Below is a selection of the notable performances and moments from the 13 matches played on the 32nd matchday of the 2023 MLS season on Saturday, September 16.
Matchday 32 concludes on Sunday evening, as the Portland Timbers travel to Austin FC (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).
Orlando City SC Roars to 4-3 Come-From-Behind Victory
After falling behind 3-1 late in the second half, Orlando City SC, behind the sensational play of Martín Ojeda, Facundo Torres, and Ramiro Enrique, stormed back with three late-game goals to steal a 4-3 victory in front of a raucous home crowd.
Enrique made his mark felt late in the game, leveling the score at 3-3 in the 86th minute (Watch Here) before scoring the game-winning goal in the 97th minute (Watch Here). With the pair of scores, Enrique became the first player in club history to score both a game-tying and game-winning goal in the 85th minute or later of a match and just the second player to accomplish the feat this year, joining Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada, who accomplished the feat in the club’s season opener on February 25.
Continuing a strong MLS debut season, Ojeda added a goal and an assist in the victorious effort, including an assist on Torres’ 73rd minute score. The game was Ojeda’s fourth this season with at least one goal and assist, setting a new club record.
After coming on in the 57th minute, Torres scored his 12th goal of the season and the 21st of his MLS career in the 73rd minute (Watch Here). With the score, Torres tied Chris Mueller for the fifth-most regular-season goals in club history.
Atlanta’s Attack Overpowers Inter Miami
Facing a red-hot Inter Miami squad, Atlanta United brought their A-game to A-town as the club tied their season-high with five goals in a 5-2 victory in front of 71,635 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta handed Inter Miami their first loss in any competition since July 15.
After falling behind 1-0 in the 25th minute courtesy of a Leonardo Campana goal, Atlanta roared back with three goals in an eight-minute span, including scores by Tristan Muyumba and Brooks Lennon alongside a Miami own goal. In the 76th minute, sensational striker Giorgos Giakoumakis added to the Five Stripes goal total with his club-high 14th goal of the year, a total that also ties him with Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar and LAFC’s Dénis Bouanga for the most in MLS in 2023. Giakoumakis now has the fourth-most single-season goals in club history, trailing only Josef Martínez who owns each of the top three goal totals in club history.
Giakoumakis’ goal was assisted by newcomer Saba Lobjanidze, who had entered the match just two minutes earlier. Lobjanidze added his second assist of the match on Tyler Wolff’s goal in the 89th minute and in doing so, became the first player in club history to record multiple assists after entering a match as a substitute.
Whitecaps Duo Pull Vancouver to Victory
Vancouver Whitecaps FC recorded the club’s third win in four games as midfielder Ryan Gauld assisted forward Brian White in the 66th minute for the game-winning goal. It was the sixth goal the pair of Gauld and White have combined for in 2023, tying three other duos for the second-most productive pair in MLS regular-season action this year.
With the goal, White surpassed Fredy Montero for the second-most regular-season goals in Whitecaps history with 27 in 78 appearances. Only Camilo Sanvezzo's 39 goals stand between White and the club record.
Additionally, Gauld’s assist was his ninth of the 2023 season, which marks the fourth-most assists in a single MLS regular-season in club history. Gauld and White will look to combine their forces as they aim for another victory on Wednesday, September 20 when they travel to Houston Dynamo FC (8:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).
Bouanga and Vela Power LAFC to El Tráfico Victory
Behind a pair of goals from MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi co-leader Dénis Bouanga and two assists from Carlos Vela, LAFC scored twice in the 75th and 84th minutes to outlast their crosstown rivals, the LA Galaxy, in a 4-2 victory at BMO Stadium. In four matches across MLS regular-season play and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2023, the rivals split the season series with two victories apiece.
Leading the charge for the defending MLS Cup champions was Bouanga, whose pair of goals moved him into a tie atop the Golden Boot leaderboard with Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar and Atlanta United’s Giorgos Giakoumakis. Bouanga’s second goal was his 14th of the 2023 season and moved him into a tie for the fourth-most goals in a single season in LAFC history.
Assisting Bouanga’s first goal was club legend Carlos Vela, who also provided the assist on Ryan Hollingshead’s 33rd-minute score. The two assists took Vela’s season total to 10 helpers, which marks his fourth season with at least 10 assists. The former MVP is the fourth active player to record four or more seasons with at least 10 assists, joining Nico Lodeiro (six), Luciano Acosta (five), and Carles Gil (four).
Ebobisse & Espinoza Climb the Earthquakes’ Charts
The San Jose Earthquakes defeated Real Salt Lake in Matchday 32 action behind goals from forward Jeremy Ebobisse and defender Rodrigues, with midfielder Cristian Espinoza providing the assists on both goals.
Espinoza recorded his ninth and 10th assists of the MLS regular season, becoming just the fourth player in the club’s history to contribute at least 10 goals and 10 assists in a single season and the first to do so since 1997. He joins Eric Wynalda (1996), Ronald Cerritos (1997), and Lawrence Lozzano (1997) as the only players to accomplish the feat in a San Jose uniform.
Ebobisse got things going early in the game, scoring his ninth goal of the season in just the second minute of the match. The goal was Ebobisse’s 27th for the Earthquakes, tying Dwayne De Rosario for the fourth-most MLS regular-season goals in club history.
The Earthquakes return to play on Wednesday, September 20 at Providence Park against the Portland Timbers (10:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass).