bradley said to thunderous applause.
“He came from Hull who didn’t want him, so for us he’s really been a Diamonde in the rough,” Bradley said as those gathered in the room began weeping with joy as the applause continued.
“The best part is he’s been able to make great friends on the team. He’s really great friends with Diego and they’re very close but sometimes they fight. They always make up though. It’s a real Rossi and Rachel relationship,” Bradley said as the applause ceased and the angry crowd lurched forward towards the stage, malice in their eyes and hearts.
In the opening weekend’s most entertaining match, Colorado and Portland braved an actual blizzard in search of soccer glory. Neither found that, but Colorado’s Andre Shinyashiki — making his first MLS start after being drafted out of Denver University in this year’s SuperDraft — found an equalizing goal in the 94th minute to steal a point for the Rapids.
WHAT. A. NIGHT.— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) March 3, 2019
The rookie @AShinyashiki9 caps #SnowClasico3 with a goal in the dying moments!!!!! pic.twitter.com/WRsyk9uUUv
At temperatures that reached as low as 18 degrees, the match was officially the coldest in MLS history.
“You ever play the game SkiFree?” Colorado’s manager......ummm...*googling*...Anthony Hudson said after the game. “I bet you thought that when the Yeti comes you couldn’t escape. Well actually, if you hold down the F key on your keyboard, your skier speeds up and you can outrun the Yeti. I’m serious. This isn’t a joke. You can still play the game for yourself by searching SkiFree online. Just hold down F. This whole time you thought thee Yeti meant the end of the line but all you had to do was press a button. Life is a tapestry.”
When asked why he was talking about SkiFree, Hudson replied, “SkiFree had snow. This game had snow. Trust me this all fits and this bit is absolutely going to kill, Rob and Joe. You definitely don’t have to or want to edit it out.”
In the opening weekend’s first MLS match in MLS history played by FC Cincinatti, Cincy scored this goal.
A of a volley!! Leonardo Bertone with the first goal in #FCCincy @MLS history!!!#SEAvCIN #IgniteUnite pic.twitter.com/NOczJXo6pf— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) March 3, 2019
“Incredible to win our first MLS game. It’s been a helluva ride,” Cincinnati manager Alan Koch told a CenturyLink Field locker room attendant after Koch sprinted into the tunnel immediately following the goal.
Koch continued to walk entirely out of the stadium despite the CenturyLink staff’s best efforts while holding his fingers in his ears yelling “No I don’t know who Jordan Morris is and I won’t answer that because I can’t hear you anyway la-la-la-la-la-la-la.”
In the opening weekend’s most “we’re definitely playing our hardest” match up, Minnesota United prevailed 3-2 over a remodeled Vancouver roster boasting 15 new players. Minnesota’s Darwin Quintero went off for a goal and two assists in the win. In a sad day for music, the win allowed Loons fans everywhere to unironically sing “Wonderwall” and for Minnesota social media to embarrassingly disregard any and all sense of meter and flow in an ill-fated “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” cover.
One, two, three and to the four...— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) March 3, 2019
...Darwin Quintero and Francisco Calvo are at the door pic.twitter.com/SY1afDQ1M6
“...You?” Vancouver manager Marc Dos Santos asked.
“No, not me.” A media member replied.
“What about you?” Dos Santos asked a second reporter.
“No.” they replied.
“...............what about you?” Dos Santos asked the first media member.
“WELL LOOK I’M NOT DOING THIS **** UNTIL I FIGURE OUT WHO’S ON THIS *** **** TEAM,” Dos Santos said before storming out of his post-game press conference and screaming at Fredy Montero to get out of his way.
In the opening weekend’s match-up between a team that allowed the most goals in MLS history last season and a team figuring out what to do without the best player in club history, Orlando City came back from a two goals down to earn a point against NYCFC in a 2-2 draw in Orlando.
.@Tesho13 with his first goal as a Lion! #FaceOfCity pic.twitter.com/gNP0icHZku— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 2, 2019
The man sat in the corner. He rocked. Slowly. On his head a colander. He had attached a name tag to the colander so as to make it clearly visible to the audience in front of him. Written in purple sharpie and crude handwriting was the word ‘ManaGer.” The G was capitalized because he had forgotten how to write a lower case one and he learned early on that you can do things different ways if you forget things because sometimes things are easy to forget and as long as you know that you tried your best they won’t be mean to you. Arranged in a semicircle sat a cadre of well-worn stuffed animals. Jason Kreis stepped to the imaginary microphone.
“I’d like to thank all of you for coming today. So exciting to see our team so well supported by the fans and the medi—WAIT YOUR TURN. YOU WAIT YOUR GOSH DARN TURN TO ASK A QUESTION.” The crowd bristled. “Sorry. Everyone please respect the rules.
“Anyway, it’s great to get a point today. I thought the lads fought hard and it’s good to start the season the right foo—”
Mr. Hops fell over. Kreis leaped into the media pool with righteous fury. The carnage — unlike the microphone, podium, and world’s best soccer coach medal around his neck — was unimaginable.
FC Dallas and New England played to a 1-1 draw.
In the opening weekend’s most Zlatan match up, Zlatan scored a late Zlatan to push Zlatan past the non-Zlatans in an exciting Zlatan Zlatan Zlatan.
The Lion picks up right where he left off.@Ibra_official gives #LAGalaxy the lead! #LAvCHI pic.twitter.com/lDaOLD1rjj— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 3, 2019
Zlatan spoke to the media after the match but got distracted when an out of breath Marc Dos Santos sprinted into the locker room to ask Chris Pontius if Pontius was on his team.
In the opening weekend’s most Columbus versus New York Red Bulls matchup, Columbus and New York Red Bulls scrapped to a 1-1 draw in Ohio. Red Bulls jumped out to a 1-0 lead just six minutes in but Columbus tied things up towards the end of the first half with a head goal from Gaston Sauro because no one heads like Gaston, no one shreds like Gaston, no one puts Red Bulls fans on deathbeds like Gaston.
GASTOOOOOOOOOOOON! ✊#CLBvRBNY | #Crew96 | 1-1 pic.twitter.com/gN9rhE4rYd— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) March 2, 2019
New Columbus coach Caleb Porter spoke to the media after his first game in charge.
“Chris Armas blew it,” Porter said.