There were plenty of goals and big results across Major League Soccer this week. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly from the week that was for MLS.
As the season enters the closing stages, the playoff race hots up and each and every match carries increasing importance, the excitement that MLS provides only grows. And this week was as good as any other.
Some truly remarkable attacking performances, a single-season record for consecutive victories, VAR controversy and title tilts in both the East and West. This was MLS at its very best.
So, here is the good, the bad and the ugly from this past week.
Real Salt Lake unleashed an offensive showcase on Saturday night in a 6-2 victory over the LA Galaxy. Albert Rusnak and Damie Kreilach have been on an absolute tear over the last few weeks. The duo have combined for nine goals in RSL’s last three matches and did so with devastating effect here once again.
Rusnak scored the goal of the week when he took his chances on a first-time volley.
The Western Conference club are looking like a late contender to go far in the playoffs. With 12 goals in their last two matches, Mike Petke’s side are firing on all cylinders after being overlooked for much of the year.
Before we move on to more of the good from this week, we also can’t forget the duck that helped spur RSL on to victory. This had to be the best pitch invasion in the world this season.
Justin Meram scored the match-winner for the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. It’s been a night and day difference for Meram since his return to his longtime club. This moment seemed to be an emotional one for him and it’s great to see him back at his best.
The Seattle Sounders set a new MLS season record with their eighth consecutive win. In their usual style, they are surging late in the season and have put together an impressive run. Could they pull off another MLS Cup run?
Chad Marshall was sent off during Seattle’s 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City on what was a bit of a bizarre call. Per usual, the usage of VAR for red cards continues to be a hot topic of debate. We’ll see if this gets rescinded this week.
Atlanta United saw their seven-match unbeaten run come to a close in a 3-1 loss to D.C. United. Josef Martinez was unable to record a goal for Atlanta which may be a sign to the rest of the league that if you can show down Martinez, then you can slow down Atlanta.
Atlanta are going to be the probable favorites to win the MLS Cup once more, but they will need to figure out how to ensure that they don’t rely too heavily on Martinez to deliver goals every match.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are tanking fast and will enter this week out of the playoffs. Having not won since July 29th, it is no surprise to see them fall out of the top six. This was supposed to be a turnaround year for the Galaxy but, as things stand, they will be missing the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Losing 6-2 was a low point in their season and, with only six matches remaining in the regular season, they now face an uphill battle to haul their way back into the playoffs. Luckily, Portland are just three points ahead and a late surge may allow the Galaxy to catch them, but it’s not looking good for a team that was expected to challenge.
Make sure you check back next week for the good, the bad and the ugly of MLS.