Supporters' Shield winners New England have made more history with Wednesday's 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids breaking the MLS record for most points in a single season.

Bruce Arena's side, who clinched their first-ever Supporters' Shield on Saturday, won thanks to Tajon Buchanan's 74th-minute strike.

The result took Revolution's season tally to 73 points from 33 games, eclipsing the previous record mark held by LAFC with 72 points in 2019.

New England have one more regular season match to extend their record, playing Inter Miami at home on November 7.

Canada international Buchanan came up with the winner, showing fast feet to make space for a low shot that beat Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough, who had sensationally kept out Henry Kessler from close range minutes earlier.

New York Red Bulls slipped out of the Eastern Conference play-offs spots after a 1-0 defeat to DC United who moved above them into seventh place.

United snapped a four-game winless skid, while also ending the Red Bulls' four-game running run and eight-game unbeaten streak in the process. Kevin Paredes side-footed home the ninth-minute winner for United.

Sporting KC moved into top spot in the Western Conference and dented LA Galaxy's play-offs aspirations with a 2-0 win.

Johnny Russell extended his scoring run to eight straight games with both goals for KC who clinched a top-four seeding as well.

Randall Leal scored two goals and grabbed an assist as Nashville came from two goals down twice to win 6-3 at Cincinnati.

Portland Timbers moved in the west's top four with a 2-0 home victory over San Jose Earthquakes, while Vancouver Whitecaps climbed up to fifth with a 2-1 triumph over Minnesota United.

New York City boosted their Eastern Conference top-four seed hopes with a 1-0 home win over Chicago Fire, while Josef Martinez's winner helped Atlanta United past Inter Miami 2-1 after Gonzalo Higuain had opened the scoring from the spot.

Columbus Crew upset Orlando City 3-2, Toronto held Philadelphia Union 2-2 as Jozy Altidore netted while Real Salt Lake scored twice in the final 10 minutes to win 2-1 at Dallas.

LA Galaxy breathed life into their MLS play-off aspirations after securing back-to-back wins for the first time since August with a 3-0 victory at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Galaxy, who had endured a nine-game winless skid, had beaten Portland Timbers 2-1 on the weekend before backing that up in Houston to reinforce their grip on sixth spot in the Western Conference midweek.

Greg Vanney's Galaxy went ahead in the 39th minute from veteran Sacha Kljestan's penalty, after Maynor Figueroa brought down Kevin Cabral inside the box.

Zarek Valentin's own goal on the stroke of half-time from Efrain Alvarez's cutback doubled Galaxy's advantage.

Two minutes into the second half, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez provided a well-weighted pass for Kevin Cabral to add a third, moving Galaxy up to 45 points and above Real Salt Lake into fifth in the west.

New England Revolution moved another step closer to clinching the Supporters' Shield with a come-from-behind 3-2 win at DC United.

Adam Buksa, Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou all scored within 18 minutes as the Revolution responded to Nigel Robertha's 51st-minute opener for DC United.

The result moved Eastern Conference pacesetters New England to 69 points from 31 games, with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders closest behind them on 58 points after 30 games after they lost ground following a 1-1 draw with third-placed Colorado Rapids.

Elsewhere, Nashville – second behind New England in the east – drew for the fifth straight game in a 1-1 stalemate against defending MLS champions Columbus Crew and Cristian Arango's hat-trick guided Los Angeles FC past Dallas 3-2.

Inter Miami snapped their six-game losing skid and kept alive their faint play-off aspirations with a 3-0 home victory over Toronto.

Gudmundur Thorarinsson equalised late for New York City but their winless run extended to six games after a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United, Minnesota United were 3-2 winners against Philadelphia Union, Orlando City and Montreal played out a 1-1 draw.

Chicago Fire prevailed 4-3 over struggling FC Cincinnati, Vancouver Whitecaps came from two goals down to win 3-2 away to Portland Timbers, while San Jose Earthquakes eased past lowly Austin 4-0.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez got on the scoresheet as LA Galaxy breathed life in their MLS playoffs aspirations with a 2-1 home win over Portland Timbers on Saturday.

Sacha Kljestan netted a stoppage-time penalty to clinch all three points for Galaxy, who had been in a freefall with a winless nine-game span.

