MLS preseason 2022: LAFC dismantle New York Red Bulls, Inter Miami win Carolina Challenge Cup

With MLS is Back weekend rapidly approaching, over half of the league's 28 teams had preseason scrimmages on Saturday.

Here's how everyone fared as preparations are fine-tuned for MLS Week 1 on Feb. 26-27.

LAFC 6, New York Red Bulls 1

LAFC blew past the New York Red Bulls in the Coachella Valley Invitational, earning a 6-1 win Saturday behind a brace from Brian Rodriguez.

The Uruguay international scored twice in the first half, then set up Carlos Vela’s strike just after halftime, to send the Black & Gold into MLS Week 1 in style. Aside from those Designated Player combinations, head coach Steve Cherundolo’s group also got second-half goals from center back Mamadou Fall and winger Kwadwo Opoku.

RBNY actually took an early lead through striker Patryk Klimala, who deposited a penalty kick in the 9th minute after Omir Fernandez was felled in the box. But Gerhard Struber’s team couldn’t bounce back as LAFC ripped their defense apart.


  • 9’ — RBNY — Patryk Klimala
  • 28’ — LAFC — Brian Rodriguez
  • 31’ — LAFC — Own goal
  • 34’ — LAFC — Brian Rodriguez
  • 46’ — LAFC — Carlos Vela
  • 58’ — LAFC — Mamadou Fall
  • 60’ — LAFC — Kwadwo Opoku


  • LAFC starting XI: Maxime Crepeau - Franco Escobar, Jesus David Murillo, Mamadou Fall, Diego Palacios - Kellyn Acosta, Ilie Sanchez, Jose Cifuentes - Brian Rodriguez, Carlos Vela, Kwado Opoku
  • RBNY starting XI: Carlos Coronel - Aaron Long, Sean Nealis, John Tolkin, Frankie Amaya, Cristian Cásseres Jr., Caden Clark, Daniel Edelman, Omir Fernandez, Patryk Klimala, Lewis Morgan

Inter Miami CF 2, Charlotte FC 1

Inter Miami CF won the Carolina Challenge Cup preseason tournament after beating expansion side Charlotte FC, 2-1, on Saturday.

Miami opened the scoring through striker Leonardo Campana in the 25th minute, with the offseason U22 Initiative acquisition knocking home a cross from DeAndre Yedlin on the second attempt.

Then Gonzalo Higuain doubled Miami’s advantage in the 50th minute, with the Designated Player calmly depositing a left-footed finish off wingback Noah Allen’s cross.

Charlotte got a late lifeline when former Miami defender Christian Makoun scored a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time, but time ran out on a possible equalizer.


  • 25’ — MIA — Leonardo Campana
  • 50’ — MIA — Gonzalo Higuaín
  • 91’ — CLT — Christian Makoun (PK)


  • Charlotte starting XI: Kristijan Kahlina - Anton Walkes, Guzman Corujo, Christian Makoun, Joseph Mora, Jaylin Lindsey - Sergio Ruiz, Brandt Bronico - Titi Ortiz, Yordy Reyna, McKinze Gaines
  • Miami starting XI: Clément Diop - DeAndre Yedlin, Jairo Quinteros, Damion Lowe, Christopher McVey, Noah Allen - Jean Mota, Gregore, George Acosta - Leonardo Campana, Gonzalo Higuaín

FC Dallas 2, Houston Dynamo FC 1

FC Dallas defeated Texas Derby rival Houston Dynamo FC by a 2-1 scoreline to conclude their preseason preparations at Toyota Stadium.

The hosts staked a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute through homegrown forward Jesus Ferreira, who latched onto Jáder Obrian’s through ball and deposited past Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark.

FCD then doubled their advantage in the 57th minute, with Obrian again turning provider in a one-two combination that homegrown midfielder Paxton Pomykal curled inside the far post.

Houston got on the scoreboard in the 75th minute through winger Corey Baird, who was quickest to a miscleared Fafa Picault cross, nodding a snap header past goalkeeper Maarten Paes.


  • 4’ — DAL — Jesus Ferreira
  • 57’ — DAL — Paxton Pomykal
  • 75’ — HOU — Corey Baird


  • Dallas starting XI: Maarten Paes - Marco Farfan, José Martínez, Matt Hedges, Ema Twumasi - Edwin Cerrillo, Brandon Servania, Paxton Pomykal - Jáder Obrian, Paul Arriola, Jesús Ferreira
  • Houston starting XI: Steve Clark - Adam Lundqvist, Daniel Steres, Tim Parker, Griffin Dorsey - Memo Rodríguez, Matías Vera, Adalberto Carrasquilla - Fafa Picault, Sebastián Ferreira, Corey Baird

Portland Timbers 3, Real Salt Lake 0

Behind three second-half goals, the Portland Timbers cruised past Real Salt Lake 3-0 on Saturday at Providence Park to conclude their preseason tournament.

