Los Angeles FC star Carlos Vela broke the MLS record for regular-season goals in his hat-trick performance, while Atlanta United's Josef Martinez scored on his return.

Vela shattered the record set by Martinez (31) in 2018 as LAFC ended their regular-season campaign with a 3-1 win over Colorado Rapids on Sunday.

LAFC's Vela surpassed Martinez with 34 goals thanks to his treble against the Rapids at Banc of California Stadium, while he also won the Golden Boot.

Vela broke the deadlock with a sublime opener in the 28th minute before the Mexico international's overhead kick doubled the lead three minutes later in Los Angeles.

Kei Kamara pulled a goal back for the Rapids in the 40th minute, but Vela restored LAFC's two-goal advantage six minutes into the second half.

Supporters' Shield winners LAFC – who broke the record for most points (72) and equalled the mark for most goals scored (85) in the regular season – will face either LA Galaxy or Minnesota United in the Western Conference semi-finals.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring but the Galaxy suffered a 4-2 defeat away to Houston Dynamo on Decision Day.

The Galaxy twice led, however, the visitors conceded three unanswered goals to finish fifth and set up a showdown with Minnesota – who lost 1-0 to Seattle Sounders as the latter locked up the second seed.

Martinez returned from a knee injury to lead reigning MLS champions Atlanta to a 3-1 victory against New England Revolution.

The Venezuela international scored Atlanta's second goal of the match to take his season tally to 27 goals as Frank de Boer's men look ahead to another meeting with the seventh-placed Revolution in the first round of the Eastern Conference play-offs.

Eastern Conference leaders New York City concluded their regular-season campaign with a 2-1 win at Philadelphia Union, Dallas humiliated Sporting Kansas City 6-0 and Wayne Rooney's DC United were held to a 0-0 draw by nine-man FC Cincinnati.

New York Red Bulls lost 3-0 to Montreal Impact, Toronto beat Columbus Crew 1-0, Portland Timbers accounted for San Jose Earthquakes 3-1, while Real Salt Lake edged Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 and Chicago Fire beat Orlando City 5-2.

Carlos Vela equalled an MLS record on Sunday as Real Salt Lake and New England Revolution booked their spots in the play-offs.

Vela equalled Josef Martinez's record for most goals in a season, taking his tally to 31 in Los Angeles FC's 1-1 draw with Minnesota United.

The Mexican star put LAFC ahead with a superb curling strike from inside the area in the 70th minute at Allianz Field.

However, Michael Boxall headed in an equaliser for Minnesota, who trail LAFC by 16 points in the Western Conference.

Real Salt Lake secured a play-off berth courtesy of a 2-1 victory at home to Houston Dynamo.

Corey Baird needed just 35 seconds to put RSL ahead, but Tomas Martinez cancelled out the opener.

However, Jefferson Savarino's fine strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the area helped Real Salt Lake advance to the play-offs from the Western Conference.

New England moved through after a 2-0 win over New York City, who wrapped up top spot in the east.

Teal Bunbury and Gustavo Bou scored second-half goals for the Revolution.

Elsewhere, Bojan Krkic scored in Montreal Impact's 1-1 draw with defending champions Atlanta United and Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his 29th goal of the season in LA Galaxy's 4-3 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps.

Jordan Morris' late winner saw Seattle Sounders edge San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 as both teams finished with 10 men, Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers drew 2-2 and Colorado Rapids beat Dallas 3-0.

Chicago Fire and Toronto drew 2-2, Columbus Crew overcame Philadelphia Union 2-0, New York Red Bulls and DC United played out a 0-0 draw and Cincinnati drew 1-1 with Orlando City.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped LA Galaxy clinch their spot in the MLS play-offs, while New York City thrashed Atlanta United on Wednesday.

Ibrahimovic scored and provided an assist as the Galaxy edged Real Salt Lake 2-1 in Utah for their third consecutive win.

The striker flicked on a header that Cristian Pavon ran onto and finished for the 50th-minute opener.

Pavon returned the favour 30 minutes later, laying off for Ibrahimovic to side-foot home from inside the area for his 28th MLS goal of the season.

