Minnesota United prevailed 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out against Columbus Crew to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the MLS is Back Tournament, while Portland Timbers also survived spot-kicks.

Penalties were needed following a 1-1 draw after the Crew's Gyasi Zardes struck 11 minutes from the end to cancel out Robin Lod's 18th-minute opener in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday.

Minnesota emerged triumphant on spot-kicks, converting all five of their attempts after Tyler Miller saved Chris Cadden's penalty.

San Jose Earthquakes await Minnesota in Friday's quarter-final showdown at Walt Disney World Resort.

In Tuesday's other last-16 fixture, the Timbers were 4-2 winners on penalties against Jaap Stam's FC Cincinnati.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda broke the deadlock for the Timbers when he coolly found the back of the net from inside the six-yard box after team-mate Sebastian Blanco was left unmarked before sliding a pass to the Polish forward.

But Cincinnati restored parity after Jurgen Locadia converted an 81st-minute penalty to force a shoot-out.

Portland, though, were not to be denied as Niezgoda scored the decisive penalty after Cincinnati's Kendall Waston missed and Locadia had his attempt saved.

The Timbers will go head-to-head with New York City for a place in the semi-finals on Friday.

FC Cincinnati booked their spot in the last 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament, while Minnesota United were held.

Jaap Stam's Cincinnati bounced back from their opening-game loss in Group E with back-to-back wins, including Wednesday's 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Yuya Kubo opened the scoring just before half-time with a good finish from the edge of the area after poor defending by the Red Bulls.

Florian Valot's own goal early in the second half sealed Cincinnati's win and second place in Group E.

The result also meant Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact advanced as one of the best third-placed teams.

Already into the last 16 from Group D, Minnesota were unable to claim top spot after a 2-2 draw with Colorado Rapids.

Kei Kamara opened the scoring for the Rapids, but they went into half-time behind.

Ethan Finlay flicked in the equaliser for Minnesota before tapping in a second.

Jonathan Lewis' powerful strike brought Colorado level as they secured their first and only point of the tournament.

Jaap Stam secured his first win in charge of FC Cincinnati as Frankie Amaya's long-range goal downed nine-man Atlanta United 1-0 in the MLS is Back Tournament.

The game pitched together two former Netherlands team-mates with Frank de Boer in charge of Atlanta - and it was Stam who prevailed in the head-to-head contest with his compatriot thanks to a 78th-minute strike.

Amaya's goal was worthy of settling the contest too, as he curled home with his left foot from just outside the penalty area.

Atlanta - who have now suffered back-to-back defeats in Group E - were already a man light at that stage, Jake Mulraney receiving two yellow cards inside the opening 26 minutes at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

De Boer then saw substitute J.J. Williams dismissed deep into 13 minutes of additional time for kicking out at Kendall Waston.

Gyasi Zardes led Columbus Crew to an impressive win over Cincinnati at the MLS is Back Tournament, while the New York Red Bulls also claimed a victory.

Zardes scored a brace as Columbus thrashed Jaap Stam's Cincinnati 4-0 in Florida on Saturday.

Stam took charge of Cincinnati for the first time since being appointed coach in May, but they were well beaten in the Group E clash.

Columbus opened the scoring in the 27th minute through Lucas Zelarayan, who curled in a wonderful 20-yard free-kick.

Just three minutes later and it was 2-0, Zardes finishing clinically after a pass from Youness Mokhtar.

Zardes got on the end of a lovely cross from Zelarayan early in the second half, finishing from close range to complete his brace.

A fine team move led to the sealer with half an hour remaining, Mokhtar curling into the bottom corner from inside the area.

Also in Group E, the Red Bulls edged Atlanta United 1-0.

The game's only goal came through Florian Valot, who finished in a one-on-one in the fourth minute.

MLS will resume play at Disney World Resort in Orlando on July 8, and a pair of Florida teams have the honour of kicking off the tournament with Orlando City facing Inter Miami.

A day after the MLS is Back Tournament was announced, the league held a draw for the group stage on Thursday, placing the 26 teams into six groups.

Sixteen teams will then progress to the knockout stage, which will begin on July 25 ahead of an August 11 final.

