MLS 2018: More Barco Than Bite

Titans Bastard

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Please, please make this happen. Whether you love Klinsmann or hate him, I think everyone agree that him managing in MLS — and with the Galaxy in particular — would be epic theater.

 

Titans Bastard

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Him vs. Bradley could be a deeply spicy El Traffico
As a subplot, I could see Feilhaber scoring for LAFC and doing the functional equivalent of Clint Mathis tapping his watch, except to the opposing manager.

Word this morning is that Klinsmann is friends with Chris Klein and attends Galaxy games all the time. Alas.
 

Titans Bastard

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Carl Robinson is out at Vancouver.


I'm not a huge fan of Robinson's work with the Whitecaps, but the timing of this surprises me. Vancouver is four points out of playoff spot with four to play. I'm not sure what a sudden managerial change will accomplish here. I would have expected Robinson to finish out the season at least.
 

Titans Bastard

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PSA: Houston and Philadelphia are playing in the US Open Cup final on ESPN2 in about 40 mins.
 

Titans Bastard

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Rough night for Philly, who are the better team overall but had a bad night and who don't match up that well with Houston.

Losing to the Dynamo in finals is a familiar feeling.
 

Titans Bastard

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Huge win for DC last night in a six-pointer against Montreal. DC is now two points behind Montreal for the last playoff spot, with two games in hand and a favorable schedule ahead of them.

NYRB vs. Atlanta this afternoon. NYRB needs to win this to have any hope of catching ATL for the Supporters Shield. BWP is suspended for this one, which will make things very tough given their lack of quality alternatives at forward.
 

Titans Bastard

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BWP is suspended for this one, which will make things very tough given their lack of quality alternatives at forward.
NYRB lost Adams too (back spasms) but somehow are dominating the game and leading 2-0 late. The SS race is on.

Sure hope Adams will be back in time for the October friendlies.
 

Titans Bastard

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Freeman is supposedly one of the better '03s, but who knows. Among the developmental environments across MLS, KC's stock has been rising. Their academy products have been playing in USL, showing noticeable improvement, and getting chances in MLS. Lindsey and Busio will probably take on bigger roles next year. Freeman is a couple years away at least.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yesterday:

Montreal responded to their crushing loss at DC with a big win over Columbus. DC still controls their own destiny, but the Impact are going to make DC earn it.

Atlanta & NYRB both picked up three points, maintaining Atlanta's one-point edge at the top of the table. Atlanta has a slightly easier final two games, but they crucially lost Miguel Almiron to a hamstring injury in the 30th minute. An Almiron-less Atlanta will not be the same team; he's out for the next two games and we'll see about the playoffs.

Also, 16 year old left back George Bello started for Atlanta against the Revs and scored his first pro goal. He's a real talent on both sides of the ball and it's quite possible that everyone will know his name by the end of 2019.

Toronto has been officially eliminated — what a crap season from them, after the CCL final loss.

LA Galaxy might actually make the playoffs because RSL are so mediocre and because Mike Petke is one of the weaker tacticians in the league.

Philly has clinched a playoff spot and are now even in line to host one of the first round games.


Right now:

DC vs. Chicago, in a game that DC really should win if they're going to surpass Montreal.
 

Titans Bastard

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This guy edits a local San Jose site, but this report is being echoed by national media types, so it seems like it's real.

Almeyda would be an interesting hire. He managed Chivas to the CCL title over Toronto, but left in the summer due to disagreements with the board. On the flip side, Chivas were pretty bad in Liga MX last year, although Almeyda's teams were good in previous seasons.

He'll definitely be an improvement on Mikael Stahre, that's for sure.
 

Cellar-Door

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Any MLS watchers have insights on Miguel Almiron? He is being linked with a move to Arsenal over the winter, perhaps to replace Aaron Ramsey.
He was linked to West Ham as a Lanzini replacement and that's a decent comparison. A bit taller maybe faster, not as skilled or strong.
 

Domer

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The President of Liga MX is openly discussing the idea of a North American super league to commence after the co-hosted 2026 World Cup. Obviously there are lot of hurdles to clear, but I hope MLS leaps on the chance to hitch its wagon to Liga MX. I don’t think MLS owners want to pay players at that level though, so I have extreme doubts this will happen within the eight-year timeframe.

Any MLS watchers have insights on Miguel Almiron? He is being linked with a move to Arsenal over the winter, perhaps to replace Aaron Ramsey.
I don’t know why TB keeps insisting Stan Kroenke doesn’t want to pay MLS players!
 

