MLS 2018: More Barco Than Bite

steeplechase3k

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I got 2 hours of sleep after getting home from Seattle at 3am. But it was worth it.

The away section is at the opposite end of the field from this and it's still LOUD.
 

Titans Bastard

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RSL is the weak link among the eight remaining teams and it's showing in KC right now.
 

Titans Bastard

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Well, RSL made it close but ultimately came up short against SKC. SKC had a real panicky stretch towards the end where RSL were unfortunate not to equalize (and take the lead on away goals).

Atlanta are now closing out the series against NYCFC, where they have thoroughly outclassed the opposition. NYCFC has not been the same since Vieira left.
 

Titans Bastard

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Red Bull Arena is BUZZING right now after Royer broke open this game.

IF the result holds (CLB needs two), the NYRB-Atlanta final is going to be awesome.
 

Cellar-Door

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USMNT can announce whenever they want now. Might want to wait a bit to:
1. Pretend that they're running a real search
2. Get some distance from their first choice getting obliterated in a first round MLS playoff series
 

Titans Bastard

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USMNT can announce whenever they want now. Might want to wait a bit to:
1. Pretend that they're running a real search
2. Get some distance from their first choice getting obliterated in a first round MLS playoff series
On #1 — I sure hope the USSF is done pretending to have a serious process and will just get it over with.

On #2 — I think that's a bit harsh. The Crew just don't have the horses to keep up with a team like NYRB. They were stuck with two starting wingers who aren't good in Meram and Santos (Meram used to be good but has been bad this year) and have a weak bench.
 

Cellar-Door

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On #1 — I sure hope the USSF is done pretending to have a serious process and will just get it over with.

On #2 — I think that's a bit harsh. The Crew just don't have the horses to keep up with a team like NYRB. They were stuck with two starting wingers who aren't good in Meram and Santos (Meram used to be good but has been bad this year) and have a weak bench.
Meh, you lose 3-0 it's a beatdown. Generally the thing about Berhalter isn't that he's bad, it's that he shouldn't be anyone's first choice. A guy whose major claim to fame is getting low payroll clubs into the playoffs of MLS is not someone who should be the first and only option, and there is no way Berhalter would be if his brother didn't work for USSF. He'd be the guy you hire after the first 3 or 4 guys on your list said no. Maybe 2 or 3 if you insist on someone who is a native English Speaker with MLS experience (2 unbelievably stupid criteria, but USSF criteria nonetheless).
 

Titans Bastard

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Meh, you lose 3-0 it's a beatdown. Generally the thing about Berhalter isn't that he's bad, it's that he shouldn't be anyone's first choice. A guy whose major claim to fame is getting low payroll clubs into the playoffs of MLS is not someone who should be the first and only option, and there is no way Berhalter would be if his brother didn't work for USSF. He'd be the guy you hire after the first 3 or 4 guys on your list said no. Maybe 2 or 3 if you insist on someone who is a native English Speaker with MLS experience (2 unbelievably stupid criteria, but USSF criteria nonetheless).
I don't disagree with any of this; I just don't view tonight's game as a demerit on Berhalter.
 

Titans Bastard

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Happy trails to a long-time Rev who is a local and who finished his career as a one-club man.

 

Titans Bastard

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Oscar Pareja is reportedly leaving FC Dallas for Tijuana

Everyone's leaving for bigger jobs/leagues these days. Marsch, Vieira, Tata, Pareja, almost certainly Berhalter. That's a good thing.

Vacancies heading into the winter:
Atlanta (Martino)
Dallas (Pareja)
Columbus (Berhalter, almost certainly)

Possibilities:
LAG (will Kinnear be made permanent?)
Chicago (Paunovic is out of contract)

Already made the change
SJ (Stahre --> Almeyda)
Vancouver (Robinson --> dos Santos)

Probably will stay even though they shouldn't
Colorado (Hudson)
Minnesota (Heath)
 

Titans Bastard

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Excellent performance from Atlanta today, and a brutal result for NYRB.

