MLS Rewind: Toronto FC downs Union, Sporting KC edges Dynamo, and more

MLS Rewind: Toronto FC downs Union, Sporting KC edges Dynamo, and more

Toronto FC is clicking at the right time of the MLS regular season and continued that trend with a comeback win over the Philadelphia Union.

Ayo Akinola and Alejandro Pozuelo each scored second-half goals to help TFC to a 2-1 victory. Sergio Santos had the pick of the litter for goals, but ultimately the Union could not hang on to its early lead, losing its first match since Sept. 2nd.

Elsewhere, Orlando City stayed in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference after a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls. Oscar Pareja’s side got goals from three different players to win its fourth match out of the past five.

Atlanta United bounced back with a lopsided victory over D.C. United while Nashville SC earned a point at New England. The Chicago Fire also earned a point on the road after a 2-2 draw with the Montreal Impact.

The Columbus Crew hit back twice to earn a point at FC Dallas in a four-goal draw while NYCFC used a trio of assists from Alexander Ring to down Inter Miami 3-2.

Here’s a closer look at Saturday’s MLS results:

Orlando City 3, Red Bulls 1

(Dike 24′, Urso 50′, Carlos 90′) – (Valot 54′)

Orlando City remains well in the hunt for a strong finish in the Eastern Conference after extending its unbeaten run to nine matches on Saturday.

The Lions remained in the top four after a 3-1 home victory over the New York Red Bulls at Exploria Stadium. Oscar Pareja’s side started strong and got the breakthrough goal in the 24th minute.

Daryl Dike headed home Kyle Smith’s cross to get the Lions up and running in front of the home fans.

Junior Urso scored the goal of the match in the 50th minute, beating David Jensen from outside of the box. Florian Valot pulled a goal back quickly for the Red Bulls, but the visitors ultimately finished the day second best.

Antonio Carlos capped off the victory for Orlando in the 90th minute after VAR awarded the goal despite offsides pleas from the Red Bulls defenders.

The Lions could finish the weekend in second place pending other results while New York sits seventh for now.

Man of the Match

Kyle Smith: Smith assisted on the opening goal after great service, but also held his own defensively. He won nine of his 12 individual duels in the match, putting in a strong shift in the back of Pareja’s formation.

Moment of the Match

Urso’s strike: It proved to be the winning goal and boy was it a good one as Junior Urso picked a great time to score his — of the season. Chris Mueller’s assist was sensational, but Urso fought off Jason Pendant before lifting a shot over Jensen.

Match to Forget

The New York Red Bulls backline was poor overall, but surprisingly Aaron Long was the poorest. Long lost four of his six duels and was beaten on the Dike goal.

D.C. United 0, Atlanta United 4

(Gallagher 4′, 65′, Lennon 41′, Jahn 70′)

D.C. United’s horrible MLS season continued on Saturday with visiting Atlanta United blanking them by a 4-0 scoreline.

Jon Gallagher scored his first league brace while Brooks Lennon and Adam Jahn also got on the scoresheet. Gallagher broke the deadlock in the fourth minute for the Five Stripes, slotting a right-footed shot past Bill Hamid for his first goal of the season.

Lennon extended Atlanta’s lead in the 40th minute after setting up the opening goal. His left-footed shot beat Hamid to the top left corner, giving Atlanta a comfortable two-goal cushion going into halftime.

Gallagher was at it again after the interval, scoring his second goal of the match. Emerson Hyndman connected with Gallagher in the 64th minute before the forward beat Hamid for the second time in the match.

Lennon registered his second assist of the night, crossing towards Adam Jahn in the 69th minute. Jahn finished the cross to cap off a second win out of the past three matches for Atlanta United.

Atlanta next hosts Orlando City on Wednesday while D.C. travels to NYCFC on Tuesday.

Man of the Match

Gallagher came up clutch for Atlanta United’s depleted offense, scoring twice in a bounce-back victory.

Moment of the Match

After taking an early lead, Atlanta United put the pressure on D.C. right before halftime. Lennon’s finish put the Black and Red in a hole and eventually added confidence to the Five Stripes attack.

Match to Forget

Frederic Brillant was the poorest of the D.C. United defenders and eventually saw his night end early. Brilliant saw a straight red card in the 84th minute for a needless challenge on Manuel Castro, summing up a poor home showing.

Impact 2, Fire 2

(Lappalainen 22′, Urruti 66′) – (Beric 15′, Calvo 73′)

The Montreal Impact needed a win at Red Bull Arena, but could only muster up a point against the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.

Francisco Calvo’s second-half equalizer extended the Chicago Fire’s unbeaten run to three matches in a 2-2 draw.

