It was a packed slate of matches on Saturday as the 2021 MLS preseason keeps churning along, with teams across the league continuing their preparation for the fast-approaching league season.
A few players chipped in with highlight-reel goals, including Austin FC Designated Player Tomás Pochettino and Sporting Kansas City homegrown Gianluca Busio, who provided the best highlights of the day with a pair of rocket golazos. The LAFC duo of Eduard Atuesta and Diego Rossi was also up to their usual tricks, helping lead LAFC to a late comeback result in their match against the New England Revolution.
Check out the full recap from around the league below.
Houston Dynamo FC 3, Austin FC 2
Tomás Pochettino put Austin on the board first with a gorgeous, free-kick golazo in the 16th minute. Picault would find the leveler in the 53rd minute though, with Urruti providing a go-ahead volley just three minutes after that.
After Austin struck for a leveler in the 66th minute from Austin's Rodney Redes, Picault would find the winner with a finish at the back end of a counterattack, giving the Dynamo the 3-2 victory over their new in-state rivals.
- 16' - ATX - Tomás Pochettino
- 53' - HOU - Fafa Picault
- 56' - HOU- Maxi Urruti
- 66' - ATX - Rodney Redes
- 71' - HOU - Fafa Picault
Austin FC starting XI: Tarbell, Besler, Lima, Aomana, Sweat, Pereiaa, Pochettino, Ring, Dominguez, Hoesen, Redes
Houston Dynamo FC starting XI: Ceren, Jones, Jungua, Lundkvist, Maric, Parker, Pasher, Picault, Urruti, Valentin, Vera
Chicago Fire FC 2, Orlando City SC 2
The Fire now return to Chicago for a final pair of friendlies ahead of their regular season opener against the New England Revolution on April 17. The club will face their USL League One affiliate Forward Madison FC on April 7 and the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 10, both times at SeatGeek Stadium.
Orlando, meanwhile, have a scrimmage against USL Championship side Miami FC on April 6 and a closed-door match against Minnesota United on April 9 to close out their preseason slate.
- CHI - Przemysław Frankowski
- CHI - Luka Stojanovic
- ORL - Chris Mueller
- ORL - Benji Michel
Chicago Fire FC starting XI: Berić, Bornstein, Frankowski, Giménez, Kappelhof, Medrán, Navarro, Omsberg, Sekulić, Shuttleworth, Stojanović
Orlando City SC: No lineup information was provided for this scrimmage
Minnesota United 3, FC Cincinnati 1
Three out of the four combined goals in the match were scored via penalty kick, with McMaster's the only one that came from open play.
Reynoso got Minnesota's first goal from the spot, giving the Loons a 1-0 first-half lead.
After Finlay struck for another penalty kick to start the second half, FC Cincinnati got their only goal of the match courtesy of big-money new striker Brenner, who also slotted home a finish from the spot to bring Cincy within 2-1. McMaster would ensure the Loons would emerge victorious, however, scoring his second goal of the preseason to give Minnesota the 3-1 lead that would hold as the final.
- MIN - Emanuel Reynoso (PK)
- MIN - Ethan Finlay (PK)
- CIN - Brenner (PK)
- MIN - Justin McMaster
Minnesota United starting XI: Miller, Taylor, Kallman, Boxall, Gasper, Alonso, Trapp, Finlay, Reynoso, Hansen, Langsdorf
FC Cincinnati: No lineup information was provided for this scrimmage
Sporting Kansas City 1, LA Galaxy 0
A screamer from Gianluca Busio was all Sporting Kansas City needed to take a 1-0 victory over the Galaxy in the exhibition slate between the sides in Tuscon, Arizona.
Busio uncorked a perfectly placed left-footed strike into the top corner in the 33rd minute for the game's only goal. The 18-year-old is expected to play as the club's primary No. 10 this season, and has said that he feels part of that responsibility includes stuffing the statsheet with more regularity, so the golazo will certainly be a positive early sign for head coach Peter Vermes.
- 33' - SKC - Gianluca Busio
- Sporting Kansas City starting XI: Melia; Lindsey, Isimat-Mirin, Fontas, Martins; Ilie, Busio, Walter; Shelton, Harris, Cisneros
- LA Galaxy starting XI: Bond, Neal, Steres, Araujo, Villafana, Zubak, Klljestan, Harvey, Aguirre, Dunbar, Hernandez
LAFC 2, New England Revolution 2
LAFC and the New England Revolution battled to a 2-2 draw in a scrimmage between the sides at LAFC's Banc of California Stadium.
LAFC's star duo of Eduard Atuesta and Diego Rossi would power the comeback for the hosts though, as Atuesta struck for the first in the 63rd minute before Rossi cashed home a point-blank finish right before the final whistle to salvage the 2-2 draw.
- NE - Gustavo Bou
- NE - Adam Buksa
- LAFC - Eduard Atuesta
- LAFC - Diego Rossi
- LAFC starting XI: Sisneiga, Palacios, Segura, Murillo, Blackmon, Blessing, Atuesta, Cifuentes, Rossi, Vela, Baird
- New England starting XI: Turner; Jones, Bell, Farrell, Bye, Maciel, McNamara, Polster, Gil, Bou, Buksa
Real Salt Lake 3, Colorado Rapids 0
Damir Kreilach struck for a brace and Anderson Julio added a goal to lift Real Salt Lake to a 3-0 win over Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids in the Visit Tucson Sun Cup Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.
Julio opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a goal in his second consecutive preseason match. Andrew Brody, who helped set up Julio's goal, was taken down in the box a minute before halftime and Kreilach converted from the penalty spot to double RSL's lead heading into the break.
Kreilach then put the game away in the 77th minute, pouncing on a rebound of a saved Rubio Rubin shot.
Both teams return to action Wednesday, with RSL facing Phoenix Rising FC, while Colorado take on the LA Galaxy.
- 12’ — RSL — Anderson Julio
- 44’ — RSL — Damir Kreilach (PK)
- 77’ — RSL — Damir Kreilach
Real Salt Lake: Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody, Erik Holt, Marcelo Silva, Donny Toia; Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz; Anderson Julio (Bode Davis 86’), Damir Kreilach (Milan Iloski 87’), Justin Meram (Chris Garcia 80’); Rubio Rubin.
Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry, Lalas Abubakar (Drew Moor 73'), Danny Wilson (Auston Trusty 73'), Steven Beitashour (Oliver Larraz 73'); Jack Price, Cole Bassett; Nicolas Mezquida (Nicolas Benezet 73'), Younes Namli (Yaya Toure 85'), Michael Barrios (Collen Warner 73'); Andre Shinyashiki.