MLS: Five storylines from Matchday Five

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Inter Miami continue to set the early pace at the top of the Eastern Conference while Minnesota United are sitting pretty in the Western Conference as the surprise package of the first few weeks of the 2024 Major League Soccer season.

This weekend was another dramatic one in the American and Canadian top flight with no fewer than 47 goals scored over 14 fixtures. Here are five of the biggest storylines from the weekend in MLS.


By Graham Ruthven, MLS Expert


Federico Redondo has given Inter Miami another dimension

Inter Miami made a statement when they signed Federico Redondo. Widely billed as the next Sergio Busquets, however, it wasn’t clear where the young Argentinean would fit into Tata Martino’s team. Two games into his Herons’ career, though, Redondo has already settled and is demonstrating his quality.

Luis Suárez might have grabbed the headlines with a brace off the bench away to DC United on Saturday, but Redondo was arguably the most influential player on the pitch. His ball-carrying was key for Inter Miami with the 21-year-old smooth in his passing and chance creation – and also dogged when he needed to be, like for Leo Campana’s leveller. Out of possession, he also slotted in alongside Busquets. Redondo is much more than just a number six.

Wind-assisted comeback could change Chicago Fire’s season

The Chicago Fire’s stoppage time winner against CF Montreal has been viewed over five million times on social media, and not because of the quality of the finish. The goal might have been awarded to Kellyn Acosta, but it was the Chicago wind that carried the ball over the head of Chris Brady and into the back of the net. They call it The Windy City for a reason.

Chicago now have their first win of the season on the board. Their hope is Saturday’s comeback victory will give them a platform to build on with two new additions – Acosta and Hugo Cuypers – scoring against DC United. “It’s a game that can change the season around for us,” said Frank Klopas. In football, form can turn as quickly as the wind.

Lucho Acosta’s cameo reminded us all of his game-changing ability

Introduced off the bench against the New England Revolution with the scoreline still goalless, Lucho Acosta changed the match for FC Cincinnati in the second half. Without Acosta – rested after a period of eight games in 25 games – Cincy struggled to create anything in the final third. With last year’s MVP winner on the pitch, though, they looked like the team that won the 2023 Supporters’ Shield.

Acosta’s best highlight reel moment came when he slid a freekick strike under the New England wall and in at the near post to give FC Cincinnati a 2-0 lead, but the Argentine was influential in so many different areas. He finished the match with the most key passes and accurate crosses of any Cincy player while only Yuya Kubo and Sergio Santos registered more shots despite Acosta only playing 45 minutes.

New York City FC have finally made their 2024 breakthrough

Like Chicago, New York City FC recorded their first victory of the season on Saturday with Nick Cushing’s team winners over Toronto FC. Most expected NYCFC to be competitive again this season after a difficult 2023, but the longer the wait for their first win went on, the more doubts grew. This is why holding on for three points with 10 men was so important. This was a much-needed breakthrough.

Cushing spoke about NYCFC’s “process” after the match against TFC. Nobody doubts the young talent within the Bronx club’s dressing room, but they have yet to gel into a coherent unit. Players like Santiago Rodríguez and Julián Fernández, however, could change this. NYCFC are finally on the board and their 2024 campaign truly starts now.

Refereeing situation reaching boiling point as complaints mount

While Don Garber insists MLS isn’t any worse off without its regular referees, managers and players tell a different story. “We need guys that have experience,” said Cristian Roldan after the Seattle Sounders finished Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids with 10 men. Columbus Crew supporters also chanted in support of the striking officials.

The longer the strike continues, the worse MLS looks. The league must find a solution with the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) to prevent the 2024 season from being undermined. If MLS truly wants to be considered one of the best leagues in world football, it must accept having second-rate officials is unacceptable. 


(Cover image from IMAGO)


You can follow every match from MLS live with FotMob — featuring deep stats coverage including shot maps, xG, and player ratings. Download the free app here.

