Week 21 had a marquee match-up with LAFC beating Atlanta United 4-3 at Banc of California Stadium. Atlanta took the lead through a Mohammed Adams goal in the 2nd minute. LAFC’s Adama Diomande equalized in the 33rd with Diego Rossi scoring in the 38th. Carlos Vela converted a 42nd minute penalty kick for LAFC in the 42nd. Eduard Atuesta added a fourth LA goal in the 45th. Josef Martinez pulled a goal back for Atlanta in first-half stoppage time. An own goal finished off the Atlanta scoring in the 51st minute.
“Great win,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. “We made it crazy at times. There’s parts in there that we’re not too happy about. [It] was ridiculous in the first half to start slowly with no concentration to give up a goal right away. After 15 minutes, we really got things going well to get the 4-1. At the end of the half, we finished the same way we started the half so that was crazy. Exciting win.”
NYCFC beat Sporting KC 3-1 at Yankee Stadium. Anton Tinnerholm put NYCFC up in the 41st minute with Heber doubling the lead in the 54th. Sporting went down a man in the 61st with a red card to Roger Espinoza for a serious foul. Ilie Sanchez put a goal back in the 73rd. Alexander Ring assisted on both NYCFC goals and scored in the 77th.
New England beat Orlando City 4-1 at Gillette Stadium. Gustavo Bou put the Revs up in the 3rd minute with Cristian Penilla scoring in the 47th. Carles Gil converted a penalty in the 60th and assisted on Diego Fagundez’s goal in the 75th. Tesho Akindele scored for Orlando in the 77th.
“It was okay,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said. “I think there were inconsistencies in both halves for us, but it was nice to get the three points. This was an important three points for us, because we’ve got some difficult games ahead of us, and certainly next weekend, we’re playing the best team in the league and that’s really going to be challenging.”
Columbus beat the New York Red Bulls 3-2 on the road. Brian White put New York up in the 15th minute with Luis Argudo equalizing in the 16th. Argudo assisted on Pedro Santos’s goal in the 46th. aniel Royer equalized from the penalty spot in the 63rd. Santos scored the Crew’s winner in the 84th.
Chicago and DC finished 0-0 in Bridgeview. The Fire finished with three shots on goal to United’s one.
“You know, I think it’s honestly just like a little bit of a confidence thing,” Chicago midfielder Dax McCarthy said. “For some reason, we weren’t able to build off the good attacking performances we’ve had this year, the performances against New England, against Colorado, against Atlanta. It always seems like we’re, you know, we can score four or five goals in one night, but then it takes us a few weeks to be able to really finish our chances again. I think it’s a little bit of inconsistency, just a little bit timid in front of the goal.”
FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake finished 0-0 in Frisco. RSL had five shots on goal to Dallas’s two.
Seattle shutout Houston 1-0 at BBVA Stadium. Jordan Morris scored the game’s only goal in the 59th minute. Stefan Frei made three saves to keep the clean sheet.
“Well to be honest I didn’t think it was our strongest performance,” Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan said. “But sometimes you find a way to win and the team came together at the right moment. A brilliant finish by Jordan and a tremendous effort defensively to keep it 1-0.”
Minnesota and Vancouver finished 0-0 at Allianz Field. Vancouver had five shots on goal to United’s one.
Montreal shutout Philadelphia 4-0 at home. Lassi Lappalaienen scored in the 4th minute with Orji Okwonkwo doubling the lead in the 36th. Lappalainen scored again in the 46th with Okwonkwo getting his secodn goal in the 66th. Evan Bush kept the clean sheet with three saves.
Toronto FC beat Cincinnati 2-1 at BMO Field. Nick DeLeon scored in the 16th minute and assisted on Jozy Altidore’s goal in the 50th. Emmanuel Ledesma scored for Cincinnati in the 58th.
San Jose beat Colorado 3-1 at Avaya Stadium. San Jose took the lead through a 2nd minute own-goal with Valeri Qazaishvili scoring in the 34th. Shea Salinas made it 3-0 in the 83rd. Diego Rubio scored for the Rapids in the 88th.
“Preseason, we had a lot of confidence,” Salinas said. “After those first four games, I don’t know if we did, but what hasn’t changed is our coaching staff’s belief in us. Our staff seemed to always know that we were going to turn this around. It just took us to start believing it. I think now we do and we just want to keep climbing, we just want to keep catching the teams in front of us. We don’t even really think about the teams behind us.”
Week 21 ended at Providence Park with the Timbers shutting out the LA Galaxy 4-0. Cristhian Paredes scored in the 37th with Diego Valeri doubling the lead in the 41st. Parades scored again in the 81st with Jeremy Ebobisse finishing off the goals in the 88th.
“Playing for each other. Being disciplined,” Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Making sure they stick with the things that we asked them to do. Being clever and covering each other. Making sure that everybody was on the same page in the communication. Then in some moments also, great saves by our goalkeeper. In the moments maybe that they found that space, he came up big.”
Photo by Atlanta United