MLS Rewind: NYCFC triumphs in Hudson River Derby, Nashville SC earns point against Austin FC
A crucial weekend in MLS play started with a dominant victory for New York City FC. Alex Callens and Santiago Rodriguez scored early in the Hudson River Derby as NYCFC pulls within one point of the Eastern Conference third-place Red Bulls. Nashville SC clinched home-field advantage with a draw against Austin FC, compelting Gary Smith’s side’s late-season surge. Meanwhile in the Western Conference, the Sounders were dealt a major blow to their playoff chances with a loss to the Whitecaps. Here are the results from Week 31 in MLS. NYCFC 2, Red Bulls 0 (Alex Callens 1′, Santiago Rodriguez 23′) Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Santiago Rodriguez set up NYCFC’s opening goal before scoring the second goal of the first half. He also won the most duels and created the most chances. Moment of the Match: Rodriguez’s goal helped paved the way to an NYCFC victory. Match to Forget: Lewis Morgan lost seven of eight duels and had the fewest touches of the match. Atlanta United 0, Union 0 Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Andre Blake was sensational for the Union posting a five-save shutout. Moment of the Match: Josef Martinez’s stoppage-time header was denied by Blake, continuing to frustrate Atlanta United. Match to Forget: Julian Carranza lost the most duels for the Union and also did not register a single shot on goal. Revolution 0, CF Montreal 1 (Alistair Johnston 72′) Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Alistair Johnston scored the decisive goal at Gillette Stadium, but also delivered a strong defensive performance. Moment of the Match: Johnston’s goal capped off a swift move from CF Montreal, breaking the deadlock from Foxborough. Match to Forget: Gustavo Bou failed to offer much for the Revolution attack, losing three of five duels and only registering one shot on goal. Orlando City 4, Toronto FC 0 (Facundo Torres 9′, Ercan Kara 22′, Lukas MacNaughton (OG) 47′, Tesho Akindele 90′) Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Facundo Torres scored once and came close to scoring twice after hitting the crossbar. Torres also won all five of his duels and completed four dribbles. Moment of the Match: Lukas MacNaughton’s own goal continued a dominant night for Orlando City and a miserable night for Toronto FC. Match to Forget: Lukas MacNaughton and Shane O’Neill struggled to deal with the versatile movements of the Orlando City attack. Fire 2, Charlotte FC 3 (Mauricio Pineda 3′, Jhon Duran 30′) – (Karol Swiderski 68′, 90+6′, Nuno Santos 76′) Sep 17, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Charlotte FC forward Karol Swiderski (11) attempts to get to a ball against the Chicago Fire during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Karol Swiderski scored two goals including the stoppage-time winner at Soldier Field. Moment of the Match: Swiderski’s 96th minute winner helped Charlotte FC claim an important win away from home. Match to Forget: Mauricio Pineda might have scored the opening goal in Chicago, but lost all six of his duels and offered little in the passing game for the Fire. Sporting KC 4, Loons 1 (Michael Boxall (OG) 31′, Erik Thommy 41′, William Agada 45′, 81′) – (Mender Garcia 57′) Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: William Agada scored twice for Sporting KC, helping Peter Vermes’ side finish the season strong, although the team was eliminated from the playoff race due to other results this week. Moment of the Match: Agada’s second goal iced the home win for Sporting KC. Match to Forget: The entire Minnesota United back line struggled to deal with Sporting KC’s attack, suffering a poor defeat on the road. Austin FC 1, Nashville SC 1 (Sebastian Driussi 61′) – (Hany Mukhtar (pen) 56′) Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Hany Mukhtar’s penalty kick goal helped Nashville SC claim one point from Austin. He also completed one dribble and drew three fouls. Moment of the Match: Sebastian Driussi’s equalizer helped the hosts fight back to earn a positive home result. Match to Forget: Sean Davis failed to get on the ball enough for Nashville, losing his only duel of the match. RSL 1, FC Cincinnati 2 (Maikel Chang 35′) – (Brenner 44′, 76′) Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Brenner continues to help FC Cincinnati thrive, with two goals as Cincy won in a difficult atmosphere. Moment of the Match: Roman Celentano’s penalty kick save just before halftime allowed Cincinnati to keep fighting for a result in the second half. Match to Forget: Zac MacMath should have saved Brenner’s shot on FC Cincinnati’s first goal, in which the ball hit MacMath’s hand before going in. Whitecaps 2, Sounders 1 (Pedro Vite 29′, Julian Gressel 37′) – (Will Bruin 89′) Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Pedro Vite provided plenty of quality in the Whitecaps’ midfield, with a goal and two shots. Vite also made two tackles and won four duels. Moment of the Match: Julian Gressel hit a sweet volley in the 37th minute, which proved enough for the Whitecaps to take all three points. Match to Forget: Jordan Morris failed to make a difference for the Sounders, completing only 71% of his passes and taking only one shot. LA Galaxy 4, Rapids 1 (Gaston Brugman 22′, 52′, Raheem Edwards 28′, Javier Hernandez 31′) – (Sam Nicholson 90+1′) Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Gaston Brugman scored twice and patrolled the defensive midfield successfully, nearly helping the Galaxy earn a shutout. Moment of the Match: Raheem Edwards sliced up the Rapids defense and knocked in an incredible goal to double the Galaxy’s lead. Match to Forget: Jonathan Lewis was unable to continue his strong form from previous games. Lewis was subbed out at halftime after a poor performance. Earthquakes 1, FC Dallas 1 (Jeremy Ebobisse (pen) 25′) – (Jader Obrian 16′) Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports Man of the Match: Jeremy Ebobisse took control of the Quakes’ attack, with five shots and two on goal. He came up big when it counted, converting a penalty kick for his team’s only goal. Moment of the Match: Jeremy Ebobisse’s converted penalty kick brought the American striker’s goal total in 2022 to 16 and allowed the Quakes to take a point from one of the Western Conference’s top teams. Match to Forget: FC Dallas missed out on the chance to push for a winner when Paul Arriola was sent off in the 83rd minute.