Press Release

Expected Goals: Upcoming Milestones for Matchday 8

Expected Goals Header_Matchday 8

El Tráfico Promises to Be High-Scoring Affair

The marquee match of the Matchday 8 schedule kicks off at BMO Stadium as LAFC hosts the LA Galaxy in the 18th regular-season edition of El Tráfico on Saturday night (7:45 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV / FOX). Beginning with the first meeting in 2018, El Tráfico has quickly become one of the most anticipated rivalry matches on the MLS calendar as stars like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Carlos Vela, and Diego Rossi have made their mark in this matchup.

With a bevy of high-scoring stars that have appeared for the two clubs, the matchup features the second-highest scoring average in MLS history (minimum 10 games) at 4.24 goals per game. Their last meeting in 2023 further cemented its offensive reputation, as the clubs traded goals before LAFC pulled away and won 4-2 on September 16. The LAFC victory was led by Dénis Bouanga who notched a brace, marking his second consecutive multi-goal game against the Galaxy at BMO Stadium after also accomplishing the feat during the 2022 postseason on LAFC’s path to an MLS Cup title. Only three players in league history have scored multiple goals in each of their first three home matches against a single opponent, including the postseason, a feat Bouanga will look to match on Saturday.

The highest scoring matchups in MLS history (min. 10 games):

Highest Scoring Matchups

Cincinnati Reignites Their Season-Starting Fire

FC Cincinnati has jumped out of the gates quickly once again as they sit atop both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings with an unbeaten 3-0-3 record (12 points) entering Matchday 8. The Orange and Blue find themselves in familiar territory after they opened the 2023 season on a seven-game unbeaten run (5-0-2). If Cincinnati avoids defeat against the New York Red Bulls this weekend (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV), they will become the first club in MLS history to start consecutive seasons with an undefeated record through at least the first seven games of a year.

The club’s hot start last year kickstarted their run to winning the Supporters’ Shield and they are aiming to become the first repeat winner of the trophy since the 2010-11 LA Galaxy and just the fourth club in league history to do so.

Teams to start consecutive MLS seasons unbeaten through at least first five games:

Unbeaten Starts in Consecutive Years

Chicho Arango Doing It All for RSL

One of the most exciting attacking teams in the league to close the 2023 season Real Salt Lake is once again looking the part this year, scoring 10 goals in six matches in 2024. The catalyst behind this attacking outburst has been Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango, who in just 17 regular-season matches with Salt Lake, has 11 goals and six assists, including three game-winning strikes.

The Colombian forward is doing it all for Salt Lake this year and has produced a goal or an assist in five consecutive matches, helping his side to a 3-1-1 record. With a goal or assist on the road against Minnesota this Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV), Arango would join Javier Morales (seven in 2014), Joao Plata (six in 2016), and Álvaro Saborío as the only players in club history with a goal contribution in at least six straight games.

The longest goal contribution streaks in Real Salt Lake history:

Chicho GC Streak

Whitecaps Feeling the Love from Fafa

Just a handful of games into the 2024 season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC forward Fafa Picault already appears to be one of the steals of the offseason. After being traded to Nashville prior to 2023, Picault signed a one-year deal with Vancouver in free agency with an option for 2025. The Haitian international has always been consistent in MLS and is coming off three consecutive seasons with at least five goals.

After being inserted into the starting lineup on March 16 against Dallas, Picault has produced a goal and an assist in each of his last two matches. With a goal and an assist against Toronto FC on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV), he would become the fifth MLS player since 2016 to accomplish the feat in three straight games and the first since Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sept. 21-29, 2019).

The longest streak of games with one goal and one assist in MLS since 2016:

Fafa Picault Goal and Assist

Santi Rodríguez Loves a Home Atmosphere

After back-to-back games on the road, New York City FC returns to the Big Apple and will play their first game at Citi Field this season when they host Atlanta United on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV). For New York, the star at home has been midfielder Santiago Rodríguez, who has produced a goal or an assist in five consecutive home matches, marking the longest active streak in MLS.

In his last seven home starts, Rodríguez has accumulated two goals and four assists, leading the club to a 4-1-2 record. The dynamic Uruguayan has also been on his top level at Citi Field, producing an assist in three of his last four appearances at the Queens-based stadium.

The longest active home goal contribution streaks in MLS:

Active Home GC Streaks