The San Jose Earthquakes may sit bottom of the Western Conference standings ahead of Saturday's clash with Orlando City, but Luchi Gonzalez is certain they will be just fine.

The 'Quakes saw their mini revival halted by a 4-2 loss to the Portland Timbers in midweek, having previously won three straight games across all competitions.

Their 10 points are fewer than all MLS teams except the New England Revolution (seven) have won this season, but Gonzalez has seen positive signs.

"We're going to be fine. This is a great group, and they continue to fight for each other. It's hard when we drop points," he said.

"I expect nothing but a fire in their belly and a response against Orlando and then in the next one, and it's really fun and exciting to coach this team. 

"These guys work for each other and they want to keep getting better, and I'm confident they will keep getting better as the season continues."

Orlando have also made a stuttering start, earning 13 points from 12 games to sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Lions did shut out a Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami side in a goalless draw on Wednesday, though, and midfielder Wilder Cartagena has seen signs of progress.

"Especially in the last few games, we've been showing ourselves to be more dangerous and attacking," Cartagena said.

"It's similar to how we were in the last half of last year but obviously there are a couple of minor adjustments that we have to make. I think we are playing a lot better in that area."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

San Jose Earthquakes – Amahl Pellegrino 

Pellegrino has scored in three straight games, becoming the first San Jose player to do so in MLS play since Cristian Espinoza between July and August last year (four straight). 

It's Pellegrino's first time scoring in three straight league matches since he netted in four in a row for Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in 2023.

Orlando City – Cesar Araujo

Orlando allowed 29 shots against the Philadelphia Union last Saturday but just seven against Miami on Wednesday. It was the first time in their MLS history that Orlando faced at least 20 fewer shots from one game to the next.

Araujo protected the backline admirably in midweek and will look to do likewise again here.

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

The home side has never lost in six all-time meetings between San Jose and Orlando. 

The first three meetings were all drawn before the hosts won each of the last three, with San Jose winning at home in 2019 and Orlando recording home wins in 2018 and 2021.

After their midweek stalemate against Miami, Orlando have been shut out five times in league play this season. That is tied for the most in MLS in 2024, while their six times being held scoreless in all competitions this term also equals the most by any MLS outfit. 

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

San Jose Earthquakes – 38.4%

Orlando City – 33.4%

Draw – 28.2%

MLS leaders Inter Miami were held to a 0-0 draw by state rivals Orlando City on Wednesday, as they failed to spark in Lionel Messi's absence.

Messi was missing from the squad due to a knee injury, and Miami were unable to extend their winning run to six MLS games without their superstar.

Indeed, other than a few Luis Suarez attempts, Orlando had the better of the chances at Inter&Co Stadium.

Yutaro Tsukada might have won it for Orlando on his debut, but the substitute sliced off target late on.

Miami are a point clear of FC Cincinnati at the top of the Eastern Conference, and Gerardo Martino will hope to have Messi back for the Herons' clash with D.C. United.

Data Debrief: Miami's unbeaten run rolls on

They may not have taken all three points, but Miami are now unbeaten in eight MLS matches. It is their longest unbeaten streak in the competition.

Orlando, meanwhile, have failed to score in five of their 12 games this term; no team has failed to do so more often in MLS.

Oscar Pareja accepts Orlando City need to tweak their approach ahead of Wednesday's rematch with Florida rivals Inter Miami, who thrashed them 5-0 when the teams last met in early March.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored two goals apiece as Miami crushed Orlando in their third game of the season in Fort Lauderdale, one of their MLS-high eight wins in 2024. 

Miami have won each of their last five games – the latest being a 3-2 triumph at CF Montreal on Saturday – to stay three points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, while Orlando are languishing in 11th.

Pareja's team enter Wednesday's derby in good spirits after beating the Philadelphia Union 3-2 last time out, though, and he is relishing the quick turnaround.

"This is a project where you have to be prepared every day. After this result in Philadelphia, we have to prepare the derby, then think about going to the West Coast," he said.

On Miami, he added: "There are always two ways to prepare the games. 

"Normally we think about putting relevancy on the way we do things, but obviously we have to have references on the other team.

