Gonzalo Pineda has his first win as a head coach, FC Cincinnati have their first win at TQL Stadium and LAFC had their fastest-ever goal to start an MLS match as part of a milestone-filled week in MLS in Week 24.
Here is this week's edition of 27 Takeaways, one observation on every MLS team coming off all the action.
Austin FC sit at the bottom of the West and a quick glance at their recent form will tell you why. No clean sheets in 12 games is a recipe for disaster — they’ve conceded 10 in the last three games alone.
There’s no shame in losing to Sporting Kansas City, especially at Children's Mercy Park. But the manner of defeat has to be a slight disappointment as the game was over within the first 10 minutes. Despite a late flurry of chances, the Fire never really looked like winning and this defeat now makes the midweek trip to D.C. that much bigger.
A win and a clean sheet is always cause for celebration, even more so when it’s the first win in your home stadium. It’s been a tough season in many ways, but hopefully this win can spark a good run of form to end the year.
The Rapids will be disappointed with the two points dropped, as they failed to put more daylight between themselves and a direct rival. But the overall picture still looks very good as three of Colorado's next four are at home — giving them a real chance to pick up a lot of points.
No one would have guessed Columbus would go through a phase of one win in nine games and it’s in their best interests to look ahead and not dwell on what’s happened. The Crew have struggled for goals all year, and that’s the one area they need to instantly improve with games against RBNY and a trip to red hot New England.
Currently outside of the playoff spots, Dallas face a tough run of three games away from Frisco that may make or break their season. The goal should be to emerge from this run of games with four points, at least, because they’ll then have five of the next six at home, giving them a real chance to put some points on the board.
D.C. United responded well after going behind to just about keep themselves in a playoff spot. If they can get a win in midweek against Chicago, that’ll be seven points from three games. With three of their next four at home, this is a prime opportunity to create some breathing room from the chasing pack.
Three straight clean sheets and another impressive win for Miami. Gonzalo Higuain will grab the headlines but this was a team effort through and through. It wasn’t pretty, but it was efficient, which is all they need to keep doing. One thing is clear, Phil Neville’s side have a clearer identity now than at any other point in the clubs existence.
They’re not used to losing, so it’ll be important for the Loons to bounce back right away and get back on another run. Franco Fragapane just returned, though flattered to deceive against Seattle. He’ll need to rediscover his end product soon to up his team’s odds of having the ending to the season they’re hoping for.
Their last two games have come against the best two teams in the East and they’ve lost both, perhaps a sign that they're a level below where they’ll ultimately need to get to. Ronny Deila's team will be keen to keep pace with Orlando, and a win against FC Dallas on Tuesday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+) will be the expectation inside the camp.
It’s been six games since RBNY scored more than once in a game, a big reason why they sit so far beneath the red line. The silver lining is that they have games in hand on the teams above them — an opportunity to make up some ground.
Winless in their last three, the Union had a much-needed bye week before their Concacaf Champions League semifinal second leg on Wednesday against Club America. But they'll be back at home against Orlando this weekend in a game critical to their hopes of climbing up the East table. Usually a very good home team, they’ve dropped points in their last two at Subaru Park.
It’s almost as if the 6-2 defeat to Seattle was the spark they needed. Since then, they have looked formidable and something like the Timbers we’d been waiting on all season. Three straight clean sheets in their last three games – doubling their season total – tells you all you need to know about their current form.
A win against RSL will put them level on points with the team currently occupying the last playoff spot. That should be all the motivation needed to put on a show in front of their fans and get the three points.
A huge win against Minnesota keeps the Sounders on top of the West. The return of Stefan Frei and Nouhou is an ominous sign for the rest of the league, as Seattle will only get better as they get healthier. They’ll need to be at their best as they go away from Lumen field for their next three fixtures.
It’s time to start looking ahead to next season. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t compete in every game and try to win, but it’s very much a case of the club figuring out who will remain in Toronto beyond 2021 – and the players proving whether they should be considered or not.
There’s no time to dwell on the defeat to a Cascadia rival, as they face a massive challenge away to Colorado. Still in the mix for a playoff spot, Vancouver's away form has been very good – and they’ll need to keep that going since that’s where two of their next three will be.