Chicharito poked in at the back post for the opening goal in the 62nd minute, pouncing on Larrys Mabiala's defensive error from Victor Vazquez's ball into the box.

The Timbers equalized 10 minutes later when Sebastian Blanco's cross-cum-shot drifted over Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond and in off the post.

Blanco hit the upright from a long-range effort, before LA won a penalty when substitute Efrain Alvarez was brought down inside the box by Josecarlos Van Rankin.

Kljestan fired low to Timbers keeper Steve Clark's right for the winner which moves Galaxy up to 42 points, retaining their grip on sixth spot in the Western Conference.

Supporters Shield-leading New England Revolution conceded late as they drew 2-2 at home with Chicago Fire.

The sides traded four goals in the second half, with Wilfred Kaptoum drilling in a low opener in the 47th minute before Alvaro Medran equalized instantly with a classy volley.

Gustavo Bou netted his 13th goal of the season to restore Revolution's lead with a deft lob from Carles Gil's lofted pass in behind the defence in the 76th minute.

Bou was denied by Chicago keeper Gabriel Slonina before Brian Gutierrez danced forward for the visitors, finding Ignacio Aliseda who fired home an angled 88th minute leveller.

Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders missed the chance to close on New England after going down 2-1 at Houston Dynamo.

Maxi Urruti scored a spectacular volley to put Houston ahead on the quarter hour, with Darwin Quintero doubling their lead with a fine solo left-foot strike in the 20th minute.

Jimmy Medranda halved the deficit with a rifled 41st minute shot after recycling an over-hit corner, although Houston came closest to a second-half goal, hitting the woodwork four times, before Seattle's Joao Paulo had a stoppage-time free-kick cannon into the crossbar.

Real Salt Lake solidified their grip on a playoffs spot with a 3-1 home victory over Colorado Rapids, who are third in the Western Conference.

Minnesota United remained ahead of RSL by two points with a 1-0 triumph at lowly Austin thanks to Franco Frangapane's 16th-minute strike.

US international Gyasi Zardes netted a double as Columbus Crew thrashed Inter Miami 4-0, condemning them to their sixth straight defeat, during which they have scored one goal and conceded 16 times.

Luiz Araujo and Marcelino Moreno both netted late in each half as 10-man Atlanta United triumphed 2-0 at Toronto.

Junior Urso netted early as Orlando City eased past struggling Cincinnati 1-0, while DC United and Nashville drew 0-0 with the visitors recorded a draw for the fourth successive game.

LA Galaxy's play-offs took a hit after they suffered their third consecutive defeat, going down 2-1 to Real Salt Lake in MLS on Wednesday.

The defeat means the Galaxy are winless in their past eight matches and while they dropped down to sixth in the Western Conference, their form means they could find themselves only a point ahead of the post-season chasing pack.

Former Manchester United forward Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez stung RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa's palms early, before Damir Kreilach scored his 11th goal of the season to put the hosts 1-0 on the stroke of half-time.

Ochoa denied Chicharito again in a 57th-minute fast break, before the latter equalised with 14 minutes remaining midweek.

But in the fifth of six stoppage-time minutes, Anderson Julio lashed in a wonderful volley from outside the box to claim the win for fifth-placed RSL and boost their play-off chances.

United States teenager Ricardo Pepi netted his 12th goal of the campaign as 10-man Dallas went down 3-1 to Western Conference contenders and second-placed Sporting Kansas City.

Daniel Salloi scored a double for Sporting KC, taking his season tally to 14, while Dallas had Bryan Acosta sent off.

Seattle Sounders stayed top of the Western Conference, ahead of Sporting KC, as Raul Ruidiaz scored a brace in a 3-1 win away to San Jose Earthquakes.

Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 25th minute, before firing home from the spot three minutes prior to the break. The Peruvian has 16 MLS goals this season, behind only DC United's Ola Kamara with 17.

Dairon Asprilla scored the winner as Portland Timbers claimed a 2-1 victory at Los Angeles FC to remain fourth in the west.

Supporters' Shield leaders New England Revolution maintained their 14-point advantage atop the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 triumph away to Montreal, extending their unbeaten run to six games.

Nashville, second in the east, blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Orlando City, while DC United got past Minnesota United 3-1.

Atlanta United boosted their play-offs hopes with a 1-0 win over Inter Miami, who have lost three in a row, while Toronto beat FC Cincinnati 3-2.

New York City suffered a second straight loss, going down 2-0 to Chicago Fire, and Philadelphia Union could only manage a 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls.

Colorado Rapids eased past Austin 3-0 and Houston Dynamo played out a goalless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Romeo Beckham made his professional debut for American third-tier club Fort Lauderdale CF on Sunday.

The 19-year-old signed a contract with the club earlier this month and started on the right wing in his first appearance for the reserve team of Inter Miami – the MLS outfit his father David Beckham owns.

He played for 79 minutes in a 2-2 draw against South Georgia Tormenta FC in the USL League one.

"Blessed to have made my pro debut tonight for Fort Lauderdale, full focus onto the next match," Beckham posted on Instagram post-match.

Another familiar name was among the Lauderdale ranks, with Phil Neville's son Harvey playing in midfield – his 16th appearance for the Florida outfit since leaving Manchester United's academy.

Both could return to action Lauderdale against Greenville Triumph on 2 October as they look to rise from eighth place.

Lionel Messi is wanted by MLS side Inter Miami, according to former Argentina team-mate Gonzalo Higuain.

Messi completed a momentous free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in August, with Barcelona being unable to afford a new deal for the Blaugrana great amid financial difficulties.

The Argentina captain enjoyed a cameo against Reims before making his full debut away at Club Brugge in the Champions League on Wednesday, hitting the crossbar in a 1-1 draw.

However, Miami forward Higuain hinted that the door is already open for Messi's potential next move – the second time he has done so after advocating a potential transfer in March.

"Don't get me into trouble… I have no idea about Leo [Lionel Messi] in Miami," Higuain told ESPN Argentina.

"I have one year left on my contract and Leo I think he signed 2 or 3 years in Paris, I don't think we agreed. The club wants it, let's see."

Higuain also made his standpoint on his future very clear and explained admiration for Miami's joint-owner David Beckham.

Having joined Beckham's franchise in September last year, the ex-Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus striker has netted 10 times in 30 MLS outings, though he believes next season will be his last for the time being.

"Honestly, you are very far from the competition in Europe, it is a league that takes a lot of affection but now that there are people the truth is that I am enjoying it a lot," Higuain added.

"There are many players who want to come and play here. The league is very nice, I like to play it. Good teams, good players.

"After that year [left on his contract] I take a sabbatical, away from football and everything."

Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner as resurgent Inter Miami continued their excellent run of form with a fifth straight home win beating Columbus Crew 1-0 in the MLS on Saturday.

Higuain struck the winner in the 16th minute for Inter who have claimed 13 points from their past five matches to surge up to ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Inter had endured a six-game losing span in May and June but Phil Neville's side have bounced back, losing only once in their past 10.

The former Real Madrid forward swooped on a wayward back pass from Josh Williams, taking a touch inside the box and dinking a shot over Crew keeper Eloy Room, with Vito Wormgoor unable to clear it on the line.

New England maintained their stronghold on the lead at the top of the table with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over 10-man New York City.

Santiago Rodriguez had put City ahead with an 11th-minute volley before Revolution midfielder Emmanuel Boateng drive in a low leveller 10 minutes later. Tom McNamara may have put New England ahead when he hit the post late in the half.

Alfredo Morales was sent off for a second bookable offence, an heavy tackle on McNamara, early in the second half.

New England capitalized with in-form Tajon Buchanan coming up with a 65th minute winner from Carles Gil's assist.

Nashville maintained their strong season with a 1-0 victory on the road over Montreal after Walker Zimmerman's glancing 66th-minute header, keeping them second in the Eastern Conference behind New England.

Sporting KC struck twice inside the first 10 minutes from Jose Mauri and Johnny Russell as they won 2-0 over Chicago Fire to stay in touch with Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders.

Colorado Rapids squandered an opportunity to temporarily go top in the west after Samuel Grandsir's late equalizer for LA Galaxy in a 1-1 draw. The Rapids instead slip to third below KC.

Seattle Sounders remained first in the west with a 1-0 home win over Minnesota United thanks to Joao Paulo's 22nd-minute strike.

Teenage sensation Ricardo Pepi scored his 12th goal of the season as Dallas drew 1-1 with San Jose Earthquakes, while lowly Houston Dynamo won 3-0 over fellow Texas outfit Austin.

