MLS 2020: A Quarter Century of Soccer

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Philly dispatched KC fairly easily to become the first team to reach the semifinals.

Stock rising quickly for Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie. It's always hard to get a true sense of interest, but it's clear that both are being watched by a variety of clubs in Europe. Both had nice games tonight, which included a very pretty assist by Aaronson.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
Philly dispatched KC fairly easily to become the first team to reach the semifinals.

Stock rising quickly for Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie. It's always hard to get a true sense of interest, but it's clear that both are being watched by a variety of clubs in Europe. Both had nice games tonight, which included a very pretty assist by Aaronson.
It’s the turn to split two defenders that really does it for me - cheek & skill combined So nicely.

 

shawnrbu

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
28,475
The Land of Fist Pumps
Host Orlando City on to the semis with a big upset of LAFC. The equalizer came in the 90th minute and the underdog won the penalty shootout. Nani’s celebration after he made the winning penalty was an all timer.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
Host Orlando City on to the semis with a big upset of LAFC. The equalizer came in the 90th minute and the underdog won the penalty shootout. Nani’s celebration after he made the winning penalty was an all timer.
This tournament is blowing up every theory about home field advantage.

I was only half watching, but LAFC seemed to be drifting kind of listlessly until late, then they k Ike’s into gear realizing they might actually lose. Props to Orlando for keeping together and nicking a win.
 

steeplechase3k

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
2,467
Portland, OR

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
NYRB signed a 20 year old who was a fringe player at Brentford last season. Apparently, he was good for Southend United in earlier seasons. This sort of signing is extremely on-brand for the Red Bulls.

 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
The Timbers move to the final in a game that ended in a very hectic way. I'm sure Philly will be frustrated having missed a penalty and also having a late goal dubiously ruled offside.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
The Athletic reports that FC Dallas and Nashville will play a pair of games on August 12 and August 16, both in Dallas. Because these two teams dropped out of the tournament, whose group stages games count for the regular season standings, Dallas and Nashville need to play each other three times to make up for it.

Fans will be allowed at these games in Dallas, which is awfully reckless.

 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
MLS announced the schedule for the next phase of the regular season.


Everyone is playing 18 more games (plus three bonus FC Dallas vs. Nashville SC games). The first six games will be highly regionalized and have been scheduled. The final 12 are yet to be scheduled, in part because of the Canadian teams. They need to find a place in the US to set up camp if they won't be allowed to travel back and forth across international borders. The Canadian teams don't even have a schedule for this first phase yet.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
The August 6 episode of Allocation Disorder has a really, really good discussion of the obstacles that MLS faces in trying to grow its fanbase, its TV audience, and its revenue. Tenorio and Stejskal are IMO the two best in the business when it comes to the structure, finances, salary caps, and minutiae of rules/mechanisms of the league. I heartily recommend the podcast in general, though it may be too deep-in-the-weeds for some.

 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
And the Timbers hold on to win this thing.

This wasn't their prettiest game, but they've been good this tournament and it's been fun to see Ebobisse and Williamson play solid roles for them. Williamson in particular was really unexpected, having hardly played for them at all in the last couple of years. I find Ebobisse to be a player who is really easy to root for. He's an interesting guy.

Major progression for Orlando under Oscar Pareja. It would have been really unthinkable six months ago that they could have gotten this far.


The COVID Victim Derby between FC Dallas and Nashville SC is tomorrow!
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
Nashville booked their first ever win last night with a 1-0 crapfest over Dallas.

There were roughly 5k fans in attendance, and some booed the players while they kneeled during the anthem. Apparently the players asked that the anthem not be played pre-game, same as during the MLS is Back tournament, but it was anyway.

Reggie Cannon has this to say post-match:

33293
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Miami has signed Blaise Matuidi on a free from Juventus. Their central midfield is full of dull DMs and he'll provide some needed quality and ability to progress the ball forward. They also got him on a TAM contract, which means that they've preserved a DP slot for a potentially bigger signing.


NYRB shipped Alex Muyl to Nashville. He's been used less often at NYRB under Chris Armas. He's a terrier of a wide midfielder who is good in pressing schemes, but he lacks end product. I figure he'll be a decent fit in Nashville's very defensive scheme.

 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Montreal sold English center back Luis Binks to Bologna and received him back on loan for the rest of 2020. They only just acquired him from Tottenham. Montreal plays a lot of weird games with Bologna, who share a common owner.

