2021 is dead – long live 2022.

It's a new year, and while the one changing to a two literally overnight may seem arbitrary, it gives us an excuse to look ahead and what's on the horizon.

Of course, we're now into a World Cup year – 12 months from now, we'll have newly crowned world champions and, who knows, maybe a new superstar or two will have emerged.

While there's no guarantee about a player's trajectory, Stats Perform have at least put together a list of 22 under-22 players who could be worth keeping an eye out for in 2022.

GOALKEEPERS

Etienne Green, 21, English – Saint-Etienne

Honestly, he's not included just because of the perfection of a player called Etienne Green playing for Les Verts, Saint-Etienne – though that certainly warrants a mention. Colchester-born Green has played 23 times in Ligue 1 for the club, making Leeds United's Ilan Meslier the only goalkeeper born after 2000 to play more often (53) across the top five leagues. In April he became the fourth Ligue 1 keeper since Opta records began (2006-07) to save a penalty on his debut and he's since gone on to nail down a starting spot. Having recently declared for England over France, Green could be an outside bet for Gareth Southgate's squad at Qatar 2022.

Maarten Vandevoordt, 19, Belgian – Genk

In 2019, Vandevoordt became the Champions League's youngest ever goalkeeper at 17 years and 287 days old – it proved to be a bit of a nightmare as Genk lost 4-0, with youngster at fault for two goals. It would've been enough to shatter the confidence of most young players, but Vandevoordt's since gone on to become first-choice, playing 16 league games in 2020-21 and all 21 this term.

DEFENDERS

Kaiky, 17, Brazilian – Santos

If there's any area of the pitch that one might consider to be the hardest to establish yourself in as a young player, most would say centre-back. Yet, despite not turning 18 until January 12, Kaiky has racked up an impressive number of appearances there for Santos. He played more minutes in the 2021 Brasileirao (1,334 minutes) and the Libertadores (495) than any other under-19 player and has impressed with his comfort in possession, aerial ability and demonstrable appetite for defending. He has a long way to go, but he sure has made a promising start.

Becir Omeragic, 19, Swiss – FC Zurich

Omeragic is among the most highly rated young centre-backs in Europe and was in Switzerland's Euro 2020 squad – despite still being only 19, he's already played 71 Swiss Super League games for Zurich. This season he ranks highly in numerous metrics among defenders, such as tackle attempts (29, fifth-highest), interceptions (26, seventh-highest) and possession won (105, fifth-highest), while he offers good progression on the ball, his carry progress of 1,796.6m upfield being the fourth-best among all defenders – two of those are full-backs. Expect to see him in one of Europe's biggest leagues fairly soon.

Ilya Zabarnyi, 19, Ukrainian – Dynamo Kiev

Previously linked with Chelsea, among other major clubs, Zabarnyi caught the eye at Euro 2020 with some mature displays. Despite being the joint-youngest player in the squad, Zabarnyi was one of the five players to play every minute for Ukraine, and among those to feature for at least 100 minutes, he ranked in the top three for touches (72.8) and passes (60.6) on a per-90 basis. Similarly, only four played more passes into the final third than him (4.7), and three of those were midfielders. A move to a bigger league will give us a better idea of just how good Zabarnyi is, but the promise is there.

Ethan Laird, 20, English – Swansea City (on loan from Manchester United)

Manchester United have rated right-back Laird highly for a while – he actually made his senior debut for them as far back as November 2019 in the Europa League. Since then, he showed great promise at Milton Keynes Dons and then followed coach Russell Martin in making the jump to the Championship with Swansea City, where he's continued to impress. Only three defenders in the division have created more chances than him in open play (23), while his five big chances created is the second-most in the Swans squad. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka seemingly unable to kick on at United, Laird's opportunity may arrive in 2022.

Alex Balde, 18, Spanish – Barcelona

Barcelona have seemingly once again become great trusters of youth – not that their situation has given them much of a choice. Balde's not yet one of those to become a regular, and you'd think he will struggle to dislodge Jordi Alba at left-back, but in his four LaLiga appearances the 18-year-old has shown real promise with his ability on the ball and pace. Given his skillset and Xavi's desire to play with classic wingers, he may find himself used further up the pitch – either way, he's definitely one to watch.

George Bello, 19, American – Atlanta United

Nigeria-born Bello may not be 20 until late January, but he's already made a strong impression in MLS, so much so that he became a regular part of the USA's senior side in 2021. Added to that, his 2,433 minutes played was the most of any MLS player to end the season as a teenager. An attack-minded left-back, Bello is excellent on the ball and possesses great pace, and he may well be on the move soon given his contract expires at the end of 2022. If anyone takes a punt, they could be rewarded handsomely.

