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By ESPN Staff

Red Bulls start season with Chicago victory

The New York Red Bulls began life in their own purpose-built stadium with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire to kick off their 2010 Major League Soccer campaign.

Last season's last-placed side moved from former home Giants Stadium into the soccer-specific Red Bull Arena and continued their good pre-season form under new head coach Hans Backe in front of 24,572 fans.

New midfield signing and Estonia international Joel Lindpere scored the only goal of the game, firing home a right-footed half volley from the edge of the area after Chicago failed to properly clear their lines in the 40th minute.

Former Fulham striker Brian McBride had earlier gone close for the visitors when he hit the New York post with an overhead kick in the 23rd minute but for the rest of the game Backe, who left Notts County before Christmas, had his defence to thank for keeping Chicago at bay.

Elsewhere on a busy first weekend of MLS action, reigning champions Real Salt Lake opened their title defence with a 3-0 victory away at the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Salt Lake scored two first-half goals through Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola in the opening half-hour before Morales sealed victory with his second of the night in the 54th minute, two minutes after Earthquakes defender Chris Leitch was sent off.

Real Salt Lake had needed sudden death penalties to win the title in the MLS Cup final and finally see off the Los Angeles Galaxy in Seattle last November and the losing finalists bounced back from that disappointment with a season-opening victory over New England.

Edson Buddle scored the only goal, getting on the end of a free-kick from the left from former Everton loanee and last season's MLS player of the year Landon Donovan in the sixth minute.

English defender Andy Iro opened the scoring for the Columbus Crew on the way to a 2-0 home victory over Toronto FC.

Columbus, Eastern Conference champions in 2009, stretched their unbeaten record over the Canadians to 10 games since Toronto joined the league in 2007 with Guillermo Barros Schelotto adding to Iro's first-half header three minutes from time, shooting into an empty net after Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei had collided with Crew defender Danny O'Rourke.

The Texas derby saw Houston Dynamo draw 1-1 at FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. Houston opened the scoring in the 36th minute. The home side responded two minutes later when Atiba Harris grabbed the equaliser.

The biggest win of the night went to the Kansas City Wizards, who thrashed DC United in a 4-0 home victory.

The game was made even more uncomfortable for DC head coach Curt Onalfo, who left the Wizards midway through last season and saw his old club score twice in each half.

Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the ninth minute, with Davy Arnaud adding a second in the 34th. Debutant Ryan Smith hit the third in the 54th minute with Jack Jewsbury converting a 70th-minute penalty to round out the victory.


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