The MLS has resumed after the early rounds of the US Open Cup and the international break, and week 16 saw Real Salt Lake being dealt a blow to their hopes of reaching the play-offs while Houston Dynamo suffered a surprise thumping defeat at the hands of Portland Timbers.
Real Salt Lake came into their fixture against Chicago Fire in eighth place in the Western Conference, one position behind the final play-off spots.
They had the opportunity to put some pressure on Minnesota United and give themselves some breathing space ahead of San Jose Earthquakes who don't play until Thursday.
However they could only muster a draw against a Chicago Fire side who are outside of the play-off places in the Eastern Conference.
We'll take the road point & head home.— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) 23 June 2019
8 of the next 11 at the RioT! pic.twitter.com/0KNSx8xwGE
Real Salt Lake had a terrible start, conceding after just five minutes. Aleksandar Katai gave Chicago the lead with an excellent low free-kick which went around the RSL wall.
The Claret and Cobalt won a spot-kick on 33 minutes after Chicago midfielder Mo Adams handled the ball in the penalty area.
In the second half, Katai had an excellent opportunity to score his second and restore the home side's lead when he was played through on goal by Brandt Bronico, but he he sent his effort well wide.
With his goal against Houston, Brian Fernandez tied an @MLS record by scoring in his fourth consecutive appearance to begin his career in the league. #StatMan Three | https://t.co/raoOZLxCaV | #PORvHOU #RCTID pic.twitter.com/oowPuDMfkH— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) June 23, 2019
Portland locked down all three points just after the hour mark with an excellent counter-attack. Valeri received the ball in his own half and played a good long pass to the unmarked
Jeremy Ebobisse added the gloss to the scoreline in the 74th minute, cutting onto his right foot from the left flank and hitting a powerful low shot into the net.
While Houston have had a good campaign so far, this defeat will be a damaging blow to their confidence. They were dominated from start to finish by one of the worst sides in MLS this season and will hope they are not affected by this in their upcoming fixtures.
LA Galaxy closed the gap on Western Conference leaders Los Angeles FC with a 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati, the bottom-placed side in the Eastern Conference.
The visitors were willing to concede possession throughout the game and their first goal came through a direct piece of play.
Former Manchester United and Barcelona striker