Top Stories

MLS Saturday Rewind: Nashville trounces Atlanta United, Red Bulls top D.C. United, and more


Nashville SC delivered its biggest win of the season while the New York Red Bulls halted its winning streak by beating the team that handed them a gut-wrenching defeat less than two weeks ago.

Nashville SC trounced struggling Atlanta United, erupting fort four goals after failing to score multiple goals in any match before Saturday night. The win helped Gary Smith’s side jump up to ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The New York Red Bulls halted a four-match winless slide with an impressive 2-0 win at D.C. United. Ryan Meara made big saves and Kaku delivered a pair of assists to help the Red Bulls post their first win since the firing of former head coach Chris Armas.

Orlando City triumphed in the latest battle for Florida bragging rights, edging Inter Miami, while the Philadelphia Union found a stunning last-second winner to knock off a 10-man New England Revolution.

Here is a rundown of Saturday’s action around MLS:

Fire 2, Crew 2

(11′ Mihailovic, 14′ Beric) – (68′ Alashe, 88′ Zardes)

Make it four consecutive unbeaten games for the Crew now, thanks in large part to Gyasi Zardes putting on the cape for the second straight week.

His late equalizer proved that holding Columbus down is no easy task, making a decent showing from the new-look Fire a moot point in Saturday’s opening match.

Within 15 minutes the Fire led 2-0, and newcomer DP Robert Berić was the one beating the drum. First, he set up Djordje Mihailovic with a perfectly placed cross to finish off a fast play from the break. Mihailovic tapped it in, and the still-stunned Crew watched Berić finish off a point-blank opportunity set up by Fabian Herbers mere moments later.

Ultimately Columbus found daylight on a late corner. In the 64th minute, a Pedro Santos corner found Zardes, who headed the ball towards the net, but Fatai Alashe accidentally got the last touch as the ball went in.

No mistakes were made in Zardes’ next opportunity though, at least for Columbus. Bailing the Crew out after clawing to claim a point in the closing phase, Youness Mokhtar watched Zardes waltz past Fransico Calvo and Jonathan Bornstein to gift him with an uncontested shot from close range. He smashed it home to earn his eighth of the season to reward the no-quit Crew with a hard-earned point on the road.

Man of the Match

Gyasi Zardes: Though he will probably be happy going down with a goal and assist on the afternoon, he scored both goals for all intents and purposes, and should be credited with his second brace in a row. In the absence of Lucas Zelarayán and Darlington Nagbe, Zardes’ current form looks like the work of a man on a mission, being a direct source of points for Caleb Porter and company.

Moment of the match

Fatai Alashe’s accidental 68th-minute goal: It became a completely different game for the Crew once they pulled one back. The goal itself was not the prettiest, but it would have gone in even without the slight misdirect from Alashe.

Match to Forget

Francisco Calvo, Johathan Bornstein: No matter who it was ripping through the backline, the two should have been ready to confront them before entering the box. When it is Zardes, and the tear he is currently on, the lack of effort was criminal in the 88th-minute equalizer.

D.C. United 0, Red Bulls 2

(Long 29′, Royer 60′)

The New York Red Bulls did not have many opportunities against D.C. United, but they made the most of them as Aaron Long and Daniel Royer scored in their 2-0 win at Audi Field.

The Red Bulls got on the board against the run of play in the 29th minute. Kaku took a free kick that found Long’s head for a perfect finish. The goal was the first Red Bulls shot of the game and one of only two attempts in the entire first half.

The second half didn’t look much different for the Red Bulls, but they still managed to find a second goal. Royer provided the finish at the hour mark when he headed home a wonderful cross from Jason Pendant to double the Red Bull lead.

The Red Bulls owe a lot of the win to starting goalkeeper Ryan Meara. Although he left the game with an apparent leg injury in the 62nd minute, he made a few massive saves in the first half that will have D.C. United scratching their heads wondering how they didn’t score a goal or two in the first half.

Man of the Match

Aaron Long scored the opening goal with a great header and was an animal defensively all night long.

Moment of the Match

Ryan Meara made a pair of fantastic saves in quick succession off corners in the 38th and 39th minutes. Both were high quality chances that would have changed the complexion of the match had they found the back of the net.

Match to Forget

Ola Kamara was largely invisible on the night, managing just one shot before being replaced in the 75th minute.

NYCFC 2, FC Cincinnati 1

(39′ Ring, 55′ Tinnerholm) – (74′ Vazquez)

New York City FC improved to five unbeaten after grinding out a win at Red Bull Arena.

It was FC Cincinnati that looked more ambitious in the opening spell though, as Jürgen Loacida found himself with a pair of fruitless opportunities as the clock kept ticking on Cincinnati’s 500+ minute goal drought.

