Home teams ruled the day on Saturday in Major League Soccer action, with only one road team managing to secure a win.
The New York Red Bulls were that one team, riding a controversial penalty kick to a late win against the LA Galaxy.
The Chicago Fire grabbed a precious road point in Toronto, rallying from 2-0 down to keep TFC from climbing out of the Eastern Conference basement.
Here is a closer look at all of Saturday’s MLS matches:
Galaxy 2, Red Bulls 3
Saturday’s main event ended with a late goal and a New York Red Bulls victory over the LA Galaxy.
With the scored tied at 2-2 in the 82nd minute, the Red Bulls took the lead for good as Alejandro Romero ‘Kaku’ Gamarra scored from the penalty spot to seal the win. The penalty was awarded after a questionable handball call on Galaxy defender David Romney.
The Red Bulls jumped ahead early through Daniel Royer, playing in his first match since signing a new deal with the club. Royer’s goal came just seven minutes in, finishing on a quick counter to give the visitors the early lead.
That lead appeared to evaporate just moments later, but VAR overturned a Galaxy goal due to an offside call.
Minutes into the second half, the went up to thanks to a Florian Valot goal, but the Galaxy stormed back soon after. First, it was a magnificent Zlatan Ibrahimovic pass to create an Ola Kamara goal before Giovani dos Santos provided the equalizer in the 66th minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Kaku was involved in the build-up to both goals before scoring the game-winner himself in a match that highlightesd the strengths of the young Argentine.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: A pair of VAR calls shifted the match a great deal with the second coming just moments before the Red Bulls winner.
MATCH TO FORGET: Referee Alan Chapman appears to have blown the match-deciding call when he whistled David Romney for a highly-questionable penalty that sealed the Red Bulls win.
Minnesota United 2, Dynamo 1
Alberth Elis continued his recent run with a goal in the 10th minute, giving the visiting Dynamo the early advantage. The Dynamo forward was the recipient of a perfect cross from Romell Quioto, as Elis was left with little more than a tap-in on the back post for the opening goal.
Meanwhile, the injury crisis continued for Minnesota, as Mason Toye was replaced Christian Ramirez in the 30th minute with a hamstring injury.
In the 39th minute, Minnesota got their equalizer after Darwin Quintero won a penalty from an Alejandro Fuenmayor handball.
Minnesota got their go ahead goal in the 70th minute, with Miguel Ibarra’s cross finding Ibson right in front of goal.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Minnesota’s one named man, Ibson, had himself a night as he grabbed the game winner, entertaining from midfield and remaining active in attack in the process.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ibson’s game winner capped off a strong night for the midfielder, as he showed some flair with a backheel that sent the ball through a defender’s legs and into the back fo the net.
MATCH TO FORGET: Mauro Manotas was incredibly quiet on a day when his team needed goal and was arguably the most absent of an attacking group that quickly checked out of the game.
Crew 2, Earthquakes 1
Following an extended dry spell, the Crew got a much-needed victory on Saturday, topping the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, to get back in the win column.
The Crew got on the board via Harrison Afful, who gave the hosts the lead in the 28th minute. Played in by Federico Higuain, Afful rocketed a shot into the roof of the net to push the Crew to a first half lead.
Just moments before the halftime whistle, though, the Quakes leveled the score. On the end of a great ball from Florian Jungwirth, Danny Hosen provided a 45th minute finish, restoring the deadlock heading into the halftime break.
With just six minutes remaining, the Crew seized victory on a Mike Grella goal. A second half substitute, Grella finished an assist from Pedro Santos, earning the Crew the club’s first win in five games.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Federico Higuain pulled all of the strings on Saturday, having a standout performance despite only registering the one assist.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Mike Grella’s late winner sealed all three points and a much-needed confidence boost for the Crew.
MATH TO FORGET: Chris Wondolowski was held relatively quiet throughout his 71 minutes, failing to register a shot for a Quakes team that failed to truly test Zack Steffen.
Revolution 1, Sporting KC 0
Saturday’s effort certainly wasn’t pretty, but it was enough for the Revs to top Sporting KC.
New England went ahead in the 44th minute after referee David Gantar went to VAR to examine a Teal Bunbury goal initially ruled offside. Diego Fagundez advanced the ball down the middle to Bunbury, who turned for a simple, low finish from 10 yards out. Bunbury was over a yard behind the final defender on the play, but the VAR found that he was not offside because Sporting KC’s Roger Espinoza got a slight touch on Fagundez’s through ball.
The Revolution looked like they had doubled their lead in the 80th minute when a Krisztian Nemeth shot went off the right post and Fagundez swooped in to bury the rebound. However, the goal was called off due to a handball by Nemeth.
Diego Rubin went down in the box in the 88th minute after Revs midfielder Wilfried Zahibo stuck his leg in from behind, but Gantar opted not to award Sporting KC a penalty and the hosts held on for the victory.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Although Cristian Penilla didn’t score for the Revs, it wasn’t for lack of trying as he led all players with six shots, including a game-high three on target.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The only goal of the game takes the cake. It was difficult to tell in the moment and on TV replay who got the final touch between Fagundez and Espinoza, but whatever other camera angle MLS had helped the Revs to three points.
