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MLS Month One Update: Thiago Almada is Surging While New York is Struggling

MLS Month One Update: Thiago Almada is surging while New York is struggling for form with the first month of the season in the books. Many teams have exceeded expectations so far, including the newest expansion team, St Louis City SC.  Jordon Morris and Thiago Almada have also come out to hot starts, but Jose Cifuentes struggles with form.

Here is the full list of who’s hot and who’s not during the first month of the MLS Season:


Who’s HOT?



  1. Thiago Almada- Atlanta United

Thiago Almada returned to the MLS after winning the World Cup with Argentina and is tearing up the league. He also got his first goal for Argentina during a friendly against Panama. On top of this, he has 17 chances created and 16 crosses (five accurate).

  1. Jordon Morris-Seattle Sounders

Morris has already matched his total of goals from last year in just five games with a league-leading seven goals. This follows scoring four goals against Sporting Kansas over the weekend. He’s been slammed with injuries the past few seasons, but is determined to make this season his best one yet. He is already on pace to break his career high of goals for a single season. After a disappointing 2022 campaign, Morris will look to lead the team to the top of the West this season.

  1. Joao Klauss- St Louis City SC

Klauss was one of the best things to happen to St Louis. He has scored a total of five goals in five matches to extend the team’s record-breaking winning streak. The Brazilian spent a few seasons playing in Europe before agreeing to play for the MLS. He made the right decision, by scoring the most goals already since his 2019-20 campaign with Austrian side LASK.  He’s on pace to become an MLS-All Star, with a chance to lead his team to success.

  1. Cristian Espinoza- San Jose Earthquakes

Espinoza’s been one of the more underrated players so far, totaling one goal, two assists, and a league-leading 56 crosses. The midfielder has always been productive each season, ending 2022 with seven goals, nine assists, and 287 crosses. That was the second most in the MLS. He is the heart of the team’s midfield, creating chances and providing goals that often go unnoticed.



  1. St Louis City SC

There is no secret that St Louis has been the hottest team in the MLS so far. They’re one of the few teams left to be beaten while also winning all five matches thus far. They are the first-ever expansion team to start the season 4-0. That record is now extended after their monstrous 4-0 win against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. They currently lead the league in goals scored with 15 and conceded one of the least amounts with just three. It doesn’t look like their fire will end soon, making them one of the top teams in the West.

  1. Seattle Sounders

After a poor 2022 campaign, the Sounders are back to their elite status, currently sitting 2nd in the West. They’ve allowed the least amount of goals thus far with just two, while also scoring 10 in five matches. They looked solid during their 0-0 draw to LAFC on Mar 18, who’re currently the team to beat. Nevertheless, the Sounders will surely be a team to watch out for if their team can stay healthy.

  1. LAFC

No Bale? No problem. LAFC are picking up where they left off after their first MLS Cup title in December with an undefeated start. Despite a hiccup against Portland, LAFC have been able to keep control of each match, keeping their top form despite a few key players leaving in the offseason. They also advanced in the CONCACAF Champions League, where they will face the Vancouver Whitecaps for a spot in the semifinals. LAFC will look to become the second MLS team in a row to win the title.

  1. New England Revolution

Bruce Arena really turned things around after an underachieving 2022 season. They currently sit on top of the East and look to be back to their winning ways. Most of their help is thanks to goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic, who has a league-leading 25 saves. Looks to be that New England will remain one of the top teams in the league despite injury woes to their star player Carles Gil.


Who’s COLD?



  1. Lewis Morgan- New York Red Bulls

Morgan is coming off one of his best seasons in the MLS, tallying 15 goals in 2022. However, he has been cold to start the year, including a hip injury that has kept him out for two matches. He has failed to find the net in his first three games, totaling just 12 shots (four on target) along with just two crosses and two clearances. He was given the captain’s armband with the departure of Aaron Long to LAFC, but has not shown his full potential yet on the pitch in 2023 so far.

  1. Carles Gil- New England Revolution

The 2021 MLS MVP has not had the best start to the season as anticipated, starting in just two matches in four appearances thus far. Even with New England’s hot start, Gil is struggling to get his form together to play a full game. However, when he does play, he produces a total of 24 crosses already, but none of them have led to any assists thus far. With plenty of games remaining, Gil will surely find his form and get out of this slump in the next coming weeks.

