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MLS Round Up: Atlanta’s Josef Martinez to miss significant time with torn ACL

The 25th MLS season kicked off this weekend. What went down and how does it effect Toronto FC?

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Nashville SC
Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) is tended to after an injury during the second half against Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.
(The Tennessean/USA TODAY NETWORK)

The 2020 Major League Soccer season officially kicked off this past weekend. The 25th season of the league saw the much anticipated Beckham-backed Inter Miami play their first game, as well as the introduction of Mexican international Javier “Chicharito” Hernández with the LA Galaxy. Toronto FC, meanwhile, suffered last-second heartbreak, conceding a beautiful free-kick goal in the dying seconds in San Jose, walking away with just a single point.

But the biggest story line of them all is what, unfortunately, happened to our rivals in the Dirty South.

Here is how this past weekend in MLS wrapped up.

Atlanta United @ Nashville SC

Almost 60,000 fans were on hand in Nashville to watch their team make history by playing their first ever MLS match. Atlanta ruined the party though with a 2-1 win but suffered a huge blow as they lost their star striker and the 2018 MLS top scorer Josef Martinez with a torn ACL. This significant loss leaves Atlanta searching for a replacement for Martinez as they will now battle to remain a top contender in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto FC @ San Jose Earthquakes

Toronto FC traveled to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes. 2019 saw a much improved Earthquakes team emerge from previous seasons and they were hoping to carry that momentum into 2020 starting with a win over TFC. After Toronto went up by two goals, a strong comeback and late equalizer by San Jose off a fantastic free kick saw the teams split the points. Going back to last season, this draw extends the regular season unbeaten streak to 11 games for Toronto FC.

New York City FC @ Columbus Crew

It was an early exit from the 2019 MLS playoffs for NYCFC losing in the Eastern Conference semi-finals to Toronto FC, so New York were looking to shake that off and come out strong to start the 2020 campaign. Unfortunately, a red card in the 4th minute put the pressure on New York who never found their feet giving up a 1-0 loss to Columbus. Coach Ronnie Deila is eyeing this weekend’s upcoming match against Toronto as an opportunity to bounce back.

Chicago Fire @ Seattle Sounders

After going down 1-0, second half substitute Jordan Morris came on strong and scored two goals to give the 2019 MLS Cup Champions the win at home. Chicago looked good early but Morris, who played in the previous Thursday’s Concacaf Champions League game against Olimpia, made a noticeable difference in the Sounders’ attack as soon as he came on and in the end proved too much for the Fire. Seattle ended up winning 2-1.

Inter Miami CF @ Los Angeles FC

The much anticipated Inter Miami traveled to Los Angeles to take on last year’s Supporter Shield winners LAFC. It took some magic by last season’s leading scorer Carlos Vela to break the deadlock with a beautiful chip just past the reach of the keeper giving LAFC the 1-0 win. Other than a few half chances Inter Miami didn’t give LA much to worry about. Before the match some LAFC fans had fun trolling Inter Miami owner David Beckham.

LA Galaxy @ Houston Dynamo

The latest big name player to make their way to MLS started his campaign this past weekend. Javier “Chicharito” Hernández and the LA Galaxy traveled to Houston where the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw. Chicharito failed to provide any magic in front of the sold out Dynamo crowd but the Galaxy will take the point and head back to LA to get ready to face the Vancouver Whitecaps this coming weekend in their home opener.

Philadelphia Union @ FC Dallas

FC Dallas surprised Philadelphia with a 2-0 win at home. After the match Union coach Jim Curtin said that his team lacked cohesion in their attack and they will need to clean things up for when they go into their next match against LAFC this coming Sunday. FC Dallas started their season strong and hope to build on their 7th place finish from last season in the Western Conference.