Saturday was a day of extremes in MLS.
Two games ended in 4-4 ties; three other matches were scoreless.
Philadelphia Union rising star Jack McGlynn (making $91,400 in guaranteed compensation) scored his first MLS goal with a stunning free kick. Three players missed penalty kick, including Italian star Lorenzo Insigne (making a reported $15 million a season) with a chance for Toronto FC to win at New England and get back in the playoff race.
Philadelphia 6 Houston 0. (Goals: Gazdag 23, McGlynn 42, Uhre 45+1, 48, Carranza 55, Sullivan 89. Att.: 19,089.)
• Union runs rampant. Philadelphia opened up a third-point lead atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 6-0 win over Houston. The Union has won five games in a row, the last three since McGlynn was inserted into the starting lineup after his return from the Concacaf U-20 Championship. He scored his first MLS goal with a left-footed free kick that curved into the bottom left corner of the goal in the 42nd minute. He later set up Quinn Sullivan for his U.S. U-20 teammate's first goal of the season. The Union's top three scorers also scored: Daniel Gazdag (11th goal of the season), Julian Carranza (8th goal) and Mikael Uhre (7th and 8th goals).
• What They're Saying: “I’ve talked about how special his left foot is. You can’t teach that. It’s God-given and it’s a talent that not many people possess,” Union head coach Jim Curtin on McGlynn's "perfect free kick.”
Chicago 0 Atlanta United 0. (Att.: 23,951.)
Montréal 0 NYCFC 0. (Att.: 19,619.)
Inter Miami 4 FC Cincinnati 4. (Goals: Higuaín 23, 37, 45+5 pen., McVey 90+7; Brenner 28, 40, Vazquez 81, 86. Att.: 13,026.)
New England 0 Toronto FC 0. (Att.: 29,097.)
Charlotte FC vs. Columbus. (postponed -- inclement weather)
• Revs' Djordje Petrovic stops Insigne. New England and Toronto FC played to a 0-0 tie at Gillette Stadium in front of a season-high 29,097 fans. Insigne had a chance to put TFC ahead in the 81st minute when VAR confirmed a penalty for a foul by Revs midfielder Matt Polster, but the 22-year-old Petrovic (photo), signed to replace Matt Turner in goal, dove to his right and stopped the Italian star's penalty kick.
* Higuain gets first MLS hat trick. Gonzalo Higuain scored three first-half goals, but Inter Miami needed a goal from Chris McVey in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time to earn a 4-4 tie with FC Cincinnati, which got two goals each from Brenner and Brandon Vazquez. "We’re here to win fútbol games," said Inter Miami coach Phil Neville, "and you don’t win fútbol games against a team that I thought we dominated, defending like that."
* Playoff Race: All four matches involving Eastern Conference teams that were played ended in ties, leaving five teams separated by three points for the final playoff spot: FC Cincinnati (winless in its last seven games with 29 points), Chicago (27), New England (27), Charlotte FC (26) and Inter Miami (26).
Excl: Gaga Slonina to Chelsea, here we go! Agreement with Chicago Fire for $15m, add-ons included. Talented GK and his agent will fly to London on Sunday to complete medical and sign. #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 30, 2022
Slonina will finish the season with Chicago before joining Chelsea on January 1. pic.twitter.com/g2l4Ksbsoj
Minnesota United 4 Portland 4. (Goals: Fragapane 9, Hlongwane 21, Amarilla 41, 69; Blanco 1, Blanco 50, Niezgoda 53, own goal 65. Att.: 19,792.)
Nashville SC 1 Vancouver 1. (Goals: Bunbury 17; Brown 87. Att.: 26,578.)
Sporting KC 0 Austin FC 2. (Goals: Ring 45+1, Driussi 90. Att.: 17,287.)
FC Dallas 1 LA Galaxy 0. (Goal: Jara 9. Att.: 19,096.)
San Jose 2 Real Salt Lake 2. (Goals: Espinoza 12, Ebobisse 62; Loffelsend 21, Savarino 90+5. Att.: 12,411.)
• Austin FC stays within striking distance. Austin FC moved to within four points of LAFC for the Western Conference lead when it beat last-place Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, on goals by Alex Ring and Sebastián Driussi, who now leads MLS with 14 goals. It was 1-0 in the 62nd minute when Austin keeper Brad Stuver denied Daniel Salloi's spot kick with his fourth save on eight penalty kicks faced in his MLS career.
• Maarten Paes preserves FC Dallas win with PK save. FC Dallas won back-to-back games for the first time since March with a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy, which dropped below the playoff line for the first time in 2022. The Dutch keeper dove to his right to stop a penalty kick by the Galaxy's Dejan Joveljic in the 66th minute and secure the three points.
• Fifth-fastest goal ever. Sebastian Blanco opened the scoring in Portland's 4-4 tie at Minnesota United with a goal in the first 13 seconds, the fifth-fastest goal scored in MLS history, including playoffs.
Photo: David Silverman/New England Revolution
If I was a Union fan, I would be pretty excited right about now.
I am! We are!
My Bet... McGlynn gets Sold into Europe, like Slonina....
I don't know Exactly how it works in MLS,
Slonina gets paid by, Chelsea, and Loaned back for a Couple Months...
I figure Chicago will pay Chelsea the MLS Salary, and Chelsea pays him the remaining New Salary.