Thursday’s soccer news has the roundup of Week 20 in MLS, starting with Atlanta and NYCFC drawing 2-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. NYCFC took the lead on the road from a 1st minute Gabriel Pereira goal. Atlanta equalized in the 11th but Pereira returned New York’s lead in the 56th. Atlanta equalized again when Nicholas Firmino scored five minutes into stoppage time.
Montreal shutout Nashville 1-0 at Stade Saputo on a 27th minute Bryce Duke goal. Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois kept the clean sheet with two saves.
“There’s a sense of pride in keeping the clean sheet once again and winning against a team with a lot of quality for the first time in the history of the two clubs,” Montreal coach Hernan Losada said. “I think we played a very good first half. We controlled the game, created chances, and found a solution to try and find a free player. Unfortunately, if you don’t score the second goal, you’re going to suffer a bit, but we gave it our all.”
FC Cincinnati beat Toronto 3-0 at home, taking the lead from a 35th minute Santiago Arias goal. Luciano Acosta doubled Cincinnati’s lead in the 54th and Dominique Badji finished off the scoring in the 63rd minute. Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano made four saves to keep the clean sheet.
“What a team win,” Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan said. “Couldn’t be more impressed with the team that went out there and played a strong game against a good team and found some good opportunities at goal. Scored some good goals, defended the box really well. They have two of the best 1v1 attackers and they do a good job of finding isolation. I thought across the board on our backline, those guys were excellent in defending in isolation and defending 1v1 and just couldn’t be more pleased with the group.”
The Red Bulls came back at home to draw 2-2 with Charlotte. Benjamin Bender scored for Charlotte in the 13th and 19th minutes. Dante Vanzeir pulled a goal back for New York in the 53rd and Cameron Harper equalized in the 58th minute.
Orlando and Philadelphia drew 2-2 at Exploria Stadium, with City taking the lead from a 12th minute Duncan McGuire goal and doubling it when Martin Ojeda scored in the 54th. The Union’s Jack McGlynn scored in the 60th and Jose Martinez equalized in the 90th minute.
Houston beat San Jose 4-1 at home in a game delayed by weather. Amine Bassi put the Dynamo up in the 3rd and Corey Baird made it 2-0 in the 5th. San Jose’s Carlos Akapo scored in the 41st. The weather meant waiting two hours for the game to resume in the 62nd minute, with Houston’s Thor Ulfarsson adding goals in the 77th and 89th.
“It was a long night,” Houston coach Ben Olsen said. “For the most part, it was a really mature performance from us. Offensively, our structure was really good. We offset them quite a bit and got a lot of goals and a nice balance of possession, while also being vertical and threatening them in a bunch of different ways. Overall, I’m really pleased with the performance.”
Real Salt Lake beat St Louis 3-1 on the road, going ahead from a 15th minute Diego Luna goal. St Louis equalized through Nicholas Gioacchini in the 21st, but it was RSL’s Damier Kreilach scoring in the 48th and 66th minutes.
The LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City drew 2-2 in Carson with Sporting’s Alan Pulido opening the scoring in the 12th minute. the Galaxy’s Martin Caceres scored in the 24th and Preston Judd put them ahead in the 64th. Pulido equalized from the penalty spot a minute into stoppage time.
LAFC shutout Seattle 1-0 at home with Mateusz Bogusz scoring in the 1st minute and LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy making two saves.
“I think textbook discipline and the awareness and the effort is back,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said. “What we’re still working on will come with time and with confidence is just really the combination play and being a little more secure with our passing, making better decisions to create more chances in the final third, that’s the only missing piece.”
Chicago beat Portland 2-1 on the road, taking the lead from an 8th minute Fabian Herbers goal. Franck Boli equalized for the Timbers in the 26th, but it was Kei Kamara scoring Chicago’s winner in the 83rd minute.
“You know, most of the guys, the ones that have played here before, they know the crowd and the place we are playing and it was going to be tough,” Kamara said. “But usually we’re the one going down at the end of the game. But today, hopefully again, this is the turnaround for all of us going forward.”
Austin shutout FC Dallas 3-0 at home with Ethan Finlay opening the scoring in the 17th and Diego Fagundez doubling it in the 42nd. Gyazi Zardes finished off the scoring in the 58th and Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver made three saves to keep the clean sheet.
Colorado vs Vancouver was postponed due to weather.
FRIDAY’S SOCCER TV
Primera Division on GolTV: Liverpool vs Nacional at 2pm and La Luz vs Danubio at 6pm. Primera A on GolTV: Aucas vs Orense at 8pm ET.
Photo by Bill Barrett – ISIPhotos.com