MIDFIELDERS

Yacine Adli, 21, French – Bordeaux (on loan from Milan)

Milan fans have every reason to be excited about Adli. The kind of silky playmaker that makes almost everything look effortless, he has created more chances after a carry (11) than any other midfielder in Ligue 1 this term. He may not be a great goal threat himself, but his six assists is the second-most among the same group of players (Dimitri Payet has seven) – all of Adli's were from open play, however, which is the most the league's midfielders. Whether he can keep that up at Milan is unclear, but if he can, they'll have a real asset on their hands.

Unai Vencedor, 21, Spanish – Athletic Bilbao

Athletic are one of LaLiga's stranger teams in that they don't win, lose, score or concede very often, yet that's not stopping Vencedor from thriving. A controlling presence with satisfying calmness on the ball in centre midfield, Vencedor is mature for his age and already has significant influence over Athletic's play. Just Iker Muniain and Inaki Williams have been involved in more open-play shot-ending sequences than Vencedor (47) among Athletic players, while the former (eight) is the only one with more instances of being involved in build-up and taking the shot (five) at the end, highlighting his importance to not only keeping them on the ball but also posing an attacking threat.

Nicolo Rovella, 20, Italian – Genoa (on loan from Juventus)

Granted, Rovella's hardly a hidden gem given Juve signed him in a deal potentially worth €20m last January, but he's still not quite a household name. Nevertheless, he looks a real prospect. A deep-lying midfielder, Rovella is elegant on the ball, hard-working without it and excellent at set-pieces. For struggling Genoa this season, his 4.0 possession wins every 90 minutes in the middle third is the 15th highest among Serie A midfielders (min. 500 minutes played), as is his 1.4 successful tackles – though only four players from the same group who have attempted at least 20 boast a better success rate than him (71.4). There's talk he could be recalled by Juve in January, which highlights the impression he's making.

Caden Clark, 18, American – RB Leipzig

With goals against Atlanta United and then Toronto four days later in October 2020, Clark became the youngest player MLS history to score in each of his first two games – the second was an absolute scorcher as well. The 18-year-old agreed a move from New York Red Bulls to RB Leipzig in 2021 and he officially makes the switch in January, with no return loan planned. The technically gifted midfielder has his chance to make it in the big-time, and the Bundesliga has previously been a good next step for MLS stars.

Hannibal Mejbri, 18, Tunisian – Manchester United

Some United fans are disappointed Hannibal didn't get more opportunities under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and he's been restricted with Ralf Rangnick because of his involvement in the Arab Cup and the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. But when he returns, there's every indication he may get more chances, or at least that's what Rangnick recently intimated. A silky and creative midfielder, but one who has a tendency to lose his head, Hannibal might be able to provide the extra injection of craft often missing from United's midfield.

WINGERS

Kayky, 18, Brazilian – Manchester City

There's every chance Kayky and Angelo could be challenging each other for a spot in the senior Brazil team one day. Now at Manchester City after joining from Fluminense in a deal apparently worth an initial £8.4million, Kayky's development is going to be fascinating to watch. With Flu, the talented winger became the club's youngest player and goalscorer in the Libertadores before making the switch to England in pre-season. He was on the bench for the Boxing Day win over Leicester City, and with COVID-19 cases proving an issue across the Premier League, there's every chance we may see a bit more of Kayky in the near future.

Angelo Gabriel, 17, Brazilian – Santos

Every year it seems there's a new Brazilian teenager causing a stir and subsequently being linked with a big move to Europe – the latest is Angelo Gabriel. The newest 'new Neymar', Angelo is actually a left-footed right winger but the similarities in style of play are at least comparable in that he's a good dribbler, skilful and likes to cut inside off the flank. Angelo's made the jump up to the first team a little earlier than Neymar, though – he only turned 17 in December but already has 51 first-team appearances to his name. In April, he became the Copa Libertadores' youngest-ever scorer (16 years, 105 days old) and was also the only under-17 player to feature in the 2021 Brasileirao.

Alan Velasco, 19, Argentinian – Independiente

Showing quality in Argentina's domestic league isn't always a guarantee of future greatness, but doing well as a tricky youngster does speak to a certain degree of bravery and resilience given the brutal reputation of the top flight. Velasco is among the league's most-promising young players, a skilful, quick and dangerous left winger. His 62 chances created this season is the fifth most in the division, while no player can better his 198 dribbles completed. Could he be a wildcard choice for Argentina at the World Cup? Don't rule it out.

