MLS 2022: Our Weird, Fun, Chaotic, Dumb Domestic League

Monbo Jumbo

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Atlanta has signed Thiago Almada.


edit
The ATLUTD blog at SBNation has detail on the due diligence performed by the club and the league that delayed the transfer, i.e. the player's involvement with a sexual assault case.

“A year-long investigation culminated with no arrest of the player, no charge of the player, and ended with a formal archiving of the investigation,” said Efstathiou. “That happened right at the beginning of February this year, February 1. So with that, we decided — again, in lockstep with the league — to exercise the option for the player.”

And Eales was clear upon speaking that Almada’s arrival in Atlanta was completely contingent on him clearing the legal process without incident or discovery by investigators.

“Obviously we couldn’t talk about what we’re talking about now until we got to this circumstance,” said Eales. “The legal process had to play out. There had to be no charges, no interrogation. And it be archived in the Argentinian due process. That had to happen. Anything else, and the transfer doesn’t happen.”...
 
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67YAZ

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Shaqiri done. Intro video kinda lame. Only up from here, right.

I do worry about how long will take him to play his way back into form. He hasn’t been a full time regular in 3.5 years.

in other CF97 news, their top draft pick, Kendall Burks (RB, University of Washington, #11 overall) has joined training camp. It’s big because Burks has a UK passport and was on trial at Nottingham Forrest. But the Fire need to explore every avenue to get low cost talent on to the roster until the academy can consistently churn out contributors.

 

67YAZ

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The MLS edition of these very cool team control maps. Am surprised by the Seattle attacking zone. Getting Morris back will be a huge boon.

 

Titans Bastard

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Things are going well in Charlotte. Their manager said that as the roster currently stands, "we are screwed" according to the subtitles here.

View: https://twitter.com/Topbin90/status/1491892041307103236


In worse news, the Timbers terminated the contract of Andy Polo after domestic abuse allegations. This story is still coming together, but this report suggests that Timbers security talked the police out of arresting Polo after a domestic abuse incident.

View: https://twitter.com/RyanTClarke/status/1491890025981640705
 

67YAZ

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This deal got done over the weekend - for $6m, Torres joins on May 1 as a young DP.

It's been a high risk/high reward off-season for the Fire. Heitz addressed all sections of the pitch - Rafael Czichos to bring veteran experince to CB, Shaq at the 10, Torres on the wing, and Przybylko as the experineced striker with Jhon Duran as the understudy. But there is a lot being heaped on Ezra Hendrickson's plate - getting Shaq back to being a full time player, trying to build around key teenagers like Gaga Slonina and Duran, and getting a lot more from underperformers like Gimenez, Ivanov, and every fullback not named Bornstein.

Hendrickson is promising an "attack with posession" approach, which is gonna take a lot of coaching up. The schedule starts well enough - @Miami, Orlando, @DC. The team should be able to get its legs underneath it competitively, even if play is still messy. But it might take well into the summer for things to come together, if they ever do.
 

Senator Donut

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CF Montreal is currently clinging to a 2-1 aggregate lead at Olympic Stadium. A Santos away goal would be enough for them to advance, so it should be a fascinating final half hour.

EDIT: Nevermind, 3-1 now on aggregate immediately after posted that
 

Titans Bastard

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I started watching at HT and Montreal could have easily scored more than one goal this half. Santos Laguna are bad in Liga MX right now but this is nice to see from a club that is middling in MLS. Djordje Mihailovic has been good.

NYCFC destroyed Santos de Guapiles 6-0 on aggregate. Colorado Rapids are 1-1 on aggregate with Comunicaciones in the second half, but are at home and are up a man. Revs through on walkover. Sounders up tomorrow night.
 

Senator Donut

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I started watching at HT and Montreal could have easily scored more than one goal this half. Santos Laguna are bad in Liga MX right now but this is nice to see from a club that is middling in MLS. Djordje Mihailovic has been good.

NYCFC destroyed Santos de Guapiles 6-0 on aggregate. Colorado Rapids are 1-1 on aggregate with Comunicaciones in the second half, but are at home and are up a man. Revs through on walkover. Sounders up tomorrow night.
Djordje did well to set up the third goal. With attrition, he ought be in the USMNT picture for the Azteca match.

