MLS Review: Atlanta claim first home win, Sporting KC and Revs in eight-goal thriller
MLS champions Atlanta United won their first home game of the season to ease pressure on Frank de Boer, while Sporting Kansas City and New England Revolution drew 4-4.
Atlanta overcame fellow strugglers and winless Colorado Rapids 1-0 courtesy of Julian Gressel at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.
Struggling for form since former Inter and Crystal Palace boss De Boer replaced Gerardo Martino at the start of the season, Atlanta finally gave their fans something to celebrate on home soil following two draws and a loss.
Gressel's goal with 16 minutes remaining gave Atlanta their second win in five matches, though the titleholders remain 10th in the 12-team Eastern Conference and four points adrift of the top seven while the Rapids are bottom in the west with just two points.
New York City occupy the seventh and final playoff spot in the east following their 1-1 draw at home to Orlando City, whose Nani scored his fifth goal in four games.
It was an eight-goal thriller in Kansas City, where Sporting and nine-man New England shared the points on Saturday.
Sporting KC rescued a draw thanks to Krisztian Nemeth's 83rd-minute equaliser against the visiting Revolution, who had Brandon Bye and Jalil Anibaba sent off in the second half.
New England opened the scoring and led 3-1 and 4-2 thanks to Juan Caicedo's first-half brace before Sporting KC rallied and capitalised on their numerical advantage through Nemeth and Felipe Gutierrez – the pair netting two goals apiece.
Philadelphia Union lost ground on Eastern Conference leaders DC United after a 1-1 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas played out a goalless stalemate with San Jose Earthquakes and lowly New York Red Bulls accounted for FC Cincinnati 1-0.
Houston Dynamo were too good for Columbus Crew 2-0, while Toronto lost 2-1 at home to Portland Timbers – who claimed back-to-back victories.