What you need to know

Two matches to close the weekend

Charlotte FC host Minnesota United at 6 p.m. ET and the Galaxy face off against San Jose in a Cali Clasico at 8:15 p.m. ET. Both matches are free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, or you can catch them on FS1.

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The Recap

Lionel Messi did it again, Chicho Arango kept padding stats, Sporting KC and St. Louis put on a show, Orlando pulled off another comeback and LAFC-Red Bulls went down to the wire. Among other things.

Let’s talk it out.

L. Messi (11', PK 81'), S. Busquets (39') | F. Negri (2' OG)

Nashville had opportunities to go up 2-0 and 2-1 in the first half but came up short on both. And we all know what happens when you miss your opportunities against Inter Miami.

Lionel Messi found the net twice and Sergio Busquets added a goal of his own as the Herons rolled past Nashville. Miami are out of Concacaf Champions Cup and on 1.8 points per game. A Shield could be on the way… however, we should note that star midfielder Diego Gomez left the game early with what appeared to be a significant injury. You can take only so many key injuries before you inevitably start to falter, even when you’re Inter Miami.

Nashville have seven points through eight games. They’ve allowed 16 goals. Only Chicago have allowed more in the East. It’s hard to see this getting better.

Cucho (51'), S. Moreira (74')| F. Mora (10'), S. Moreno (57')

Portland took an early lead, but Cucho did Cucho things and got Columbus back in the game…for a moment. Portland scored an excellent team goal moments later and put themselves back on top…for a moment. In the 74th minute, Steven Moreira loaded up from distance and thundered home a ridiculous strike into the top left corner to make it 2-2. Columbus got one more shot to take all three points in stoppage time, but a Cucho freekick clanked off the inside of the crossbar and, somehow, refused to go over the line.

It’s a good road point for Portland and a totally acceptable point for a Crew side that has bigger things to worry about. Monterrey is in town on Wednesday for a CCC semifinal matchup.

T. Almada (59') | L. Orellano (62'), L. Acosta (64')

Thiago Almada broke open an even game with a stunning goal from outside the box to put Atlanta United up 1-0 and the Five Stripes responded by immediately imploding. Almada sent Cincy off and running towards goal after taking one of the most disastrous corner kicks you’ll see to make it 1-1 thanks to Luca Orellano. Moments later, Atlanta, down to their ??? choice center back after Noah Cobb left the game to injury, let Lucho Acosta in behind for his customary goal against Atlanta.

It’s tough to say exactly how bad a loss this is for Atlanta considering their injuries. However, it’s the second straight week they’ve blown a lead at home thanks to comically ill-timed and poorly-placed passes. That can’t happen.

Cincy showed what it takes to be a true Shield contender by taking advantage of opportunities on the road. Atlanta showed they’re still a step away.

P. Owusu (66’)

All you need to know is that Prince Owusu scored one of the goals of the weekend with a stellar airborne flick into the net. He has four goals on the season now and Toronto have 13 points through nine games and three home wins in four games. They’re getting the job done even if it’s not always pretty.

The Revs are very much not doing that. Eight games played. Four points. Yikes.

M. Toye (16'), A. Lassiter (88') | F. Torres (22'), I. Angulo (90'+2')

Called it.

From yesterday’s Daily Kickoff: “The Cardiac Cats are back. After last week’s late comeback win over D.C. United, the Lions are going to go through one of those spells where they seem to pull points out of nowhere. Montréal were good last week in a 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati, but they’ll be without forwards Matías Cóccaro and Josef Martínez in this one. That’s a recipe for a game that stays quiet until the end. With the game staying close, we know what Orlando are going to do.”

You didn’t even need to watch this one.

Still, it’s a bummer for CFM to miss out on three points but, in a vacuum, they were missing a couple of key players and up against a decent team. A point is fine. Orlando will be ecstatic though. That’s four points in back-to-back road games via comebacks.

Santiago Rodríguez (20'), J. Fernández (90'+1')

Did not call it.

In yesterday’s Kickoff, we predicted a win for a D.C. team that’s held a bunch of leads the last few weeks with little to show for it. Well, they didn’t even get a lead here. New York City were the better team and rolled to an impressive win that saw them generate 3.8 xG worth of chances. So far, it’s been an outstanding homestand for NYCFC. They have seven points through their first three games, with two more home games on the way. They may not have completely turned a corner, but the worries about their attack and the team as a whole are starting to fade. There’s yet another playoff contender in the East.

