The international break came and went. Both the United States and Canada were in action last week. The United States faced off against Uruguay in a friendly at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The game finished in a 1-1 draw, which was a welcomed result, especially after the 3-0 beatdown suffered at the hands of Mexico. The newest young designated player for Los Angeles FC got things rolling for Uruguay in the 50th minute. It was almost 20 minutes before Jordan Morris equalized for the United States. The draw was a huge result for the United States, who have done nothing but struggled under coach Gregg Berhalter. The United States isn’t in action again until Oct. 11, when it faces Cuba in the Concacaf Nations League.
There were a handful of midweek MLS games, and some of those matches ended with surprising results. The top team in the East, New York City FC, was held to a 1-1 draw at home by Toronto FC. Toronto FC was unlucky to get the full three points after Alejandro Pozuelo had his penalty attempt denied by Sean Johnson in the 78th minute. The Houston Dynamo knocked off Minnesota United by a score of 2-0. Mauro Manotas was the man who sunk the Loons with his goal and assist. In another surprising result, the Colorado Rapids knocked off the LA Galaxy in a second-half shootout. The back and forth started in the 79th minute when Cole Bassett got things going for the Rapids. There were three goals scored in a six-minute span. Giancarlo Gonzalez equalized for the Galaxy in the 82nd minute, but it was a goal from the spot from Nicolas Mezquida that gave the Rapids the full three points and a third straight victory under new head coach Robin Fraser.
In the weekend slate of matches, NYCFC extended its lead in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Quakes. The Chicago Fire landed a stunning blow to FC Dallas with a 4-0 victory. The game was over before halftime after the Fire scored all four goals before the halftime whistle. CJ Sapong scored twice to lead the Fire to a massive three points in their playoff hunt. Both teams now sit outside of a playoff position after the result. Josef Martinez extended his MLS-record goal-scoring streak with a goal in the 19th minute against the Columbus Crew, but that was the only joy Atlanta United experienced. The Crew rose to the occasion and knocked off the defending MLS Cup champions 3-1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At one point this season, the Five Stripes were atop the East but have fallen due to their recent run of play.
In the matchup of two of the top clubs in MLS, LAFC traveled to Philadelphia to face the Union. The match ended in a 1-1 draw after goals from Kacper Przybylko and Carlos Vela. The goal for Vela was his 28th of the season, just two ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and four ahead of Martinez. The Portland Timbers, who had the advantage of playing the majority of the second half of the season at home, once again failed to take advantage as they fell to D.C. United in an ugly match. It was an own goal by Bill Tuiloma that did the Timbers in. The result was massive for D.C. United, who stay in a solid spot in the playoff picture. The Galaxy, who floundered against the Rapids midweek, rebounded nicely and destroyed Sporting Kansas City 7-2 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Ibrahimovic scored his third career MLS hat trick, helping the Galaxy snag a big three points and put him just two goals behind Vela in the race for the MLS Golden Boot.
Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action this week.
FC Cincinnati vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC – 7:30 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. New York Red Bulls – 10:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas – 10:30 p.m.
Tigres vs. Cruz Azul – 10:30 p.m. (FS1) (Leagues Cup)
Atlanta United vs. San Jose Quakes – 3:30 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew – 5 p.m.
FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire – 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake – 7:30 p.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. Orlando City SC – 8:30 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids – 8:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Montreal Impact – 10:30 p.m.
Los Angeles FC vs. Toronto FC – 10:30 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United – 3:55 p.m. (ESPN)
FC Dallas vs. New York City FC – 6 p.m.
New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union – 6 p.m.
D.C. United vs. Seattle Sounders – 8 p.m.
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for all things FC Cincinnati as the club looks to build off their victory over Montreal last weekend with two big matches against Atlanta United and the Chicago Fire.