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MLS Game Capsules (Week 32)

Week 32 - English

Saturday, September 17

New York City FC (13-11-7) vs. New York Red Bulls (14-9-8)

(1 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • The New York clubs meet for the 21st time in their histories and the second time this season on Saturday with the New York Red Bulls sitting third in the Eastern Conference and New York City FC sitting four points off them in fourth. The Red Bulls lead the all-time series with a 10-7-3 record, but NYCFC beat their rivals 1-0 at Red Bull Arena earlier in the season.
  • The Red Bulls are 3-5-1 at Yankee Stadium having come out of their last trip there with a 1-0 win. This season, the Red Bulls have the best away record of any team in MLS (9-3-3) and are four points away from tying the record for most away points won in a single 34-game season (excluding shootout seasons), which was set last year by the New England Revolution with 34 points.
  • Lewis Morgan scored his 14th goal of the season last time out with a game-winning penalty kick, putting him one goal away from joining Bradley Wright-Phillips as the only two Red Bulls players to score 15 goals during the regular season over the last decade.
  • Three of the last four meetings between these sides have been decided by a single goal after just two of the previous 16 regular season games between these sides ended in a 1-0 win for either side. Sean Johnson has already kept a career-high 13 clean sheets this season, which is tied for most in the league, and is just three shutouts away from tying Tony Meola’s single-season record of 16, set in 2000.
  • Talles Magno got an assist off the bench in NYCFC’s Campeones Cup victory over Atlas on Wednesday – his first goal contribution since he scored against Inter Miami CF on August 13. The 20-year-old needs just two assists to join Maxi Moralez, Andrea Pirlo, and Santiago Rodríguez as the only players in club history with at least 10 assists in a single season.

Atlanta United FC (10-12-9) vs. Philadelphia Union (18-4-9)

(3:30 p.m. ET, UniMás / TUDN / Twitter)

  • The Philadelphia Union travel to Atlanta looking for their first-ever win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta is one of three opponents the Union have visited five or more times without ever winning (Dallas and Real Salt Lake). The Union have won each of the last two matchups between the clubs, including a 4-1 victory on August 31.
  • Philadelphia has had a historic scoring spree in their last five games, totaling 23 goals in that span, which is three more than any other team in a five-game span in MLS history. The Union’s 23 goals are one more than the number of goals they have conceded this season (22). The 22 goals allowed are the fewest after 31 matches of a season in league history.
  • Kai Wagner’s case for MLS Defender of the Year strengthened over the weekend when he posted two assists to bring his total to 15 in 2022, becoming the first defender in MLS history with at least 15 assists in a single season. The next milestone for Wagner is Borek Dockal’s single-season club assists record (18), which he is three shy of.
  • Dániel Gazdag has scored in five-straight games and looks to join Adam Buksa and Sebastián Driussi as the only players to score in at least six-straight contests this season. Gazdag, who was called up to the Hungary National Team this week, needs one goal and one assist to become the sixth player in league history with at least 20 goals and 10 assists in a single season.
  • After defeating Orlando City SC on Wednesday, Atlanta has now won consecutive matches for the first time this season. Additionally, the Five Stripes have been successful at home, losing only three of their previous 22 matches (W13, D6) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Thiago Almada continues to make an impact in his first MLS season after he scored the game-winning goal against Orlando City SC. Almada now has 17 goal contributions this season (six goals, 11 assists), which is the third most by a player in his debut season.

New England Revolution (9-11-11) vs. CF Montréal (17-9-5)

(7:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • This will be the 29th all-time regular season game between the New England Revolution and CF Montréal and the second this season. Montréal are 11-14-3 all-time against the Revolution, but Montréal clobbered the Revolution 4-0 on August 20.
  • Romell Quioto scored twice and assisted another in that 4-0 win back in August and currently ranks tied for seventh for the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi with 15 goals this season. With five more goals before the end of the regular season, Quioto would tie Marco Di Vaio’s single season club record for goals of 20, which he set in 2013.
  • Montréal have been road warriors as of late, winning each of their last five away games and outscoring opponents 13-8 in the process. With a win at Gillette Stadium, Montréal would become the second team in MLS history (excluding shutouts) to win six-straight matches on the road, joining the San Jose Earthquakes from July 20 to August 15, 2005.
  • Carles Gil needs two assists to become the fourth player since 2000 to record at least 15 assists in consecutive seasons, joining Maxi Moralez (2018-19), Sacha Kljestan (2016-17) and Sebastian Giovinco (2015-16).
  • Bruce Arena is one of the most decorated coaches in MLS history, and Saturday’s game presents an opportunity to hit a landmark no other coach has ever reached in MLS by winning his 250th regular season game.

