Portland Timbers and Minnesota United progressed to the semi-finals of the MLS is Back Tournament on Saturday.

The Timbers overcame New York City 3-1, after Minnesota eased past San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 in Orlando, Florida.

New York City led after 27 minutes at Walt Disney World Resort, where Jesus Medina's penalty put Ronny Deila's men ahead, but Sebastian Blanco equalised two minutes before half-time.

The Timbers took control of the quarter-final clash in the second half – unanswered goals from substitute Diego Valeri and Andy Polo's setting up a final-four showdown with Philadelphia Union.

Earlier on Saturday, Minnesota accounted for the Earthquakes thanks to a two-goal opening 45 minutes.

Two goals in the space of a minute from Robin Lod and Jacori Hayes put Minnesota 2-0 in front after 21 minutes.

A 50th-minute Magnus Eriksson penalty gave the Earthquakes hope but Luis Amarilla restored Minnesota's two-goal advantage six minutes later before Marlon Hairston completed the scoring four minutes from time.

Minnesota will go head-to-head with Orlando City for a place in the MLS final.

Orlando City moved into the MLS is Back Tournament semi-finals after a dramatic win over Los Angeles FC on Friday.

Nani – who earlier had a penalty saved – set up Joao Moutinho's 90th-minute equaliser to cancel out Bradley Wright-Phillips' opener at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

After the 1-1 draw, Orlando edged the quarter-final clash 5-4 on penalties, with Nani putting away the decisive spot-kick.

It came after Los Angeles FC failed to record a single shot attempt in a half of an MLS match for the first time in their history, as per Opta, during the opening 45 minutes.

LAFC had a goal ruled out in the first half, before goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer stepped up after the break.

Vermeer dived to his right to save a penalty from Nani before Bob Bradley's side opened the scoring.

Diego Rossi's cutback from the right found Wright-Phillips, who finished into the roof of the net from close range.

However, Orlando found a 90th-minute equaliser through former LAFC defender Joao Moutinho.

Moutinho got on the end of a superb corner from Nani to head in the equaliser and force a penalty shoot-out.

Nani sent Orlando through in the shoot-out after only Jordan Harvey failed to convert, the LAFC defender hitting the crossbar.

Barcelona are set to re-sign Ansu Fati until 2024, while Real Madrid are eyeing "the new Raphael Varane".

Fati, 17, has been linked with a stunning move to Manchester United after a breakthrough season at Barca.

But the teenage forward seems to be going nowhere.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO EXTEND FATI STAY UNTIL 2024

Barcelona are set to renew Fati's contract until 2024, according to the cover of Sport.

Out of contract in 2022, Fati has scored eight goals in 32 games this season, leading to links to Manchester United.

Sport also reports Barcelona are prepared to listen to offers for attacker Ousmane Dembele.

ROUND-UP

- Are Real Madrid looking to sign a new defender? AS reports the LaLiga giants are closely following Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, who it compares to Madrid star Raphael Varane.

- Raul Jimenez could be set for a Wolves exit. RTP Sport says Jimenez is on his way to Manchester United and Wolves are on the verge of signing Sporting Braga striker Paulinho as his replacement.

- Barcelona may be preparing to strengthen their defence. Mundo Deportivo claims three defenders – Bayern Munich's David Alaba, Paris Saint-Germain's Juan Bernat and Manchester City's Eric Garcia – are within range for the LaLiga giants.

- Tanguy Ndombele continues to be linked with a move away from Tottenham. Sky Sport reports Inter have made contact with Spurs about the midfielder.

- Where to next for Willian? Coming out of contract at Chelsea at season's end, the attacker's future is uncertain. Sky Sports says Chelsea, Barcelona and Inter Miami have made contract offers to the Brazil international.

- A player looking likely to leave Stamford Bridge is Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Sun reports the goalkeeper fears he has played his last game for Chelsea.

- After Dejan Lovren's departure, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. COPE reports the Premier League champions have made an offer of £9.1million (€10m) for Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi.

Philadelphia Union booked their spot in the MLS is Back Tournament semi-finals with an entertaining 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.

Sergio Santos' brace helped Philadelphia to their victory at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Thursday.

