The 2021 summer of soccer is in full swing. Fans have been pummeled with soccer with Euro 2020 and Copa America in full swing. Just before MLS returned to action this past week, the Canadian National Team battled Haiti in World Cup Qualifying. The Canadians advanced to the final round of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying for the first time since 1997 with 1-0 and 3-0 victories respectively over Haiti. Former Orlando City man Cyle Larin tallied a goal in each of the matches, helping Canada advance.
After eight away matches to start the 2021 season, Austin FC finally opened up its new stadium with a match against the San Jose Quakes. While Austin and San Jose battled to a 0-0 draw, the expansion side continued to battle and are just three points out of a playoff spot out west. While teams continue to battle for points in this early part of the season, the bottom two clubs from each conference failed to muster anything more than a single point from four matches. The Chicago Fire and FC Cincinnati each fell by a score of 2-0, to the Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids respectively. The Vancouver Whitecaps lost 3-1 on the road at Real Salt Lake. Only FC Dallas secured a point via a 1-1 draw against underperforming Minnesota United.
Nashville SC finally tasted defeat with a 2-0 loss on the road at the New York Red Bulls. Fábio Roberto Gomes Netto got things going in the 37th minute, and Kyle Duncan added to the Nashville misery just 11 minutes into the second half. The victory catapulted the Red Bulls above Nashville and into the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Results this weekend continued to muddy the waters in the east as just nine points separate the top spot from the 10th spot. Orlando City, D.C. United and the New England Revolution each took advantage of lesser opponents, securing all three points. Orlando City landed two big punches to Toronto FC, scoring goals in the first and eighth minutes. Toronto picked itself up to tie it with goals in the next 21 minutes. The game remained tied until the 84th minute when Junior Urso broke the hearts of Toronto FC, vaulting Orlando into a tie for second place in the east.
In a match that saw eight cards, including two reds, D.C. United secured another victory over Inter Miami CF. Since its 3-2 victory over FC Cincinnati on May 16, Inter Miami suffered its third straight clean sheet loss and second consecutive to D.C. United. Ola Kamara converted from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, giving D.C. United the advantage over the shorthanded Inter Miami side. On the other end of the table, the New England Revolution stayed hot with a 3-2 victory over New York City FC. In a game that was back and forth, Gustavo Bou, Jonathan Bell and Tommy McNamara all put the ball in the back of the net, giving the Revs a big three points.
Two of the biggest matches this weekend saw interesting results. The Seattle Sounders stayed on top out west with a 2-1 road victory over the LA Galaxy. Sacha Kljestan gave the home fans hope with a goal from the penalty spot in the 21st minute. That lead would hold until Seattle defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade tied the match just minutes before the half. Coming out of the half, Raul Ruidiaz added to the misery, giving Seattle the lead just four minutes into the second half. The three points kept the Sounders atop the west and saw the Galaxy fall to the fourth spot. In a big match out west, the Portland Timbers got a big 2-1 win over second-place Sporting Kansas City. After Jaylin Lindsey gave the visitors the lead in the 28th minute, Portland stormed back with two goals in a 10-minute span before the half. The Timbers held on for the final 45 minutes to secure a key three points, keeping them above the playoff line in the west.
Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action, this ninth week of play.
Upcoming schedule (Subject to Change)
Orlando City vs. San Jose Quakes – 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls – 7 p.m.
New York City FC vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew – 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota United vs. Austin FC – 8 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. FC Cincinnati – 8 p.m.
CF Montreal vs. D.C. United – 8 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids – 8:30 p.m.
Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers – 8:30 p.m.
Nashville SC vs. Toronto FC – 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake – 10 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy – 10:30 p.m.
Los Angeles FC vs. FC Dallas – 10:30 p.m.
Inter Miami vs. Orlando City SC – 8 p.m. (FS1)
Sporting Kansas City vs. LAFC – 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Toronto FC vs. FC Cincinnati – 7 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union – 8 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo – 8 p.m.
Nashville SC vs. CF Montreal – 8:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 9 p.m.
San Jose Quakes vs. LA Galaxy – 10 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United – 10:30 p.m.
Atlanta United vs. New York Red Bulls – 3:30 p.m.
NYCFC vs. D.C. United – 6 p.m.
Austin FC vs. Columbus Crew – 8 p.m. (FS1)
FC Dallas vs. New England Revolution – 9 p.m.
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we take a look at the upcoming matches for FC Cincinnati as they are set to face the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC this week.