D.C. United and the LA Galaxy aren’t in playoff position yet, but they both delivered statement victories on Saturday to boost their chances of reaching the postseason.
D.C. United thrashed the Montreal Impact to move within two points of the Impact for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
The LA Galaxy posted their second straight shutout win, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps to pull within a point of Real Salt Lake for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Here’s the full rundown of Saturday’s MLS action:
Fire 3, Los Angeles FC 1 (Final)
The Chicago Fire earned quite the upset victory thanks to a strong outing from attacking midfielder Djordje Mihailovic.
Mihailovic scored the opening goal in impressive fashion 20 minutes in. Brandon Vincent floated a cross towards him at the top of the penalty area and the 19-year-old volleyed it home with power. His shot smashed off Tyler Miller’s helpless arm and into the roof of the net for just his second career MLS goal.
After Nemanja Nikolic doubled the lead from the spot, Mihajlovic played an important role in the third goal by spearheading a counter attack and providing a feed to Aleksandar Katai for the all important third goal.
The Fire did well to defend the rest of the match, and LAFC’s only offense came late in the match from Diego Rossi. The Uruguayan floated a shot over Stefan Cleveland in goal after a nice feed from Lee Nguyen in the 73rd minute, but it was too little too late for the visitors.
Despite the win, the Fire are still eliminated from playoff contention. They can take pride in thwe win over an LAFC team that could have gone level for the top spot in the West had they achieved all three points on the afternoon.
Man of the Match: Djordje Mihailovic opened the scoring in unexpected fashion and provided the assist on the counter attack that served as the dagger that kept LAFC from getting anything in this match.
Moment of the Match: The counter attack that led to the third Chicago goal was a real thing of beauty and it put the game out of reach for LAFC.
Match to Forget: Tyler Miller would love to have this game back. He was very poor in the LAFC goal.
Sounders 4, Rapids 0 (Final)
It was all Sounders at CenturyLink Field as the visiting Colorado Rapids were no match for the hots, who dominated play from start to finish.
Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring for the hosts in the 22nd minute with a first-timed shot from inside the penalty spot. Nicolas Lodeiro assisted on the play. The Sounders earned two more open looks over the course of the first half, but neither Ruidiaz nor Gustav Svensson could convert.
Meanwhile, the Rapids failed to put a shot on target in the first half, with Kortne Ford, Jack Price, and Tommy Smith all picking up yellow cards.
The Sounders poured in in after the break. Nicolas Lodeiro doubled the lead in the 52nd minute, sending a penalty kick past a diving Tim Howard to make it 2-0. Referee Nima Saghafi awarded the penalty kick after Kellyn Acosta brought down Lodeiro in the penalty area.
Lodeiro and Ruidiaz paired up to give the Sounders a 3-0 lead in the 73rd minute, with Lodeiro finding Ruidiaz at the goalmouth for an easy tap-in.
Victor Rodriguez added a fourth goal in the 80th minute as the Sounders dominated the second half. The 29-year-old Spaniard gathered a pass from Kelvin Leerdam and rifled a shot into the far-side netting from 15 yards out.
Seattle breaks a two game skid with the victory as they put some extra cushion between them and the red line. They sit six points clear of a playoff spot pending the results of tonight’s action.
Man of the Match: Nicolas Lodeiro. Two assists and a goal on the day. The Uruguayan playmaker now has eight goals and 11 assists this season, fueling the Sounders’ midseason turnaround.
Moment of the Match: Acosta’s tackle on Lodeiro early in the second half. The Rapids looked bereft after Lodeiro converted the ensuing penalty kick, offering no resistance to the Sounders’ attack down the stretch.
Match to Forget: Danny Wilson got shredded on all three Sounders goals from open play and was generally useless in the Colorado backline.
D.C. United 5, Impact 0 (Final)
Luciano Acosta was involved in four of D.C. United’s five goals as they smashed the Montreal Impact 5-0 at Audi Field.
Acosta scored the first of the night with a well placed shot off a feed from Yamil Asad in the 17th minute. He then provided the key pass in Wayne Rooney’s 47th minute goal and both of Paul Arriola’s insurance tallies to complete the rout of a disinterested looking Impact team.
Wayne Rooney also scored twice. His first was a nice piece of footwork after a feed from Acosta to start off the second half and his second took advantage of Evan Bush out of his goal in the 82nd minute.
The win moves D.C. United to within two points of the Impact for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand.
Man of the Match: Luciano Acosta continues to shine in D.C. United’s late season run. He had a goal and three assists tonight to keep his run of form going.
