The Houston Dynamo began their MLS campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of Atlanta United on Saturday.
Andrew Wenger, Philippe Senderos, Mauro Manotas and Darwin Ceren all scored in the first half as Atlanta's sophomore season began with a slump.
The Dynamo had the lead within five minutes as Alberth Elis shrugged off a challenge on the wing and fed Wenger in the six-yard box.
And though Juan Cabezas came off with an injury 10 minutes later, the Dynamo added a second when Senderos headed home Boniek Garcia's corner in the 23rd minute.
The game was well in hand four minutes later, as Elis played a through ball into the box that was cut out but fell to Manotas to slot home for Houston's third.
Ceren, who had come on for Cabezas, wrapped up the impressive first half by lashing home after Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan spilled a lofted free kick.
Atlanta, who also lost defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez to injury, started better in the second half when Josef Martinez drew a penalty, but he sent his spot kick off the post to sum up a disappointing opener for the potential title contenders.