Titans Bastard

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There is a LOT of smoke out there right now surrounding #SaveTheCrew...........

The rumors are that Precourt takes his franchise to Austin, but that the records, brand, and players stay in Columbus in a (legally speaking) new franchise under the ownership of Jimmy Haslam & an unknown minority partner who owns land suitable for a potential stadium.
 

Titans Bastard

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Not familiar with the background: what’s wrong with the current stadium?
Nothing's wrong with it, really, but it was the first soccer stadium built in MLS and it's a bit of an erector set that lacks the revenue-generating bells and whistles of most newer arenas. AFAIK it's also not in an ideal location, though it's not Foxborough-bad. It's not like RFK Stadium, which was literally falling apart.

Crew Stadium was built in 1999 and although it was done on the cheap, it was an enormous statement of intent at a time when the league was extremely close to folding.
 

Titans Bastard

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Another win for DC United this weekend, which vaulted them over Montreal into the playoffs for now. They have a one point advantage and a game in hand. They're playing well and it seems like they just have an aura about them that makes it very unlikely they'll miss out.

The Revs beat hapless Orlando City, but were officially eliminated. It was only their second win since June.
 

Dummy Hoy

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Getting relegated might actually be a long term positive for the Revs. They'll have to clear out a lot of dreck, they'll be forced to restructure the front office, and maybe the owner will even sell to someone with money to spend on the team. The fans will remain loyal I'd bet, and they'll have a decent shot to get back up. Plus, some fun road trips to new cities. I'm on board here, feeling positive despite the relegation.
 

Domer

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The weird thing about the Revs is they haven’t actually played poorly enough to be relegated. Since Bilello replaced Gulati after bottoming out in 2011, they’ve had the below finishes in the Supporters Shield table.

2012 16th of 19
2013 7th of 19
2014 5th of 19
2015 11th of 20
2016 14th of 20
2017 15th of 22
currently 16th of 23

Based on past history, the organization was fairly responsive when the Gulati/Nicol era went down in flames in the disastrous 2011 season, but it seems as long as the Bilello/Burns regime can claim they were only x amount of points away from the playoffs, they will continue to get plenty of rope from the Krafts. As long as they are just bad, not embarrassing, no big changes will occur.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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I wonder if the Krafts are keeping the Revs in the cupboard under the stairs just to eliminate them as potential competition for the Pats, because this level of neglect has to be intentional.

Maybe Arthur Blank can talk to his buddy Bob.
 

Domer

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Well this is a rare bit of good news; the Revolution broke ground on their new offices and training center just down the road from Gillette. The size and budget ($35 million) compare well to the new facility FC Cincinnati just announced.

 

Titans Bastard

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He signed a 3.5 year deal, which takes Rooney through his age 35 season (will turn 36 towards the end of the last year on this contract). Hmm...

WaPo had very recently reported that he would sign a 2.5 year deal for $13m and an undisclosed fee. This definitely doesn't seem like a slam-dunk move. It's not the big-money transfer I'd have made, but maybe he'll still score a bunch of goals.
This turned out to be a Very Bad Post.

DC won again last night and now are four points ahead of Montreal with two games left for each club. They even have an outside shot of hosting a first round playoff game.
 

Titans Bastard

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Atlanta and NYRB both won today. Atlanta takes a one point lead to Toronto next weekend, while NYRB hosts Orlando.

LA Galaxy won in Minnesota while RSL lost at Portland, which means that LA just need to beat Houston at home next week to sneak into the playoffs.

DC won, again, and now have 23 points out of the last 27 possible. They've clinched a playoff spot and, amazingly, can reach 4th place (and home field advantage in the play-in game) next week because NYCFC and Philly are playing each other.

Columbus choked at Orlando and can actually get knocked out of the playoffs if they lose to Minnesota and Montreal beats New England.

SKC beat Dallas in Dallas 3-0 to take the top spot in the West. They now have a two point advantage over FCD as well as LAFC, who they play next week. Because LAFC holds the tiebreaker over Dallas, the top seed will come down to the SKC-LAFC game.
 

Titans Bastard

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Numerous reports have Tata Martino leaving Atlanta United for the Mexican national team at the end of the MLS season.

linkk to AJC
Boca Juniors manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto is a rumored replacement. It's plausible, as GBS played for Columbus for a while and is known to like MLS. Someone who's won titles in Argentina won't want to go to the Colorado Rapids, but Atlanta is certainly not out of the question for that profile given what Atlanta has pulled off so far.


Also, Atlanta qualified for CONCACAF Champions League in 2019 based on their combined 2017/18 MLS performance.
 

Titans Bastard

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Latest update of this fantastic chart.



At least two of the top three teams will miss the playoffs.

The Red Bulls do amazing things.

Atlanta spends a lot on transfer fees, but not as much on salary as you'd expect.

New England's biggest earner is......uh...Michael Mancienne, who I think is the highest paid defender in MLS. MLS clubs including but absolutely not limited to the Revs have been making utterly atrocious decisions with spending relatively big money on shitty defenders. See: Galaxy, LA.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Riding the train home yesterday I dreamed of winning the lottery, buying the Revs, moving them to Boston, and hiring a real front office staff. Alas...
 

ThePrideofShiner

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So, as far as I can tell, here is what is at stake today.
East
1. Atlanta 69
2. NYRB 68
3. NYCFC 53
4. Philadelphia 50
5. DC United 50
6. Columbus 48
7. Montreal 46
Atlanta and NYRB are vying for the No. 1 seed.
With a win and NYCFC loss, Philly would get the No. 3 seed. A NYCFC win or tie gives it the 3 seed. Philly holds the tiebreaker on DC United because of overall wins.
Montreal can pass Columbus with a win for the 6 seed. If Columbus ties and Montreal wins, Montreal advances on total wins tiebreaker.

West
1. SKC 59
2. LAFC 57
3. FC Dallas 57
4 Seattle 56
5. Portland 54
6. RSL 49
7. LA Galaxy 48
SKC gets the No. 1 seed with a win or a draw
LAFC holds the goal differential tiebreaker with Dallas, so if they remain tied in the standings LA is the 2 seed
Seattle is the 2 seed with a win and LAFC and FC Dallas drawing or losing. With a win, Seattle holds the wins tiebreaker on FC Dallas
If Portland wins and the three teams above them all lose, LAFC would be 2, FC Dallas 3, Portland 4 (assuming they win by 2 goals or less), Seattle 5
RSL is on bye, so they have to hope the Galaxy lose or tie.
 

Titans Bastard

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Nice recap.

ATL is having a very rough time up north, down 2-0 to Toronto within 20 minutes.
 

Titans Bastard

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NYRB goes up 1-0 over Orlando. Definitely not good for Atlanta.

Right now Columbus and LAG are in, while Montreal and RSL are out but both could change with a goal or two.

SKC and Dallas on track for byes in the West.
 

Titans Bastard

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LA Galaxy have choked away a two goal lead and are currently outside the playoffs.
 

Titans Bastard

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Congrats to NYRB on the Supporters Shield. They're just a really well-run organization that's been consistently successful without a huge salary outlay. Tonight, they started four academy alumni, one of whom scored the winning goal, and another key CB who they picked up off the scrap heap and developed with their USL team.

LAG is out, so RSL survives to back into the playoffs.

Columbus is still playing due to a weather delay but have clinched since the Revs beat Montreal.
 

Titans Bastard

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Philly is currently getting drilled 3-1. It is so painful to watch soccer in Yankee Stadium. How does MLS let them keep playing on a U10 field?
Stadium-building in NY is tough and MLS let in the second NY team without a sound strategy to get something done. They'll be stuck there for a good while, I'd think.

And unless Columbus blows it against Minnesota, we're going to see NYCFC vs. Philly in that stadium again in a few days for the #3-#6 play-in game.
 

Titans Bastard

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#1 NYRB - bye
#2 Atlanta - bye
#3 NYCFC vs. #6 Philadelphia
#4 DC vs. #5 Columbus

#1 SKC - bye
#2 Seattle - bye
#3 LAFC vs. #6 RSL
#4 Dallas vs. #5 Portland

The conference semifinals re-seed.
 

Huntington Avenue Grounds

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Congrats to NYRB on the Supporters Shield. They're just a really well-run organization that's been consistently successful without a huge salary outlay. Tonight, they started four academy alumni, one of whom scored the winning goal, and another key CB who they picked up off the scrap heap and developed with their USL team.
Lost their coach midway through the season as well, but they just keep churning along. As (probably) the only RBNY fan on the board, it was a fantastic day for the Red teams, and miserable for the blues. Sincerely wish the Revs had a setup like RB; stadium, academy and vision.