Nedum Onuoha pulled a goal back late for Real Salt Lake, but Galaxy held on to climb into third in the Western Conference.

Alexandru Mitrita inspired New York City to a 4-1 win over Atlanta United at Yankee Stadium as they retained their six-point lead atop the Eastern Conference.

Mitrita opened the scoring from the edge of the area in the 14th minute before netting his second with an effort off the post.

The Romania international completed his hat-trick in the 34th minute, tapping away a rebound after a Brad Guzan save.

City's Maximiliano Moralez missed a first-half penalty while Pity Martinez struck from the spot for Atlanta – who were without injured star Josef Martinez – before Heber's late sealer.

Minnesota United came from behind to beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 and secure their spot in the play-offs.

Carlos Vela scored a penalty in Los Angeles FC's 3-1 win over Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution rallied to draw 2-2 with the Portland Timbers and Philadelphia Union recorded a 2-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his red-hot form after leading LA Galaxy to victory as stuttering Los Angeles FC drew again, while Atlanta United star Josef Martinez was carried off on a stretcher.

Ibrahimovic scored his 27th goal of the season to lead the Galaxy to a 2-1 win over visiting Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Former Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock with a close-range finish in the 31st minute at Dignity Health Sports Park – taking the 37-year-old's tally to 11 goals in his past seven matches.

Montreal's Lassi Lappalainen equalised three minutes into the second half, however, Uriel Antuna bundled the ball home five minutes later to restore the Galaxy's lead.

Back-to-back wins saw the Galaxy move up to third in the Western Conference, while the Impact are four points adrift of the play-off places in the Eastern Conference.

LAFC's winless streak extended to five games following their last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to Toronto.

Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC looked to have succumbed to Tsubasa Endoh's 19th-minute goal as Toronto – fourth in the east – still clinched a post-season berth.

But MLS top goalscorer Carlos Vela converted a 95th-minute penalty for his 29th goal of the campaign to avoid defeat for LAFC.

LAFC are eight points clear in the race for the Supporters' Shield, though Eastern Conference leaders New York City can reduce that lead to five with victory on Sunday.

Martinez's record 15-match scoring streak came to an end after suffering a knee injury in Atlanta's 3-1 victory against nine-man San Jose Earthquakes.

The Venezuela international was forced to be substituted in the 79th minute after colliding with a team-mate at home to the Earthquakes.

Defending champions Atlanta stayed within three points of New York City thanks to stoppage-time goals from Emerson Hyndman and Gonzalo Martinez.

Elsewhere, Colorado Rapids edged Sporting Kansas City 3-2, Houston Dynamo defeated Orlando City 2-1, Vancouver Whitecaps salved a 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake played out a goalless draw at New England Revolution, while FC Cincinnati and Chicago Fire drew by the same scoreline.

Atlanta United head coach Frank de Boer fears star forward Josef Martinez suffered a "serious" injury in the defending MLS champions' win over San Jose Earthquakes.

Martinez was carried off on the stretcher after hurting his knee as Atlanta defeated the Earthquakes 3-1 on Saturday – ending his MLS record 15-match scoring streak.

The Venezuela international and reigning MLS MVP landed awkwardly after colliding with a team-mate before he was substituted in the 79th minute at Mercedes-Benz Field.

It sent shockwaves around Atlanta, where Martinez has scored 26 goals to help the titleholders up to third in the Eastern Conference in their pursuit of back-to-back MLS championships.

Asked about Martinez post-match, De Boer told reporters: "I'm afraid that he has something serious, but we have to wait. They're evaluating him now."

"Probably tomorrow we can have a better diagnosis and then we have to make our plan," the former Inter and Crystal Palace boss said. "Hopefully it's not so bad. But I can't say if it's good or bad. I don't know.

"We know Josef a little bit -- he's a tough guy. He will not suddenly step off the field. He will have something, that's for sure. But we have to wait. It's too early to predict. 

"But I think it's not a good sign that he goes off ... but it's like that. We have to deal with it. Again, we have to wait."

Goals from Justin Meram, Emerson Hyndman and Gonzalo Martinez saw Atlanta clinch a home play-off match.

Josef Martinez's incredible form continued for Atlanta United, while New York Red Bulls are on track to reach the MLS play-offs.

