Atlanta beats Minnesota with Martinez hat trick; Villa brace as NYCFC cruise
Josef Martinez scored a hat trick as Atlanta United FC beat fellow 2017 expansion team Minnesota United FC 6-1 in snowy Minneapolis.
Martinez scored in the third minute to put the hosts on the back foot right out of the gates, with Miguel Almiron adding Atlanta's second and the Venezuela international adding his second before half-time.
Minnesota's Kevin Molino scored from the penalty spot to reduce the arrears before the break, but Almiron hit back with another strike to open the second half and make the score 4-1.
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Martinez was played through in the 75th minute and beat Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage to complete his hat trick.
Substitute Jacob Peterson added the visitors' sixth goal, to hand Minnesota another comprehensive loss after it was beaten 5-1 by the Portland Timbers in week one.
David Villa scored two goals and New York City FC newcomers Rodney Wallace and Maxi Moralez added one each in a 4-0 victory that overshadowed the MLS debut of 2016 Hermann Trophy winner Ian Harkes for D.C. United on Sunday.
Neither team scored in its opener last week but NYCFC got off to a quick start with Wallace firing in the rebound of Jack Harrison's shot off the crossbar in the eighth minute.
Wallace, who played four seasons with the Portland Timbers but spent last season in Portugal and Brazil, sent a cross to Villa, who headed it into the left-hand corner in the 28th.
NYCFC completed a dominant first half with Moralez, an Argentine designated player who replaced the retired Frank Lampard, putting it into the left corner of the net from the top of the penalty area after a pass from Villa in the 39th.
Villa scored his second goal in the 75th from a narrow angle on the left side.
Harkes, a homegrown midfielder who starred at Wake Forest and is the son of two-time MLS Cup winner John Harkes, took two shots, neither on goal.
Sean Johnson made four saves against D.C. United.
Diego Chara scored in the eighth minute for his seventh career goal in seven MLS seasons as the Portland Timbers beat 10-man LA Galaxy 1-0.
Portland, which went winless on the road last season, won for the first time away from home since beating the Galaxy on Oct. 8, 2015. The Galaxy have lost three of their last four regular-season home games after a 15-match home unbeaten stretch.
It's the first time since 2001 that the Galaxy have started a season with two losses.
Portland headed away a Galaxy corner kick in the eighth minute, leading to a counter-attack. Chara headed a long pass to Diego Valeri in a two-on-one break and Valeri rolled it across goal to an open Chara for an easy tap in.
The Galaxy, already without several key players, were reduced to 10-men in the 34th minute after Jelle Van Damme received two yellow cards within a three-minute span. Gyasi Zardes, Ashley Cole and Robbie Rogers were all out with injuries, while Jermaine Jones and Dave Romney were on suspension.
Jake Gleeson had a great reaction save in second-half stoppage time to ensure all three points for the visitors.