Facing Flamengo with the opportunity to finish in first place in Group A, the Union found a way.
Marcos Zambrano-Delgado headed home the game’s first goal, and Nelson Pierre added another in the second half, as Philadelphia picked up a 2-0 win over the Brazilian side.
Set pieces proved to be critical. Zambrano-Delgado headed home a beautifully served ball from Luke Martelli in the 21st minute to put the Union up a goal. Two minutes later, Flamengo came extremely close to equalizing from their own set piece, as Euder Silva headed onto the woodwork.
Philadelphia’s strong defense in front of goalkeeper Andrew Rick held firm, with center backs Gavin Wetzel and Daniel Krueger keeping the Brazilians at bay.
Pierre, who entered the game four minutes prior, added the game’s second goal with a nicely-placed finish to the far post. The Union backline did the rest, and Rick finished with the shutout and a spot in the knockout round.
Inter Miami 1, AS Roma 0
Inter Miami had already secured first-place in Group G ahead of a final match against Italy's AS Roma. The South Florida side produced another controlled and impressed effort. Pedro Faife’s beautifully-taken goal from outside the box just before halftime settled it, as Inter Miami finished the group stage without conceding a goal.
Seattle Sounders 2, Santos Laguna 0
Two clutch finishes from Etienne Veillard powered the Sounders to a crucial victory. The first came eight minutes into the game, where he split the center backs and ran onto a ball over the top, rounded the ‘keeper and finished. He managed it again in the 21st minute, when he stabbed home a cross from the left flank to secure Seattle’s win.
Charlotte FC 2, Austin FC 1
The new MLS club's academy emerged as Group D winners by defeating Austin FC, finishing the group stage undefeated. Brian Carmona scored the opener just before halftime, and Ervin Cruz-Garcia doubled the lead in the second half despite plenty of Austin pressure. Noah Calvillo got one back, but Charlotte held on for the win.
Houston Dynamo 2, Real Salt Lake 1
A long-distance finish from Jesus Orejuela provided the late winner, as Houston finished in second place in Group B. An early strike from Miles Mukherjea-Gehrig put the Dynamo up 1-0 in the first half, though it was canceled out by Terron Williams.
LA Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 0
A goal from Julian Placias proved critical for the Galaxy, which advanced to the knockout round as one of the six best second-place finishers. Placias scored the only goal of the game in the second half, providing a clinical finish to the far post.
Columbus Crew 2, St. Louis CITY SC 1
With the game tied at 1-1 and four minutes to go, Brent Adu-Gyamfi bagged a huge goal, propelling the Crew to first place in Group B. Substitute Owen Presthus opened the scoring earlier in the second half, before St. Louis equalized from the penalty spot through Nathan Ferguson. That cued the stage for Adu-Gyamfi’s winner.
LAFC 4, CF Montréal 1
The knockout bracket kicked off on Tuesday for the Under-15 sides, with Wednesday serving as a well-deserved day off. For the second straight match in a row, the LAFC attack found the back of the net four times. After James Arteaga opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game, CF Montréal quickly answered through Emrick Fotsing. However, Kristian Villalobos restored LAFC’s lead shortly after the half, and a brace from Dempsey Resich rounded out the scoring.
Toronto FC 1, Club America 0
For the second straight game, Joses Chukwu scored the winning goal, as his 9th-minute tally stood up against the Liga MX side. It was TFC’s third straight 1-0 victory at the competition, as the center back pairing of Will Caldwell and Pablo Patrick-Galvez helped keep the shutout this time. Toronto FC will face LAFC in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Portland Timbers 2, Manchester United 1
The duo of Max Eisenberg and Noah Santos delivered once again, as the two forwards have scored the bulk of Portland’s goals at this age group. This time Santos bagged a goal in the 10th minute to put Portland up, and Eisenberg doubled the lead three minutes later. The Timbers were able to hold on and knock out the English side.
New York Red Bulls 2, Sporting Kansas City 0
Red Bulls goalkeeper Aidan Stokes saved a penalty in the first half, and clutch finishes from Julian Hall and Jeremiah White powered New York to the next round. Hall produced an exquisite finish on his goal, capping off a nice counterattack by opening up his body and redirecting a cross up and over the goalkeeper. White snuck forward from his left back spot, finishing nicely to double the lead.
Real Salt Lake 1, Austin FC 0
Atlanta United 2, CM Rayados 0
Set pieces were the difference between Atlanta United and the Mexican side. An emphatic header from a corner kick by Atlanta midfielder Adyn Torres put United up a goal in the 22nd minute. Rocket Ritarita slotted home from a free kick just outside the penalty area to make it a two-goal lead, and one that Atlanta wouldn’t relinquish.