"How can we impose our model or control them? We already have a game where we played them, and we'll try to make less mistakes than we did that day."

During Miami's last match, Messi hit out at a newly introduced rule which forced him to leave the pitch due to requiring treatment following a heavy challenge from Montreal's George Campbell.

Had Campbell been booked, the restart would have been delayed for Messi.

As he was not, Miami were forced to play with 10 men for two minutes, but Matias Rojas scored a free-kick in the Argentine's absence, kickstarting their comeback from 2-0 down.

Coach Gerardo Martino said of the incident: "With these new rule changes, there are situations that must be revised. 

"The foul was clear and was a yellow card, and ultimately it was us that lost Leo for two minutes."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Orlando City – Nicolas Lodeiro 

Lodeiro assisted all three of Orlando's goals against the Union last time out, becoming the third player in club history to tee up three goals in an MLS game, after Kaka and Yoshimar Yotun. 

The former Seattle Sounders man is also one of just nine players in MLS history to have a three-assist game with two different teams.

Inter Miami – Luis Suarez 

Suarez's goal against Montreal last time out was his 11th in MLS this season, taking him ahead of Messi in the Golden Boot race. 

The Uruguayan leads the way despite only making nine league starts, and he also scored twice in Miami's 5-0 rout of Orlando back in March.

MATCH PREDICTION – ORLANDO CITY WIN

Despite Miami's fine form, there are definitely vulnerabilities to be found – they are the first team in MLS history to concede the first goal in five straight games and win all of them.

They may not be able to rely on rescue acts forever. Orlando overcame a 1-0 deficit to beat Philadelphia 3-2 last time out. 

Since the start of last season, the Lions have won six and drawn five of their 10 MLS games when conceding the first goal. Their average of 1.1 points per game in such contests during that span is second only to FC Cincinnati's 1.13. 

Orlando are also unbeaten in six all-time home matches against Miami, winning two and drawing four. The Herons are the only team Orlando have hosted five or more times and never lost to in MLS play.

With Miami reliant on a few wonderful but ageing stars, the exploits of their recent matches may just catch up with them on Wednesday.  

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY 

Orlando City – 52.8%

Inter Miami – 21%

Draw – 26.2%

Jim Curtin is calling for his Philadelphia Union side to improve ahead of the visit of Orlando City this weekend.

The Union are on a run of four games without a victory, needing to come from two goals behind to salvage a 2-2 draw away at D.C. United last weekend.

The poor run has left the Union eighth in the Eastern Conference, already 10 points behind leaders Inter Miami.

Curtin knows his side must get better ahead of back-to-back home games, telling reporters: "We still have a lot we can improve.

"We go back home for two games and we have to play with confidence. That's really when this group are at their best."

Orlando, meanwhile, are in the midst of their own underwhelming start, winning just two of their first 10 MLS games to leave them 14th in the East.

Oscar Pareja's men went down 1-0 at home to FC Cincinnati last weekend, and the Orlando head coach was disappointed with the performance and defeat.

"It's another frustrating night because of the result," Pareja said. "Obviously, at this point we are needing urgency to get points."

Orlando goalkeeper Pedro Gallese added: "We’re trying to push a certain way instead of being ourselves. This team just has to fix that and try and be ourselves."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Philadelphia Union – Daniel Gazdag

Gazdag has started the season impressively in front of goal, netting six times in nine matches to kick off the campaign. If Philadelphia are to get themselves back up towards the top of the East, Gazdag may be the man to fire them to it.

Orlando City – Duncan McGuire

Orlando have found it tricky in front of goal so far this term, and McGuire leads the team's scoring charts with four, double what any of his team-mates have managed. It will likely fall upon him to provide his team's main goal threat again on Saturday.

MATCH PREDICTION – PHILADELPHIA WIN

The Union have lost back-to-back home matches after losing just two of their previous 51 at Subaru Park in all competitions. Philadelphia have never suffered a three-match home losing streak in all competitions in club history.

Orlando faced just seven shots in the defeat to Cincinnati last weekend as they've conceded a league-low 9.7 shots per match this season. Opponents have converted a league-high 18.6% of their shots into goals against the Lions this season, however.

