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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A crazy day in MLS saw two 4-4 draws, with Phil Neville complaining Inter Miami had "defended like little boys" as they were held by FC Cincinnati.

Inter required a 97th-minute equaliser from Christopher McVey to rescue a point, despite having led 3-2 entering the final 10 minutes thanks to a first-half Gonzalo Higuain hat-trick.

Brandon Vazquez scored twice to turn the game on its head, leaving Neville furious despite McVey's last-gasp intervention.

"We defended like little boys, we defended naively, we didn't compete, we lacked discipline and concentration," the former Manchester United and Everton defender said. "And that's unacceptable, unacceptable.

"Simple balls into the box we didn't deal with. Simple concentration bits we didn't deal with.

"We are in the stage of the season where concentration is the main thing, concentration will get you to win games of football, and it's not going to be easy; you've just got to defend and do the right things all the time, and defensively we were as poor as we have been all season."

Remarkably, it was not Saturday's first eight-goal draw, as Minnesota United and the Portland Timbers had earlier played out a thriller.

Sebastian Blanco got the scoring started in the first minute, but there was no late drama in this one, with all eight goals netted before the 70-minute mark.

This was the first time in MLS history two matches on the same day have seen both teams score at least four goals, but there was a chasm between the Philadelphia Union and the Houston Dynamo in Saturday's third high-scoring game.

The Union ran out 6-0 winners as Mikael Uhre continued his stunning run of form at Subaru Park, netting either side of half-time for his fifth and sixth goals in his past four home games.

Uhre had also scored twice in a 7-0 defeat of DC United earlier in July, making Philly the first team to win multiple games by a six-goal margin in a single MLS season.

Elsewhere, New York City FC lost ground on the Union in the East as they drew with CF Montreal, while Sebastian Druissi continued his MVP bid by inspiring Austin FC to a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City.

"He continues to demonstrate why he deserves that [award]," said Austin coach Josh Wolff.

Robert Lewandowski will "complement" Barcelona's existing attacking options and help the club "conquer the world" once more, says team-mate Eric Garcia.

The Poland international has ended an eight-year stay with Bayern Munich to move to Camp Nou in one of the transfer window's more protracted transfers.

Lewandowski was on hand to watch Barca deliver a 6-0 pre-season thumping against Inter Miami on Tuesday in Florida, with a star performance from fellow new recruit Raphinha suggesting a bright season lays ahead.

Garcia believes Lewandowski, the European Golden Shoe winner in both 2020-21 and 2021-22, will add to their prowess on the pitch, and that they can deliver a return to the glory days over the coming season.

Lewandowski joins an imposing forward line of Ferran Torres, Raphinha, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, Memphis Depay and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

"Well, I think as a defender it's much better to have [Lewandowski] on your team," Garcia stated at a media conference after the victory in Fort Lauderdale. "I think he's one of the best strikers in the world. He has been proving it for the last few years.

"I am sure that he will help us a lot, he will complement the strikers we have very well, who are also of a spectacular level, and I hope he can start playing now and help us.

"I think a really great team is being built, with young players who want to conquer the world, and with players with a lot of experience who are world-class in their position.

"I think the club is doing a very good job and we on the field must continue the dynamics that we have started today, and with the tactics that the manager provides.

"You must dream. I think we have a very good team and if we continue with this mentality and this intensity, then we can achieve what we set out to do."

Garcia also weighed in on the absence of manager Xavi, who has been unable to enter the United States owing to visa issues, praising the support staff around the club who helped prepare them for their clash with Inter Miami.

"Well, obviously we missed him," he added. "But there's Oscar [Hernandez], there's Sergio [Alegre], Ivan [Torres], all the staff, who are telling us what Xavi wants to tell us."

The centre-back also played down suggestions that he has the inside track on former Manchester City team-mate Bernardo Silva's future, with the Portugal international linked with a switch to Camp Nou from the Premier League.

"The truth is that nothing has been spoken about it," he clarified. "I know him, we're friends, but he's a City player, and we all know he is a great player.

"What will happen there, I don’t know, but I want the best for him and for City."

Sergio Busquets is hopeful Robert Lewandowski will prove to be LaLiga's signing of the season after he joined the Blaugrana from Bayern Munich.

Lewandowski sealed his long-awaited move to Camp Nou on Monday, having expressed his desire to leave Bayern after scoring 50 goals in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions last season. 

The 33-year-old has finished as the Bundesliga's top goalscorer in seven separate seasons, equalling the record set by fellow Bayern great Gerd Muller, and will now spearhead Barca's bid for a first league title since 2018-19.

Speaking to Inter Miami's media channels ahead of Barca's pre-season friendly against the Major League Soccer side, both Busquets and new team-mate Andreas Christensen heaped praise on the Poland striker.

Asked whether the capture of Lewandowski represented LaLiga's signing of the season, Busquets said: "Well, at the media level, because of his name, it could be. But before starting any competition and before playing matches, it is not that useful to value this. 

"Hopefully we will be saying this when the season is over and after he had a great season individually, because that will mean that the collective also went well. 

"Hopefully it will be like this."

Former Chelsea defender Christensen has joined Lewandowski in moving to Camp Nou during the transfer window, and he believes the experience of the eight-time Bundesliga champion will be invaluable for Xavi's side.

"It's obvious that he's got the qualities, he's won a lot of trophies, he's got the winning mentality that we need," Christensen said.

"So I think he brings all these qualities. I think it's quite obvious what they are. So I don't think I need to mention it but yeah, everyone's just happy that he's here.

"He can push us and you know, share his experiences. I think it's just a good thing for the team."

 

Meanwhile, Busquets has just one year remaining on his contract with the Catalan giants, and refused to rule out a future move to MLS after claiming to have followed the league when former team-mate David Villa joined New York City.

"I have always liked this league a lot since David Villa came to play here," the 34-year-old added. "I started following the league when I can, because of the time difference.

"I'm not dismissing anything. It is true that this is my last year of contract, and everyone knows that.

"But I am focused on finishing well this season, which is full of things at both club and national team level. My focus is to enjoy, compete to the maximum and show my best level and in the future, we will see. 

"I have always said that I like coming to the US and their league a lot. But the future is still unknown, because there isn't anything yet and it is too early."

Inter Miami hope to be able to sign Lionel Messi and establish themselves as "the benchmark of soccer in the United States", co-owner Jorge Mas has reiterated.

The MLS outfit are owned by a group including former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England great David Beckham, so they are no strangers to big names.

But the arrival of seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi in the United States would likely represent a landmark transfer in the sport's history.

For now, Messi, who had spent his entire club career with Barcelona until last year, is under contract at Paris Saint-Germain for another season, while there is the option for a further 12 months, too.

However, Inter are not giving up hope of recruiting the 35-year-old before he calls time on a legendary career.

The club's chief business officer Xavier Asensi hinted at interest in Messi earlier this week, and Mas doubled down on their transfer market ambition in an interview with Sport as Barca visit Miami in pre-season.

 

Mas, a co-owner alongside Beckham, said: "Well, look, both David Beckham and I aspire to bring the best players in the world here to Miami.

"[It is] not only because of the project we are creating, because we want to be the benchmark of soccer in the United States, but when you talk about the best players in the world, Leo is obviously the best player on the planet.

"Hopefully the conditions will be for him being there, playing in the shirt of Inter Miami of the United States. We aspire to that. Hopefully the circumstances will arise.

"We have nothing guaranteed, there is no agreement, but I am a very optimistic man, and hopefully in the future Leo Messi can be part of our project."

Lionel Messi moving to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami would serve as a "reference point for football in the U.S." as David Beckham's franchise look to make high-profile signings.

That is the message from Miami's chief business officer Xavier Asensi, who hinted to Mundo Deportivo that his side will look to make a move for Messi.

Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini made their MLS debuts on Sunday for Los Angeles FC in a 2-1 win over Nashville SC.

Five-time Champions League winner Bale and Chiellini, who won Euro 2020 with Italy last year, joined Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Beckham as some of the biggest names to play in MLS.

With Messi's Paris Saint-Germain contract set to expire at the end of the upcoming season, Asensi suggested Miami will attempt to sign Messi but conceded the aim may be unrealistic.

When asked whether signing a player like Messi was a target for Beckham's side, Asensi said: "Yes, with some caveats. You can't compare Leo Messi with any other player; he's different.

"Having said that, what we're looking for is to be the reference point for football in the U.S., and to do that, the important thing is the players and the show that you can put on.

"To do so, you need the best players, and having them is a genuine objective at this club. In terms of Leo Messi, there's him and then there's everyone else.

"It depends on him and what he wants. We want to have the best players in the world, and I think Messi is the best in history. From there it's up to him."

