- After Saturday saw a slew of matches devolve into blowouts, two of Saturday's three finished in draws—the third saw the New York Red Bulls' 19-game home unbeaten streak come to an end.
Atlanta 1, Portland 1
Even after a road tie, Atlanta United couldn't help but feel that a couple of points got away.
Defender Liam Ridgewell scored the equalizer for Portland some four minutes after Atlanta went ahead and the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw in a match that saw Union midfielder Yamil Asad crumple to the turf after taking a ball to the head.
United rookie Julian Gressel scored from the top of the box, getting past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Jake Gleeson in the 46th minute. It was Gressel's first MLS goal.
Ridgewell then headed in the equalizer, and celebrated with his trademark ''Ridgy Roll'' on the turf for the sellout crowd at Providence Park.
The Timbers (5-3-3) had a good chance in stoppage time but David Guzman's shot caromed off the left post.
Through a translator Coach Gerardo ''Tata'' Martino said: ''We go with our hands empty.''
Asked why, he said: ''Because we were the better team.''
Goalkeeper Alec Kann agreed.
''This is a tough place to go,'' Kann said. ''We would have loved three points and I think we arguably had the better of the game, we controlled the game. It's disappointing to get a point when we should win, but at the end of the day a point in this stadium is a good result.''
Atlanta (3-4-3) had dropped its last two matches, including last week's 3-1 loss at NYCFC. Portland was the United's sixth road game in its last seven.
Gressel's goal gave Atlanta 20 for the season, pulling United even with Toronto atop the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Ridgewell's goal gave Portland 21 for the season, matching Houston atop the West.
Diego Valeri returned to the Timbers after missing two games because of a hip flexor. Darlington Nagbe missed the game because of a hamstring injury.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter felt similar to Tata, that Portland should have collected the points.
''We'll take the point. Not satisfied with that at all,'' he said. ''Now we gotta make up for it on the road.''
There was a scary moment early in the first half when Asad was hit in the head with a ball kicked at close range and dropped limp to the turf. He returned to the game moments later.
''We've proven it all season, especially with Larentowicz, that we look out for the best interest of our players and make sure they are protected,'' Tata said afterward about whether he was concerned for Asad.
Tata went on to say through the translator: ''It was something that was authorized by the fourth official. It wasn't Asad's or his call, and they let him back in.'' Then he chimed in in English, ''I'm the coach, no referee.''
Referee Alan Kelly said via a pool reporter that the ''Atlanta medical staff determined after the check that he was fit to play. They sent him to the fourth official after the check.''
It was Ridgewell's first goal of the season. He missed six games because of a foot injury.
''Long time coming,'' Ridgewell said about the Ridgy Roll. ''Obviously, glad to get the goal, to drag us back into the game. Disappointed we couldn't go and get the second one to win the game. Hard-fought draw.''
Gressel was the eighth overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Born in Germany, he was a four-year starter at Providence.
Atlanta gets its next two at home, first hosting Houston next weekend before a rematch against NYCFC. Portland plays the next two on the road, starting with Montreal next week.
Los Angeles 3, Red Bulls 1
Romain Alessandrini scored two early goals a minute apart and the Los Angeles Galaxy beat New York 3-1 on Sunday night, ending the Red Bulls' 19-game home unbeaten streak.
Los Angeles (3-5-2), which had scored the first goal just once this season and had only scored three times in the first half, led 2-0 before the game was 10 minutes old.
Alessandrini drew a foul from Daniel Royer out of box right and put the free kick inside the far post in the eighth minute when goalkeeper Luis Robles was caught leaning the wrong way as Jelle Van Damme raced cross his vision for a possible redirect.
Alessandrini, the designated player who has scored or assisted on 10 of 13 of the Galaxy's goals, picked up his sixth on a feed from Giovani dos Santos. Open left, dos Santos centered the ball to Alessandrini for a shot. Robles made the save but the ball dribbled into the next.
Mike Grella pulled down Alessandrini in the box in the 78th minute and dos Santos converted the penalty kick, his third goal.
Royer scored his third goal in stoppage time for the Red Bulls (5-6-1), who had the seventh-longest unbeaten streak in league history. They last lost at home on April 24, 2016, and had only allowed one goal at home this season with four clean sheets.
Dallas 1, NYCFC 1
Thomas McNamara scored a spectacular goal before crashing into the back of the net and New York City FC tied FC Dallas 1-1 on Sunday night.
David Villa earned a free kick in the 68th minute, sending his shot off the crossbar. With goal keeper Jesse Gonzalez falling to the ground after a leaping attempt to block the shot, the ball deflected straight down and bounced into the air. McNamara raced in at full speed and got his head on the ball as he leaped through the flailing legs of Gonzalez before landing in the back netting of the goal.
That was the only on-target shot for NYCFC (5-3-2) but it wasn't enough to keep Dallas (5-0-4) from remaining the only undefeated team. Nine games without a loss to open the season has Dallas closing in on the league record of 12, held by four teams, the last being Real Salt Lake in 2014. Dallas is unbeaten in 14 straight MLS games.
Kellyn Acosta's third goal in the 20th minute put Dallas on the board. Michael Barrios and Maximiliano Urruti made strong plays to keep the ball alive in the box before Acosta hammered it home.