The Impact looked destined to snapping its four match losing streak after Maxi Urruti put Thierry Henry’s side ahead after the hour mark. Urruti’s right-footed shot put the Impact ahead in the 66th minute, but Calvo would salvage a point for the Fire on the road.

Robert Beric opened things in the 14th minute for the Fire, finishing Djordje Mihailovic’s pass into the bottom-left corner. However, the lead didn’t last long as Lassi Lappalainen hit back for the hosts.

The Finnish international scored from close range in the 21st minute to tie things up.

After Urruti put the Impact ahead, Chicago had to dig deep for a point. Calvo, whose contract option was picked up for the 2021 season, headed home Alvaro Medran’s cross to earn his side a point on the road.

Man of the Match

Francisco Calvo came up with the goods for the Fire to earn them a point on the road. The veteran defender also won two individual duels in the match for the Fire in a match which moved them closer to a playoff spot.

Moment of the Match

Calvo’s equalizer: After Montreal took the lead, Chicago knew they would need to keep piling on pressure against the Impact’s backline. Calvo’s header proved to be the difference as frustration continued to Henry and his players.

Match to Forget

Clement Diop only made one save, while conceding twice in the match. He tried to punch Medran’s cross away, but missed as Calvo headed into the empty goal.

Revolution 0, Nashville SC 0

The New England Revolution had the better of the chances at Gillette Stadium, but dropped two points in a home draw with Nashville SC.

Bruce Arena’s side had four good looks in the second-half, but were unable to beat Joe Willis in goal for Nashville. Gustavo Bou was denied in the 48th minute before Tajon Buchanan was kept out twice more by Willis later in the half.

Randall Leal had Nashville’s only shot on goal in the 87th minute, but ultimately the sides had to settle for a point apiece.

Man of the Match

Walker Zimmerman. The USMNT defender turned in a steady shift, recording a match-high nine clearances to help Nashville contain the dangerous Revs attack.

Moment of the Match

Leal came close to stealing all three points for Nashville in the final minutes, but Matt Turner denied the winger for his only save of the night.

Match to Forget

Gustavo Bou led the Revolution attack, but only mustered two shots on goal. Neither truly troubled Willis in goal in what Arena will look back at as a missed opportunity.

Toronto FC 2, Union 1

(Akinola 58′, Pozuelo 76′) – (Santos 5′)

Toronto FC made it three wins in a row, downing the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Greg Vanney’s side fell down early, but fought back to claim an important win in its push for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Sergio Santos’ chipped finish past Quentin Westberg gave Jim Curtin’s side a 1-0 lead in the opening five minutes, but after that it was all TFC.

Ayo Akinola equalized for TFC in the 58th minute after great service from Tony Gallacher. Gallacher was left wide open on the left flank, sending a cross in for Akinola to head past Andre Blake.

The Union’s defense let them down again in the 76th minute which proved to be the winning goal for TFC. Chris Mavinga headed towards the back post off a corner kick and Alejandro Pozuelo headed home the winning goal after being left wide open.

Philadelphia outshot TFC five-to-three on the evening, but could not fight back for a tie.

Man of the Match

Pozuelo: Pozuelo did not create as many chances as he normally does for TFC, but he came up with the winning goal for his side. Saturday’s victory could prove crucial in the race for the No. 1 spot.

Moment of the Match

TFC’s winning goal: After continuous offensive pressure, TFC got its winning goal through a defensive breakdown by the Union. Pozuelo was left open on the corner kick and made the Union pay for his third goal in as many matches.

Match to Forget

Jose Martinez: The Venezuelan normally is a physical presence in the Union midfield, but he was at fault on the winning goal for TFC. He did not pick up Pozuelo on the goal and ultimately lost five of his nine individual battles.

Dynamo 1, Sporting KC 2

(Junqua 84′) – (Pulido 34′, 73′)

Sporting KC ended its recent slide with a 2-1 road victory over the Houston Dynamo.

Alan Pulido came up with a brace for SKC, helping the club snap a two-match losing streak. Pulido’s first goal came in the 34th minute after Gianluca Busio started a counter attack. Busio connected with Pulido, who scored from the center of the box.

The duo connected once again in the 72nd minute with Pulido putting some room between the two sides. Busio set up Pulido, who shot high and past Marko Maric for his second goal of the match.

Sam Junqua pulled a goal back for the Dynamo late, but it was a mere consolation in an eventual defeat.

Man of the Match

Pulido showed his worth in the SKC attack, scoring twice and putting in a man of the match performance for Peter Vermes’ side.

