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The Pitch: Everything's Clicking in Cincinnati's Shield Defense

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Below is a selection of marquee MLS matches to watch during Matchday 16 action on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.

Clubs in Motion: Coming out of Rivalry Week, Orlando City SC and the defending MLS Cup presented by Audi champion Columbus Crew will face off with both clubs riding multiple game unbeaten runs and looking to continue to climb the Eastern Conference standings (7:30 p.m. ET).

Loons Fly to the Rockies: A high-flying Minnesota United FC will look to extend their five-game unbeaten run (4-0-1) against the Colorado Rapids, who hope to bounce back from a tough Rivalry Week loss in their return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9:30 p.m. ET).

Home Atmosphere Boost: Having already broken their MLS regular-season attendance record on Matchday 12 (32,465), Vancouver Whitecaps FC is expecting another record crowd this weekend against Inter Miami CF as they look to take down the club’s roster of stars (10:30 p.m. ET).

Everything’s Clicking in Cincinnati’s Shield Defense

Back-to-back title defenses for MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield winners are rare in MLS, as the LA Galaxy hold the title of the last team to win both of those awards in consecutive seasons (2011-12 and 2010-11, respectively). FC Cincinnati’s strong start to 2024 could forecast a new name to join the list of back-to-back Supporters’ Shield winners by the end of the year.

With 30 points through 14 games played, Cincinnati is averaging more points per game this season (2.14) than they did in 2023 (2.02) and have a game in hand on Supporters’ Shield-leading Inter Miami CF (31 points). Contributing to the club’s Shield defense are familiar faces in 2023 Landon Donovan MLS MVP Luciano Acosta, 2023 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Miazga, and 2023 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year finalist Roman Celentano, as well as new faces like U.S. Men’s National Team defenders Miles Robinson and DeAndre Yedlin.

Acosta has continued his MVP form this season with seven goals and nine assists through 14 games played and ranks behind only Lionel Messi (22) and Cristian 'Chicho ’Arango (21) in total goal contributions so far this season. Celentano leads the league in fewest goals against (five) among goalkeepers to have played at least 10 games and is tied for second-most clean sheets in MLS this season with five. With help from both Miazga and Robinson in defense, Cincinnati has also allowed a league-low 11 goals, which would project as one of the best defensive performances by a club over the course of a 34-game season.

Kicking it Around
  • New York City FC gave a first glimpse of the supporters' section of the new stadium in Queens | WATCH
  • In celebration of Pride Month in June, MLS and adidas partnered to release the 2024 edition of the pre-match Pride Top |
  • The New York Red Bulls officially began construction on the new training complex in Morris Township, NJ. The new training facility is slated to open its doors in the Fall of 2025 | WATCH
MLS Youngsters Taking the Reigns in 2024

The 2024 MLS regular season has seen 169 players under the age of 23 take the field, and many are earning their places in the starting lineup with their impact on the field, including the standouts below:

  • Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami CF): Cremaschi returned from injury in style, scoring and assisting a goal after coming on in the 75th minute on Matchday 11 before going on to score the game-winning goal on Matchday 13 for Miami. With the 2024 Summer Olympics on the horizon, the 19-year-old U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder’ performances will be amplified with motivation to secure a spot on that roster.
  • Andrés Gómez (Real Salt Lake): The 21-year-old Colombian international has made tremendous strides forward in his sophomore season, with seven goals and four assists through 13 games, including a pair of scores against Colorado on Saturday night. Gómez’s contributions have been crucial to RSL’s current first-place position in the Western Conference and with the 2024 Copa América on the horizon, Gómez is doing everything he can to play himself onto Colombia’s roster.
  • Kevin Kelsy (FC Cincinnati): Despite just arriving in MLS, the 19-year-old Venezuelan forward has had an instant impact to Cincinnati’s offense. Kelsy endeared himself to fans with a game-tying goal against bitter rivals the Columbus Crew and he followed that up by scoring the game-winning goal in his first-ever start in the next game. With a league-best defensive record, Cincinnati will hope Kelsy can be the offensive spark needed to keep their offense flowing.
  • Diego Luna (Real Salt Lake): On the opposite wing of Gómez for RSL is another U.S. Olympic hopeful in Luna, who has two goals and seven assists so far in his second MLS season. The 20-year-old was a creative sparkplug for his side last season, and the first half of the 2024 season has seen him take his game to a new level of production and consistency during Salt Lake.’s run to first place in the Western Conference.
  • Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union): From defense-breaking passes to free-kick golazos, McGlynn continues to impress in his increased role on the field for the Union in 2024. The U.S. Olympic hopeful is well on his way to surpassing 2,000 minutes of action for the first time in his MLS career, and his six goal contributions (two goals, four assists) have already eclipsed his career-high of four in just 13 games so far this season.
New York City FC II Continues Stride Toward U.S. Open Cup Glory

MLS NEXT Pro side New York City FC II will host USL Championship team New Mexico United in the Round of 16 of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 21 at Belson Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, broadcasted on

NYC II, whose starting lineup throughout the tournament is an average age of 20.1 years old, has carried the torch in MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural year in the tournament. The club’s rising stars have stepped up in a high-pressure, knockout tournament, with the likes of Taylor Calheira, Jonathan Jiménez, and 16-year-old New York City FC Homegrown midfielder Máximo Carrizo proving to be game changers.

Both Calheira and Carrizo scored in their first match of the tournament against FC Motown, and Jiménez starred in the club’s 4-2 win over rivals New York Red Bulls II with a hat trick. In the third round, Calheira scored a brace in regulation time against Hartford Athletic (USL Championship) before Carrizo scored the game-winning goal in the 109th minute of extra time. Jiménez would once again prove to be the deciding factor in the Round of 32, scoring the game-winning goal against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (USL Championship).

As the only remaining Division III team in the competition, NYC II will now look to continue their historic run into the quarterfinals with a win over New Mexico United tonight.

MLS Media Resources

To assist in your coverage of the 2024 MLS season, the MLS Communications staff has provided the following media resources, all of which are available on

  • 2024 MLS Season Preview | Link
  • 2024 MLS Statistics and Standings | Link
  • 2024 MLS Competition Guidelines | Link
  • Club Game Notes | Link
  • Post-Match Quote Sheets | Link
  • Weekly Stat Packs | Link
  • MLS Pool Reporters | Link
  • MLS PR on Twitter/X | Link
  • MLS Logos | Link
  • MLS Communications and PRO Contacts | Link
  • Club Communications Contacts & Media Resource Websites | Link