MLS

St Louis bounce back with rout over Cincinnati, Asprilla nets bicycle goal as Timbers down Sounders

By Sports Desk April 16, 2023

St Louis City snapped their two-game losing skid with a statement win where they piled on five goals within an hour in a 5-1 hammering over Eastern Conference-leading Cincinnati on Saturday.

The MLS expansion side had suffered back-to-back losses after creating league history by winning their first five games but responded at CityPark.

Jared Stroud fired in a third-minute opener from a set-piece before Eduard Lowen lashed home a volley in the 39th minute.

Kyle Hiebert glanced in Stroud's cross in first-half stoppage-time and St Louis did not relent after the break, with Nicholas Gioacchini adding another from Rasmus Alm's classy touch in the 53rd minute.

It was five in the 57th minute when Alm's rifled strike from outside the box hit the post and deflected in off goalkeeper Roman Celentano.

Sergio Santos grabbed a consolation for Cincy, who were unbeaten coming into this encounter.

Dairon Asprilla netted an early goal of the year contender with an acrobatic bicycle kick to equalise for Portland Timbers before they raced away with a 4-1 win over Seattle Sounders.

Asprilla brilliantly netted in the 71st minute before Portland added a further three goals in the final 20 minutes, meaning Seattle slipped from top spot in the West.

Sean Zawadzki netted a 90th-minute equaliser as Columbus Crew pinched a 1-1 home draw with 10-man New England, who move up to top spot in the Eastern Conference ahead of Cincinnati.

Lorenzo Insigne returned from a groin injury as Toronto drew 2-2 with Atlanta. Toronto have drawn four games in a row.

DC United ended their six-game winless run with a 1-0 victory over last-placed Montreal, while New York Red Bulls' streak without a win extended to four games after a 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo.

Keaton Parks and Maxime Chanot scored excellent early goals as New York City moved up to fifth in the East with a 2-1 win over Nashville.

Austin drew 0-0 with Vancouver Whitecaps, while Orlando City rallied from behind to get past Minnesota United 2-1.

Bernard Kamungo scored an 88th-minute winner as Dallas moved up to fourth in the West with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, while San Jose Earthquakes crushed Sporting KC 3-0 with a Jeremy Ebobisse double.

Struggling Charlotte drew 2-2 with Colorado Rapids and Philadelphia Union's winless run extended to five games with a 2-2 draw at Chicago Fire although they fought back from 2-0 down.

Related items

  • Austin FC v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes urges players to take ‘accountability’ Austin FC v Sporting Kansas City: Vermes urges players to take ‘accountability’

    Peter Vermes says his Sporting Kansas City players must ultimately take accountability for the side’s poor start to the season.

    SKC sit 13th in the Western Conference after 13 matches in 2024, having won just two games.

    Heading into a trip to Austin FC – who sit in sixth in the West – on Saturday, Kansas City are without a win in six games, and have lost four of their last five outings in MLS.

    Speaking ahead of the game, Vermes said: “[Austin have] been strong defensively, they’re very clear on the way they want to play and they’re finding ways to get results. They’ve been defending well, as well.”

    Asked what he could do to change the trend, Vermes replied: “There’s a lot of different things you can do. You can set expectations, maybe change training a little bit.

    “There’s all kinds of things that you could do – in the end, it’s them, they’re playing, I’m not playing, they have to go do that. The only thing I have a bigger stick on is the accountability – if you’re not doing it, then somebody else will come on and do it.”

    Austin have won three of their last four games, including holding out for a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at home last time out.

    “Positive energy brings positive things and let me say you were crucial in that particular moment of the game to help the team win,” said sporting director Rodolfo Borrell in an open letter to Austin’s fans.

    “I thought the energy coming from all of you was phenomenal. It was a special moment, and I would like to personally thank you for that. This experience will definitely stick in my memory for a long time.”

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Austin FC – Sebastian Driussi

    Driussi has scored in consecutive games, including netting the lone goal in Austin’s win over Houston on Wednesday. Driussi has scored in two or more straight games eight times since the start of the 2022 season.

    Sporting Kansas City – Daniel Salloi

    Salloi’s strike against Houston on Saturday was the fifth goal scored by Sporting Kansas City from outside the box this season, the most in MLS in 2024.

    MATCH PREDICTION: AUSTIN WIN

    After losing only two of their first nine matches this season (W2 D5), SCK have lost three straight in MLS play. This is Sporting’s first regular-season losing streak in over a year since a run of four straight defeats in April 2023.

    Austin have won five of their last eight matches (D1 L2) after opening the season winless in five games (D2 L3). Since that run began in late March, Real Salt Lake (18 points) are the only Western Conference team with more points than Austin (16).

    Austin have won four of their last five meetings with SKC (L1). Austin have won all three meetings between the teams at Q2 Stadium, scoring nine goals in those games.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Austin – 45%

    SKC – 27.4%

    Draw – 27.6%

  • Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps: Sartini targets immediate response Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps: Sartini targets immediate response

    Vanni Sartini hopes a quick turnaround might help the Vancouver Whitecaps halt their skid as they visit their Cascadia Cup rivals, the Seattle Sounders, on the back of two straight losses.