That overturned NYRB goal was a very tough break, even if it was the right call. Without the away goal, it's so hard to see Atlanta falling short in the second leg.
 

Titans Bastard

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Orlando fired their GM Niki Budalic.

https://theathletic.com/676466/2018/11/26/niki-budalic-fired-as-orlando-city-general-manager-of-soccer-operations/

They will enter their fifth season on their fourth GM and third manager since entering the league in 2015. Orlando is such a tire fire. My favorite anecdote from this past season: they triggered Will Johnson's (expensive) option for 2019 by starting him in a meaningless end-of-season game out of position on the wing instead of giving an opportunity to a young player. The staff didn't even know his contract was structured that way.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I don't have great context, but is the quote here as super unambitious as I think it is?
“We’re 10 years into this,” said Scales. “We’re planting a garden, and now we’re starting to see the fruits of that. It’s happened over the course of this decade that you have guys like Isaac and Firm and a number of other guys that are progressing to the point where you can see that they’re almost ready.

“We hope that over the next 10 years that there’ll be four, five, six, seven, eight more guys so that (head coach) Brad (Friedel) can use these guys to make an impact on the field on Saturday nights.”
Between 4 - 8 first team players over the next decade seems like a super low number to me

https://www.revolutionsoccer.net/post/2018/11/27/revs-starting-see-fruits-academy-system-players-angking-firmino
 

Titans Bastard

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I don't have great context, but is the quote here as super unambitious as I think it is?


Between 4 - 8 first team players over the next decade seems like a super low number to me

https://www.revolutionsoccer.net/post/2018/11/27/revs-starting-see-fruits-academy-system-players-angking-firmino
I'd actually love to see comprehensive data on how many academy players come through to the first team at various clubs. I'd be particularly interested in leagues that are roughly the caliber of MLS, as opposed to the EPL where few academy players make it to the first team for fairly clear reasons.

If we had the numbers, I'd guess that 4-8 would turn out to be a very wide range where 4 would be pretty crappy and 8 would actually be pretty solid.
 

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David Villa departs NYCFC after four very good years. It's probably the right move for the club, as Villa is now 36 and had a less productive, somewhat injury-prone year in 2018.

 

Titans Bastard

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NYRB is going out with a whimper. After dominating Atlanta earlier in the season, they are now at 160 minutes in the playoff series without a goal.

NYRB's pressing style hasn't been able to get them over the hump in the playoffs and in CCL when their opponent sits deep, counters, and doesn't allow there to be turnovers in crucial moments and places.

The idea was that Kaku would be the secret sauce that allows NYRB to break down an opponent with deep, tight defensive blocks, but Kaku hasn't been quite as good over the last few months as he was in the summer.

Since Adams is so important to their press, they are really going to have to retool their system in 2019 when he's gone to Germany.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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The 718
Red Bulls just had no way to "ask questions" of the Atlanta defense.

KC is running Portland ragged in the first half.
 

DrewDawg

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And now the KC fans are throwing things on the pitch and ref has removed teams from field as Vermes goes out and scolds the crowd.
 

Kliq

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If you don’t think you like MLS, flip on ESPN for these last ten minutes.
 

DrewDawg

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One minute of extra time added to the extra time, but Valeri ices it with his 2nd. It seemed like SKC was on a power play for last 25 minutes of that match. Wow.
 

SoxFanInPdx

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Amazing match. Onto Atlanta now!

Should have never been 9 minutes of added time to begin with. SKC fans throw shit on the pitch and they get awarded for it. Bush league.
 

Kliq

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Portland also caught a break by not being down a man for the last 20 minutes of the match.
 

Titans Bastard

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Titans Bastard

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The CCL first round draw was made tonight.

Marathón (HON) vs. Santos Laguna (MEX)
Herediano (CRC) vs. Atlanta United

Independiente (PAN) vs. Toronto FC
Sporting Kansas City
vs. Toluca (MEX)

Guastatoya (GUA) vs. Houston Dynamo
Saprissa (CRC) vs. Tigres (MEX)

Atlético Pantoja (DOM) vs. NYRB/Portland
Alianza (ESA) vs. Monterrey (MEX)

SKC was the one unseeded club from MEX/USA/CAN, so they are stuck with the toughest first round matchup.

