The Saturday portion of MLS Week 23, quite incredibly, saw two different 4-4 matches played, making it six games during the 2022 season to feature eight combined goals or more:
Does that sound of historic proportions? That's because it is:
On entertainment value and overall quality, we’ve ranked them from No. 1 through No. 6 – an exercise for which there’s no perfect order. But these games embraced #MLSAfterDark vibes (some even in the daylight), and they’re among the year’s most memorable encounters through late July.
The exciting part? We’ve still got another 11 rounds remaining before the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs begin in October, so perhaps this list will have another entrant or two to consider.
This one went into halftime with Portland toting a 1-0 lead in what didn’t appear to be a standout match. Then the floodgates opened during the second half.
Portland flexed their scoring muscles when Sebastian Blanco scored 29 seconds into the second half and led the way with two goals and two assists, while Nathan Fogaca, fresh off signing from MLS NEXT Pro days earlier, added two more goals. Eryk Williamson and Cristhian Paredes each tallied two assists for the hosts.
In a match that also featured two red cards, this one was as wide open as anyone could ask for, with the Timbers setting a club record for goals scored in a match.
FC Cincinnati raced out to a 3-0 lead just 30 minutes into the match behind two goals from Brenner, but the defending MLS Cup champions were not to be denied. By the time the halftime whistle sounded, NYCFC had drawn level, with Heber scoring a brace in first-half stoppage time.
The visitors took a 4-3 lead in the 52nd minute through Gabriel Pereira and Brenner completed his hat trick in the 70th minute to complete the scoring bonanza.
The Taxi Fountas show.
D.C.’s Designated Player brought the fireworks to Orlando on July 4th, as the Greek forward scored two goals in the first eight minutes and completed his hat trick in the 51st minute to earn D.C. a 3-0 lead.
Both teams dominated a half in this back-and-forth showdown between two teams riding long unbeaten streaks. Blanco opened the scoring just 13 seconds into the match, the fourth-fastest goal in MLS regular-season history. But the Loons took control as three different goal-scorers catapulted Minnesota to a 3-1 halftime lead. Blanco wasn’t done though, finishing off the brace in the 50th minute before Jaroslaw Niezgoda equalized in the 53rd.
Blanco appeared to complete his hat trick in the 65th minute in what was ruled an own goal, and just when it looked like the Timbers might take three points, Luis Amarilla scored his second goal of the afternoon to extend Minnesota’s unbeaten run to seven consecutive matches, while Portland are now unbeaten in eight.
For added drama, referee Victor Rivas pulled nine yellow cards in the contest, narrowly outpacing the goals in a heated midday affair.
Just when it seemed FC Cincinnati had a huge road victory in the bag, Inter Miami clawed back a 4-4 draw through defender Chris McVey’s venomous strike in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time.
The Eastern Conference match had huge Audi MLS Cup Playoffs implications, with both clubs hovering around the seventh-and-final spot.
During NYCFC’s early-season stadium tour, this home contest was played at Citi Field in Queens, but it didn’t thwart the Cityzens from showing their form. Toronto were no pushovers, though, and jumped to an early 2-0 lead through a brace from Jesus Jimenez in the first 28 minutes. Taty Castellanos pulled one back before halftime and by the 58th minute, the balance had shifted to NYCFC with a 4-2 lead.