 

Messi, 35, experienced a lean first season by his own high standards for PSG, scoring 11 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions.

That return was 17 fewer than he managed for Barcelona in the 2020-21 campaign, his final campaign before ending a 21-year association with the Blaugrana.

Though his goal tally diminished, Messi set up 14 league goals – only once in his last five seasons at Camp Nou (21 in 2019-20) did he assist more in a term.

After making his intentions and admirations for Messi clear, Asensi's focus turned to the pre-season friendly against Barca on Wednesday.

"From an emotional point of view it's marvellous and professionally it's exceptional," he added. "Barca are, if not the biggest, one of the three biggest clubs in the world for sure, and clubs are the ones that capitalise on the passion for football.

"I don't know of any fans of FIFA or UEFA. In international football everyone supports their country, but clubs don't have any borders, they go everywhere. And in terms of clubs, Barca are among the biggest, looking at the numbers.

"Emotionally, it's the biggest thing for me. To have them here, for the people of Miami, is spectacular."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

High-profile debutant Hector Herrera led an inspired fightback for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, with his side equalising twice to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

After coming from behind and scoring an injury-time winner last time out in the Texas derby, the Toros hit the lead relatively early via captain Matt Hedges in the 27th minute.

Somewhat overshadowing the derby, Mexico international and recent high-profile signing Hector Herrera made his debut for the Dynamo, and it transformed the match.

Herrera moved to his natural position deeper in midfield upon his introduction, and his quick thinking at the dead ball allowed for Thorleifur Ulfarsson's equaliser in the 69th minute.

Jesus Ferreira scored in the 93rd minute for what appeared to be a winner for Dallas, but Teenage Hadebe scored a second equaliser for the Dynamo in the 111th minute, in what was a heated second half.

The Toros have not won in the MLS since May, bringing the LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Nashville in contention for a home playoff in the Western Conference, despite Real Salt Lake's 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids.

Austin FC moved to second spot in the West, meanwhile, earning a 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Sebastian Driussi came off the bench to round out the scoring after a goal and assist from Ethan Finlay in the opening 20 minutes, setting up Felipe Martins.

Portland Timbers were 3-0 winners over the Seattle Sounders, while Charlotte defeated Nashville 4-1. In other inter-conference play, Toronto FC played out a 2-2 draw with the SJ Earthquakes while Sporting KC defeated CF Montreal 2-1. 

New York RB kept top spot in the Eastern Conference, but could only manage a 1-1 draw against a nine-man Cincinnati, following second-half dismissals for Allan Cruz and Luciano Acosta. Elsewhere in the East, Derrick Etienne scored a double off the bench to give Columbus Crew a 3-2 victory.

New York City moved to within a point of their cross-town rivals and Philadelphia Union, with a Valentin Castellanos brace helping them to a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

In Saturday's final game, a Damion Lowe own-goal in the 92nd minute handed Orlando City the three points, defeating Inter Miami 1-0..

 

Inter Miami have confirmed the signing of former Major League Soccer MVP Alejandro Pozuelo from Toronto FC.

Pozuelo, crowned MLS' best player in 2020 in the second of a three-and-a-half-season stay with Toronto, will occupy an International Roster slot and a Designated Player slot for Inter.

Phil Neville's side will pay $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) to Toronto across two years for the signing of Pozuelo, which is subject to the Spaniard receiving a P-1 Visa.

Toronto will also retain a sell-on percentage in the event of a future transfer, while Inter will send additional conditional GAM if Pozuelo meets certain performance-based incentives.

"We're thrilled to be able to welcome a player of Alejandro's calibre," Inter sporting director Chris Henderson said. 

"He has proven himself to be one of the brightest talents in the league and we are confident that will continue here in South Florida.

"We were looking to add a decisive, creative attacking player and we feel he fits the profile."

Prior to joining Toronto, where he scored 30 goals and assisted 34 in 100 appearances across all competitions, Pozuelo played for Real Betis, Swansea City, Rayo Vallecano and Genk.

As well as winning the MVP award two years ago, the 30-year-old was also twice named in the MLS Team of the Season.

"We believe Alejandro will fit right in with our group," head coach Neville said. "He's a player of tremendous quality that we feel can be a real game changer for us.

"We can't wait to integrate him into the squad and are looking forward to seeing him on the pitch in Inter Miami colours."

