Orlando City edged Thierry Henry's Montreal Impact 1-0 en route to the MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals, while Philadelphia Union also advanced to the last eight.

Tesho Akindele proved the difference for Orlando, with his 60th-minute goal seeing off Montreal in the first knockout fixture in Florida on Saturday.

Following a goalless first half, Akindele pounced on a defensive error on the hour mark – converting an easy tap-in after Clement Diop was unable to deal with Rod Fanni's back pass at Walt Disney Resort.

Nani's Orlando will face either Seattle Sounders or reigning Supporters' Shield champions Los Angeles FC in the quarter-finals.

In Saturday's other last-16 clash, Philadelphia defeated New England Revolution 1-0.

Sergio Santos' 63rd-minute effort saw the Union past Bruce Arena's Revolution.

Santos ran onto a lofted pass from Union team-mate Jamiro Monteiro and finished from an acute angle to send the Union through to the next round.

Next up for Philadelphia are either Sporting Kansas City or Vancouver Whitecaps.

Columbus Crew eliminated Atlanta United from the MLS is Back Tournament, while Montreal Impact stayed alive.

Youness Mokhtar's first-half goal saw Columbus edge Atlanta 1-0 in Group E at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Tuesday.

Columbus will finish top of the group with three wins from as many games, while Atlanta are out.

Mokhtar's goal in the 18th minute came after a fine team move before the attacker tucked away a Milton Valenzuela pass.

Montreal overcame DC United 1-0 to remain a chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed teams.

Saphir Taider's deflected strike from distance just after the half-hour mark secured third place in Group C for Montreal.

While DC United have been eliminated, Thierry Henry's Montreal must wait for results in other games to see if they will feature in the last 16.

Ayo Akinola stole the show for Toronto at the MLS is Back Tournament on Thursday, while Columbus Crew won again.

Akinola, 20, starred with a hat-trick in Toronto's thrilling 4-3 victory over the Montreal Impact at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The United States youth international helped Toronto to their first win in Group C, while Montreal were left without a point.

Toronto opened the scoring in the eighth minute through Richie Laryea, who cut inside from the left before finding the bottom corner.

Romell Quioto's finish in a one-on-one brought Montreal level before Akinola got on the end of an Alejandro Pozuelo cross to make it 2-1.

After a Saphir Taider penalty again levelled the contest, Akinola restored Toronto's lead following a Pozuelo pass.

Akinola showed off his strength before completing his hat-trick and Toronto held on despite another Taider penalty deep into additional time.

Columbus Crew booked their spot in the last 16 from Group E after a second straight win, beating the New York Red Bulls 2-0.

Gyasi Zardes opened the scoring before Lucas Zelarayan's low strike in the second half.

Montreal Impact made a losing start to their MLS is Back Tournament season, beaten 1-0 by New England Revolution in Orlando.

Both teams were kicking off their Group C campaigns at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Thursday after the MLS season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

And Thierry Henry's Impact succumbed to Gustavo Bou's thunderous half-volley approaching the hour mark as the Revolution overcame their wastefulness in the final third.

Arsenal legend and former Monaco head coach Henry took a knee at kick-off, holding his stance until the 8:46 mark of the first half in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The time represents the eight minutes, 46 seconds a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Flody's neck before the African-American man died in May.

New England outshot Montreal 19-7 – Bou's 56th-minute effort the Revolution's only reward against the Impact.

The Impact, though, did come close to equalising in the sixth minute of stoppage time but Matt Turney produced a fine save to deny Ballou Tabla.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union edged New York City 1-0 in the Group A fixture earlier on Thursday.

Thierry Henry has been grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with himself during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, with the Montreal Impact coach acknowledging his day-to-day responsibilities have taken their toll.

Arsenal and France icon Henry called time on his playing career in 2014 following a four-year spell in MLS with New York Red Bulls, but since then he has led a busy life.

After a near three-year stint as a television pundit in England, he began to focus on his coaching career and was initially assistant to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, before an ill-fated spell in charge of Monaco and then moving to Montreal.

Despite the situation caused across the world by coronavirus, Henry has looked on the positive side of being forced into lockdown, which allowed him to focus on his own well-being after a hectic few years that have afforded him few chances to consider his health.

"Taking care of myself is something you forget as a player or coach, you give your time to everyone," he told UEFA.

"I took some time for myself, if I can say in a selfish way, but it's important we all once again become human – the virus has reminded us what it is to be human, what it is to be together, respectful.

"Generally, since I stopped playing, I passed my badges straight away so I've been busy and then I worked on TV, but you know what – taking time for myself [is what he's been doing in lockdown].

"I didn't do that for a long time. People will say, 'that's not great,' and I know it's not, but for me it was priceless.

"You can have time with your own mind, your own body, your own thoughts and not always being responsible for others.

"As a coach no one cares what you think or how you are, they want to give the coach their problems and he needs to find solution – whether it's the press, fans, the board. As a leader that's how you need to be, sort stuff, look like the guy who isn't suffering and it takes its toll on you.

"So, for the first time I reconnected with my body and my mind."

 

The full interview with Henry can be found on UEFA's official YouTube channel.

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.

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry said the MLS club simply needed to be ready for whatever could be coming if the campaign resumes.

The MLS season was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 217,000 people worldwide.

Earlier this month, MLS postponed matches through June 8 as the United States, with more than one million confirmed COVID-19 cases, struggles to contain the virus.

Henry, whose team claimed four points from their opening two games, said he would be prepared for whatever followed.

"I'm sure the [MLS] commissioner and whoever's involved to take that decision are working, obviously, extremely hard, to find out what we are about to do," he told a conference call on Tuesday.

"All we can do on our side is to be focused and to prepared for whatever comes our way. They are going to take the decision, we are going to have to execute whatever they want us to execute.

"On my side, all I can try and do is keep my team, the staff, whoever, prepared to whatever is going to come our way,

"As you've mentioned I've seen that people [Ligue 1, Eredivisie] took one way and one path.

"I don't know what's going to happen with the league, we just have to wait and see and be ready for whatever’s going to come our way."

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.

Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama has signed a three-year deal with MLS side Montreal Impact, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Wanyama, 28, made just four appearances in all competitions for Spurs in 2019-20 and will join Thierry Henry's Montreal on a free transfer, pending an international transfer certificate and successful medical.

The Kenya midfielder arrived at Tottenham from Southampton in 2016 and is set to play outside of Europe for the first time in his professional career.

"I'm really happy to join an exciting club like the Montreal Impact," Wanyama said in a statement.

"MLS continues to grow every season and I'm looking forward to bringing further awareness to this team, city and league across Africa.

"When I spoke to Thierry and he told me he wanted me to join him in Montreal, I didn't have to think twice.

"He has always been a player that I've admired, and I am really happy to get the opportunity to work with him and to play a part that can ensure that the Montreal Impact have an improved season and hopefully reach the ultimate stages of the competitions in which we compete.

"I think the Saputo family and the management team in Montreal have a great plan in place and I am hoping I can make a great contribution to the success of this project."

Montreal won their opening game of the MLS season and visit Dallas on Saturday.

Thierry Henry made a winning start as Montreal Impact coach in MLS, while Javier Hernandez's LA Galaxy debut ended in a draw on Saturday.

At the helm of Montreal, Henry's Impact came from behind to beat the New England Revolution 2-1 on the opening day of the MLS season.

The Arsenal great's side had fallen behind after just 13 minutes at Stade Olympique, where Teal Bunbury volleyed in a Cristian Penilla cross.

However, Romell Quioto headed in from close range to bring Montreal level just eight minutes before half-time.

And the hosts found an 80th-minute winner as Maximiliano Urruti spectacularly lobbed stranded New England goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Hernandez made his LA Galaxy debut in a 1-1 draw away to the Houston Dynamo.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward played 90 minutes as Houston came from behind, Mauro Manotas cancelling out Cristian Pavon's opener.

Atlanta United spoiled Nashville SC's first MLS game with a 2-1 victory at Nissan Stadium.

Walker Zimmerman scored Nashville's first goal to cancel out Ezequiel Barco's opener, but Emerson Hyndman's 37th-minute strike proved to be the winner in front of a crowd of 59,069.

Elsewhere, Oswaldo Alanis' brilliant 95th-minute free-kick helped the San Jose Earthquakes hold Toronto to a 2-2 draw.

The Colorado Rapids recorded a 2-1 win over DC United, Dallas beat Philadelphia Union 2-0, Orlando City and Real Salt Lake played out a 0-0 draw and Sporting Kansas City overcame the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1.

MLS returns this week for the 2020 season and some of the biggest names in league history are back too.

Former New York Red Bulls superstar Thierry Henry is the new head coach at Montreal Impact, while LA Galaxy great David Beckham is introducing expansion franchise Inter Miami.

However, Galaxy have lost the league's latest superstar after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored 53 goals in two seasons, returned to Milan.

Both Los Angeles clubs are still plotting big seasons, and champions Seattle Sounders look well set for a title defence.

We pose five key questions heading into the new campaign.
 

