Since play has resumed away from the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida, the LA Galaxy have been on a tear. The Galaxy continued their hot run of form over the last week, knocking off the Portland Timbers 3-2 and adding another dominating El Traffico performance in a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles FC, giving the Galaxy four wins since Orlando. Goals from Efrain Alvarez, Cristian Pavon and Joe Corona were what the doctor ordered, helping the Galaxy secure all three points. To cap off the weekend, Pavon padded his MVP resume with another goal, while Sebastian Lletget added two more goals to give the Galaxy another victory over their cross-town rivals. All was not lost for LAFC over the past week, as it landed a big three points after a 5-1 throttling of the San Jose Quakes. Diego Rossi scored twice in the rout, with Bradley Wright-Phillips, Jose Cifuentes and Danny Musovski adding goals for LAFC. The Galaxy sit fourth in the West with 14 points, while LAFC sit in seventh in the standings, just two points behind the Galaxy.
While the Galaxy have been in great form, it is hard to argue the Columbus Crew are the cream of the crop in MLS. The Crew are sitting atop the entire league on 23 points, with two shutout victories over the last week. First the Crew knocked off the Philadelphia Union, 1-0, at MAPFRE Stadium. Lucas Zelarayan has shown why he is one of the biggest acquisitions in the league, with his impressive second-half goal. The Crew stayed hot, knocking off FC Cincinnati 3-0 in the latest matchup of the Hell is Real Derby. The Union rebounded off the tough Columbus loss with an impressive 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Brenden Aaronson, Kacper Przybylko and Matt Real all scored for the Union to put them back in the second spot in the Eastern Conference.
Expansion sides Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC each failed to notch a win as both sides drew both their matches, including the Sunday matchup. The biggest takeaway from the Nashville-Miami matchup was the MLS debut of Blaise Matuidi. The French World Cup winner made his debut for Inter Miami, playing a major part but unable to help Inter Miami gain the full three points. As it stands, both clubs are below the playoff line with Nashville sitting in 11th and Inter Miami in 14th in the East. Consistency has not been the name of the game for teams over the last week. Aside from the Galaxy and Crew, only the Houston Dynamo were the only other club to claim two wins over the past week. Two massive wins for the Dynamo, including a 3-0 win over Minnesota United and a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City, were enough to put the Dynamo in a playoff spot. Currently, Houston is in sixth place with 13 points, just three more than ninth place FC Dallas.
Transactions were the name of the game over the last week. The biggest move was made by Atlanta United, when it sold designated player Pity Martinez to Al-Nassr from Saudi Arabia. The transfer fee of $18 million is the second-largest outgoing transfer fee in league history. Another massive move saw Minnesota United bring in Emanuel Reynoso from Boca Juniors. The No. 10 will be the latest DP for the Loons. FC Cincinnati acquired winger Alvaro Barreal from Argentinian side Velez Sarsfield. The first ever signing in Charlotte FC history, Sergio Ruiz, has been loaned to Las Palmas in Spain’s La Liga2. Expect to see Ruiz back in Charlotte when it begins MLS play in 2022. With Blaise Matuidi joining Inter Miami, David Beckham and company could be on the verge of landing another massive international star. Inter Miami acquired the MLS rights of star striker Gonzalo Higuain, meaning if the Juventus striker plays in MLS, he will be taking his talents to South Beach.
Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action this week.
Upcoming schedule (Subject to Change)
Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami – 8 p.m.
Minnesota United vs. FC Dallas – 8 p.m.
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC – 8 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo – 9 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles FC – 9:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Quakes – 10 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew – 3:30 p.m.
D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls – 7 p.m.
New York City FC vs. FC Cincinnati – 7 p.m.
Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami – 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution – 7:30 p.m.
Nashville SC vs. Atlanta United – 8:30 p.m.
FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo – 8:30 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids – 9:30 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United – 8:30 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact – 9:30 p.m.
Los Angeles FC vs. Portland Timbers – 11 p.m.
San Jose Quakes vs. LA Galaxy – 11 p.m.
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we take a look at the upcoming matches for FC Cincinnati as it heads to New York to face NYCFC in a big weekend matchup.