MLS 2018: More Barco Than Bite

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
For all the hype around Atlanta United, this is an amazing stat. Just one win all season against the top eight teams in MLS:

 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
16,739
The 718
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.
Me too although I can’t claim to be a fanatic. Love the stadium.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
Early lead for NYCFC via a nice strike from Tajouri-Shradi. Yankee Stadium continues to be very, very small.
 

steeplechase3k

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
2,360
Portland, OR
The Philadelphia Union trolling NYCFC:

And on the stadium front in Portland, work had been going on all season on the expansion that will add ~4k seats. The first attached photo is from the middle of September. If you look to the left there is a peach colored building visible. For the second photo I'm standing in front of that building about a week ago. The concrete form they are building in picture 2 is to top level, but there will be roof supporting structure above that. It's HUGE. The only real problem is we might not play at home until almost May next year.
 

Attachments

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
NYCFC 3-1 Philly

NYCFC just had a bit too much firepower for the Union. Philly admittedly were totally jobbed by a penalty non-call when Bedoya was clearly fouled. Nonetheless, NYCFC have everyone healthy and I think they're just better than the Union right now. That being said, Philly had a nice year in which they exceeded expectations — most didn't pick them for the playoffs. They are investing in youth, which should pay dividends down the road. McKenzie and Trusty are a decent CB pairing who will provide inexpensive and improving quality over the next few years.

Big question for Philly: will their new GM keep Jim Curtin? I think Curtin has some tactical shortcomings, but his willingness to put faith in young players has accelerated their development. That's a good fit for an organization that doesn't like to spend all that much on salary, but is taking their academy very seriously.

Dallas 1-2 Portland

I didn't watch this one, but I'm not surprised to see Dallas lose. They are decent enough, but have been fairly blah to watch all year and never seemed to have that extra quality that you need to win intense playoff games.

Portland's watchability is up and down, but they have guys like Valeri and Blanco who are quality and who Dallas can't match. I'm pleased that under Savarese, Portland is finally putting faith in Jeremy Ebobisse up top and being rewarded for it (assist on the second goal last night).


Tonight:

DC vs. Crew. DC has been one of the most fun teams in the league over the second half of the season. The Crew are doing the best they can, but their attack is quite weak for a playoff team and they've struggled to score goals. DCU is the heavy favorite here.

LAFC vs. RSL. I have no idea what will happen here. RSL is bad on the road and Petke overthinks his lineups all the time, so LAFC could easily win this one 5-0. On the other hand, Bradley often uses the crazy aggressive CM pairing of Feilhaber and Nguyen. It often makes for some great soccer, but there are some real defensive frailties there.
 

speedracer

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,397
BONUS SAWKER in DC now

One impressive full-stretch save from each keeper in the second half
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
Win or lose, DC United feels like they are "back" as an organization with Audi Field + this late season run. The atmosphere feels fantastic — clearly miles better than NYCFC and Dallas yesterday.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
All Zack Steffen does is be epic in PK shootouts in the playoffs.

Tough for DC to have both Rooney and Acosta get stuffed.

Hey, a Higuain brother had a huge game when it counts...
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672

This makes sense to me. I get the sense that there could be a considerable roster purge this offseason. Obviously, some guys aren't good enough, while others seem to be misfits in Friedel's team and/or don't really want to be here: Agudelo, Rowe, maybe Fagundez.

Penilla and Caicedo are two of the last year's better acquisitions, although there's not much competition (Zahibo, Mancienne, Somi, Machado, Hauche.......).

The Revs have the reputation of a cheap organization. They've done a lot to earn that, but a big part of their problem is that they really struggle to identify good signings even when they are willing to open up the pocketbook. They are spending an outrageous $2.68m/yr on Mancienne, Dielna, and Delamea, all of whom are below-average MLS center backs. AFAIK, Mancienne is the highest-paid defender in the league.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
16,739
The 718
Win or lose, DC United feels like they are "back" as an organization with Audi Field + this late season run. The atmosphere feels fantastic — clearly miles better than NYCFC and Dallas yesterday.
Can you say more?

I see a lot of NYCFC gear around NYC - much moreso than RBNY stuff. Are they just passive fans? Or is it just the stadium?

Dallas (and Houston)... I dunno. Should one of them move to Austin? What can be done?
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
Can you say more?

I see a lot of NYCFC gear around NYC - much moreso than RBNY stuff. Are they just passive fans? Or is it just the stadium?

Dallas (and Houston)... I dunno. Should one of them move to Austin? What can be done?
With NYCFC I think a lot of it is the stadium. It's an atmosphere-killer, and it also looks terrible on TV. The field is tiny and the in-stadium camera angle makes it look even worse. OTOH, early-round playoff attendance is a great barometer of the size of your engaged/intense fanbase. The games are scheduled on very short notice, they usually aren't included in season-ticket packages, and are played on weeknights. There's no time to organize youth soccer group sales, etc.

