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

ThePrideofShiner

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Jul 16, 2005
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I was going to skip Seattle's champions league game tonight because getting to and from Seattle on a weeknight is a pain in the ass, but I figured I shouldn't skip chances to see a Liga MX team.

Hopefully Seattle doesn't embarrass themselves tonight.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Jul 19, 2005
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Turned on the NYCFC champions league game, and it turns out they're playing in Connecticut...in front of what actually doesn't look like a horrible crowd?
 

ThePrideofShiner

spooky action from a distance
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Jul 16, 2005
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A name to keep an eye on is 16-year-old Obed Vargas, who has started all three CCL games for Seattle in the midfield and has played extremely well throughout. Apparently the U20 US team is already looking at him.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Revs looking lively in attack and have the 1 - 0 lead on Pumas, but wasting a lot of chances.

If that keeps up, then we are looking vulnerable to the traditional late Liga MX dagger that makes your Mexico trip extraordinarily difficult. Omar Gonzalez is looking like the likely culprit there, having so far already been left for dead once and coughed up a very bad giveaway passing out from the back. He is currently scaring the shit out of me.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Bou hits a crossbar and scores a slightly offside goal that does not stand, and my concern that we are the team this round in line for the classic CCL experience grows larger.
 

Titans Bastard

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The Revs should be winning by more at this point. But they've been good enough that perhaps their quality and form will carry over the Mexico City as well.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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The Revs should be winning by more at this point. But they've been good enough that perhaps their quality and form will carry over the Mexico City as well.
This seems correct to me also based on the evidence of my eyes, but the graveyard of MLS teams whose fans have said that sentence is so well-populated. Another goal or two would make me feel a hell of a lot better.
 

Titans Bastard

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This seems correct to me also based on the evidence of my eyes, but the graveyard of MLS teams whose fans have said that sentence is so well-populated. Another goal or two would make me feel a hell of a lot better.
Ye of little faith.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Big work by the big men at either end of the field.

I did say I’d feel a hell of a lot better with another goal, and that turned out to be a spot on prediction at least.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It’s very fun how Buksa never looks an average amount of awkward. At all times he looks either too awkward to actually be good at sports or extremely slick.
 

Senator Donut

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It's wild how well all three MLS teams played in the first leg. This feels like the year we break through.
I’ve been beating this drum for a while. This is a weaker Liga MX field than normal (no Super Classico clubs, no Monterrey clubs, no reigning champions Atlas) and there is no random cup-winner representing the US. If not now, then never.
 

Titans Bastard

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In last night's late game, which I didn't watch, the stats show that Montreal generated absolutely nothing (1 shot, 0 on goal), but managed to limit the bleeding to a 1-0 loss in Mexico City. They gave up 19 shots to Cruz Azul, albeit only two on goal.

Montreal turned around a 1-0 loss to Santos Laguna last round with a 3-0 win at home, so we'll see. Even if they can't pull it off, the chances of having three MLS teams in the semifinals look very good right now.
 

Zososoxfan

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I watched a lot of this game last night and I'll be honest it was my first Revs/MLS watching experience likely in years. The Revs were fucking dominant. The attack was super fluid through the MF and attack. Bou was awesome, Buksa is legit, Lletget played very well, and Omar Gonzalez is on the team--interesting! The backup keeper also made an insane save to keep the clean sheet.

So my question is whether Pumas just isn't that good, traveling for CCL is just that hard, or does Bruce Arena have this team playing really well? What are the expectations for the club this season?

As an aside, I went down the CCL Wiki page last night and I'm definitely becoming an official Saprissa fan. They're the CR club with most CCL titles outside of Mexico, and CR is one of the coolest countries on Earth. Pura vida!!
 

ThePrideofShiner

spooky action from a distance
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Jul 16, 2005
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I’ve been beating this drum for a while. This is a weaker Liga MX field than normal (no Super Classico clubs, no Monterrey clubs, no reigning champions Atlas) and there is no random cup-winner representing the US. If not now, then never.
I wasn't all that impressed by Leon. Seattle was missing multiple starters and Leon had one or maybe two chances, but Frei took care of those. I didn't watch the NYCFC game, but the pundits were impressed with them. Though apparently their opponent hit the bar in the 93rd and that would have decidedly changed things.

