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MLS Wednesday Rewind: Upsets and wonder goals galore



Wednesday night was a busy night in MLS, chock full of goals, upsets and major movement in the playoff race.

Nashville SC, the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps all recorded victories that propelled them into playoff position, while Toronto FC and the Portland Timbers both saw their league-leading five-match winning streaks halted.

New York Red Bulls teenager Caden Clark worked his magic for the second straight match, Mark McKenzie scored his first career MLS goal in stunning fashion and Nick Lima just might have given Gregg Berhalter something to think about when he scored two goals in San Jose’s romp over the LA Galaxy.

Here’s a closer look at Wednesday’s MLS results:

Toronto FC 1, Red Bulls 1

(Pozuelo 23′) – (Clark 77′)

The longest winning streak in the Eastern Conference was halted on Wednesday by the hottest new prospect in MLS, with Caden Clark delivering another wonder strike to help the New York Red Bulls tie Toronto FC, 1-1, in East Hartford, Connecticut.

The 17-year-old midfielder, who marked his MLS debut on Saturday with a stunning winner against Atlanta United, struck again with a left-footed blast from distance in the 77th minute to help the Red Bulls earn a draw.

TFC opened the scoring when Dru Yearwood was whistled for a handball in the penalty area in the 21st minute. Alejandro Pozuelo converted the penalty to give the Canadian side the lead.

The Red Bulls struggled to generate dangerous chances but their newest player delivered another gem as he unleashed a 25-yard blast that gave Quentin Westberg no chance.

TFC returns to action on Sunday at Rentschler Field against Atlanta United, while the New York Red Bulls return to Red Bull Arena to play host to Orlando City on Sunday.

Man of the Match

Caden Clark takes the nod for his stunning equalizer, which came just 18 minutes after he came on as a second-half substitute.

Moment of the Match

Clark’s wonder strike was a thing of beauty.

Match to Forget

Brian White failed to generate much for the Red Bulls attack, producing zero shots in his 59 minutes.

FC Cincinnati 2, Crew 1

(Kubo 17′, Hagglund 49′) – (Santos 45′)

FC Cincinnati handed the Columbus Crew a shocking defeat at Nippert Stadium on Wednesday after picking up a 2-1 home victory.

Yuya Kubo opened things in the 17th minute from the penalty spot after Allan Cruz was brought down by Andrew Tarbell. Kubo ended his lengthy goalless drought by slotting into the bottom-right corner.

Pedro Santos equalized for the Crew prior to halftime after scoring from the penalty spot himself. Tom Pettersson brought down Santos in the box and the playmaker tied things up for the Crew on the road.

FC Cincinnati started off strong to begin the second half and eventually got its winning goal. Nick Hagglund headed home Haris Medunjanin’s set piece to give the hosts a deserved advantage and victory.

Despite out possessing Cincinnati 60%-to-40%, the Crew lost for the third time in its past four matches.

Man of the Match

Hagglund scored the winning goal and put in a strong performance defensively against a top attack. Hagglund won 10 of his 12 duels and shut down Gyasi Zardes on the night.

Moment of the Match

After seeing its lead evaporate going into halftime, FC Cincinnati took control of the match with Hagglund’s goal early in the second half. From there they defending heavily to grind out the victory.

Match to Forget

Zardes wasn’t at his best on the night, failing to record a shot on goal and being shutdown by what has been an inconsistent Cincinnati backline.

D.C. United 2, Union 2

(Pines 71′, Asad 75′) – (Fontana 49′, McKenzie 87′)

The Philadelphia Union fought back for a point at Audi Field, but ultimately will look at Wednesday’s tie as a missed opportunity.

Jim Curtin’s side needed Mark McKenzie to score his first MLS goal in stunning fashion to salvage a 2-2 draw against D.C. United. Despite seeing a one-goal lead slip, the Union fought back to stay three points back of first place Toronto FC.

Anthony Fontana’s opener came in the 49th minute after a sluggish first half from both teams. Fontana stayed in possession and hit a shot off the crossbar and in to break the deadlock.

