Caleb Porter wants to use New England Revolution's win last weekend as a springboard to turn their season around as they prepare to face the New York Red Bulls.

The Revs had won just one of their previous seven matches in the MLS before travelling to Nashville SC and held out for a much-needed 2-1 victory.

They remain bottom of the Eastern Conference, and Porter's main aim is to find some consistency, but admits that might be hard with players leaving to go on international duty.

"We want to keep continuity as much as we can because we're finally getting some continuity in our understanding," Porter said, as quoted in the Blazing Musket substack.

"That's going to breed more and more consistency in our play. So, we'll keep continuity as much as we can, but we have a couple of ideas on what we're going to do."

"It will be our execution against their execution. I don't think there will be a tonne of mysteries about what they're looking to do. It's going to come down to who executes better," he added in a press conference.

Meanwhile, New York Red Bulls sit fourth in the table having won back-to-back home games, but have struggled on the road of late, something Sandro Schwarz is keen to change.

"We need our home mentality and our whole energy for Saturday. We didn't change the first days in our week or our preparation," Schwarz said.

"Even with all the changes as players go off internationally, we haven't let it affect us. It's an opportunity for us to get the next three points, it's our chance, we have to be focused and bring the intensity on Saturday."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New England – Carles Gil

Gil's first-half goal in Saturday's win at Nashville was his sixth goal from outside the box in regular-season play since the beginning of last season. Only Thiago Almada (seven) has scored more goals from outside the box than him in that time.

New York RB – John Tolkin

Tolkin scored his third career direct free-kick goal for the Red Bulls (incl. playoffs) in the win over Orlando on Saturday, more than any other player for the side since the start of the 2010 season.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

New England have lost only three of their last 33 home MLS matches against the Red Bulls (W21 D9, incl. playoffs) dating back to September 2002, including winning eight of the last 11 (D1 L2).

However, the Revolution have lost their last three home matches, their first such losing streak since June-July 2014. The Revs have only one longer losing streak (excluding breakaway shootouts) in all competitions in club history, losing five straight in July-September 1999.

Meanwhile, New York's 1-0 win over Orlando on Saturday took them to 29 points from 16 matches this season (W8 D5 L3). The Red Bulls could equal the club record of 32 points in the first half of a season with a win over the Revs, reaching that total in the Supporters' Shield-winning 2018 campaign.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New England – 29.5%

Draw – 24.7%

New York RB – 45.7%

Caleb Porter has praised the New England Revolution’s fighting spirit as they aim to turn their luck around against New York City FC on Saturday.

New England currently sit bottom of the Eastern Conference with seven points after winning just two of their opening 12 matches in the league.

After losing back-to-back games, the pressure is increasing on Porter, though he does not shy away from the hard work needed to move them up the table.

"This team is united," Porter said. "They're fighting. We're all committed to this club and this season.

"This team is on board. They're fighting. They're not happy with the results, but the locker room is together. The key is to win the next game.

"The other thing is, I'm not going anywhere; I'm committed to this club. I know where we're going to get to. I'm not backing down. I'm not wavering. I'm not flinching."

NYCFC sit in third, eight points behind leaders Inter Miami, after losing just one of their last nine MLS matches.

They made it three wins on the bounce with a win over local rivals Red Bulls last weekend, but Nick Cushing is reluctant to get too excited about their current run.

"We've won some football games, that's all we've won," he said.

"We're in a solid position in the league, but in four weeks’ time, I could be saying 'we haven't won that' or 'we should've won that'.

"It's about taking every game as it comes and just keep winning football games. We enjoy our wins, but we focus on the next games. Now, I want to win [against New England]."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New England Revolution – Carles Gil

Gil has been directly involved in New England’s last two goals scored at home, scoring their most recent and assisting the other.

Overall, he is the club’s top scorer this season with four goals, twice as many as their next most prolific players, Tomas Chancalay and Giacomo Vrioni. 

NYCFC – Santiago Rodriguez

Rodriguez assisted one of NYCFC’s two goals in their win over the Red Bulls last Saturday. The Uruguayan (five goals, four assists) has been involved in half of the 18 goals NYCFC have scored this season.

