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MLS Monday: Everything you need to know about Matchweek 23

Only LAFC can score on LAFC, DC United write a Hollywood ending, Philly stays on top, Minnesota and Portland trade leads and combine for eight goals — then Miami and Cincinnati do the same a couple of hours later

MLS: New England Revolution at Inter Miami CF
Always inspirational, Phil Neville said his team "defended like little boys."
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Are you not entertained? Two 4-4 draws, one 6-0 romp, and one come-from-behind win that needed two stoppage-time goals: Matchweek 24 showed us why MLS is the most fun league in the world.

Top Games

DC United 2 - 1 Orlando City SC
It looked like DC United were going to log another lifeless performance after going down a goal to Orlando in the ninth minute, but then they staged a Hollywood comeback with two stoppage-time goals. Taxi Fountas lashed in the 90+5’ game-winner from a volleyed cross by substitute Kimarni Smith. Gotta love it when a last-place team can play such entertaining soccer.

LAFC 2 - 1 Seattle Sounders
LAFC are so good only LAFC can score on them: Seattle jumped to an early lead after LAFC defender Jesús Murillo deflected a cross into his own goal, but the Sounders couldn’t maintain their advantage against a team that runs over everything in their path. Jose Cifuéntes controlled the midfield, keeping LAFC dangerous and keeping Seattle out of the game. A 35’ goal from Kwado Opoku and a 43’ goal from Carlos Vela carried Los Angeles over the line — tbh Seattle should be happy with the scoreline. LAFC continues their sprint to the Supporters’ Shield, while Seattle strangely manages to stay in playoff contention: They’re just two points behind seventh-pace Portland Timbers with a game in hand.

Minnesota United 4 - 4 Portland Timbers
Portland’s Sebastian Blanco scored inside the first 15 seconds of the game, and things only got wilder from there. The lead changed three times in this highly-entraining 4-4 draw: After Portland’s early goal, Minnesota equalized eight minutes later then took the lead on a 21’ goal from Bongokuhle Hlongwane. Minnesota scored again and coasted to a 3-1 lead at the half, but Portland roared back with three goals inside 15 minutes to retake the lead. Minnesota equalized in the 69th minute, but it remained must-see TV until the final whistle.

Footnote of frustration: Sebastian Blanco looked to have scored the first hat trick in Portland history (I know, right?), but his third was ruled a Minnesota own goal. That Own is always scoring when you least expect it.

Philadelphia Union 6 - 0 Houston Dash
It’s raining goals in Philly: The Union’s fifth consecutive win came courtesy of a 6-0 demolition of Houston, and give Philadelphia 18 goals in that stretch. Even more impressive is the defense, which have allowed only three goals in July – yep, Philadelphia has a goal differential of +15 just for this month. They stay atop the Eastern Conference, padding their lead to three points over second-place NYCFC.

Inter Miami 4 - 4 FC Cincinnati
It was the finest day the Most Interesting Benchwarmer in the World will ever have wearing Inter Miami pink: Gonzalo Higuían scored a first-half hat trick, and would’ve secured the win if the team hadn’t “defended like little boys,” to quote head coach and semipro inspirational speaker Phil Neville, Yes, dear reader, despite those three goals, the magnificently dysfunctional Inter Miami kept it interesting by giving away the lead three times. Cincinnati pulled after an 81’ goal from Brandon Vazquez, then took the lead when he scored another just five minutes later, only for Christopher McVey to score a 90+7’ equalizer. THIS LEAGUE IS SO MUCH FUN.

Goal of the Week

All three of the goals scored by The Most Interesting Benchwarmer in the World were quality, but the howitzer of a free kick Gonzalo Higuaín took in the 22nd minute was the best of the bunch: He doesn’t always score goals, but when he does, they’re screamers.


Friday, July 29

LAFC 2 - 1 Seattle Sounders

Saturday, July 30

Minnesota United 4 - 4 Portland Timbers

Chicago Fire 0 - 0 Atlanta United

Charlotte FC vs Columbus Crew: No game due to weather

Philadelphia Union 6 - 0 Houston Dynamo

Montréal CF 0 - 0 NYCFC

New England Revolution 0 - 0 Toronto FC

Nashville SC 1 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Inter Miami 4 - 4 FC Cincinnati

Sporting Kansas City 0 - 2 Austin FC

FC Dallas 1 - 0 LA Galaxy

San Jose Earthquakes 2 - 2 Real Salt Lake

Sunday, July 31

DC United 2 - 1 Orlando City SC