-Matt Acconciamessa, US Soccer Daily

We had to wait a couple of months for it, but the first week of MLS play certainly delivered. Here's a look back at the good, the bad, and the ugly from week 1:

The Good

The crowds: In years past, we've seen some pretty anemic opening day crowds, but this time around the numbers were great across the board, including strong crowds for both 2010 MLS Cup participants. The solid attendance also made for better TV viewing for those who, like me, wasted away on their sofas this weekend while taking advantage of the free Direct Kick preview.

Juninho: In just two games, the LA Galaxy midfielder has already equaled his goal total for all of last season. And he's done it in impressive fashion, too, with long-distance bombs beating Kasey Keller and Matt Reis.

Union Defense: After undergoing some change after a lackluster 2010, the Union defense was surprisingly cohesive and effective against Houston on Saturday. Carlos Valdes and Danny Califf partnered well in the center, while Faryd Mondragon added a calming veteran presence between the posts. In just one match, the Union have already earned half of the clean sheets and road wins that they had in 2010. To be fair, though, they probably should have conceded once; we'll get to that in a bit...

Juan Agudelo: As Agudelo has risen up the ranks, many (including myself) feel it necessary to caution against over-hyping him; after all, he's just 18. But it's hard not to get excited after seeing his speed, strength, composure, and finishing ability combined so lethally in New York's lone goal against Seattle.

Charlie Davies: This one needs no explanation. You couldn't script a better return for Davies, scoring a brace in front of the home crowd and dusting the cobwebs off the ol' stanky leg. His post-match interview is an absolute must-watch.  Glad to have you back, CD9.

Omar Bravo: So far, Sporting KC is certainly getting their money's worth on their newest DP.  Bravo's two goals made the difference in the match and showed off the finishing ability that has made him an MLS target for a couple of years now.  It will be interesting to see KC's attack once Teal Bunbury returns; if this week was any indication, it could be pretty fun to watch.

The Bad

Seattle offense: Zero goals in 180 minutes of play is never a good thing.  While the Sounders created a few more opportunities in their second go-around, it still wasn't enough to break through.  Where will the goals come from this year for Sigi Schmid and company? 

Brek Shea at CB: The Shea-at-CB experiment didn't exactly get off to a fantastic start this season, with a 55th minute red card cutting things short.  It wasn't an awful challenge, just a little clumsy, but as the last man back there was justification for a sending off by the letter of the law.  Whether you feel it was deserved or not, it understandably seems that there is still plenty of learning to do for Shea at his new position.

Portland's first half: As someone who had to sit through lots of defensive growing pains at PPL Park last year, I expected at least one of the two newcomers to struggle in their opener.  While the Whitecaps managed to race of the gates, the Timbers' first 45 minutes in MLS weren't nearly as impressive.  Instead of opening up an early lead, John Spencer's men were left in the dust by a strong Rapids side, who looked every bit like champs.

The Ugly

Dominic Oduro: As I mentioned earlier, the Union probably should have given up one goal on Saturday.  Fortunately for them, it was Dominic Oduro in front of goal, putting forth an effort that would make even Chad Barrett blush. Check it out here.

Toronto FC: If you were new to the MLS party, you might have wondered which team was the expansion team while watching the all-Canadian opener at picturesque Empire Field.  It seems as if there are in fact three certainties in life: death, taxes, and dysfunction at TFC.


All in all, it was a damn entertaining opening week.  Feel free to add anything I missed in the comments section.
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