New York Red Bulls continue to struggle for wins, only managing a 1-1 home draw with DC United after a controversial penalty award for a Sean Nealis handball.

Cincinnati snapped their three-game losing run with a 2-0 home win over struggling Toronto, who have lost five in a row.

Junior Urso scored a late winner after Orlando City had blown a two-goal lead to claim second spot in the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 triumph over Columbus Crew.

Former Manchester United winger Nani had set up Daryl Dike for a 26th-minute opener with a tackle-cum-pass before Silvester van der Water doubled Orlando's lead three minutes later with a cross which eluded everyone.

But the visitors rallied after the break with a double strike inside three minutes, firstly with Antonio Carlos' 52nd-minute own goal.

Minutes later Lucas Zelarayan picked out Derrick Etienne Jr who cushioned a pass into the box for Miguel Berry to equalize.

Orlando grabbed all three points with Dike laying back a pass for Junior Urso to lash home a 69th-minute winner from the edge of the box.

The result moves Orlando above Nashville into second spot in the east with 38 points from 22 games, having gone six games unbeaten in the MLS.

Inter Miami continued their excellent recent form after Brek Shea's 90th-minute winner earned them a 1-0 victory away to Cincinnati.

The result extends Phil Neville's side's unbeaten run to four games and means they have lost only once in their past nine, climbing up to 10th spot in the east.

Dominique Badji also netted a late winner, scoring in the 89th minute to lift the Colorado Rapids into second in the west with a 1-0 victory at San Jose Earthquakes.

Real Salt Lake came from a goal down early to win 3-2 over Dallas, while Vancouver Whitecaps scored twice in the final 20 minutes to beat struggling Austin 2-1.

Lionel Messi was the topic of plenty of speculation in recent weeks before inking a two-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain.

The 34-year-old left Barcelona as a free agent after two decades with the Catalan club, unable to stay despite wanting to continue his career there.

But rumours are swirling already about Messi's next move after PSG, even though he has yet to even make his debut for the Ligue 1 side.

 

TOP STORY - BECKHAM HOLDS MESSI TALKS

Inter Miami owner David Beckham has held talks with Messi about joining the MLS club after his PSG contract expires, reports The Mirror.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder has promised to bring a superstar player to the club, with links to Cristiano Ronaldo in the past.

According to the report, Messi purchased six luxury penthouse apartments in Miami a few weeks ago, adding fuel to the fire.


ROUND-UP

- Manchester City will need to up their bid for Harry Kane to Tottenham by £50million to convince Spurs to sell, reports The Mirror. City have reportedly tabled an improved bid since their £100m offer and are said to be willing to go as high as £120m.

- Newcastle are ready to make a move to sign Everton's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez, according to fichajes.net.

- Milan are interested in a move for Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva for £45m (€52m) according to Star on Sunday.

- The Sun claims that Southampton are looking to complete a bargain deal for Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

New England Revolution have stretched their lead to 15 points in the MLS Eastern Conference after a 4-1 triumph over Cincinnati on Saturday.

First-half goals from Tajon Buchanan, Emmanuel Boateng and Adam Buksa helped New England open up a 3-0 half-time lead and they never looked back.

Canada international Buchanan was critical, pouncing on a rebound to fire home the opener from close range, before dribbling in the box and providing the pass for Boateng's first-time effort.

Cincinnati pulled a goal back from record signing Brenner's 54th-minute strike but Buksa added a second on the hour, from Gustavo Bou's assist, to seal a comfortable win.

Revolution have now won four straight matches and are unbeaten in eight games. New England have scored a league-leading 44 goals this year and turned it on without injured star midfielder Carles Gil.

Benji Michel scored a 51st-minute winner as Orlando City snapped their three-game winless run with a 1-0 win over Chicago Fire to move up to second in the east.

Orlando were not helped when Nani was substituted on the half hour, but found a winner when Michel drove home after Tesho Akindele's steal.

Quinn Sullivan netted an 87th-minute equalizer to keep Philadelphia Union in touch with Orlando after a 1-1 home draw with Montreal.

Djordje Mihailovic had put Montreal ahead on the stroke of half-time before Sullivan's leveler which leaves Union two points behind Orlando.

