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Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Titans Bastard, Mar 2, 2018.
Awaiting details on this:
"Campeones Cup" in August, which will be Toronto vs. the top Mexican club
An all-star game against a collection of Liga MX players
Eh. We'll see if this grows into anything more significant.
It's a CCL doubleheader tonight. First up, NYRB will be defending a 2-0 aggregate lead at Red Bull Arena. It appears that they're rolling out Jesse Marsch's 3-3-3-1 for the first time this year.
Then, Toronto will try to hold onto a tenuous 2-1 lead on the road against Tigres.
Sean Davis is suspended for NYRB. That could be a significant loss given how influential he's looked early in 2018. Florian Valot, a guy recently promoted from their USL team, is starting over recent German acquisition Marc Rzatkowski. Kaku available off the bench tonight.
Lost boy Rubio Rubin is starting for Tijuana. One-time US U17 Alejandro Guido is on the bench for the Xolos.
Ugh. Tijuana 1-0....and possibly offside, though there was no good replay. Both sides had previously hit the crossbar.
Rubin with the assist.
Tijuana player should've seen red, but gets a yellow.
Look at this bullshit:
Wow. Fingertip save by Robles on a really nasty curling shot. Almost 2-0.
NYRB not inspiring confidence at the moment.
Adams!! NYRB get one on the break. 1-1 now.
Possibly a hair offside, but TJ's goal was even more dubious.
Rzatkowski on for Muyl in the second half. Not a shock, given how awful Muyl was tonight.
Toronto rolls out their standard 3-5-2.
Van der Wiel starting at RWB over Auro. Victor Vazquez is only fit enough to make the bench.
2-1 NYRB, Rzatkowski.
Another counterattack and this time it's Kaku from a nice ball from BWP. 3-1!!
So weird to see an MLS team pour it on late in a second leg like this.
15th minute injury sub, Auro for Morrow. Not ideal.
Tigres has been controlling the game as expected, but haven't generated too much danger.
Last ditch block off the line by Mavinga saves a goal after Eriq Zavaleta was beaten by Gignac.
Christ, Drew Moor - who is looking old and creaky tonight - nearly scored an own goal with the last kick of the first half. 0-0 still.
Toronto is holding on, but they'll need to get a goal somehow because Tigres is going to score sooner or later. Now we enter the second half in Mexico with the MLS club under siege, clinging to a tenuous lead....
Toronto gets an own goal after a Tigres defender mishandled a Giovinco pass across the box. Excellent ball from Osorio to play Giovinco in.
3-1 on aggregate and Toronto gets their all-important away goal. MUCH more pressure on Tigres now, but there's a LOT of soccer yet to be played.
Just like that, Eduardo Vargas responds for Tigres. Header off the corner.
I'm filled with an overwhelming sense of dread right now.
FUCK YES GIOVINCO!!!!!!
Giovinco draws a FK, scores a FK.
Toronto now up 4-2 on aggregate and has the away goals advantage. Tigres need three. With ET now impossible, Delgado is pulled for Victor Vazquez - a somewhat offensive-minded sub for Vanney.
Expecting some temper tantrums for the last 15 minutes.
Gignac scores after a messy clearance. 2-2 now, 4-3 on aggregate....
Three minutes of stoppage.
Wow. PK for Tigres in stoppage after a handball is called followi. Not much the defender could have done there.
Gignac scores. 4-4 on agg, Toronto ahead on away goals. Not much time left....... GAH
THAT'S IT!!!!!! TFC is through!
Getting past this Tigres team is a damn fine achievement.
After that first half, I definitely was not expecting TFC to lose the game but get through on away goals. Wow.
Wow. With Chivas in very poor form both on-field and off and down 0-1 in the first leg in Seattle, there's a realistic chance that MLS will go 3-0 vs Liga MX teams in this round.
I've watched way too many CONCACAF Champions Cup / CONCACAF Champions League games over the last 10+ years. The first tournament I paid close attention to was the 2007 edition, back when it was an eight-team knockout tournament. Houston squeaked by a lesser Costa Rican club, then beat Pachuca 2-0 at home in the semifinals first leg. They even scored two goals down in Mexico and held a late aggregate lead, but coughed up the equalizer in the 86th minute, then blew it in extra time. This was a classic introduction to MLS in CCL.
So many times, the ability and/or psychological strength needed to win these series just wasn't there. Once the CCL was formed for the 2008-09 season, which created a lengthier schedule, we also saw a lack of depth and a lack of interest manifest themselves. MLS backups just didn't have the quality, so squad rotation killed performances. Other times - like the Revolution's notorious 6-1 aggregate loss in CCL qualifying to now-defunct Trinidadian club Joe Public - MLS clubs cared so little about the competition that their performances were tantamount to throwing the match simply to avoid the six group stage games.
In the first two years, only two out of nine MLS clubs made it out of the group stage. RSL made it to the final in the third edition in 2010-11 (without having to play any Mexican clubs in the knockouts until the final). In 2011-12, FC Dallas became the first MLS club to win a match in Mexico with a group stage win over Pumas, but they didn't even advance to the quarters.
A mediocre Montreal team made it to the final in 2014-15 with a miracle SF win over Pachuca, but they never truly had a chance in the final. In 2015-16, four MLS teams qualified for the QF for the first time, but all four got bounced by Mexican opposition.
So it's truly amazing to me to see a team pummel a midtable Mexican club like Tijuana and another team outlast a titan like Tigres. These things just didn't happen before.
Seattle can make it an astounding three for three tonight, but it's going to be tough. In their favor: a one-goal lead, if they score they'll have the away goals edge, Chivas isn't that good. Headwinds: they are on the road, Nicolas Lodeiro is out which badly hurts their creativity.
Seattle has two quasi-DP's as midfield backups in Gustav Svenson and Magnus Wolff Eikrem. After the CSL changed it rules on international players, their Chinese teams bought them out and they signed in Seattle with TAM. But they are both DP-level crafty European players. I also don't think Jordan Morris is a major loss as Shipp and Bruin have been more productive anyway. TAM has solved a lot of the depth problems MLS teams have had in playing against Mexico.
I am more worried about Seattle being physically incapable of matching up with even Chivas' backups. The Sounders can be exposed as old and slow even by some bad MLS teams.
Svensson is a solid player, but he's not at all a creative type who can replace what Lodeiro does. Plus, Svensson will probably be needed alongside Roldan because Alonso is injured. I forgot about Eikrem, though. He's looked good early on, but hasn't been 100% fit. If he's good to go, that could be a big help in terms of creativity.
This Seattle Times article says the lineup will be:
Wolff Eikrem -- Dempsey -- Shipp / Wingo
Svensson -- Roldan
Francis -- Torres -- Marshall -- McCrary
Leerdam is traveling with the team, but he's still not fully fit. McCrary at RB could be a liability. Shipp has more experience but I'd be tempted to start Wingo. Bruin+Eikrem+Dempsey+Shipp would be a very slow bunch. Wingo has some pace and was a real spark off the bench in Leg 1 (set up the goal, too).
No Lodeiro? That doesn't seem to be a good recipe for a win tonight.
Bruin going off injured eight minutes in is less than ideal with an already thin bench for Seattle.
Chad Marshall bashed heads and had a ridiculous swollen eye. Came back on for about 5 minutes before leaving for South Korea's Kim's debut on defense.
The Sounders have already used two subs and are in serious trouble.
South Korean Kim Kee-Hee has three fouls in six minutes leading to a Chivas goal off a free kick.
It would be disappointing to lose thanks in part to Chivas concussing two guys and using crafty play to take advantage of Kee-Hee, but that's CONCACAF.
Sounders needed to win the home leg by more than 1. It's all coming apart now.
That was an ugly performance injuries or not. The Sounders should've won the home leg 3 or 4-0. But the injuries to Bruin and Marshall were costly.
I had a bad feeling about this game and I'm glad I didn't stay up for it.
First assist in MLS for Andrew Carleton this weekend in his first appearance of substance:
That's a nice ball, though the Whitecaps' defense was poor in giving him so much time on the ball at the corner of the box.
Another player who impressed from the last U17 team, Chris Durkin, has been getting some minutes off the bench for DC early this year:
Durkin is a real #6/DM type.
Another US U17 goes pro early in the cycle. Scally is a right back from Long Island.
That's the fourth US U17 to sign an MLS deal this cycle; three more have signed USL deals. In the past, most of the U17 team would wind up in the NCAA. However, only one field player from the last U17 cycle is slated to play NCAA soccer and it looks like this cycle will have a similar theme.
Other moves from the last week or so:
Colorado badly needs a forward, so they signed Yannick Boli, a 30 year old French forward. Boli had stints in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, and most recently China and had halfway decent strike rates at most of his clubs. His resume doesn't indicate that he'll light the league on fire, but he'll be better than Jack McBean and Dominique Badji.
Montreal signed 28 year old Uruguayan midfielder Alejandro Silva from Lanús. Not entirely sure how he fits into the Impact just yet as I don't have a feel for Remi Garde's system.
LAFC signed the excellently-named 18 year old winger Shaft Brewer.
Brewer is from Sacramento, left the Republic's academy for FC Dallas for a bit, then had a short stint at RB Leipzig. Because it's MLS, LAFC had to toss a little cash to FC Dallas for his rights within the league.
ESPN did their annual player survey, which is always interesting.
Most overrated player: (1) Gio dos Santos, (2) Bradley, (3) Altidore
[Bradley and Altidore were really good for Toronto last year, but they are still being paid a premium that they wouldn't get if they weren't domestic stars.]
Most underrated player: (1) Ignacio Piatti, (2) Dax McCarty, (t3) Cristian Roldan & Wil Trapp
Coach you want to play for: (1) Vieira, (t2) Martino & Berhalter
Coach you don't want to play for: (1) Cabrera, (t2) Olsen & Pareja
[This comment is classic: "Whoever is coaching New England -- doesn't matter which coach it is."]
Hardest place to play: (1) KC, (2) Atlanta, (3) Portland
[This comment is also classic: "I always think New England is tough because the crowds are pretty small, and the field's not great, and it's just a weird vibe going into that game."]
LA Times soccer writer:
EDIT: Wahl reports that it's 2 yrs / $3m. Using TAM to buy down his cap hit, Zlatan won't even have DP status.
It's ZLATAN!! so it will be fun and highly quotable. Not sure that he's a great fit for the Galaxy squad, but we'll see.
Woah; Zlatan is my favorite player ever. Wish he was going someplace other than LA, but it makes sense.
This seems like another Steven Gerrard signing for LA where they have targeted a superstar player for his profile rather than his fit with the team. Schweinsteiger has been great for Chicago, though, and that was a similar "acquire a legendary player and worry about the fit later" signing.
ZLATAN took out a full page ad in the LA Times and it is gold.
Came here to post this. He is awesome. If he agrees that the quality and physicality of the league are better than anti-MLS snobs think, he may be able to move the needle a bit in that regard.
It would be fun if Zlatan is ready to get on the field in time for the Galaxy - LAFC game on 3/31. There's a faction on Twitter that is trying to brand the LAG-LAFC game "El Tráfico". I approve.
and if he doesn't, I'm not sure how diplomatic he'll be able to be about it, which could be fun in a completely different way.