MLS 2021: On a scale of 1-10, my baby's 26

67YAZ

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Nani off at the half hour, aggregating the injury he just recovered from.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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What a crazy day. SKC gets a point despite being down a man for 70 minutes. Seattle scores in the 87th and 88th to steal a win at Columbus. Austin fucks up Portland 3-1. Philly scores at the death to draw with Montreal. And freaking Miami won again.
 

Titans Bastard

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Good news here.

All national TV deals end after the 2022 season, and reportedly MLS has instructed clubs to not pursue any local deals that extend beyond 2022 either, with a view to some sort of comprehensive package going forward. Surely the league execs will be happy to see this sort of momentum happening now.

Speaking of U.S. television, there’s good news on the MLS viewership front. ABC and ESPN are averaging 384,000 viewers for their broadcasts, up 50% over last year and 39% over 2019. Fox and FS1 are averaging 231,000 viewers, up 14% over last year and 1% over 2019, with FS1 specifically (185,000 viewers per game) having its best season since 2015.

Univision and UniMás’ games in Spanish are averaging 302,000 viewers, up 21% over last year and 26% over 2019, with UniMás specifically (307,000 viewers) averaging its best-ever MLS season.
 

Titans Bastard

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TV ratings for the ASG are illuminating:

FS1: 175,000
Univision/TUDN: 1,400,000
 

ThePrideofShiner

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TV ratings for the ASG are illuminating:

FS1: 175,000
Univision/TUDN: 1,400,000
That is incredible.

As an aside, I'm going to a pretty cool doubleheader on Sunday. OL Reign vs the Portland Thorns and Sounders vs. Timbers.

Supposed to be 50k there, plus a Jimi Hendrix tribute thing with three music stages that get going 90 minutes before the women's game.

Hopefully I don't get the Delta. Hopefully the Seattle teams sweep. I've never seen the Timbers in a non-US Open Cup game. Should be incredible.
 

ninjacornelius

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TV ratings for the ASG are illuminating:

FS1: 175,000
Univision/TUDN: 1,400,000
So I hear a lot of talk about a future MLS/Liga MX merger, and I can absolutely envision some kind of North American soccer World Series based on these numbers. I know that the CONCACAF Champions League is designed to fill this niche, but if the two leagues developed an AL/NL kind of model (pre-wild card), where they were distinct associations playing under the same rules but overseen by the same governing body, it might be in the best interests of both.
 

ninjacornelius

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Vancouver fired coach Marc Dos Santos today. On the one hand, it's not too surprising given their embarrassing performance last night (a loss to Pacific FC in the Canadian Championship tournament). On the other, the Whitecaps are unbeaten in their last 8 MLS games, are only 3 points out of the playoffs, and are on the verge of playing at home again for the first time in 18 months.

Oh, and their opponent this weekend? RSL, who also don't have a coach. MLS, baby!
 

steeplechase3k

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As an aside, I'm going to a pretty cool doubleheader on Sunday. OL Reign vs the Portland Thorns and Sounders vs. Timbers.
I'm driving up from Portland for it too. Going to make for a long day, leaving around 11am, probably home at 2am.

I have not missed a Timbers league match (including playoffs) in Seattle (or Tukwila in the USL) since middle of 2004 so I'm not about to miss this either.
 

Titans Bastard

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The RSL coach resigned with his team in sixth in the West to become ... an assistant in Seattle. That's pretty freaking weird.
Indeed. Reports from Sam Stejskal of the Athletic are that the guaranteed part of Juarez's contract expires at the end of the year, but that RSL has an option for 2022. It sounds like the club doesn't love him, and RSL is for sale and the new owner may well clean house anyway.

If Juarez got canned this winter I don't think he would have gotten a head coaching job at another club, so I guess he decided to get out ahead of what he viewed as inevitable.
 

67YAZ

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The Fire head to Red Bull tonight. In his never ending spaghetti toss against the all, Brian Gutierrez gets his first start in 3 months. Coincidentally, I was doing a close look at his stats this week since he’s now hit 350 minutes this season and only turned 18 back in mid-June. The stats show a pretty pedestrian player in all categories, which is fair enough for a high schooler on a pretty pedestrian squad. So I’m eager to see what Wicky is going to do with him tonight against the hard-pressing Red Bull. Last time around, the Fire finally player some very direct, route 1 stuff to get over the top of the press. And it worked. Can they do it again tonight and help BGuti open his account?
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Mmm. Congrats @steeplechase3k that was a helluva performance by your boys.

I'm super irritated with the way the Sounders played tonight, but the Timbers certainly came out with an unmatched energy and took advantage of their opportunities.

Argh, I'm just pissed at my own team right now.
 

steeplechase3k

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That was one heck of a game! Getting home form a drive like that at 2am is not fun, but it's worth it to see the Timbers win up there.

From my perspective way up on the corner that was a close match. As all Allen Kelley matches it got chippy because he didn't control that match early on, but that teams were pretty even. It really came done to goal keeping. Clark made several amazing saves for the Timbers and Cleveland made two mistakes and the Timbers managed to score on both. Both teams also hit the post (is almost exactly the same spot) too. I need to watch full highlights, I saw a few when I stopped in a rest area on the drive home, but I need to see more of them.
 