MATCH PREDICTION – NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION WIN

Dating back to the end of last season, New England have lost 14 of their last 18 MLS matches (three wins, one draw incl. playoffs), including losing nine of 12 to start this season (two wins, one draw). The Revs’ seven points are their fewest after 12 matches of a season in club history.

NYCFC recorded a 2-0 home win over New England on April 13. However, they have never defeated the Revs twice in a single regular season before.

NYCFC have won six of their last seven matches (one defeat) including each of the last three in a row. They have won consecutive games away from home but won just one of their previous 24 on the road in all competitions (nine draws, 14 defeats).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New England Revolution – 41.2%

Draw – 30.3%

NYCFC – 28.5%

Caleb Porter accepts New England Revolution must cut out the individual errors if they are to return to winning ways against Philadelphia Union.

The Revs went down 4-2 to New York Red Bulls last time out to make it four defeats in their last five games, and eight losses in 11 overall this season in MLS.

New England are bottom of the Eastern Conference, but Porter hopes lessons have been learned ahead of hosting Philadelphia on Saturday.

"Three of the four [goals NYRB scored] were individual mistakes that are easily correctable," Porter told The Blazing Musket. "We've gone to the training ground and corrected a few of those situation.

"But it's just individuals in those moments have to be better. It wasn't a bad team-defending performance, but three of the four goals we gave up were routine."

The Union have double the number of points compared to their opponents, having played one game more, as they occupy ninth place in the East.

The Us are themselves not in great form, though, as they lost 2-1 at home to New York City FC in their most recent game - a contest overshadowed by a raccoon that entered the field. 

They have just two points from the past 18 on offer, meanwhile, and head coach Jim Curtin admits it is on him and his players to turn things around.

"The guys fight until the end, and we have to find a way to get out of this," Curtin said. "We're the only people that are going to get us out of it. 

"The people in that locker room, the coaches, the players, they recognise that. They've shown they can beat anybody, and we're the only ones that can dig us out of this now."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New England Revolution - Carles Gil

Gil got the Revs temporarily on level terms against New York Red Bulls, with that his 100th regular-season goal contribution in MLS. That makes the Revs' attacking midfielder the seventh European player to reach that milestone, and the second Spaniard after David Villa.

Philadelphia Union - Julian Carranza

Carranza was on target for the Union in their midweek loss to New York City, coming from one of nine attempts he had on target. The former Argentina age-grade international has now registered four-or-more shots in four MLS career matches.

To put that in perspective, the two other players to have done so in the club's history - Conor Casey and Andrew Wenger - have done so in a combined two games (one each).

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Philadelphia have won 12 matches against the Revs across all MLS competitions, which includes MLS is Back, since 2018 - their best return against any single opponent across that period.

New England's tally of seven points from their opening 11 games is their worst-such return at this stage of a campaign in club history, with only two out of 17 teams in the post-shootout era (since 2000) managing to reach the playoffs from this position.

However, there is some hope for them this weekend as the Union's one point across their past five matches is their fewest across any five-game span within a single season since April 2017.


OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New England Revolution - 36.1%
Draw - 28.8%
Philadelphia Union - 35.1%

New England Revolution head coach Caleb Porter wants his team to focus on their own game as they prepare to face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

The Revs sit bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with just seven points, though they ended a three-match losing run with a narrow 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire last weekend.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls sit in fourth, though they are winless in their last four outings after last week's 6-2 thrashing at the hands of a Lionel Messi-inspired Inter Miami.

Asked how he would prepare to face a side coming off the back of such a heavy defeat, Porter turned the focus back to his own team, saying: "I think we have to be more focused on our mentality.

"That was, last week, a point of emphasis: ‘Let’s work on our execution.’ In the game of football, if you do what you want to do, that's half the equation or more, and I thought we did that in the latter stages of the first half and the entire second half, and I think that was a big reason we won the game."

Youngster Esmir Bajraktarevic echoed his coach’s thoughts, noting how the Revs have caused some of their own problems this season.

He said: "I think the main thing is just playing our game. I think when you look back at most of our games, it's kind of us beating ourselves rather than the other way around.