NYCFC grew into a rhythm ultimately, and an Alexander Ring goal broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Gary Mackay-Stevens found him with plenty of space at the top of the box. He walked the ball towards the goal and made it look easy when he beat Przemysław Tytoń one-on-one.

A corner in the 55th minute extended NYCFC’s lead. Initiated by an errant clearance from Cincinnati, Anton Tinnerholm with time and space, lined up an authoritative rip from the volley that found the net from long range.

Late Cincinnati sub Brandon Vazquez made an instant impact in the 74th minute, putting a shot on Sean Johnson with his first touch of the game. It deflected back to him and he cleaned it up with ease to pull one back.

Pushing for an equalizer, Cincinnati came close on a late corner. A Kendall Waston header at point-blank had plenty of speed on it, but it hit Johnson in the chest and he collected it. From there, FC Cincinnati was unable to sustain momentum after a lengthy stoppage initiated by an injury to NYC defender Maxime Chanot. Seven minutes of stoppage time was controlled by New York to hand Cincinnati a second straight loss.

Man of the Match

Anton Tinnerholm: His memorable, game-winning goal was every bit as timely as it was impressive.

Moment of the match

Sean Johnson’s 79th-minute save: After conceding the goal minutes earlier, New York City looked to be stunned. Johnson, maybe even lucking into it a bit, passed the last crucial test which secured the win.

Match to Forget

Jürgen Loacadia: Another game, another non-event for the team’s pricy newcomer. To be fair, Locadia was in a position to score a few times on Saturday which has been a rarity lately, but when Vazquez, the next name on the depth chart finds an instant goal, his misses are magnified.

Orlando City 2, Miami 1

(Reyes OG, 34′; Mauricio Pereyra 69′) (Shea, 65′)

Orlando City got some payback against its in-state rival, but not before suffering a major scare due to some uncertain officiating.

The Lions avenged last month’s 3-2 loss to Inter Miami by defeating the expansion club, 2-1, at Exploria Stadium in the teams’ third meeting of the season. Mauricio Pereyra scored the winner in the 69th minute, but minutes later thought it had conceded a penalty kick.

A 73rd-minute clearance from centerback Rodrigo Schlegel went to VAR for a potential foul on Julian Carranza in the box. Head referee Ismail Elfath ended up pointing to the spot and sending off Schlegel with his second yellow.

Further deliberation determined, however that Carranza was offside on the cross and everything was ruled out, leaving Orlando City with 11 men.

The Lions opened the scoring in the 34th minute of the match via an own goal from Andres Reyes. Pereyra whipped a ball into the box, and the young centerback’s awkward clearance attempt saw the ball roll over the goal line.

Inter Miami pulled level in the 65th minute, with former Lions player Brek Shea hitting a snap header past Pedro Gallese into the bottom left corner of the net.

Man of the Match

Mauricio Pereyra. The Uruguayan was involved in both Orlando City goals, hitting the ball in that Reyes bundled home in the first half and finishing with aplomb on a quick attack in the second.

MOMENT of the Match

Crazy Turn Of Events. To say what took place in the 73rd minute was wild would be an understatement. Orlando City first cleared a dangerous cross, then went down a man and conceded a penalty kick through VAR, before it was finally all wiped away due to an offside on the initial ball sent in.


Andres Reyes. The young centerback accidentally pushed the ball into his own net in the 34th minute after awkwardly trying to clear it, and had trouble marking Lions striker Daryl Dike throughout the first half.

Union 2, Revolution 1

CHESTER, Pennsylvania — The Philadelphia Union stayed in touching distance of the top spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to a dramatic home win on Saturday.

Anthony Fontana scored a pair of goals off the bench including a 94th minute winner to hand the Union a 2-1 victory at Subaru Park over the New England Revolution. The victory moves the Union into second place over Toronto FC on goal difference.

After a sluggish first half from both teams, the Union took the lead in the 72nd minute through Fontana’s chipped finish over Matt Turner. With a Kacper Przybylko pass slowly coming to him, Fontana chipped the ball over a diving Turner for the breakthrough.

Bruce Arena’s side hit back though quickly through the form of substitution Tajon Buchanan. Buchanan slid a shot underneath Andre Blake in the 80th minute, two minutes after coming onto the pitch.

However, the 10-men Revolution were outdone in stoppage time as Fontana saved his best moment for last. After a Union corner kick, a loose ball rolled to Fontana just outside of the Revs box. The midfielder took one touch before rifling a shot into the left side of the net past a diving Turner.

Jim Curtin’s side next faces the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena on Sept. 20th while New England hosts NYCFC a day prior.

Man of the Match

Anthony Fontana: Fontana has been itching for minutes in the Union squad and rewarded Jim Curtin for putting him in late for the second-straight match. His game-winning goal was a confident strike, which certainly could see him in the starting lineup next time out.