Jamiro opened the scoring for the Union, tapping in an Alejandro Bedoya cross in the 24th minute.

But in a fast finish to the first half, there were another three goals scored before the break.

Santos finished in a one-on-one before putting away a wonderful pass from Brenden Aaronson to make it 3-0.

Alan Pulido's header from a Johnny Russell cross in first-half additional time gave Sporting hope, but they were unable to complete a comeback after the break.

Philadelphia will face either New York City or Portland Timbers in the semi-finals.

Luis Suarez is eager to stay at Barcelona amid MLS interest, while Chelsea may have a choice to make.

Suarez, 33, is out of contract at the LaLiga giants next year and has been linked with a move away.

The forward seemingly has options.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ WANTS BARCELONA STAY AMID INTER MIAMI INTEREST

Suarez has no intention of leaving Barcelona, according to Sport.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo reported Suarez has an offer from MLS club Inter Miami, but wants to extend his stay at Barca beyond 2021.

Suarez has scored 19 goals in 34 games in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are linked with further moves this close season. But Sport Bild reports Atletico Madrid are relaxed over the Premier League club's interest in Jan Oblak, with the LaLiga side doubting Chelsea can afford both the goalkeeper and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

- Philippe Coutinho is expected to make a permanent move from Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are best-placed to land the playmaker and Barca want only money for the Brazil international.

- Bayern Munich have set their price for Thiago Alcantara, who is linked with a move to Liverpool. Sport Bild says the Bundesliga champions want £27.2m (€30m) for the midfielder.

- Could Manchester City have received a transfer boost? Sport Bild reports David Alaba's contract talks with Bayern Munich are at a stalemate. Alaba is out of contract at Bayern next year and has been linked to City.

- Jesse Lingard's time at Manchester United could be over. The Daily Mail says United are prepared to sell the midfielder, who has been linked to Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Minnesota United prevailed 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out against Columbus Crew to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the MLS is Back Tournament, while Portland Timbers also survived spot-kicks.

Penalties were needed following a 1-1 draw after the Crew's Gyasi Zardes struck 11 minutes from the end to cancel out Robin Lod's 18th-minute opener in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday.

Minnesota emerged triumphant on spot-kicks, converting all five of their attempts after Tyler Miller saved Chris Cadden's penalty.

San Jose Earthquakes await Minnesota in Friday's quarter-final showdown at Walt Disney World Resort.

In Tuesday's other last-16 fixture, the Timbers were 4-2 winners on penalties against Jaap Stam's FC Cincinnati.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda broke the deadlock for the Timbers when he coolly found the back of the net from inside the six-yard box after team-mate Sebastian Blanco was left unmarked before sliding a pass to the Polish forward.

But Cincinnati restored parity after Jurgen Locadia converted an 81st-minute penalty to force a shoot-out.

Portland, though, were not to be denied as Niezgoda scored the decisive penalty after Cincinnati's Kendall Waston missed and Locadia had his attempt saved.

The Timbers will go head-to-head with New York City for a place in the semi-finals on Friday.

Los Angeles FC booked a spot in the MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals, while the San Jose Earthquakes also advanced.

LAFC cruised past the Seattle Sounders 4-1 in their last-16 clash at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Monday.

Diego Rossi's penalty gave Los Angeles the lead before Latif Blessing made it 2-0 courtesy of a deflected strike.

With 15 minutes remaining, Will Bruin pulled a goal back for the Sounders to give them hope.

But Rossi scored his seventh goal of the tournament and Brian Rodriguez's smart finish sealed LAFC's win.

LAFC will face Orlando City in the last eight.

The Earthquakes, meanwhile, recorded a 5-2 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Cristian Espinoza opened the scoring with a fine finish for San Jose, before Douglas Martinez equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time.

Magnus Eriksson's penalty restored the Earthquakes' lead shortly after the break, before Valeri Qazaishvili tapped in an Andres Rios pass.

RSL pulled a goal back through Damir Kreilach, only for a rash challenge from Marcelo Silva to see them reduced to 10 men.

Chris Wondolowski's goal and another Eriksson spot-kick sealed San Jose a clash against either Columbus Crew or Minnesota United.

