The group stages of MLS is Back are over. With the final group matches having taken place over the last week, here are the top five performances.
Over the past week, the final group-stage standings of the MLS is Back Tournament were decided. There were some surprises, with both Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls eliminated from the same group, and some dominant performances, including the Columbus Crew, who made it through as the only side to have won all three of their group matches without conceding a goal.
Throughout, there were some wonderful performances in the final round of group matches, including quality strikes, epic shutouts and more, but who makes our top five?
5. Ethan Finlay
The only player to score two goals in a match during the final round of group games, Ethan Finlay makes our list at the No. 5 spot after helping Minnesota United secure a draw against the Colorado Rapids, and with it, a place in the knockout stages of MLS is Back.
The former Columbus Crew winger, and three-time USMNT international, got the Loons back on level terms against the Rapids in their final match in Group D on Wednesday night, scoring in the 36th minute to equalise after Kei Kamara’s opening strike.
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Finlay then bagged his seance after some great build-up play from Jan Gregus and Romain Metanire, the roaming Malagasy right-back, before the latter pulled the ball back for the American to tap home to make it 2-1.
Minnesota United were unable to hold on to the lead that Finlay had given them, with a second-half Jonathan Lewis goal earning Colorado a point from the match. Despite not taking the W, the Loons advance to knockout stages.
They will face Finlay’s old side Columbus, who have gone through the group stages with a 100% record, the only side to have done so. With Kevin Molino possibly missing for that game as well, the American could be asked to fill in at the No.10 position once more. Another performance like this one and Minnesota stand a great chance of advancing.