Moment of the Match

Pulido’s second goal of the match proved to be the winning goal for SKC, who looked comfortable for most of the night.

Match to Forget

Mauro Manotas offered little in the Dynamo attack, failing to register a shot on goal in his 69 minute performance.

Inter Miami 2, NYCFC 3

(Morgan 27′, 38′) — (Mitrita 4′, 43′; Tinnerholm 35′)

Defending was optional in the first half of this bout at Inter Miami CF Stadium, but it wound up hurting the home side the most.

New York City FC took three separate leads and got a brace from Alexandru Mitrita en route to a 3-2 road victory over Inter Miami. Lewis Morgan twice put the expansion side back on level terms with strong finishes, but Mitrita’s deflected effort in the 43rd minute stood as the winner.

Mitrita also scored the opener, netting in the fourth minute via a flicked finish from in close following a cross from Alexander Ring. Morgan, however, tied proceedings in the 27th minute with an authoritative finish.

NYCFC reclaimed the lead eight minutes later. Anton Tinnerholm slotted home with relative ease from outside the penalty area, but Morgan equalized for Inter Miami again with a 38th-minute blast to the top right corner of the net.

The scoring was not done, though. NYCFC found the decisive goal shortly before halftime, clearing a corner kick and hitting on a lightning-quick counter that eventually ended with a deflected finish from Mitrita.

Inter Miami had chances to pull level after halftime, but a late Julian Carranza goal was disallowed after Video Review for offside. Gonzalo Higuain also hit a close-range header off the mark in the 51st minute.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Alexandru Mitria. The diminutive NYCFC attacker bagged a first-half brace, giving his team an early lead with a solid finish from close before coming up with the winner via a bit of good fortune.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Counter Punch. After giving up two leads in the opening stanza, NYCFC took the lead for good when it hit back on the break and got the deflected winner from Mitrita just before halftime.

MATCH TO FORGET

A.J DeLaGarza. The veteran made his Inter Miami debut in this one, but it was one to forget. The right back was well out of position on the early opener, and misstepped as NYCFC started to counter on the game’s decisive play in the 43rd minute.

Minnesota United 2, FC Cincinnati 0

(Kamara 16′, Molino 68′)

Minnesota United used goals in each half to end its four match winless run, downing FC Cincinnati 2-0 at home.

Kei Camara put the Loons in front in the 16th minute, scoring from the penalty spot after VAR ruled in favor of the spot kick. Mathieu Deplagne brought down Chase Gasper in the box and Kamara made it 1-0 with his second goal for the club.

Kevin Molino iced the home victory in the 68th minute, finishing off Emanuel Reynoso’s pass from a tight angle.

Dayne St. Clair made a trio of saves in goal to preserve the clean sheet for the Loons.

Man of the Match

Reynoso was a lively piece of the Loons attack, registering one assist and winning seven duels. The winger also created the most chances in the match with seven.

Moment of the Match

Molino’s goal iced the win for the Loons, subduing FC Cincinnati to its eighth loss of the season.

Match to Forget

Yuya Kubo was invisible on the night, failing to register a single shot or key pass as Cincinnati slumped to another goal-less defeat.

FC Dallas 2, Crew 2

(Barrios 38′, Ziegler 53′) – (Mokhtar 47′, Santos 62′)

The Columbus Crew hit back twice at FC Dallas to remain top of the Eastern Conference on goal differential.

Youness Mokhtar and Pedro Santos each scored second-half goals to give the Crew a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

Michael Barrios opened the scoring for FC Dallas in the 38th minute, heading home Fafa Picault’s cross to give the hosts a lead.

The Crew did better in the second-half, with Mokhtar equalizing in the 46th minute. Pedro Santos connected with Mokhtar, and the midfielder roofed a shot past Jimmy Maurer to tie things up.

Reto Ziegler’s penalty kick in the 52nd minute swing momentum back in favor of Dallas, but the Crew hit back again for a point. Gyasi Zardes set up Santos, whom also roofed a shot past Maurer, keeping the Crew in first place in the East.

Man of the Match

Santos scored the tying goal for the Crew, but also set up Columbus’ first goal in a thrilling affair in Frisco.

Moment of the Match

FC Dallas made the most of its PK opportunity, but the Crew did not lie down. Santos tied things up and most importantly kept the Crew in front of TFC for the lead in the East.

Match to Forget

Dallas wingers’ were sensational in the match, but striker Franco Jara was quiet despite playing 90 minutes. Jara recorded one shot on goal, but was held in check for most of the night.

Sounders 3, Whitecaps 1 (Final)

Earthquakes 1, Galaxy 1 (2nd Half)