"So, it's kind of just making sure that we're doing the best that we can, and the results will come."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York Red Bulls – Dante Vanzeir

Vanzeir recorded his eighth goal contribution of the season with the opening goal against Inter Miami on Saturday, the joint-most for the team this season with Lewis Morgan.

Only one player, Fabio in 2021, has recorded eight or more goal involvements in the Red Bulls’ first 11 matches of a season between 2019 and 2023.

New England Revolution – Tomas Chancalay

Chancalay scored the lone goal in New England’s win over Chicago Fire last Saturday. Since his debut last April, he has scored more MLS goals than any other Revs player, netting eight.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

The Red Bulls have lost only one of their last 19 regular-season home matches against New England (12 wins, six draws) dating back to September 2007 – a 3-2 defeat in July 2021 – scoring at least once in all 19 games.

Indeed, the Red Bulls are unbeaten in seven straight home matches in all competitions (four wins, three draws) including last season’s playoffs. New York, who have two wins and two draws on their own turf this year, haven’t started a season unbeaten in their first five home games since 2017.

However, New England ended a 17-match away winless streak in MLS play (incl. playoffs) with a 1-0 win over Chicago Fire on Saturday. The Revs have only won consecutive games on the road once since the start of the 2022 season, doing so in May-June 2022.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New York Red Bulls – 44.4%

Draw – 28.7%

New England Revolution – 26.9%

Expansion franchise St Louis City's perfect start to their inaugural MLS season was ended by Minnesota United who triumphed 1-0 after Luis Amarilla's 78th-minute penalty on Saturday.

City had made MLS history by winning their first five games but that was ended by the Loons with Amarilla drilling home the spot kick after a needless challenge by Kyle Hiebert.

Hiebert brought down Amarilla just inside the box with a rash tackle when Jakob Nerwinski appeared to have Kervin Arriaga's wayward pass under control.

Substitute Samuel Adeniran came closest to equalising for St Louis, with a 95th-minute shot going over the bar after a great first touch from Klauss' right-wing cut back.

St Louis remain top of the table with 15 points from six games, but unbeaten Minnesota climb up to fourth in the Western Conference.

Cincinnati continued their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 home triumph over Inter Miami who slumped to their fourth straight defeat.

Yerson Mosquera scored the 45th-minute winner for Cincy, who are top of the Eastern Conference.

Giorgos Giakoumakis scored an early winner as Atlanta United moved up to second in the East with a 1-0 home win over New York Red Bulls, who are down in 12th in that conference.

Jordan Morris and Leo Chu scored first-half goals as Seattle Sounders stayed second in the West with a 2-1 victory at LA Galaxy, who are without a win and have only three points from five games.

LAFC remained unbeaten and third in the West despite a 0-0 draw at the winless Colorado Rapids, while SJ Earthquakes climbed to fifth with a 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo with all three goals coming from penalties.

Vancouver Whitecaps snapped a run of three straight draws with a resounding 5-0 win over 10-man Montreal with Simon Becher scoring a double. Becher is the fastest player (87 minutes) in MLS history to score his first four goals.

Franck Boli rescued a 1-1 draw for Portland Timbers at Dallas, Chicago Fire and DC United drew 0-0 and Nashville triumphed 2-0 at Orlando City.

Federico Bernardeschi netted another spectacular goal with a strike straight from a corner in Toronto's 2-2 home draw with Charlotte.

Sporting KC remained winless after a 0-0 draw at Philadelphia Union, New England drew 1-1 with New York City and Real Salt Lake suffered their fourth straight loss, going down 4-0 to Columbus Crew.

Atlanta United lost their position atop the MLS' Eastern Conference standings after a surprise 6-1 hammering at the hands of the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Atlanta boasted three wins and a draw from their first four matches of the season – and had won their past two by a combined margin of 8-1 – but they were no match for an inspired Columbus outfit in front of their home fans.

Crew forward Christian Ramirez bagged a brace in the second half, while Alexandru Matan was credited with three assists in Columbus' second win of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Seattle Sounders striker Jordan Morris raced out into the Golden Boot lead with a four-goal haul in his side's 4-1 away win against Sporting Kansas City.