Orlando won 2-1 at the Union in the last meeting between the sides in Chester in March 2023, but the Lions have never avoided defeat in consecutive away matches against Philadelphia in all competitions and the Union look the favourites to earn the three points this weekend.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Philadelphia: 54.2%

Orlando: 19.7%

Draw: 26.1%

Luciano Acosta has hailed FC Cincinnati for coming through a testing period as they look to make it three straight wins in MLS play at Orlando City on Saturday.

After going unbeaten through their first six games of the season, Cincinnati suffered back-to-back 2-1 defeats against the New York Red Bulls and CF Montreal.

However, they have since bounced back with two wins over difficult opponents, seeing off Atlanta United and the Colorado Rapids by the same scoreline.

Acosta scored his 44th goal for Cincinnati – the most of any player in franchise history – in that latter game, and he believes their resilience has been key. 

"I think it's just about our mentality," Acosta said. "We lost those two games and it was a bit of a punch that woke us up. But now it's about the mentality and getting back to it."

Head coach Pat Noonan said of Acosta: "I think what makes it more impressive is teams are going to try to prevent him from having an impact. 

"When you're a key player and you're able to do what he's doing with the focus on stopping you in a lot of ways, that's what is unique."

Orlando, meanwhile, were beaten 2-1 by Toronto FC last week, halting their four-game unbeaten streak and dropping them to 13th in the Eastern Conference. 

Forward Duncan McGuire felt the Lions should have taken maximum points from that game and is desperate to atone at Inter&Co Stadium.

"I definitely think we should've won," he said.

"I think how difficult this felt and how this feels for us right now is going to push us and motivate us to train hard all week, to get a win for the fans at home and get the job done."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Orlando City – Duncan McGuire

Maguire scored his fourth goal of the MLS season against Toronto last week – no other Orlando player has netted more than once in 2024.

Those goals have come from an expected goals (xG) figure of 2.7, with the United States international also attempting a team-high 27 shots this campaign.

FC Cincinnati – Luciano Acosta 

Acosta has contributed to at least one goal in four straight MLS matches (one goal, three assists). 

It is Acosta's fifth streak of four or more straight regular-season games with a goal contribution for Cincinnati, with Brandon Vazquez the only other player to achieve that feat for the team.

MATCH PREDICTION – ORLANDO CITY WIN

Orlando earned a win and a draw against Supporters' Shield winners Cincinnati last season, making them one of two teams (also the New England Revolution) to play Cincinnati twice in the 2023 regular season and not lose either match.

The Lions may just fancy their chances of another positive result against Noonan's men, who have only won one of their last three away games (one draw, one defeat).

Orlando have only lost two of their last 17 regular-season home matches dating back to last April, winning nine and drawing six, so viewers should expect a response to their loss last time out.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Orlando City – 49.3%

FC Cincinnati – 23.6% 

Draw – 27.1%

Oscar Pareja is thrilled with the character his Orlando City players showed in their 2-2 draw with CF Montreal last time out.

Orlando conceded late against Montreal – in the 88th minute, in fact – but Ivan Angulo scored deep into stoppage time to salvage a point.

It was a result that extended Orlando’s unbeaten streak to four MLS games, as the Lions look to propel themselves up the Eastern Conference standings.

Next up is a home game against Toronto FC, and Pareja was proud of the resilience his team displayed.

He said: “I've seen the character of the team, and the willingness that we have with this group of players is incredible. It has happened already [this season], and then the last good result has shown that this group has a lot of intentions all the time to be upfront and try to propose the game.

“When we are at a disadvantage, we want to equalise with a lot of character, that's what we have. Once we start being more precise in the last third, I think we're going to have less problems, but we are resolving them and, really, I congratulate the players. I think they're doing a great job, they don't give up in any minute and today if we played five minutes more I think we win the game.”

Pareja knows his team must tighten up at the back, though.

He added: “We are trying to have more cohesiveness with the players that are starting or playing in the games. Our lines have to be better. Conceding early goals, or conceding goals especially in the first half for us, is something that we need to resolve, we need to figure it out. How can we be more solid? Not saying that it's just a defender’s problem, it’s a collective problem. We all have to be in charge. We need to be much better.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Orlando City – Duncan McGuire

McGuire scored three goals in his first two matches against Toronto. Five players in MLS history have scored in their first three matches against Toronto, most recently Josef Martinez in 2017-18.