Orlando City SC (12-12-6) vs. Toronto FC (9-15-7)

(7:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • Toronto FC travel down to the Sunshine State to face the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions Orlando City SC. The two clubs met earlier this season on May 14 when Kyle Smith scored the lone goal in the 90’+’2 to snatch all three points.
  • Since arriving to MLS, Federico Bernardeschi has scored eight times in his first 10 matches. With two goals, the Italian international would become the sixth player in MLS history to score 10 goals in his first 11 MLS games. Of Bernardeschi’s eight goals, five of them have come from the penalty spot and he has had at least one penalty kick goal in three-straight matches. No player has scored a penalty kick in four-consecutive contests.
  • If Toronto FC wins at Orlando, head coach Bob Bradley would join Sigi Schmid and Bruce Arena as the only coaches in MLS history to produce 10-win seasons 13 times. Bradley will have done this with five different clubs (Chicago Fire FC, New York Red Bulls, Chivas USA and LAFC).
  • Orlando has their own first-year sensation in Facundo Torres who has six goals and nine assists in his debut season. Torres’ 15 goal contributions are the most by an Orlando City player and are also the fourth most by a player in their first MLS season.

Chicago Fire FC (9-14-8) vs. Charlotte FC (11-17-2)

(8 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • The Chicago Fire and Charlotte FC met once before on August 6, with the Fire handing Charlotte a 3-2 loss at home off the back of a Kacper Przybylko brace and Federico Navarro’s second goal of the season.
  • Xherdan Shaqiri brought his goal total for the season up to seven with a pair of penalty kick goals last time out. No other first-year MLS player has contributed more combined goals and assists (18) so far this season than Shaqiri. With a brace against Charlotte, Shaqiri would become the first Fire player to do so in consecutive games since Nemanja Nikolic from May 13-17, 2017.
  • Gabriel Slonina needs three clean sheets to pass Real Salt Lake’s Zac MacMath (18) for the most career clean sheets before turning 22 in MLS history.
  • Yordy Reyna scored within 40 seconds of the last meeting between these sides for his third career goal against the Fire. Reyna’s three goals against the Fire are tied for most by the forward against a single club as he’s done the same against the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Karol Swiderski leads Charlotte with eight goals this season. If the Polish striker reaches 10 before the end of the regular season, Charlotte would be just the sixth expansion club since 2015 and 10th overall to have a player hit the 10-goal milestone in their inaugural season. Swiderski would be the ninth player to score at least 10 goals for an expansion team during their inaugural season since 2015 and 14th overall.

Sporting Kansas City (9-15-7) vs. Minnesota United FC (13-12-6)

(8:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • Sporting Kansas City leads the all-time series against Minnesota United FC, 7-4-4, although the Loons are unbeaten in their past two against Sporting KC. The two clubs played to a 1-1 draw on July 13, 2022, with Sporting KC’s Johnny Russell scoring the game-tying goal for the club in the 63rd minute.
  • Earlier this week, Sporting Kansas City defeated D.C. United, 3-0, to keep their Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs hopes alive. Sporting was led by a trio of goal scorers, Khiry Shelton, Robert Voloder, and Dániel Sallói, as well as a clean sheet from goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. McIntosh became the first Sporting player to produce a shutout in his first career MLS start since Jimmy Nielsen on March 27, 2010.
  • Dániel Sallói ranks second on the team with seven goals and reached 10 goal contributions for the third time in his career. Since the start of 2021, Sallói has 23 goals and 11 assists and is one of only 10 players in MLS with at least 20 goals and 10 assists over the span.
  • Minnesota United FC is winless in their last four matches after playing to a 1-1 draw against LAFC on Tuesday. Midfielder Emanuel Reynoso provided an assist on the lone Loons goal in the match, his 10th of the season. Reynoso has recorded double-digit assists in consecutive seasons and is one of just four players to accomplish the feat, joining Luciano Acosta, Carles Gil, and Hany Mukhtar. Reynoso (10 goals, 10 assists) and Mukhtar (22 goals, 11 assists) are the only players in MLS this season with at least 10 goals and 10 assists.