    Vancouver sit seventh in the Western Conference with 18 points from 12 games in 2024, though they have slipped down the standings by only taking two points from the last 12 available. 

    They followed up a 3-0 defeat to Los Angeles FC by going down 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, playing half of that game with 10 men after Bjorn Utvik's sending-off.

    The Whitecaps have little time to stew on that result before Saturday's derby clash, but Sartini hopes that could be a positive thing.

    "It's really hard when you don't touch the ball at all and are down on the score, so what we did was really good – until the end everyone was running and giving 100 per cent," he said.

    "I'm still a little bummed that we didn't score to make it 1-1, which we fully deserved.

    "But we have time and other games, so we can immediately score points. We need to get back on the plus side on Sunday."

    Seattle, meanwhile, sit 10th in the West with 13 points from 13 matches, having seen their revival halted by a 2-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake in midweek.

    Boss Brian Schmetzer was left to rue basic defensive errors after that loss, saying: "In the first half, we let them out – one mistake. 

    "Could we have played a little bit better? Sure. We showed some glimpses in attack, and then we fell asleep. It was two plays that killed us. We have to own it."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Seattle Sounders – Raul Ruidiaz 

    Ruidiaz has scored eight goals in 11 career regular-season matches against the Whitecaps, one of four teams he's scored eight or more goals against in MLS. 

    Only three other players have scored eight or more goals against one opponent since Ruidiaz debuted in MLS in July 2018.

    Vancouver Whitecaps – Levonte Johnson

    Vancouver have been shut out in back-to-back games against Los Angeles and the Rapids since their 2-1 Canadian Championship win over Cavalry earlier this month.

    Speedy winger Johnson scored twice in that game and will be desperate to get a chance here.

    MATCH PREDICTION – SEATTLE SOUNDERS WIN

    The Whitecaps have won three of their last five meetings with Seattle (one draw, one defeat) after winning just two of the previous 22, including going 15 straight without a victory prior to this run.

    Seattle have managed just one win in five home matches this season (three draws, one defeat) with their six home points tied for the fewest of any Western Conference team.

    However, the Whitecaps have failed to net in three straight regular-season matches for the first time since August 2020, so Seattle are favourites to claim the bragging rights.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Seattle Sounders – 50.1% 

    Vancouver Whitecaps – 22.3%

    Draw – 27.6%

  • San Jose Earthquakes v Orlando City: Gonzalez certain things will turn San Jose Earthquakes v Orlando City: Gonzalez certain things will turn

    The San Jose Earthquakes may sit bottom of the Western Conference standings ahead of Saturday's clash with Orlando City, but Luchi Gonzalez is certain they will be just fine.

    The 'Quakes saw their mini revival halted by a 4-2 loss to the Portland Timbers in midweek, having previously won three straight games across all competitions.

    Their 10 points are fewer than all MLS teams except the New England Revolution (seven) have won this season, but Gonzalez has seen positive signs.

    "We're going to be fine. This is a great group, and they continue to fight for each other. It's hard when we drop points," he said.

    "I expect nothing but a fire in their belly and a response against Orlando and then in the next one, and it's really fun and exciting to coach this team. 

    "These guys work for each other and they want to keep getting better, and I'm confident they will keep getting better as the season continues."

    Orlando have also made a stuttering start, earning 13 points from 12 games to sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings.

    The Lions did shut out a Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami side in a goalless draw on Wednesday, though, and midfielder Wilder Cartagena has seen signs of progress.

    "Especially in the last few games, we've been showing ourselves to be more dangerous and attacking," Cartagena said.

    "It's similar to how we were in the last half of last year but obviously there are a couple of minor adjustments that we have to make. I think we are playing a lot better in that area."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    San Jose Earthquakes – Amahl Pellegrino 

    Pellegrino has scored in three straight games, becoming the first San Jose player to do so in MLS play since Cristian Espinoza between July and August last year (four straight). 

    It's Pellegrino's first time scoring in three straight league matches since he netted in four in a row for Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in 2023.

    Orlando City – Cesar Araujo

    Orlando allowed 29 shots against the Philadelphia Union last Saturday but just seven against Miami on Wednesday. It was the first time in their MLS history that Orlando faced at least 20 fewer shots from one game to the next.

    Araujo protected the backline admirably in midweek and will look to do likewise again here.

    MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

    The home side has never lost in six all-time meetings between San Jose and Orlando. 

    The first three meetings were all drawn before the hosts won each of the last three, with San Jose winning at home in 2019 and Orlando recording home wins in 2018 and 2021.

    After their midweek stalemate against Miami, Orlando have been shut out five times in league play this season. That is tied for the most in MLS in 2024, while their six times being held scoreless in all competitions this term also equals the most by any MLS outfit. 

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    San Jose Earthquakes – 38.4%

    Orlando City – 33.4%

    Draw – 28.2%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.