Can Chicharito follow in Zlatan's footsteps?

The biggest departure of the offseason was followed by the most significant arrival. Javier Hernandez has long been linked with a move to MLS, and Galaxy secured the signing of the ex-Manchester United striker as Ibrahimovic's replacement.

Hernandez does not have the same global appeal as Ibrahimovic, but he may ultimately prove a better fit at Dignity Health Sports Park.

While Ibrahimovic competed for the MLS Golden Boot, Galaxy continued to fall well short of team titles, playing a direct style that suited their talisman but not the rest of their squad. Cristian Pavon and company should now thrive alongside Hernandez.
 

Are Supporters' Shield holders LAFC one-season wonders?

Galaxy did not need to look far for evidence of what could be achieved by a team all pulling in one direction, with Hernandez's Mexico team-mate Carlos Vela leading Los Angeles FC to a dominant record-breaking Supporters' Shield success.

Bob Bradley's LAFC were a joy to watch, but Shield winners have struggled in recent years to maintain standards - Toronto FC providing the most striking example as they slumped from first in 2017 to 19th a year later.

Defender Walker Zimmerman has departed, striker Adama Diomande is starting the season injured, and LAFC suddenly could have their work cut out in 2020.
 

Could Seattle finally provide a serious title defence?

It is not just the Shield that has proven tricky to retain. Not since Galaxy in 2011 and 2012 have a team won MLS Cup two years on the bounce.

Seattle have played Toronto in three of the past four finals, winning twice, and yet there is a decent argument Sounders have not been the best team in the league at any point over this stretch. That should be about to change - despite the disappointment of Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League exit.

The defence has been restructured over the past 12 months, with retired centre-back Chad Marshall a big miss, but there is real depth in midfield and attack. Joao Paulo is an exciting addition, while Jordan Morris is in the form of his career as Seattle aim to build on their second title.
 

Will Henry bounce back from his Monaco misery?

Henry turned Red Bulls into contenders in the twilight of his playing career, but his coaching exploits have not been quite so successful to date. The Arsenal legend lasted just 20 matches in his first senior role with Monaco, losing 11 times and conceding 36 goals.

There was still excitement in Montreal as Henry arrived at Impact, though, with the club in need of a boost. They have missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.

But this is no simple second job for Henry as he aims to prove Monaco was a disappointing one-off. Montreal have lost veteran captain Ignacio Piatti and are short in several areas.
 

Do Inter and Nashville look more like Atlanta or Cincinnati?

Beckham's Inter are not the only expansion franchise in 2020, as Nashville also make their debut. The league has swollen from 20 teams in 2016 to 26 today, and there are therefore plenty of examples to consider as they arrive in MLS.

The Miami outfit look to have taken heed of the ambitious Atlanta United, champions in their second season. For Tata Martino, Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez, read Diego Alonso, Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini.

Nashville's spending has been more modest, trading within the league, but that does not necessarily mean they will follow miserable 2019 basement side FC Cincinnati. Nashville at least look solid.

The 25th edition of MLS gets underway on Saturday and it promises to be the biggest season yet.

David Beckham's Inter Miami and fellow expansion club Nashville SC will enter the league, which will increase to 26 teams.

Seattle Sounders are the defending champions, record-breaking Los Angeles FC will look to go all the way this year after falling short last term, while Arsenal and Barcelona legend Thierry Henry is at the helm of Montreal Impact.

With the season set to kick off, here is a selection of the best Opta facts related to MLS.

 

- Only one of the last eight teams to debut in MLS have won their inaugural match, dating back to Portland Timbers in 2011 (LAFC 1-0 Seattle in 2018). Orlando City and New York City drew against each other in both teams' inaugural match in 2015, while the other five teams that joined the league in that time lost their opening match.

- Of MLS' last nine new teams, only one have failed to score in their inaugural match in the competition. Montreal lost 2-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps in 2012.

- Of the 14 teams to play their inaugural MLS match on the road, only two have managed to win; including Los Angeles in 2018 (also Chicago Fire in 1998, at Miami Fusion). Two more managed draws while 10 of the 14 teams that started on the road lost their inaugural match.

- The last six MLS expansion clubs scored in their first away match in the league dating back to 2015. Five of the teams scored one goal while Atlanta United scored six against fellow newcomers Minnesota United in 2017.

- The last three reigning MLS Cup winners lost the opening match of the following season, including Seattle's 2-1 defeat at Houston Dynamo in 2017 after reigning supreme in 2016.

