The LA Galaxy had begun the 2021 MLS season as one of the league’s clearly improved teams. On Sunday, the Seattle Sounders showed the Galaxy how far they still have to go.
Raul Ruidiaz scored a pair of goals to help the Sounders roll to a dominant 3-0 victory over the Galaxy on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
The Galaxy entered the match having won its first two matches under new head coach Greg Vanney, but the Sounders were too much for the Galaxy, with Brad Smith dominating the left wing on his way to a goal and assist in the first half to help give the Sounders seven points from their first three matches.
Week 3 also saw the New England Revolution defeat Atlanta United in a clash of East contenders. New York City FC looked sharp in its road win at the Philadelphia Union in another key East clash, while the New York Red Bulls earned their first win of the season, beating the Chicago Fire.
In other Western Conference action, Real Salt Lake topped Sporting Kansas City, led by Rubio Rubin’s double, and Austin FC made it two wins in a row by beating a Minnesota United side that has surprisingly begun the 2021 season with three straight losses.
Here is rundown of all of the MLS Week 3 action:
Nashville SC 0, Inter Miami 0 (Final)
Man of the Match: Joe Willis. The Nashville SC goalkeeper came up with two big saves in the opening minutes to prevent Inter Miami from jumping ahead, and was solid the rest of the way.
Moment of the Match: Robbie Robinson looked set to run in on goal after pouncing on a poor Walker Zimmerman touch in the 70th minute, but the Nashville SC centerback brought Robinson down to prevent the chance. Inter Miami pleaded for a red card for denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity, but referee Rosendo Mendoza did not agree even after going to video review.
Match to Forget: Hany Mukhtar. Playing against a shorthanded Herons side, the Nashville SC playmaker was unable to influence proceedings during his 76 minutes on the field.
Sounders 3, LA Galaxy 0 (Final)
(Raul Ruidiaz 20′, 90+3′, Brad Smith 23′)
Man of the Match: Brad Smith. The Australian left back scored last week against LAFC and was back at it again against the Galaxy, assisting Raul Ruidaz to open the scoring and adding a goal of his own in the 23rd.
Moment of the Match: The return of Nicolas Lodeiro. After missing the first two matches of the MLS season with a quad injury, Lodeiro started on the bench but made his 2021 debut in the 66th minute. The Uruguayan international did not stand out in his return, but having one of the best playmakers back on the field is a huge boost to a Sounders team that is without Jordan Morris for the season.
Match to Forget: Oniel Fisher. Fisher was given the start at right back with Julian Araujo starting ahead of him at right wing, but the Jamaican right back was directly responsible for the first two Sounders goals and was subbed out at the half.
Whitecaps 0, Rapids 1 (Final)
(Diego Rubio 26′)
Man of the Match: Diego Rubio. The Chilean striker’s wonder goal made the difference on the night.
Moment of the Match: Rubio’s free kick masterpiece is one of the best goals of the early MLS season.
Match to Forget: Deiber Caicedo had a golden chance to give the Whitecaps a goal when he picked off a William Yarbrough pass and had a look at an open net, but his subsequent shot was cleared off the line in a moment that summed up Vancouver’s night.
Red Bulls 2, Fire 0 (Final)
(Cristian Casseres Jr. 47′, Caden Clark 64′)
Man of the Match: It took time for Fábio to find his stride in this one but he showed up big in the second half with a pair of assists. The Brazilian was calm yet powerful to create the chance for Cristian Cásseres Jr and made use of the continued ariel service to pick out Caden Clark.
Moment of the Match: Another game, another great goal from Clark Clark. The 17 year-old was positioned perfectly for Fábio’s knockdown header, doubling the host’s lead with a well-timed volley.
Match to Forget: Johan Kappelhof mishandled a routine play on New York’s opening goal, letting Fábio get in front of him, bully him off the ball and eventually make an uncontested assist.
Real Salt Lake 3, Sporting KC 1 (Final)
(Damir Kreilach 35′, Rubio Rubin 52′, 77′) – (Alan Pulido 17′)
Man of the Match: Rubin delivered a pair of goals to secure RSL’s second straight win, continuing his strong start to life in MLS.
Moment of the Match: Rubin’s second goal was equal parts excellent individual effort coupled with terrible defending.
Match to Forget: Young SKC goalkeeper John Pulskamp had Rubin’s first goal go through his legs, then he was beaten to his near-post on RSL’s third goal, leaving Sporting KC fans to count the days until Tim Melia is back.
CF Montreal 0, Crew 0 (Final)
Man of the Match: Djordje Mihailovic. Although the score finished at 0-0, Mihailovic did well to at least try and spark the Montreal attack. He completed 88% of his passes and delivered two key passes, but even he couldn’t lead to a breakthrough goal.
Moment of the Match: Lassi Lappalainen had the last good effort towards goal in the 78th minute, but his right-footed shot was corralled by Eloy Room for one of his three saves.