LAFC sold out and DC's announced attendance was actually larger than the listed capacity of Audi Field. NYCFC drew ~15k and Dallas' announced ~10k was probably generous. The Revs usually run into this problem, too, since they have been so dependent on youth soccer sales. (Caveat: the 32k+ at the second leg of the Eastern Conference final in 2014 was legitimately an awesome crowd/atmosphere.)

With Dallas, they are just having a hard time connecting with the city. Being in Frisco isn't great, but Frisco has seen a crazy amount of development and it's really not the boonies any more. To be honest, no Hunt-owned team has been particularly great at marketing.

I don't think it makes sense to move out of a top-five metro area (Dallas is #4, Houston is #5), especially when there are solid facilities in place. Dallas have their own stadium, a HUGE youth soccer complex that I think is pretty lucrative, and they just finished building an adjacent facility for the National Soccer Hall of Fame there, which just moved from Oneonta.

Houston did well initially, but they've missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons. I think they just need to be good again.

Side note: I've been impressed with Minnesota's level of support given how crappy their front office, manager, and roster are. I hope they can give their fans a decent season at some point. Orlando owes their fans one, too.

LA Galaxy are the only 1990s-era MLS team in the top 10 in attendance this year.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
It's 0-0 at the half between Columbus and NYRB. The Crew rested Federico Higuain to start the game and are bringing him on for the last 45.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
The Crew rested Federico Higuain to start the game and are bringing him on for the last 45.
61th minute: Higuain makes a great flick into the path of Gyasi Zardes, who scores a nice one-touch finish from the edge of the box. 1-0 CLB.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
Steffen just made a HUGE save on a BWP header late in stoppage time. He's good and he consistently has ice in his veins in key situations.

Big win for Columbus, but at 1-0 it's far from over.
 

ThePrideofShiner

spooky action from a distance
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
6,294
Idaho
That save was incredible. Columbus probably should have had at least one more goal. They were strangely passive with the ball in the box down the stretch.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
That save was incredible. Columbus probably should have had at least one more goal. They were strangely passive with the ball in the box down the stretch.
Berhalter is the forward whisperer; he got 19 goals out of Gyasi Zardes in the regular season and now one during the playoffs. His secret for Zardes is to ensure that all Zardes has to do is a one-touch finish, which he's pretty good at in MLS. But when Zardes gets on the ball and has to make quick decisions....it's not a good thing.

Then they have their high-priced import Pedro Santos who is always pretty active but has no end product. He's like the Eastern Conference version of Dairon Asprilla.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
I like what Ebobisse has been doing lately. He's earning his keep now that he's finally gotten a chance.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
2-1 FT. Normally an acceptable result for Seattle, but concerning if Marshall and Roldan are out. Why is the second leg on Thursday instead of the weekend?

It's amazing that the Timbers only signed Valeri because their deal for Mix Diskerud fell through.
 

ThePrideofShiner

spooky action from a distance
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
6,294
Idaho
I'm on hour eight of MLS playoff games. This last one has probably been the most exciting. Two pretty nice goals, some great goal keeping by Rimando and a pretty good atmosphere. Of course, part of that was because the game at Yankee Stadium was a travesty. That field is so terrible for soccer.
 

steeplechase3k

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
2,360
Portland, OR
Seahawks play at home Sunday. Not sure why it's not on Friday like I originally saw scheduled.
My understanding that that there is an Auto Show at the Convention Center attached to Qwest Field and that prevents Friday. I'm not sure the exact reason, if the Auto Show will be using the parking lot then, or what, but that's my understanding.

I'll be there, I have Thursday off and will go to work on Friday in about 3-4 hours sleep.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,248
Can someone explain how these two game playoffs work?

I'm new to this. TIA
The short version is as follows:

  • Home and home, higher seeded team gets the second home game
  • The main way to win it is by aggregate total score of both games.
  • First tiebreaker is away goals scored. If still even after that, then it goes to extra time, then a penalty shootout
To put that in concrete terms, as I recall you're an Atlanta guy, with them winning 1 - 0 in NY, their scenarios look like so going into the home game:

  • If Atlanta wins or draws, then they win by aggregate goals over the two games
  • If Atlanta loses 0 - 1, then you're tied and go on to overtime and possibly penalties afterwards
  • If Atlanta loses by more than one goal, then they lose by aggregate goals
  • If Atlanta loses by only one goal, but the score is higher than it was in NY, then NYC wins because of that first tiebreaker, they scored more in Atlanta than Atlanta scored in NYC
As for why it's like that, I'd say think of it less as a very short version of a MLB/NBA/NHL style playoff series, and more like a single-elimination game that's extended, so homefield advantage is reduced from "you get the entire game" to "you get the second half of the game". I think they use it more often in European tournaments because those tend to be less rigorously seeded than American sports are and more randomly drawn, so instead of rewarding higher seeded teams with homefield advantage they're trying to minimize the impact of homefield advantage. MLS does seed more like an American sports league, so I am not 100% sure why they also do this format. Just part of the charm of still figuring out how to be an American soccer league, I guess.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
MLS does seed more like an American sports league, so I am not 100% sure why they also do this format. Just part of the charm of still figuring out how to be an American soccer league, I guess.
Yeah, MLS has never really figured out what the optimal playoff format is. The conference semifinals and finals don't really confer much of an advantage on the higher seed, thus better regular season performance is only rewarded in the play-in round and in MLS Cup.

