Orlando City’s struggles at Exploria Stadium has certainly hurt them in the race for an Eastern Conference playoff spot, but Sunday’s dramatic victory over New York City FC should do wonders for Oscar Pareja’s bunch.
Tesho Akindele’s 96th minute winner helped the Lions down NYCFC 2-1 in wet and soggy Orlando, giving the hosts a statement home win. The Lions have now won their last three league matches heading into another important home match against the Seattle Sounders on August 31. Despite NYCFC’s comeback attempts earlier in the match, Akindele came off the bench to head home Ivan Angulo’s cross past Sean Johnson.
Steven Moreira’s 96th minute equalizer helped the Columbus Crew pick up a 2-2 draw at TQL Stadium on Saturday, giving Caleb Porter’s side a one-point advantage over FC Cincinnati following Matchday 26. Despite conceding goals to Brandon Vazquez and Matt Miazga, the Crew grinded their way back to register their 12th draw of the season, tying them with the Portland Timbers for the most in MLS. Derrick Etienne Jr came off the bench to net his fifth goal of the season, helping spring the comeback result in Cincinnati.
Minnesota United’s quest to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs took a major boost on Saturday with Adrian Heath’s squad grinding out a comeback victory over the Houston Dynamo.
An 84th minute winner from Luis Amarilla paired with an own goal from Dynamo winger Fafa Picault helped the Loons claim a 2-1 victory for their third-consecutive win. Emanuel Reynoso’s free kick in the 79th minute deflected off of Picault and snuck past Steve Clark starting the comeback at Allianz Field.
Amarilla’s one-time finish off of a cross from Alan Benitez completed the comeback for the Loons, moving them 10 points above the red line in the Western Conference.
The New York Red Bulls moved nine points clear of the red line in the Eastern Conference by downing Inter Miami 3-1 at Red Bull Arena. Daniel Edelman’s first MLS goal paired with Caden Clark’s insurance tally helped Gerhard Struber’s squad extend their unbeaten run to three matches in league action.
Despite an opening goal from Gonzalo Higuain, Alejandro Pozuelo was sent off for a high boot on former Miami defender Andres Reyes, hurt the visitors chances of staying in the match. The Herons’ five-match unbeaten streak was snapped with the loss.
Los Angeles FC went into Friday’s showdown with Austin FC knowing it would remain at the top of the Major League Soccer table no matter the result, but Austin FC’s four-goal thrashing of the Western Conference leaders was still an eye-opening scoreline.
The Texas side scored four unanswered goals on the way to a 4-1 humbling of LAFC at Q2 Stadium on Friday night. Maxi Urruti’s brace led the way in a win that brings Austin FC within five points of LAFC at the top of the West standings.
The Portland Timbers boosted their own playoff hopes and did so at the expense of arch-rival Seattle Sounders, with Dairon Asprilla and Sebastian Blanco scoring the goals to erase an early deficit and secure a victory at Providence Park.
Elsewhere, Toronto FC picked up three points at Charlotte FC thanks to Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi while the Philadelphia Union rolled past 10-men Colorado Rapids. Nashville SC dominated in a 3-0 road victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Here is a look back at this weekend’s MLS action:
Orlando City 2, NYCFC 1
(Junior Urso 7′, Tesho Akindele 90+6′) – (Maxi Moralez 53′)
Man of the Match: Tesho Akindele came off the bench and the played the hero once again for Orlando City.
Moment of the Match: Akindele’s late header in stoppage time helped Orlando City earn a first league win since July 9.
Match to Forget: Justin Haak didn’t offer much in midfield, losing seven duels and picking up one yellow card for NYCFC.
Revolution 1, Galaxy 2
(Carles Gil 82′) – (Daniel Aguirre 4′, Chicharito 15′)
Man of the Match: Chicharito scored once, assisted once, and won five duels in the heart of L.A. Galaxy’s attack.
Moment of the Match: Jonathan Bond denied the Revolution a stoppage time equalizer after repelling Gustavo Bou’s shot in the 92nd minute.
Match to Forget: Justin Rennicks started atop Bruce Arena’s attack, but failed to register a shot on goal before being replaced in the 49th minute.
Atlanta United 3, D.C. United 2
(Alan Franco 49′, Josef Martinez 62′, Jose Purata 70′) – (Ravel Morrison 47′, Ola Kamara 55′)
Man of the Match: Brooks Lennon delivered two assists at right back for Atlanta United, while also creating the most chances (5) and drawing the most fouls (3).
Moment of the Match: Juan Purata made the most of his header in the 70th minute, finishing nicely past David Ochoa for the winning goal for Atlanta United.
Match to Forget: Tony Alfaro and Steve Birnbaum failed to help deal with the Atlanta United attackers in the box as the Five Stripes scored all three goals from headers.
Whitecaps 0, Nashville SC 3
(Randall Leal 19′, Jack Maher 23′, 49′)
Man of the Match: Jack Maher provided an aerial threat that the Whitecaps couldn’t match. Maher scored two header goals and contributed to a shutout defensively.
Moment of the Match: Randall Leal scored an incredible goal to open scoring, dribbling out of Nashville’s half and launching a shot from outside the box that found the bottom left corner.
Match to Forget: Lucas Cavallini was shown a red card just 10 minutes after coming off the bench. Cavallini stepped on Alex Muyl as Muyl was down.
FC Dallas 1, RSL 1
(Alan Velasco 7′) – (Anderson Julio 69′)
Man of the Match: Anderson Julio changed RSL’s attack completely when he entered as a substitute in the second half. In 28 minutes on the field, Julio scored and had three shots.