Match to Forget: Bradley Wright-Phillips got the start up top for Columbus ahead of an important second leg CCL match, but the veteran striker failed to offer much in front of goal. BWP failed to register a shot in his 90-minute outing as Columbus as a whole didn’t trouble Clement Diop in the Montreal net.
Dynamo 1, LAFC 1 (Final)
(Tyler Pasher 57′) – (Corey Baird 55′)
Man of the Match: Corey Baird. Acquired from Real Salt Lake in the offseason, Baird has quickly fit in and found his stride for LAFC. Baird scored the only goal for LAFC in the 56th minute, but throughout the match his work rate was evident and his chemistry with Diego Rossi is just getting started.
Moment of the Match: Right after Baird scored, the Houston Dynamo answered right back with a goal on the counterattack from Tyler Pasher to quell any LAFC momentum and tie the match at 1-1.
Match to Forget: Maxi Urruti. The MLS veteran was given the start up top by head coach Tab Ramos, but Urruti was unable to finish any chances for the Dynamo before being subbed out in the 79th minute. He had a big chance to set up his teammates for a goal-scoring chance in the 30th minute but elected to go for a shot that was well wide of the mark.
Revolution 2, Atlanta United 1 (Final)
(Brandon Bye 19′, Carles Gil 53′)- (Marcelino Moreno 43′)
Man of the Match: Carles Gil was the boss of the attacking midfield for New England and his efforts were rewarded with the penalty finish for the winning goal.
Moment of the Match: Emerson Hyndman brought down Tajon Buchanan in the 50th minute. It took an appeal to VAR, but eventually the penalty was given and Gil stepped up to smash home the winner.
Match to Forget: Emerson Hyndman conceded the losing penalty for Atlanta and was overall invisible during his 90 minutes on the pitch.
Orlando City 3, FC Cincinnati 0 (Final)
(Tesho Akindele 1′, Nani 19′, Urso 80′)
Man of the Match: Tesho Akindele set the early tone, but it was Nani who remained a constant threat throughout, including scoring Orlando City’s second goal.
Moment of the Match: The highlight of the night was brought to you by Nani. The crafty veteran’s skills were on display in the 19th minute when he danced with the ball outside of the box and fired an arrow to notch his second goal of the season.
Match to Forget: There is plenty of blame to go around on Cincinnati’s behalf, but Nick Hagglund was the most guilty in the heap of players Tesho Akindele ran through to put in a goal just 28 seconds into the match.
Union 0, NYCFC 2 (Final)
(Jesus Medina 5′, Valentin Castellanos 65′)
Man of the Match: Jesus Medina scored the opening goal of the match four minutes in and also excelled against the 10-men Union. He completed over 80% of his passes and all five dribbles.
Moment of the Match: Jose Martinez’s sending off truly flipped the switch for NYCFC to go into cruise control. The Venezuelan elbowed Valentin Castellanos after bringing down the forward and truly hurt his team’s chances of getting anything from the match.
Match to Forget: Martinez’s silly foul on Castellanos not only hampered his team’s chances of a comeback, but will now see him suspended for next week’s trip to Chicago. He was already set to miss the Concacaf Champions League second leg vs. Atlanta due to yellow-card accumulation.
FC Dallas 4, Timbers 1 (Final)
(Andres Ricaurte 2′, Jander Obrian 14′, Bressan 45+3′, Dante Sealy 85′)
Man of the Match: Jader Obrian caused a ton of havoc for the Portland defense, particularly in the first half, and particularly on what was ultimately the winning goal when he torched the entire Timbers back line on the way to an easy finish.
Moment of the Match: Portland’s defense melted down early on and it culminated in Bressan scoring just before the halftime whistle to put Dallas up by three goals and put the game out of reach before the break.
Match to Forget: Dario Zuparic was not in this game at all. He was slow and played a far too high line that allowed Dallas a ton of chances going forward.
Minnesota United 0 Austin FC 1 (Final)
(Diego Fagundez 17′)
Man of the Match: Jared Stroud helped set up the winning goal and was active and dangerous throughout his 82-minute shift.
Moment of the Match: Austin FC’s goal was a work of art, with Stroud hitting a perfect cross that caught Diego Fagundez in stride for the back-post finish.
Match to Forget: Emmanuel Reynoso tried to make things happened, and did hit the post on a dangerous chance, but struggled to break through and ended a frustrating night without a goal on the Minnesota scoreboard.
Earthquakes 4, D.C. United 1 (Final)
(Javier Lopez 1′, Cade Cowell 26′, Jackson Yueill 43′, 85′) (Tony Alfaro 31′)
Man of the Match: Jackson Yueill scored a pair of goals to lead the San Jose romp, including a long-range blast.
Moment of the Match: Yuell’s wonder striker from 25 yards out. just before halftime, made the score 3-1 and deflated D.C. United.
Match to Forget: Frederic Brillant was torched by Cade Cowell on San Jose’s second goal, then misplayed the floating cross for Jackson Yueill’s second goal to seal the 4-1 Earthquakes victory.