Newcomers Open Up New Season In Style

Newcomers Open Up New Season In Style

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 21, 2011
  • 2011 MLS Season, Charlie Davies, Eric Hassli, MLS Newcomers, Omar Bravo

Charlie Davies had a special debut in D.C. against Columbus. (Getty Images)

The first full week is in the books for Major League Soccer and already the new guys in the league are taking over. Not one, nor two but three newcomers all scored two goals a piece in their MLS debuts this weekend. Vancouver’s Eric Hassli got the club’s first MLS goal followed by another on a breakaway. Sporting Kansas City’s Omar Bravo netted a brace of his own against Chivas USA. And then there was Charlie Davies completing his comeback in D.C. with two goals against the Columbus Crew.

I’m no stat major here but this could be a first for the league where three big offseason additions each scored two goals in their debut. I’m sure the league will have something on this at some point but I wanted to point it out to start the new week because it was something else to see.

Eric Hassli – I was extremely impressed with the French striker for Vancouver on Saturday. Sure Toronto’s defense could make anyone look like a star but this DP showed why the club is putting so much faith in him to score and produce this season. The atmosphere was electric in Vancouver for this one and Hassli put the club on the board for the year in a big way.

His presence around the 18-yard box was very solid too. He’s a big striker that won’t be hard to miss on the pitch. Should Vancouver be in the thick of things this season it will solely be due to this guy.

Omar Bravo – First off why didn’t Chivas USA go for this Mexican legend? Seriously, he played for Chivas in Mexico so when he knew he was coming to MLS why didn’t his old club do the smart thing and send him to Chivas USA? This is a steal for Sporting Kansas City as he looked so comfortable on the pitch for them in the opener. Both goals were very entertaining plays and ones that truly showed how brillent he can be when he is on form.

I think a big thing going forward for him is the fact that the pressure for him to produce will be off. Getting that vital first goal out of the way with a new club is always tough to get. Bravo will still be called to produce but he can do so without the pressures that come with getting that first goal.

Charlie Davies – How special of a night was it in D.C.? Extremely special. I’m no D.C. fan but I can tell you I got nothing but goosebumps watching Davies’ second goal from the run of play. It was vintage Davies too. He used his speed around Chad Marshall and made a smart play to beat Will Hesmer. It was nice to see the stanky leg in MLS too.

But man was he emotional after the game. Kudos to the D.C. faithful for getting so behind him when he came into the game and even more kudos to his teammates for putting so much faith in him when they let him take the PK to get his first goal.

D.C. still has a ways to go but as long as Davies is doing what he did against Columbus, you can bet United will be a player in the Eastern Conference this season.

Now these three weren’t the only newcomers with solid debuts. There was one player from Chicago that really stood out to me against FC Dallas this weekend. He scored their only goal of the game and nearly bagged one more.

Diego Chaves – Now Chaves didn’t net two goals for Chicago against Dallas but he certainly came close to having that kind of perfect opener that Hassli, Davies and Bravo did in their games. I was really impressed with the young Uruguayan against Dallas’ big back four. His speed and shot selection were tough to get a handle on and he put loads of pressure on Kevin Hartman in goal for Dallas. Had Chicago won in Frisco to open the new season it would have easily been because of this guy. Folks, he is one to watch out for this season in the Windy City.