Pozuelo's departure from Toronto comes amid widespread speculation that the Canadian club are closing in on a move for former Juventus midfielder Federico Bernardeschi.

Austin FC held on for a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids away from home, surviving the final 15 minutes with 10 men red card.

The win required a major comeback after Lalas Abubakar put the Rapids ahead in the 19th minute and the hosts then doubled their advantage three minutes later with a Jonathan Lewis strike.

Austin pegged one back in the 28th minute when Ethan Finlay struck from just inside the area, and the sides went in all square at 2-2 when Sebastian Driussi equalised in first-half stoppage time.

The visitors thought they had completed their comeback in the 52nd minute, only for Maximiliano Urruti's goal to be ruled out, but that decision merely delayed the celebrations as Urriti scored again seven minutes later.

The turnaround continued a remarkable trend for Austin, who have now won two and drawn two of the five games in which they have trailed my multiple goals this season, losing just once.

They held out this time despite Kipp Keller's dismissal for a second yellow card in the 75th minute, after which Colorado dominated 81.4 per cent of the possession and hit the post through Michael Barrios but could not find an equaliser.

Elsewhere, the LA Galaxy pummelled CF Montreal 4-0 in an effective counter-attacking display.

Javier Hernandez opened the scoring for the Galaxy, Dejan Jovelic doubled the lead from the penalty spot, and Rayan Raveloson grabbed a second-half brace to complete the rout.

Inter Miami left it late to draw with FC Dallas, netting an 88th-minute equaliser through substitute Leonardo Campana, and there was also late drama in DC United's highly entertaining 5-3 win at Orlando City.

A hat-trick from Taxiarchis Fountas had DC 3-0 up early in the second half, yet an Orlando recovery meant Alexandre Pato's penalty cut that lead to 4-3 with 10 minutes to play.

Rather than collapse, though, United made sure of victory with a 96th-minute goal from Nigel Robertha.

The top team in the Eastern Conference had to settle for a draw on Sunday as New York City hosted the Western Conference's Colorado Rapids for a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium.

There was no doubt about who the dominant side was on the day, as City finished with 66 per cent possession and 16 shots to the Rapids' six, while completing nearly double the amount of passes (529-271).

Despite their struggles, it would be Colorado who broke the deadlock as Michael Barrios struck a low drive into the bottom-left corner from the edge of the area in the 68th minute.

The lead would be short-lived, with Talles Magno expertly controlling a cross on his chest before volleying in the equaliser less than five minutes later in the 72nd minute.

New York would produce multiple quality opportunities down the stretch, but the Colorado defense would hold firm and take a valuable point away from home, slightly improving their standing up to ninth in the Western Conference.

City remain one point clear of New York Red Bulls atop the East, while further down the table Atlanta United were convincing 2-0 winners against Inter Miami.

Atlanta were in control all game, taking the lead through a Luiz Araujo strike in the fourth minute and finishing with 60 per cent possession.

It was Josef Martinez who assisted Araujo's goal, and Araujo returned the favour, assisting Martinez in the 61st minute to double United's advantage and allow the home side to cruise to the win.

New England came from a goal down to defeat Minnesota United 2-1 at home after the visitors went ahead in the 37th minute through an Emanuel Reynoso penalty.

Minnesota were deserving leaders early, with 10 shots to one in the first half, and all five of the game's shots on target.

That all flipped on its head in the second half, as New England were able to produce 10 shots compared to United's three, with 20-year-old Dylan Borrero equalising in the 53rd minute, before Gustavo Bou scored a terrific free-kick winner in the 69th.

Rounding out Sunday's action was a surprise result as the team with the worst goal differential in the league – Sporting KC (minus 14) – defeated Nashville SC 2-1 on the road.

In a scrappy, defensive battle, neither side finished with more than 0.80 expected goals, but it would be the visitors who were more clinical with their two goals both coming from well outside the penalty area.

Felipe Hernandez scored the game's first goal with an indirect free kick from close to 40 yards out as the bounce beat the Nashville goalie, before Graham Zusi curled in a beauty into the far post with his left boot. Sporting KC finished with 0.35 expected goals.

New York City have extended their winning streak to four games and moved into top spot in the Eastern Conference after a 1-0 road win over Minnesota United on Saturday.

City defender Alexander Callens netted the game's only goal in the 29th minute, while goalkeeper Sean Johnson was outstanding for the visitors.

Callens powered in the winner with a bouncing header from Santiago Rodriguez's corner.