Toronto FC – Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty

Marshall-Rutty set up Prince Owusu for Toronto’s lone goal on Saturday. Either Marshall-Rutty (two assists), Owusu (four goals) or both have been involved in each of Toronto’s last five MLS goals.

MATCH PREDICTION: ORLANDO CITY WIN

Toronto FC’s 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday was its fourth victory of the season, equalling their total from all of last season. Only one of the Reds’ last 25 regular-season matches dating back to late June has ended in a draw.

However, Orlando have lost only one of their last 16 regular-season home matches (W9 D6) dating back to late April 2023, a run that includes a 4-0 win over Toronto in July.

Indeed, Orlando are unbeaten in eight straight matches against Toronto (W6 D2) including winning the last four in a row. This is the Lions’ longest unbeaten run against a single opponent in regular-season play while they’ve won five in a row against an opponent once before, doing so against the Crew from 2018-21.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Orlando City – 59.6%

Toronto FC – 16.1%

Draw – 24.3%

Conor Benn will make his comeback in Orlando on Saturday in his first bout since failing two voluntary drug tests and promoter Eddie Hearn says a clash with Chris Eubank Jr could happen in December.

Benn, who has not fought since April 2022 when he knocked out Chris van Heerden, has been cleared to fight Mexico’s Rodolfo Orozco this weekend.

The 26-year-old saw his proposed bout with Eubank Jr last October fall through following two positive tests for the banned drug clomifene, which resulted in him being hit with a provisional suspension.

Benn promised to prove his innocence and, while he was formally charged by UK Anti-Doping in April, it was announced in July he had been cleared by an independent National Anti-Doping Panel.

Hearn, in Florida for Saturday’s bout against Orozco at Caribe Royale, said: “We want the Eubank fight. It’s the biggest fight in British boxing, outside AJ v Fury and right up there with it.

“We want to fight in the UK. Conor won his case. He was cleared, his suspension was lifted and I keep hearing this ‘he was not cleared’.

“If he wasn’t cleared he wouldn’t be allowed to fight on Saturday.

“The Association of Boxing Commissions would not lift their suspension of Benn until it was confirmed to them by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) that he was no longer suspended and therefore he was cleared to fight.

“So our plan, ideally, is to fight Chris Eubank Jr in the UK in December. We’ve already had offers from a number of international venues to stage that fight, but I would like to try and make that fight in the UK.”

UKAD and the BBBofC appealed against the decision to lift Benn’s provisional suspension last month, which prevented the son of former two-weight world champion Nigel Benn being able to resume his boxing career in his home country.

Benn and promotion company Matchroom have now decided to try and get his career back on track with a bout in the United States.

Mexican veteran Orozco has been drafted in as a last-minute opponent for Benn, whose fight will be the co-main event of a show also involving super-lightweights Richardson Hitchins and Jose Zepeda.

Hearn said: “We were made aware a few weeks ago or a month ago that there would be an appeal – we’ve heard nothing more, no dates for that appeal.

“We’re not sure if that will take place or when it will take place, but this man’s free to go back to work and that’s what we’ve decided to do.”

Benn said: “I am undefeated in the ring, and in spirit. A return on Saturday is a step closer to redemption.

“After that, I’m putting the 147-160 divisions on notice. You are looking at a determined man with a deep desire to beat them all.”

Even though Greenwich-born Benn (21-0, 14KOs) will fight for the first time in 17 months on Saturday, his fight to clear his name is not over yet.

Benn relinquished his BBBC licence after his bout against Eubank was scrapped and criticised the governing body’s handling of his case.

Benn’s positive tests were conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association for the WBC, which cleared the boxer of any wrongdoing in February, pointing to an “elevated consumption of eggs” for the findings.

Londoner Benn himself insisted eggs were never blamed in a 270-page report he sent the WBC, but he has repeatedly stressed his innocence, having faced a two-year ban.