D.C. United picked up the pressure late in the match and ultimately was rewarded. Donovan Pines headed home in the 71st minute before Yamil Asad handed the Black and Red a 2-1 lead in the 75th.

Alejandro Bedoya was whistled for handball inside of the box, allowing Asad to score the go-ahead goal.

With time running out, McKenzie’s long-range blast deflected in past Chris Seitz to earn the Union a point from D.C.

Man of the Match

Yamil Asad was lively for D.C. United, assisting on Pines’ goal and also scoring from the penalty spot himself. The Argentinian midfielder also won 11 of 16 duels, putting in a top performance.

Moment of the Match

McKenzie’s first MLS goal came at the best time for the Union, with the defender rifling home from long range to salvage his team a point.

Match to Forget

Kevin Paredes played 83 minutes for D.C. United, but struggled playing in a more advanced role as a winger. He lost possession three times while also losing 11 of 14 duels on the night.

Inter Miami 1, Atlanta United 1

(Shea 80β€²) β€” (Mulraney 83β€²)

Inter Miami welcomed some fans into its stadium for a game for the first time, but Atlanta United spoiled the party with a late equalizer.

Atlanta United and Inter Miami split the points after playing to a 1-1 draw at Inter Miami CF Stadium. Jake Mulraney provided the leveler for Atlanta United in the 83rd minute, just three minutes after substitute Brek Shea had opened the scoring for the expansion side.

Inter Miami outshot Atlanta United by a 21-3 mark in their fourth meeting of the season, but the hosts did not find the back of the net until Shea fired home from close range three minutes after he entered proceedings.

Atlanta United responded immediately, with Mulraney finishing at the left post following some good work from Jurgen Damm down the right wing to set up the opportunity.


Miles Robinson. The Atlanta United centerback was a big reason why his side held Inter Miami off the board for so long. He not only helped keep Gonzalo Higuain and Co. at bay for much of the 90 minutes, but also made a lunging, last-ditch effort to block an Higuain shot that was headed for goal in the 14th minute.


Immediate Response. Just when Inter Miami found the back of the net and appeared set for a third straight victory, Atlanta United punched back and found an equalizer in the 83rd minute off some nice work from Damm and a clinical finish from Mulraney.


Matias Pellegrini. The Inter Miami attacker struggled to make much of an impact during his 77 minutes on the field, and wasted one of his only chances in the second half by firing wide after getting on the end of a cross at the back post.


    • Probably not long. We’ll see if he can keep it up as teams begin to prepare for him. People will start watching his total game as well, can he defend, does he find the right spaces. That he’s already set up his move to Europe will lend him some cred too. This is why Red Bull wanted Struber in NY to better integrate the US players to Austria and Germany. I’m hearing Keenan Hot will be the next RB Academy kid to make the jump to RBNY with a link to Europe.
      Puts some pressure on Pomykal and Aaronson to improve their final product both have not put in the as many goals as you’d like.

    • Aaronson, Pomykal & MihailoviΔ‡ all began to garner USMNT interest after a season or 2 with their clubs. Since most MLS players get their first taste with the Sr. USMNT during the annual January Camp Cup Cake; and with Aaronson poised to transfer to Europe this winter and Pomykal injured again….Clark could find himself included in this winters camp. Not saying he’ll play, but he could get a call-up…especially since there aren’t all that many American CMs who’ll be available.

      • Yeah I think January is possible if he continues to play well the next month. Could depend if U20s have a camp at the same time. Lost I noticed since his deal got done Aaronson has moved to the wing for Union, could be coincidence or that’s where Salzburg is planning on using him. I could see Curtin moving him there to get a head start.

  1. 2020 Crew with Zelarayan and Nagbe best team in the league, without Z and Nagbe they look just like 2019 Crew who couldn’t even make the playoffs.
    Clark is showing why Leipzig has already locked him in for 2022.
    LAG with Chicharito is one of the worst teams ever, without him they were pretty good.
    Busio continues to look good, maybe still not living up to the hype but your starting to see why Europe has been showing interest.


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