Moment of the Match

Fontana’s winner: With the Union pressuring late for a winning goal, Fontana came up clutch with a confident strike. Saturday’s win keeps the Union in the hunt for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Match to Forget

Matt Polster: Polster picked up a needless second yellow card early in the second-half which ultimately put the Revolution on the back foot. A veteran midfielder like Polster let his team down and could be dropped to the bench for next weekend.

Nashville SC 4, Atlanta United 2

(Badji 1′, Mukhtar 28′, McCarty 36′, Danladi 57′)-(Larentowicz 19′, Bello 61′)

Nashville SC pounced on a flurry of Atlanta United errors on the way to a 4-2 win at Nissan Stadium.

Nashville can thank Atlanta United mistakes for all three of their first half goals. Poor backline passing in the opening 20 seconds created a turnover and a Nashville a corner that led to Dominique Badji’s opening minute goal. An awful throw in deep in the Atlanta third gifted Hany Mukhtar his first MLS goal in the 28th minute. Finally. Dax McCarty scored in the 36th thanks to Brooks Lennon passing straight to Daniel Lovitz.

Jeff Larentowicz scored in the 19th minute to tie the game at the time, but Atlanta’s irresponsibility in its own half made his finish nothing more than an afterthought in the first 45 minutes.

The halftime lead allowed Nashville to adopt a defend and counter approach to the second half and they managed to add a fourth goal because of it. Abu Danladi capped off a counter attack in the 57th minute with his first Nashville SC goal.

Teenager George Bello added a second for Atlanta just after the hour mark, but Nashville’s defending tightened up after that and didn’t allow any other chances.

Man of the match

Dax McCarty did it all in the Nashville midfield with his goal and two assists.

Moment of the Match

Dominique Badji’s first minute goal truly set the tone for this match.

Match to Forget

Brooks Lennon passed the ball straight to the opposition then got his ankles broken by Daniel Lovitz on his way to assisting on Nashville’s third goal. That sequence effectively summed up his night.

FC Dallas 2, Dynamo 1

(Ricaurte 28′, Jara 61′) (Rodriguez 41′)

FC Dallas rebounded from a pair of winless affairs to down its biggest rival on home soil.

Luchi Gonzalez’s side defeated rivals Houston Dynamo, 2-1, in the latest Texas Derby between the Western Conference sides. Franco Jara delivered the winner for the home side, with a 61st-minute finish.

Andres Ricuarte broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, showing great skill to beat Marko Maric from outside of the box. The midfielder’s talented effort put the hosts in front, but the Dynamo equalized through a good scoring chance of its own.

Memo Rodriguez’s right-footed free kick tied things up in the 41st minute after Mauro Manotas was fouled by Matt Hedges. Rodriguez beat Kyle Zobeck to the top-right corner, giving the Dynamo life heading into the interval.

However, Dallas would steal all three points with Michael Barrios connecting with Jara in the 60th minute. Jara got the ball in the center of the Dynamo box and slotted past Maric for the eventual winner.

Zobeck finished with three saves to hand Dallas a needed win its race for a playoff spot. Dallas next hosts the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 16th while the Dynamo looks to rebound on the same night vs. LAFC.

Man of the Match

Andres Ricuarte: Ricuarte’s goal was a sensational finish by the attacking midfielder, but overall he had a good performance. He completed 81% of his passes and also won four duels, constantly providing a threat against the Dynamo’s defense.

Moment of the Match

Ricaurte’s wonder goal didn’t wind up being the winner, but it was a special finish from 30 yards out, a beautiful left-footed volley that is a good candidate for MLS Goal of the Week.

Match to Forget

Ariel Lassiter: Lassiter impressed quickly with the Dynamo, but has cooled off since. The forward failed to record a shot on goal in his 90-minute performance and also lost all four of his individual battles on the night.

Real Salt Lake 0, Rapids 5

(Rubio 3′, 10′, Vines 49′, Galvan 55′)

The Colorado Rapids trounced RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium, scoring a season-high five goals to return home with the Rocky Mountain Cup.

Diego Rubio scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the match to set a strong early tone and stun an RSL side coming off an impressive midweek win against Los Angeles FC.

The second half wasn’t any different, and instead of drawing closer, RSL watched the match slip further away as Sam Vines and Braian Galvan scored goals early in the second half to stun the home team in Sandy, Utah.

Cole Bassett sealed the victory, and helped the Rapids secure the Rocky Mountain Cup, when he scored an 88th-minute goal to make the final score 5-0.

Man of the Match

Rubio scored a third-minute header,  then unleashed a long-range blast in the 10th minute. He had a hand in the Rapids’ fourth goal as well.

Moment of the Match

Rubio’s 23-yard blast to make the score 2-0 after just 10 minutes set the tone for Colorado’s dominating performance.

Match to Forget

There were several RSL players who won’t want to remember anything about Saturday, but Justen Glad had a particularly rough night.

Leave a Comment