Orlando City forward Facundo Torres is targeting a turnaround in the Lions’ home fortunes, starting against LA Galaxy on Saturday.

Since beating the New York Red Bulls in the opening game of the season, Orlando have failed to win at home in 2023.

That run of five games has included three straight losses, with road wins over Philadelphia Union and Minnesota United wedged between those defeats.

Torres scored the winner against the Red Bulls back in February, and knows the time is now for Orlando to correct their home form.

"It's been difficult losses. Not just this week, but so far the ones that we've had on the season," he said.

"We know that we have to be a little bit more. It's not what we'd hoped for at this point in the season, but we continue working with the whole team to continue finding those details that we've been missing recently.

"In the final third, we've gotten good plays where we've been in and around the ball, but we haven't been able to finish those chances yet. And on the defensive side, we've given up some easy ones that have cost us as a team. So we work together to try and solidify those areas.

"We all know what [head coach] Oscar [Pareja] has been asking of us in the plan that he's laid out for us, whether it's guys that have been here or guys that just got here this year.

"The plan that Oscar has laid out has been very clear, and we're all integrated into that. I think what we're missing right now is the chemistry in between the new players and the old players and executing that idea. Like I said, the plan is very clear so now we just need to work together to bring that idea to the field in reality."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Orlando City – Duncan McGuire

McGuire has scored three goals in his first six MLS appearances, including scoring Orlando's last two goals. McGuire has hit the target with all seven shots he's attempted in MLS, the only player to attempt more than three shots with a 100 per cent shooting accuracy this season.

 

LA Galaxy – Javier Hernandez

Hernandez scored his first goal of the season in the Galaxy's 2-0 win over Austin on Saturday, and will be eager to keep up his form. It was his 38th regular season MLS goal, surpassing Erick Torres to become the second-highest-scoring Mexican international in MLS history, behind only Carlos Vela (72).

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Each side have three wins in their six previous MLS meetings. The last two matches ended 1-0 to the visiting team (one win each) after there were a total of 20 goals scored in the first four games between the Lions and Galaxy.

Orlando have lost 11 regular season home matches since the start of 2022 (W10 D1) after losing a total of 12 home matches over the previous three regular seasons combined (W20 D14 from 2019—21).

The Galaxy have just two points from four away matches this season, though they're unbeaten in their last five away matches against Eastern Conference opposition.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Orlando City – 48.2 per cent

LA Galaxy – 25.1 per cent

Draw – 26.7 per cent

Expansion franchise St Louis City's perfect start to their inaugural MLS season was ended by Minnesota United who triumphed 1-0 after Luis Amarilla's 78th-minute penalty on Saturday.

City had made MLS history by winning their first five games but that was ended by the Loons with Amarilla drilling home the spot kick after a needless challenge by Kyle Hiebert.

Hiebert brought down Amarilla just inside the box with a rash tackle when Jakob Nerwinski appeared to have Kervin Arriaga's wayward pass under control.

Substitute Samuel Adeniran came closest to equalising for St Louis, with a 95th-minute shot going over the bar after a great first touch from Klauss' right-wing cut back.

St Louis remain top of the table with 15 points from six games, but unbeaten Minnesota climb up to fourth in the Western Conference.

Cincinnati continued their impressive start to the season with a 1-0 home triumph over Inter Miami who slumped to their fourth straight defeat.

Yerson Mosquera scored the 45th-minute winner for Cincy, who are top of the Eastern Conference.

Giorgos Giakoumakis scored an early winner as Atlanta United moved up to second in the East with a 1-0 home win over New York Red Bulls, who are down in 12th in that conference.

Jordan Morris and Leo Chu scored first-half goals as Seattle Sounders stayed second in the West with a 2-1 victory at LA Galaxy, who are without a win and have only three points from five games.

LAFC remained unbeaten and third in the West despite a 0-0 draw at the winless Colorado Rapids, while SJ Earthquakes climbed to fifth with a 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo with all three goals coming from penalties.

Vancouver Whitecaps snapped a run of three straight draws with a resounding 5-0 win over 10-man Montreal with Simon Becher scoring a double. Becher is the fastest player (87 minutes) in MLS history to score his first four goals.

