Eighteen MLS sides were in action on Saturday night with four of them earning a full three points during the busy regular season schedule.
Orlando City picked up a great result on the road on Saturday afternoon, downing Atlanta United 3-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Chris Mueller and Junior Urso both put in strong performances for the Lions, whom claimed a second win in four days.
The Philadelphia Union also rolled to three points, claiming an eighth-consecutive home win in its head-to-head series with D.C. United. Kacper Przybylko bagged his first brace since July 2019, helping Jim Curtin’s side to a 4-1 victory.
FC Dallas and NYCFC also claimed home wins on Saturday while their was also three 1-1 draws between other clubs. The latest Hell is Real derby saw FC Cincinnati shutout the Columbus Crew at Nippert Stadium.
Here’s a closer look at Saturday’s results:
Atlanta United 1, Orlando City 3
(Lennon 82′) – (Urso 13, Mueller 35′, Nani 85′)
Orlando City made it two victories in a week after a 3-1 triumph over Atlanta United on the road.
Junior Urso and Chris Mueller each scored one goal and added one assist apiece in another important win for the Lions. Oscar Pareja’s side raced out to a 2-0 first-half lead thanks to Urso and Mueller both finding the back of the net.
Urso headed in the opener in the 12th minute, but got a little help from Brad Guzan whom failed to catch the attempt cleanly.
After good build-up play, the Lions doubled its lead in the 34th minute with Benji Michel setting up Mueller for a simple finish into the bottom-left corner.
Brooks Lennon’s headed finish in the 82nd minute pulled a goal back for Atlanta United, but the Lions would have the final say. Nani’s left-footed strike just three minutes later iced the result for Orlando City.
The Lions sit fourth in the Eastern Conference standings while Atlanta United is eighth.
FC Cincinnati 0, Crew 0
With both teams in need of snapping losing skids, you’d probably expect the bitterness of the new, but hostile Hell is Real derby to lift someone up for a memorable performance.
That did not happen though, as the teams left Nippert Stadium splitting the points, and neither with a valid argument that they were owed more.
The best chance came on behalf of the Crew came in the first half when Lucas Zelarayán fired a bulled from just outside the box, but it barely missed wide.
For FC Cincinnati, Adrien Regattin punished Jonathan Mensah and nearly broke away with a one-on-one opportunity, but Mensah bailed himself out when he caught back up to the play.
While it’s an improvement from the 4-0 drubbing a month ago, FC Cincinnati is now winless in its last three, and Columbus, who looked like the best side in the league is winless and scoreless in its last two.
Union 4, D.C. United 1
(Przybylko 7′, 16′, Santos 21′, Aaronson 61′) – (Gressel 64′)
Kacper Przybylko is finding his groove at a good time for the Philadelphia Union, helping them to a 4-1 thumping of D.C. United in Chester.
The German striker opened the scoring in the seventh minute for the Union, beating Chris Seitz from close range following a corner kick. Przybylko’s second goal came not long after his first, this time beating Seitz with a perfectly executed right-footed strike into the bottom-right corner.
Things got worse for the Black and Red just four minutes later after Sergio Santos got in on the action. The Brazilian striker got the better of Donovan Pines before riping a left-footed shot into the top corner past Seitz.
Brenden Aaronson added to the onslaught in the second-half, with Przybylko setting up the young midfielder. Julian Gressel finished off Junior Moreno’s assist just three minutes after Aaronson’s goal, but D.C. United couldn’t avoid a disappointing defeat.
The only blemish for the Union was the loss of Kai Wagner through a first-half injury. Jim Curtin’s side travels to Columbus on Wednesday while D.C. United faces rivals New York Red Bulls on the same evening.
NYCFC 3, Fire 1
(Parks 16′, Tinnerholm 53′, Ring 75′) – (Pineda 45′)
NYCFC also picked up its second win in its return to league action, thumping the Chicago Fire 3-1 at Red Bull Arena.
The sides went into half-time level with Mauricio Pineda’s second goal of the season cancelling out fellow American Keaton Parks’ opener in the 16th minute. Pineda’s left-footed finish from close range gave the visiting Fire some life, but NYCFC would turn up its play after halftime.
Anton Tinnerholm stroked a right-footed shot into the bottom-left corner to put NYCFC ahead in the 52nd minute. The Swedish right back became distributor on the insurance goal for the hosts, setting up Alex Ring, whom scored for the second time this week.
Ring’s right-footed finish came just after Valentin Castellanos’ effort was saved by Connor Sparrow in goal.
NYCFC sits in ninth following its win while Chicago is two places lower in 11th.
