MLS 2020: A Quarter Century of Soccer

Titans Bastard

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LA Galaxy fired GBS. This was inevitable. LA Galaxy have achieved minimal results, play bad soccer, and Chicharito is currently on pace to be the biggest bust in MLS history. I've heard that he has a bad relationship with GBS, which is a problem. It's easier to get rid of the manager, especially when the manager isn't succeeding in other areas.

 

67YAZ

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The Fire need to handle Nashville right now to solidify a playoff spot. Would’ve been nice if Calvo has been suspended for his red card...but it’s a blue moon Halloween, so maybe we’ll get the bizarro Calvo?
 

67YAZ

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The Fire have looked soft and slow, but that was one of the worst backline I’ve ever seen on the equalizer. Very nice job by Sekulic to look up and see he had 3 yards of space before he’d be offside.

Fire need to be much more defensively organized and put together some spells of possession to change the flow of the match.
 

67YAZ

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Collier off the post! Great cross, just inches away.

Fore have not won on the road so far this season. Need a moment of inspiration in the next 3 minutes to change that.
 

67YAZ

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This is who the Fire are right now - a long ball to the flank, Frankowski works hard to win it then sprays a cross to Beric. The target man buries it.

It’s the antithesis of the way Wicky has always managed his clubs, but I appreciate his flexibility & pragmatism. Let’s get 3 here in Minny & salt away a playoff spot.
 

67YAZ

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Ugh man, Calvo. Gambles to cut out a pass to Kamara and gets burned as the last man. Luckily Shuttleoworth bailed him out.
 

67YAZ

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Mo Pineda doubles the lead! He’s been the breakout player of the season for Chicago. I don’t know where they’d be without him & hope I don’t have to see that for many years to come.
 

67YAZ

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There’s that man Calvo, of course. Loses his man near post to allow an easy header to tie the match. Christ almighty.
 

67YAZ

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The Loons got juiced when Reynoso came in. Bornstein has great veteran savvy and patience, but he can’t keep up with a tricky waterbug like Reynoso. And Calvo is no help with his constant attention lapses.
 

67YAZ

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Missed the first half while my wife watched the Bears get spanked. And it’s 3-3!!?!?!?! Damn.
 

Titans Bastard

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Philly is up 2-0 on the Revs, and the first piece of silverware in club history is well within their grasp. Toronto are down 2-1, also.
 

67YAZ

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Congrats to Philly! Well earned with a really great coaching job by Curtin.

The Fire can’t even manage the draw they needed to make the play-in round. A disappointing end to a disappointing season.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Fucking Colorado scored in extra time to jump to the fifth seed and send LAFC to seventh. Generally I wouldn't care, but that means the Sounders open with LA.
 

Titans Bastard

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FC Cincinnati cleared out their roster earlier this week, but Chicago only made a few changes.


With so many new signings last offseason, most players were guaranteed for the 2021 season, it seems. But that's okay: the Fire have some building blocks of a potentially good team, whereas Cincinnati needed to get out from under a zillion ill-advised contracts.
 

67YAZ

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FC Cincinnati cleared out their roster earlier this week, but Chicago only made a few changes.


With so many new signings last offseason, most players were guaranteed for the 2021 season, it seems. But that's okay: the Fire have some building blocks of a potentially good team, whereas Cincinnati needed to get out from under a zillion ill-advised contracts.
Those are all peripheral players on the roster, even Big Africa. It’s too bad that Sapong had a tough season and couldn’t find a role in Wicky’s system - fans love him and teammates really love him.

I’m hopeful for a playoff push next season with more players used to Wicky’s system & more good recruitment during the winter. They incoming from last offseason was very good - young & prime-age players for key roles, and Johnny Bornstien as a rotational LB paired with the young water Navarro.

Gaston Gimenez looked like a foundational piece after the restart, and Aliseda held his own as a teenager playing the #10. Calvo is going to be responsible for many remotes chucked at TV screens again next season, but the emergence of Pineda as a steady ball playing CB who can pass and nod in set pieces is huge for a club with a poor homegrown track record.

Looks like lots of folks are putting Beric on their “newcomer of the season” lists, but I’m less impressed. The goals tally was good, but he’s Kevin McHale in cleats. He doesn’t create for others and he goes MIA for long stretches. Overall, the whole attack was more spry with Collier up top - he’s always working and finding space, which opens it up for everyone else despite Collier’s poor finishing. Maybe Beric can become more rounded and consistent, but he’s also turning 29. Old dogs and all that...
 