Franck Boli rescued a 1-1 draw for Portland Timbers at Dallas, Chicago Fire and DC United drew 0-0 and Nashville triumphed 2-0 at Orlando City.

Federico Bernardeschi netted another spectacular goal with a strike straight from a corner in Toronto's 2-2 home draw with Charlotte.

Sporting KC remained winless after a 0-0 draw at Philadelphia Union, New England drew 1-1 with New York City and Real Salt Lake suffered their fourth straight loss, going down 4-0 to Columbus Crew.

Atlanta United lost their position atop the MLS' Eastern Conference standings after a surprise 6-1 hammering at the hands of the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Atlanta boasted three wins and a draw from their first four matches of the season – and had won their past two by a combined margin of 8-1 – but they were no match for an inspired Columbus outfit in front of their home fans.

Crew forward Christian Ramirez bagged a brace in the second half, while Alexandru Matan was credited with three assists in Columbus' second win of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Seattle Sounders striker Jordan Morris raced out into the Golden Boot lead with a four-goal haul in his side's 4-1 away win against Sporting Kansas City.

The 28-year-old American more than doubled his three goals from the opening four matches, opening up a two-goal lead on rest of the competition.

With Atlanta going down, it was the New England Revolution capitalising and taking over as the Eastern Conference leaders, overcoming a first-half strike from Christian Benteke to defeat D.C. United 2-1.

The loss left D.C. near the bottom of the standings with four points from five matches, where they are joined by Charlotte after their 1-1 home draw against New York Red Bulls.

Cincinnati are the only undefeated team in the East through five matches, securing their third win with a 1-0 triumph over Nashville, to go with two draws as they sit one point behind New England.

A 92nd-minute winner gave the Chicago Fire a 3-2 victory away from home against Inter Miami – their first win of the season – while two goals in the first 10 minutes were enough for Orlando City to prevail 2-1 against the Philadelphia Union.

LA Galaxy remain winless after battling out a 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers, while it was more dramatic for the Vancouver Whitecaps as they needed a 98th minute equaliser to snatch a point in their 1-1 tie with Minnesota.

Austin FC let a golden opportunity to climb the Western Conference slip away as they dropped points in a 1-1 home draw against the cellar-dwelling Colorado Rapids, who doubled their points tally for the season with the result.

A 55th-minute penalty from Amine Bassi was enough to give the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 win against New York City, while expansion side St. Louis City continued their perfect start to their first season with a convincing 4-0 drubbing of Real Salt Lake, leaving them the only side with the maximum 15 points from five matches.

In the late window, Los Angeles FC benefitted from a first-half red card to defeat FC Dallas 2-1, while Toronto FC battled out a scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.

St Louis City extended their dream start to life in the MLS with a 3-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday making league history as the first expansion team to win its first four games.

The Missouri club powered past the Earthquakes with first-half goals from Nicholas Gioacchini and Joao Klauss, before Tomas Ostrak sealed the win in the 68th minute.

St Louis' fourth straight win surpassed the Seattle Sounders' three-win start in their debut MLS season in 2009.

The new franchise have scored 11 goals in four games, with Saturday's win marking their first clean sheet, having been forced to come from behind in all three other victories.

Argentinian midfielder Thiago Almada continued his stellar start to the new campaign with a  double in Atlanta United's 5-1 win over Portland Timbers.

The 21-year-old, who was called into Argentina's squad for the upcoming international window, netted a stunning free-kick in first-half stoppage time to make it 2-0.

Montreal upset 10-man Philadelphia Union with a comeback 3-2 win aided by a game-changing video review for Chinonso Offor's 90th-minute equaliser which split opinions.

The goal had initially been disallowed upon video review, only for that to be overturned when it was realised Union left back Kai Wagner, who was off screen from the initial angle, had actually played Offor onside.

Reigning MLS Cup winners LAFC were held to a goalless draw at Seattle, while last year's beaten conference finalists New York City got past DC United 3-2.

New England made it three wins from four games with Gustavo Bou netting the winner in a 1-0 triumph over Nashville, while New York Red Bulls came from behind to win 2-1 over Columbus Crew.