Timbers midfielder Cristhian Paredes opened the scoring in the 72nd minute by slamming home a deflected Yimmi Chara cross from the right-hand side. Then Portland quickly assumed a 2-0 lead in the 76th minute when striker Jaroslaw Niezgoda deposited a penalty kick he earned.

To conclude the scoring, Portland center back Bill Tuiloma rifled home a free kick in the 92nd minute from atop the box.


  • 72’ — POR — Cristhian Paredes
  • 74’ — POR — Jaroslaw Niezgoda (PK)
  • 90’+2’ — POR — Bill Tuiloma


  • Portland starting XI: Aljaz Ivacic - Josecarlos Van Rankin, Zac McGraw, Bill Tuiloma, Claudio Bravo - Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes, Santiago Moreno, Yimmi Chara - Dairon Asprilla, Jaroslaw Niezgoda
  • RSL starting XI: David Ochoa - Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Erik Holt, Tate Schmitt, Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz, Maikel Chang, Justin Meram, Bobby Wood, Jonathan Menendez

Austin FC 0, Chicago Fire FC 1

On the same day they acquired winger Jairo Torres as a Young Designated Player, Chicago Fire FC beat Austin FC 1-0 at St. David’s Performance Center in Austin, Texas.

Chicago went ahead when Paraguay international midfielder Gastón Giménez launched a long-range blast in the 6th minute that caught Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver off his line.

That stood as the only goal, as Chicago posted their third shutout in four preseason matches.


  • 6’ — CHI — Gastón Giménez


  • Austin starting XI: Brad Stuver - Nick Lima, Julio Cascante, Jhohan Romana, Zan Kolmanic - Daniel Pereira, Alex Ring, Sebastian Driussi - Cecilio Dominguez, Maxi Urruti, Diego Fagundez
  • Chicago starting XI: Gabriel Slonina - Boris Sekulic, Carlos Terán, Rafael Czichos, Miguel Navarro - Mauricio Pineda, Gastón Giménez, Fabian Herbers - Brian Gutierrez, Carlos Durán, Kacper Przybylko

LA Galaxy 2, D.C. United 2

The LA Galaxy and D.C. United settled for a 2-2 draw Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park, highlighted by two equalizers from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for the hosts.

Mexico’s all-time leading scorer punched back in the 26th and 74th minutes, tucking one-time finishes past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

The Black-and-Red got goals in the 14th minute from center back Steve Birnbaum and striker Michael Estrada in the 58th minute. Both tallies were assisted by wingback Julian Gressel.


  • 14’ — DC — Steve Birnbaum
  • 26’ — LA — Chicharito
  • 58’ — DC — Michael Estrada
  • 74’ — LA — Chicharito


  • LA starting XI: Jonathan Bond - Kelvin Leerdam, Nick DePuy, Séga Coulibaly, Raheem Edwards - Mark Delgado, Rayan Raveloson, Samuel Grandsir, Efraín Álvarez, Kévin Cabral - Javier Hernández
  • D.C. starting XI: Bill Hamid - Steven Birnbaum, Brendan Hines-Ike, Andy Najar, Julian Gressel, Brad Smith - Moses Nyeman, Russell Canouse, Edison Flores, Griffin Yow - Michael Estrada

Sporting Kansas City 1, Toronto FC 1

Sporting Kansas City and Toronto FC battled to a 1-1 draw Saturday at St. David’s Performance Center in Austin, Texas as preseason preparations wind down.

SKC went ahead in the 73rd minute through Daniel Salloi, continuing the Hungarian winger’s strong preseason form. But Toronto equalized in the 89th minute through forward Hugo Mbongue, creating the final-whistle stalemate.


  • 73’ — SKC — Daniel Salloi
  • 89’ — TOR — Hugo Mbongue


No lineup information provided

Minnesota United FC 2, Viking FK 2

Led by goals from Luis Amarilla and Robin Lod, Minnesota United FC clawed back a 2-2 draw against Swedish first-division side Viking FK on Saturday at Portland’s Providence Park.

Amarilla, back in Minnesota as a Designated Player, finished from close range and Lod curled home a left-footed shot from outside the penalty area. Both goals were scored in the second half.


  • 1H — VFC
  • 2H — MIN — Luis Amarilla
  • 2H — VFC
  • 2H — MIN — Robin Lod


No lineup information provided

Orlando City SC 3, Tampa Bay Rowdies 1

Behind goals from Tesho Akindele, Mauricio Pereyra and Jack Lynn, Orlando City SC beat local USL Championship side Tampa Bay Rowdies, 3-1, on Saturday at Exploria Stadium.

No lineup information was provided.