The final stretch of the MLS regular season continued during matchdays 28 and 29 this week. The most important matches included the two teams vying for the top spot in the Western Conference facing off, whilst Portland Timbers defeated a playoff rival. Here are the biggest results from Matchday 28 and 29 of the MLS season.
As we head towards the conclusion of the MLS season, the Western Conference has become a battle of attrition at the top. As Sporting Kansas City faced the Seattle Sounders at Children’s Mercy Park, the two sides were separated by a single point and Kansas City was on top of the Western Conference. However, that wouldn’t be the case by the end of the night.
The traveling side, Seattle, opened the scoring in Kansas through attacking midfielder Christian Roldan. The American midfielder made a late run into the Kansas City penalty box and turned home a Brad Smith cross to make it 1-0 to the visitors entering the half.
After the half, Seattle doubled their lead through Will Bruin. Raul Ruidiaz began the move as he charged into the Kansas City box and chipped the keeper, but as he was crowded out, Will Bruin headed home off the post to give the Sounders control.
However, the Kansas City fans were given hope of a comeback. Scottish forward Johnny Russel reduced the deficit at Children’s Mercy Park after an hour played. A free-kick found its way to the back post, Russel chested and finished at the near post, but Stefan Frei felt he should have done better.
Seattle leapfrogged Sporting Kansas City after this win. Both sides won the game following so they are separated by two points, but Seattle has a game-in-hand to seize control of the West.
Whilst Seattle, Colorado, and Sporting Kansas City battle it out for the top spot, the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake are fighting to secure their spot in the playoffs. These two sides were divided by a sole place before they met on Sunday at Providence Park and it would be the home side who made their presence felt in an emphatic victory.
The Portland Timbers fans were treated to a scoring masterclass from the home side. Firstly, Chilean striker Felipe Mora opened the scoring within 30 minutes, whilst Dairon Asprilla doubled the lead just ten minutes later. Real Salt Lake clawed one goal back through Damir Kreilach, but that would be the only thing they’d have to cheer on this trip to Portland.
After the break, the Timbers forced home their dominance. The Chara’s, Yimmi and Diego, both got on the scoresheet to make it 4-1. Before late goals from Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Christhian Paredes capped off an impressive performance that earned three points.
Both Portland Timbers, in fourth place, and Real Salt Lake, in fifth place, remained where they were after matchday 28 and 29.
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