MLS: Five storylines from Matchday Five

Inter Miami continue to set the early pace at the top of the Eastern Conference while Minnesota United are sitting pretty in the Western Conference as the surprise package of the first few weeks of the 2024 Major League Soccer season.

This weekend was another dramatic one in the American and Canadian top flight with no fewer than 47 goals scored over 14 fixtures. Here are five of the biggest storylines from the weekend in MLS.


By Graham Ruthven, MLS Expert


Federico Redondo has given Inter Miami another dimension

Inter Miami made a statement when they signed Federico Redondo. Widely billed as the next Sergio Busquets, however, it wasn’t clear where the young Argentinean would fit into Tata Martino’s team. Two games into his Herons’ career, though, Redondo has already settled and is demonstrating his quality.

Luis Suárez might have grabbed the headlines with a brace off the bench away to DC United on Saturday, but Redondo was arguably the most influential player on the pitch. His ball-carrying was key for Inter Miami with the 21-year-old smooth in his passing and chance creation – and also dogged when he needed to be, like for Leo Campana’s leveller. Out of possession, he also slotted in alongside Busquets. Redondo is much more than just a number six.

Wind-assisted comeback could change Chicago Fire’s season

The Chicago Fire’s stoppage time winner against CF Montreal has been viewed over five million times on social media, and not because of the quality of the finish. The goal might have been awarded to Kellyn Acosta, but it was the Chicago wind that carried the ball over the head of Chris Brady and into the back of the net. They call it The Windy City for a reason.

Chicago now have their first win of the season on the board. Their hope is Saturday’s comeback victory will give them a platform to build on with two new additions – Acosta and Hugo Cuypers – scoring against DC United. “It’s a game that can change the season around for us,” said Frank Klopas. In football, form can turn as quickly as the wind.

Lucho Acosta’s cameo reminded us all of his game-changing ability

Introduced off the bench against the New England Revolution with the scoreline still goalless, Lucho Acosta changed the match for FC Cincinnati in the second half. Without Acosta – rested after a period of eight games in 25 games – Cincy struggled to create anything in the final third. With last year’s MVP winner on the pitch, though, they looked like the team that won the 2023 Supporters’ Shield.

Acosta’s best highlight reel moment came when he slid a freekick strike under the New England wall and in at the near post to give FC Cincinnati a 2-0 lead, but the Argentine was influential in so many different areas. He finished the match with the most key passes and accurate crosses of any Cincy player while only Yuya Kubo and Sergio Santos registered more shots despite Acosta only playing 45 minutes.

New York City FC have finally made their 2024 breakthrough

Like Chicago, New York City FC recorded their first victory of the season on Saturday with Nick Cushing’s team winners over Toronto FC. Most expected NYCFC to be competitive again this season after a difficult 2023, but the longer the wait for their first win went on, the more doubts grew. This is why holding on for three points with 10 men was so important. This was a much-needed breakthrough.

Cushing spoke about NYCFC’s “process” after the match against TFC. Nobody doubts the young talent within the Bronx club’s dressing room, but they have yet to gel into a coherent unit. Players like Santiago Rodríguez and Julián Fernández, however, could change this. NYCFC are finally on the board and their 2024 campaign truly starts now.

Refereeing situation reaching boiling point as complaints mount

While Don Garber insists MLS isn’t any worse off without its regular referees, managers and players tell a different story. “We need guys that have experience,” said Cristian Roldan after the Seattle Sounders finished Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids with 10 men. Columbus Crew supporters also chanted in support of the striking officials.

The longer the strike continues, the worse MLS looks. The league must find a solution with the Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA) to prevent the 2024 season from being undermined. If MLS truly wants to be considered one of the best leagues in world football, it must accept having second-rate officials is unacceptable. 


(Cover image from IMAGO)


You can follow every match from MLS live with FotMob — featuring deep stats coverage including shot maps, xG, and player ratings. Download the free app here.