Rayan Cherki, 18, French – Lyon

It feels like 2022 could be a massive year for Cherki. The versatile attacker is still nowhere near being a regular at Lyon, despite many feeling Peter Bosz's appointment might prove a boost to the teenager – after all, he played an important role in developing Kai Havertz and Florian Wirtz. Yet, the raw ability is undoubtedly there for Cherki – whether he'll be able to harness that properly at Lyon remains to be seen, with suggestions growing that he might seek a move away in the next year.

FORWARDS

Yuri Alberto, 20, Brazilian – Internacional

Yuri Alberto looks likely to be 'one who got away' for Santos. He left for Internacional in 2020 after initially showing promise at Vila Belmiro and has been a shrewd acquisition, scoring 22 times in 56 Brasileirao appearances, the most of any player currently 24 or younger. His 12 in the 2021 season was only bettered by four players and he scored more hat-tricks than anyone else (three) during the calendar year – one of those being netted in the late-finishing 2020 campaign.

Mohamed-Ali Cho, 17, French – Angers

A dynamic, exciting forward who is most comfortable out wide at the moment, Cho may only be 17 but he already has 39 Ligue 1 appearances under his belt. Where France seem to have lost out to England with Green, Les Bleus look to be winning the battle for Cho, who spent five years at Everton until 2020. Now a France Under-21 international, Cho is the youngest player to have scored in Ligue 1 this season having netted against Rennes back in August when he was aged 17 years and 222 days.

Ricardo Pepi, 18, American – FC Dallas

Yes, another American. While Clark may not make it into the United States' World Cup squad, Pepi almost certainly will. A very well-rounded striker who is tall, agile and hard-working, Pepi has also – perhaps most importantly – proven an able finisher, with his 13 MLS goals in the 2021 season being the joint-most ever managed by a teenager in the competition. Similarly, he's also the youngest player to ever score in consecutive World Cup qualifiers for the USA. He has a long-term contract at Dallas, but no one would be surprised to see him leave for Europe in 2022, with Germany a likely destination. Expect him to fetch the largest ever fee for an American leaving MLS.

Matias Arezo, 19, Uruguayan – River Plate (URU)

Uruguay has produced some truly great strikers down the years. After more of a barren spell in that regard since Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez came through, there is once again a cause for optimism with Darwin Nunez, Agustin Alvarez and, arguably chief among them, Arezo. He scored 13 times in 35 Uruguayan Primera appearances last term – he surpassed that haul with 15 from six fewer appearances in 2021. For comparison's sake, Suarez got 10 in 27 in his first full season in the division with Nacional, while Cavani recorded nine in 25 appearances for Danubio before moving to Europe. A well-built striker, he's definitely one to watch ahead of the World Cup – assuming Uruguay get there.

Julian Alvarez, 21, Argentinian – River Plate

A sensational last couple of months in 2021 elevated Alvarez to a new level, one which has seen him mentioned regularly in transfer gossip columns – United are apparently especially keen. The striker, now an Argentina international, scored a total of 24 club goals across 2021, while also setting up a further 12 in the league, showing both his ability to finish chances and create them. A move abroad seems highly probable – where that takes him and how he does will be intriguing to watch, particularly ahead of the World Cup.

Ralf Rangnick has strengthened his Manchester United staff by bringing in assistant coach Chris Armas and sports psychologist Sascha Lense.

Interim manager Rangnick has until the end of the season to make his mark at Old Trafford, with scope for two further years as a consultant, after club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in late November.

Former RB Leipzig head coach Rangnick started with a 1-0 home triumph over Crystal Palace on Sunday, becoming the first German boss to win his opening game in the Premier League after five countrymen previously tried and failed.

United technical director Darren Fletcher and coach Kieran McKenna acted as assistants for that victory and Rangnick has now bolstered his backroom staff with new appointments.

Lense has worked alongside Rangnick previously, most recently at RB Leipzig, while United's new boss got to know former New York Red Bulls manager Armas while operating as Red Bull's global head of sport and development.

"It won't be that many [staff coming in]," Rangnick told a news conference on Tuesday. "So far I'm very happy to work with the staff I have met last week, and they gave me a lot of help in the last couple of days in preparation for the Crystal Palace game.

"We have decided to bring in a sports psychologist, with Sascha Lense. He's from Germany, he's a former second division player.