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Titans Bastard

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Those are all peripheral players on the roster, even Big Africa. It’s too bad that Sapong had a tough season and couldn’t find a role in Wicky’s system - fans love him and teammates really love him.

I’m hopeful for a playoff push next season with more players used to Wicky’s system & more good recruitment during the winter. They incoming from last offseason was very good - young & prime-age players for key roles, and Johnny Bornstien as a rotational LB paired with the young water Navarro.

Gaston Gimenez looked like a foundational piece after the restart, and Aliseda held his own as a teenager playing the #10. Calvo is going to be responsible for many remotes chucked at TV screens again next season, but the emergence of Pineda as a steady ball playing CB who can pass and nod in set pieces is huge for a club with a poor homegrown track record.

Looks like lots of folks are putting Beric on their “newcomer of the season” lists, but I’m less impressed. The goals tally was good, but he’s Kevin McHale in cleats. He doesn’t create for others and he goes MIA for long stretches. Overall, the whole attack was more sorry with Collier up top - he’s always working and finding space, which opens it up for everyone else despite Collier’s poor finishing. Maybe Beric can become more rounded and consistent, but he’s also turning 29. Old dogs and all that...
I don't have as much specific commentary on Chicago having not watched nearly as many of their games, but one thing I'd note is that it isn't uncommon for foreign signings to improve in their second year in the league. Certain rigors of MLS are unmatched by any league in Europe (travel, heat) and that takes some getting used to. The travel schedule was particularly turbocharged in 2020. Since Chicago signed a bunch of dudes last winter, they might get a few bumps from that group in 2021.

It still feels like it will be too early to expect anything from the batch of 03s+04s they signed from their academy. I don't have a sense if Reynolds or N. Slonina are any good. Also, Djordje Mihailovic needs to decide if he's going to be a difference maker or not.
 

67YAZ

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I don't have as much specific commentary on Chicago having not watched nearly as many of their games, but one thing I'd note is that it isn't uncommon for foreign signings to improve in their second year in the league. Certain rigors of MLS are unmatched by any league in Europe (travel, heat) and that takes some getting used to. The travel schedule was particularly turbocharged in 2020. Since Chicago signed a bunch of dudes last winter, they might get a few bumps from that group in 2021.

It still feels like it will be too early to expect anything from the batch of 03s+04s they signed from their academy. I don't have a sense if Reynolds or N. Slonina are any good. Also, Djordje Mihailovic needs to decide if he's going to be a difference maker or not.
100% agree on Djordje. He had a nice run of matches to close out the season, but he’s moving into his prime years. Given the budget uncertainty, I expect he’ll get another full season to show what he’s got and the Fire will look to recruit someone new for the other wing.
 

Domer

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The Houston Dynamo, who have been a deeply mediocre organization on and off the field for a while now, are reportedly considering a "rebrand or brand refresh", as one of their major owners (Gabriel Brener) may be selling his share of the team.

I'm not in the ground in Houston, but is there really that much of a need to change the identity? Lots of clubs go through shitty periods. I think having a consistent identity helps build a long-term sense of history, rather than rebranding every time you've sucked for a while. Just sign good players and market the team well.

You’re never going to believe what direction they went with…

FC

All in all, I actually like most everything else. The honeycomb pattern is a little weird, but we have enough badge or circle logos in MLS. Monograms are generally speaking pretty darn cool.

 

Titans Bastard

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You’re never going to believe what direction they went with…

FC

All in all, I actually like most everything else. The honeycomb pattern is a little weird, but we have enough badge or circle logos in MLS. Monograms are generally speaking pretty darn cool.

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


I don't mind the logo, which I think is an improvement on their old one.

The FC-ing of every club, though.... have some self-respect, people.
 

Domer

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Ha! I'll take an owner who can admit a mistake and move quickly to correct it over an one who does the bare minimum for years on end.
It always seemed incongruous to me that Mansueto, who spent a good chuck of money to get the legendary Paul Rand to design a logo for Morningstar before his company had experienced much success, would approve such an uninspiring new identity for the Fire. Glad he can recognize a mistake.
 

67YAZ

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It always seemed incongruous to me that Mansueto, who spent a good chuck of money to get the legendary Paul Rand to design a logo for Morningstar before his company had experienced much success, would approve such an uninspiring new identity for the Fire. Glad he can recognize a mistake.
Yeah, there was 2 months between Mansueto becoming sole-owner and the logo rollout. He must have decided that it had been in the works so long, killing the rebranding at the last minute would damage internal morale.

