The Semper Soccer MLS Week 24 Recap
With the completion of MLS Week 24, time is getting short for some teams. We only have two months left in the regular season and many clubs are 3/4 of the way through their schedule. Races for playoff spots are heating up both at the top of the table and down near the red line. Some teams are heating up, some are slumping but every result is crucial now. The Semper Soccer blog is here to recap the week that was in Major League Soccer.
MLS Week 24 featured a total of 11 matches. Montreal and Chicago started off the slate with a mid-week game on Wednesday. The remaining 10 games played out on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with some teams needing wins to keep playoff dreams alive. Here’s a look at the scoreboard.
- Montreal Impact 3 – Chicago Fire 0
- Portland Timbers 2 – New York Red Bulls 0
- Montreal Impact 3 – Real Salt Lake 1
- Orlando City 1 – Columbus Crew 1
- Chicago Fire 1 – Toronto FC 3
- Sporting Kansas City 2 – FC Dallas 0
- Colorado Rapids 0 – D.C. United 1
- Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – Houston Dynamo 1
- San Jose Earthquakes 2 – Philadelphia Union 2
- New York City FC 2 – New England Revolution 1
- Seattle Sounders 2 – Minnesota United 1
5 Things To Know
- First to 50 and no slowing down. Toronto FC is on a historic pace right now. They’re looking to be the first Canadian team to capture the Supporters Shield. Through 25 games, they’ve earned exactly 2 points per game and taken just three losses. The all-time record for fewest losses is four. In 1998, the Los Angeles Galaxy tallied 68 points to set the record. These are a couple marks to keep an eye on north of the border. For comparison’s sake, Seattle and Sporting KC are tied atop the West after both teams reached 40 points in MLS Week 24.
- Oh no, Chicago. Earlier this summer, the Fire appeared up to the challenge against Toronto. They reeled off an 11-game unbeaten streak to reach the top of the East. Then the Gold Cup break happened and it’s been downhill ever since. In that time, Chicago has won just once compared to five losses. They’ve struggled with their depth, the center of the defense is shaky and now goalkeeping is becoming a question. The Fire is firmly in the playoff race but they have work to do to become a true contender.
- Here comes New York City. NYCFC are taking proper advantage of the above-mentioned struggles in the Windy City. They’ve won four of their last five with the lone loss coming to (who else?) Toronto. They’re up to second place in the East, just four points back of the lead with nine games left to play. They have an outside chance to reach first place with this form but would need Toronto to finally hit a slump. Interestingly enough, New York City’s manager Patrick Vieira has already conceded the race to the Reds. Does he mean it or is this a motivational tactic?
- Vancouver is sneaking up on the West. The Whitecaps passed San Jose for sixth place in the Western Conference. They’re also one of the teams with games in hand, having played just 23 matches so they have 11 remaining. Sixth place is just six points behind first in the West while they’re just three points out of second. There are points to be had on their schedule if they can get a hot streak going. Consistency has been hard to come by, but the potential to sneak higher up the playoff seeding is there.
- The U.S. Open Cup final is set. MLS’s New York Red Bulls ended FC Cincinnati’s magical run this week in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competition. But FCC did not exit the tournament quietly. Goals by Corben Bone and Austin Berry in the 31st and 62nd minutes had them ahead 2-0 with about a half hour to play. Two quick goals by the Red Bulls in the 75th and 78th minutes tied it up and extra time was in the cards. Bradley Wright-Phillips notched his second goal of the game to seal the win the 101st minute. New York now travels to Kansas City for the final on September 20.
Player Of The Week
Diego Valeri continues to have an incredible impact for Portland. The Timbers needed a win to steady their footing in the tight Western Conference race. They got one behind the Argentinian against New York. His 65th-minute strike provided the breakthrough and held up as the Timbers earned a 2-0 win. Valeri now has 14 goals and 9 assists this season, a performance that’s been the steadying force as Portland has faced some ups and downs. Now he has the recognition as the Semper Soccer blog’s MLS Week 24 Player of the Week.
As we reach the 3/4 mark of the season, let’s check how the teams stand after MLS Week 24.
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