What you need to know

Cascadia Cup to close the weekend

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The Recap

Christian Benteke steamrolled Atlanta, Orlando City got back on track in Philadelphia, LAFC clobbered Vancouver and Inter Miami came back from two goals down. Let’s talk it out.

T. Almada (16'), M. Peltola (48' OG) | C. Benteke (19', 44', 55')

We told y’all Christian Benteke would have a chance to feast against Atlanta’s backup center backs and, well, it went about how we expected. Benteke scored goals nine, 10 and 11 on the season as D.C. United pulled off the road win in Atlanta. He overpowered Atlanta as D.C. thoroughly outplayed the Five Stripes. They even held onto the lead too. This is one of the most dangerous teams in the East when they’re clicking.

Conversely, there are legitimate questions to ask in Atlanta after their third straight home loss. They’ve had the underlying numbers on their side for most of the season. They didn’t in this one. And you have to worry that their confidence is fading.

P. Agyemang (52')

Patrick Agyemang put Charlotte up one with a stellar finish into the side netting and that’s all The Crown needed to hold off Nashville. Agyemang has rightfully stolen the starting job from DP Enzo Copetti and has three goals in 605 minutes. With Copetti reportedly nearing a move away from Charlotte, Agyemang may be in that starting role for a while. He’s good enough to hold onto it and be effective until DP reinforcements likely arrive this summer. Until then, Charlotte can survive with a solid defense and stellar home record. They have five wins at home on the season, and 17 points through 12 games.

Nashville have 11 points through 11 games.

B. Duke (22'), J. Vilsaint (32')| M. Rojas (44'), L. Suárez (45'+3'), B. Cremaschi (59')

Stop me if you’ve heard it before. CF Montréal came out of the gate hot against Inter Miami, went up 2-0, out-created and outshot the Herons annnnddddddddd… none of it mattered. New signing Matias Rojas scored a stunning free kick just before halftime and Luis Suarez found the equalizer moments later. At that point, you could only wait for Miami to inevitably take the lead. This time, Benjamin Cremaschi grabbed the winner.

Same thing, different week. Even if you outplay them, you’ve got to do more than that. There aren’t many teams in the league that can.

L. Morgan (6'), E. Forsberg (43') , Elias Manoel (84'), C. Harper (90'+3') | C. Gil (24'), G. Vrioni (90')

One team is good. One team is not good. The good team rolled in this one.

The Red Bulls have 20 points in 12 games. The Revs have seven in 11 games.

M. Uhre (12'), D. Gazdag (66') | D. McGuire (21'), L. Muriel (42', 46')

There are two very strong reactions to this one. We’ll start with, “Wow! Orlando!” before we move into “Oh no! Philly!”

Luis Muriel scored his first and second MLS goals as the Lions earned a critical 3-2 road win at Subaru Park. It’s hard to overstate how badly Orlando needed this one. It’s their first win in four games and they finally got contributions from their newest DP. It’s a breath of fresh air in what’s been a disappointing season.

It’s another kick in the gut for Philadelphia. They’ve lost three straight at home. That’s an unimaginable run for a team that lost four total home games in the last three seasons. There’s no way around it anymore. This team is broken and needs a reset of some kind to get back to the Union we expect to see.

F. Bernardeschi (55', Red Card 91'), R. Petretta (89') | S. Rodríguez (23'), M. Jones (44'), A. Perea (78')

Toronto and New York City capped off a wild 3-2 game with a stoppage-time scuffle that, according to Toronto’s John Herdman and Jonathan Osorio, stemmed in part from an incident involving NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing at halftime of the previous meeting between these teams. Cushing denies anything happened, but, either way, it became readily apparent that bad blood existed here.

They did actually play soccer too, though. And NYCFC went on the road and put together an attacking performance worth talking about. It felt like they had started to turn a corner during their recent homestand. Now, we have a data point away from home suggesting that feeling had some merit.

Meanwhile, Toronto will be without goalscorer Federico Bernardeschi in their next match after he picked up a red card. They did get Lorenzo Insigne back on the field in this one, though. Even if they have to wait another game to get both DPs on the field together again, getting Insigne back is huge.

M. Arfsten (89') | K. Kelsy (74'), L. Acosta (76')

In their first meeting since last year’s Eastern Conference Final, last year’s MVP made the difference. With things getting late in Columbus, Lucho Acosta lofted the ball to the back post to create an easy finish for new U22 striker Kevin Kelsy and, seconds later, put the ball into the back of the net himself to guide Cincinnati to a huge Hell is Real win on the road.

