MLS Matchday 34 Recap: The Playoff Picture takes shape


With less than a month until the end of the Major League Soccer season, Matchday 34 saw another action-packed set of matches, including late drama in Austin and a Christian Benteke hat trick. Here’s our recap of all the weekend’s play:

FC Cincinnati 3-0 Charlotte FC

The hosts shook off a three-match winless run thanks to goals from Álvaro Barreal, Luciano Acosta and Aaron Boupendza to earn a comfortable win over visiting Charlotte as they maintained their advantage of second place Orlando City.

D.C. United 3-5 New York Red Bulls

Christian Benteke’s hat trick wasn’t enough to earn a result for the hosts, who remain a point outside of the playoff positions. Omir Fernandez scored a brace as New York came from a goal down twice to move within two points of their opponents.

Philadelphia Union 0-0 Los Angeles Football Club

In a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup Final, neither side was able to offer much going forward, as both failed to register a shot on target ahead of the visitors taking part in Campeones Cup in the week.

Atlanta United FC 4-1 CF Montréal

Xande Silva and Saba Lobjanidze both had a goal and an assist as Atlanta gained ground in a tight race for playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. 

Chicago Fire FC 2-2 New England Revolution

Brian Gutíerrez had a goal and an assist but it wasn’t enough to edge Chicago past a short-handed Revolution, who have all but clinched a playoff position.

FC Dallas 1-1 Columbus Crew

Each side scored in the first half, but neither could find a winner as Dallas failed to break into the top seven. 

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Houston Dynamo FC

Johnny Russell scored from the spot and was sent off as the hosts frustrated Houston ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup final.


Minnesota United FC 1-2 St. Louis CITY SC

St. Louis struck twice in the second half to come from behind against Minnesota, the win edging them closer to sealing top spot in the Western Conference.

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Real Salt Lake moved ahead of their opponents on the evening, ending the round in fifth place, coming from behind after Brian White had opened the scoring for Vancouver.

Portland Timbers FC 3-2 Colorado Rapids

Dairon Asprilla had a pair of assists as Portland won their fourth straight match, beating bottom side Colorado to move into the top seven.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Nashville SC

Matthew Hoppe was on the scoresheet again for the hosts, helping San Jose nick a draw against Leagues Cup finalists Nashville SC.

New York City FC 3-0 Toronto FC

Three goals in the match’s first hour were more than enough to see the hosts to a vital victory in the playoff chase.

Orlando City 1-1 Inter Miami CF

Duncan McGuire scored his ninth goal of the season as the two Florida sides played out a rematch of their Leagues Cup encounter, with Orlando battling back against a Miami side missing Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Final..

Austin FC 3-3 LA Galaxy

With two goals in the match’s last five minutes, including one from Michael Barrios in the fourth minute of stoppage time, the visitors (barely) stayed in contention for the playoffs thanks to a point in Austin.