Josef Martinez became the first player to score six hat-tricks in MLS as Atlanta United maintained their charge in the Eastern Conference with a 3-1 win over Wayne Rooney’s DC United.
Martinez continued his fine form in front of goal, taking his tally for the season to 22, while Rooney failed to find the net before being withdrawn on 67 minutes.
The competition’s leading scorer completed his treble with a coolly taken finish to keep DC United at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The win puts Atlanta four points clear of New York City at the summit, albeit they have played two games more than their nearest rivals in the standings.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 21, 2018
Third-placed New York Red Bulls sit a further two points back after two goals in the last 20 minutes gave them a 2-0 win over New England Revolution.
Daniel Royer converted a set-piece at the back post on 70 minutes before Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 99th goal in MLS with a late header.
Elsewhere in the East, Toronto registered a much-needed win thanks to goals from Sebastian Giovinco and Jonathan Osorio, and Columbus Crew scored twice in the closing minutes to edge Orlando City 3-2 in a five-goal thriller.
In the Western Conference, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored again as LA Galaxy recorded a 3-1 triumph over Philadelphia Union.
CJ Sapong gave the hosts a surprise half-time lead, but Ibrahimovic assisted Ola Kamara’s equaliser three minutes after the break to level the scores.
The 36-year-old Swede then blasted Galaxy into the lead, taking his tally to an impressive nine goals in his last six starts, before Michael Ciani scored late to add breathing space.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 22, 2018
The Galaxy close to within eight points of table-topping FC Dallas, who were held 1-1 by Houston Dynamo in the Texas derby.
Both goals came in the opening eight minutes, as Mauro Manotas cancelled out Matt Hedges’ first-minute strike.
Nicolas Lodeiro scored twice as Seattle won 2-0 against Vancouver, while Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers had home 2-2 draws with Colorado Rapids and Montreal Impact respectively.
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