Montreal Impact

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Late Schweinsteiger goal propels Fire over Impact (video)

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At 35-years-old, Bastian Schweinsteiger still has some fuel left in the tank.

88 minutes in, with the score tied at 2-2, the World Cup-winning defender proved to be the difference, rising and heading in a cross from Djordje Mihailovic’s corner kick into the back of the net. It’s his first goal of the season, but an important one as the Chicago Fire look to make a late push into the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The German star, who initially signed for the Fire in 2017, signed a one-year extension in late 2018, which ends in late December of 2019.

Reports: Bojan, Ola Kamara up for MLS moves

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DC United is making a huge push for the Eastern Conference and beyond.

The Washington Post’s Steven Goff says the Black-and-Red may be bringing Ola Kamara back to Major League Soccer from the Chinese Super League.

When it comes to MLS, Kamara has simply scored goals. The 29-year-old has bagged 48 in three MLS seasons spent between Columbus and the LA Galaxy.

Goff reports that the transfer fee to bring Kamara back Stateside is $2.5 million, and that DC also has to send a quarter of a million dollars to Colorado for the top spot in the allocation order.

[ MORE: Messi suspended ]

Multiple reports out of Quebec say that the Impact are looking to make a huge splash in attack, again, adding Bojan Krkic to the squad.

Bojan, 28, is four seasons removed from his 7-goal Premier League campaign with Stoke City.

He’s had trouble firing since that point, with just six goals between three seasons spent between Mainz, Alaves, and Stoke.

Seeing what Carles Gil has done with New England, though, you cannot help but think Bojan has the skill set to light the East on fire.

Both teams are amongst eight still very much in the race to finish first in the East. Kamara to DC is a near-automatic hit. If Montreal can clear room to add Bojan to an attack with Saphir Taidir, Orji Okwonkwo, and the returning Ignacio Piatti, then look out for the Impact.

MLS Saturday Wrap: What we learned

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MLS is entering the dog days of summer, and some teams are separating themselves from the pack, while others continue to struggle, even at home.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Here’s a look back at some of Saturday’s MLS action.


Savarino makes a statement for RSL

There’s a lot of talk about Designated Players like Carlos Vela, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, and for good reason. But one Designated Player people may need to pay more attention to now is Jefferson Savarino.

In just his second game back at Real Salt Lake from the 2019 Copa America with Venezuela, Savarino scored two outstanding goals and set up another as RSL trounced the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union, 4-0. The Union didn’t do itself any favors defensively, with a ton of communication errors, but Savarino has that clinical finishing touch that teams spend huge money for. Finally in his third season in MLS, he appears to have taken the next step in his development – he’s still only 22-years old – and could lead RSL into a playoff run.

Mike Petke’s squad, with still plenty of season to go, sits in sixth place, tied with FC Dallas on 29 points. Watch out for Savarino to be a difference maker down the stretch this season.


Pozuelo, Altidore come up big for Toronto FC

There’s no doubt that Toronto FC fans are happy to see Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley back with their club.

With goals from Altidore and other Designated Player, Alejandro Pozuelo, TFC knocked off rival Montreal Impact, 2-0 at Stade Saputo, boosting itself back into playoff contention. Toronto FC is currently just above the red line for the playoffs, with 26 points, one ahead of Orlando City SC, which also won on Saturday to stay in the playoff hunt.

It has been a tough couple of months for TFC. Prior to Saturday, TFC had won just one in its last 11 games in all competitions, including six defeats. Even the win, a 3-2 triumph over Atlanta United, could have been a draw if Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez had scored a penalty kick deep into second half stoppage time.

And yet, Altidore’s free kick and Pozuelo’s natural finish could be a sign that this team is looking like a title contender again, ready to shed off the poor form and like a gazelle, race up the standings.


Columbus, Chicago continue to drop points

It’s a rough summer to be a soccer fan in the east-to-central Midwest. Specifically, if you’re a fan of the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati.

FC Cincinnati won its second-straight game, this time at the expense of the Chicago Fire, though it’s still dead-last in the Eastern Conference standings, tied with Ohio rivals Columbus Crew on 17 points. The Fire themselves aren’t much better, with just 22 points this season, good for 10th place in the conference.

For FC Cincinnati, a rough season may have been expected, especially how the team operated in the offseason. But there was so much hope for the Crew and Fire, which has made 2019 even more deflating. After the fan-led mission to #SaveTheCrew was successful and Caleb Porter – a former MLS Cup winning coach – was hired, it looked like the Crew could really take a step forward this season after all the off-the-field drama from a year ago.

And yet, thanks to a season-ending injury for Federico Higuain and poor performances from Wil Trapp, Gyasi Zardes, Justin Meram (who has since been traded), Pedro Santos and many others, the Crew have been in the doldrums all season. It certainly didn’t help to lose Trapp, Zack Steffan – who was signed by Man City but loaned back for the first half of this season – and Zardes for the month of June, just to see them mostly come off the bench, if at all for the national team.

Chicago, meanwhile, signed coach Veljko Paunovic and Designated Player Bastian Schweinsteiger to new contracts this offseason, and acquired CJ Sapong, David Ousted, Francisco Calvo and the gem, Nicolas Gaitan.

