MLS week 28 began at Red Bull Arena with Inter Miami beating the Red Bulls 2-0 on the road. Diego Gomez put Inter Miami up in the 37th and Lionel Messi doubled the lead in the 89th minute. Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender made four saves to keep the clean sheet.
“We have to win our upcoming matches,” Inter Miami coach Tata Martino said. “As long as we win a lot, our chances of being able to at least make the play-ins will increase. We took a big first step today, but there is still a long way to go.”
Charlotte beat LAFC 2-1 at home, taking the lead from a 29th minute Ashley Westwood goal. LAFC’s Mario Gonzalez equalized in the 67th, but Charlotte’s Scott Arfield scored in the 75th minute.
FC Cincinnati shutout NYCFC 3-0 at home. Aaron Boupendza scored in the 6th minute, Junior Moreno made it 2-0 in the 52nd, and Nick Hagglund added a goal in the 59th minute. Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano made four saves.
“Really pleased with the response of this group after a difficult week,” FC Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan said. “I think the lead-up to the game, it just adds a little bit of pressure. We don’t talk about it that way, but off a couple of tough losses, I thought the performance tonight and just way we attacked with some of the things that we talked about and discipline the guys had, the way we defended. It was an all-around strong performance.”
Atlanta won 4-0 at home over Nashville, going up in the 26th when Xande Silva scored. Thiago Almada doubled the Atlanta lead in the 46th, Miles Robinson made it 3-0 in the 57th, an Saba Lobzhanidze added a goal in the 87th minute. U:nited goalkeeper Brad Guzan made one save. “We just keep working,” Silva said. “The results will come. Everyone knows hard work pays off.”
Orlando City beat St Louis 2-1 at Exploria Stadium, with Facundo Torres scoring in the 48th minute. St Louis equalized from a Rasmus Alm goal in the 78th, but Torres converted a penalty a minute into stoppage time. St Louis’s Jake Nerwinski saw red ten minutes into stoppage time.
Philadelphia won 3-1 at DC United, going ahead from a 5th minute Mikael Uhre goal. Jack McGlynn doubled the Union lead in the 13th and Daniel Gazdag converted a penalty in the 38th. DC’s Ted Ku-DiPietro pulled a goal back in the 88th minute.
Columbus shutout Toronto 2-0 at home with Diego Rossi scoring in the 21st and Jacen Russell-Rowe adding a goal in the 88th minute. Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte kept the clean sheet with three saves.
Montreal beat New England 1-0 at home on an 86th minute George Campbell goal. Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois recorded the shutout with New England finishing without a shot on goal. “Tonight, there wasn’t a shot on target from New England and that shows the character and solidarity of our team and our defensive effort,” Sirois said.
FC Dallas shutout Austin 1-0 at home. Playing a man up from a 67th minute red card to Daniel Pereira, Dallas’s Nkosi Tafari scored seven minutes into stoppage time. Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes made two saves.
“Obviously it feels great to get the three points tonight,” Dallas forward Paul Arriola said. “It definitely wasn’t our prettiest game but at this point of the season we have to take the win no matter what. That has to be our mentality from the start. If things aren’t going our way or we’re having an off-day tactically and the other team is doing something we’re not used to, we need to adapt and find a way to win.”
Sporting Kansas City won 3-0 at home over San Jose. Daniel Salloi put Sporting KC up in the 3rd, Johnny Russell scored in the 42nd, and Erik Thommy made it 3-0 in the 69th. Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia made two saves for the shutout, including a stoppage time penalty.
“We were very good,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “I hate that we gave up the two chances at the end, but great save by Tim on the penalty kick to keep the shutout. It was important. For me, it was very important to get a shutout. I thought on both sides of the ball, we were very good.”
Houston shutout Real Salt Lake 3-0 on the road, going ahead in the 9th minute from a Corey Baird goal. Daniel Steres made it 2-0 Dynamo in the 29th and Adalberto Carrasquilla scored in the 75th minute. Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark made one save.
“This was certainly our most complete effort and just a really good night on both sides of the ball,” Houston coach Ben Olsen said. “Scored good goals, had other opportunities. For most of the game, we defended pretty well.”
Vancouver won 3-2 at Portland, taking the lead on the road from a 13th minute Ryan Gauld goal. Brian White doubled the Whitecaps’ lead in the 36th. Portland’s Felipe Mora pulled a goal back in the 53rd, but Gauld converted a Vancouver penalty in the 60th. Evander scored for the Timbers in the 85th minute.
The Galaxy shutout Chicago 3-0 at home, playing a man up from a 27th minute red card to the Fire’s Gaston Gimenez. Tyler Boyd scored for LA in the 29th, Riqui Puig doubled the lead in the 72nd, and Billy Sharp converted a penalty in the 90th minute. Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond made four saves.
Week 28 ended at Allianz Field where Minnesota and Seattle drew 1-1. Yeimar Andrade scored for the Sounders in the 17th and an own-goal leveled the score in the 56th.
Photo by Atlanta United