NYRB/Portland comes down to MLS Cup. If Portland wins, they're in. Atlanta has already qualified due to having the best record in 2017/18, so if they win the spot reverts to the second best team over that time span, which is NYRB.

It's hard to gauge who has the best chance without knowledge of the winter transfer window.
 

steeplechase3k

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Work continues on he stadium expansion in Portland. The Timbers could spend a HUGE portion of the early season next year on the road.

https://www.oregonlive.com/timbers/2018/11/portland-timbers-expect-to-play-first-12-games-on-the-road-in-2019-due-to-construction-at-providence-park.html

The Timbers began construction on a $70 million-plus stadium expansion project to add 4,000 seats to Providence Park shortly after Thanksgiving in 2017. As of October, they were on track to finish construction by Spring 2019. But Portland’s deep run in the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs forced the club to delay certain facets of its construction plan. Had Portland missed playoffs, the club would have stopped competing at Providence Park in October. Instead, the Timbers didn’t play their final home game of the season until Sunday.

Timbers President of Business Mike Golub said Monday that the playoff run has slightly impacted the timeline around stadium expansion. He said the club now expects the expansion project to be completed by late May or early June 2019.
Live construction camera here:
https://www.senserasystems.com/public/TurnerConstructionPortlandJob3/M78835366254

One of the big challenges of this construction is that just below the field level there is a 100+ year old brick culvert that holds Tanner Creek. it is close enough to the surface that large construction equipment can't drive over it. In the camera shot as it is now, there is a "bridge" in the lower left corner that allows larger trucks to drive across. They are currently taking down the roof that was added for the 2011 MLS Season.
 

Titans Bastard

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Onyewu lands a front office job in Orlando working with their USL team.

 

Titans Bastard

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#SaveTheCrew marches forward. The sale to the Haslam group hasn't been finalized yet, but a new stadium plan is coming together.

 

Titans Bastard

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LA Galaxy are close to hiring Dennis te Kloese as GM. He is respected for his work at Chivas and the Mexican federation (where he spearheaded the recruitment of Jonathan Gonzalez). I expect him to be a massive improvement over the rudderless clown show run by Chris Klein and Pete Vagenas. LA Galaxy has for years had a slapdash transfer strategy centered around chasing shiny objects and overpaying for mediocre foreign talent (Michael Ciani! Jorgen Skjelvik!) instead of building a coherent team. They have also been awful at getting anything out of their academy and USL team, despite sitting on an incredibly talent-rich market. They are currently paying the price, as two of their best prospects are bolting for Germany (Alex Mendez to Freiburg and Uly Llanez to Wolfsburg).



The Sounders are reported to have signed Jordan Morris to a new five-year contract worth $1m/year. That's quite an investment in a guy who is coming back from a blown ACL.

https://theathletic.com/698157/2018/12/06/jordan-morris-signs-massive-new-contract-with-seattle-sounders/
 

Titans Bastard

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MLS Cup is tomorrow. Atlanta United are viewed as heavy favorites, given their quality and home field advantage. Their first two years have been incredible, but they are about to go through a transitional moment: Martino is leaving, Almiron is very likely to be sold, perhaps Martinez as well.

The Timbers are also well-organized and well-coached and they have the ability to be tough defenders who counterattack well. The Diegos will need to have huge games.

@steeplechase3k, are you traveling for this?
 

Titans Bastard

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God damn it, Mike Burns!!! Rennicks isn't an epic world-beater, but for the U20s has looked like a perfectly fine MLS prospect.

 

Titans Bastard

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Game day. MLS Cup should have a tremendous atmosphere this year.
 

Titans Bastard

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Expected lineup for Atlanta:



Amazing depth to be able to bring Tito Villalba and the $15m man Ezequiel Barco off the bench.

The Timbers:



Mabiala makes it back after leaving his last game with injury. Valentin gets the nod over Powell at RB — he has a tough job keeping Almiron in check.