The 28-year-old American more than doubled his three goals from the opening four matches, opening up a two-goal lead on rest of the competition.

With Atlanta going down, it was the New England Revolution capitalising and taking over as the Eastern Conference leaders, overcoming a first-half strike from Christian Benteke to defeat D.C. United 2-1.

The loss left D.C. near the bottom of the standings with four points from five matches, where they are joined by Charlotte after their 1-1 home draw against New York Red Bulls.

Cincinnati are the only undefeated team in the East through five matches, securing their third win with a 1-0 triumph over Nashville, to go with two draws as they sit one point behind New England.

A 92nd-minute winner gave the Chicago Fire a 3-2 victory away from home against Inter Miami – their first win of the season – while two goals in the first 10 minutes were enough for Orlando City to prevail 2-1 against the Philadelphia Union.

LA Galaxy remain winless after battling out a 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers, while it was more dramatic for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they needed a 98th minute equaliser to snatch a point in their 1-1 tie with Minnesota.

Austin FC let a golden opportunity to climb the Western Conference slip away as they dropped points in a 1-1 home draw against the cellar-dwelling Colorado Rapids, who doubled their points tally for the season with the result.

A 55th-minute penalty from Amine Bassi was enough to give the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 win against New York City, while expansion side St. Louis City continued their perfect start to their first season with a convincing 4-0 drubbing of Real Salt Lake, leaving them the only side with the maximum 15 points from five matches.

In the late window, Los Angeles FC benefitted from a first-half red card to defeat FC Dallas 2-1, while Toronto FC battled out a scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.

Bruce Arena is satisfied with New England Revolution's start to the season, though warned the opening four games of a campaign cannot be used to judge how his team will go on to perform.

The Revolution won MLS' Supporters' Shield in 2021 yet struggled last season, finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference.

New England have started this season strongly, however, winning three of their opening four games, albeit their sole defeat came in a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of reigning MLS Cup champions Los Angeles FC.

A 1-0 win over Nashville SC saw New England return to winning ways last week, and though Arena was not entirely happy with the performance, he cannot complain over his team's start to 2023.

"In the last 10 minutes we didn't do a good job defending the lead, we were a bit too negative, but after four games, to have three wins – it's a pretty good start to the season," he told reporters.

"For the most part we've improved this year. We played well [against Nashville]. In the first half we played very well. For 75 minutes it was really good. I didn't like the last 10-15 minutes but overall it was a good performance against a good team."

 

Arena, though, did bluntly add: "The first four games of the season means absolutely nothing."

Next up for New England are Wayne Rooney's D.C. United, who lost 3-2 at New York City FC last time out.

D.C. United signed midfielder Lewis O'Brien on loan from Nottingham Forest this week, with Rooney saying: "Lewis has been one of the best players in the Championship over the last few seasons.

"He reads the game well and creates goalscoring opportunities. Bringing him in on loan from Nottingham Forest was a great bit of business for us and he will be a brilliant addition to our midfield."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

D.C. United – Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke has netted twice in MLS this season, including D.C. United’s first goal in their loss in New York City. Benteke scored with his only attempt on target, with the striker hitting a further two off target and also creating one chance.

New England Revolution – Gustavo Bou

Bou scored the lone goal in New England's 1-0 win over Nashville on Saturday. He has scored 41 goals in the regular season and play-offs since debuting for New England in mid-2019, 10 more than any other Revs player under Arena.

 

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

With nine points through four matches (W3 L1), the Revolution are off to their second-best start in club history (10 points in 2005).

D.C., meanwhile, are unbeaten in their first two home matches this season, picking up a win over Toronto FC and a draw against Columbus Crew. They have not gone three straight home matches without defeat since a five-match run in August-September 2021 (W4 D1).

New England won the last MLS meeting between the teams, emerging victorious 1-0 at Gillette Stadium last season. Carles Gil scored for the Revs, though the playmaker did not feature against Nashville due to injury.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

D.C. United – 34.6 per cent

New England Revolution – 36.7 per cent

Draw – 28.7 per cent

Denis Bouanga made it five goals in two games as reigning MLS Cup winners LAFC maintained their perfect start to the 2023 season with a 4-0 home victory over New England on Sunday.