Aside from the opening match, the rest of the tournament schedule has yet to be announced.

 

The groups for the MLS is Back Tournament:

Group A (Eastern Conference): Orlando City, Inter Miami, New York City, Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire, Nashville SC.
Group B (Western Conference): Seattle Sounders, Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps, San Jose Earthquakes.
Group C (Eastern Conference): Toronto, New England Revolution, Montreal Impact, DC United.
Group D (Western Conference): Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City, Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United.
Group E (Eastern Conference): Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew.
Group F (Western Conference): Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers.

Jaap Stam saw the funny side of FC Cincinnati's photo blunder when confirming his appointment, joking they used a "doppelganger" because he was too busy.

Cincinnati announced Stam as their new coach on Thursday, with their Twitter post accompanied by a composite image that included a man who resembled the Dutchman.

But the pictured man, who was also bald and dressed in a shirt, tie and large coat, turned out to be Ajax youth coach Tinus van Teunenbroek.

The mishap quickly went viral and left Cincinnati's media team red-faced, particularly after official accounts of fellow MLS clubs chimed in on the replies of the corrected follow-up tweet.

Each one posted a welcome message and an accompanying image of a different bald man – examples ranged from Jason Statham to Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers films.

Unsurprisingly Stam was asked about the mishap during his presentation news conference on Friday, but the former Manchester United and Milan centre-back, who cut an intimidating figure on the pitch, took it in good humour.

"Everything was going well and I know you're aiming a little bit at this picture that came out," Stam said when asked how it felt to 'go viral'.

"Yesterday [Thursday] was a busy day, a hard day, a lot of talking and a lot of meetings, so eventually we used a doppelganger to do the picture."

Stam was then asked what he thought about the MLS clubs' replies. He said: "I've seen it – somebody sent it to me and I can appreciate that as well.

"At a certain time we need to have a bit of a laugh. If we play against each other and we come out on top with a win, then we can have a laugh – that's what we're trying to do."

The Dutch journalist who asked the questions explained to Cincinnati's press officer that he was addressing the "elephant in the room", but further questions on the matter seemed to be discretely discouraged when she responded: "Well, no, we have Jaap in the room today, so we're good there."

Stam is returning to management for the first time since resigning as Feyenoord boss in October, as he quit following a 4-0 defeat by Ajax less than five months after succeeding Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Cincinnati are in their second MLS season and lost the first two matches of the 2020 Eastern Conference campaign prior to the coronavirus-enforced pause.

FC Cincinnati have picked Jaap Stam as their new head coach, but the Major League Soccer outfit immediately blundered over the Dutchman's appointment.

Announcing Stam as their boss on Thursday, Cincinnati revealed the news with a picture of a man who certainly looked rather like the former Manchester United and Netherlands defender.

The man in question looked dressed for the job, in shirt, tie and a large coat, and as well as a bald head, many of his facial characteristics were comparable to those of Stam.

However, it turned out to be not Stam but a man widely identified by Dutch media as Ajax youth coach Tinus van Teunenbroek.

Red-faced Cincinnati pulled Van Teunenbroek's image from their coverage of the story once it became clear they had the wrong man.

A corrected version of the announcement was posted to Twitter, this time with an image of Stam, accompanied by the message: "Join us in welcoming our actual new head coach, Jaap Stam."

Jaap Stam has been announced as the new head coach of MLS side Cincinnati.

The former Manchester United, Milan and Netherlands defender heads to Ohio along with Said Bakkati, who has worked as Stam's assistant throughout his coaching career.

"For myself, to get the opportunity to work in America and to work in MLS for a club like FC Cincinnati, it's a dream," Stam told his new club's website.

"I've always liked the country and I've always liked the mentality of the people in the States as well in what they're trying to achieve.

"To get the opportunity to work for FC Cincinnati and this project by building the club – hopefully even further than where they already are, because I think they've already done a great job – but being a presence as a team, even more in MLS, getting results and working together with the fans and everybody already working within the club, for me it's a big challenge to do well."

Stam started his post-playing career with Jong Ajax in 2014 before spending two years in charge of English Championship side Reading.