New York City booked their spot in the MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals after upstaging Toronto, while Sporting Kansas City prevailed in a penalty shoot-out thanks to goalkeeper Tim Melia.

Jesus Medina, Valentin Castellanos and Maxi Moralez were on target for New York City, who defeated Toronto 3-1 in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

Medina gave NYC, led by former Celtic boss Ronny Deila, the perfect start after just five minutes at Walt Disney Resort – firing a shot through the hands of Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

New York City doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Castellanos ran onto Moralez's no-look pass and beat Westberg with a powerful effort.

Moralez made it 3-0 with nine minutes remaining before Patrick Mullins pulled a goal back six minutes later after combining with Jozy Altidore.

Awaiting NYC in the quarter-finals are either Portland Timbers or FC Cincinnati.

Melia, meanwhile, produced some penalty heroics to lead Sporting KC past Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 in a shoot-out.

After a goalless 90 minutes, Melia saved two spot-kicks as Gianluca Busio stepped up to convert the winning penalty.

No goalkeeper has saved more penalties – excluding shoot-outs – in MLS since the start of the 2015 season than Melia.

Sporting KC will face Philadelphia Union for a spot in the semi-finals.

Orlando City edged Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact 1-0 en route to the MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals, while Philadelphia Union also advanced to the last eight.

Tesho Akindele proved the difference for Orlando, with his 60th-minute goal seeing off Montreal in the first knockout fixture in Florida on Saturday.

Following a goalless first half, Akindele pounced on a defensive error on the hour mark – converting an easy tap-in after Clement Diop was unable to deal with Rod Fanni's back pass at Walt Disney Resort.

Nani's Orlando will face either Seattle Sounders or reigning Supporters' Shield champions Los Angeles FC in the quarter-finals.

In Saturday's other last-16 clash, Philadelphia defeated New England Revolution 1-0.

Sergio Santos' 63rd-minute effort saw the Union past Bruce Arena's Revolution.

Santos ran onto a lofted pass from Union team-mate Jamiro Monteiro and finished from an acute angle to send the Union through to the next round.

Next up for Philadelphia are either Sporting Kansas City or Vancouver Whitecaps.

MLS club Atlanta United have parted company with Frank de Boer by mutual agreement.

Former Ajax and Inter coach De Boer took over at Atlanta in December 2018 following the departure of Gerardo Martino.

De Boer had previously endured a dismal, short-lived spell as Crystal Palace manager, with the Dutchman sacked after taking charge of just four Premier League games.

Atlanta won the US Open Cup and Campeones Cup in De Boer's first season in charge, with the side finishing second in the MLS' Eastern Conference. 

However, following Atlanta's failure to progress in the MLS is Back tournament, the club have made the decision to part ways with De Boer.

"On behalf of Atlanta United, I would like to thank Frank for his leadership and commitment to the club," said Atlanta president Darren Eales.

"Under Frank's guidance, the club had a strong 2019 season in both MLS and international competition. After discussing it with Frank, the decision was reached mutually to part ways. 

"In winning two trophies in his first season in charge, he will always be a part of the club's history, and with great appreciation and respect we wish him all the best in the future."

Portland Timbers advanced to the MLS is Back Tournament knockout stage as Group F winners following their 2-2 draw against Los Angeles FC.

Jeremy Ebobisse's 81st-minute equaliser clinched top spot for the Timbers, who finished two points clear of LAFC on Thursday.

Portland will now face FC Cincinnati in the last 16, while LAFC will take on Seattle Sounders for a place in the quarter-finals in Orlando, Florida.

The Timbers hit the front in the seventh minute through Jaroslaw Niezgoda at Walt Disney Resort, where the Polish forward beat the offside trap before tucking the ball underneath LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega.

Bradley Wright-Phillips became the first LAFC player to score in each of his first three appearances for the club following his 36th-minute equaliser before team-mate Mark-Anthony Kaye put the reigning Supporters' Shield holders ahead five minutes prior to half-time.

But Portland substitute Ebobisse – who replaced Niezgoda – restored parity nine minutes from the end after heading home from a corner.

Meanwhile, New York City benefited from a dramatic late draw as Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy crashed out of the tournament in Group F.

Cristian Pavon converted a 91st-minute penalty to salvage a last-gasp 1-1 draw for the Galaxy against the Dynamo.

