Below is a selection of the notable performances and moments from the 13 matches played on the 17th matchday of the 2023 MLS season, Saturday, June 3.
FC Cincinnati Makes MLS History with Dominance at Home
FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta scored his seventh goal of the season in the 83rd minute to lead the club to a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night, the club's sixth consecutive victory. With the win, FC Cincinnati became the first MLS club since the Philadelphia Union in 2020 to win their first nine home matches of a season and sit just one shy of tying the MLS record for the most consecutive home victories to start a season, held by the 2002 San Jose Earthquakes (10 wins).
Additionally, Cincinnati became the first club in MLS history (excluding the shootout era) to reach 39 points in the first 16 matches of a season. With their victory, FC Cincinnati (39 points, 12-1-3) currently leads both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters' Shield standings by an eight-point margin.
St. Louis CITY SC’s Stellar Scoring Continues
On Saturday night, St. Louis CITY SC captured their third consecutive win with a 3-0 victory over Houston Dynamo FC, also marking the third consecutive game in which the club has scored three or more goals. Leading the scoring for the expansion club in their victorious effort was Tomás Ostrák, Nicholas Gioacchini, and Eduard Löwen, who scored in his third consecutive match.
Totaling a Western Conference-best 32 goals this season, St. Louis has scored three-or-more goals in eight of their 14 matches this season. The only team to record more games with three-or-more goals through their first 14 matches of a season is the 1998 LA Galaxy, who accomplished the feat nine times en route to the Supporters’ Shield that season.
Only three expansion teams in MLS history have recorded more games with three-or-more goals across a single season: 2017 Atlanta United (12), 1998 Chicago Fire (10), and 2018 LAFC (nine).
Hany Mukhtar Strikes Again for Nashville SC
Nashville SC extended their unbeaten run in MLS play to eight matches with a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas, with reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar scoring the game-winning goal in the 77th minute.
Mukhtar is tied for the league-lead with 10 goals and is tied for third in MLS with seven assists this season, marking his third consecutive season with at least 10 goals and five assists. Mukhtar is the only active player with at least 10 goals and five assists in each of the last three seasons (2021-23). Columbus’ Lucas Zelarayán, who has seven goals and seven assists this season, is the only other player to have accomplished the feat in both 2021 and 2022.
Seattle Sounders Frei Hits the Century Mark
Appearing in his 363rd career MLS match on Saturday, Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei reached a historic milestone in the club’s scoreless draw against the rival Portland Timbers on Matchday 17.
Frei, who leads MLS with nine clean sheets in 17 matches in 2023, registered his 100th career shutout in MLS regular season play, becoming the third goalkeeper in league history to reach the century milestone. Frei joins Nick Rimando (154 clean sheets) and Kevin Hartman (112) as the only ‘keepers to reach the milestone.
Columbus Crew Score Early and Often in First-Half Action
Led by Christian Ramírez, who reigstered a brace with goals in both halves (5’, 59’), the Columbus Crew recorded their second consecutive win with a 4-2 victory over Charlotte FC. Including three first-half goals on Saturday night, Columbus has scored an MLS-leading 19 first-half goals this season.
Cucho Hernández scored a goal and tallied an assist on the first of Ramirez’s two goals to become the first Crew player to contribute to a goal in seven straight games in a single season since Edson Buddle (August-September 2003).