Minnesota almost equalised in the 90th minute but were thwarted by a spectacular double save by Johnson from Emanuel Reynoso and Robin Lod efforts.

City moved ahead of Philadelphia Union in the east, after they could only manage a 1-1 draw away to under-achieving New England Revolution.

The Revs, who won last season's Supporters' Shield, have rallied after a poor start to their campaign, going unbeaten in their past five, but have only collected 16 points from 13 games.

Gustavo Bou had put New England ahead from the penalty spot in the 75th minute, but Union levelled two minutes later after Omar Gonzalez's inexplicable error allowed Mikael Uhre to score.

Montreal, who are third in the east, got back on the winners' list with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Cincinnati with a double from Rommel Quioto.

Luquinhas netted a brace as New York Red Bulls stayed in touch with the Eastern Conference's top three with a 4-1 home victory over struggling DC United.

In the Western Conference, LAFC remains four points clear at the top after Brian Rodriguez's 47th-minute winner clinched a 3-2 triumph over San Jose Earthquakes.

LAFC had raced to a 2-0 lead inside 13 minutes but San Jose equalised after two goals from in-form Jeremy Ebobisse, who has scored an equal-league high nine times this term.

Rodriguez, who got the assist for Ryan Hollingshead's 13th minute goal, scored when a loose ball arrived at his feet unmarked at the back post, firing past Earthquakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.

Nashville ended the Colorado Rapids' remarkable 23-game unbeaten run at home with a 3-1 victory.

Charles Sapong netted in the eighth minute, before Hany Mukhtar's quickfire double had Nashville 3-0 up inside 18 minutes. The win moves Nashville up to fifth in the west.

Dallas came from behind to win 3-1 at Orlando City, Real Salt Lake won their third straight with a 3-0 victory over Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps moved off bottom spot with a 1-0 triumph at Sporting KC.

Inter Miami extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-1 home win over Portland Timbers, Columbus Crew triumphed 2-1 over 10-man Atlanta United and Toronto won 3-2 over Chicago Fire after two late Pozuelo goals.

New York City FC moved to second spot in the Eastern Conference on Sunday, claiming a 1-0 victory at home to Chicago Fire.

Following a handball from Miguel Navarro, Heber scored the lone goal for City from the penalty spot to move the reigning MLS champions to 23 points.

It was only the 30-year-old's second goal this season, and despite City's dominance in possession with 61.8 per cent of the ball, they could not translate it to anything substantial in open play.

City have nevertheless won six of their last seven games in the MLS to recover from a slow start to the season, with only one win in their opening five.

Ronny Deila's side sit a point from Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference following the Union's 2-0 win on the road over Portland Timbers in Sunday's final game.

Elsewhere in the East, CF Montreal and New York RB both dropped points, losing to Real Salt Lake and Inter Miami respectively.

Orlando City let a two-goal lead within the opening 25 minutes slip, meanwhile, going down to nine men and eventually playing out a 2-2 draw away to Austin FC.

Moussa Kalilou Djitte's equaliser in the 95th minute salvaged a point for Austin, who could not manage to retake top spot in the Western Conference from Los Angeles FC.

Los Angeles Galaxy lost their second in the three games, going down 3-0 to Houston Dynamo, while FC Dallas also lost to Minnesota United.

The Seattle Sounders' disappointing start to the MLS season continued on Sunday, losing 1-0 to Colorado Rapids, while the SJ Earthquakes and Sporting KC played out a 1-1 draw.

After two goals in the opening ten minutes, Daniel Rios provided an 85th-minute winner for Charlotte as they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1.  

Barcelona have announced that they will face Major League Soccer sides Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls in the United States as part of their pre-season.

Barca still have one competitive game of the 2021-22 campaign to play – at home to Villarreal on Sunday – yet plans are in place for their preparations ahead of next season. 

Xavi's side will face David Beckham's Miami, who have been linked with Barcelona great Lionel Messi, at DRV PNK Stadium on July 19 and the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena 11 days later.

With a big gap between those two fixtures, it has been reported that Barca are still hoping to arrange high-profile friendlies against Real Madrid and Juventus.

It will be the Catalan giants' first pre-season tour in three years, when also visiting USA and Japan, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Barca also have a friendly pencilled in this month, having previously announced an exhibition match against an A-League All Stars team in Sydney on May 25, less than 48 hours after their match with Villarreal. 

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