- LAFC equalled the all-time record for goals scored in a single MLS season last campaign (85 – level with LA Galaxy in 1998). Their striker Carlos Vela also broke the record for single-season goals in MLS history; scoring 34 and beating Josef Martinez's record haul of 31 from 2018.

- Atlanta star Martinez has scored a goal against all 23 of the opposition teams that he has faced in regular-season MLS matches – Nashville will be the 24th different opponent he has played against in the competition.

- New York City's 177 points and 50 wins are both second-most over the past three MLS regular campaigns, both behind Atlanta (182 points and 54 wins). NYC are the only team that have won at least 16 regular-season matches in each of the past three MLS campaigns.

- Last season was the 10th straight in which New York Red Bulls qualified for the MLS postseason. The Red Bulls' 10 successive play-off appearance represent the second-longest active run (Seattle – 11) and the longest in the history of the Eastern Conference.

- New Impact manager Henry took charge of Monaco in Ligue 1 last season between October 2018 and January 2019. During his 12 league games in charge, he won just twice (17 per cent); which was the worst win ratio of every Monaco head coach to take charge of five-plus top-flight games in their history.

- Colorado Rapids have missed the play-offs in three successive MLS seasons for the first time since 2007-2009. They have collected just 106 points over the past three MLS campaigns, only Orlando City (104) have collected fewer among the teams that have been in the league for each season since 2017.

- 85 of LA Galaxy recruit Javier Hernandez's 89 goals within the big five European leagues during his career came from inside the box (96 per cent), including each of the past 30 of these strikes.

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry has returned to his former club Barcelona to sign Canada international Ballou Tabla on permanent terms.

Winger Tabla left the Impact as an 18-year-old to join Barcelona in January 2018, becoming a member of the club's B team.

Tabla departs after two years of a three-year deal, however, having been unable to make a first-team breakthrough at Camp Nou.

The 20-year-old had a €25million release clause in his contract, to protect Barcelona in the event he developed at a rapid rate.

Such a rise to stardom did not materialise, and there was no mention of any fee in a statement from Montreal that said Tabla had returned to them on a two-year contract, with two option years.

Impact sporting director Olivier Renard said: "We are happy to have Ballou back with us following this transfer. The talent of this young Quebecer was never put into question. Now it's up to him to do everything and bounce back."

Tabla played 30 games for Barcelona B and had a loan spell with Albacete before joining Montreal on a temporary basis last August, making four MLS appearances.

That return is now a full-time arrangement, with Tabla set the challenge of earning a regular place in Henry's team.

Thierry Henry is hoping to learn from his mistakes at Monaco after taking charge of MLS club Montreal Impact.

After assisting Roberto Martinez with Belgium, former Arsenal and Barcelona star Henry took up his first head coach role at Ligue 1 club Monaco in October 2018.

However, despite signing a three-year deal, Henry was dismissed in January, with his predecessor Leonardo Jardim coming in as his replacement. 

Montreal, meanwhile, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019, with Wilmer Cabrera - who only took charge in August - not offered the chance to stay on as coach.

On his official unveiling as the Impact's new coach, Henry insisted he has put his poor spell at Monaco behind him and is hoping to prove his quality as a coach with Montreal, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League.

"You have to start somewhere, that's how you acquire experience," Henry, who has signed a two-year deal with Montreal, told a news conference on Monday.

"For me it came with Belgium and Monaco, where I learned a lot about myself. It's about fighting. This isn't my story but the story of everyone in life. Everyone falls. It's about how you get up.

"It didn't work out at Monaco. I can give you a lot of excuses but at the end of the day it didn't work out and I am here as coach of Montreal.

"I learned a lot there. The only mistake you can make is not learning from what happened. You have to confront it."

Thierry Henry has been named the new head coach of MLS side Montreal Impact.

The former Arsenal and France star has signed an initial two-year deal, with the option of a third.

It is Henry's first coaching job since a troubled 20 games in charge of former club Monaco in Ligue 1 last season.

"We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game," said Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore via the club's website.

"Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be."

Henry, 42, said: "It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS.

"It's a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it's extraordinary. I've always kept an eye on the club and now I'm here."

Henry spent four years with New York Red Bulls after leaving Barcelona in 2010, winning the Supporters' Shield in 2013 after helping his side finish top of the Eastern Conference.

After taking a coaching role with the Arsenal academy following his retirement in 2014, Henry then enjoyed a successful two-year spell as assistant to Roberto Martinez with Belgium.

He took charge of Monaco in October 2018 after the dismissal of Leonardo Jardim, but he was sacked in January this year after managing only four wins in his brief tenure.

Impact, who will play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, finished ninth in the Eastern Conference in 2019.

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