Moment of the Match: Wayne Rooney’s goal early in the second half set the tone for the rest of the game and allowed D.C. to cruise to victory.
Match to Forget: Rudy Camacho was awful for Montreal. A pylon would have defended better on every D.C. goal.
Crew 0, Union 0 (Final)
The Union looked to go ahead in grab the 37th minute after a Jonathan Mensah own goal, but video review showed forward Cory Burke fouled Crew defender Lalas Abubakar ahead of the goal, so the score remained 0-0.
The scoreless affair continued into the second half as both teams struggled to find shots on goal. While Philadelphia finished with 13 shots to the Crew’s 11, the Union failed to generate a shot on goal while the Crew managed just two.
Man of the Match: In a game where no one really stood out, Keegan Rosenberry had enough of an effect to keep the game scoreless. His high passing percentage and defensive work rate were key to the Union’s result.
Moment of the Match: Philadelphia thought they went ahead at the end of the first half thanks to a Mensah own goal, but VAR clearly showed a foul earlier in the play, which ultimately kept the Union from earning what could have been the game’s lone goal.
Match to Forget: Federico Higuain did not have a good game. Pipa was subbed off in the 72nd minute after failing to make any real difference in the offensive half. He only had two shot attempts, both of which were from outside the box and were immediately blocked.
Toronto FC 4, Revolution 1 (Final)
Cristian Penilla opened the scoring for New England in the 10th minute. Luis Caicedo had a free run into the box and was able to lay the ball off for Penilla near the penalty spot, who put the ball past Bono into the bottom left corner of the net, giving the Revolution the early lead.
Toronto pulled even in the 36th minute thanks to a fantastic strike from Sebastian Giovinco. Victor Vazquez found the Italian streaking down the right side of the field, and Toronto’s #10 fired a rocket from outside the box into the top left corner of the net.
Toronto FC appeared to take the lead in the 48th minute thanks to Jonathan Osorio when the midfielder was able to easily tap the ball into the net after Revolution goalkeeper Brad Knighton couldn’t gather a cross from Marky Delgado. But, video review negated the goal after it showed Osorio committed a foul earlier in the sequence, leaving the score level at 1-1.
Just four minutes later Toronto took the lead as forward Lucas Janson found the net. Janson was played down the left side of the field by Giovinco, and while Knighton stopped Janson’s first attempt, the forward was able to score off the rebound to give Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Toronto was sent to the penalty spot in the 58th minute after a high boot from Jalil Anibaba caught Michael Bradley in the box. Victor Vazquez calmly sent the penalty into the net to give the Reds a 3-1 lead.
Marky Delgado sealed the game in the 81st minute as once again Knighton could not gather the ball off a shot. Delgado was alone in the box and easily headed the ball into the goal for Toronto’s fourth goal of the night.
Man of the Match: Giovinco’s exquisite goal showed why he’s still one of the best players in MLS, and his assist later in the game ultimately gave Toronto the go-ahead goal.
Moment of the Match: TFC thought it took the lead when Osorio scored in the 48th minute, but even after VAR negated the goal Toronto kept the pressure on and Jansen’s persistence gave Toronto their second goal of the night.
Match to Forget: Revolution keeper Brad Knighton could not gather and hold on to a ball to save his life. He repeatedly let balls rebound dangerously into the box, two of which led to Toronto goals.
Minnesota United 2, New York City FC 1 (Final)
Angelo Rodriguez opened the scoring for the Loons in the 20th minute as he found himself with a free header at the six-yard-box. Miguel Ibarra sent in a gorgeous cross, and Rodriguez was left wide open for the goal by the NYCFC back line.
Sixteen minutes later Rodriguez struck once again and doubled MNUFC’s lead. A lazy back pass from defender Ben Sweat gifted the ball to the forward, who easily touched the ball around keeper Sean Johnson and tapped it into the net.
Minnesota went down to 10 men in the 75th minute after Collen Warner went in hard on NYCFC midfielder Eloi Amagat, earning his second yellow of the night.
NYCFC pulled one back in the 91st minute as Bobby Shuttleworth couldn’t gather in a save, and Rodney Wallace tapped in the loose ball in the box for NYCFC’s first goal. VAR gave the play a look, but the referee ultimately decided it was a good goal.
Man of the Match: Angelo Rodriguez’s two early goals were the difference in the game and proved crucial after the Loons went down a man in the 75th minute.
Moment of the Match: MNUFC’s second goal came out of nowhere after Ben Sweat’s awful back pass that gave Rodriguez the easy goal. It proved to be the decisive moment in the match after Rodney Wallace’s 91st minute goal for NYCFC.