Inter Miami continued their form resurgence with a 3-1 victory over Toronto, moving them up to 11th in the east and leaving the Canadians in last.

Mexican midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro netted a double while Robbie Robinson also scored as Inter claimed their third win in four games.

Damian Moreno scored a late winner as Atlanta United claimed their fourth consecutive win, edging DC United 2-1.

Houston Dynamo snapped their four-game losing run with 2-2 draw with Dallas in their Texan showdown, while Austin climbed off the foot of the Western Conference with a 3-1 home win over Portland Timbers.

Colorado Rapids claimed a third straight win, getting past Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the Rocky Mountain Cup while Vancouver came from behind to win 2-1 over LAFC.

After numerous delays, New York Red Bulls' derby with New York City was postponed with the pitch deemed unplayable after inclement weather as Hurricane Henri approached.

MLS top scorer Gustavo Bou netted a late penalty to help New England stretch their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win at Toronto on Saturday.

The Argentine stepped up to convert the 83rd minute spot-kick, extending New England's lead to 12 points from second-placed New York City in the east.

Canada international Tajon Buchanan had put Revolution ahead in the 19th minute with an excellent header and they looked good value for the win until Toronto's 79th-minute equaliser.

Jonathan Osorio levelled the game with a close-range tap-in from Pozuelo's shot across goal.

But New England found a winner, with Bou sending his penalty high to the goalkeeper's right for his 12th goal of the season. The win extends Revolution's unbeaten run to seven games.

New York City kept up the pressure in second spot with a 2-0 home win over Inter Miami thanks to a double from Valentin Castellanos, including a Panenka penalty.

The victory means City are undefeated across their past six league games, winning four of them.

New York Red Bulls slumped to their fourth defeat in five MLS games, conceding a late penalty in dramatic circumstances in a 2-1 loss at Montreal.

Former Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama netted the 90th-minute spot-kick as the third different shooter after their previous two efforts were saved but retaken due to encroachment from keeper Carlos Coronel.

The result means the Red Bulls, who had gone ahead from Pascal Klimala's 45th-minute penalty, are winless in seven league games.

Sporting KC maintained their grip on top spot in the Western Conference with a 2-0 win at in-form Dallas.

Mexico international Alan Pulido put Sporting ahead with angled shot in the 12th minute before Daniel Salloi netted his 10th goal of the season in the 63rd minute with a sharp finish.

LA Galaxy are second in the west after Kevin Cabral's first-half strike earned a 1-0 win at Minnesota United.

Colorado Rapids scored twice in the second half to win 3-1 at Houston Dynamo, while Real Salt Lake beat 10-man Austin 1-0 to move up to sixth in the west.

Gonzalo Higuain netted the equalizer as Inter Miami continued their recent upturn in form with a 2-1 home win over Nashville in the MLS on Sunday.

Phil Neville's Inter have now claimed eight points from their past four games, having been rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference after six defeats in a row.

Nashville had taken the lead early in the second half from Charles Sapong but Miami responded on the hour mark.

Ex-France international Blaise Matuidi played in former Real Madrid forward Higuain who calmly collected the ball and slotted home for 1-1.

Inter dramatically claimed all three points in the 95th minute when Gonzalo's brother Federico Higuain whipped in a well-weighted cross for Indiana Vassilev to head home.

The win moves Miami out of last spot in the east and up to 12th.

At the other end of the conference table, New England Revolution moved 10 points clear with a 2-1 home win over Philadelphia Union.

Matthew Polster and Gustavo Bou netted first-half goals, sandwiching Paxten Aaronson's strike to extend New England's unbeaten run to six games.

Bou's goal came after his 39th-minute penalty was saved by Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, only for the Argentine to convert the rebound.

New York Red Bulls are winless in six after going down 2-1 to lowly Chicago Fire following Serbian midfielder Luka Stojanovic's early double strike.

DC United came from behind to win 2-1 over Montreal, while San Jose Earthquakes beat LAFC 2-1 in the Western Conference.

LA Galaxy were held to a 1-1 home draw by Vancouver Whitecaps with Kevin Cabral's 32nd-minute goal cancelled out by Ranko Veselinovic's 50th-minute reply.

So now we know: Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona.