Martinez scored for the 15th consecutive MLS game, netting a brace in Atlanta's 2-0 win away to FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Coming off back-to-back losses, reigning champions Atlanta needed until just before the hour-mark to open the scoring against their struggling hosts.

Josef Martinez led a lightning counter-attack, exchanging passes with Pity Martinez before finishing clinically in a one-on-one with Cincinnati goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.

Atlanta's Josef Martinez struck again in the 65th minute to wrap up victory for Frank de Boer's men.

The Venezuela international controlled a pass from Julian Gressel with a brilliant flick before beating two defenders and finishing into the top corner.

Atlanta are third in the Eastern Conference, while Cincinnati are bottom after 22 losses in 31 league games this season.

The Red Bulls consolidated their play-off spot with a 2-0 victory over Portland Timbers at Providence Park.

After Kyle Duncan's powerful early strike, Daniel Royer scored a penalty in additional time.

The Red Bulls are sixth in the east, seven points clear of eighth-placed Montreal Impact with three regular-season games to play.

Dallas climbed above the Timbers and into seventh in the Western Conference after a 0-0 draw away to Seattle Sounders.

New York City pulled clear atop the Eastern Conference in MLS, while Josef Martinez extended his goalscoring streak on Saturday.

Keaton Parks and Alexandru Mitrita scored as New York City came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Chris Wondolowski poked in a Valeri Qazaishvili cross to give the Earthquakes a surprise 20th-minute lead at Yankee Stadium.

However, City were ahead prior to the break, Parks equalising before Mitrita finished clinically after an Ismael Tajouri pass in the 43rd minute.

The result extended City's unbeaten run in MLS to seven games as they moved five points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia Union are in second but lost ground after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Western Conference leaders Los Angeles FC.

Kacper Przybylko gave Union an early lead before this season's top goalscorer Carlos Vela levelled.

Atlanta United, third in the east, suffered a 3-1 loss to Columbus Crew despite Martinez continuing his incredible streak.

Martinez scored for the 14th consecutive MLS game to put Atlanta ahead, but second-half goals from Gyasi Zardes and Luis Diaz Espinoza and a Miles Robinson own goal saw Columbus to a surprise victory.

Chicago Fire boosted their play-off chances with a 4-0 thrashing of Dallas and Cincinnati stunned Montreal Impact 1-0 despite a late red card to Kendall Waston.

Nani scored a brace but Orlando City were held to a 3-3 draw by New England Revolution and the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Philadelphia Union moved clear in the Eastern Conference after blitzing reigning MLS champions Atlanta United 3-1, despite Josef Martinez extending his goalscoring streak.

Atlanta star Martinez scored in his 13th successive league match but Frank de Boer's side still lost to Philadelphia in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash.

Martinez broke the deadlock in the second minute of first-half additional time – the Atlanta forward combining with Darlington Nagbe before finding the back of the net in front of a sell-out crowd at Talen Energy Stadium.

However, the Union scored three unanswered goals in the second half to beat Atlanta, who claimed the US Open trophy during the week.

Brenden Aaronson equalised in the 61st minute before Union pair Kacper Przybylko and Sergio Santos scored during the final four minutes in Philadelphia.

The Union clinched a play-off spot in the process as they moved top of the east on 51 points, a point clear of New York City and three ahead of Atlanta.

New York booked a post-season berth thanks to a 3-1 win at lowly Vancouver Whitecaps.

DC United are fourth in the Eastern Conference thanks to their 3-0 victory over Montreal Impact in the absence of suspended captain Wayne Rooney, with New York Red Bulls slipping to fifth following a 2-0 loss to Colorado Rapids.

Elsewhere, Chris Wondolowski scored twice as San Jose Earthquakes accounted for Orlando City 3-0, Real Salt Lake went down 1-0 against Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City edged Houston Dynamo 1-0, Dallas defeated FC Cincinnati 3-1, New England Revolution and Toronto played out a 1-1 draw, while Columbus Crew drew 1-1 with Chicago Fire.

Josef Martinez continued his incredible form to lead Atlanta United to another win in MLS, while the Seattle Sounders climbed the table on Friday.

Martinez scored in a 12th straight MLS game to see Atlanta to a 1-0 victory over Orlando City in Florida.

The Venezuela international exchanged passes with Ezequiel Barco and curled an effort into the bottom corner on the hour-mark.

It continued Martinez's amazing run and was his 22nd goal in MLS this season, Atlanta winning a fourth straight league game and pulling three points clear atop the Eastern Conference.

The Sounders jumped into second in the Western Conference courtesy of a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers in Oregon.

Cristian Roldan tapped in the opener midway through the first half before Raul Ruidiaz side-footed in a Jordan Morris cross in the 47th minute.

Diego Valeri's deflected 54th-minute free-kick brought Portland back into the derby clash, but they were unable to find an equaliser.

Portland are seventh in the Western Conference.

Atlanta United capped a fine week by beating Portland Timbers 2-0 to move top of the MLS Eastern Conference.

Frank de Boer's Atlanta overcame Mexican giants America 3-2 to win the Campeones Cup final on Wednesday.

Reigning MLS champions Atlanta backed that up with victory away to Portland courtesy of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Josef Martinez on Sunday.

Atlanta's Gonzalez Pirez slammed home the opener in the 14th minute at Providence Park in Portland.

After a flurry of chances, Martinez scored in his MLS-record 11th straight game – doubling the lead a minute into the second half with a curling effort – as Atlanta won their fifth MLS game in six matches.

Atlanta – who are in the US Open Cup final – are now top of the east, ahead of Philadelphia Union on the total wins tie-breaker, while Portland remain seventh in the Western Conference.

Frank de Boer has backtracked on his equal pay comment after he said it was "ridiculous" the United States women's national team expect to be paid the same as their male counterparts.

Women's World Cup winners USA, who beat Netherlands in last month's final, continue to be embroiled in a battle for equal pay with U.S. Soccer.

Atlanta United coach De Boer said he is a champion of women's soccer and indicated he regrets his choice of words during an interview with the Guardian.

“I think for me, it’s ridiculous. It's the same like tennis," De Boer said to the newspaper. "If there are watching, for the World Cup final, 500 million people or something like that, and 100 million for a women's final, that's a difference. So it's not the same.

"And of course, they have to be paid what they deserve to and not less, just what they really deserve. If it's just as popular as the men, they will get it, because the income and the advertising will go into that.

"But it's not like that, so why do they have to earn the same? I think it's ridiculous. I don't understand that."

De Boer, however, has now clarified his comments.

"Especially the word ridiculous," he said. "It's a hard word if I read that word only. If you see the whole context, I was very clear that I always promote women's soccer."

USA star Megan Rapinoe has been one of the most vocal athletes to speak out against the pay disparity, using her platform after USA defended their World Cup title.

Talks between players and governing body U.S. Soccer have broken down, with Rapinoe indicating she will continue fighting for equal pay.

"They're the only employer that we could have playing for the national team, we're the only employees that they could have, so for better or for worse we're tethered together," she told ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday.

"I think that if and when and ever they are willing to have a conversation about equal pay that starts there and goes forward, we're always open to that."

Frank de Boer celebrated his first piece of silverware as Atlanta United head coach after the MLS champions overcame America 3-2 in the Campeones Cup.

Former Inter and Crystal Palace boss De Boer replaced Gerardo Martino, who guided Atlanta to their first MLS title in 2018 before taking charge of Mexico.

De Boer claimed his first title with Atlanta on Wednesday thanks to a second-half comeback at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In the annual North American clash – pitting the MLS champions against the Liga MX winners after kicking off last year – Atlanta made a dream start courtesy of Emerson Hyndman midweek.

Hyndman broke the deadlock after just five minutes, but Mexican giants America hit back via Renato Ibarra eight minutes later in Atlanta.

Ibarra's shot went in off the crossbar, though Atlanta had a golden chance to restore their lead, however Josef Martinez's 41st-minute penalty was kept out by Oscar Jimenez.

Martinez was made to pay for his miss as America's Roger Martinez put the visitors ahead approaching the hour mark.

America's lead was short-lived, however, after Jeff Larentowicz's wonder strike levelled proceedings two minutes later and Martinez made amends for his penalty miss – the Atlanta star converting a 65th-minute spot-kick.