67YAZ

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International break is over, time for Chicago to make a late charge into the playoff picture…so they give up 2 goals in the first 8 minutes to KC. Same as it ever was.
 

67YAZ

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Under normal circumstances, I think Wicky would be fired after this season and with a significant chunk of salary coming off the books, the squad turned over in the image of its new manager. I’ve read that Wicky’s contract is only a club option for next season, so it would be financially painless to cut ties.

but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s Heitz’ guy, hell or high water. That Heitz has a vision for the roster and Wicky is a trusted implementer of that plan.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Jordan Morris trained with the first team today. He'd be a nice late season/playoff addition for the Sounders ... and potentially the USMNT.
 

Senator Donut

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Why are we playing a full slate of games during a Champions League matchday? Anyway, Philly is still down 2-0 after 135 minutes.
 

67YAZ

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I was hopping no one would notice. Kamara nets a hat trick - 2 on PKs - all in the first half. For whatever reason, Wicky has switched to a 3-4-3 after the international break and it’s been shambolic. Why, Wicky, why?
 

Senator Donut

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The last MLS club has exited the 2021 Concacaf Champions League. But fear not, the last MLS side to win a continental tournament is currently holding a 14-point league for the automatic spot in the east in 2022 qualifying.
 

67YAZ

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Fire lose 2-0 in Montreal with 2 DPs - Gimenez & Aliseda - left in Chicago for violating team rules. Admittedly, it’s a beautiful weekend here, but not a great sign when your best players are getting suspended. But Gaga Slonina started in goal and looked ok (neither goal could really be saved). Sounds like he’s going to finish out the season with the playoffs no longer possible.

next up…New England.
 

steeplechase3k

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After getting absolutely destroyed at home by their most hated rival (I hate the Sounders far more than the Yankees at the moment) the Timbers have been quite good (2W, 2D, 1L). We host LAFC this afternoon who I believe bare depleted by injury so I'm feeling pretty confident.
 

Titans Bastard

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FC Dallas fired Luchi Gonzalez after yesterday's 3-2 loss in Houston. FCD are currently in 11th place in the West, seven points out of a playoff spot, with a 6W, 9D, 11L record.

View: https://twitter.com/FCDallas/status/1439703594324922377


Luchi seemed like a compelling personality who was willing to play the kids. However, I think he struggled in the transition from academy director to first team manager and he didn't get results. There's already advocacy on Twitter for him to get the U20 NT job, and I think the USSF could do worse. Personally, I wonder if he'll go back to his academy directors — I have to imagine there would be interest in him for that role somewhere.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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After getting absolutely destroyed at home by their most hated rival (I hate the Sounders far more than the Yankees at the moment) the Timbers have been quite good (2W, 2D, 1L). We host LAFC this afternoon who I believe bare depleted by injury so I'm feeling pretty confident.
It's pretty astonishing the direction the two teams went since that 6-2 game. Portland looks scarier than ever and Seattle has question marks everywhere.

Also, I concur, I find myself way more invested in the Seattle-Portland rivalry than the Yankees-Red Sox one these days.
 

steeplechase3k

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So, the Timbers have turned their season around. They just thrashed RSL 6-1. I don't know how this is the same team that got curb stomped by Seattle 6 weeks ago.
 

Titans Bastard

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Now that we know Sounders assistant is a better job than RSL head coach, but worse than Atlanta manager, I’d peg the desirability of FCC head job at around the level of Minnesota assistant.
Hah, amazing.

It's going to hard to attract talent for this job. Jeff Berding really needs to fire himself; he's the link between every shambolic GM and managerial hire, and in fact acted as the shambolic GM in their particularly shambolic expansion season roster build.
 

Senator Donut

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Hah, amazing.

It's going to hard to attract talent for this job. Jeff Berding really needs to fire himself; he's the link between every shambolic GM and managerial hire, and in fact acted as the shambolic GM in their particularly shambolic expansion season roster build.
Just to underscore your point, in case anyone else thinks TB is being hyperbolic.

View: https://twitter.com/samstejskal/status/1413150453961875456


It’s not easy to evaluate winners and losers in North American sports trades; players are not fungible assets. Even (super)draft picks can vary in quality based on time horizon and draft year, but allocation money and international slots are fungible assets, and FCC got taken to the cleaners. Also, is it surprising that Merritt Paulson’s dad made a fortune in merger arbitrage?
 

Senator Donut

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The Chicago Fire are playing in Bridgeview tonight because they cannot access Soldier field within five days before a Bears home game. Seems like they would be big winners if the gridiron team moved to the burbs.
 

67YAZ

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The Chicago Fire are playing in Bridgeview tonight because they cannot access Soldier field within five days before a Bears home game. Seems like they would be big winners if the gridiron team moved to the burbs.
And they won 2-0, playing their best soccer in about 6 months.

The rumors have been that, long-term, Mansueto is interested in building a Fire stadium in the city. But if the Bears leave and somehow the Fire becomes the primary tenant of Soldier Field? That would be a lot of unexpected leverage for an MLS club to wield. I wonder how they'd try to renovate the stadium for their needs. Maybe start with planting some decent fucking turf...