Having pushed hard to force through an exit a year ago, the Argentina superstar appeared set to commit his long-term future to the Spanish club by signing a new deal this offseason.

However, his Camp Nou days now appear over due to "economic and structural obstacles", despite reportedly agreeing to take a 50 per cent wage reduction. Put simply, the dire financial situation means Barca cannot keep their prized asset.

Unless there is another dramatic twist to the saga (and we definitely should not rule that out just yet), Messi must find a new home.

So where could the six-time Ballon d'Or winner end up? The list of options appears to be short, albeit varied.

Hello, Paris!

Paris Saint-Germain are the early front-runners in this unexpected race, and rightly so. Thanks to owners Qatar Sports Investments, the Ligue 1 side have the financial backing to make Messi a tempting offer, plus they would give him a chance of Champions League glory once again – they were beaten finalists in 2020, then knocked out in the last four the following season.

Compatriot Mauricio Pochettino is there, as too are international team-mates Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria. When you add in another familiar face in former Barca colleague Neymar, it suddenly seems like a cosy, obvious fit. Such a signing could also help sway Kylian Mbappe to sign a new contract, or at least make it far more palatable to consider cashing in on the Frenchman before his deal runs out.

The Pep reunion tour

A year ago, when Messi made us look up exactly what a burofax is, Manchester City appeared the likely landing spot. A once rock-solid relationship with Barca appeared in tatters, amid disgruntlement over what was happening both on and off the pitch. Moving to England would have finally answered the old line of, 'Yeah, but can he do it on a wet Tuesday in [insert team here]?', as well as reuniting him with Pep Guardiola, the coach who twice steered Barca to Champions League glory.

However, City have seemingly moved on since missing out on Messi. Not so long after Barca's statement was released, the Premier League champions confirmed the signing of Jack Grealish for £100million. Harry Kane has also been heavily linked with them, and the England captain will not come cheap (certainly if Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has anything to do with it). Even with City, there is a limit to how much you can spend.

Made in Chelsea

So how about Messi moves to the Premier League anyway, but just not to the club where everyone once expected? Chelsea have not been mentioned too much as a possible destination, either last year or now, but they have the resources and are seemingly keen to add to their attacking options, considering rumours of moves for Erling Haaland and, more recently, Romelu Lukaku. Unlike that duo, Messi is unattached and available for nothing (in terms of a transfer fee at least).

However, those links to central strikers suggest head coach Thomas Tuchel and the Chelsea hierarchy have a certain idea of what they want to add to the squad – and it may not be a 34-year-old who would require a rethink over the entire structure of the team. While Messi would no doubt enhance the Blues, west London appears unlikely to be welcoming him into the neighbourhood.

ML-YES!

Could Messi be set to take the well-trodden path from Europe to the United States? MLS has appeared a viable option for him at some stage in his playing days – he even said so himself in an interview with La Sexta in December 2020: "I would like to play in the United States someday, it's always been one of my dreams... but I don't know if it will happen!" Well, that dream could now become a reality, with the competition having a history of attracting big names in the twilight stages of their careers.

David Beckham did just that, and now he is heavily involved with Inter Miami – perhaps the leading MLS option for Messi. New York and Los Angeles could factor into consideration, with the chance for a global superstar to take the plunge in a major market. In truth, though, it seems this idea could come to fruition further down the line, rather than in the coming weeks.

No place like home…

While he has been at Barcelona since his teenage years, coming through the famous La Masia youth academy, Messi started out with Newell's Old Boys in Argentina. A move back to his hometown of Rosario would be a wonderful way to bookend his illustrious playing days. However, having scored 30 goals in 35 LaLiga games last term, he shows no signs of his ridiculously lofty standards slipping just yet.

Diego Maradona did have a brief stint there, with Messi revealing a Newell's number 10 shirt after scoring against Osasuna to pay tribute to the Argentina legend, who died in November 2020. Still, after finally securing a first international trophy with the national team, winning this year's Copa America on Brazilian soil, a return to his roots appears unlikely.

Sporting KC scored three first-half goals on their way to a 4-1 win at LAFC to claim top spot in the Western Conference in the MLS on Wednesday.

Alan Pulido, Luis Martins and Daniel Salloi all scored within 16 minutes as KC raced to a 3-0 lead. Salloi's classy volley took his tally to nine goals this MLS season.