Also, I thought this was pretty funny for Seattle and New England fans (maybe Galaxy fans, since Lletget is new this year).

View: https://twitter.com/MattDoyle76/status/1501953971627470851/photo/1
 

Senator Donut

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I wasn't all that impressed by Leon. Seattle was missing multiple starters and Leon had one or maybe two chances, but Frei took care of those. I didn't watch the NYCFC game, but the pundits were impressed with them. Though apparently their opponent hit the bar in the 93rd and that would have decidedly changed things.

Also, I thought this was pretty funny for Seattle and New England fans (maybe Galaxy fans, since Lletget is new this year).

View: https://twitter.com/MattDoyle76/status/1501953971627470851/photo/1
I didn’t catch much of the NYCFC match, but I did watch Comunicaciones defeat Colorado in penalties. They had a great performance considering they were a man down in blizzard, but a Guatemalan club might be able to catch a team like the Rapids in their first meaningful matches, but an in-form NYCFC should be expected to beat them given 180 minutes.

I thought Leon was the strongest club coming into the tournament, as they finished third in the table, runners-up to Atlas in the final, and have started okay in 2022. I was stunned by the scoreline, especially considering the value of an away goal in this format.

Cruz Azul might be my betting favorite if I had to pick. I only watched the second half, but they really put the clamps on Montreal denying the away goal. The club formerly known as the Impact had few meaningful final third touches.

Lletget has been amazing for the Revs. Although not as talented as the player he replaced, Tejon Buchanan, Lletget is actually better-suited for what Bruce asks him to do, playing in the middle of the pitch while the right backs and strikers provide more of the width.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I watched a lot of this game last night and I'll be honest it was my first Revs/MLS watching experience likely in years. The Revs were fucking dominant. The attack was super fluid through the MF and attack. Bou was awesome, Buksa is legit, Lletget played very well, and Omar Gonzalez is on the team--interesting! The backup keeper also made an insane save to keep the clean sheet.

So my question is whether Pumas just isn't that good, traveling for CCL is just that hard, or does Bruce Arena have this team playing really well? What are the expectations for the club this season?

As an aside, I went down the CCL Wiki page last night and I'm definitely becoming an official Saprissa fan. They're the CR club with most CCL titles outside of Mexico, and CR is one of the coolest countries on Earth. Pura vida!!
Pumas have been pretty disappointing this season, while the Revs were the Supporters' Shield winners last year for most MLS points before being a bit disappointing in the playoffs as their diamond got exposed. The Revs should be there or thereabouts this season as well as one of the top teams in MLS although they'll take a hit in the summer when Matt Turner leaves for Arsenal and Adam Buksa likely gets picked up by somebody in Europe.
 

Zososoxfan

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Pumas have been pretty disappointing this season, while the Revs were the Supporters' Shield winners last year for most MLS points before being a bit disappointing in the playoffs as their diamond got exposed. The Revs should be there or thereabouts this season as well as one of the top teams in MLS although they'll take a hit in the summer when Matt Turner leaves for Arsenal and Adam Buksa likely gets picked up by somebody in Europe.
Shiiiiit, didn't even realize they won the Shield last year. MLS really needs to ditch the MLS playoffs, so that more focus goes to the Shield. US Open Cup already covers domestic cup competition. With 28 clubs though, they may have to adopt a J-League closed pro/rel system.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Shiiiiit, didn't even realize they won the Shield last year. MLS really needs to ditch the MLS playoffs, so that more focus goes to the Shield. US Open Cup already covers domestic cup competition. With 28 clubs though, they may have to adopt a J-League closed pro/rel system.
The Shield is weird now because the league doesn't have any sort of balanced schedule so it doesn't mean anything particularly standardized. I do like the idea of somehow balancing a schedule so we can have actual meaningful league titles, but running away from playoffs as all other American sports run towards "more playoffs, fewer meaningful regular season games!" is not gonna happen.