The biggest problem is the November FIFA window. The two-week break between the end of the conference semifinals and the beginning of the conference finals is a big momentum-killer.
 

Monbo Jumbo

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 5, 2003
24,040
the other Duluth
Thanks for the info.

Given ATL's tendency for multi-goal, late-game collapses in the regular season, that 1-0 victory might not mean that much.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672
The Revs became the first team to announce their initial postseason roster moves.

https://www.revolutionsoccer.net/post/2018/11/05/revolution-announce-year-end-roster-moves

The Revs declined options on Dielna, Hauche, Hollinger-Janzen, Machado, Samayoa, and Segbers. No surprises there. Dielna isn't nearly worth his salary, Hacuhe was a comical signing, Machado didn't do anything, and the rest were fringe from day one. Segbers was the 9th pick in last year's draft, but that doesn't mean as much as it used to.

I was a bit surprised to see the Revs pick up the option on all three GKs, though perhaps one might be dealt. There are also rumors that Rowe and Fagundez may not stick around.

Only a handful of players had guaranteed contracts for 2019, including the youngster Angking (with whom I am intrigued), the Most Expensive Defender in MLS Michael Mancienne, and then Somi and Zahibo.

I have to wonder if Somi and Zahibo would still be around if they didn't have guaranteed deals.

Agudelo and Tierney are free agents. I expect Agudelo to walk. Tierney doesn't have much left in the tank, especially coming off an injury, but he's a one-club man and a local, so maybe he'll get one more tour of duty as an elder statesman.
 

Domer

Well-Known Member
Bronze Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
3,412
02148
Yeah, MLS has never really figured out what the optimal playoff format is. The conference semifinals and finals don't really confer much of an advantage on the higher seed, thus better regular season performance is only rewarded in the play-in round and in MLS Cup.

The biggest problem is the November FIFA window. The two-week break between the end of the conference semifinals and the beginning of the conference finals is a big momentum-killer.
Liga MX has a playoff system that starts after the international window, has the same number of matchdays, rewards teams with better records, and yet ends on the same weekend. This isn’t hard to figure out!

Also, you’re correct on Tierney, but Agudelo is not old enough to be a free agent.
 

ThePrideofShiner

spooky action from a distance
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
6,294
Idaho
Chad Marshall has a torn meniscus and has had surgery, so he's out. Roldan will be a game-time decision with a hip flexor.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
9,672

This has been rumored for a while. Dos Santos' stock has been rising for a while. He managed Ottawa Fury, then Swope Park Rangers, then led the one-year-wonder San Francisco Deltas to the NASL championship in 2017. They went bust, and MDS landed with LAFC as an assistant.

I don't know if he'll actually be good; the most recent trendy lower-division hire, James O'Connor in Orlando, hasn't gone swimmingly. I don't think he'd be any worse than Carl Robinson, though, and perhaps he'll be able to restore order to the Whitecaps' locker room, which aired a ton of dirty laundry about each other in an end-of-year presser.
 

Investor 11

Plobbably the greatest videographer ever
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2006
2,847
San Diego
The stadium initiative backed by a group hoping to bring an MLS team to San Diego at Qualcomm site was soundly defeated last night. A separate initiative backed by SDSU was approved. And while they have said they would be open to including the MLS group, I'm not sure I see them coming together on anything and really have trouble seeing them coming to any type of an agreement in a timeframe that MLS would stand by for.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,524
California. Duh.
Sounders were 15 minutes from winning the tie, Portland scored to seemingly win it, but now a sick 93rd minute goal from Ruidiaz has us on the verge of extra time.

 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,524
California. Duh.
And in the first 6 minutes of extra time we have a Timbers goal and a Sounders penalty. 4-4 on aggregate.

The Sounders penalty came on a Timbers handball literally seconds after another handball wasn't called after a video review.
 

Leskanic's_Thread

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
803
Los Angeles
Really glad I tuned into this game tonight. It's been great.

I assume that tomorrow there will be a lot of hand-wringing columns wondering how soccer can grow if the ending of epic playoff games are happening after midnight on the east coast.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,524
California. Duh.
OK, that went off Ruidiaz's hand and was properly called no goal, but the deflection happened so quickly and his hand didn't move towards it, so I don't know how that's a yellow for deliberate handball.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god and the penis of
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
11,524
California. Duh.
Haha, the Portland players were celebrating like they didn't realize that away goals aren't the tiebreaker after extra time. So they were playing the last 25 minutes thinking they didn't need to score to win?
 

Leskanic's_Thread

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
803
Los Angeles
Oof to the Portland players not knowing away goals don't count in extra time -- I wonder if that changed anything about how they played the last stretch of time?