Austin FC (16-9-6) vs. Nashville SC (12-9-10)

(9 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • Austin FC and Nashville SC meet for the third time in series history, with Nashville having won each of the previous two meetings, including a 3-0 victory on Sept. 3, 2022. Nashville All-Stars Walker Zimmerman and Hany Mukhtar provided the goals for the club in the victory, including Mukhtar’s sixth multi-goal game of the season.
  • Austin FC (54 points, 16-9-6) clinched their first berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with a 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday evening. Austin becomes the second team to clinch a playoff position in the Western Conference, joining LAFC. Austin’s win moved them to 54 points on the season, a 23-point jump after their inaugural season in 2021, passing Nashville SC (22 points) for the second-largest points growth from an expansion team’s first to second season in MLS history.
  • Austin forward Moussa Djitté earned MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire honors for Week 31 after recording the first hat trick in club history. Djitté came on as a substitute in the 58th minute and became the sixth player in MLS history to record a hat trick after entering the match as a sub and the first since Chris Wondolowski for the San Jose Earthquakes nearly 12 year ago on Oct. 20, 2010. Djitté was just the second player to record a hat trick when coming on in the 55th minute or later (LA Galaxy’s Harut Karapetyan on June 4, 1998, 78th minute).
  • Saturday’s meeting brings together the top two contenders for the Golden Boot presented by Audi and the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award - Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar and Austin FC’s Sebastián Driussi. Mukhtar leads the league with 22 goals and 33 goal contributions and is one goal contribution away from tying Chris Wondolowski (34 in 2012) for the fifth-most goal contributions in a single-season in MLS history. Driussi’s 27 goal contributions (20 goals, seven assists) have smashed almost every record set in Austin’s inaugural 2021 MLS season.
  • Nashville SC (46 points, 12-9-10) currently sits in fourth place in the Western Conference and looks to solidify their playoff position with a win this week. Nashville is unbeaten in their last five matches, going 4-0-1 over the span, including a 1-1 draw last week against the LA Galaxy.
  • Mukhtar has six goals in his last three matches and 10 goals and five assists in his last seven in MLS play. With a goal or assist, he would join Driussi (11) and Diego Rubio (eight) as the only players to contribute to a goal in eight-straight games this season.

Real Salt Lake (11-10-10) vs. FC Cincinnati (10-8-12)

(9:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • FC Cincinnati travel to America First Field for the first time in their club’s history on Saturday evening to take on Real Salt Lake, with both teams needing a win in their Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs pursuit. The two teams have only met once in their history – a 3-0 win for the Claret and Cobalt on April 19, 2019.
  • In their previous 16 MLS matches, Cincinnati has lost just one of them (4W, 11D), even though they have not won consecutive games in that stretch. This span was capped off by a dominant 6-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, which was the most goals ever scored in club history.
  • The Orange and Blue are looking to continue one of the best ‘worst to first’ seasons in MLS history. Cincinnati has gained 22 points from last season and need six more to tie the 2012 Earthquakes for the fifth-largest year-to-year point-jump in MLS history. The 10 wins, 42 points, and 54 goals in 2022 are all club records.
  • Real Salt Lake have gone three straight matches without a goal for the first time since 2017 and will aim to snap their scoreless run at home. RSL need six points to produce their most in a season since they had 53 in 2019.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10-14-7) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (12-15-3)

