MLS Review: Champions Toronto still winless, Atlanta crush Whitecaps
Toronto's title defence failed to ignite after the winless MLS champions crashed to consecutive defeats, while Atlanta United routed 10-man Vancouver Whitecaps.
Saturday saw Sebastian Giovinco's Toronto upstaged by Canadian rivals Montreal Impact 1-0 at Stade Olympique.
Toronto have been flying high in the CONCACAF Champions League, where they are set to meet Mexican giants America in the semi-finals, but the MLS titleholders have struggled domestically.
And Toronto are still searching for their first win of the MLS season after Jeisson Vargas' deflected shot four minutes before half-time lifted the Impact to victory number one in 2018.
Toronto are rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, along with Chicago Fire, who lost 2-1 at Minnesota United.
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) March 17, 2018
Atlanta made the most of their numerical advantage as they eased past the Whitecaps 4-1.
Playing in front of 45,000 fans in Atlanta, the hosts crushed Vancouver thanks to Kendall Watson's 13th-minute red card and Josef Martinez's hat-trick.
Watson was dismissed for a foul on Leandro Gonzalez Pirez following a video review and Martinez converted the subsequent penalty.
It was one-way traffic from that point as Aaron Maund scored an own goal in the 58th minute before Martinez added a third on the hour-mark.
Substitute Erik Hurtado managed to pull a goal back for the visitors but Martinez completed his hat-trick with two minutes remaining after heading past Stefan Marinovic.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) March 18, 2018
Atlanta are third in the east and three points behind unbeaten New York City, who made it three wins from as many matches thanks to their 2-0 victory over Orlando City.
After a scoreless first half, Ismael Tajouri and Maximiliano Moralez were on target to break Orlando's stubborn resistance at Yankee Stadium.
Luciano Acosta scored a 97th-minute equaliser as DC United salvaged a dramatic 2-2 draw at home to Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City overcame San Jose Earthquakes 3-2, Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew played out a goalless draw, while Real Salt Lake edged New York Red Bulls 1-0.