"I worked with him for three years at Leipzig, in the year I won promotion from the second to the first division myself and the following two years when Ralph Hasenhuttl was head coach and Zsolt Low – the current assistant coach of Thomas Tuchel [at Chelsea] – was assistant coach.

"I will also have one other assistant coach, with Chris Armas. Chris used to be the assistant coach at the New York Red Bulls under Jesse Marsch. That was five years ago, when I first met him. Since then, we have met quite frequently."

With United's spot in the next round of the Champions League already confirmed, Rangnick has hinted at heavy rotation for Wednesday's home clash with Young Boys, who have not won away in the Champions League or European Cup since August 1960.

The 63-year-old Rangnick confirmed that Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson will start and told the club's official website that Nemanja Matic will captain the side.

Sporting Kansas City won through to the Western Conference semi-finals after accounting for Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 in the MLS Cup play-offs.

Khiry Shelton, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Graham Zusi scored as Sporting KC earned a showdown with either Seattle Sounders or Real Salt Lake.

Sporting KC entered Saturday's play-off with three straight defeats. The three previous times they lost their last regular-season match before the post-season, the club were eliminated in their first play-off tie (1997, 2014, 2017).

But Sporting KC defied that record thanks to their performance at Children's Mercy Park, where Shelton opened the scoring in the 17th minute.

The Whitecaps – who had won just one of their nine games away to Sporting KC, dating back to September 2017 – equalised via Cristian Dajome's 39th-minute penalty.

Sporting KC, however, restored their advantage when Isimat-Mirin struck in the third minute of first-half stoppage time and Zusi sealed the victory 13 minutes into the second period.

In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia Union booked their spot in the semi-finals thanks to a last-gasp 1-0 win against New York Red Bulls after extra time.

Jakob Glesnes' thunderous and dramatic volley in the 123rd minute sent the Union through to the next round of the play-offs.

The Red Bulls had lost only one of their last 12 matches (W7 D4) en route to qualifying for their 12th straight postseason – the second-longest streak in MLS history (Sounders 13 in a row, 2009-present). The 25 points the Red Bulls also collected since September 17 were the most in MLS in that span.

Next up for the Union is a meeting with either Orlando City or Nashville.

The 2021 MLS Cup play-offs are set following a wild final round of the regular season which saw LA Galaxy dramatically eliminated from the post-season picture by Real Salt Lake.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez scored twice for the Galaxy in a 3-3 draw with Minnesota United on Decision Day, but RSL's last-gasp 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City changed the landscape of the Western Conference.

RSL pipped the Galaxy – without post-season football for the second straight campaign – to the seventh and final play-off spot on victories for the season via a 95th-minute winner, having finished level on 48 points at the end of 34 rounds.

Minnesota finished fifth to clinch a post-season berth in the west, along with sixth-placed Vancouver Whitecaps, who drew 1-1 against Seattle Sounders.

Seattle's stalemate and Sporting KC's late loss allowed Colorado Rapids to secure top seed in the Western Conference following a 5-2 rout of Los Angeles FC, who were eliminated as a result.

In the Eastern Conference, Orlando City beat Montreal 2-0 for a spot in the play-offs, along with Atlanta United (2-1 over FC Cincinnati) and New York Red Bulls – the latter using a 1-1 draw against Nashville to extend their post-season streak to 12 years.

Supporters' Shield winners New England Revolution lost 1-0 to already eliminated Inter Miami, Portland Timbers eased past lowly Austin 3-0, DC United defeated Toronto 3-1, 10-man New York City drew 1-1 with Philadelphia Union and reigning champions Columbus Crew – who will not defend their title – beat Chicago Fire 2-0.

Chris Wondolowski scored in the San Jose Earthquakes' 1-1 draw against Dallas before the league's all-time leading scorer announced his retirement.

New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United missed the chance to secure their places in the MLS Cup play-offs after the teams played out a goalless on Wednesday.

A win for either side would have sealed their play-off fate, but the Red Bulls and Atlanta must wait until Sunday's Decision Day following the midweek stalemate.

Red Bulls forward Patryk Klimala came closest for either side, with his 48th-minute effort hitting the crossbar from Caden Clark's cross.

Four minutes later, Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan denied Klimala from a one-on-one opportunity, while Clark had a goal disallowed for offside nine minutes into the second half.

In the Eastern Conference, the seventh-placed Red Bulls go to third-placed Nashville on Sunday, while Atlanta – fifth in the standings – visit bottom club FC Cincinnati.

