Cristian Arango will be getting treated to dinner by his Los Angeles FC team-mate Kwadwo Opoku after the latter's winner against D.C. United.

Opoku – commonly known as Mahala – came off the bench to net his sixth MLS goal of the season on Tuesday to see off Wayne Rooney's team 1-0 in California.

That brought up a seventh straight league win for LAFC, who are well on course to win The Supporters' Shield.

Mahala's goal, the 15th scored by an LAFC substitute this season, came just five minutes after he entered the fray at Banc of California Stadium, with the hosts' leading scorer Arango turning provider.

Arango could have gone for goal himself after latching onto Carlos Vela's throughball, but instead squared for Mahala, who took a touch to steady himself before slotting into an open net.

When asked about Arango's assist, Mahala told LAFC's official broadcaster KCOP 13: "That's a great one, it's a team effort, as long as the team gets the three points, that's the most important thing. I need to buy him dinner!"

As they close in on the playoffs, LAFC look well set to go on and break the MLS regular-season points record, set by the New England Revolution last year.

"For me this is the best team I've played for," said Ilie Sanchez, who had spent the previous five seasons competing at the top end of MLS with Sporting Kansas City.

"The quality that we have in our squad is so broad. Every player that is out on the field is performing, doing a great job and the coaching staff are managing the situation perfectly. We need to improve more and more towards the playoffs."

Italy international Lorenzo Insigne netted his first goal in the MLS as Toronto won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 over Nashville on Saturday, while Gareth Bale was on the scoresheet again for LAFC.

The 31-year-old winger fired in Toronto's fourth goal to make it 4-2 in the 77th minute with a near-post strike from just outside the box.

Insigne, making his third MLS appearance for Toronto, showed his class to create a pocket of space for himself before opening up his body to fire past Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis.

The goal headlined an entertaining contest which helped Toronto claim their seventh win of the season as they seek to mount a late-season charge.

Jonathan Osorio rifled Toronto in a 19th-minute lead but Hany Mukhtar's penalty squared it up in the 41st minute. Osorio restored Toronto's lead by tapping in Richie Laryea's low ball across goal, yet Nashville were level by half-time when Teal Bunbury glanced in off the post from a corner.

Filippo Bernardeschi put Toronto up again with an emphatic 54th-minute penalty before Insigne's moment with just under quarter of an hour to go. Walker Zimmerman headed in a late goal from Mukhtar's corner but Nashville could not find an equaliser as Toronto claimed their first road win in 378 days.

Bale, making his fourth appearance for his new club, netted his second MLS goal in LAFC's 4-1 victory against Real Salt Lake.

The Walsh international came on in the 64th minute with LAFC 3-1 up after Cristian Arango's double and added the fourth with a classy solo goal. Bale ran down the right flank, beating away two defenders, before tucking into the box and finding his favoured left foot for a trademark strike.

Cincinnati made a statement with a strong 3-1 home win against Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union.

All three of Cincinnati's goals came in the second half, after Brenner had a first-goal strike disallowed by the VAR. Brandon Vazquez, Brenner and Alvaro Barreal netted for Cincinnati, who move up to sixth, while Paxton Aaronson scored a late consolation for Union.

Under-performing New England snapped their six-game winless run to revive their playoffs hopes with a 3-0 victory at Orlando City.

Matt Polster, Wilfrid Kaptoum and Henry Kessler got the goals, with Carles Gil grabbing his 12th assist of the season for the latter's strike.

New York City were unable to capitalise on Philadelphia's loss, going down 3-2 at Columbus Crew, for whom Lucas Zelarayan scored a brace.

Gonzalo Higuain got on the scoresheet as Inter Miami rallied from behind to twice to manage a 2-2 draw at Montreal.

Bottom club DC United held New York Red Bulls to a 0-0 draw, while Chicago Fire made it four wins in five games with a 3-2 victory at Charlotte.

In the west, Javier Hernandez netted a late double but it was not enough for LA Galaxy who went down 4-2 at Sporting KC.

Gyasi Zardes scored a hat-trick as Colorado Rapids edged Minnesota United 4-3, Austin and San Jose Earthquakes drew 3-3 and Portland Timbers and Dallas both scored late in a 1-1 draw.

Striker Christian Benteke has signed for D.C. United from Crystal Palace as he joins up with Wayne Rooney in MLS.

The 31-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal in the United States capital as he leaves the Premier League after 280 appearances in which he scored 86 goals.

He arrived in England 10 years ago, joining Aston Villa from Belgian side Genk before going on to score 42 times in 89 Premier League appearances for the Midlands club.

His prolific spell there earned him a big-money move to Liverpool, but he could only manage nine league goals for the Reds before making a switch to Palace in 2016.

Although he scored 15 top-flight goals in his first campaign at Selhurst Park, the Belgium international never quite recaptured his Aston Villa form and has now made the move to MLS.

D.C. United sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, with former Manchester United striker Rooney having taken over in July for the sacked Hernan Losada.

And Rooney is glad to have brought a player of Benteke's quality in, telling the club's website: "Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time.

"His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It's exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference."

Montreal scored twice in the final two minutes to rally from behind to claim a 2-1 victory away to Columbus Crew in the MLS on Wednesday, in a game delayed by inclement weather.

Lucas Zelarayan had fired the Crew into a 14th-minute lead with a low shot but Montreal hit back late, to help them move into third in the Eastern Conference.

Kei Kamara nodded in Alistair lex Johnston's 89th-minute corner, before Joel Waterman got in behind the defence from Lassi Lappalainen's lofted pass to squeeze home the winner in the 94th minute.

Inter Miami breathed life into their season with a 1-0 road win over San Jose Earthquakes to move up to eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Juan Mota's spectacular left-foot strike in the 12th minute was the difference, while Gonzalo Higuain's skill went unrewarded after a mazy run early in the second half.

Charlotte stayed ahead of Inter with a 3-0 home victory over DC United moving them up to seventh in the east.

Steven Birnbaum's 13th-minute own goal separated the sides, before second-half strikes from Karol Swiderski and Quinn McNeil within four minutes settled the contest.

Portland Timbers and Nashville drew 1-1 keeping both sides in the middle of the Western Conference standings.

Wayne Rooney kept his belief in his DC United team as his coaching reign in MLS started in familiar fashion, with a dramatic late win over Orlando City.

Several highlights of Rooney's playing career with DC had come against Orlando.

The former England captain had five goal involvements in three meetings with Orlando, netting in both matches in 2019 – including a stunning strike from his own half.

But the most iconic moment of Rooney's MLS stint came in his first clash with the Lions in 2018.

The forward provided two assists, including a remarkable intervention to snatch a 3-2 win in the 96th minute, with Rooney tracking down a counter-attack – as Orlando's Will Johnson raced towards an open goal – and then crossing for Luciano Acosta's decisive header.

Sunday's coaching bow was similarly sensational, as DC still trailed to Junior Urso's early strike entering second-half stoppage time.

But a pair of late goals from Chris Durkin, in the 91st minute, and Taxi Fountas, in the 95th, ensured a winning start for Rooney, who had been confident the chances would come.

"I told them they'd win the game," Rooney said of his half-time message to the MLS strugglers. "I believed we'd win the game.

"But the one thing we had to do was up the tempo. We were moving the ball across the back and with the goalkeeper side to side, and it was too slow. We were allowing Orlando to shift across and not really making them run as hard as we wanted them to.

"That was the big difference second half, the tempo with which we moved the ball and really made Orlando suffer and work and run.

"When a team's doing that, then gaps appear. We have to take advantage of those gaps, and we did."

It was just the 10th instance in MLS history of a team trailing at the start of stoppage time and still winning, with DC accounting for three of those.

Rooney acknowledged the nature of the victory could be vital for confidence moving forward.

"'Character' is a big word I've used over the last couple of weeks with the team," he said. "We need to be a team which shows a lot of character and fight and togetherness."

Rooney added: "I think [it is important] for the players, more than myself. I think the players needed that.

"This season has to start now. They've had some bad results in the first half of the season, and I think tonight the fashion we won the game – coming from a goal behind, scoring two late goals, the subs who came on were excellent...

"But we've got another tough game on Wednesday. We can't rest and think we've won a game; we have to be consistent, we have to go on a run."

Wayne Rooney began his DC United reign with a dramatic comeback victory as two stoppage-time goals from his team secured a 2-1 victory over Orlando City.

The head coach watched on in a baseball cap as Chris Durkin and Taxiarchis Fountas struck late on, stunning an Orlando side who had led since the ninth minute after Junior Urso's sublime chipped finish.

Durkin fired DC level from close to the penalty spot in the first added minute after the regulation 90 was complete, finding the top-left corner with a first-time finish after meeting Ola Kamara's clever low cutback from the left wing.

A draw would have been a decent result for DC, who sit at the foot of the Eastern Conference, but it got even better as a superb goal won it. A volleyed cross from the left by Kimarni Smith was met 12 yards out by Fountas, and he deftly diverted the ball into the bottom-right corner. It was a team-leading 11th goal of the season for Fountas.

It meant that DC United won an MLS game after trailing at half-time for the first time since March 7 2020, when they did so against Inter Miami. That dismal 25-game barren run is over, with the Rooney impact already being felt.

The record goalscorer for Manchester United and England has joined DC – a team where he also had a two-season playing stint – after recently leaving English club Derby County.

Midfielder Ravel Morrison, recruited by Rooney, attempted 96 passes in the game, and that ranks as the highest total for a DC United player in MLS this season.

Orlando had not lost an away game in MLS when leading at half-time since September 22, 2019, the date they allowed a lead to slip against Houston Dynamo.

Los Angeles FC momentarily opened up a four-point gap atop the Western Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 2-0 on Saturday.

Gareth Bale came off the bench to score his first goal in the MLS and seal the three points for LAFC, after Cristian Arango's well-taken opener.

With Giorgio Chiellini also starting, Steve Cherundolo's side absorbed pressure after Arango scored in the 56th minute, firing past Tim Melia at his near post with a confident finish on the run.

Bale was able to settle the result in transition for LAFC in the 83rd minute, driving low into the corner after creating separation from Nicolas Isimat-Mirin.

The win puts LAFC four points ahead of second-placed Austin FC in the West, who are still to face New York RB on Sunday, while Nashville and Cincinatti played out a 1-1 draw.

FC Dallas kept their hopes of a top-four finish in the West alive meanwhile, emerging 1-0 victors away to Real Salt Lake, while Minnesota moved to third with their 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo.

The Seattle Sounders are now a point from the playoff spots, overcoming Kelyn Rowe's 47th-minute red card to defeat the Colorado Rapids 2-1, while the Portland Timbers beat the SJ Earthquakes with the same result.

Philadelphia Union hold a one-point lead atop the Eastern Conference, with Daniel Gazdag's 39th-minute goal handing them a critical 1-0 win away to Orlando City.

The stingiest defence in the MLS held out to maintain their gap to New York City, who beat Inter Miami 2-0 via goals from Maximiliano Moralez and Heber.

CF Montreal moved back to third, with a Romell Quioto brace handing them a 2-1 win over DC United, while Toronto FC claimed a shock 4-0 win over a ten-man Charlotte FC.

Chicago Fire took advantage to move two points from the playoff spots, with Xherdan Shaqiri helping them to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Columbus Crew and New England Revolution played out a goal-less draw.

 

Wayne Rooney has moved to make former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison his first international signing as D.C. United head coach.

Much-travelled Morrison scored four goals and assisted four more in 36 appearances playing under Rooney in the Championship last season.

A little over a week on from announcing the appointment of Rooney, who stepped down as Derby boss last month, United confirmed the arrival of free agent Morrison on Thursday.

The 29-year-old has signed for the MLS side until the end of the 2023 season, with the option of a further 12 months.

"Wayne worked closely with Ravel during his time as manager of Derby County," president of soccer operations Dave Kasper told United's official website. 

"Ravel is an incredible talent and his ability to create and score goals is impressive. 

"He has played at the highest levels during his career and his vision, creativity and ability on the ball will be a huge asset for us."

D.C. are the 13th different club of Jamaica international Morrison's career, which started in October 2010 when making his first of just three appearances for Man Utd's first team.

Julian Nagelsmann praised Matthijs de Ligt and Sadio Mane after they marked their Bayern Munich debuts by scoring in a 6-2 rout of DC United.

De Ligt scored with a sweet volley less than two minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute at Audi Field on Wednesday after Mane had opened the scoring from the penalty spot early on.

Netherlands defender De Ligt was only on the field for 25 minutes before he was withdrawn by Nagelsmann, but the Bayern head coach allayed concerns that his new recruit from Juventus may have sustained an injury.

Mane, signed from Liverpool last month, also set up a goal for Serge Gnabry before Nagelsmann sent out a totally different side for the second half.

Nagelsmann was pleased the impact his new signings made and allayed concerns over De Ligt's fitness ahead of a friendly against Manchester City in Green Bay on Saturday.

He said: "Both players have made a good start.

"Matthijs scored a brilliant goal with his left foot. I saw his impressive passing with his left foot in training today, and now this brilliant finish as well." 

Nagelsmann added of De Ligt's withdrawal: "He's not got an injury, nothing unusual happened. I think he'll be fit again tomorrow and will be able to play on Saturday."

Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui also caught the eye on their debuts, with the former providing an assist for Thomas Muller to complete the scoring.

Nagelsmann said: "Both have done really well, especially in training.

"The final ball from Ryan was brilliant. He's big but he's very quick on his feet. He played a great pass to Thomas."

Debutants Sadio Mane and Matthijs de Ligt both scored in their first friendly appearance for their new club as Bayern Munich defeated DC United 6-2 on Wednesday.

Mane, fresh off his move away from Liverpool, did not have to wait long to open his account, stepping up to the penalty spot after Lucas Copado was brought down less than five minutes into the action.

He made no mistake from the spot, hammering his penalty into the left side of the goal to give Bayern a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.

Marcel Sabitzer doubled the advantage in the 12th minute with a strike from the top of the box that wrong-footed the DC goalkeeper, and Serge Gnabry made it 3-0 at the break when he got on the end of a Mane assist in the 44th minute.

Bayern subbed on an entirely different 11 for the second half, including new arrival from Juventus De Ligt, and he made an emphatic entrance, firing home a left-foot volley from a corner to score 90 seconds later.

Joshua Zirkzee made it 5-0 in the 51st minute after an assist from Kingsley Coman, before DC finally answered back with a Skage Leland strike in the 54th.

Theodore Ku-Dipietro would give the American side something else to cheer for with his goal in the 83rd minute, before Bayern icon Thomas Muller completed the rout to make it 6-2 in the 92nd.

The Philadelphia Union extended their lead atop the Eastern Conference in the MLS, defeating the New England Revolution 2-1 on Saturday.

The best defence in the MLS had to chase the result this time after Gustavo Bou's well-taken opener for the Revolution in the 61st minute, with goals from Mikael Uhre and Daniel Gazdag handing the Union the three points.

The Union still created little from open play but they were gifted goals to turn the result around via the dead ball. Uhre equalized in the 75th minute, heading into what was effectively an open goal after Revolution keeper Djordje Petrovic failed to claimed the ball after coming off his line at a corner.

Gazdag then scored the eventual winner in the 79th minute, converting from the penalty spot after he was clumsily shoved by Henry Kessler.

Jim Curtin's side moved to 39 points, building a four-point lead from New York City, whose derby against New York RB on Sunday is one of two games they have in hand.

CF Montreal also moved to outright fourth in the East on Saturday, with Lukas McNaughton's own-goal handing them a 1-0 win over Toronto FC.

Chad Ahston momentarily remains in charge of D.C. United until Wayne's Rooney's work visa is finalized and Minnesota United took full advantage, earning a 2-0 win at home.

The Chicago Fire claimed an upset 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders, while Emerson Rodriguez's 93rd-minute goal gave Inter Miami a 3-2 victory over Charlotte FC.

Gonzalo Higuain bagged his second goal of the week for Inter, scoring the equaliser after Yordy Reina's first-half brace gave Charlotte a 2-0 load.

In the Western Conference meanwhile, Austin FC claimed the Copa Tejas with a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas, but now only hold a two-point lead over Los Angeles FC, who have two games in hand.

The race for the last playoff spot in the conference tightened up, with the Colorado Rapids defeating Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0.

Along with the Sounders' loss, only three points now separate the seventh-placed Galaxy from the Rapids, moved to 11th with the win.

Philadelphia Union maintained top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, securing a 2-1 win away to Inter Miami on Wednesday.

Goals to Daniel Gazdag and Cory Burke handed the Union the three points to put them on 36 for the season, leading the Eastern Conference by a solitary point.

Gazdag's penalty in the 26th minute was critical, because from there the Union could absorb pressure, and the best defence in the MLS were able to grind out another win.

With only 35.7 per cent possession in the second half, their job was simpler after Burke doubled the margin in the 66th minute, heading in Kai Wagner's dead ball at the back post.

In only his second start since Inter's 3-1 loss to Houston Dynamo in April, Gonzalo Higuain bagged his third goal of the season – smashing the ball into the top corner from distance on the run, and on his opposite left foot – but it was mere consolation in the 82nd minute.

New York City remain hot on their heels, however, maintaining the one-point gap in the Eastern Conference after claiming a tough 1-0 win away to FC Dallas.

Heber was left with a simple tap-in in the 29th minute after Santiago Rodriguez was able to drive into space from the second ball, and he coolly finished for the eventual three points.

Elsewhere in the East, a Jhon Duran brace handed Chicago Fire a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC, while D.C. United twice equalised in the final 10 minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at home to Columbus Crew.

Cincinnati and Orlando City dropped critical points in the playoff race with respective draws to the Vancouver Whitecaps and Colorado Rapids, while a Ronaldo Cisneros brace gave Atlanta United a big 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, putting them three points behind seventh-placed Charlotte.

Most of the chasing pack in the Western Conference were not able to capitalise on Dallas and RSL's slip-ups, with Minnesota United playing out a 1-1 draw with Sporting KC, while the San Jose Earthquakes scored a 3-2 win away to Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nashville SC did capitalise and moved to third in the West though, claiming a 1-0 win at home to the in-form Seattle Sounders.

Hany Mukhtar scored the eventual winner in the 44th minute with the interval beckoning, scoring in transition after Randall Leal snatched the ball and released CJ Sapong.

New D.C. United coach Wayne Rooney hailed Luis Suarez as "incredible" but insists he will only sign "players who are hungry".

Manchester United and England great Rooney left Derby County in June, having overseen a difficult period for the club during his first job as a manager.

Everton were previously linked with their former academy product, but the 36-year-old opted to return to old club D.C. in MLS, where he played in 2018 and 2019.

D.C have been linked with a plethora of potential signings after their big-name appointment, with former Liverpool and Barcelona forward Suarez among those.

Suarez is a free agent after ending a two-season stay at Atletico Madrid, where he won the LaLiga title in the 2020-21 campaign, and reportedly wants to build-up his fitness for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

While Rooney refused to rule out a move for the striker, he suggested he is searching for a specific identity of player that Suarez may not fit.

"I respect Luis Suarez a lot," said Rooney. "I think as a player, he's an incredible player.

"I want players who are hungry, I want players to come to this club to be hungry and want to play for this club but also have a lot to give and are capable of playing every game, training every training session.

"We're working extremely hard to identify the right profile of players we're trying to bring in."

Rooney will take his first game in charge of D.C., who are 13th in the Eastern Conference after just five wins in 17 games, when Columbus Crew visit on Thursday.

Wayne Rooney hit out at criticism of his move to the United States, after he was announced as D.C. United's new head coach on Tuesday.

Rooney had previously played for United in 2018 and 2019 before leaving the franchise to join Derby County as a player coach in the Championship.

The 36-year-old kept Derby up after taking over from Phillip Cocu as permanent manager in January 2021 but relegation still loomed, remarkably finishing seven points from safety after a 21-point deduction at the start of last season.

Rooney believes coming back to the MLS to coach is not a backward step, but moreover, that his time at Derby County prepared him for this role.

"I've seen a few articles, certainly back in England, on this being a possible backward step in my managerial career," he said.

"I really find that a bit disrespectful to this league. I feel the experience I've gained at Derby County over the past 18 months has been great for my development as a coach, as a manager.

"To come here back to the MLS, back to D.C. United, was an exciting challenge for me - something which I feel can develop me as a coach."

United face an uphill battle to make the MLS playoffs, sitting nine points from seventh-placed FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference, despite two games in hand.

The four-time MLS Cup winners have been without a head coach since April and interim Chad Ashton's tenure reached a nadir last weekend, following a 7-0 defeat to Philadelphia Union.

Ashton will remain in charge until Rooney receives his work visa, but Rooney believes he is more than suited for the task at hand.

"The team need to improve, I think that's obvious for everyone to see," he said. "I really think with my capabilities of developing young players - of course we're working hard to get a few new players in - we can really get this club to successful ways again.

"I'm an ambitious person. One day I want to manage at the top level, and this is part of that process in terms of coming here and trying to develop this club, trying to get success here, but also develop myself as a manager."

D.C. United have confirmed the appointment of Wayne Rooney as the club's new head coach.

It is a swift return to management for Rooney, who left his post at Championship side Derby County last month.

England and Manchester United's record goalscorer is back with the MLS franchise, for whom he played in 2018 and 2019; netting 23 times in 48 games across all competitions.

Although unable to keep Derby in the Championship - largely due to a 21-point deduction at the start of the season after breaching financial regulations - Rooney received widespread praise for his efforts during a difficult campaign at Pride Park.

Now set for his second managerial spell in quick succession, the 36-year-old will replace interim head coach Chad Ashton upon receiving his work visa.

"Wayne is a soccer legend and one of the most exciting and dynamic up-and-coming managers in our sport," said D.C. co-chairmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan in a joint statement.

"He's already proven in his young coaching career that he knows how to lead a group through adversity. He has an understanding of our league and what it takes to be successful in Major League Soccer thanks to his two-year stay with us as a player.

"The passion he showed while wearing black and red electrified our city and our club, and we are so excited to welcome him back as our head coach."

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