MLS Snapshot

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NYCFC erase early deficit to beat Red Bulls (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): New York City FC erased an early deficit to beat the New York Red Bulls in the 2019 season’s second and final Hudson River derby, and remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference’s battle for first place, and home-field advantage, in the process. Coming into the weekend, NYCFC sat third and trailed Atlanta United and Philadelphia Union by a single point. Atlanta beat Orlando City SC on Friday, and Philadelphia hammered D.C. United on Saturday. The gap between the top-three and fourth-place Red Bulls is now six points. Maxi Moralez scored from the penalty spot and Heber unleashed some absolute filth on Luis Robles (video below) after Alex Muyl put the visitors ahead inside 10 minutes played.

[ MORE: PL Sunday preview: Man City visit Bournemouth; Spurs host Newcastle ]

Three moments that mattered

10′ Muyl finishes down the left for an early lead — You don’t always get punished for turning the ball over in this area in MLS, but you should be.

43′ — Moralez wins penalty, converts penalty — Moralez was taken down inside the box by Michael Murillo for an unquestionably penalty not long before halftime. The Argentine converted with authority.

53′ — Heber backheel-nutmegs Robles for 2-1 — Yes, really.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Maxi Moralez

Goalscorers: Muyl (10′), Moralez (43′ – PK), Heber (53′)

Crew snatch late draw, end Quakes’ winning streak (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): New England Revolution fell to defeat earlier Saturday evening, but San Jose Earthquakes avoided the same fate in the night’s final game, although Matias Almeyda’s side will feel they left plenty of the table after holding a lead inside the game’s final half-hour but ultimately failing to see if across the finish line. Magnus Eriksson put San Jose ahead just before halftime, but Columbus dominated the run of play in the second half and were fully deserving of the point, if not more. Gyasi Zardes equalized in the 65th minute, preventing San Jose from becoming the second team in MLS to reach the 40-point mark this season. Alas, they sit second in the Western Conference anyway and have lost just one of their last 12 games (eight wins).

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

41′ — Eriksson converts from the spot for 1-0 — It took 23 games, but the Quakes finally earned — and converted — their first penalty kick of the 2019 season.

65′ — Zardes pulls Columbus level with an unstoppable header — Zardes is an excellent finished with his head, so maybe defenders shouldn’t peel away from him at the top of the six-yard box. It’s just a thought.

90’+3 — Room denies Wondolowski with time winding down — Eloy Room was asked to save the day on a number of occasions late in the game, and he did so each and every time, including a stellar save against Chris Wondolowski.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Eloy Room

Goalscorers: Eriksson (41′ – PK), Zardes (65′)

Unstoppable LAFC end Revs’ 11-game unbeaten run (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Coming into the weekend’s premier matchup in MLS, Bruce Arena’s New England Revolution found itself above the playoff cut line on the back of an 11-game unbeaten run that began all the way back on May 11. In that time, the Revs took down the likes of San Jose, LA Galaxy, Houston and Orlando, to name a few, but they had face no one on par with runaway Supporters’ Shield leaders Los Angeles FC. All of the above changed on Saturday, when Bob Bradley‘s men walked out of Gillette Stadium with a 2-0 victory. Diego Rossi and Latif Blessing scored the goals — one in each half — and LAFC ran their modest recent run of results to five wins in their last six games. Their lead in the Shield race walkover is 13 points with 11 games left to play.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

8′ — Rossi loops it high and back down for the opener — How many players in MLS even see the 10-foot-high looping finish as an option in this scenario, let alone have the technical wherewithal to pull it off? The answer is a small number, but it includes Rossi.

41′ — Farrell saves his own embarrassing blemish on the goal line — Andrew Farrell almost scored an embarrassing, if unlucky, own goal, but managed to sprint to the goal line and clear the ball away in the nick of time.

72′ — Blessing finishes a fantastic team goal for 2-0 — Champagne football from LAFC, innit? There should be about five secondary assists handed out on this one.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Jordan Harvey

Goalscorers: Rossi (8′), Blessing (72′)

Record crowd sees ATLUTD cruise past Zlatan-less Galaxy (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): It’s tough to win on the road when you concede a pair of own goals before halftime, a lesson duly noted by the LA Galaxy as Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side was handily beaten by defending champions Atlanta United in front of a regular-season record crowd of 72,548 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The visitors were without superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic (suspended) and managed just four shots on targets over 90 minutes (all four came inside the game’s opening 25 minutes). After starting the season slowly under new head coach Frank De Boer, have turned things around and summited the Eastern Conference standings. LA, meanwhile, have just three wins from their last eight games (five losses) and could tumble from third to fifth place in the Western Conference before the weekend is over.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Three moments that mattered

23′ — Pity forces the own goal by Romney — Own goal no. 1.

43′ — Josef lurks and forces Gonzalez into a desperate situation — Own goal no. 2.

72′ — Martinez ties his own record with a penalty kick — Josef Martinez showed lingering effects of his tragic penalty attempt of two weeks ago.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Romney (23′ – OG), Gonzalez (43′ – OG), Martinez (72′ – PK)

Fernandez scores twice as Portland wins thriller in Seattle (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): Brian Fernandez has made the most of his first two-plus months in MLS, undoubtedly capped off by a star’s performance in his Timbers-Sounders rivalry debut on Sunday. The Argentine scored both of Portland’s goals in a 2-1 victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, all while managing to annoy anyone and everyone in Rave Green with his pest-like antics.

Fernandez’s first came after just 20 minutes. His second came barely 20 seconds after Raul Ruidiaz drew Seattle level in the second half. With the result, Portland climbs to within two points of the Western Conference’s seventh and final playoff place. Seattle, meanwhile, misses out on a chance to leapfrog LA Galaxy for second.

[ MORE: Pity proves his point as Atlanta tops DCU late (video) ]

Three moments that mattered

20′ — Fernandez slams home after Moreira smashes the crossbar — Jorge Moreira’s initial blast deserved to hit the back of the net, but he’ll surely settle for Fernandez cleaning up the mess and bagging the opener.

50′ — Ruidiaz passes into an empty net for 1-1 — Steve Clark was trying to… hmm, you know what? Not really sure.

51′ — Fernandez answers right back and it’s 2-1 — It was the deftest of touches, but it’s all that was required seconds after Portland conceded down the other end of the field.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Brian Fernandez

Goalscorers: Fernandez (20′, 51′), Ruidiaz (50′)