Portland Timbers, fourth in the Western Conference, booked their play-off spot with a 3-1 win away to Real Salt Lake, sparked by Sebastian Blanco's brace. 

RSL remain two points behind LA Galaxy in the final Western Conference play-off position and face Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

Montreal stayed in the hunt courtesy of a 2-0 home win over Houston Dynamo, moving them up to eighth in the east, within one point of the Red Bulls.

Struggling Austin dented Sporting Kansas City's hopes of claiming top spot in the west with a 3-1 triumph

Sporting KC are second, a point behind Seattle Sounders heading into the final round of the regular season.

Inter Miami have been eliminated from the MLS play-off race following a 3-1 defeat to New York City, while San Jose Earthquakes teenager Cade Cowell produced a stunning moment of individual brilliance.

David Beckham's Inter Miami were looking to keep their fading play-off hopes alive on Saturday, however, second-half goals from New York City pair Valentin Castellanos and Talles Magno dashed that dream.

Inter Miami had never taken a point against New York City in their three previous meetings, losing all three. New York City were one of two teams Inter Miami had faced more than once without claiming a point, along with DC United.

That drought continued despite Inter Miami defender Jorge Figal initially cancelling out Castellanos' 33rd-minute opener at DRV PNK Stadium, where co-owner Beckham was in attendance.

But New York City – third in the Eastern Conference – hit back via Castellanos and Magno to clinch a play-off spot thanks to results elsewhere as Inter Miami were left to pick up the pieces in Phil Neville's first season as head coach.

Cade Cowell, meanwhile, scored a memorable solo goal as the Earthquakes outlasted Real Salt Lake 4-3 in a wild showdown.

The 18-year-old collected the ball in his own half with 21 minutes remaining before barging down the right flank, cutting in between two RSL defenders and finishing past David Ochoa with the outside of his boot.

Elsewhere, Fabio netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner as New York Red Bulls edged Montreal 1-0 to move into the seventh and final play-off spot in the east.

Defending champions Columbus Crew kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a 3-1 win over DC United, Toronto and Atlanta United drew 1-1 and 10-man Dallas edged Austin 2-1.

Supporters' Shield winners New England have made more history with Wednesday's 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids breaking the MLS record for most points in a single season.

Bruce Arena's side, who clinched their first-ever Supporters' Shield on Saturday, won thanks to Tajon Buchanan's 74th-minute strike.

The result took Revolution's season tally to 73 points from 33 games, eclipsing the previous record mark held by LAFC with 72 points in 2019.

New England have one more regular season match to extend their record, playing Inter Miami at home on November 7.

Canada international Buchanan came up with the winner, showing fast feet to make space for a low shot that beat Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough, who had sensationally kept out Henry Kessler from close range minutes earlier.

New York Red Bulls slipped out of the Eastern Conference play-offs spots after a 1-0 defeat to DC United who moved above them into seventh place.

United snapped a four-game winless skid, while also ending the Red Bulls' four-game running run and eight-game unbeaten streak in the process. Kevin Paredes side-footed home the ninth-minute winner for United.

Sporting KC moved into top spot in the Western Conference and dented LA Galaxy's play-offs aspirations with a 2-0 win.

Johnny Russell extended his scoring run to eight straight games with both goals for KC who clinched a top-four seeding as well.

Randall Leal scored two goals and grabbed an assist as Nashville came from two goals down twice to win 6-3 at Cincinnati.

Portland Timbers moved in the west's top four with a 2-0 home victory over San Jose Earthquakes, while Vancouver Whitecaps climbed up to fifth with a 2-1 triumph over Minnesota United.

New York City boosted their Eastern Conference top-four seed hopes with a 1-0 home win over Chicago Fire, while Josef Martinez's winner helped Atlanta United past Inter Miami 2-1 after Gonzalo Higuain had opened the scoring from the spot.

Columbus Crew upset Orlando City 3-2, Toronto held Philadelphia Union 2-2 as Jozy Altidore netted while Real Salt Lake scored twice in the final 10 minutes to win 2-1 at Dallas.

Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids clinched play-off spots while New England Revolution secured the Supporters' Shield as the top team in the MLS regular season Saturday. 

Johnny Russell's 79th-minute goal gave Sporting KC a 2-1 win away to Seattle Sounders, locking up a play-off spot for the second-placed team in the Western Conference table as Russell netted for the seventh straight game.

Colorado also are in after defeating Portland Timbers 2-0 behind golas from Dominique Badji and Diego Rubio. 