The ageless Kei Kamara is now on the pitch, just weeks after leading Sierra Leone to it’s first AFCON since 1996.
 

Warning Track Speed

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The snow started at halftime in Denver and the field is completely white with 10 minutes to go. Colorado is pouring on the chances (shots were 17-3 a few minutes ago) but somehow this one feels like it might go to penalties.
 

Titans Bastard

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Straight to PKs in Colorado.

I'd like to see the Rapids not bring shame upon the family, but NYCFC is likely to beat this game's winner in the QF.
 

Senator Donut

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Full credit to Comunicaciones, who have won this competition before and earned their spot here by winning Concacaf League, but what a missed opportunity for Colorado.
 

Titans Bastard

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After a draw on the road last week, Seattle crushed Motagua 5-0 at home to advance to the QF, where we'll have three MLS vs. Liga MX matchups and NYCFC vs. a Guatemalan team.

León vs. Seattle
NYCFC vs. Comunicaciones
Pumas vs. New England
Montreal vs. Cruz Azul
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I picked a bad night to give away my tickets, though an 8 p.m. kickoff on a Thursday is brutal especially during February.

Hopefully Morris getting a goal will help take some pressure off of him.
 

67YAZ

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Czichos gets the armband in his very first MLS game. And Omsberg starts next to him. I’m seeing kind of a 3-3-3-1 - not sure how to call it, but a diamond up top with Shaq in. behind Przybylko. Whatever it is, this is a brand new set up for a brand new manager.

 

67YAZ

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I liked the Fire going forward today - Ivanov looked very lively, Shaq was spraying the ball around. I didn’t like how Miami slices through the midfield again and again. There’s a lot of work for Hendrickson.
 

JoePoulson

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Awesome! We went to the Orlando City opener today and it was absolutely gorgeous. Of course it was like 87 so they had hydration breaks after 30 mins and 75 mins, which surprised me but thought it was a great new rule. And I'd never seen so many yellow and red cards. I guess the players were crazy from the heat.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Well, I would've preferred a different result, but damn is it nice to have sports back again. Especially in light of MLB being a shit show.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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Your Atlanta United outlook.

It was in the World Series game thread when someone asked if Atlanta was still a crap sports town and CP replied that AtlUtd won the MLS in 2018.

But there's another stat that I think better illustrates both Atlanta's and soccer's potential. Atlanta United ranked #9 for club attendance IN THE WORLD in 2019. They had plenty of non-league fixtures and that big, big building and coming off a C-ship season.
But still - #9 in the world? In soccer?

Given Uncle Arthur's checkbook, why don't they dominate every year? Felipe Cardenas did a good takedown of the front office in the Athletic last year, specifically aimed at Carlos Bocanegra. Message board critics say Arthur befriends his front office personnel and is then unable to can them. It's been a problem on the Falcon side of the biz. Bocanegra was re-upped this off season.

The team heads into 2022 with the #1 and #6 most expensive transfers, Almada and Araujo . Araujo is a huge talent. But he seemed to turn it on and off a bit last year.

Their starting offensive four will ultimately be Araujo , Almada, Martinez and Moreno. Tons of talent.

Josef Martinez does not have the wheels he used to pre-ACL. He has all his skills though. Expect an adjusted role and a ton of assists. He had two in the opener.

They have good forward depth in Dom Dwyer and 19 yr old Tyler Wolff.

The midfield has been a problem since Nagbe left. Alonso will help a lot, given both his vet status and history with Pineda. Rosetto
play has improved.

Gutman/Wiley on the left. Lennon/Hernandez on the right. They'll play 2 CBs, Miles and Franco, with Big George Campbell getting significant minutes.

GK. Guzan/Shuttleworth

They are starting the year depleted.

Almada and Ibarra back in Argentina getting visas.
Sosa still out after off season groin surgery.
Araujo out 4 wks with a hammy.
Moreno not 100%
Hyndman coming back from ACL (no preseason minutes)

If Pineda can teach these guys to advance the ball and Araujo buys into what Pineda is doing these guys could dominate.
49844
 
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67YAZ

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Your Atlanta United outlook.

It was in the World Series game thread when someone asked if Atlanta was still a crap sports town and CP replied that AtlUtd won the MLS in 2018.

