Major League Soccer

MLS Week 4 review: Charlotte FC make history, Jesus Ferreira hat-trick & more

Chris Smith
Charlotte FC are officially on the board.
Charlotte FC are officially on the board. / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 in MLS is done and once again, we were treated to quality, chaos, and calamity in equal measure.

Only three of the league's 28 teams (NYCFC, LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes) failed to score a goal at the weekend - just a small taste of the fun.

History was made, points were won, and hearts were broken. Let's take a look at five of the biggest storylines.

1. Charlotte FC make history

Charlotte FC were desperately unlucky to head into Week 4 without a point. The 3-0 scoreline more than flattered DC United in their opener, it took an Efrain Alvarez golazo to beat them in their inaugural home match, and Atlanta United left it until the 96th minute to beat them at the Benz in Week 3.

But there was no stopping Major League Soccer's latest club this time. Right from the first whistle against the Revs on Saturday, Miguel Angel Ramirez's side passed with precision, pressed with ferocity, and looked hellbent on getting on the board.

A brace from Karol Swiderski and a late clincher from SuperDraft pick Ben Bender sealed a 3-1 win - their first in club history.

2. Bedlam at the Benz

If we were going to give out an award for 'Game of the Week', Atlanta United 3-3 CF Montreal would absolutely be the winner this time.

This titanic clash at Mercedes-Benz Stadium had it all. An early Josef Martinez strike, a comeback from Montreal thanks to some truly terrible Atlanta United defending, a red card for Dom Dwyer just three minutes after coming on, and two very late goals from Thiago Almada (his first for the club) and Brooks Lennon to snatch a point.

...and breathe.

Beers were thrown, clothes were lost, and no small number of Montreal hearts were broken. Atlanta United fans enjoyed that late equalizer, even if they won't want to go through it again.

3. FC Cincinnati turning a corner?

FC Cincinnati have won two games in a row! Yes, you read that correctly. FC Cincinnati, the three-year wooden spoon winners have taken six points from their last two games. They're eighth in the East!

After going pointless and goalless over two weeks against Austin FC and DC United, Cincy impressively won 2-1 away at Orlando City before seeing off Inter Miami 3-1 this weekend.

Sure, the Inter Miami tax rate seems to be increasing this season, but Cincy were still impressive. From the first whistle to the last, they moved the ball well, looked dangerous, and kept their visitors at arm's length. And what about Brandon Vazquez? Another brace!

Again, it's early days and we all know how hard Cincinnati can crash. But for the love of God, just let their supporters enjoy this mini hot streak. They deserve as much.

4. Jesus Ferreira bags first career hat-trick

Even though his time in the first team was short-lived, there was always going to be concern about how FC Dallas replaced Ricardo Pepi following his move to Augsburg.

On Saturday, his former partner in crime, Jesus Ferreira, made a huge statement that he could do just that with a first-ever career hat-trick.

Playing as a false-nine, Ferreira's opening three games of the season have actually been quite understated. The USMNT striker has been creating space for others rather than scoring himself.

But this time, it was the Ferreira show, with the 21-year-old netting twice with his right foot and once with his head, and even providing the assist for Paul Arriola's game clincher for good measure as Dallas crushed the Portland Timbers 4-1.

Now it's about making this a springboard to further goals and success for Ferreira.

5. The Ezra Hendrickson effect

This time last season, the Chicago Fire were 13th in the Eastern Conference, propped up only by FC Cincinnati. They'd already conceded nine goals and were yet to register a win.

Roll forward a year and they're all the way up in third, unbeaten, and with just one single goal conceded. Their last two games have been particularly impressive, beating DC United and Sporting Kansas City 2-0 and 3-1, respectively.

The Fire are defending with discipline and have an immensely talented goalkeeper in Gabriel Slonina just in case. More importantly, those big new attacking pieces like Xherdan Shaqiri and Kacper Przybylko are starting to connect.

There's a lot to credit the Fire for his winter, but the majority of credit must be given to new head coach Ezra Hendrickson, who has given Chicago supporters the sort of hope they forgot existed until now.

MLS Week 4 results:

  • NYCFC 0-2 Philadelphia Union
  • FC Cincinnati 3-1 Inter Miami
  • Toronto FC 2-1 DC United
  • LA Galaxy 0-1 Orlando City
  • Atlanta United 3-3 CF Montreal
  • Chicago Fire 3-1 Sporting Kansas City
  • Charlotte FC 3-1 New England Revolution
  • Minnesota United 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
  • Houston Dynamo 1-1 Colorado Rapids
  • FC Dallas 4-1 Portland Timbers
  • Real Salt Lake 2-1 Nashville SC
  • New York Red Bulls 1-1 Columbus Crew
  • Austin FC 1-1 Seattle Sounders
  • LAFC 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps