Moments of Matchday 35
October 1, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release
Below is a selection of the notable performances and moments from the 13 matches played on the 35th matchday of the 2023 MLS season, Saturday, September 30.
Matchday 35 action concludes this evening as LAFC host Real Salt Lake at BMO Stadium (8 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass / FS1).
FC Cincinnati Win 2023 Supporters' Shield
The magical FC Cincinnati redemption story had another chapter written on Saturday night, as they claimed the 2023 Supporters' Shield - their first trophy in the club's MLS history. The Orange and Blue went on the road and defeated Toronto FC, 3-2, behind goals from forwards Brandon Vázquez (two) and Aaron Boupendza to earn the piece of silverware. Boupendza scored the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute after a terrific assist from Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate Luciano Acosta.
In claiming the Supporters' Shield, Cincinnati also made history across the five U.S men's professional leagues (MLB, MLS, NBA, NHL, NFL) as they are the first team among these leagues to finish last in three consecutive seasons before winning a regular season title within the two years that followed. Additionally, the Orange and Blue are also qualified to compete in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup for the first time in club history. With three games remaining, they will now look to potentially set the single-season points record by winning each of those matches.
St. Louis Becomes First Expansion Club to Hit 17 Wins
After splitting the first two meetings of 2023 against Sporting Kansas City, St. Louis CITY SC left no doubt on Matchday 35, dominating 4-1 in front of their home fans at CITYPARK. With the victory, St. Louis became the first expansion club (excluding the shootout era) in MLS history to win 17 regular season games in their inaugural season. Their four-goal outburst also pushed them to 62 goals on the year and they are just one of four expansion clubs to break the 60-goal mark.
The forward duo of Samuel Adeniran and João Klauss (two) each got on the scoresheet in the victory, while midfielder Eduard Löwen contributed a hat trick of assists. Adding insult to injury in the rivalry win, St. Louis is the first expansion team since 2000 to defeat Kansas City twice in their inaugural season. After tonight's results, St. Louis can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference on Sunday evening if LAFC do not defeat Real Salt Lake.
Óscar Pareja and Orlando City Make Club History
In his fourth year in charge of Orlando City SC, Óscar Pareja has turned the Lions into one of the most feared teams in the league. Saturday night was another example of that, as they easily dismantled CF Montréal, 3-0, with a convincing performance from start to finish. Thanks to the victory, Orlando City set single-season club records in both points (54) and wins (15) as they now sit second in the Eastern Conference.
Pareja has led the club to their best season ever and the growth of midfielder Facundo Torres from a bright young talent to Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate has played a critical role. Torres scored his 13th goal of the season in tonight's win, and he also provided the strike that led to the opening own goal of the match. By continuing their record-breaking season in the last three matches, Orlando will have a chance to return to the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.
Revolution Racking Up Home Wins
The New England Revolution maintained their unbeaten home record in 2023 after a 2-1 win against Charlotte FC. New England is now 11-0-4 at Gillette Stadium in MLS play this season, becoming just the 10th team in league history to not lose a match within their first 15 home games. The Revs' unbeaten run at home stretches 16 games to last season, and they are now one match shy of the club record (17) set from 2014-15.
Once again, 18-year-old Noel Buck shined bright, scoring a terrific strike in the 64th minute to take his tally to three goals and one assist on the season. After Charlotte pulled a goal back through Karol Świderski, the Revs re-took the lead through an unlikely source - defender Dave Romney. Romney's headed goal was his first this season and helped New England move into a top-four position in the Eastern Conference.
Nashville Makes it Four for Four
Thanks to a scoreless draw against Seattle Sounders FC, combined with other Eastern Conference results, Nashville SC booked their ticket to the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. By doing so, Nashville became just the fourth expansion club in league history to make the postseason in each of their first four MLS seasons, joining Chicago Fire FC, Houston Dynamo FC, and Seattle.
Nashville's stellar defense was on display yet again Saturday night, as they held Seattle to just three shots on target and only 45% possession. On the season, the club has allowed a league-low 28 goals in 30 matches (0.93 goals per game), including just nine conceded at home. With their stout defense and Landon Donovan MLS MVP candidate Hany Mukhtar, Nashville will be a difficult out in the postseason this year.
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Major League Soccer Stories from October 1, 2023
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- Moments of Matchday 35 - MLS
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