MLS News and Notes — Week 16

Chris Asbrock looks at the United States men’s national team’s Concacaf glory as well as some upsets in MLS’ Western Conference in this week’s news and notes.

The United States men’s national team picked a great year to dominate the Concacaf region. The COVID-19 pandemic has made things tough for many, but seeing the United States knock off its most hated rival, Mexico, to capture two Concacaf trophies helped soccer fans puff their chest out a little bit. After defeating Mexico 3-2 in extra time to win the first Concacaf Nations League, the USMNT was looking for an encore. An encore is exactly what it got. The USMNT went undefeated in the Gold Cup en route to its seventh Concacaf Gold Cup title. In an incredible match, Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson headed home the winner in the 117th minute, sending the pro-Mexico crowd home disappointed.

It was a relatively light week of play for MLS. It started off Friday night with a surprising 4-1 beatdown New York City FC handed the Columbus Crew. After two goals in the first half from Valentin Castellanos and Thiago Andrade, Keaton Parks put the match out of reach for the Crew just after halftime. The misery continued for the Crew when Santiago Rodriguez added a fourth for NYCFC. The clean sheet was on the horizon but was spoiled by a Pedro Santos goal from the spot in the 97th minute. The victory vaulted NYCFC into fourth place in the east, two points ahead of the Crew. Orlando City got back on track with a much-needed 3-2 victory over Atlanta United. Things did not go as planned to start for Orlando City, as Josef Martinez got Atlanta United rolling in the first minute. Just minutes before the half, Kyle Smith tied the game. It wasn’t until the 66th minute when Marcelina Moreno put Atlanta United back on top. Orlando City battled back to tie it back up in the 79th minute via a goal from Silvester van der Water. Just when Atlanta thought it would come away with a much-needed point, Nani broke the hearts of the Five Stripes with a crucial goal in the 87th minute. Orlando City now sits firmly in second place in the east.

Don’t look now but the Los Angeles Galaxy are flying towards the top of the standings. The Galaxy demolished the Portland Timbers 4-1 at Dignity Health Sports Park. Rayan Raveloson gave the Galaxy the lead in the 27th minute before Jeremy Ebobisse tied it for Portland just two minutes later. That is where the wheels fell off for the Timbers as Victor Vazquez gave the Galaxy back the lead just five minutes later. The Galaxy added two goals in a three-minute span to put the game well out of reach. The Galaxy are just four points off of first place Seattle and two off Sporting Kansas City. Seattle gave the rest of the conference a much-needed break as they were stunningly knocked off by the visiting San Jose Quakes, 1-0. Just like Seattle, Sporting Kansas City felt the need to help out as well. Sporting failed to secure a point at home against struggling FC Dallas.

The upsets continued on the weekend when bottom-of-the-table Inter Miami CF knocked off CF Montreal at home. A double from Gonzalo Higuain was all that Inter Miami needed to secure the victory. At the other end of the table, top of the league New England Revolution left Red Bull Arena with a massive three points after knocking off the New York Red Bulls by a score of 3-2. The Revolution battled back after conceding in the eighth minute to tie it 15 minutes into the second half. Fabio put the home side back in the lead just three minutes after conceding. That lead would hold until the 84th minute when Brandon Bye equalized for the Revolution. All was not lost for the Revolution as Adam Buksa scored in the 91st minute to give the first-place Revolution all three points.

The rest of the games on the weekend saw teams battle it out and only manage a draw. D.C. United and FC Cincinnati managed a scoreless draw, while the Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake did the same. Teams that finished with a 1-1 scoreline were Toronto and Nashville along with the Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire. The highest-scoring draw was between the Vancouver Whitecaps and Minnesota United.

Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action, this 17th week of play.

Upcoming schedule (Subject to Change)

New England Revolution vs. Nashville SC – 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC – 7:30 p.m.
Columbus Crew SC vs. D.C. United – 7:30 p.m.
CF Montreal vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.
New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati – 8 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. New York City FC – 8 p.m.
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami – 8 p.m.
Austin FC vs. Houston Dynamo – 9 p.m.
Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas – 10 p.m.
Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting Kansas City – 10:30 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Quakes – 10:30 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake – 10:30 p.m.

Columbus Crew vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.
FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City – 7:30 p.m.
Toronto FC vs. NYCFC – 8 p.m.
Minnesota United vs. Houston Dynamo – 8 p.m.
FC Dallas vs. Austin FC – 8:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City – 9 p.m.
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake – 10:30 p.m.

Inter Miami vs. Nashville SC – 6 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls – 6 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union – 6 p.m.
San Jose Quakes vs. LAFC – 7 p.m.
LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – 8 p.m.
D.C. United vs. CF Montreal – 8 p.m.

As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk as we take a look at the upcoming matches for FC Cincinnati against the New York Red Bulls and Orlando City.

@iamchrisasbrock for @CincySoccerTalk

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