  1. Jose Cifuentes- LAFC

It is odd to see Cifuentes on this list, as he helped lead LAFC to the Cup in 2022. He has only played in three matches so far, starting in just one. His form and fitness have led to two appearances off the bench, limiting his time to create chances for the team. Cifuentes missed last weekend’s game while on international duty with Venezuela. He will hope to get back into the starting XI for LAFC soon and repeat the year he had in 2022, where he totaled seven goals, six assists, 45 chances created, and 66 tackles (36 won).

  1. Zac MacMath- Real Salt Lake City

MacMath was one of the top goalkeepers in 2023, keeping 10 clean sheets while completing 111 saves. However, it has not been a fun start for the keeper this season, allowing nine goals in his first four matches. This is a big difference from his first four games last season, allowing just three goals with two clean sheets to open the campaign. This may also be due to the fact of their weak defense, but the veteran should be able to handle the pressure with seven years of MLS experience under his belt.




  1. LA Galaxy

Despite all the players signed over in the winter, the team has not been on a great start. They sit in 11th place in the West failing to win a match so far. Most of their problems are lack of goals, only recording two goals in four games. With Chicharito still out on injury, the team can’t find other ways to score. Serbian international Dejan Joveljic has done a decent job in his place, but not enough to get more goals for the team with just one thus far. Also with Joveljic out on international duty, the club was down to their third-string striker of Preston Judd, who also struggled to score. Galaxy still have time to turn things around once all of their players are back and healthy, but will have a big hole to climb if they want to finish higher in the table this year.

  1. Portland Timbers

The Timbers have been clobbered with early season injuries, limiting them to depth in the player’s chart. They have a total of 10 players on the injured list, including star players like Dairon Asprilla, Sebastian Blanco, Evander, Yimmi Chara, and Felipe Mora. This results in the team sitting in 9th place with five goals scored along with 10 allowed. It will be hard to see where Portland can end up this season after missing out on the playoffs in 2022 a season after winning the Western Conference.

  1. New York City F.C

The boys in blue continue to struggle without a true number nine after a few disappointing performances this season. They only sit in seventh in the East, winning both their home games, but failing to grab a win away. Their expectations for the year changed once Santiago Rodriguez returned to the team as their designated player. Until they find a striker, New York will see a tough time getting goals, giving them a challenge to compete in a very competitive Eastern Conference.

  1. New York Red Bulls

It is not much fun across the Hudson either with the Red Bulls also struggling to start the season. Despite adding some hardware in the offseason, the Red Bulls have only scored four goals with just one win, three draws, and a loss. This puts them in 11th place in the East, which is typically odd for the team that has constantly finished in the top six for the last several seasons. Their issue is their attack, with Elias Manoel struggling to produce with just one goal so far. It also does not help that Lewis Morgan has also struggled while also missing a few games with injury.


Players Still Waiting to Return from Injury this Month

  1. Chicharito- L.A Galaxy

Chicharito has yet to make his season debut after dealing with a hamstring injury. He is expected to return in April, with the Galaxy desperate for his return after their disastrous start to the season. The Mexican striker totaled his career high of goals for a single season in 2022 with 18 goals along with two assists.

  1. Taxiarchis Fountas- D.C United

The good news for United fans is that Fountas made his season debut off the bench last Saturday after missing the first four matches with a hamstring issue. He had 12 goals in 17 starts with D.C last season. If he can stay healthy this year, Fountas will surely have a monster year in the MLS.

  1. Emanuel Reynoso- Minnesota United

Reynoso is not injured, however has been suspended by the club for failing to report to preseason camp. He had a great season for Minnesota in 2022, totaling 11 goals and six assists. He should be able to return in April but is expected not to make a big influence until he gets a few matches under his belt.

  1. Dairon Asprilla- Portland Timbers

Asprilla underwent knee surgery in February and is close to making a return to the team after participating in team training this week. He had another season of 10 goals for the club, along with two assists in 2022. The Timbers are desperate to have him back on the team, with their several other injuries they are dealing with at the moment.

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