Gyasi Zardes led Columbus Crew to an impressive win over Cincinnati at the MLS is Back Tournament, while the New York Red Bulls also claimed a victory.

Zardes scored a brace as Columbus thrashed Jaap Stam's Cincinnati 4-0 in Florida on Saturday.

Stam took charge of Cincinnati for the first time since being appointed coach in May, but they were well beaten in the Group E clash.

Columbus opened the scoring in the 27th minute through Lucas Zelarayan, who curled in a wonderful 20-yard free-kick.

Just three minutes later and it was 2-0, Zardes finishing clinically after a pass from Youness Mokhtar.

Zardes got on the end of a lovely cross from Zelarayan early in the second half, finishing from close range to complete his brace.

A fine team move led to the sealer with half an hour remaining, Mokhtar curling into the bottom corner from inside the area.

Also in Group E, the Red Bulls edged Atlanta United 1-0.

The game's only goal came through Florian Valot, who finished in a one-on-one in the fourth minute.

MLS will resume play at Disney World Resort in Orlando on July 8, and a pair of Florida teams have the honour of kicking off the tournament with Orlando City facing Inter Miami.

A day after the MLS is Back Tournament was announced, the league held a draw for the group stage on Thursday, placing the 26 teams into six groups.

Sixteen teams will then progress to the knockout stage, which will begin on July 25 ahead of an August 11 final.

Aside from the opening match, the rest of the tournament schedule has yet to be announced.

 

The groups for the MLS is Back Tournament:

Group A (Eastern Conference): Orlando City, Inter Miami, New York City, Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, Nashville SC.
Group B (Western Conference): Seattle Sounders, Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps, San Jose Earthquakes.
Group C (Eastern Conference): Toronto, New England Revolution, Montreal Impact, DC United.
Group D (Western Conference): Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United.
Group E (Eastern Conference): Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew.
Group F (Western Conference): Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers.

Inter Miami suffered another loss to begin life in MLS, while LA Galaxy are also winless through two games.

Coming off a defeat to Los Angeles FC, Inter Miami went down to DC United 2-1 on Saturday.

Rodolfo Pizarro scored the first MLS goal in the club's history, sweeping in a Lewis Morgan cross to give them the lead in just the second minute.

However, the game turned early in the second half when, after Morgan thought he had doubled his side's lead, the visitors had the goal ruled out and Roman Torres sent off for a handball.

DC equalised through Yamil Asad's penalty in the 59th minute before finding what proved to be the winner just after the hour-mark.

Edison Flores hit the post with a free-kick and Frederic Brillant reacted quickest to fire in the rebound and lift DC to their first win of the season.

LA Galaxy are without a win through two games after suffering a 1-0 loss at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Tosaint Ricketts' smart side-footed finish in the 74th minute was enough for the Whitecaps.

Joe Corona was then sent off for Galaxy, who were beaten despite David Bingham later saving a Lucas Cavallini penalty.

Without the injured Josef Martinez, Atlanta United made it two wins from two by beating Cincinnati 2-1.

There are three teams with perfect records in the Western Conference in Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota United and the Colorado Rapids.

Sporting KC thrashed Houston Dynamo 4-0, Ike Opara netted a brace in Minnesota's 5-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado edged Orlando City 2-1 thanks to Drew Moor's late winner.

New England Revolution and Chicago Fire drew 1-1, Real Salt Lake came from behind to hold the New York Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw and Maximiliano Urruti's brace helped Montreal Impact draw 2-2 with Dallas.

Ifunanyachi Achara's goal on his MLS debut saw Toronto overcome New York City 1-0, while the Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 against Columbus Crew.

Carlos Vela provided another highlight as Los Angeles FC defeated Inter Miami 1-0 in their MLS debut on an historic evening.

Birthday boy Vela scored a stunning chip on the stroke of half-time to ensure reigning Supporters' Shield champions LAFC made the perfect start to the 2020 season on Sunday.

Co-owner David Beckham, his famous wife Victoria and Inter's hierarchy were in the stands as the expansion franchise made history in Los Angeles.

Inter battled in their first-ever MLS match but Diego Alonso's side came unstuck following a moment of brilliance from Vela on his 31st birthday.

Former Arsenal forward Vela – who scored a record-breaking 34 goals in a MVP season last term – chipped the ball over Inter captain and goalkeeper Luis Robles in the 44th minute at Banc of California Stadium.

"Surely we have to improve in football, but with this heart and with this intensity with which the team plays, we will surely win many games," said Inter head coach Alonso.

"Against maybe the best team in the league we gave a tremendous picture today of what we can become. With only six weeks of work, the merit is certainly from the footballers for what we have done today and the work they have done."

Seattle Sounders started their title defence with a dramatic 2-1 victory at home to Chicago Fire thanks to substitute Jordan Morris' brace.

Trailing to Robert Beric's 46th-minute opener, the Sounders equalised via Morris just past the hour mark before he netted the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Kevin Molino scored twice as Minnesota United upstaged Portland Timbers 3-1, New York Red Bulls edged Cincinnati 3-2 and 10-man New York City lost 1-0 away to Columbus Crew.

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