Yet all these individual talents have yet to merge into a cohesive unit under Paunovic, and the Fire are looking once again at missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons. With Schweinsteiger likely gone after the season, will Paunovic walk as well, unable to turn around this once-proud club for the last 2 seasons?


Top Goals from Saturday

Jefferson Savarino

Jozy Altidore

Fanendo Adi (first league goal with FC Cincinnati)

MLS wrap: Vela drives six-star LAFC, Quakes win late (video)

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Carlos Vela is too good for MLS, FC Cincinnati can win in the league, and the Caleb Porter experience in Columbus needs a major shakeup as the embattled coach can’t push the same buttons mashed by his predecessor. (video)

[ MORE: Messi gets 2nd ever red card ]

It’s all in the MLS wrap.

FC Cincinnati 3-2 Houston Dynamo

For the first time since May 11 and just the fourth time this season, FC Cincinnati won a league match. It wasn’t easy despite a 3-0 lead built by Kekuta Manneh, Rashawn Dally, and Victor Ulloa, as a PK and an own goal two minutes apart allowed the visitors within one with nine minutes to play in Ohio.

Los Angeles FC 6-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Yordy Reyna’s fifth minute goal was… misleading for the hosts, who conceded four times between the 35th and 54th minutes as Bob Bradley‘s men piled up the goals in California. Carlos Vela had two goals and an assist, while Adama Diomande, Diego Rossi, and Mark-Anthony Kaye joined a ‘Caps own goal on the score sheet.

Vela now has 19 goals and 12 assists in 19 games, which is pretty good. Both lead the league, and the goals total is six more than second-place Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Columbus Crew 1-2 Seattle Sounders

Offsetting penalty kick conversions had it 1-1 after 56 minutes, but Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro completed his brace in the sixth minute of stoppage time to pour more misery on Caleb Porter’s Crew. Turns out Gregg Berhalter did some pretty good work in Ohio. Columbus is six points back of seventh place Toronto FC and a miserable 4W-6L-2T at Crew Stadium in a league which favors the home side in a big way.

Montreal Impact 2-3 Minnesota United

Anthony Jackson-Hamel scored 27 seconds after the opening kick and the Impact had a 2-1 lead after just 13 minutes after Rudy Camacho added a marker. Sandwiched in between was a Mason Toye goal, and the youngster would follow-up an Ethan Finlay equalizer at the end of the first half to win it for the Loons just after halftime.

Sporting KC 1-0 Chicago Fire

Yohan Croizet scored for the second time this week as SKC picked up the pieces from a midweek loss to win for just the third time since May 26.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 Real Salt Lake

Danny Hoesen’s goal in the third minute of stoppage time helped the Quakes rebound from a midweek hiccup and extend an impressive run to 5W-1L-2T under coach Matías Almeyda. San Jose moves into a playoff spot and sits six points back of second in the West.

Philadelphia Union (PPD) Orlando City

Lightning strikes caused a postponement until 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday.

MLS: What we learned from a wild Wednesday

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Wednesday night featured the first MLS action in some two weeks, since the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and with six matches on tap, there were plenty of talking points after the games.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Here’s some of the biggest takeaways from Wednesday’s MLS action:


Atlanta pulls defeat from jaws of draw

In a wild game between two teams missing key stars, it was one of the remaining stars who’s mistake cost his team a point.

Atlanta United fell in the dying moments to Toronto FC, 3-2, after Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez skied a penalty kick deep into second half stoppage time. The Atlanta United penalty kick came after VAR spotted a handball on Toronto FC’s Nick Deleon, leading to a huge stoppage. Martinez’s penalty kick didn’t come until the eighth minute of stoppage time, in what was supposed to be just two added minutes.

Martinez’s penalty kick followed one by Toronto FC that Alejandro Pozuelo dispatched in the third minute of stoppage time to give Toronto FC the lead and the win. Both Pozuelo and Martinez were outstanding in the match, each scoring earlier as well, but Toronto FC clearly missed Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, while Atlanta was without the services of Josef Martinez.

After four straight wins in all competition, it was a return down to earth for Atlanta with another defeat when there could have been a draw on the road.

A Night of Golazos

The MLS Goal of the Season race heated up on Wednesday with three incredible submissions from across the continent.

There was Wayne Rooney‘s incredible 65-yard lob over Brian Rowe to put D.C. United up, Orji Okwonkwo’s terrific spinning shot on the half-volley to lead the Montreal Impact over the Portland Timbers, and Lucas Venuto’s stoppage-time stunner on the road at FC Dallas to earn the Vancouver Whitecaps a 2-2 draw. Watch all three golazos below.

Impact move up to 2nd with win

Quietly, the Montreal Impact is looking like a legit playoff contender nearly midway through the season.

The Impact, thanks to Orji Okwonkwo’s outstanding goal, defeated the defending Western Conference champion Portland Timbers, 2-1, to move into second place in the Eastern Conference, sitting just two points behind the first place Philadelphia Union. Okwonkwo and Designated Player Saphir Taider‘s play this season has helped make up for the loss of Ignacio “Nacho” Piatti to a recurring knee injury that will keep him out another two to three months.

In addition, Bacary Sagna and Zakaria Diallo have been immense to the defensive effort, along with Daniel Lovitz and Samuel Piette at left back and midfield, respectively.