LAFC improved to two wins from two games with Bouanga netting a 14th-minute penalty, before doubling their advantage midway through the second half at Banc of California Stadium. Timothy Tillman and Stipe Biuk added late goals to round out the win.

The result ends the Revs' winning start to the new campaign, falling to 2-0-1, as they look to bounce back after missing the last year's postseason.

Gabonese winger Bouanga, who joined LAFC in August from French club Saint Etienne, had scored a hat-trick in their 3-0 Champions League win at Alajuelense in midweek.

Bouanga rifled his spotkick down the middle to open the scoring, before beating the offside trap and slotting home for 2-0 in the 67th minute.

Tillman dispossessed Latif Blessing and cruised into the box to fire in the third in the 83rd minute, with Bouanga playing a part as Biuk added a fourth in the 96th minute.

Bernardo Silva is one step closer to getting his desired move to Barcelona after it was reported that Manchester City have named a price for their wantaway midfielder.

Silva, 28, is in his sixth season with City, but after four Premier League titles and 51 goals for the club, he recently spoke about his wish for a new challenge following multiple transfer windows with heavy interest from Barcelona.

The Portugal international, who scored against Newcastle United on Saturday, has a contract that ties him to the club until 2025, but City might be set grant his wish at the end of the season and allow him to leave – for the right price.

 

TOP STORY – CITY SET ASKING PRICE FOR BARCELONA-BOUND BERNARDO

According to Sport, City have told Silva that they will accept any incoming bid that reaches their demand of £57.5million (€65m).

Barcelona are well aware of the latest development, and are said to be doing all they can in the coming months to ensure the financial rules allow them to make the move. However, Silva's contract demands could be a stumbling block for the Spanish giants.

Reports suggest City previously rejected Barcelona's £62m (€70m) approach during the January window.

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting Inter will seek a €40m fee for defender Denzel Dumfries.

– According to The Mirror, Manchester United and Liverpool are among the Premier League teams preparing to make a run at New England Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic.

City will pursue RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol if they sell Paris Saint-Germain target Aymeric Laporte, per the Daily Star.

– Football Insider is reporting Arsenal, City, United and Liverpool are all showing interest in Brighton and Hove Albion's World Cup-winning midfielder Alexis Mac Allister , who the Seagulls are expected to price at £70m.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan are targeting £22m-rated (€25m) Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Real Salt Lake and Orlando City both claimed Decision Day victories to book their spots in the 2022 MLS playoffs on a dramatic final day of the regular season.

RSL moved above Portland Timbers into the last playoffs spot in the Western Conference with their 3-1 victory, while Orlando achieved the same feat in the east after beating Columbus Crew 2-1 after a late penalty.

Pablo Mastroeni's RSL will take on two seed Austin in the first round of the MLS playoffs, navigating their way past Portland who started the day in sixth spot, but dropped to eighth, with Minnesota United also qualifying with their 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps.

Jefferson Savarino settled any nerves for RSL, who had claimed only three wins from their past 17 games, by curling in a 19th-minute opener before Rubio Rubin's deflected shot doubled their lead in the 48th minute.

Bode Hidalgo sealed RSL's playoffs spot with a classy finish in the 82nd minute, with Dairon Asprilla scoring a late consolation for the Timbers.

Minnesota, who will take on Dallas in the first round of the playoffs, got their win after Franco Fragapane's low 17th-minute drive. Jonathon Gonzalez added a second with a left-foot volley in the 77th minute to seal the Loons' spot.

Hany Mukhtar was confirmed as the MLS Golden Boot winner with 23 goals, although he did not score as Nashville locked in the five seed with a 1-0 win over Supporters Shield winners LAFC.

Teal Bunbury scored the only goal in the 53rd minute, with Nashville to face LA Galaxy in the playoffs. Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo 3-1 with Riqui Puig and Javier Hernandez among the scorers.

Facundo Torres converted an 84th-minute spot kick to send Orlando into the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Crew. The Lions will take on Eastern Conference two seed Montreal.