MATCH TO FORGET: Along with making a negative play that decided the game, Espinoza did not make much of a positive impact. He also conceded a dangerous free kick at the edge of the box in the 71st minute that the Revs couldn’t take advantage of.
Atlanta United 4, Impact 1
It may have taken a while to get going, but Atlanta United eventually got their blowout win against the Montreal Impact.
Popular opinion said that Atlanta wold make quick work of the visiting Impact in this match, but don’t tell that to Impact midfielder Saphir Taider or goalkeeper Evan Bush. Bush came up big with a highway robbery save on a header by Josef Martinez and Taider opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
Thanks in large part to a sound defensive plan from the Impact, Atlanta United were held off the scoresheet for a large portion of the match. They took a ton of shots, but most were wayward and didn’t pose much of a threat. The two main chances they had were the Bush save earlier and a set piece that ended in Jeff Larentowicz tapping the ball in, but not after Martinez was caught off side on the initial ball in.
It took a penalty for them to finally get on the board. A handball in the box by Chris Duvall gave Miguel Almiron the chance to bury the equalizer. Bush almost stopped his shot, though. He got a lot of palm to the attempt, but it was struck with enough power to make it through the diving keeper.
The winner came from Kevin Kratz, who nailed a picture perfect free kick for his first goal of the season in the 78th minute. Almiron managed to slip an insurance goal through in the 84th to seal the result. Just for fun, Kratz smashed another free kick just before the final whistle.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Miguel Almiron bagged another pair of goals to fuel the Atlanta comeback.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The handball against Chris Duvall and the subsequent Almiron finish from the spot truly changed the tone of this game.
MATCH TO FORGET: Jeisson Vargas was a non-factor on Montreal’s few counter attack opportunities before he was subbed off in the 78th minute just before the Kratz winner.
Toronto FC 2, Fire 2
Fresh off their CONCACAF Champions League Final disappointment, Toronto FC was looking for a big game at home against the Chicago Fire. They had many of their regulars back in the starting eleven as well, despite the Wednesday night match in Mexico.
It was good to have that crew back in MLS play as well, as it was Toronto FC’s main pieces getting the job done for them in the first half. Jonathan Jonathan Osorio opened the scoring for them nice and early with a seventh minute finish. Sebastian Giovinco thought he made it two a few minutes later, but VAR stepped in to raise the off side flag and take the goal down.
Victor Vazquez would float a cross into the net in the 22nd minute to double the lead, but then the Fire started to wake up a bit. Bastian Schweinsteiger had a penalty saved late in the first half, but he made up for the failure in the 69th minute by scoring to cut into the TFC lead.
Just when it looked TFC would come out of this one with their second win of the season, Alan Gordon stepped up to do what Alan Gordon does. He hammered home the equalizer with the final kick of the match to ensure a point for his side.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Bastian Schweinsteiger was the machine in the middle of the park keeping the Fire moving. He scored the first goal for his team and, despite missing a penalty, made sure the attack kept moving and allowed his team to get a big away point.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Alan Gordon only knows how to score in the dying minutes of a game. His 94th minute strike was the final word in this thrilling 2-2 draw.
MATCH TO FORGET: Richard Sanchez could have done better to keep Vazquez’s accidental cross from going into the net, in the end, that cost the Fire all three points in this one.
Union 3, D.C. United 2
It was a back and forth affair at Talen Energy Stadium between two sides looking for an important win to spark their seasons. However it was the home team who kept on fighting for a huge home victory.
The Philadelphia Union used a trio of goals to down visiting D.C. United 3-2 in a back-and-forth contest in Chester. D.C. struck the first blow in the seventh minute as Zoltan Stieber beat Andre Blake for his first goal of the season. It was the Hungarian’s second for the club since joining in 2017.
After lacking the final touch in front of goal, the Union continued to fight for an equalizer and it came before halftime. A driven shot from Ilsinho in the 37th minute beat Steve Clark to the bottom-left corner. It was Ilsinho’s ninth career goal for Philadelphia, and his third against D.C.
C.J Sapong headed Philly in front in the 65th minute as the forward finished a nice headed assist from Alejandro Bedoya. Haris Medunjanin started the play with a great cross to Bedoya who hit the open Sapong for his second goal of the season.
Darren Mattocks made an immediate impact off the bench for D.C., volleying Stieber’s cross past Blake in the 71st minute to level the score.
Borek Dockal had found his first few matches with the Union frustrating, but the Czech Republic midfielder showed composure when it counted. Dockal netted his first goal for the club, by rifling a right-footed effort past Steve Clark in the 72nd minute to regain the lead for Jim Curtin’s side.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Borek Dockal earned man of the match honors, scoring the winner for his side on Saturday. The Designated Player looked a lot more comfortable in midfield, and came up with the goods when it mattered for a struggling Union side.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After Mattocks drew the score level, it sure looked like the points were going to be shared by the two clubs. However, Philadelphia continued to press forward and got a deserved winner from their newest player.
MATCH TO FORGET: The combination of Fred Brillant and Steve Birnbaum were not at their best on Saturday, dealing with constant pressure by Philadelphia. Brillant was bodied out of the way by Sapong for Philly’s second goal, while it looked like the Frenchman deflected Ilsinho’s effort in earlier in the match. Both will need to be better if D.C. wants to improve defensively.