 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Some other moves I missed in the last few weeks:

Atlanta United signed Cubo Torres from Tijuana. Once a big prospect for El Tri, he hasn't panned out and has bounced between MLS and Liga MX. He did score double digits for Chivas USA in 2014 and for Houston in 2017, but it's been a long time since he's had anything approaching a successful stint in Liga MX. In any case, Atlanta are in upheaval and badly need a replacement for Josef Martinez for 2020. Torres could be better than Adam Jahn, so it's something.

Atlanta will be able to use Jurgen Damm when the regular season starts up again, too.



LAFC parted ways with Adama Diomande, who cited family priorities. That leaves a hole at CF for them, although Bradley Wright-Phillips is still showing signs of life despite being old.


NYRB signed Ghanaian forward Samuel Tetteh on loan from Red Bull Salzburg. They have Brian White and Tom Barlow, who are both okay at best. Not sure whether players who aren't integral to RB Salzburg are good enough to meaningfully change the situation, though. NYRB has gotten such players on loan in the past and IIRC none have been too impressive. The narrative that Red Bull is neglecting this team feels real to me.

Minnesota signed Bakaye Dibassy, a 31 year old CB, who spent the last three years with Amiens in Ligue 1.
 

Jimy Hendrix

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 15, 2002
3,534
Seems shitty in hindsight to (reportedly) deny Aaron Long a potentially career-making move overseas at an age where he won't get many shots at it and then absolutely dismantle the team around him.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Nashville has signed goalkeeper Brady Scott. Scott started three of the five US U-20 games at the 2019 World Cup, including the celebrated victory over France. He came up through the De Anza Force, a prominent youth club in the Bay Area, and signed with Köln. In Germany, he never advanced past the reserve team and even last summer it felt as though he wasn't on a prioritized track as a prospect with Köln. I wasn't surprised to see him leave this summer.



Cincinnati traded DM Fatai Alashe to Columbus for a second round draft pick (i.e. nothing). FC Cincinnati's initial roster construction was very bad and dumb, so we'll be seeing such salary dumps for a little while. It's their second season in MLS, but they are basically still an expansion team. For their part, Columbus needed a bit of DM depth, as they have only a pair of 18/19 year olds behind Nagbe and Artur.



In addition to acquiring Wilfried Zahibo from the Revs in the Tommy McNamara trade, Houston has signed Ari Lassiter on loan from Alajuelense. Lassiter (who is Roy's son) spent 2015-18 with the Galaxy, where he mostly scored a bunch of goals for their first team. He never really made a significant impact in MLS, but has put up good numbers for Alajuelense, one of the big Costa Rican clubs.

 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
19,364
The 718
Little substantive to add except that I’ve enjoyed the MLS tournament. The play has been lively. I have only been a drop in watcher buy it’s been fun.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
St. Louis hired their sporting director away from Fortuna Düsseldorf. Supposedly he turned down offers from Newcastle and Inter Milan, so that's fancy.

 

steeplechase3k

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 25, 2005
2,467
Portland, OR
St. Louis hired their sporting director away from Fortuna Düsseldorf. Supposedly he turned down offers from Newcastle and Inter Milan, so that's fancy.
Pfannenstiel is a really interesting guy. His book "The Unstoppable Keeper" is a fun read. He is (or was the first) to play in all 6 continental federations, he literally died on the field once, he kidnapped a penguin, and spent 101 days in a Singapore prison (after being convicted of match fixing, not due to the penguin).
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
LA Galaxy signed Yony Gutierrez on loan from Benfica. He's a winger who started for Fluminense last year, though Fluminense kinda sucked by their standards in 2019. Seems like he's the replacement for Aleksandar Katai.


FC Dallas signed Phelipe Megiolaro on loan from Grêmio. He was Brazil's U20 starter throughout the 2019 CONMEBOL U20 championship. Despite only playing two games for Grêmio so far, he was on the bench for a few Brazil friendlies (because Brazil's player selection can be weird, I guess?). He'll compete with Jimmy Maurer for the starting job since Jesse Gonzalez got cut for domestic assault.

 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
14,485
Pittsburgh, PA
Pfannenstiel is a really interesting guy. His book "The Unstoppable Keeper" is a fun read. He is (or was the first) to play in all 6 continental federations, he literally died on the field once, he kidnapped a penguin, and spent 101 days in a Singapore prison (after being convicted of match fixing, not due to the penguin).
Coming from Germany, if he thinks he's heading to the beer capital of the US, he's in for a cruel surprise.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
LA Galaxy have signed Jonathan Klinsmann, who spent last year as a backup in Switzerland for St. Gallen. He'll join a couple of other young-ish GKs that the Galaxy have backing up David Bingham.

