Seattle show strength in-depth while Inter Miami face frustration in MLS play-off chase

With players out on international duty, Seattle Sounders had to rely on their fringe players this past weekend. Inter Miami, meanwhile, faced a tough defeat at the hands of fellow play-off chasers.

It was a quiet weekend in the MLS with only four games going on due to the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. All eight teams in action were also short-handed, with players leaving their teams to play for their home nations.

Inter Miami shutout again

Both Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls were looking to improve their play-off hopes when they clashed last Saturday. Unfortunately for Phil Neville and his men, it was the Red Bulls who bagged a home 1-0 victory.

Inter failed to get any offense going as they produced just one shot on target in 90 minutes and created no other chances.

Patryk Klimala's 25th minute winner improved New York's unbeaten run to six games.

New York Red Bulls forward PATRYK KLIMALA #10 reacts to an offside call during a regular season game at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY

Miami nearly tied it on an own goal, but Gonzalo Higuain was ruled offside by VAR in the buildup.

Miami are now in 11th place, six points behind the play-offs. They need to jump over four teams with just six games left to play.

Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville gestures from the sideline during the MLS match between Inter Miami CF and Atlanta United FC on September 29th, 2021

The Red Bulls, meanwhile, are up to ninth place with 37 points to their name. They could be tied for the last play-off spot should they win next weekend's derby against New York City FC and the right combination of other results.

Miami's next challenge is on the road against defending champions Columbus Crew - a side that sits one place ahead of them in the table. Planet Sport Bet has Miami at 31/10 to end the winless drought while the Crew are 3/4 and a draw is 14/5.

Seattle win without stars

Top of the table Seattle Sounders played this weekend without MVP candidate Raul Ruidiaz and Brad Smith. Hosting middling Vancouver, they used their depth for a 4-1 home win, scoring twice in both halves.

Shane O'Neill scored in the fifth minute to get Sounders off on the right foot, while Nicolas Benezet doubled the lead 10 minutes later. Leading 2-1 in the second half, Will Bruin scored to add to his earlier assist before Leo Chu scored his first MLS goal in stoppage time to cap off the win.

Seattle Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan (7) celebrates his first half goal with teammates during an MLS match between the Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders

Sounders are unlikely to catch New England for the Supporters' Shield as they trail by eight points with a game in hand. However, they lead the Western Conference by five points and are one step closer to making the West come through Lumen Field yet again.

Seattle travels to Houston on Saturday. Planet Sport Bet has the Sounders at 29/20 to get another win while Houston are 13/8 and a draw is 9/4.

Colorado bounce back

After a loss last week against Seattle, Colorado went to Minnesota United and won a battle of probable play-off teams. The 3-1 win on Sunday not only saw the Rapids come from behind, but they also scored three times after being reduced to 10 men.

Colorado changed their shape after losing defender Danny Wilson to a red card early in the second half. They tied the game with a penalty kick in the 73rd minute and took the lead with a Michael Barrios goal in the 84th minute.

A stoppage-time effort was the icing on the cake for a team playing without midfielder Kellyn Acosta, gone on USMNT duty.

Colorado Rapids players celebrate their win after the MLS pro soccer game between the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes on September 4, 2021

The Rapids not only moved a game clear in the battle for third place with Portland Timbers, but they are now just one point behind Sporting Kansas City for second place.

Minnesota United are in the last play-off spot, one point ahead of Vancouver. They are just two points away from fifth but sport a -3 goal differential after Sunday's two-goal loss.

Colorado travel to Real Salt Lake next weekend while Minnesota head south to Austin FC. Colorado are 21/10 with Planet Sport Bet, while RSL are 11/10 and a draw is 2/5. Minnesota, meanwhile, are 13/8 for a road win with Austin at 11/8, and a draw at 12/5.

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