The Seattle loss ensured New England, who face Orlando City on Sunday, will finish atop the overall table. The Revs are on 69 points, 20 points clear of Philadelphia and Nashville in the Eastern Conference and 11 clear of Seattle overall. 

Nashville had a chance to clinch the play-offs with a win but fell 1-0 to Philadelphia Union on Kacper Przybylko's first-half penalty. 

Inter Miami got a goal and three assists from Gonzalo Higuain, while his brother Federico also found the net in a 5-1 rout of Cincinnati, who lost their ninth in a row. 

Toronto dealt a blow to rival Montreal's play-off hopes as Jozy Altidore's free kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time secured a 1-1 draw after Sunusi Ibrahim had netted in the 55th minute for the visitors. 

Minnesota and LAFC also finished at 1-1, as did San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps. 

New York City crushed DC United 6-0 and Sean Nealis' 87th-minute goal lifted New York Red Bulls past Columbus Crew 2-1. 

Sebastian Lletget's brilliant 83rd-minute equaliser gave LA Galaxy a 2-2 draw with Dallas, while Chicago Fire downed Real Salt Lake 1-0. 

Vancouver Whitecaps moved within a point of a play-off position in the MLS Western Conference table thanks to a 2-1 defeat of Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.  

Ryan Gauld scored in the 23rd minute and Russell Teibert added a second for the Whitecaps in the 35th with a left-footed strike that eluded goalkeeper Tim Melia. 

Johnny Russell netted for the sixth successive game, scoring in the 43rd minute for the visitors, but that was the extent of their comeback. 

Second-placed Sporting KC (52 points) would have clinched a play-off spot via a win or a draw but will have to wait as they remain five points adrift of leaders Seattle Sounders. 

Vancouver are on 40 points, one behind seventh-placed Minnesota and two back of Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy. 

New York Red Bulls made a third-minute goal by Cristian Casseres Jr. stand up on the way to a 1-0 win over New York City that left the rivals tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. 

The two New York teams are on 40 points, one behind Montreal for the final play-off berth, and they are headed in opposite directions. 

Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last seven (5W 2D) as they seek a 12th successive play-off appearance, while New York City have won just three of their last 16 games (5D 6L).

New York City have failed to score in their last four matches and are mired in a 429-minute scoring drought stretching back to a 1-1 draw against Red Bulls on September 22. 

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez got on the scoresheet as LA Galaxy breathed life in their MLS playoffs aspirations with a 2-1 home win over Portland Timbers on Saturday.

Sacha Kljestan netted a stoppage-time penalty to clinch all three points for Galaxy, who had been in a freefall with a winless nine-game span.

Chicharito poked in at the back post for the opening goal in the 62nd minute, pouncing on Larrys Mabiala's defensive error from Victor Vazquez's ball into the box.

The Timbers equalized 10 minutes later when Sebastian Blanco's cross-cum-shot drifted over Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond and in off the post.

Blanco hit the upright from a long-range effort, before LA won a penalty when substitute Efrain Alvarez was brought down inside the box by Josecarlos Van Rankin.

Kljestan fired low to Timbers keeper Steve Clark's right for the winner which moves Galaxy up to 42 points, retaining their grip on sixth spot in the Western Conference.

Supporters Shield-leading New England Revolution conceded late as they drew 2-2 at home with Chicago Fire.

The sides traded four goals in the second half, with Wilfred Kaptoum drilling in a low opener in the 47th minute before Alvaro Medran equalized instantly with a classy volley.

Gustavo Bou netted his 13th goal of the season to restore Revolution's lead with a deft lob from Carles Gil's lofted pass in behind the defence in the 76th minute.

Bou was denied by Chicago keeper Gabriel Slonina before Brian Gutierrez danced forward for the visitors, finding Ignacio Aliseda who fired home an angled 88th minute leveller.

Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders missed the chance to close on New England after going down 2-1 at Houston Dynamo.

Maxi Urruti scored a spectacular volley to put Houston ahead on the quarter hour, with Darwin Quintero doubling their lead with a fine solo left-foot strike in the 20th minute.

Jimmy Medranda halved the deficit with a rifled 41st minute shot after recycling an over-hit corner, although Houston came closest to a second-half goal, hitting the woodwork four times, before Seattle's Joao Paulo had a stoppage-time free-kick cannon into the crossbar.

Real Salt Lake solidified their grip on a playoffs spot with a 3-1 home victory over Colorado Rapids, who are third in the Western Conference.

Minnesota United remained ahead of RSL by two points with a 1-0 triumph at lowly Austin thanks to Franco Frangapane's 16th-minute strike.