Israeli midfielder Gadi Kinda added a fourth in the 58th minute with Graham Zusi getting his second assist, before LAFC got a consolation from Danny Musovski.

The win lifted Sporting KC past Seattle Sounders who conceded in the 90th minute to draw 1-1 at home with Dallas.

Fredy Montero had put the Sounders ahead in the 72nd minute with a set-piece header but Dallas equalised from Franco Jara's 90th-minute close-range strike.

Sporting KC are ahead of Seattle on goal difference, with both sides having 33 points, although the leaders have a game in hand.

LA Galaxy are third following a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake, secured by Efrain Alvarez's cool 53rd-minute winner.

Eastern Conference leaders New England extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 0-0 draw against Nashville, who slip to fourth despite the result.

The draw also extends Nashville's undefeated streak to nine games.

Former England international Kieran Gibbs netted a 66th-minute equaliser to earn Inter Miami a 1-1 draw away to fellow Florida outfit Orlando City. The goal was Gibbs' first in the MLS.

Philadelphia Union ended their three-game winless run with a 3-0 victory over Toronto after three first-half strikes.

Ola Kamara and Yordy Reyna both netted doubles as DC United won 4-2 over Columbus Crew.

Tomas Pochettino scored a first-half brace as struggling Austin won 3-2 over Houston Dynamo.

Chicago Fire and 10-man New York City played out a goalless draw, while New York Red Bulls and Cincinnati also ended 0-0 and Portland Timbers drew 1-1 with San Jose Earthquakes.

Phil Neville accepts he is under increasing pressure amid a terrible run of form for Inter Miami but insists he feels the full support of the MLS club's owners.

Inter were thrashed 5-0 by New England Revolution on Wednesday to make it six defeats in a row, scoring just one goal and conceding 13 during that run of losses.

The Herons finished 10th in the Eastern Conference in their maiden campaign under Diego Alonso last time, but they have the worst record of all 27 MLS teams in 2021.

Former Manchester United defender Neville was named as Alonso's successor in January and has won two, drawn two and lost eight of his first 12 league games in charge.

On the back of his side's latest loss, Neville says he does not need the club's owners – who include former United team-mate David Beckham – to tell him an improvement is needed.

"I feel their full support – I always have done," he said of Miami's financial backers. "They don't need to tell me about their concerns because I have the same concerns.

"I've been in football long enough and I know the consequences – that's no problem to me. We're doing everything in our power, we just need better performances on the field.

"I've got great responsibility and I'm accountable for everything that I do. We're on a run at the moment that puts me under pressure."

Miami have the likes of former Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain and World Cup-winning midfielder Blaise Matuidi in their ranks, but they were 4-0 down before half-time against the Revs.

That performance and scoreline against the conference leaders left Neville questioning whether his players had done enough for the team.

"I wasn't expecting it. The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves, and so do I. We win and we lose together," he said.

"Ultimately it's my job to make this team better, and in this moment in time they are not. That's on my shoulders.

"When we suffer a disappointment, we need to make sure that we can recover. That's what football's all about – having courage, bravery, not letting your team-mates down.

"We're not doing that and it's something we've not done for the last six games. It's something we have to rectify ASAP.

"Did they have better players than us? On paper, no, but they're a team and that's what we must become. 

"That's all I'm asking for – a team that will fight for each other and look around the dressing room and trust each other.

"That's what I've asked them to do – look in the mirror and ask, 'What are you doing for the team?' Nothing will deter me from trying to be a success at this football club."

Neville guided England Women to their first SheBelieves Cup triumph in 2019 and to fourth place in that year's World Cup, but results between then and his departure had been poor.

Reflecting on a club-record defeat for Inter, who are also on a club-record run of losses, Neville added: "It's the lowest in terms of my feelings after a defeat that I've had since I came to this football club – and we've had some disappointments.

"You can lose games in football, but the manner in which we lost [against the Revs] was… we've said the word unacceptable in the past – it feels worse than that.

"It's a case of playing for your pride, for the badge, for your supporters – I can only apologise to them for what they saw. It's them that I feel for, more than myself or the players, because they deserve better."

Inter Miami return to action on Sunday with a home match against Philadelphia Union, before rounding off July with the visit of Montreal.

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