He's a great fit for the fanbase that loves Landon Donovan most.


Cincinnati signed South African defensive midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo on a free from Brentford. He's a player that Cincinnati GM Gerard Nijkamp knows from his old job as PEC Zwolle, where Mokotjo played a number of years ago.


Toronto signed an academy kid to a deal beginning in 2021. Toronto kids are in a tough spot generally, as they've been deprived of the chance to compete in USL League One because TFC II had to withdraw for the season due to complications in crossing the border for games.

 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
The Fire reignite tonight in Columbus. Most exciting is that this will be the first match broadcast by WGN with Arlo White & Tony Meola in the "booth." Even if the Fire play like ash again, at least it will sound good.

Over the extended break since getting bounced from Orlando, Wicky has been parsimonious with his praise and exacting with his expectations for the team. Clearly, he wasn't happy with the last couple tournament matches, and there's no reason he should be. But Wicky did single out Gaston Giminez for taking a leap forward in recent training sessions. For my money, Gimenez is the key if this team is going to be competitive. He was totally anonymous in Orlando, swallowed up in the middle of the 3-5-2 formation without doing any of the things he was brought in to do - win the ball, take the occasional dribble, and pass quickly and incisively. Failing that, all the Fire have to work with is speculative long balls to Beric and wandering dribbles up the wings.

Also, I hope they left Calvo behind in Florida.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
Pfffttt. The Crew tare totally bossing the first 20 minutes and are rewarded with an easy goal. No idea how a runner goes unescorted to the penalty spot, and of course Calvo’s reaction was the “who, me?” shrug. Blecht.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
The Fire are looking spry for a good spell now. Aliseda is really looking the part as the #10 right now. But Navarro already gave up a PK and both CBs are in yellows...gonna be peeking through my fingers every time the Crew push forward.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
Wow, Nagbe!

Edit: Just pure class all the way.

 
Last edited:

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Nagbe doesn't score often, but when he does it is a golazo. What a unique player. I can't think of anyone else who is quite like him: the skillset of an elite winger with the soul of deep-lying metronome.

--


Orlando signed Brazilian forward Matheus Aias from Watford, though he spent all of his time there on loan at Mirandés in Spain. He scored some goals in helping them get promoted to the Segunda, then was a rotational starter last year. Doesn't seem like a game-breaker to me.

 

Section30

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2010
869
Portland OR
TB you have wanted to use this line for while, haven't you? :)


"the skillset of an elite winger with the soul of deep-lying metronome."
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
Man, the LA Galaxy by rights should be absolutely murdered by LAFC with this kind of lineup. No Chicharito, no Jonathan dos Santos. And also, they are generally fairly bad. But it's MLS so they'll probably win by two

Vela is back for LAFC.

 

ThePrideofShiner

spooky action from a distance
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
7,279
Idaho
Magnificent result for the Sounders tonight. Good to see them dominate after a lackluster showing in Orlando.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
The Fire score inside 2 minutes. Welcome back to Soldier Field! (It took just as much time for the VAR review. I think Herbers was fractionally offside, but hey...Let’s Go You Men in Blue!)
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
And a second inside 10 minutes! Medran with the sweet low, swerving strike.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
That was quite the half. The Fire possessed, moved off the ball, pressed hard to win the ball back, and just took control of things from the jump. A total 180 from the Columbus match.

Lets keep it burning for another 45.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
2,653
That was a win with a lot of swagger for Chicago. No idea where it came from. Must be the ghost of Frank Klopas that still haunts Solider Field.

I don’t think Wicky wants to be a 4-2-3-1 team, but it worked well tonight. Every starter looked comfortable executing a clear role - Except Beric.He was pretty nondescript tonight for a guy who remorseless shoots on every touch. But the Fire made excellent use of their other options, which has not been the case so far.

@NYCFC on Saturday. Let’s keep the momentum going.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
11,322
That was a win with a lot of swagger for Chicago. No idea where it came from. Must be the ghost of Frank Klopas that still haunts Solider Field.

I don’t think Wicky wants to be a 4-2-3-1 team, but it worked well tonight. Every starter looked comfortable executing a clear role - Except Beric.He was pretty nondescript tonight for a guy who remorseless shoots on every touch. But the Fire made excellent use of their other options, which has not been the case so far.

@NYCFC on Saturday. Let’s keep the momentum going.
Nothing like an FC Cincinnati game for a nice pick-me-up!