US international Gyasi Zardes netted a double as Columbus Crew thrashed Inter Miami 4-0, condemning them to their sixth straight defeat, during which they have scored one goal and conceded 16 times.

Luiz Araujo and Marcelino Moreno both netted late in each half as 10-man Atlanta United triumphed 2-0 at Toronto.

Junior Urso netted early as Orlando City eased past struggling Cincinnati 1-0, while DC United and Nashville drew 0-0 with the visitors recorded a draw for the fourth successive game.

Seattle Sounders became the second MLS team to clinch a play-off berth with their 4-1 rout of Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. 

Seattle are atop the Western Conference on 57 points, second only to runaway Eastern Conference leaders and Supporters' Shield pacesetters New England Revolution (65), who already have secured the top seed on their side. 

The Sounders established themselves early with goals from Shane O'Neill in the fifth minute and Nicolas Benezet in the 14th at home to the Whitecaps amid their 13-game winless run against Seattle – the club's longest drought against any opponent in MLS.

After Vancouver clawed a goal back via Brian White at the end of the first half, Will Bruin added a third for Seattle 10 minutes into the second period and Leo Chu netted in the 90th minute to close it out. 

New York Red Bulls kept their play-off hopes alive, defeating slumping Inter Miami 1-0 behind a 25th-minute goal courtesy of Patryk Klimala. 

The Red Bulls sit ninth in the east, three points adrift of Montreal, rivals New York City and DC United, who currently hold the final three post-season positions.

Inter Miami are eight points off the pace amid a five-match losing streak.

FC Cincinnati became the first team officially eliminated from play-off contention following a 2-1 home defeat to third-placed Philadelphia Union. 

Though Philadelphia had possession for only 37 per cent of the match, they built a lead through Kacper Przybylko in first-half stoppage time before Paxten Aaronson doubled the advantage 11 minutes into the second half.

Haris Medunjanin netted in the 82nd minute but it was too late as Cincinnati suffered their 16th loss of the season against eight draws and an MLS-worst four wins. 

Vancouver Whitecaps boosted their MLS play-off chances with a Brian White-inspired 3-0 victory over San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

White scored a hat-trick as the Whitecaps moved within just one point of the seventh and final post-season spot in the Western Conference heading into the last seven matches of the regular season.

A recruit from New York Red Bulls following June's trade, White – who has scored eight goals in his past nine games – opened the scoring in the 26th minute.

White doubled the lead with a header approaching the hour mark before completing his first career hat-trick 17 minutes from the end – using his head to get on the end of Ryan Gauld's corner.

Montreal topped fellow Eastern Conference play-off hopefuls Atlanta United 2-1 courtesy of Romell Quioto's double.

Heading into the fixture, twelve of the last 15 goals conceded by Atlanta had come in the second half of their games and none of those 15 goals were shipped in the first half an hour.

Quioto scored a five-minute brace inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half to lift Montreal up to fifth in the east, while striking a blow to Atlanta's post-season chances.

Atlanta are eighth and outside the play-off spots – level on points with seventh-placed Philadelphia Union, who have played two games less.

Elsewhere, Orlando City catapulted themselves up to third in the Eastern Conference after Daryl Dike's 97th-minute goal snatched a 2-1 win over DC United, the Red Bulls edged FC Cincinnati 1-0, Austin defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1 and Dallas played out a 0-0 draw with 10-man Minnesota United.

LA Galaxy's play-offs took a hit after they suffered their third consecutive defeat, going down 2-1 to Real Salt Lake in MLS on Wednesday.

The defeat means the Galaxy are winless in their past eight matches and while they dropped down to sixth in the Western Conference, their form means they could find themselves only a point ahead of the post-season chasing pack.

Former Manchester United forward Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez stung RSL goalkeeper David Ochoa's palms early, before Damir Kreilach scored his 11th goal of the season to put the hosts 1-0 on the stroke of half-time.

Ochoa denied Chicharito again in a 57th-minute fast break, before the latter equalised with 14 minutes remaining midweek.

But in the fifth of six stoppage-time minutes, Anderson Julio lashed in a wonderful volley from outside the box to claim the win for fifth-placed RSL and boost their play-off chances.

United States teenager Ricardo Pepi netted his 12th goal of the campaign as 10-man Dallas went down 3-1 to Western Conference contenders and second-placed Sporting Kansas City.

Daniel Salloi scored a double for Sporting KC, taking his season tally to 14, while Dallas had Bryan Acosta sent off.