Columbus came into the game one point ahead of Orlando and had gone ahead through Derick Etienne in the 38th minute.

Junior Urso leveled for Orlando in the 56th minute before Milos Degenek's handball led to Torres' decisive penalty, condemning the Crew to missing the playoffs.

Cincinnati clinched their spot in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, leapfrogging up into the five seed slot, with their 5-2 win at struggling DC United.

Brenner hit a hat-trick for Cincy, who will take on New York Red Bulls in the playoffs. The Red Bulls won 2-0 over Charlotte after Elias Manoel's double to secure the four seed.

Inter Miami lost 3-1 at home to Montreal, meaning Phil Neville's side slipped to the six seed and will take on reigning MLS Cup champions New York City. City beat Atlanta United 2-1 to clinch the three seed.

In other games, Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes drew 2-2, Chicago Fire drew 1-1 with New England and Austin and Colorado Rapids ended 1-1 after Diego Rubio's late equalizer for the visitors.

Eastern Conference winners Philadelphia Union thrashed Toronto 4-0 with Daniel Gazdag netting a hat-trick, while Western Conference three seed Dallas got past Sporting KC 2-1.

LA Galaxy clinched their first playoff berth since 2019 after Javier Hernandez earned them a late penalty to secure a 1-1 draw away to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Douglas Costa converted the 68th-minute penalty won by Hernandez, after Riqui Puig had his 17th-minute spotkick saved by RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

RSL had gone ahead in the 25th minute from Sergio Cordova's header, but were left to lament Justen Glad failing to convert two late golden opportunities from headers, denting their playoff hopes and extending their winless run to five games.

Ex-Manchester United forward Hernandez earned Galaxy's reprieve after review when bundled over by Marcelo Silva inside the box, with Costa sending MacMath the wrong way.

The draw was enough for the Galaxy, who are perched fourth in the Western Conference with 47 points from 33 games, with RSL sitting eighth, just outside the playoff spots, with 44 points from 33 games.

Derrick Etienne scored two late goals against his former side to earn Columbus Crew a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls, who suffered their third defeat in four games.

Etienne equalized Franuel Amaya's 53rd-minute thunderbolt with an 89th-minute strike on the turn, before grabbing a 93rd-minute winner by lashing home a rebound.

Philadelphia Union handed the initiative to LAFC in the Supporters' Shield hunt after being thrashed 4-0 by Charlotte, for whom Daniel Rios netted four goals, achieving a franchise-first hat-trick.

The defeat means Philadelphia have failed to win in their past two games, leaving them on 64 points from 33 games, while LAFC have the same number of points with two games to play, starting with Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Donovan Pines scored an own goal and was red carded as DC United lost 1-0 to Montreal, who closed within two points of Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia with one game to play.

Sergio Santos was sent off amid a late scuffle as Cincinnati missed a chance to practically clinch a playoff spot with a 3-2 home loss to Chicago Fire. Cincinnati fought back from 3-0 down after Jhon Duran's double for Chicago.

Minnesota United's winless run extended to six games after going down 2-0 to San Jose Earthquakes, leaving them in a precarious position in the race to qualify for the Western Conference playoffs.

Vancouver Whitecaps capitalized on Minnesota and RSL's results and beat Austin 2-0 to keep alive their playoff hopes with their third straight victory. The Whitecaps are ninth in the west with 43 points with one game to play, with seventh-placed Minnesota on 45 and RSL on 44.

Josef Martinez scored a spectacular scissor-kick goal but Atlanta United went down 2-1 to New England, while playoff-bound Dallas lost 1-0 at Colorado Rapids.

Sporting Kansas City treated their home fans to an impressive 4-1 upset win against Minnesota United on Saturday, with William Agada netting a brace on his birthday.

Against the Western Conference's fourth-placed side in Minnesota, 12th-placed Sporting closed the first half in style, with three goals in the space of 15 minutes.

The first was courtesy of a friendly bounce, with a hard, low cross in the 31st minute being deflected by the Minnesota goalkeeper straight off the legs of centre-back Michael Boxall and into the back of the net for an own goal.

