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MLS Saturday review: St. Louis continue to set the pace

St. Louis City continued their fine start to the season as they won their 12th game of the regular campaign to maintain their three-point cushion at the top of the Western Conference.

Bradley Carnell's side are currently competing in their inaugural campaign in the MLS, but they do not look like they are fading away after another impressive display.

Seattle Sounders are the team trying to catch them, but Los Angeles FC lost ground after another week without a win.

In the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati continue to lead the way despite a three-match winless run, and they have a seven-point cushion over Nashville SC, even with a game in hand.

How long can St. Louis maintain their title charge?

The critics and naysayers will expect St.Louis City to fall away in the coming weeks, but the MLS newcomers continue to silence their doubters under Carnell.

Their 1-0 win over struggling Toronto FC ties them for the fifth-most wins of any expansion club in MLS history, and they still have 13 games left of the regular campaign.

Their 1-0 success was made even more impressive by the fact that they picked up the three points without Joao Klauss and Eduard Lowen, their only two Designated Players. 

St. Louis' title credentials will be questioned again next weekend when they face third-placed Los Angeles FC away from home.

Pukki's party ruined by Austin FC

Teemu Pukki would have wanted a better week in his first few days as a Minnesota United player, but the former Norwich City man lost on his debut as his side fell to a 4-1 defeat to Austin FC.

On Friday, Minnesota technical director Mark Watson admitted Pukki's arrival was probably the biggest in the club's history, with the Finland international well known for his scoring exploits at Carrow Road.

However, he could do nothing to help his side from losing heavily, despite stepping off the bench in the second half.

Sebastien Druissi scored a brace during Saturday's contest as he helped his side move into fifth in the Western Conference.

Inter Miami's struggles continue

Inter Miami are still looking for their first win in the MLS since mid-May, but they at least showed some fight in a 2-2 draw against D.C. United.

Injuries are hampering Inter Miami's progress, and they remain rock bottom of the Eastern Conference. 

Thankfully for them, they have two games in hand, and will hope the arrival of Gerardo Martino as their new coach will inspire them to push on.

Lionel Messi is due to play his first game for the club later this month, but Inter Miami and Toronto face being cut adrift from the rest of the division in the coming weeks if they do not improve their results.

Rapids end nine-match winless streak

Colorado Rapids enjoyed a rare moment of joy as they beat FC Dallas 2-1, winning their first match in nine attempts.

Braian Galvan scored from the penalty spot for his first goal since 2021, while Andreas Maxso also scored his first MLS goal for the club. 

By winning their first match since May, Colorado moved to within five points of 13th-placed LA Galaxy, but the latter have won two in a row to improve their fortunes.

Elsewhere, Real Salt Lake ran out 4-0 winners over Orlando City SC, while Houston Dynamo played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City.

As the Eastern Conference leaders, FC Cincinnati currently lead the way in the betting at +400, with Los Angeles FC the next best in the betting at odds of +600.

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