Seattle Sounders stayed top of the Western Conference, ahead of Sporting KC, as Raul Ruidiaz scored a brace in a 3-1 win away to San Jose Earthquakes.

Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 25th minute, before firing home from the spot three minutes prior to the break. The Peruvian has 16 MLS goals this season, behind only DC United's Ola Kamara with 17.

Dairon Asprilla scored the winner as Portland Timbers claimed a 2-1 victory at Los Angeles FC to remain fourth in the west.

Supporters' Shield leaders New England Revolution maintained their 14-point advantage atop the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 triumph away to Montreal, extending their unbeaten run to six games.

Nashville, second in the east, blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Orlando City, while DC United got past Minnesota United 3-1.

Atlanta United boosted their play-offs hopes with a 1-0 win over Inter Miami, who have lost three in a row, while Toronto beat FC Cincinnati 3-2.

New York City suffered a second straight loss, going down 2-0 to Chicago Fire, and Philadelphia Union could only manage a 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls.

Colorado Rapids eased past Austin 3-0 and Houston Dynamo played out a goalless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps.

Portland Timbers continued their impressive form with a 6-1 demolition of Real Salt Lake in MLS, while Philadelphia Union edged Atlanta United.

Sibling pair Diego and Yimmi Chara were among the goals as the Timbers – unbeaten in six matches – eased past RSL at Providence Park on Saturday.

Felipe Mora, Dairon Asprilla, Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Cristhian Paredes also scored for the Timbers, who have netted in 16 consecutive matches against RSL (including play-offs) – the second longest streak against any opponent in their history, behind the 17 straight versus Dallas from August 2012 to March 2018.

The Timbers led 2-1 at half-time before putting RSL to the sword in the second period to match their six-game unbeaten streak from September-October last season.

Portland are fourth in the Western Conference, six points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City, while RSL occupy the seventh and final play-off position in the west.

Los Angeles FC are three points outside the top seven following their 2-0 defeat to San Jose Earthquakes, while Vancouver Whitecaps are also on 33 points after topping Dallas 1-0.

The Union defeated Atlanta 1-0 thanks to Kacper Przybylko's goal with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Back-to-back wins sent Philadelphia up to fourth in the Eastern Conference as Atlanta's three-game winning streak came to an end to leave them eighth in the east and outside the post-season positions.

In other results, Supporters' Shield leaders New England Revolution were 2-1 winners over Orlando City.

The Revolution extended their MLS single-season record for wins by one-goal margins to 16. Nine of New England's last 10 MLS victories have come by a one-goal margin.

It continued Orlando's misery against New England – the team have never won at the Revolution (D1 L5), the only side they have visited more than three times without recording a victory in MLS play.

DC United prevailed 4-2 against FC Cincinnati, New York Red Bulls overcame rivals New York City 1-0, defending champions Columbus Crew won 2-1 against Montreal, Houston Dynamo lost 2-0 to Minnesota United, while Colorado Rapids and Toronto played out a 0-0 draw.

New England Revolution became the first team to qualify for the MLS Cup play-offs thanks to a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire.

Supporters' Shield leaders the Revolution booked their play-off spot courtesy of a 90th-minute winner from MVP candidate Carles Gil on Wednesday.

New England – 15 points clear atop the Eastern Conference and 10 points ahead in the Supporters' Shield race – entered the midweek clash amid a four-match unbeaten streak against Chicago – the Revolution's longest undefeated run versus the Fire.

They extended that streak in an entertaining showdown with hosts the Fire at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Henry Kessler opened the scoring for the Revs in the 11th minute before Chicago's Carlos Teran restored parity entering the interval.

The Revs and Fire traded goals via Teal Bunbury and Gaston Gimenez before substitute Gil struck at the death.

Nashville, who are second to New England in the east, crushed David Beckham's Inter Miami 5-1.

Inter Miami's club-record six-match unbeaten streak (W5 D1) ended with a 4-0 rout at the hands of New York Red Bulls last time out – it was only the club's second defeat in 12 matches following a six-game losing run.

But Inter Miami crashed to consecutive humiliating defeats in a match that saw Gregore sent off with four minutes of regulation remaining.

Hany Mukhtar's brace fuelled visiting Nashville, with Inter Miami ninth in the Eastern Conference and three points adrift of the play-off positions.

Meanwhile, the derby honours were shared between the Red Bulls and 10-man New York City following a dramatic 1-1 draw.

Patryk Klimala converted a 102nd-minute penalty to salvage a point for the Red Bulls.

Page 1 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.