Chicago Fire remain winless after blowing a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Cincinnati, while LA Galaxy are also without a win after a 1-1 home draw with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Charlotte bounced back from their losing start to the season with a 2-1 home win over Orlando City, while Toronto beat Inter Miami 2-0, Dallas won 2-1 over Sporting KC, Houston Dynamo downed Austin 2-0 and Miguel Tapias scored late to earn Minnesota United a 2-1 win at Colorado Rapids.

Expansion team St Louis City made it three wins from three games to open their debut MLS campaign triumphing 2-1 away to Portland Timbers on Saturday.

The Missouri outfit became only the second expansion team in MLS history to start 3-0-0, with goals from Jared Stroud and Kyle Hiebert completing another comeback win.

Towering centre-back Zac McGraw had put Portland ahead in the third minute with a header from Eryk Williamson's set piece.

Stroud netted his second goal of the season on the stroke of half-time for 1-1, lashing in after Rasmum Alm's cross from the right side.

Canadian defender Hiebert came up with the winner in the 75th minute with his header finding its way into the back of the net from Eduard Lowen's free-kick.

St Louis have come from behind to win in all three MLS games to date and are the only team with nine points from three games.

Cincinnati produced a statement win, despite being reduced to 10 men, with a 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders.

Brenner netted the winner in the 63rd minute, before Nick Hagglund's 80th-minute red card forced Cincy to hang on against the Sounders, who had won their opening two games.

Joaquin Torres came up with a 90th-minute winner with a long-range left-foot strike for last season's MLS Cup runners-up Philadelphia Union as they edged nine-man Chicago Fire 1-0.

New York City secured their first win of the new season after Christopher McVey's 36th-minute own goal in their 1-0 triumph over Inter Miami.

New York Red Bulls' winless start to the new season continued with a 1-1 draw in snowy conditions at Minnesota United, where Andres Reyes headed a 49th-minute leveller for the visitors.

Teenager Caleb Wiley scored a double with an assist as Atlanta United piled on three first-half goals in their 3-0 road victory over Charlotte who have lost three straight to open the new campaign.

Montreal were also left without a point after three games, going down 2-0 at Nashville, while Chris Durkin equalised in the 80th minute as DC United drew 1-1 with Orlando City.

Toronto drew 1-1 at home with Columbus Crew, while Vancouver Whitecaps and Dallas finished with the same scoreline.

Sporting KC and LA Galaxy drew 0-0, Austin won 2-1 at Real Salt Lake and 10-man SJ Earthquakes held on for a 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids after a stunning Cristian Espinoza strike.

Arsenal contacted Orlando City regarding Facundo Torres ahead of the World Cup, the forward has revealed.

The 22-year-old has caught the eye in MLS since joining in January 2022, scoring nine goals and contributing eight assists in 33 appearances in his inaugural season.

A move to Europe has been touted for the Uruguay international ever since his days in his homeland with Penarol and Arsenal have been attributed with a long-term interest in his services.

The Gunners missed out on Mykhaylo Mudryk to London rivals Chelsea, who swooped in to beat the Premier League leaders in the hunt for the Ukraine winger, but remain in the market for additions to bolster their squad.

Torres has opened the door for a fresh approach, expressing his desire to play in the Premier League.

"Orlando City confirmed to me that there was contact with Arsenal, but then I left for the World Cup and I didn’t want to hear about a potential transfer at that point," he told 90Min.

"So, the conversation stayed there but now that I am back with the team, we will see where the conversation goes.

"I would love to play in Europe. It's a dream I've had since I was a kid. At the moment I am focused on Orlando City.

"But La Liga or Premier League would be my targets, and that's where the rumours are coming from. But yeah, I would absolutely love that."

Lionel Messi is rumoured to become the latest superstar to move to MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentina forward will join Inter Miami. 

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, having left the Blaugrana in 2021.

But Inter Miami are said to be "confident" the 35-year-old will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Should the move materialise, Messi would join a host of big names to ply their trade in the United States. Here are some of the most notable examples.

David Beckham

The former England captain shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy in 2007, though his blockbuster move certainly put MLS on the map.

