The newest soccer cathedral in North America was christened with a wild affair Saturday afternoon.
The 3-3 draw between Minnesota United and New York City FC at Allianz Field had a little bit of everything, and in a way it was the perfect type of MLS match to open a stadium.
Osvaldo Alonso delivered the moment everyone in the Twin Cities waited three years to see in the 13th minute, when he blasted the first goal in stadium history into the net.
Nineteen minutes later, the score was 3-2 in favor of the Loons and one of the most stunning own goals credited to Sean Johnson occurred.
The first 32 minutes in Allianz Field history will go down as nothing but memorable with a back-and-forth affair between the two sides breaking out.
From a long-term perspective, a draw at home won’t hurt the Loons much since they already have three road victories to their name.
As long as Adrian Heath’s side takes control of the home-field advantage throughout the 2019 season, the Loons should be in the mix for the Western Conference playoffs, a destination that would be a welcome sight after the struggles of the first two seasons.
After a Week 8 trip to Toronto, the Loons have an opportunity to secure their fortress in the north against some of the best teams in MLS.
If the Loons take the challenge posed by the LA Galaxy, D.C. United and Seattle Sounders head on, they will not only prove they are one of the best home teams in MLS, but one of the top handful of teams in the West.
Unfortunately for MLS, Week 7 didn’t end on a high note.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Kaku fired a ball into the stands in frustration in the 94th minute against Sporting Kansas City. The Paraguayan international was immediately sent off for his actions, and his awful decision-making was roasted on social media.
Kaku was given a red card in extra time after intentionally kicking the ball into the stands at close range and hitting a fan. pic.twitter.com/QxjmBz5fV8
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 15, 2019
The actions of the 24-year-old could garner additional sanctions from the league office.
Other Red Bulls players tried to make up for their teammate’s actions by going over to visit the fan after the game ended.
Checking in with the fan in the stands. 🙏
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) April 15, 2019
Kaku also apologized for the incident on Twitter, but the Red Bulls didn’t escape criticism postgame, especially after Luis Robles’ comments on the situation.
“I know that he’s remorseful about it,” Robles told the Kansas City Star after the match. “I know that he didn’t mean to do it. We all checked in with the guy. I guess that’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?”
Luis Robles on Kaku: "I know that he’s remorseful about it. I know that he didn’t mean to do it. We all checked in with the guy. I guess that’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?"
— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) April 15, 2019
Sadly the nonsense at the end of Week 7 stole the headlines from an entertaining crop of matches that included a few intriguing goals, some unfortunate howlers and a wild stretch Saturday afternoon in which everyone decided to score.
Goals of the Week
Ezequiel Barco, Atlanta United
Can't stop watching this ☄️😍
Ezequiel Barco is up for MLS Goal of the Week!
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) April 15, 2019
Osvaldo Alonso, Minnesota United
— Osvaldo Alonso (@OzzieAlonso) April 14, 2019
Lucas Rodriguez, D.C. United
Lucas Rodríguez wanted to get in on the action. 😏
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 14, 2019
Howlers of the Week
David Ousted, Chicago Fire
David Ousted delivered the first goalkeeping blunder of Week 7 on Friday night. The Chicago goalkeeper raced to the edge of the box, failed to control the ball and allowed Vancouver to score on an open net.
Just how we drew it up…
Yordy Reyna gives #VWFC the lead!
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) April 13, 2019
Sean Johnson, New York City FC
Luckily for Ousted, Sean Johnson one-upped him and made everyone forget about the Friday night howler with a terrible own goal that went viral.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 13, 2019
The formation of Jozuelo
Every duo needs a cool nickname.
Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo have theirs. Jozuelo combined on both of Toronto FC’s goals in the loss to Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Based off early returns in Ontario, Pozuelo will be feeding Altidore with many more assists this season.
Atlanta United panic button update
Atlanta United fans have backed away from the break-in-case-of-emergency hammer and are nowhere near slamming the panic button after Saturday’s win over New England.
The Five Stripes benefited from a week off and Ezequiel Barco finally started to show signs of why he was a big-money signing a year ago.
After the panic that ensued in March, Frank de Boer’s side is now three points out of a playoff place in the Eastern Conference.
Let’s get Loony
During a 30-minute stretch Saturday afternoon, everything happened at once in three different games.
After a weather delay pushed back the second-half start at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston and San Jose combined for three goals in eight minutes.
Up in Seattle, the Sounders scored a pair of goals and then Altidore deposited his second strike of the game into the net to complete a wild four-minute stretch.
Then there was the chaos in Minnesota, where five goals were scored in 19 minutes.
The end-to-end action on Saturday afternoon was a perfect example of how crazy an MLS weekend can get.
The popcorn is already in the microwave warming for the Week 8 clash between the Sounders and Los Angeles FC.
Sunday’s clash at Banc of California Stadium is one of two head-to-head meetings to end April between the Western Conference powers.