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MLS Monday: Everything you need to know about Matchweek 21

League leaders get results, Seattle Sounders look rudderless, Cucho scores (again), New Jersey lose at home but still top MLS in fouls

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Nashville SC
Even opposing supporters like Giorgio Chiellini
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There was a full slate of MLS games in Matchweek 21, with an oh-so-symmetrical seven games played on Saturday and seven games on Sunday, but there was no movement at the top of the tables: The league leaders proved why they’re the best in MLS, with LAFC and New York City FC getting tough road wins this sweaty July weekend.

Top Games

Chicago Fire 1 - 0 Seattle Sounders
Remember when Seattle were good? The Sounders have looked completely lost this past week, first getting shut out on Wednesday at Nashville and now this 1-0 loss to cellar-dwellers Chicago Fire. Seattle managed just two shots on target, and never controlled the flow of a lurching game that was won in the 23rd-minute goal by 32-year-old defender Rafael Czichos — it was just his second goal in MLS.

Atlanta United 1 - 1 Orlando City
A hard-fought draw that had all the feels: Atlanta United looked like they were going to be embarrassed at home by a compact and professional Orlando City that took the lead in the 10th minute. But then United roared back in the second half, terrorizing the Orlando defense with wave after wave of fast-break attacks. It’s a miracle that Atlanta scored only once. Credit to Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, who kept his team in the game, and to Atlanta, who made this an entertaining match to watch.

New Jersey Red Bulls 0 - 1 NYCFC
The Red Bulls turned their press up to 11, but NYCFC walked away with three points behind a brilliant sequence of play that saw Santiago Rodíguez feed a cross that Taty Castellanos lashed into the goal in what might be his final game for New York City. It’s not a bad way to go out: This was only the second time NYCFC beat New Jersey at Red Bull Arena. Not all is lost in New Jersey, as the Red Bulls still lead the league with 327 fouls this season.

Nashville SC 1 - 2 LAFC
What can stop LAFC? Not Nashville, it seems: LAFC rolled to a comfortable road win that was more lopsided than the scoreline suggests. Giorgio Chiellini got the start for Los Angeles, and new signing Gareth Bale came on late in the second half to get a taste of MLS. But the second goal didn’t come from any of the team’s big names: It was 23-year-old Ecuador international José Cifuentes who headed home the game-winner in the opening minute of the second half. Talk about a deep roster.

Goal of the Week

It’s not just the quality of this glancing header from Cucho Hernández of Columbus Crew, it’s that the Colombian international has scored four goals in less than 90 minutes of playing time: He’s too good for MLS.


Saturday, July 16

Philadelphia Union 2 - 1 New England Revolution

CF Montréal 1 - 0 Toronto FC

Minnesota United 2 - 0 DC United

Chicago Fire 1 - 0 Seattle Sounders

Colorado Rapids 1 - 0 LA Galaxy

FC Dallas 1 - 1 Austin FC

Inter Miami 3 - 2 Charlotte FC

Sunday, July 17

Atlanta United 1 - 1 Orlando City

New Jersey Red Bulls 0 - 1 NYCFC

Columbus 2 - 0 FC Cincinnati

Nashville SC 1 - 2 LAFC

Real Salt Lake 3 - 0 Sporting KC

San Jose 1 - 2 Houston Dynamo

Portland Timbers 1 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps