Gonzalo Higuain will retire from professional football at the end of the 2022 MLS season, he announced on Monday.

The veteran striker, a 75-cap former Argentina international who was a member of the squad that came second at the 2014 World Cup, will bring the curtain down on a glittering 17-year career.

Higuain played over 100 games for each of Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, having began his playing days with River Plate, while he also had brief spells with Milan and Chelsea before joining Inter Miami.

A six-time domestic league champion – with three LaLiga crowns and three Serie A triumphs – he signed for the MLS club in September 2020.

Higuain has been in top form for Miami in the second half of this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting a further two in the past 14 games.

Phil Neville's side are seventh in the Eastern Conference, clinging to the final playoff place with two games of the regular season remaining.

Victories over Orlando City on Wednesday and CF Montreal on Sunday would extend Miami's season and Higuain's career.

LAFC secured the Supporters' Shield for the second time in four years with Sunday's 2-1 win at Portland Timbers after Denis Bouanga's 95th-minute winner.

The Californian club capitalized on Philadelphia Union's 4-0 loss to Charlotte on Saturday, with Sunday's win moving them three points clear with one game to play. The MLS uses most wins as the first tiebreak if points are equal, with LAFC (21) ahead of Union (18).

Bouanga's maiden goal for LAFC came deep into second-half stoppage time and was the moment that clinched silverware, with the Gabon international jinking into the box before firing home a low shot.

Carlos Vela had a goalbound shot cleared off the line by Claudio Bravo in the 33rd minute, but the Mexican would not be denied with a curling left-foot strike from the edge of the box in the 51st minute.

Dairon Asprilla equalized with a powerful header from Bravo's 81st-minute cross, but Bouanga had the decisive intervention to clinch the Supporters' Shield for the visitors.

LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said: "These type of emotional endings in games seem to be a habit in this league, not quite sure why. We're ecstatic. We had a goal this year and we've achieved the first one."

Portland's loss meant Nashville clinched a playoffs spot for the third straight year despite losing 2-1 at home to lowly Houston Dynamo, for whom Sebastian Ferreira scored a double.

Seattle Sounders lost 1-0 at Sporting KC, confirming they will miss the playoffs for the first time in their 13-year history, marking the end of an era.

Reigning MLS Cup winners New York City made it back-to-back wins with a 2-1 home victory over Orlando City, who are hanging on for a playoffs spot.

LA Galaxy clinched their first playoff berth since 2019 after Javier Hernandez earned them a late penalty to secure a 1-1 draw away to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Douglas Costa converted the 68th-minute penalty won by Hernandez, after Riqui Puig had his 17th-minute spotkick saved by RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

RSL had gone ahead in the 25th minute from Sergio Cordova's header, but were left to lament Justen Glad failing to convert two late golden opportunities from headers, denting their playoff hopes and extending their winless run to five games.

Ex-Manchester United forward Hernandez earned Galaxy's reprieve after review when bundled over by Marcelo Silva inside the box, with Costa sending MacMath the wrong way.

The draw was enough for the Galaxy, who are perched fourth in the Western Conference with 47 points from 33 games, with RSL sitting eighth, just outside the playoff spots, with 44 points from 33 games.

Derrick Etienne scored two late goals against his former side to earn Columbus Crew a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls, who suffered their third defeat in four games.

Etienne equalized Franuel Amaya's 53rd-minute thunderbolt with an 89th-minute strike on the turn, before grabbing a 93rd-minute winner by lashing home a rebound.

Philadelphia Union handed the initiative to LAFC in the Supporters' Shield hunt after being thrashed 4-0 by Charlotte, for whom Daniel Rios netted four goals, achieving a franchise-first hat-trick.

The defeat means Philadelphia have failed to win in their past two games, leaving them on 64 points from 33 games, while LAFC have the same number of points with two games to play, starting with Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Donovan Pines scored an own goal and was red carded as DC United lost 1-0 to Montreal, who closed within two points of Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia with one game to play.

Sergio Santos was sent off amid a late scuffle as Cincinnati missed a chance to practically clinch a playoff spot with a 3-2 home loss to Chicago Fire. Cincinnati fought back from 3-0 down after Jhon Duran's double for Chicago.

Minnesota United's winless run extended to six games after going down 2-0 to San Jose Earthquakes, leaving them in a precarious position in the race to qualify for the Western Conference playoffs.

Vancouver Whitecaps capitalized on Minnesota and RSL's results and beat Austin 2-0 to keep alive their playoff hopes with their third straight victory. The Whitecaps are ninth in the west with 43 points with one game to play, with seventh-placed Minnesota on 45 and RSL on 44.

Josef Martinez scored a spectacular scissor-kick goal but Atlanta United went down 2-1 to New England, while playoff-bound Dallas lost 1-0 at Colorado Rapids.

Inter Miami are now occupying the seventh and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after their 1-0 victory against Toronto FC on Friday.

In front of their home fans, it was almost Toronto who took the lead in the 38th minute when Federico Bernadeschi's shot from outside the box took a heavy deflection, but Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender was able to adjust and make the save.

Toronto created more chances in the first half, but only had 38 per cent of the possession, and Miami's control of the ball began to pay dividends after the break.

Miami held Toronto without a shot on target in the second 45, and with time running down, they were able to find the decisive breakthrough.

A move from the right wing found its way to Robert Taylor on the edge of the box, and his slick little flick found its way through a maze of legs and into the path of Higuain, who made no mistake from right on the penalty spot.

The win means Miami will spend the night in the playoff positions, although the eighth-placed Columbus Crew have a superior goal difference and a game in-hand.

The Seattle Sounders kept their playoff hopes alive by salvaging an important point in their 1-1 draw against Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Cincinnati were the better of the two sides based on expected goal data, tallying 1.98 expected goals compared to just 0.36 for Seattle in front of their home fans.

The visiting side took the lead in the 24th minute when Brandon Vasquez was able to take advantage of the Sounders' high defensive line, slipping a ball through for Brenner to run onto and he made no mistake with his one-on-one, calmly side-footing it inside the far post.

Seattle nearly equalised through a set-piece in the 35th minute, with Will Bruin rising well to send his header towards the bottom-left corner, only for Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano to deny him with a terrific save.

When the hosts did find the leveler, it was worth the wait, with a searing ball from Kelyn Rowe out of defense being controlled by Fredy Montero near the corner of the penalty box, before he unleashed a rocket high into the near-post corner.

With the result, Seattle remain five points away from the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot, which is currently occupied by Minnesota. Cincinnati are much more comfortable, fifth in the Eastern Conference and four points clear of chasers.

Javier Hernandez netted a double to silence the San Jose Earthquakes crowd as LA Galaxy triumphed 3-2 to boost their playoffs aspirations on Saturday.

The former Mexico international took his season tally to 17 goals, mimicking a clown when celebrating both his goals in retaliation to a pre-game San Jose tifo that read: "The LA circus – same clowns, different costumes".

The result moves Galaxy up two places into fifth in the Western Conference on 46 points from 32 games, having secured back-to-back wins for the first time in MLS since April.

Julian Araujo's right-side ball for Hernandez led to the opener in the 12th minute, with the ex-Manchester United forward poking home.

Gaston Brugman doubled Galaxy's lead in the 42nd minute, capitalizing on a sloppy turnover to rifle in a rocket in off the underside of the bar.

Hernandez added their third in the 69th minute, producing a classy finish after Efrain Alvarez threaded an excellent ball into the box for him.

Cristian Espinoza pulled a goal back in the 74th minute, converting a penalty he won after before brought down by Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond before Hernandez fizzed a chance for his hat-trick wide.

The Earthquakes grabbed another goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Nathan's deflected header went in from Miguel Trauco's bouncing volley but it was mere consolation for the west's bottom side.

Wales captain Gareth Bale is confident he will be fully fit for the start of the World Cup despite concerns over his lack of game time for Los Angeles FC.

Bale has only started two matches since making the move to MLS at the end of his time with Real Madrid. 

But the forward allayed worries over his fitness with the World Cup in Qatar on the horizon.

"We have a plan in LA with what we're doing," said Bale, who has reported for international duty for Nations League encounters with Belgium and Poland.

"We're not doing too much straight away.  But we're being clever and building myself up for the last important part of the season. Hopefully, that should put me in great shape for the World Cup."

Bale was hampered by injury problems during his time with Madrid and says it is important to manage his workload.

He added: “The most important thing is to take each week as it comes.

“It's taken a little while to get everything sorted, but I am playing games and have been training for the last 10 weeks and getting stronger.

"Hopefully that will be good enough for me to help LAFC and, ultimately, be ready for the World Cup."

Wales boss Rob Page echoed Bale’s sentiments, saying it would be foolish to take any chances.

He said: "We've always had a common-sense approach with Gareth with regards to his planning and training. It'll be no different on this camp. I'm not going to jeopardise it and run the risk of him getting injured. 

"I want him to go back to his club fully fit, and continuing to get fitter ahead of the World Cup."

Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake has once again been named to Major League Soccer’s Team of the Week.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper has been in inspired form for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Philadelphia Union so far this season and claimed his spot in goal for week 32’s best selection, with another inspired performance.

The custodian was at his very best in a draw at Atlanta United FC on the weekend and made at least 5 big saves to earn his team a share of the spoils.  In truth, the Union found themselves on the back foot for most of the encounter.

Perhaps his biggest and most important save came in second-half stoppage time as Atlanta found its all-time leading goalscorer alone at the back post but Blake was there for the close-range reaction stop to keep Josef Martinez from unlocking the tie.

On the back of another outstanding season, the Jamaican is firmly in the running for the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honours, an award that he won in both 2016 and 2020.  Earlier this month, the player achieved another significant milestone for the Philadelphia Union after reaching 200 appearances.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has come out in support of national player Damion Lowe, who was the alleged victim of racial abuse during a Major League Soccer match between Inter Miami and DC United on Sunday.

The MLS is investigating the incident.

“The JFF strongly condemns and abhors racism in any form whether on or off the field and we stand ready to give whatever support is necessary to Damion,” said the JFF in a statement on Monday.

 The incident involved D.C. United forward Taxi Fountas, who it is alleged used a racial slur while addressing the Reggae Boyz defender.

According to reports, the game came to halt for several minutes after Fountas and Lowe exchanged words in the 59th minute. Both players were issued yellow cards. D.C. After the game resumed, DC United coach Wayne Rooney substituted Fountas in the 66th minute.

 In a statement, MLS said that it has “zero tolerance for abusive and offensive behaviour and (they) take these allegations very seriously.” An investigation will begin “promptly.”

D.C. United issued its own statement, saying that the club is “aware of the allegations involving a player during the match against Inter Miami CF” and “will work closely with Major League Soccer and Inter Miami to investigate the incident.”

 In July, SWNT player Trudi Carter was the target of racist taunts coming from a section of the crowd in Mexico at the Concacaf W tournament.

Western Conference leaders LAFC re-discovered their form after a recent slump with a 3-1 home victory over Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

Carlos Vela scored a double, with both goals coming from the penalty spot, as LAFC secured only their second victory from their past eight games.

LAFC have a 15-1-0 record when scoring first this season although Houston leveled the game in the 24th minute from Corey Baird's classy goal after Vela netted an eighth-minute spotkick.

Vela restored LAFC's advantage from the spot on half-time after Fabrice Picault's handball was spotted by the VAR, with Ryan Hollingshead lifting home a third in the 52nd minute.

LAFC remain top of the Western Conference, nine points ahead of second-placed Austin, with two more matchdays until the postseason begins.

Gonzalo Higuain scored a 94th-minute winner to boost Inter Miami's playoffs hopes with a 3-2 road win over DC United, who had Christian Benteke net his first goal for the club.

Higuain struck the winner in the fourth of eight stoppage-time minutes, with a first-time strike from Deandre Yedlin's low cross from the right.

Benteke had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a back-post left-foot volley, before Leonard Campana's double for Inter.

Taxiarchis Fountas equalised in the 57th minute before Higuain's late winner, which means Inter are seventh in the Eastern Conference, moving above Columbus Crew, who conceded again late in a 1-1 draw with Portland Timbers on Sunday.

The Crew were denied all three points with Santiago Moreno lashing home a 95th-minute equaliser for the Timbers, after Kevin Molino's first-half strike.

Sporting Kansas City treated their home fans to an impressive 4-1 upset win against Minnesota United on Saturday, with William Agada netting a brace on his birthday.

Against the Western Conference's fourth-placed side in Minnesota, 12th-placed Sporting closed the first half in style, with three goals in the space of 15 minutes.

The first was courtesy of a friendly bounce, with a hard, low cross in the 31st minute being deflected by the Minnesota goalkeeper straight off the legs of centre-back Michael Boxall and into the back of the net for an own goal.

Johnny Russell then hit the post in the 41st minute, but was able to track down the rebound and dish one off for Erik Thommy in the box, who sidestepped a challenge before firing home Sporting's second goal.

Capping off a terrific first half, Ben Sweat whipped in a dangerous ball in the 45th minute for Agada to meet with his head, sending his side into the sheds leading 3-0.

Mender Garcia Torres was able to peg one back for Minnesota in the 57th minute, but Agada would put the game to bed with his second goal in the 81st, tapping in a smart low cross from Daniel Salloi.

Earlier in the day, in a battle between two of the Eastern Conference's top four teams, New York City won their local Hudson River Derby against New York Red Bulls 2-0 at Yankee Stadium.

The opening goal came just 50 seconds into the contest, when a corner was expertly flicked on by Santiago Rodriguez, giving defender Alexander Callens an easy close-range header.

City doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, and it was again the result of a well-worked corner, this time with Rodriguez on the receiving end of a floated ball that he was able to control and bring down before sliding it past the keeper.

It was a match bereft of chances in open play, as City finished with just 0.60 expected goals, while the Red Bulls had 0.71.

In a match with similarly few goal scoring opportunities, the top-ranked Philadelphia Union were the ones holding on for a point in their 0-0 draw away against non-playoff side Atlanta United.

Philadelphia could only muster 0.16 expected goals, while Atlanta United controlled 60 per cent of the possession and won the shot count 16-5, finishing with 1.30 expected goals.

Showing off some excellent finishing, Orlando City defied their 0.95 expected goals to hammer Toronto FC 4-0, netting two goals in each half.

The East's second-placed team, CF Montreal, were good enough to leave their away fixture against the New England Revolution with a 1-0 win, with Alistair Johnson finding the winner 72 minutes in.

Charlotte conceded goals in the third and 30th minutes to fall behind early against the Chicago Fire, but they rallied back and scored in the 68th and 76th to tie things, before stealing the points with a 96th-minute winner.

The league's top goalscorer Hany Mukhtar scored his 23rd of the season as he helped Nashville take a 1-1 draw on the road against Austin, while Cincinnati strengthened their playoff position with a 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.

In the late window, the Vancouver Whitecaps rode two quick strikes in the first half to a 2-1 home win against the Seattle Sounders, while Chicharito was one of four Los Angeles Galaxy goal scorers in their 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids, and FC Dallas secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw with 10 men against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The Vancouver Whitecaps found another gear in the second half of Wednesday's home game against the Los Angeles Galaxy, finding the back of the net three times after the break in the 3-0 win.

It was all Galaxy in the first half, controlling 71 per cent of the possession while not allowing a single shot on target, but that all changed after what must have been an inspired half-time team talk in the Vancouver dressing room.

While Los Angeles still had the bulk of the possession in the second half (64 per cent), it was the Whitecaps generating the chances, with six shots on target to the Galaxy's two.

It took a corner to produce the opening goal, with an initial sharp header from close range being saved by Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, before Ryan Gauld was able to force home the rebound in the 57th minute.

The advantage was doubled 11 minutes later when an unsuccessful Los Angeles corner launched a Vancouver counterattack, with a cross into the near post being expertly flicked on for Pedro Vite to tap-in at the back post, marking his first MLS goal.

Tosaint Ricketts came off the bench to complete the rout, getting behind the defence and finishing off a one-on-one in the 88th minute to trim the gap between Vancouver and the last Western Conference playoff spot to six points.

Meanwhile, it was the first time since July that Atlanta United have kept a clean sheet as they left Orlando City with a 1-0 result.

The only goal of the game – despite a combined 30 shots – came in the 72nd minute when Thiago Almada snaked his way into the penalty box, getting on the end of a one-two with Andrew Gutman before tucking away his match-winning finish.

Atlanta are now two points out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot, while Orlando City are one point inside that line, while also having a game in hand.

Austin FC strengthened their position as the West's second-best team, comfortably handling the challenge of fellow playoff side Real Salt Lake 3-0 at home.

Just like Vancouver, Austin piled on all of their goals in the last half-hour, with Moussa Djite bagging a hat-trick as he came on in the 58th minute and struck in the 60th, 76th and 80th.

In the final game of the day, the San Jose Earthquakes remained stuck to the bottom of the table as they went down 2-1 on the road against the Colorado Rapids.

Gonzalo Higuain netted a double to keep Inter Miami's playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew that ended their three-game losing streak on Tuesday.

In a game halted at half-time for a lengthy period due to a weather delay, Higuain struck either side of the break to collect three points that puts Inter up to eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the seventh-placed Crew.

The 34-year-old former Real Madrid and Juventus forward opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a first-time finish on a fast break after Ariel Lassiter's pass.

Cucho Hernandez equalised for Columbus with a bouncing header in the 41st minute from Steven Moreira's cross.

The half-time delayed lasted more than two hours, with the second half commencing at 11:35pm local time, with Higuain having a good chance saved by Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room in the 54th minute.

The Argentine got the winner for Phil Neville's side in the 82nd minute with an angled left-foot finish beating Room at his near post from Alejandro Pozuelo's through-ball.

Montreal remained second in the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire, for whom Xherdan Shaqiri netted a brace from the spot.

Kei Kamara scored a double, opening up a 2-0 lead within half an hour for Montreal, setting up the game-deciding goal for Zachary Brault-Guillard too.

New England's playoff hopes took another hit with a poor 3-1 loss away to struggling Houston Dynamo with Fabrice Picault netting a pair for the winners.

Carlos Vela was on the scoresheet as Western Conference leaders LAFC drew 1-1 at Minnesota United, while Sporting KC eased past DC United 3-0.

Javier Hernandez missed another spotkick before Riqui Puig took over penalty duties to net a season-saving 99th-minute equaliser in the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw at Nashville on Saturday.

Nashville had gone ahead in the 28th minute from Hany Mukhtar's penalty but Hernandez was the centre of attention once again.

The former Manchester United forward failed to convert a 97th-minute penalty attempting a Panenka last Sunday against Sporting KC, spurning a hat-trick and winner.

Hernandez stepped up again in the 55th minute after being bundled over by Shaquell Moore but had his low shot tipped around the post by goalkeeper Joel Willis.

With their season on the line, the Galaxy earned a late reprieve after a penalty was awarded for a Walker Zimmerman handball following VAR review, with the defender receiving a second yellow card.

But Riqui Puig grabbed the ball and took the responsibility instead of Hernandez, before firing just beyond Willis' fingertips for the goal.

The result means the Galaxy are winless in three games and sit eighth in the Western Conference on 40 points.

Western Conference leaders LAFC stumbled again, suffering their fourth loss in their past five games with a 2-1 defeat to Dallas.

Jesus Ferreira boosted his claims on a spot in USA's World Cup squad with a double for Dallas, while LAFC were reduced to 10 men after Ryan Hollingshead's 13th-minute red card.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union showed why they are arguably the best team in the MLS with a 5-1 thrashing of Orlando City securing their fifth straight victory.

Lewis Morgan scored a 78th-minute penalty to help New York Red Bulls secure a 2-1 home win over New England to firm up their grip on third in the east.

New York City suffered their seventh defeat from their past nine games, going down 1-0 to Charlotte.

Brenner scored a hat-trick as Cincinnati extended their unbeaten run to nine games, winning 6-0 over San Jose Earthquakes

Thiago Almada fired in a golazo as Atlanta United defeated Toronto 4-2, while Inter Miami slumped to a third straight loss with a 3-1 defeat at Chicago Fire.

Seattle Sounders toppled Austin 3-0, Houston Dynamo and Sporting KC drew 0-0, Portland Timbers edged Minnesota United 1-0, Colorado Rapids beat Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 and Real Salt Lake and DC United ended goalless.

A pair of late goals ended up giving Montreal a deserved 2-2 draw at home against the Columbus Crew in Friday's MLS action.

In a clash between two of the Eastern Conference's top-six teams, no goals were scored in the first 65 minutes, before Jonathan Mensah broke the deadlock for the visiting team.

Columbus centre-back Mensah was up for an indirect free kick, and after working the ball around to the wing, right-back Steven Moreira's cross found him near the penalty spot where he connected on a perfect looping header back across to the far post.

Just two minutes later, in the 68th, Lucas Zelarayan unleashed a speculative effort from outside the box, which was blocked, but it bounced right back to him for a second crack which would beat the goalkeeper into the bottom-right corner.

That 2-0 lead would hold until the final minutes, but after a red card to Luis Diaz, the 10-men Crew finally got on the scoreboard when Victor Wanyama was able to intentionally deflect a long-range shot to wrong-foot the keeper in the 89th.

With six minutes of stoppage time to survive to get the three points, Columbus could not protect their lead, with Montreal substitute Zachary Brault-Guillard connecting on a low daisy-cutter from outside the box into the bottom-left corner to snatch a draw at the death.

The advanced stats say it was a deserved point for Montreal, who created 2.16 expected goals, while Columbus only had 0.66.

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