MLS round-up: Zlatan Ibrahimovic nets LA Galaxy winner in opening game
Nani helps set up Orlando equaliser on debut
Last Updated: 03/03/19 12:06pm
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner for LA Galaxy as they kicked off the 2019 MLS season with a 2-1 win against Chicago Fire.
The former Manchester United and Barcelona striker headed home in the 80th minute to seal the win for the hosts after Daniel Steres (68) cancelled out C.J. Sapong's opener in the 49th minute.
Ibrahimovic nearly scored nine minutes before he netted the winner, but Chicago keeper David Ousted denied the attempt with an acrobatic save.
Before the game, Galaxy unveiled a statue of David Beckham, who led the club to two championships during his six-season spell.
Another former Manchester United star, Nani, made an impact on his MLS debut as Orlando City drew 2-2 with New York City FC.
The Portugal international came off the bench for the final 20 minutes to the crowd's excitement and then combined with fellow substitute Dom Dwyer to set up Tesho Akindele's equaliser.
Ebenezer Ofori and Alexander Ring had scored first-half goals for New York City but Chris Muller halved the deficit and before Akindele restored parity.
New York Red Bulls also had to settle for a point after Gaston Sauro cancelled out Andreas Ivan's early opener to earn a 1-1 draw for Columbus Crew.
New franchise FC Cincinnati lost their first ever MLS game when they were beaten by the Seattle Sounders.
Despite Seattle controlling the early action, Leonardo Bertone wrote his place in club history with a perfectly struck volley from 25 yards out that beat Stefan Frei in the 13th minute and gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.
But the Sounders soon found their feet. Playing his first regular season match since September 2017, Jordan Morris scored a pair of first-half goals before Kelvin Leerdam added another in the first 45 minutes.
Raul Ruidiaz provided the fourth in the 87th minute after scoring 10 goals in just 14 matches last season.
Andre Shinyashiki scored in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time on his MLS debut as 10-man Colorado Rapids drew 3-3 with Portland Timbers in the coldest match in MLS history.
With a temperature of -8 degrees at kick-off and a field covered by snow as the game progressed, Kei Kamara opened the scoring for the Rapids with a tap-in in the 16th minute, before Diego Valeri's levelled at the second attempt from the spot after Axel Sjoberg was sent off.
Sebastian Blanco converted a Valeri corner to put the Timbers in front, only for Benny Feilhaber to equalise and though Deklan Wynne to score an own goal that gave the Timbers a 3-2 lead in the 66th minute, Shinyashiki had the final say.
Michael Bradley scored his first goal since 2016 and added another in the second half as Toronto FC beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1.
MLS veteran Bradley scored the first goal of the 2019 season in first-half stoppage time, before striking again just after the hour mark. Marco Fabian scored a penalty for Philadelphia but new signing Nick DeLeon sealed victory for Toronto in the closing moments.
Elsewhere, Darwin Quintero, Francisco Calvo and Romario Ibarra were on target as Minnesota United beat Vancouver 3-2, Erik Godoy and Doneil Henry scoring for the Whitecaps in Marc Dos Santos's first match as coach.
Saphir Taider scored the winner as Montreal Impact beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1, while New England Revolution drew 1-1 with FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake were tied 1-1 with Houston Dynamo.