Match to Forget: Ben Sweat is a quality player, but he’ll surely lose some sleep over what can only be described as an unforgivable error that gave MNUFC the go-ahead goal.
Dynamo 3, Earthquakes 2 (Final)
The Earthquakes opened the scoring in the 37th minute as Chris Wondolowski converted a penalty kick. A.J. DeLaGarza tripped midfielder Tommy Thompson in the box, which sent Wondo to the spot for the penalty.
San Jose doubled their lead in the 45th minute after Alejandro Fuenmayor scored an own goal. The score originally looked to be Wondolowski’s second of the night, but it was ultimately ruled an own goal.
Mauro Manotas pulled one back for Houston in the 56th minute, beating Quakes keeper Andrew Tarbell to the near-post with a right-footed blast.
Tomas Martinez gathered a deflected ball off a 68th minute corner kick and fired it toward the net, sneaking the ball just inside the near post as Earthquakes defender Nick Lima was unable to stop the shot.
Romell Quioto put the Dynamo ahead in the 88th minute with his fifth goal of the year. Mauro Manotas sent in a hard, low cross that Tarbell was unable to gather. Quioto was ready in the six-yard-box and tapped the ball in for the go-ahead goal.
Man of the Match: Tomas Martinez was involved in the Dynamo’s first two scoring plays, assisting on Mauro Manotas’ goal and finding the net himself for the Dynamo’s equalizer.
Moment of the Match: Mauro Manotas became the Houston Dynamo’s all-time single-season scoring leader when he scored his 15th goal of the year in the 56th minute. The record was previously held by Cubo Torres.
Match to Forget: Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell horribly misplayed the corner that led to the second Dynamo goal. Tarbell attempted to come out and punch the ball away, but he missed entirely, and the ball fell to Martinez who tied the game. He also misplayed Manotas’ cross that led to Quioto’s game-winner.
LA Galaxy 3, Whitecaps 0 (Final)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals, and helped set up a third to lead the LA Galaxy to a vital win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Galaxy jumped out to a fourth-minute lead when Romain Alessandrini was taken down in the penalty area. Ibrahimovic converted the penalty kick to give LA the early advantage.
Ibrahimovic blasted a 16-yard shot in the 58th minute to make the score 2-0 Galaxy.
Ibrahimovic drew a penalty in the 76th minute, but let Alessandrini take the ensuing spot kick, and the French midfielder converted to make it 3-0 Galaxy.
The victory moves the Galaxy to within a point of Real Salt Lake for sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
Man of the Match: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the star once again, netting two goals, and drawing the penalty for the Galaxy’s third goal.
Moment of the Match: Ibrahimovic’s second goal was a beauty, a 16-yard blast that Whitecaps goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic failed to get a hand on as it flew past his head.
Match to Forget: Whitecaps centerbacks Kendall Waston and Doneil Henry struggled to deal with the Galaxy attack all night.
Timbers 0, FC Dallas 0 (Final)
FC Dallas secured a place in the Western Conference playoffs after playing the Portland Timbers to a goal-less draw at Providence Park on Saturday night.
The two West teams combined for just three shots on goal in a defensive stalemate.
FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo came close to finding the net in the 44th minute when he struck a shot at goal that took a deflection before hitting off the right post.
The Timbers nearly gifted FC Dallas a goal in the 73rd minute when Cristian Colman picked off a careless pass by Larrys Mabiala and broke in on goal, only to have Jeff Atinella come up with a big save to keep the score 0-0.
Portland’s best chance came in the 81st minute, when Lucas Melano volleyed a Zarek Valentin cross at goal, where Jesse Gonzalez handled it confidently for the toughest of what were three relatively easy saves on the night.
The Timbers went down a man in the 94th minute when Liam Ridgewell was sent off after he went up to challenge for an aerial ball and kicked out at FC Dallas midfielder Roland Lamah, catching him in the backside with his cleats.
The draw helped FC Dallas secure a return to the playoffs after failing to reach the postseason in 2017. The Timbers moved into fourth place in the West with the draw.
Man of the Match: FC Dallas defender Reto Ziegler turned in a strong shift to help the visitors post a shutout at Providence Park.
Moment of the Match: Jeff Atinella’s save on a Cristian Colman chance in the second half helped keep the Timbers from a costly home loss.
Match to Forget: Liam Ridgewell’s late red card isn’t a moment he’ll want to remember, but teammate Samuel Armenteros had a truly forgettable shift at forward.