(10 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • Vancouver and Seattle meet for the 32nd time in series history, with the Sounders holding a 16-7-8 series advantage. Seattle is unbeaten in their last 13 matches against the Whitecaps, going 9-0-4 over the span, including a 4-0 victory on June 14, 2022. In that match, Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz registered his first of two braces this season, while Kelyn Rowe provided a pair of assists.
  • The Whitecaps (37 points, 10-14-7) snapped a three-game losing streak and kept their postseason hopes alive with a 3-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Wednesday evening. In that match, Whitecaps defender Julian Gressel recorded an assist, his seventh of the season and the 60th of his MLS career. Gressel is one of only eight active players in MLS to reach 60 career assists and he is the fourth player this season to eclipse the milestone, joining Nicolás Lodeiro, Luciano Acosta, & Diego Fagúndez.
  • The Sounders (39 points, 12-15-3) have won consecutive games for the first time this season as they look to remain in the postseason picture. Last week, the club defeated Austin FC 3-0 behind a pair of goals from Raúl Ruidíaz. Seattle has won at least three consecutive matches in each of the previous 13 seasons in club history and will look to extend that streak against Vancouver.
  • Ruidíaz, who leads the Sounders with nine goals this season in just 17 matches, has scored eight goals in eight career matches against Vancouver, including in each of his past five games against the club. He is the all-time leading scorer in Sounders history with 59 career goals for the club.

LA Galaxy (11-12-7) vs. Colorado Rapids (10-12-9)

(10:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • The Galaxy and Rapids, two of MLS’ original clubs, have met 80 times in series history, with the Galaxy leading the all-time series 37-31-12. However, the Rapids have owned the recent history between the two clubs and are unbeaten in their last eight against the Galaxy, going 6-0-2 over the span.
  • The LA Galaxy (40 points, 11-12-7) had their six-game unbeaten streak snapped with a 3-0 loss to Vancouver on Wednesday. LA currently sits in the eighth position in the Western Conference and will be looking for a win to stay in contention. After scoring two or more goals in six consecutive matches from August 6 through September 4, the Galaxy have scored just one goal across the last two games.
  • The Galaxy will look to Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández to help right the offensive ship, as the star forward has scored seven goals in his last eight regular season matches. Since the start of the 2021 season, Chicharito (31 goals) is one of only four players in MLS with at least 30 goals over the span, joining Hany Mukhtar (38), Taty Castellanos (32), and Cristian Arango (30).
  • Rapids forward Diego Rubio scored in the last meeting between the two clubs on July 16, 2022 and has goals in each of his last two matches overall. Rubio has 14 goals this season and trails only Conor Casy (16 goals in 2009) for the most goals in a single season in Rapids history. With a goal on Wednesday, Rubio recorded his 21st goal contribution (14 goals, seven assists) this season, tying Mark Chung (21 in 2002) and John Spencer (21 in 2001) for the most goal contributions in a single season in club history.

San Jose Earthquakes (7-14-9) vs. FC Dallas (13-8-10)

(10:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • The San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas close out the Saturday night slate with the 70th meeting between the two clubs. The Earthquakes lead the all-time series, 29-21-19, though FC Dallas is unbeaten in their last three in the series, going 1-0-2 over the span. FC Dallas recorded a 4-1 victory over the Earthquakes on August 13, behind a brace from Jesús Ferreira.
  • The Earthquakes (30 points, 7-14-9) have been eliminated from postseason contention.
  • Earthquakes forward Jeremy Ebobisse leads the club with 15 goals this season and is one of just five different players in club history to reach 15 goals in a single season, joining Chris Wondolowski (five times), Landon Donovan, Ariel Graziani, and Ronald Cerritos.
  • FC Dallas (49 points, 13-8-10) currently sits in third place in the Western Conference and is on the verge of securing a berth in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. The club has won consecutive matches, including a 2-1 victory over LAFC last week in which Jesús Ferreira recorded two goals. Ferreira has a career-best 18 goals this season, including three goals in his past two games and six across his past five in MLS play. Ferreira is tied for the club’s regular season record of 18 goals set by Jason Kreis in 1999 and equaled by Kenny Cooper in 2008.
  • Ferreira needs two goals to join Stern John (26 in 1998) and Mamadou Diallo (22 in 2000) as the only players in MLS history to score at least 20 goals in a single season at the age of 21 years old or younger.
  • With his next goal, Paul Arriola would reach 10 on the season and FC Dallas would have two players (Arriola and Ferreira) score at least 10 goals in the same season for the first time since Maximiliano Urruti (12) and Roland Lamah (11) in 2017.