Houston – who required victory to advance – were on track to move through to the last 16 thanks to Darwin Quintero's 17th-minute opener before Pavon equalised from the spot after Maynor Figueroa was penalised for a foul.

The result means the Dynamo and Galaxy, both winless from three matches, are both eliminated with NYC progressing to the knockout stage as one of the best third-placed teams in Group A.

New York City and Toronto will go head-to-head in the round of 16, with the winner to face either the Timbers or Cincinnati.

Vancouver Whitecaps progressed to the last 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament with a 2-0 win over Group B rivals Chicago Fire.

The contest was stopped in the 63rd minute because of lightning in the Orlando area and after a lengthy delay it was the Whitecaps who took command.

Needing a two-goal win to leapfrog the Fire and progress, the Whitecaps took the lead in the 65th-minute when Yordy Reyna rounded goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm to score.

Six minutes later substitute Cristian Dajome slotted under Kronholm after Reyna's clever ball on the turn.

CJ Sapong looked to have bundled home the goal that would have sent Chicago through after Alvaro Medran struck the crossbar, but his effort was ruled out for handball following a VAR review.

The Whitecaps will face either Toronto or Sporting Kansas City in the round of 16.

 

FC Cincinnati booked their spot in the last 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament, while Minnesota United were held.

Jaap Stam's Cincinnati bounced back from their opening-game loss in Group E with back-to-back wins, including Wednesday's 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Yuya Kubo opened the scoring just before half-time with a good finish from the edge of the area after poor defending by the Red Bulls.

Florian Valot's own goal early in the second half sealed Cincinnati's win and second place in Group E.

The result also meant Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact advanced as one of the best third-placed teams.

Already into the last 16 from Group D, Minnesota were unable to claim top spot after a 2-2 draw with Colorado Rapids.

Kei Kamara opened the scoring for the Rapids, but they went into half-time behind.

Ethan Finlay flicked in the equaliser for Minnesota before tapping in a second.

Jonathan Lewis' powerful strike brought Colorado level as they secured their first and only point of the tournament.

Reported Juventus and Milan target Gianluca Busio has been tipped for a "massive future" after his latest goal clinched Sporting Kansas City's progression at the MLS is Back Tournament.

Busio scored with a stunning late strike to seal a 2-0 Sporting KC win over rivals Real Salt Lake on Wednesday to ensure they will finish in the top two in Group C.

The 18-year-old's left-footed effort added to a scrappy first-minute opener from Johnny Russell.

Serie A's top clubs are said to be among the suitors for Busio and former Derby County forward Russell says the world is the teenager's oyster.

"Of course, he's got a massive future," Russell told a remote news conference. "Busio's one of the players who's been with us for a while, since probably like 15, so his development over that time has been great.

"Obviously, we want to hold on to him for as long as we can. But if he keeps showing signs of progression the way he has, he's got a huge future in this game."

Despite losing their tournament opener to Minnesota United, Sporting KC now have four wins from five matches in 2020 - including two regular season games prior to the coronavirus-enforced suspension.

Goalkeeper Tim Melia is not getting carried away ahead of the knockout stage in Florida, however.

Asked if Sporting KC were among the tournament favourites, Melia said: "I don't think so. Our goal is just to continue to move forward.

"I think we just need to get a little bit better each game and I think we did that especially in this game. We handled the different phases of the game really well collectively as a group.

"Now we'll just build off each performance a little more and we want to keep going and keep going."

Columbus Crew eliminated Atlanta United from the MLS is Back Tournament, while Montreal Impact stayed alive.

Youness Mokhtar's first-half goal saw Columbus edge Atlanta 1-0 in Group E at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Tuesday.

Columbus will finish top of the group with three wins from as many games, while Atlanta are out.

Mokhtar's goal in the 18th minute came after a fine team move before the attacker tucked away a Milton Valenzuela pass.

Montreal overcame DC United 1-0 to remain a chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed teams.

Saphir Taider's deflected strike from distance just after the half-hour mark secured third place in Group C for Montreal.

While DC United have been eliminated, Thierry Henry's Montreal must wait for results in other games to see if they will feature in the last 16.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.