Sometimes it is refreshing to watch other MLS matches, especially when the Chicago Fire performs like the Chicago Fire. It is a whole different world out there compared to what Fire fans see every week. This week was pretty fun compared to previous ones - with a lot of last-minute winners and some surprises.
Here is what you may have missed during week 16.
FC Cincinatti 1 - 0 Orlando City
If I told you on the streets that this game ended with a clean one-nil one between Orlando and Cincinnati, what team would you say earned that victory?
I wouldn’t blame you if you would answer Orlando, but props to Cincinnati for achieving this win. The Midwest seems to have a lot of banter teams at the moment, and the way Cincinnati played on Friday showed they could escape that moniker for a brief moment. Apart from possession, Cincinnati dominated the game over Orlando. The loan goal of the night came from Brenner in the 55th minute, who himself hasn’t set the league on fire. But he managed to get one past a weakened Orlando defense which ultimately earned the home team a win.
I complained about the number of draws last week. So it didn’t help my well-being that this game ended up in a draw. One of the supposed leaders of the Eastern Conference drew against a lowly Western Conference team, but I guess that is what happens when you sell one of your prolific goalscorers. Each team nullified each other down to a t. There were moments when Vancouver had the goal in sight with a perfect counterattack but couldn’t finish. The Revs were a bit more direct with their attack but also couldn’t muster a goal.
Philadelphia Union 2 - 1 NYCFC
What could be the preview of an Eastern Conference playoff game the Union saw off the reigning MLS (small banner) champions, NYCFC in a 2-1 win. Chicago Fire legend Alejandro Bedoya set up Mikael Uhre for a goal in the 9th minute. DOOP held on to that lead until the 86th minute when Taty Castellanos leveled the game for NYCFC after a handball. Corey Burke (fun fact, has five goals against the Chicago Fire) rescued the home team at the death when a shot from Jose Martinez deflected off him.
LAFC 2 - 0 New York Red Bulls
Two “L”s for New York teams in one day?
The Red Bulls, who until now seemed to be the kings of away games, fell to a dominant LAFC team who at that time was amid rumors that they were going to sign Welsh pro-golfer Gareth Bale. The Red Bulls came in with a weakened squad, with a few players out for health and safety protocols. However, they prevented LAFC from gaining the upper hand momentum until the 67th minute when Cristian Arango scored. Three minutes later, Diego Palacios scored a cheeky goal confirming LA’s win for the day.
There must be something in the water up in the Pacific Northwest during the summertime. The soccer teams up there seem to underperform early on, then around this time, they start to become good again.
Both teams were knocking at each other’s doorstep, but it wasn’t until the 8th minute of the stoppage time at the end of the first half that the first goal was scored. After a silly challenge from Colorado’s goalkeeper, Portland was awarded a penalty, and Sebastian Blanco cooly converted it. Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored a brace in the 54th and 62nd minutes giving Portland a much-needed win after a few months of misery.
Real Salt Lake City 0 - 0 Columbus Crew
Leave it something called “Real” Salt Lake and that Yellow Team to have a total snoozefest of a game. The Crew parked the bus towards the final whistle, with Salt Lake failing to convert whatever chance they had against them.
Austin 2 - 2 FC Dallas
This was a pretty fun game.
Despite having an awful logo, Austin is a good team and it showed on Saturday. Paul Arriola scored in the 58th minute giving Dallas the early lead. Brandon Servania made it 2-0 ten minutes later. Shots were flaring from both sides, with 18 and 12 shots for Austin and Dallas respectively. Sebastian Driussi pulled one back for Austin in the 72nd minute. Danny Hoesen equalized in the 85th minute with a header from a picture-perfect cross.
Inter Miami 2 - 1 Minnesota United
Inter Miami seems to be going through a revival at the moment. After being 1-0 down, they clawed their way to a win with an Indiana Vassilev brace. Minnesota gained the lead in the 65th minute when Luis Amarilla slotted in the ball after a build-up play from his teammates. Ibson Barreto da Silva’s assist was the highlight of the whole build-up.
Vassilev’s sunk the hearts of Minnesota fans when he scored twice towards the end of the second half.
Toronto FC 2 - 1 Atlanta United
Look, another team with a redemption arc.
Toronto FC seems to be escaping out of their slump with their 2-1 win against Atlanta. Jonathan Osorio scored early in the 8th, and Toronto held on to this lead until the 57th minute. Luiz Araujo scored a cheeky one, embarrassing Toronto’s, Quentin Westberg. Ralph Priso won the game for Toronto in the 78th minute with a missile of a shot towards the upper left corner of the net.
CF Montreal 2 - 1 Charlotte FC
Ruben and I said that the Charlotte bubble would burst on the Hot Cast, but in this case, the loss wasn’t that bad considering the circumstances. Charlotte squad was severely depleted due to health and safety protocols but still managed to hold their own against a competent Montreal side. Romell Quito gave Montreal the lead early on in the 8th minute. Charlotte equalized one minute later thanks to Guzman Corujo. Charlotte looked to hold on to this result until the 47th minute when Mathieu Choiniere scored the winning goal for Montreal.
D.C United 1 - 3 Nashville FC
The legacy powerhouses of the Eastern Conference seem to be at a free fall in recent memory. D.C. United is one of those teams. Apart from a win in a friendly game against Club Xelaju MC, they haven’t won a league game since May 7th.
Daniel Lovitz scored early in the 6th minute to give Nashville the lead. Hany Mukthar doubled their lead in the 45th minute. He later scored again in the 50th minute. Taxiarchis Fountas scored the lone consolation goal for D.C. nine minutes later.
SKC returned to their losing ways (imagine saying that a few seasons ago) on Saturday with a loss against Seattle on Saturday (that’s a lot of letter S’). Will Bruin gave Seattle the lead in the 8th minute. SKC dominated in possession and passes but couldn’t create anything out of that despite looking good on the stat sheet. Jordan Morris doubled Seattle’s lead in the 71st minute, with Cristian Roldan scoring five minutes later.