 

 

Carlos Vela tied the record for most combined goals and assists in a single MLS season as Los Angeles FC prevailed 4-2 against New York Red Bulls, while Atlanta United's Josef Martinez made history.

Vela scored and set up two others as Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC overcame the Red Bulls in a six-goal thriller on Sunday.

The Mexico international took his season tally to 23 goals and 15 assists – matching Sebastian Giovinco's feat with 10 matches remaining in the regular season.

Vela teed up Jordan Harvey for the 23rd-minute opener before Latif Blessing doubled LAFC's lead two minutes later, however, the Red Bulls rallied from 2-0 down to level in a stunning end to the first half.

Ex-Real Sociedad winger Vela converted a penalty just past the hour to put him on track to eclipse Martinez's single-season record of 31 goals set last term.

Vela then assisted Eddie Segura 18 minutes from the end as LAFC won their third successive game to move 16 points clear of Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference and 10 ahead of Philadelphia Union in the race for the Supporters' Shield.

Meanwhile, Martinez broke an MLS record by scoring in a 10th consecutive game for Atlanta – who edged New York City 2-1.

Reigning Golden Boot winner Martinez made history with his 42nd-minute header at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the Venezuelan also scored from the penalty spot in the second half.

Heber pulled a goal back for visiting New York, however, defending champions Atlanta were not to be denied as they consolidated second spot in the Eastern Conference.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic attempted 15 shots – the most a player has taken in an MLS game this decade – as LA Galaxy lost 2-1 to a Wayne Rooney-less DC United.

In Sunday's other match, the high-flying Union were too good for Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Josef Martinez broke an MLS record by scoring in a 10th consecutive game for Atlanta United on Sunday.

The Venezuelan forward headed in a Julian Gressel cross for the opening goal – and MLS record – in the 42nd minute against New York City at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Martinez continuing his hot streak meant he surpassed the previous best mark he briefly shared with Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri.

The 26-year-old has netted 14 times during his run, which started in May, to close in on Los Angeles FC star Carlos Vela atop the MLS goalscoring charts.

Vela has struck 22 times for the Western Conference leaders, while Martinez is up to 19 goals.

Former Torino forward Martinez enjoyed a stellar season in 2018, too, scoring 35 MLS goals to be linked with a return to Europe.

Josef Martinez equalled his own record for most consecutive MLS games with a goal as defending champions Atlanta United beat LA Galaxy 3-0.

Martinez converted a 72nd-minute penalty as the reigning MLS MVP scored in his ninth successive league match on Saturday.

The Atlanta star has scored 13 goals in the nine-game period, with Martinez's season tally at 18 – four behind MLS leader Carlos Vela.

Frank de Boer's Atlanta were too good for the Galaxy, who were without suspended talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in front of 72,548 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

A pair of own goals put Atlanta 2-0 ahead at half-time – David Romney and Giancarlo Gonzalez both turning the ball into their own net.

Playing in front of a record regular-season crowd, Atlanta put the game beyond doubt when Martinez scored a penalty with 18 minutes remaining after VAR judged that Gonzalez fouled Emerson Hyndman.

Atlanta are top of the Eastern Conference – level on points with Philadelphia Union, while the Galaxy are third and 15 points adrift of Western Conference leaders and rivals Los Angeles FC.

Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC snapped New England Revolution's 11-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Diego Rossi and Latif Blessing.

Kei Kamara scored a hat-trick as Colorado Rapids overcame Montreal Impact 6-3 in a wild match.

Kamara opened the scoring, albeit at the other end via an 18th-minute own goal, but the Rapids star bounced back with another three where it mattered most.

His three-goal haul helped the Rapids – who led 4-1 at half-time – set a new team record with six goals in a regular-season match.

Elsewhere, New York Red Bulls defeated Toronto 2-0, Orlando City topped Dallas by the same scoreline, Vancouver Whitecaps edged FC Cincinnati 2-1, Houston Dynamo lost 1-0 to Chicago Fire, Real Salt Lake were too good for New York City 3-1 and San Jose Earthquakes drew 1-1 with Columbus Crew.

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