The roundup of week 34 of the 2023 MLS season started in Atlanta where United beat Montreal 4-1. Xande Silva put Atlanta up in the 30th and Thiago Almada doubled the lead in the 33rd. Montreal’s Ahmed Hamdi pulled a goal back in the 40th. Georgios Giakoumakis extended the Atlanta lead in the 46th. Playing a man up from a Joe Waterman red card in the 87th, Edwin Mosquera scored Atlanta’s fourth goal in the 89th minute.
“Listen, that is obviously priority number one,” Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan said about successfully making the playoffs. “But now we go to try and finish as high as we can. We know that home field advantage is huge for us. And so we want to try and finish in those top spots to go ahead and have that advantage.”
The Red Bulls won 5-3 at DC United, taking the lead from a 17th minute Omir Fernandez goal. DC’s Christian Benteke equalized in the 21st and scored again in the 36th. Fernandez converted a 44th minute penalty with Benteke making it 3-2 DC from the penalty spot two minutes into first-half stoppage time. New York’s Camero Harper equalized five minutes into first-half stoppage time. Sean Nealis put the Red Bulls up for good in the 58th and John Tolkin scored three minutes into stoppage time.
FC Cincinnati shutout Charlotte 3-0 at home. Alvaro Barreal opened the scoring a minute into first-half stoppage time, Aaron-Salem Boupendza doubled the lead in the 50th, and Luciano Acosta finished off the scoring in the 78th. Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano kept the clean sheet with Charlotte finishing without a shot on goal.
“I think for the third game with a quick turnaround that the group was excellent the chance creation, the way we defended the box with a team that does a good job of getting good service from wide areas created a lot of good looks at goal,” FC Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan said. “You score three goals and keep a clean sheet at this stage against a team that I thought was in, and I still think is, in good form, despite the result is really impressive. So very pleased with our group.”
Philadelphia and LAFC drew 0-0 at Subaru Park. Both teams finished without a shot on goal.
St Louis beat Minnesota 2-1 at Allianz Field. Teemu Pukki put United up from the penalty spot in the 48th minute. Klauss equalized for St Louis in the 64th and Njabulo Blom scored in the 73rd minute.
“The overriding thought of the game is that we started the game really well, and we had two or three really good chances,” Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said. “It’s like a broken record. I feel as though I keep coming in here and saying that. That would then give us an ability to relax and play our football. I actually thought some of our football was good this evening, but it was one of those games that was never comfortable.”
Sporting Kansas City beat Houston 2-1 at home, going up from a 7th minute Johnny Russell penalty. Sporting went a man down with a red card to Johnny Russell in the 39th. William Agada made it 2-0 Sporting six minutes into first-half stoppage time with Teenage Hadebe scoring for the Dynamo nine minutes into first-half stoppage time.
FC Dallas and Columbus drew 1-1 at Toyota Stadium with an own-goal putting the Crew up in the 24th. Jader Obrian equalized for Dallas in the 43rd minute.
“Overall, you’re never satisfied not winning at home,” FC Dallas coach Nico Estevez said. “Tonight was a difficult game where we had to adjust a lot of things throughout both halves. We did a good job in the game and in the end we had it in our hands after building momentum all game.”
Chicago and New England drew 2-2 at Soldier Field. Tomas Chancalay scored for the Revolution in the 17th and Chicago equalized in the 18th. The Fire’s Gaston Gimenez scored in the 54th with New England’s Carles Gil equalizing in the 59th minute.
“That’s the main goal, to get in the playoffs and give yourself a chance, but we’re not satisfied,” New England interim coach Clint Peay said about making the playoffs. “We want to get the highest seed that we can possibly have to secure homefield advantage in the playoffs to the best of our ability. We still have a couple of tough games to go and that’s going to be our goal moving forward.”
Real Salt Lake beat Vancouver 2-1 at home after falling behind to a 17th minute Brian White goal. Brayan Vera equalized for RSL in the 47th and Justen Glad scored in the 65th minute.
San Jose and Nashville drew 1-1 at PayPal Park. Nashville took the lead from a 50th minute Teal Bunbury goal and Matthew Hoppe equalized for the Earthquakes in the 74th.
Portland beat Colorado 3-2 at Providence Park, taking a 19th minute lead from an Antony goal. Santiago Moreno made it 2-0 Timbers in the 30th. Colorado’s Diego Rubio scored in the 31st and Andrew Gutman equalized in the 43rd. Felipe Mora returned the Portland lead in the 71st minute.
Week 34 continued on Sunday with NYCFC shutting out Toronto 3-0 at home to start Sunday’s schedule. Andres Perea put New York up in the 2nd, Andres Jasson doubled the lead four minutes into first-half stoppage time, and Julian Fernandez finished off the scoring in the 54th minute. Matt Freese kept the clean sheet with four saves.
Orlando City and Inter Miami drew 1-1 at Exploria Stadium. David Ruiz put Miami up in the 52nd and Duncan McGuire equalized in the 66th.
Following a weather delay, Austin and the LA Galaxy drew 3-3 at Q2 Stadium to close out week 34. Alexander Ring put Austin up in the 11th with LA’s Riqui Puig equalizing two minutes into first-half stoppage time. Austin’s Ethan Finlay scored six minutes into first-half stoppage time and Emiliano Rigoni made it 3-1 in the 75th. Dejan Jovelic pulled a goal back for the Galaxy in the 89th and Michal Barrios equalized four minutes into stoppage time.
“Anything is possible in this league when you have belief and you play with a lot of heart, and you just leave it all out there and just believe,” LA midfielder Mark Delgado said. “Play the game the right way, let the ball move and this is MLS. Things will happen right?”
Photo by Atlanta United