Revolution 1, Red Bulls 1
(Bou 41′) – (Fernandez 35′)
Two Eastern Conference rivals met in Foxborough on Saturday night, but both couldn’t muster up a win in a 1-1 draw.
Both goals came in the opening 45 minutes with New England hitting back to earn a point against the New York Red Bulls.
Omir Fernandez made the most of his start, scoring in the 35th minute for Chris Armas’ side. Ben Mines set up the midfielder, whom got the better of Matt Turner with his right-footed finish.
The Revs answered in quick succession though with Gustavo Bou scoring for the second time this week. Teal Bunbury got the assist on Bou’s goal, a close-range finish before halftime.
Ryan Meara excelled in goal for the Red Bulls the rest of the match, making three saves in the draw. Turner finished with three saves.
Both teams are level on 11 points each, but the Red Bulls are a place higher in fifth due to goal difference.
FC Dallas 3, Minnesota United 1
(Picault 11′, Ferreira 12′, Ziegler 90′) – (Dotson 55′)
FC Dallas ended its three match winless run since regular season play resumed, downing Minnesota United 3-1 at home.
The hosts used a quick pair of first-half goals to hold a two-goal advantage heading into halftime. Fafa Picault and Jesus Ferreira scored a minute apart to put Luchi Gonzalez’s side up 2-0 after an impressive first-half performance at home.
Hassani Dotson came off the bench at halftime and made an immediate impact for the Loons. The midfielder’s left-footed shot beat Jimmy Maurer to the top-left corner in what ended up being the top effort of the match.
Michael Barrios drew a late penalty kick for Dallas, which Reto Ziegler slotted away to stamp the final score at 3-1. FC Dallas next travels to Sporting KC on Wednesday while Minnesota United aims to bounce back at Houston.
Rapids 1, Sporting KC 1
(Bassett 57′) – (Busio 67′)
Sporting KC avoided a second-straight defeat on Saturday night, but had to settle for only a point in a 1-1 draw in Colorado.
Both goals came after halftime and were scored by young rising talents within MLS.
Cole Bassett’s right-footed finish in the 57th minute gave the Rapids a lead at home, but it didn’t last long with Sporting KC fighting back.
Gianluca Busio’s long-range shot drew Peter Vermes’ side level and was enough to earn the visitors a needed point. Gabi Kinda’s second yellow card saw the visitors reduced to 10 men, but the Rapids could only muster one shot on goal the rest of the way.
Sporting KC remains top of the West table while Colorado sits in ninth.
Galaxy 3, Earthquakes 2
(Steres 33′, Pavon 72′, Lletget 82′) – (Vako 11′, Cowell 59′)
Sebastian Lletget’s chested shot off Nick Lima stood as the game-winning goal in a wild California Clasico, as the Galaxy defeated the Earthquakes, 3-2, at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday night.
San Jose teenager Cade Cowell gave the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead in the 59th minute with a hard right-footed shot that curled inside the far post, beating David Bingham to give the 16-year-old his first professional goal.
Cristian Pavon equalized from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute after Earthquakes rookie Tanner Beason was called for a handball in the penalty area.
Another teenager played a big part in the winning goal, with Efrain Alvarez sending in a dangerous corner kick to the back-post, where Lletget chested it off Lima for the winner.
The victory is the Galaxy’s second in a row since returning from the MLS is Back Tournament, while the loss came in San Jose’s first action since the tournament ended.
Timbers 4, Real Salt Lake 4
(Chara 6′, Niezgoda 21′, Blanco 70′, Mora 85′) – (Baird 19′, Kreilach 48′, Rossi 90′, Johnson 94′)
The Portland Timbers looked to be well on their way to a victory on Saturday night, but Real Salt Lake pulled off a late two-goal rally to snatch a road point at Providence Park.
Corey Baird capped a strong night by dribbling through Portland’s defense and laying off a pass to Sam Johnson, who turned quickly and blasted a close-range equalizer in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time.
The Timbers appeared to be in comfortable position for a winner after Sebastian Blanco gave Portland a 70th-minute lead with a stunning strike, followed by an assist to set up Felipe Mora with an 85th-minute finish to make the score 4-2.
Giuseppe Rossi started the late rally by scoring his first MLS goal in the 90th minute to cut Portland’s lead in half before Baird’s last-gasp dribble into the penalty area, which set up Johnson’s equalizer.
The thrilling comeback capped a tumultuous week for Real Salt Lake, in the wake of the highly-criticized comments made by RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen. Comments which have led to an MLS investigation and led to Hansen taking a leave of absence from the team following fresh allegations of racially-insensitive behavior by the RSL owner.
The draw keeps RSL one point behind the fourth-place Timbers in the Western Conference standings.