Los Angeles FC booked a spot in the MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals, while the San Jose Earthquakes also advanced.

LAFC cruised past the Seattle Sounders 4-1 in their last-16 clash at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Monday.

Diego Rossi's penalty gave Los Angeles the lead before Latif Blessing made it 2-0 courtesy of a deflected strike.

With 15 minutes remaining, Will Bruin pulled a goal back for the Sounders to give them hope.

But Rossi scored his seventh goal of the tournament and Brian Rodriguez's smart finish sealed LAFC's win.

LAFC will face Orlando City in the last eight.

The Earthquakes, meanwhile, recorded a 5-2 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Cristian Espinoza opened the scoring with a fine finish for San Jose, before Douglas Martinez equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time.

Magnus Eriksson's penalty restored the Earthquakes' lead shortly after the break, before Valeri Qazaishvili tapped in an Andres Rios pass.

RSL pulled a goal back through Damir Kreilach, only for a rash challenge from Marcelo Silva to see them reduced to 10 men.

Chris Wondolowski's goal and another Eriksson spot-kick sealed San Jose a clash against either Columbus Crew or Minnesota United.

San Jose Earthquakes progressed to the last 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament as Group B winners, while Seattle Sounders joined them in the knockout stage.

The Earthquakes clinched top spot in the group thanks to Sunday's 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire in Orlando, Florida.

Chris Wondolowski added to his all-time leading MLS tally at Walt Disney World Resort, where Cristian Espinoza opened the scoring in the 56th minute.

After a goalless opening half, Espinoza was played into space by Earthquakes team-mate Jackson Yueill before firing past Fire goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm.

Wondolowski then doubled the lead within seconds of his introduction – heading home Carlos Fierro's cross for the 37-year-old's 161st league goal.

The Fire, though, remain in the race to qualify for the knockout round.

Chicago could finish second behind San Jose if they beat Vancouver Whitecaps in their Group B finale.

The Sounders currently sit second on four points from their three matches – a point above the Fire with a plus-two goal difference and at least enough for one of the four best third-placed teams – after defeating the Whitecaps 3-0.

Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz inspired the Sounders against the Whitecaps, who could still advance as one of the best third-placed teams with a big win against Chicago.

Mauricio Pineda scored a late winner as his first senior goal gave Chicago Fire a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders in the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando.

Defending MLS Cup champions Seattle had the better of the first half but fell behind in the Group B clash when Robert Beric displayed excellent composure to open the scoring in the 52nd minute after a pair of Sounders defenders inexplicably allowed him to latch on to a defensive clearance.

Seattle were level 15 minutes later when Handwalla Bwana slid home from Jordan Morris' left-wing pull back.

There was a sting in the tail, though, as Gaston Gimenez's corner made it all the way to the back post where Pineda settled the contest with a close-range volley.

Chicago are top after starting with a win, while Seattle have just a point from two games.

The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes played out a 0-0 draw in their MLS is Back Tournament openers on Friday.

Both goalkeepers had saves to make throughout the Group B clash at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

However, neither team was able to find a breakthrough as the spoils were shared as MLS' return continued amid the coronavirus pandemic.

San Jose goalkeeper Daniel Vega made an excellent save approaching the half-hour mark, denying Cristian Roldan.

Sounders shot-stopper Stefan Frei was also called into action numerous times, finishing with eight saves.

Nicolas Lodeiro almost found an 81st-minute winner for Seattle, but was denied by Vega.

Seattle face Chicago Fire on Tuesday, while San Jose meet the Vancouver Whitecaps the following day.

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.

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.

Carlos Vela provided another highlight as Los Angeles FC defeated Inter Miami 1-0 in their MLS debut on an historic evening.

Birthday boy Vela scored a stunning chip on the stroke of half-time to ensure reigning Supporters' Shield champions LAFC made the perfect start to the 2020 season on Sunday.

Co-owner David Beckham, his famous wife Victoria and Inter's hierarchy were in the stands as the expansion franchise made history in Los Angeles.

Inter battled in their first-ever MLS match but Diego Alonso's side came unstuck following a moment of brilliance from Vela on his 31st birthday.

Former Arsenal forward Vela – who scored a record-breaking 34 goals in a MVP season last term – chipped the ball over Inter captain and goalkeeper Luis Robles in the 44th minute at Banc of California Stadium.

"Surely we have to improve in football, but with this heart and with this intensity with which the team plays, we will surely win many games," said Inter head coach Alonso.

"Against maybe the best team in the league we gave a tremendous picture today of what we can become. With only six weeks of work, the merit is certainly from the footballers for what we have done today and the work they have done."

Seattle Sounders started their title defence with a dramatic 2-1 victory at home to Chicago Fire thanks to substitute Jordan Morris' brace.

Trailing to Robert Beric's 46th-minute opener, the Sounders equalised via Morris just past the hour mark before he netted the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Kevin Molino scored twice as Minnesota United upstaged Portland Timbers 3-1, New York Red Bulls edged Cincinnati 3-2 and 10-man New York City lost 1-0 away to Columbus Crew.

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.

Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup for the second time in their history after goals from Kelvin Leerdam, Victor Rodriguez and Raul Ruidiaz earned them a 3-1 victory over Toronto FC.

Brian Schmetzer's side were second best for much of the game at CenturyLink Field but triumphed after a stroke of luck gifted Leerdam a deflected opening goal.

Rodriguez lit up the game with a tremendous solo effort 14 minutes from time and Ruidiaz added a third as the Western Conference Final winners were crowned champions for the first time since 2016.

The result was cruel on Toronto, who scored late through Jozy Altidore and played the better football, but Seattle claimed revenge for their defeat to the same opponents in the 2017 final.

Roman Torres lifted a shot over the crossbar from 12 yards as the Sounders pressed hard early on, but Toronto grew in confidence and the hosts needed a good one-handed save from goalkeeper Stefan Frei to keep Jonathan Osorio from grabbing the opener.

The best chance of a goalless first half fell to Ruidiaz when he controlled Nicolas Lodeiro's cross from the right but could only shoot straight at Quentin Westberg, who parried his angled drive away.

Seattle broke the deadlock against the run of play after surviving a period of intense Toronto pressure, Leerdam controlling Ruidiaz's pass and turning Nicolas Benezet before scoring with a low shot that took a wicked deflection off Justin Morrow's foot.

Toronto sent on Altidore for his debut in these play-offs but moments after his introduction Rodriguez, on as a substitute just after the hour mark, collected the ball just outside the box and hammered a powerful right-footed strike into the far corner of the net.

Ruidiaz missed a golden chance to make it three moments later but made amends when he powered past Chris Mavinga and latched onto Gustav Svensson's long pass before clipping a shot over Westberg to start the celebrations.

Playing for pride in the dying seconds, Toronto mustered a consolation when Altidore met Alejandro Pozuelo's cross with a powerful header beyond Frei but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Nick DeLeon's stunning late goal led Toronto past defending champions Atlanta United 2-1 and through to the MLS Cup final.

With 12 minutes remaining in Atlanta on Wednesday, DeLeon produced a thunderous long-range effort that beat Brad Guzan and secured Toronto's spot in the November 10 final.

Toronto will travel to Seattle Sounders in a rematch of the 2017 decider, which the Canadian side won 2-0.

After Los Angeles FC's shock defeat to Seattle on Tuesday, there was another upset as Frank de Boer's Atlanta were dethroned on home soil.

Julian Gressel gave Atlanta a fourth-minute lead after a selfless pass from team-mate Gonzalo Martinez at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

However, their lead only lasted 10 minutes as Toronto's Nicolas Benezet found the far corner of the net with a curling effort.

Toronto had the final say away from home after DeLeon somehow created enough space to find the top corner in the 78th minute.

Raul Ruidiaz scored twice as Seattle Sounders shocked Los Angeles FC 3-1 to advance to the MLS Cup final.

Supporters' Shield champions LAFC had dominated throughout the season and broke records along the way, however, Bob Bradley's side came unstuck on Tuesday.

The visiting Sounders took control after Eduard Atuesta opened the scoring for LAFC in the 17th minute, with quick-fire goals from Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro putting Seattle ahead nine minutes later.

Seattle sealed their place in the November 10 final thanks to Ruidiaz's second goal of the match with 26 minutes remaining in Los Angeles – the Sounders to face either defending champions Atlanta United or Toronto in the decider.

Confidence was high at Banc of California Stadium after LAFC overcame city rivals LA Galaxy in an eight-goal thriller in the Western Conference semi-finals.

LAFC looked on track to reach their maiden final when Atuesta curled a stunning free-kick past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei, however, that was as good as it got.

Ruidiaz scored a 22nd-minute equaliser following a brilliant moment of skill and Lodeiro's effort from outside the penalty area gave the Sounders the lead four minutes later.

Seattle's place in their third MLS Cup final, having won the title in 2016 and finished runners-up the following year, was secured when Ruidiaz completed his brace after the hour.

Toronto advanced to the Eastern Conference final after stunning top seed New York City 2-1 in the MLS play-offs.

Alejandro Pozuelo's dramatic 90th-minute penalty settled the Conference semi-final at Citi Field in New York on Wednesday.

New York's Ismael Tajouri-Shradi cancelled out Pozuelo's 47th-minute opener in the Big Apple, however, visiting Toronto had the final say after the 69th-minute equaliser.

Richie Laryea was brought down by Ronald Matarrita and Pozuelo stepped up to score the Panenka penalty midweek.

Toronto – MLS champions in 2017 – will contest their third Conference final in the last four seasons as titleholders Atlanta United or Philadelphia Union await in the next round.

Meanwhile, Seattle Sounders defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 en route to the Western Conference final.

Following a goalless opening half, Gustav Svensson and Nicolas Lodeiro sent the Sounders through to play the winner of the El Trafico derby between Los Angeles FC and LA Galaxy.

Wayne Rooney departed MLS after DC United were humbled by Toronto in extra time of their play-off clash, while defending champions Atlanta United advanced.

Derby County-bound Rooney was helpless as DC suffered a 5-1 defeat to Toronto after extra time in the opening round of the MLS post-season on Saturday.

Former Manchester United and England captain Rooney agreed a player-coach role with Championship outfit Derby in August, ahead of his January return to England.

But Rooney's DC and MLS farewell did not go according to plan after his team conceded four extra-time goals away to Toronto at BMO Field.

A dramatic 93rd-minute equaliser from DC's Lucas Rodriguez had forced extra time after cancelling out Marco Delgado's first-half opener.

However, Toronto erupted in extra time as Jonathan Osorio scored a brace while Richie Laryea and Nick DeLeon were also on target in the first additional period.

Toronto – MLS Cup champions in 2017 – will now face New York City in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Atlanta's hopes of claiming back-to-back MLS titles remain on track after edging New England Revolution 1-0.

Franco Escobar settled the contest at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where his 70th-minute goal guided Frank de Boer's side to the Eastern Conference semis to play the winner of Philadelphia Union versus New York Red Bulls.

Elsewhere, Seattle Sounders survived a seven-goal thriller as they prevailed 4-3 against Dallas after extra time.

A Jordan Morris hat-trick, completed in the 113th minute, sent the Sounders through to the next round, where they will meet Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference semi-finals after their late 2-1 win over Portland Timbers.

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