MLS Preview: Inter Miami bid to keep faint play-off dreams alive against FC Cincinnati

Return to winnning ways may still be too late for Neville's men, while LA Galaxy looking to build on Houston thrashing when they travel to FC Dallas.

The MLS regular season is winding to a close and this week was a multi-game week for most of the teams in the league. Wednesday featured 12 games with 24 of the 27 teams in action. A couple of play-off spots were secured, other teams were eliminated, and there was some major jockeying of positions in the standings.

MLS play-off picture

New England Revolution Nigel Robertha Felipe Martins Oct21

In the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders secured a top-four finish with a 1-1 draw against third-placed Colorado Rapids. The Sounders have played one more game than Sporting KC, but they are in first place by six points and have a 13-point advantage over fifth-placed LA Galaxy with four games left.

The Sounders are the only team in the West who have locked up a play-off spot, while both Sporting KC and Colorado Rapids can join them this weekend with wins if Real Salt Lake fail to secure three points. Meanwhile, Austin FCFC Dallas and Houston Dynamo have been eliminated.

The draw from Seattle secured the Supporters Shield for New England Revolution, who beat DC United 3-2 on Wednesday. No other teams in the East have secured a play-off spot, as New York Red Bulls didn't play midweek. However, FC CincinnatiToronto FC and Chicago Fire have been eliminated.

Inter Miami stay alive with win

For the first time since September 14, Phil Neville's Inter Miami squad got a win. On Wednesday, they beat Toronto FC, the same team they beat before beginning their seven-game losing streak. The 3-0 win also marked the first time the Herons have scored more than one goal in a game since beating the same Toronto team 3-1 on August 21.

Federico Higuain got the scoring started in the 10th minute. He was a surprise starter for Miami, playing in the attacking midfield role behind his brother Gonzalo. The goal came after a horrible giveaway from the Toronto keeper, and TFC ultimately iced the game with an own goal, 11 minutes into the second half.

Returning home for the first time in five games, Inter Miami found their offense with 17 shots and six on goal. They also completed over 90 per cent of their passes, stringing together their best offense in months to beat Toronto for the third time this season.

The Herons face another must-win on Saturday when they host rock-bottom FC Cincinnati. Miami are in 11th place with 35 points, six points and four places off the final play-off spot.

LA Galaxy bring Houston down to earth

Jonathan Bond LA Galaxy vs Houston Oct21

A full-strength LA Galaxy went to Texas and came home with all three points, crushing Houston Dynamo 3-0. Sacha Kljestan made it 1-0 in the 39th minute with a penalty and an own goal six minutes later doubled the lead. Chicharito set up Kevin Cabral right after half-time, as the Galaxy put the game away.

Jonathan Bond was on his game in goal for the Galaxy, making seven saves as Houston outshot the Galaxy. The Galaxy are now in fifth place, a point behind Portland Timbers and a point ahead of Minnesota United.

The Galaxy have just three games left in the season, and they travel to already-eliminated FC Dallas on Saturday night. 

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