Maybe we can get @dirtynine on the job this time. Still rue missing out on this one:

36526
 

MetSox1

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The nightclubs are open in Miami. I think it'll depend a lot on local atmosphere, but with the condensed playoff schedule, its certainly high risk. I wonder if we don't see a forfeit or two.

We had our local broadcaster* and Coach Curtin on a local radio show for a food drive promo, the broadcaster went into the studio, but the Coach used Zoom. While there is no bubble and there is an understanding that the players are living their lives, if the team has an atmosphere of discipline and appreciating this pandemic, I think the teams can be fine as long as players don't pick things up on their intl breaks. When you do have high paid superstars like Miami, that atmosphere is likely more challenging to pull off. Having said that, I don't know how the Miami crew became exposed so I'll freely admit to jumping to conclusions a bit here.

(*it's Seba Le Toux)
 

dirtynine

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Yeah, there was 2 months between Mansueto becoming sole-owner and the logo rollout. He must have decided that it had been in the works so long, killing the rebranding at the last minute would damage internal morale.

Maybe we can get @dirtynine on the job this time. Still rue missing out on this one:

View attachment 36526
Ha! I just bumped the uni thread to mention some of this stuff. (Forgot about the Austin jersey, which is great.) @67YAZ, I may have one or two of those left... let me know your size and I'll check!
 

Titans Bastard

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I ran errands today and then just got home in time for this penalty shootout. WHAT is going on?

Gallese saves the final PK for the win, but then is called for coming off his line and given a second yellow????
 

Titans Bastard

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Now there's some insanity about whether or not Orlando's backup GK Brian Rowe can be subbed on, or whether Orlando will have to use a field player in goal for the remainder of teh shootout.
 

Titans Bastard

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OMFG.

Nani MISSED the potential winning penalty for Orlando, which tied it a 4-4.

Now Orlando center back Rodrigo Schlegel just SAVED an NYCFC penalty.
 

Titans Bastard

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And Benji Michel buries the final penalty. Orlando moves on.

MLS is so, so lucky that it worked out this way because I have absolutely never seen a referee handle a penalty shootout in a more shambolic way and if Orlando lost it would have been ugly.
 

Titans Bastard

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Meanwhile in Columbus, NYRB have gone up 1-0 on a strike from 17 year old Caden Clark, who is getting the start at AM ahead of NYRB's DP Kaku. He now has 3 goals in his first 300 minutes.

But now the Crew get a PK! And it's 1-1.
 

67YAZ

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And Benji Michel buries the final penalty. Orlando moves on.

MLS is so, so lucky that it worked out this way because I have absolutely never seen a referee handle a penalty shootout in a more shambolic way and if Orlando lost it would have been ugly.

Just catching up on this. Utter insanity.

 

OCST

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Meanwhile in Columbus, NYRB have gone up 1-0 on a strike from 17 year old Caden Clark, who is getting the start at AM ahead of NYRB's DP Kaku. He now has 3 goals in his first 300 minutes.

But now the Crew get a PK! And it's 1-1.
as a symbol of how far RB and MLS have to go, NY1 * did a good story on NYCFC’s playoff game today- with no mention at all of RB, despite their game being the only other in the league.

NY1 is a 24/7 NYC-only cable news channel which is actually very good snd everyone watches it.
 

Titans Bastard

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Another wild game in the playoffs. SJ-KC heading to extra time: Gianluca Busio put KC up 3-2 in stoppage time, but Wondo scored a last gasp header at 90'+7'.

The Quakes are just a bonkers team, in all the good and bad ways.

Single game elimination has been wildly entertaining.
 

Titans Bastard

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Tim Melia saved all three SJ penalties he faced — you don't see that too often. What a career. Melia was at one point a league "pool" goalkeeper, which is a guy signed by the league as an emergency GK for whatever team is having an injury/suspension crisis. Despite not being a starter until he was 29, he's honestly a bit unlucky not to have a token USMNT cap in a January friendly or something like that.
 

Titans Bastard

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Cool stat I saw via Soccer America: Caden Clark, Ricardo Pepi, and Gianluca Busio all scored in the playoffs this weekend, and they were #2, #3, and #4 in the list of youngest goalscorers in MLS playoff history, behind only Jozy in 2006.

Sign of the times.
 

Titans Bastard

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Chicago signed a 21 year old Ecuadorian right back from Aucas in his native country. Espinoza captained Ecuador's U20 team at the 2019 U20 World Cup and scored the winning goal in their quarterfinal against the US... He has two caps for the senior NT that came in late 2019 but doesn't appear to be part of the team for WCQ.

Seems like he'll have a solid shot at beating out Boris Sekulic at RB.