Johnny Russell then hit the post in the 41st minute, but was able to track down the rebound and dish one off for Erik Thommy in the box, who sidestepped a challenge before firing home Sporting's second goal.

Capping off a terrific first half, Ben Sweat whipped in a dangerous ball in the 45th minute for Agada to meet with his head, sending his side into the sheds leading 3-0.

Mender Garcia Torres was able to peg one back for Minnesota in the 57th minute, but Agada would put the game to bed with his second goal in the 81st, tapping in a smart low cross from Daniel Salloi.

Earlier in the day, in a battle between two of the Eastern Conference's top four teams, New York City won their local Hudson River Derby against New York Red Bulls 2-0 at Yankee Stadium.

The opening goal came just 50 seconds into the contest, when a corner was expertly flicked on by Santiago Rodriguez, giving defender Alexander Callens an easy close-range header.

City doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, and it was again the result of a well-worked corner, this time with Rodriguez on the receiving end of a floated ball that he was able to control and bring down before sliding it past the keeper.

It was a match bereft of chances in open play, as City finished with just 0.60 expected goals, while the Red Bulls had 0.71.

In a match with similarly few goal scoring opportunities, the top-ranked Philadelphia Union were the ones holding on for a point in their 0-0 draw away against non-playoff side Atlanta United.

Philadelphia could only muster 0.16 expected goals, while Atlanta United controlled 60 per cent of the possession and won the shot count 16-5, finishing with 1.30 expected goals.

Showing off some excellent finishing, Orlando City defied their 0.95 expected goals to hammer Toronto FC 4-0, netting two goals in each half.

The East's second-placed team, CF Montreal, were good enough to leave their away fixture against the New England Revolution with a 1-0 win, with Alistair Johnson finding the winner 72 minutes in.

Charlotte conceded goals in the third and 30th minutes to fall behind early against the Chicago Fire, but they rallied back and scored in the 68th and 76th to tie things, before stealing the points with a 96th-minute winner.

The league's top goalscorer Hany Mukhtar scored his 23rd of the season as he helped Nashville take a 1-1 draw on the road against Austin, while Cincinnati strengthened their playoff position with a 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.

In the late window, the Vancouver Whitecaps rode two quick strikes in the first half to a 2-1 home win against the Seattle Sounders, while Chicharito was one of four Los Angeles Galaxy goal scorers in their 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids, and FC Dallas secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw with 10 men against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Gonzalo Higuain netted a double to keep Inter Miami's playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew that ended their three-game losing streak on Tuesday.

In a game halted at half-time for a lengthy period due to a weather delay, Higuain struck either side of the break to collect three points that puts Inter up to eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the seventh-placed Crew.

The 34-year-old former Real Madrid and Juventus forward opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a first-time finish on a fast break after Ariel Lassiter's pass.

Cucho Hernandez equalised for Columbus with a bouncing header in the 41st minute from Steven Moreira's cross.

The half-time delayed lasted more than two hours, with the second half commencing at 11:35pm local time, with Higuain having a good chance saved by Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room in the 54th minute.

The Argentine got the winner for Phil Neville's side in the 82nd minute with an angled left-foot finish beating Room at his near post from Alejandro Pozuelo's through-ball.

Montreal remained second in the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire, for whom Xherdan Shaqiri netted a brace from the spot.

Kei Kamara scored a double, opening up a 2-0 lead within half an hour for Montreal, setting up the game-deciding goal for Zachary Brault-Guillard too.

New England's playoff hopes took another hit with a poor 3-1 loss away to struggling Houston Dynamo with Fabrice Picault netting a pair for the winners.

Carlos Vela was on the scoresheet as Western Conference leaders LAFC drew 1-1 at Minnesota United, while Sporting KC eased past DC United 3-0.

Javier Hernandez missed another spotkick before Riqui Puig took over penalty duties to net a season-saving 99th-minute equaliser in the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw at Nashville on Saturday.

Nashville had gone ahead in the 28th minute from Hany Mukhtar's penalty but Hernandez was the centre of attention once again.

The former Manchester United forward failed to convert a 97th-minute penalty attempting a Panenka last Sunday against Sporting KC, spurning a hat-trick and winner.