Moment of the Match: Anderson Julio rose high to head in the equalizing goal in the 69th minute, meeting an excellent cross from Aaron Herrera.
Match to Forget: FC Dallas fullback Marco Farfan didn’t put much pressure on Aaron Herrera in the 69th minute, as Herrera sent a well-placed cross into the area for Anderson Julio to head in and equalize.
Sporting KC 1, Quakes 0
(Daniel Salloi 10′)
Man of the Match: Erik Thommy orchestrated Sporting KC’s play, with six shots and four key passes. Thommy also started the play that led to Daniel Salloi’s goal in the 10th minute.
Moment of the Match: Daniel Salloi put Sporting KC ahead early, completing a move up the field started by Erik Thommy.
Match to Forget: Paul Marie cleared the ball across his own goal in the 10th minute, leading Daniel Salloi to easily punch in the game’s only goal.
Charlotte FC 0, Toronto FC 2
(Lorenzo Insigne 49′, Federico Bernardeschi 66′)
Man of the Match: Federico Bernardeschi had two of Toronto FC’s three shots on goal, scored an impressive goal and assisted Insigne’s goal to open scoring.
Moment of the Match: Federico Bernardeschi scored his fourth goal in five games with a spectacular shot from the corner of the box to further lock up three points.
Match to Forget: Anton Walkes lost track of Lorenzo Insigne on a corner kick, allowing the Italian star to score TFC’s first goal of the game.
Fire 0, CF Montreal 2
(Ismael Kone 19′, Romell Quioto 24′)
Man of the Match: Romell Quioto continues an incredible run of form with another goal. Quioto also won two duels and provided a key pass as the central player in Montreal’s attack.
Moment of the Match: Romell Quioto’s long-range free kick goal gave CF Montreal a cushion to see out a result on the road.
Match to Forget: Jhon Duran provided little to answer CF Montreal’s attacking prowess. The Colombian forward had three shots, all off target.
FC Cincinnati 2, Crew 2
(Brandon Vazquez 36′, Matt Miazga 77′) – (Derrick Etienne 74′, Steven Moreira 90+6′)
Man of the Match: Steven Moreira delivered a solid shift in defense, but played the hero for the Crew in the offensive third with a rifle of a finish.
Moment of the Match: Moreira’s last-gasp strike helped the Crew finish the weekend in front of their in-state rivals.
Match to Forget: Roman Celentano only made one save for FC Cincy, but was unable to get near Moreira’s strike in stoppage time.
Union 6, Rapids 0
(Daniel Gazdag 9′, 20′ pk’, 84′, Julian Carranza 30′ pk’, Cory Burke 87′, Matt Real 90+1′)
Man of the Match: Daniel Gazdag’s hot run of form continued for the Union as the Hungarian midfielder scored three goals to keep his impactful performances going for the East leaders.
Moment of the Match: Gustavo Vallecilla was sent off before halftime, truly killing off any chances for a Rapids comeback at Subaru Park.
Match to Forget: Vallecilla’s two yellow cards in the first half forced the Rapids down to 10-men, putting Robin Fraser’s squad in a situation they had hoped to not be in against the East leaders.
Red Bulls 3, Inter Miami 1
(Lewis Morgan 43′, Daniel Edelman 53′, Caden Clark 74′) – (Gonzalo Higuain 19′)
Man of the Match: Christian Casseres continues to be the engine in the Red Bulls midfield, assisting once, winning the most duels (9) and also completing the most tackles (3). Casseres was a workhorse for Gerhard Struber in Saturday’s win.
Moment of the Match: Daniel Edelman’s first MLS goal propelled the Red Bulls in front for a lead they would not relinquish at home.
Match to Forget: Alejandro Pozuelo’s high cleat in the first half led to the Spanish midfielder being sent off right after Inter Miami took a 1-0 lead. It was a silly decision by Pozuelo and one that eventually hurt his team’s chances of three points on the road.
Loons 2, Dynamo 1
(Fafa Picault OG 79′, Luis Amarilla 84′) – (Corey Baird 45+1′)
Man of the Match: Luis Amarilla played the hero for Minnesota United, scoring the winning goal and also being a constant threat in the final third.
Moment of the Match: Amarilla’s goal in the 84th minute completed the comeback for Minnesota United, handing Adrian Heath’s side an important three points at home.
Match to Forget: Tim Parker struggled in his duels with Amarilla, picking up one yellow card and not closing down the Paraguayan on the eventual winning goal.
Austin FC 4, LAFC 1
(Diego Fagundez 32′, Maxi Urruti 47′, 51′, Sebastian Driussi 59′) – (Cristian Arango 61′)
Man of the Match: Diego Fagundez scored the opening goal, then set up two others in a comprehensive overall performance.
Moment of the Match: Fagundez’s 32-minute free kick goal set the tone for Austin FC’s dominant performance.
Match to Forget: Jesus Murillo struggled to deal with Austin’s mobility, and was caught out of position on a pair of goals.
Timbers 2, Sounders 1
(Dairon Asprilla 41′, Sebastian Blanco 51′) – (Yeimar Gomez Andrade 8′)
Man of the Match: Dairon Asprilla scored Portland’s opening goal and set up Sebastian Blanco’s winner.
Moment of the Match: Jackson Ragen nearly scored a stunning equalizer, but his powerful header rattled the woodwork, leaving the Sounders just short.
Match to Forget: Kelyn Rowe was caught napping on Blanco’s winning goal.