And, hey, by the way, I still think that includes D.C. United. It just wasn’t their night… and it hasn’t been their month. But, still. They’re good enough to be a postseason team if they can get a few things together.

A. Gómez (24'), C. Arango (33', 37'), D. Luna (90'+3')

Chicago… forgot to guard Chicho Arango? Seems like you’d want to guard him. He had two goals and two assists in this one to make it eight goals and six assists on the year. He’s the most productive player in the league right now.

Besides Chicho, RSL got goal contributions from rising young stars Andrés Gómez and Diego Luna. Gómez has three goals and three assists on the season and seems to be coming into his own in his second year in the league.

Chicago… man, what do you even say? It’s straight-up embarrassing to lose like that at home in MLS.

E. Rigoni (86')

Emiliano Rigoni… scored? A winner? For Austin? In Houston?

This league never stops surprising. It seemed like Houston were set for a big night at home against a rival with DP midfielder Hector Herrera returning to the squad. Instead, Austin stole the show thanks to Rigoni’s first goal of the season. The DP has six goals in 32 starts now and Austin have 12 points in nine games. They’re equal on points with LAFC and St. Louis and just three points behind RSL, LA and Colorado.

A. Pulido (17'), R. Bürki (65' OG), E. Thommy (77') | João Klauss (31'), Célio Pompeu (45'+3'), T. Totland (90'+2')

Phew. It may not have the star power of El Tráfico, but SKC-St. Louis is rapidly becoming one of the best new rivalries in MLS.

Alan Pulido opened the scoring after a quick combination at the top of the box with striker Willy Agada, but St. Louis responded shortly after with a gorgeous ball into the box to João Klauss from Rasmus Alm. Klauss picked up an assist just before the half after bodying Agada and getting the ball to Célio Pompeu, who fired home from the top of the 18. SKC got back in it with an own goal from Roman Burki and then took the lead via Erik Thommy, but Tomas Totland found the net in stoppage time to ruin SKC’s day.

It’s the fourth time in five games SKC have allowed three goals. It’s the third time in four games they’ve scored three goals of their own. It’s the third straight home game they’ve held a lead in the second half and dropped points. They haven’t been productive, but they have been entertaining.

St. Louis have six draws through nine games. I’m going to guess this one felt the most rewarding.

S. Ibeagha (45' OG), C. Harris (49') | P. Musa (87')

The Rapids are tied for the second spot in the West after taking care of business against FC Dallas in a game where Colorado generated 3.0 xG to Dallas’ 0.7. It could have been worse for Dallas. It doesn’t get much better than that for Colorado. They might not be a true contender, but they’re well on their way to being a playoff team. They’re meeting and maybe even exceeding expectations so far.

Dallas have five points in eight games. Dallas make me sad.

J. Ragen (Red Card 43'), Alex Roldan (Red Card 75') | R. Gauld (58'), B. White (71')

Speaking of teams that make me sad, what are we doing here, Seattle? The Sounders were a total disaster in this one. Jackson Ragen and Alex Roldan both picked up red cards, the Sounders gave Vancouver the ball at the top of their own box and the ‘Caps rolled to a 2-0 win.

Vancouver are a good team and it’s a great road win for them, but it’s hard not to rubberneck at Seattle right now. They have six points through eight games. It’s been a nightmare start to the year and it’s made even worse by the fact that new DP Pedro de la Vega picked up another injury this week. Not a single thing is going right.

D. Bouanga (67', 90'+5') | E. Segura (8' OG), E. Forsberg (81')

The Red Bulls took a late lead and nearly found an incredibly late winner, but Denis Bounga’s stoppage-time strike saved a point for LAFC against one of the East’s best teams.

New York should still be very happy with a point after going across the country though. They continue to prove that they’re one of the league’s best. LAFC continue to prove that they’re just going to be confusing for the majority of the year. It’s not clear if they’re mediocre, decent or really good at this point. They ended the night with 12 points in nine games.

Other Things

Inter Miami star exits on stretcher vs. Nashville SC: Inter Miami CF are anxiously awaiting the injury status of star midfielder Diego Gómez, who left Saturday's 3-1 win over Nashville SC on a stretcher. The rising Paraguayan international went down with a non-contact injury in the 38th minute after pressing NSC 'keeper Elliot Panicco near the goal line.

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Good luck out there. Get it done with a little style.