Hernandez stepped up again in the 55th minute after being bundled over by Shaquell Moore but had his low shot tipped around the post by goalkeeper Joel Willis.

With their season on the line, the Galaxy earned a late reprieve after a penalty was awarded for a Walker Zimmerman handball following VAR review, with the defender receiving a second yellow card.

But Riqui Puig grabbed the ball and took the responsibility instead of Hernandez, before firing just beyond Willis' fingertips for the goal.

The result means the Galaxy are winless in three games and sit eighth in the Western Conference on 40 points.

Western Conference leaders LAFC stumbled again, suffering their fourth loss in their past five games with a 2-1 defeat to Dallas.

Jesus Ferreira boosted his claims on a spot in USA's World Cup squad with a double for Dallas, while LAFC were reduced to 10 men after Ryan Hollingshead's 13th-minute red card.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union showed why they are arguably the best team in the MLS with a 5-1 thrashing of Orlando City securing their fifth straight victory.

Lewis Morgan scored a 78th-minute penalty to help New York Red Bulls secure a 2-1 home win over New England to firm up their grip on third in the east.

New York City suffered their seventh defeat from their past nine games, going down 1-0 to Charlotte.

Brenner scored a hat-trick as Cincinnati extended their unbeaten run to nine games, winning 6-0 over San Jose Earthquakes

Thiago Almada fired in a golazo as Atlanta United defeated Toronto 4-2, while Inter Miami slumped to a third straight loss with a 3-1 defeat at Chicago Fire.

Seattle Sounders toppled Austin 3-0, Houston Dynamo and Sporting KC drew 0-0, Portland Timbers edged Minnesota United 1-0, Colorado Rapids beat Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 and Real Salt Lake and DC United ended goalless.

Reigning MLS Cup champions New York City slumped to their fifth loss from their past six games as Christian Benteke debuted for DC United who claimed an upset 2-1 win on Wednesday.

City had ended a three-game losing run with a 2-0 win at Chicago Fire 10 days before losing to Orlando City on the weekend but their poor form continued at Red Bull Arena.

Ola Kamara tapped in from point blank range to give the visitors at 24th-minute lead, but Heber side-footed in an equalizer three minutes later.

Steven Birnbaum restored United's lead with a header from a Martin Rodriguez free-kick in the 57th minute and City could not find a response with David Ochoa palming away Gedion Zelalem's 95th-minute effort.

The win is Wayne Rooney's second since taking over at United who are still last in the Eastern Conference, while it sees City slide down to fourth in the east.

Riqui Puig scored a spectacular late equalizer with a long-range curler after a give-and-go to earn LA Galaxy a 2-2 draw away to Toronto.

Douglas Costa had put the Galaxy into a 24th-minute lead before Toronto hit back with second-half goals to Jesus Jimenez and Filippo Bernardeschi before the Spaniard's 89th-minute strike.

Riqui Puig was making only his third appearance for the Galaxy following his August move from Barcelona.

The result dents star-studded Toronto's playoffs aspirations, leaving them 10th in the east, while the Galaxy are eighth in the west.

Philadelphia Union became the second team behind LAFC to book their postseason berth with a 4-1 home win over Atlanta United.

Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre, Daniel Gazdag and Nathan Harriel were all among the goals for Union who are eight points clear in the east.

New York Red Bulls moved up to third in the east with a 1-0 win at second-placed Montreal with Lewis Morgan hitting the winner in the 43rd minute.

LAFC suffered a shock 2-1 loss to lowly Houston Dynamo, who condemning the Western Conference leaders to their third straight defeat.

Inter Miami slumped to back-to-back losses with a 1-0 defeat at Columbus Crew, while New England's winless run extended to four games after a goalless draw with struggling Chicago Fire who snapped a three-game losing run.

Hany Mukhtar netted a hat-trick as Nashville beat Colorado Rapids 4-1, while Orlando City came from two goals down to defeat Seattle Sounders 3-2.

Real Salt Lake proved too good for Minnesota United 3-0 and Portland Timbers moved into the west's top seven with a narrow win against second-placed Austin 2-1.

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