Last year’s finalists both found wins, with several of the league’s top strikers finding the net on Saturday night
The Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC, both MLS Cup finalists in 2017, both found wins on Saturday as both clubs look to climb back into the playoff hunt after struggling through the first half of the season.
For Seattle, Saturday saw the debut of new designated player Raul Ruidiaz, though Nicolas Lodeiro had already done the damage for the Sounders by the time Ruidiaz made his way onto the pitch.
The Uruguayan netted from the penalty spot just five minutes in before a goalkeeping error from Stefan Marinovic gifted him a second just after the half-our mark as Seattle claimed a 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Toronto took a 2-1 win over the Fire in Chicago, Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio scoring either side of a Nemanja Nikolic strike.
Both clubs still have plenty of work to do to get back in the playoff picture, with both the Sounders and TFC sitting sitting 10th in their respective conferences.
Atlanta United has no such issues and the Five Stripes continued to roll with a 3-1 win over Wayne Rooney and D.C. United.
Rooney helped spark a counterattack that got the visiting side on the board early, but a record-setting hat trick from Josef Martinez handed Atlanta another win and pushed the club back to the top of the Eastern Conference table.
Martinez wasn’t the only star striker to get on the board Saturday, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bradley Wright-Phillips both on the scoresheet in wins as well.
After C.J. Sapong put the Philadelphia Union a goal up on the Galaxy, Ibrahimovic sparked a comeback with a goal and an assist, setting up the equalizer with a clever pass before a strong finish for LA’s second in what ended up being a 3-1 win for the Galaxy.
Wright-Phillips got his 13th goal of the season and the 99th of his MLS career in a 2-0 win for the Red Bulls over the New England Revolution. Daniel Royer had opened the scoring in the 69th before Wright-Phillips finished the match off with a classy header in the 80th.
A double from Gyasi Zardes helped him get to 13 goals for the year as well, while the Columbus Crew took a 3-2 win over Orlando City in a thriller.
Sacha Kljestan opened the scoring for Orlando 16 minutes in and it wasn’t until the 51st minute that Zardes found an equalizer.
Just seven minutes later Kljestan set the table for Stefano Pinho to put the Lions back in front, and as the game drew toward the closing minutes it looked as though Orlando might win back-to-back league matches for the first time since May.
But Zardes pulled the Crew level from the penalty spot in the 88th, and captian Wil Trapp scored just his second MLS goal two minutes into stoppage time to earn a win for Columbus.
Houston and Dallas split early goals in a 1-1 Texas derby draw. Matt Hedges headed home inside the opening minute, but the Dynamo were level in the eighth minute when Mauro Manotas finished with a headed effort of his own.
Roland Lamah saw his penalty stopped just after the hour mark as neither side could find a winner.
Early strikes from Damir Kreilach and Joao Plata put Real Salt Lake out in front of the Colorado Rapids in their rivalry clash, but a Jack McBean penalty just before halftime pulled the visiting side back to within one and Dillon Serna found the equalizer in the 88th for the Rapids.
The Portland Timbers and Montreal Impact traded goals in seesaw encounter that finished 2-2.
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