He joined PEC Zwolle for 2018-19 before taking over at Feyenoord in June 2019, only to step down three months later after a 4-0 loss to Ajax.

"We are very happy and pleased to have Jaap Stam become FC Cincinnati's new head coach," said general manager Gerard Nijkamp.

"He has an extensive background in being part of some of the most successful clubs in the world as a player and has also proven that he can guide teams through transitionary periods as a head coach.

"I strongly believe that Jaap can lead us through our next phase, to our new stadium, and help us achieve our goals in the future, making players better and bringing his knowledge and experience inside the club. I have full confidence that he will be successful at FC Cincinnati and will be a great fit to carry out our established playing philosophy and guide the club to achieve future successes."

Cincinnati finished bottom of the Eastern Conference with six wins from 34 games in 2019, their first year in MLS following the awarding of an expansion franchise to the city in 2018.

Inter Miami suffered another loss to begin life in MLS, while LA Galaxy are also winless through two games.

Coming off a defeat to Los Angeles FC, Inter Miami went down to DC United 2-1 on Saturday.

Rodolfo Pizarro scored the first MLS goal in the club's history, sweeping in a Lewis Morgan cross to give them the lead in just the second minute.

However, the game turned early in the second half when, after Morgan thought he had doubled his side's lead, the visitors had the goal ruled out and Roman Torres sent off for a handball.

DC equalised through Yamil Asad's penalty in the 59th minute before finding what proved to be the winner just after the hour-mark.

Edison Flores hit the post with a free-kick and Frederic Brillant reacted quickest to fire in the rebound and lift DC to their first win of the season.

LA Galaxy are without a win through two games after suffering a 1-0 loss at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Tosaint Ricketts' smart side-footed finish in the 74th minute was enough for the Whitecaps.

Joe Corona was then sent off for Galaxy, who were beaten despite David Bingham later saving a Lucas Cavallini penalty.

Without the injured Josef Martinez, Atlanta United made it two wins from two by beating Cincinnati 2-1.

There are three teams with perfect records in the Western Conference in Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota United and the Colorado Rapids.

Sporting KC thrashed Houston Dynamo 4-0, Ike Opara netted a brace in Minnesota's 5-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado edged Orlando City 2-1 thanks to Drew Moor's late winner.

New England Revolution and Chicago Fire drew 1-1, Real Salt Lake came from behind to hold the New York Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw and Maximiliano Urruti's brace helped Montreal Impact draw 2-2 with Dallas.

Ifunanyachi Achara's goal on his MLS debut saw Toronto overcome New York City 1-0, while the Seattle Sounders drew 1-1 against Columbus Crew.

FC Cincinnati head coach Ron Jans has quit the club after it was alleged he used a racial slur.

Dutchman Jans initially "stepped away" from his duties on Friday as an independent investigation looked into the claims made against him.

Now the 61-year-old has had his resignation accepted by Cincinnati, who said his departure was "the best course of action for everyone involved" with the club.

The MLS Players Association (MLSPA) said on Friday it had been "made aware of extremely inappropriate comments" made by Jans and called for an "immediate and thorough league investigation".

That has led to Jans, appointed last August, cutting his ties with the team with immediate effect.

The Athletic alleged Jans used the 'N-word' in the company of a number of players earlier in pre-season, and reported that members of the team met with an attorney regarding the incident.

FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said in a club statement: "As Major League Soccer's investigation unfolded and some themes emerged, Ron offered his resignation and we agreed that it was the best course of action for everyone involved with FC Cincinnati.

"We place the utmost importance on a strong culture within our club, beginning in our locker room, and that every person connected with FC Cincinnati feels valued, respected and trusted.

"Racial and cultural diversity is a major part of what makes the game of soccer so special, and we place the highest priority on respecting every person involved in our game.

"This includes absolutely everyone associated with our club, from our locker room and front office, all the way through to our fans."

Jans has yet to make a public comment on the accusation.

The dramatic development comes just 12 days before Cincinnati begin their MLS season against New York Red Bulls.

Frenchman Yoann Damet, who has been at Cincinnati for three years, takes over as interim head coach.

The club said general manager Gerard Nijkamp was beginning the search for a permanent new first-team boss.

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