Beckham made 118 appearances during his five-year spell with Galaxy, scoring 20 goals, while helping the franchise to successive MLS Cup triumphs in his final two seasons.

Thierry Henry

Arsenal and France's all-time leading scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Supporters' Shield and making four All-Star appearances.

Henry also coached Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, guiding them into the playoffs during his only full season in charge.

David Villa

Spain's all-time leading marksman became New York City's first signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

A four-time All-Star, Villa would go on to score 80 goals in 126 appearances before departing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.

Kaka

The former Ballon d'Or winner became Orlando City's first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while he was an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Andrea Pirlo

A multiple Scudetto winner with Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was unable to truly leave his mark on MLS during his stint with New York City.

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder did help the franchise reach the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while racking up 62 appearances and netting once.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after switching Manchester United for LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 win over rivals Los Angeles FC, including a 45-yard screamer.

That set the tone for a prolific two-year spell for the former Sweden international, who netted 53 times in 58 appearances before returning to Italy for a second stint at Milan.

Wayne Rooney

England's all-time leading scorer helped D.C. United reach the play-offs in his first season after joining from Everton in 2018, while he will always be remembered for his last-ditch tackle and cross-field assist to Luciano Acosta that sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Orlando City.

Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United and, following a spell at Derby County, he returned to the franchise as head coach in July. 

Gonzalo Higuain

A league title winner with Real Madrid and Juventus, Higuain swapped Italy for the States in September 2020.

Despite missing a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentina striker went on to score 29 goals in 70 appearances before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

Lionel Messi is rumoured to become the latest superstar to move to the MLS, with the Times reporting that the Argentina forward will join Inter Miami. 

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, having left the Blaugrana in 2021.

But Inter Miami are said to be "confident" the 35-year-old will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina's group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG's season.

Should the move materialise, Messi would join a host of big names to ply their trade in the United States. Here are some of the most notable examples.

David Beckham

The former England captain shocked the world when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy in 2007, though his blockbuster move certainly put the MLS on the map.

Beckham made 118 appearances during his five-year spell with Galaxy, scoring 20 goals, while helping the franchise to successive MLS Cup triumph in his final two seasons.

Thierry Henry

Arsenal and France's all-time leading scorer scored 52 goals in 135 games for the New York Red Bulls between 2010 and 2014, helping them win the 2013 Supporters' Shield and making four All-Star appearances.

Henry also coached Montreal Impact from 2019 to 2021, guiding them into the playoffs during his only full season in charge.

David Villa

Spain's all-time leading marksman became New York City's first signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid ahead of their debut MLS season in 2015.

A four-time All-Star, Villa would go on to score 80 goals in 126 appearances before departing for Japanese side Vissel Kobe at the end of the 2018 season.

Kaka

The former Ballon d'Or winner became Orlando City's first designated player when he agreed to join the new franchise in 2014.

Kaka played 78 times for City, scoring 25 goals, while he was an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Andrea Pirlo

A multiple Scudetto winner with Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was unable to truly leave his mark on the MLS during his stint with New York City.

Nevertheless, the former Italy midfielder did help the franchise reach the playoffs in 2016 and 2017, while racking up 62 appearances and netting once.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic certainly hit the ground running after switching Manchester United for LA Galaxy, scoring twice on his debut in a 4-3 win over rivals Los Angeles FC, including a 45-yard screamer.

That set the tone for a prolific two-year spell for the former Sweden international, who netted 53 times in 58 appearances before returning to Italy for a second stint at Milan.

Wayne Rooney

England's all-time leading scorer helped D.C. United reach the play-offs in his first season after joining from Everton in 2018, while he will always be remembered for his last-ditch tackle and cross-field assist to Luciano Acosta that sealed a dramatic 3-2 win over Orlando City.

Rooney scored 25 goals in 52 appearances for United and, following a spell at Derby County, he returned to the franchise as head coach in July. 

Gonzalo Higuain

A league title winner with Real Madrid and Juventus, Higuain swapped Italy for the States in September 2020.

Despite missing a penalty on his debut against Philadelphia Union, the former Argentina striker went on to score 29 goals in 70 appearances before retiring at the end of the 2022 MLS season.

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