Below is a selection of the notable performances and moments from the 13 matches played on the third matchday of the 2023 MLS season, Saturday, March 11.
Matchday 3 action concludes this evening as LAFC host the New England Revolution at BMO Stadium (10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).
St. Louis CITY SC Continues Sensational Start, Moves to 3-0-0
In just three matches of MLS play, St. Louis CITY SC has set the league aflame and are currently sitting atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with nine points (3-0-0) following a 2-1 road victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
St. Louis joins the 2009 Seattle Sounders as the only expansion clubs in MLS history to win each of their first three matches in league play. The club has scored multiple goals in each of their first three games and their eight goals are the most in MLS through the first three matchdays of the season, two more than the next closest teams (six, Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders FC).
Facing a near-immediate 1-0 deficit, St. Louis leveled the score in first-half extra time as midfielder Jared Stroud scored his second goal in three matches. With the score knotted 1-1 in the 75th minute, defender Kyle Hiebert recorded his first career MLS score with a header off an Eduard Löwen free kick to give the club their historic victory.
All three of St. Louis’ victories have been of the comeback variety and both of the club’s road wins are the result of late-match comebacks, as their inaugural 3-2 win at Austin FC was driven by two goals scored after the 75th minute.
18-Year-Old Caleb Wiley Dazzles for The Five Stripes
Atlanta United defender Caleb Wiley had a memorable first half against Charlotte FC to kick off Matchday 3. Wiley scored two goals and added an assist in the match, all coming in the first half of Atlanta’s 3-0 road victory at Bank of America Stadium.
At 18 years and 79 days old, Wiley became the fourth-youngest player in MLS history to produce at least three goal contributions in a single half of a match and the youngest since Alphonso Davies (17 years, 268 days old) recorded two goals and two assists on July 28, 2018 vs. Minnesota United FC. The Homegrown defender is also the youngest player in MLS history to produce at least two goals and one assist in the first half of a game, besting former FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi (18 years, 232 days on August 29, 2021).
Late-Game Heroics Keep Union’s Home-Winning Streak Alive
Philadelphia Union offseason acquisition Joaquín Torres provided a spark off the bench yet again in the club’s 1-0 victory versus Chicago Fire FC. Torres’ goal was the difference in the Union’s home victory, which marked the club’s 11th consecutive regular season win at Subaru Park. Only the 2001-02 San Jose Earthquakes (12 consecutive home wins) have recorded a longer regular season home winning streak in MLS history.
For Torres, he is proving to be quite the super sub for Philadelphia, as he has now scored or assisted in two of his three appearances off the bench in 2023. The Union acquired Torres in a trade with CF Montréal on January 26, 2023.
Austin FC’s Owen Wolff Makes Familial History in 2-1 Win vs. RSL
With his goal in the 33rd minute of Saturday’s 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake, Austin FC midfielder Owen Wolff opened up his MLS account and joined his father, Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff, as the eighth father-son duo to each record a goal in MLS history.
Josh, who played with three different clubs across 14 different MLS seasons, scored 80 goals in 267 career matches for the Chicago Fire, Kansas City Wizards, and D.C. United.
Owen, who was 18 years, 72 days old on Saturday, is the youngest player to score in MLS this season.
Below is the full list of father-son duos to score in MLS:
• Alex Bunbury and Teal Bunbury
• David Ferreira and Jesús Ferreira
• John Harkes and Ian Harkes
• Roy Lassiter and Ariel Lassiter
• Onandi Lowe and Damion Lowe
• Scott Sealy and Dante Sealy
• Adolfo Valencia and José Adolfo Valencia
• Josh Wolff and Owen Wolff
Brenner Breaks Loose to Silence Seattle’s Superb Start
In the 63rd minute, FC Cincinnati striker Brenner received a pass from Junior Moreno near the top of the 18-yard box, took a quick touch, and rocketed a right-footed strike past a diving Seattle goalkeeper for what proved to be the game-winning goal in the club’s 1-0 victory against the streaking Seattle Sounders.
Brenner, who earned MLS Player of the Month honors in September/October 2022, ended his 2022 campaign on a tear and is picking up right where he left off. Since June 1, 2022, Brenner’s 19 goals are the most in Major League Soccer over the span and two more than the next two closest players, Philadelphia’s Dániel Gazdag and Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar, who have 17 goals each since that date.
Joe Willis Preserves Clean Sheet Streak in Nashville
With a 2-0 shutout victory over CF Montréal, Nashville SC goalkeeper Joe Willis etched his name into MLS ‘keeper lore by recording his third clean sheet in as many games this season.
Willis is the seventh different goalkeeper in MLS history to record three clean sheets in each of his club’s first three matches of the season. No ‘keeper has recorded four consecutive clean sheets to start a season in MLS history.
Willis and Nashville SC (7 points, 2-0-1) will look to make history next week as they aim to preserve their shutout streak against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, March 18 (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).