Sunday, September 18

Columbus Crew (9-7-14) vs. Portland Timbers (11-8-12)

(1 p.m. ET, ESPN / ESPN Deportes)

  • The 2015 MLS Cup finalists Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew will meet for the seventh time since the start of 2015 when the Timbers travel to Ohio. Portland has won five of the past six games against Columbus, including a 3-1 victory in their latest matchup on April 20, 2019.
  • The Timbers have excelled in close games after winning each of their last four matches by one goal. Only four teams in MLS history have won at least five straight matches by a single goal, with the New York Red Bulls the most recent team to do so in 2012.
  • Portland’s creative trio of Yimmi Chara (nine), Sebastián Blanco (nine) and Eryk Williamson (eight) are approaching MLS history, as they could become the 11th group in MLS history to have three different players with at least 10 assists in a season. Of that group, Williamson has been effective in limited minutes, producing the second-best assists per 90 minutes rate (0.68) in the league among players who have recorded at least 1,000 minutes.
  • Columbus aims to bounce back from their second loss since May 21 when they fell 2-1 on Tuesday night to Inter Miami CF after the game was delayed by weather. Fortunately for the Crew, they have been one of the best defensive teams at home, allowing just 13 goals at Field, which is tied for the third fewest in MLS.
  • With one goal, Lucas Zelarayán would become the third player in Crew history with at least 10 goals and 10 assists in a single regular season after Jeff Cunningham in 2000 (10 goals, 13 assists) and Ethan Finlay in 2015 (12 goals, 13 assists). In 2022, only two other players have produced 10 goals and 10 assists – Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar and Minnesota United FC’s Emanuel Reynoso.

D.C. United (7-18-6) vs. Inter Miami CF (11-13-6)

(5 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • Inter Miami travels North this weekend to take on D.C. United for the fifth time ever since joining the league in 2020. Miami is winless in their last four games against United (0-3-1), and their only point against them came back on May 14 when they drew 2-2 in Miami.
  • Gonzalo Higuaín has scored Inter Miami’s last four goals, including both against the Crew on Tuesday. Only MVP candidates Hany Mukhtar (10) and Dániel Gazdag (nine) have scored more goals than Higuaín’s eight since July 30.
  • Higuaín is one goal short of setting a new single season club record for goals scored while Miami are just three points away from breaking their club record for most points in a single season (41 in 2021).
  • With another hat trick this season, D.C. United’s Taxiarchis “Taxi” Fountas would become the fifth player in club history to score multiple hat tricks in their career for the club.

LAFC (19-8-4) vs. Houston Dynamo FC (9-16-6)

(10:30 p.m. ET, MLS LIVE on ESPN+)

  • After falling to second in the Supporters’ Shield standings, LAFC host Houston Dynamo FC for the second time in the span of 19 days. In the matchup on August 31, Houston claimed a 2-1 victory with goals from Griffin Dorsey and Sebastián Ferreira. The win was their first against LAFC in Dynamo history.
  • LAFC will hope that a return home can get them back into form after they have won only one of their previous six matches. LAFC’s 12 wins at Banc of California Stadium are the most by a team at home in MLS and their 36 goals are the third most.
  • With three games left in the season, Steve Cherundolo’s team will need to win each match to become the fourth different team in MLS history to hit 70 points. Additionally, if they were to win all three, they would tie the New England Revolution (2021) and New York Red Bulls (2018) for the most wins in a season since the shootout era with 22.
  • In the club’s 1-1 draw with Minnesota United FC, Cristian Tello made his MLS debut when he came off the bench for 28 minutes. The Spanish international has scored 70 goals in European competitions, including nine in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
  • Kenny Bundy’s debut as the interim head coach for the Dynamo on Tuesday night was a successful one as Houston defeated the New England Revolution 3-1. Bundy joined Wilmer Cabrera and Dominic Kinnear as the only head coaches or interim head coaches in Houston history to win their first MLS match in charge.
  • In the 3-1 win, Houston’s Fafa Picault scored two of the three goals, marking his second brace of the season and the sixth of his career. Picault has now recorded at least seven goals in four of his six MLS seasons.