Cincy have 24 points through 12 games and Acotsa has six goals and six assists on the season. They’re earning results at about the same rate as last year’s Shield-winning side despite multiple changes to their roster. GM Chris Albright has done outstanding work to renovate this team, including adding a new U22 striker. Getting Kelsy on the board with his first shot in MLS in the biggest game of the year is what we call “an encouraging sign.” Even if they’re just the team pushing Inter Miami to their best, it’s starting to feel like the Garys may have something to say about this year’s Shield race?

The Crew will not have anything to say about this year’s Shield race. They’re winless in seven MLS matches. But, last I checked, they’re still in the Concacaf Champions Cup final. So. They get a pass for a while. If they win the whole thing, they get a pass for the year. That’s just the rules.

P. Musa (4'), J. Ferreira (56') | S. Driussi (84')

After a disastrous start to the year, FC Dallas have climbed back up the Western Conference standings and put themselves in 10th place. MLS!

DP forward Petar Musa scored his fourth goal of the year and Jesus Ferreira scored his second as Dallas picked up their second win over an in-state rival in three games. We can’t say they’ve turned a corner yet, but at least they’re not letting their biggest enemies keep them down.

By the way, Ferreira became the youngest player in MLS history to score 50 MLS goals.

D. Sallói (61') | H. Herrera (31'), I. Aliyu (78')

Hector Herrera stepped up and curled in Houston’s first goal in over 300 minutes and Ibrahim Aliyu finished off a transition chance to give the Dynamo their first two goals in a long time and their first win in four MLS games.

We said yesterday that literally anyone needed to put the ball in the back of the for Houston. It shouldn’t be surprising that Herrera took it upon himself. The Dynamo needed this one and may have gotten their attack back on track.

Then again, a lot of teams look like they have their attack on track against SKC right now. They’ve allowed multiple goals in six of their last eight games. Related: They have one win in their last eight games.

R. Alm (2'), J. Klauss (56', 67') | H. Cuypers (46')

Rasmus Alm pinged an early shot up over and Chicago goalkeeper Chris Brady and Joao Klauss added a brace as St. Louis brushed aside Chicago. The Fire are averaging 0.83 points per game. St. Louis have 16 points through 11 games.

R. Navarro (33'), O. Fernández (42') | A. Pellegrino (44') H. López (45'+6'), C. Espinoza (66')

The Rapids took a 2-0 lead in the first half, but Amahl Pellegrino and new DP Hernan López found a way to tie things up before the break. Then, Cristian Espinoza found a way to take the lead.

It’s an outstanding win for a Quakes team that’s suddenly getting hot. At least in attack. They’ve scored six goals in their last two games and 10 goals in their last four. If López can keep pushing this team forward, they’re going to keep earning points through sheer firepower. For now, they’ve dragged themselves out of the basement in the West and I don’t expect them to be there at the end of the season.

The Rapids will want that one back. Sometimes MLS happens though.

G. Pec (54'), M. Berry (90'+4') | C. Arango (20', 40')

Chicho Arango (who else?) put RSL up 2-0 in the first half, but Gabriel Pec got LA back in the game and Miguel Berry officially saved the day in stoppage time to rescue a point in a battle between two of the top teams in the West.

Both teams created plenty of chances in this one, but, in particular, the Galaxy racked up a ton of opportunities as they chased the game. They’ll be happy to have broken through and rescued a point while RSL should be totally fine with a road point of their own, even if they’re a little disappointed by the ending.

By the way, that makes it 18 goal contributions on the season for Arango. RSL have 20 goals this year so far. We’re at obscene levels of putting the team on your back. He’s the main reason why RSL haven’t lost in MLS in their last eight games.

C. Olivera (18', 36'), M. Bogusz (57')

Cristian Olivera added a first half brace and LAFC cruised past a solid Vancouver side in a big 3-0 win. It’s the kind of performance we’ve been waiting for from LAFC and a bit of a breakout moment for the 22-year-old Olivera. LAFC have 18 points in 12 games and are just four points out of first place. The teams ahead of them should go ahead and start worrying about being caught and never catching up again. Even with some inconsistency early in the season, LAFC still might be the most talented group in the conference.

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Good luck out there. Enhance your life with revenge.