But there's another stat that I think better illustrates both Atlanta's and soccer's potential. Atlanta United ranked #9 for club attendance IN THE WORLD in 2019. They had plenty of non-league fixtures and that big, big building and coming of a C-ship season.
But still - #9 in the world? In soccer?

Given Uncle Arthur's checkbook, why don't they dominate every year? Felipe Cardenas did a good takedown of the front office in the Athletic last year, specifically aimed at Carlos Bocanegra. Message board critics say Arthur befriends his front office personnel and is then unable to can them. It's been a problem on the Falcon side of the biz. Bocanegra was re-upped this off season.

The team heads into 2022 with the #1 and #6 most expesive transfers, Almada and Aruajo. Aruajo is a huge talent. But he seemed to turn it on and off a bit last year.

Their starting offensive four will ultimately be Aruajo, Almada, Martinez and Moreno. Tons of talent.

Josef Martinez does not have the wheels he used to pre-ACL. He has all his skills though. Expect an adjusted role and a ton of assists.

They have good forward depth in Dom Dwyer and 19 yr old Tyler Wolff.

The midfield has been a problem since Nagbe left. Alonso will help a lot, given both his vet status and history with Pineda. Rosetto
play has improved.

Gutman/Wiley on the left. Lennon/Hernandez on the right. They'll play 2 CBs, Miles and Franco, with Big George Campbell getting significant minutes.

GK. Guzan/Shuttleworth

They are starting the year depleted.

Almada and Ibarra back in Argentina getting visas.
Sosa still out after off season groin surgery.
Araujo out 4 wks with a hammy.
Moreno not 100%
Hyndman coming back from ACL (no preseason minutes)

If Pineda can teach these guys to advance the ball and Aruajo buys into what Pineda is doing these guys could dominate.
Nice write up.

I haven’t noticed Miles Robinsons name in the transfer rumors yet. How much longer can Atlanta hold on to him?
 

Monbo Jumbo

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Nice write up.

I haven’t noticed Miles Robinsons name in the transfer rumors yet. How much longer can Atlanta hold on to him?
I think he stays the entire season. Once they let Walkes go in the draft, you knew Miles isn't going anywhere this year. Playing minutes to maintain USMNT fitness is the factor here, I think. After the World Cup, he's gone.
 

67YAZ

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God must be smiling on the Fire today because it’s in the mid-60s for this evening’s home opener. It was 30 yesterday and supposed to snow on Monday, but goddamn it’s spring right now.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Toronto's pitch is looking like a documentary about football from the 60s. It's March and Canada, I get it, but still grim.
 

PseuFighter

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Revs announced 14,554 but it looks more like 3,000 in that photo so I don’t know.
 

Pesky Pole

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Toronto's pitch is looking like a documentary about football from the 60s. It's March and Canada, I get it, but still grim.
Try the Montreal field. They are playing in the old Olympic Stadium (I assume to avoid the cold). Jim Curtin on the pregame said he told his players to play it long to avoid injury because the field is borderline unplayable.

Somehow the Union lead 2-1.
 

67YAZ

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Chicago 0-0 Orlando

The good - 2 matches and 2 clean sheets. Shaq continues to do ridiculous training ground moves to embarrass defenders. The Czichos-Omsberg center back pairing really clicks. And Slonina is really looking to distribute the ball and spark counters. While he’s largely making safe passes, it’s notable progress.

The bad - 2 matches and no goals. Przybylko is completely disconnected from the rest of the attack - barely seeing the ball even when he’s getting into good spaces. The fullbacks are blah (Sekulic) and mistake prone (Navarro) meaning the midfield has very little width. And Jhon Duran is wildly immature. Last week he got a yellow for kicking the ball away on a Miami free kick. Tonight, he threw a vicious elbow that left both Chicago announcers noting Duran was lucky not to see straight red 2 minutes after coming on.

At least Hendrickson can’t pull his hair out.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Weird match for Seattle. A two-hour lightning delay in the 43rd made for a weird disjointed game.

Seattle is winless in its last 12 in Salt Lake. They played a very rotated lineup because of Tuesday's game against Club Leon. But that can't be an excuse for a team that was bragging about this as the best roster in team history.

Frustrating stuff.
 

Titans Bastard

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