My weird mad science "make it work like this!" dream is currently as follows
  1. They're going to keep expanding as long as rich people keep paying them for it, so we get some number of teams in the low 30s (the only part of my plan that will definitely actually happen)
  2. Split the league into separate tables along the East/West line. Have those be standard balanced home/away tables each with a Shield winner.
  3. Keep the playoffs, because America loves us some goddamn playoffs. I am 50/50 here on whether it should be all East vs. East and West vs. West until the finals or whether you cross-seed them hear for the whole playoffs to have East vs. West vibes, but I lean towards the former.
This means you have legit season-long titles, which no other US sport has anymore, but also a playoff champion as America demands, and there's a fun meaningless sports argument as to which is better. It also makes the Leagues Cup more interesting which it's gonna need as CONCACAF doggedly expands it, as it also gives it the "now rare East vs. West matchups" angle to go along with the MLS vs. Liga MX angle.
 

Titans Bastard

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Shiiiiit, didn't even realize they won the Shield last year. MLS really needs to ditch the MLS playoffs, so that more focus goes to the Shield. US Open Cup already covers domestic cup competition. With 28 clubs though, they may have to adopt a J-League closed pro/rel system.
Ditching the playoffs = an absolute metric f-ton of meaningless regular season games.
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
Ditching the playoffs = an absolute metric f-ton of meaningless regular season games.
Yeah, in Euro leagues you have the title, qualifying for the Champions League, the Europa League (and now the Conference League), and avoiding relegation, so usually there's a small number of teams that don't have something to play for until the very end. I'd love to see them get to 40 teams and split it into 2 divisions of 20 with pro-rel between them, but until then, without playoffs 3/4 of the league would have nothing to play for the entire second half.
 

Awesome Fossum

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The Shield is weird now because the league doesn't have any sort of balanced schedule so it doesn't mean anything particularly standardized.
My pipe dream is to manufacture a balanced schedule. For the sake of making the math easy, imagine a 36-team league. Split into three 12-team division and play everyone in the division twice = 22 games.

Then, the top 4 teams in each division advance to another group. Teams 5-8 go to their own group and teams 9-12 to their own. Points against teams that advance to the same groups roll over.

Each team then plays the eight teams they haven't yet played twice = 16 more games for a total of 38. So all the shield contenders will have played the same opponents. The winner of the top group gets the shield.

And for the playoffs, you can take the top 4 finishers in the top group, the top 2 finishers in the bottom group, and the winner of the bottom group. Give the shield winner a bye. (Or whatever. But take some teams from all groups but more from the higher groups.)

So the shield is "fair", everyone is playing meaningful matches into the final third of the season, and the early matches have a pretty significant sense of urgency.
 
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67YAZ

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Ah shit. Slonina goes up and grabs a contested high ball, comes down awkwardly, rolls his ankle. Look pretty bad, hope it’s not.
 

Senator Donut

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I saw on Twitter that Pumas hadn’t played in snow since a 1992 match in Juarez. The Revs haven’t played a snow match since Wednesday. Anyway, you can send photos of the pitch to anyone (e.g. Eric Wynalda) who says MLS should adopt a winter calendar.
 

Titans Bastard

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Taty scored a ludicrous goal to open the scoring in NYCFC's CCL road game a bit ago.

They lead 4-2 on the aggregate.
And proceeded to make four subs at the hour mark and nearly collapse, but they squeaked by on away goals after losing this leg 4-2.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Montero converts a penalty in stoppage time! Seattle up 4-0 on the aggregate.

Edit: Morris and Montero off in the 61st replaced by Will Bruin and a 16-year-old. This is when things could go south.
 
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67YAZ

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Przybylko does the double and the Fire earned their first PK in 13 months during a very controlled win over KC. Sporting has been hit heavy by injuries so far, so they were far from full strength. But the Fire looked like a legit squad.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Dallas cooking, Ferreira with an early hat trick. Early days, but Alan Velasco is looking like a home run signing. If they stop hilariously whiffing on their big money signings then they can become a very scary team with their productive academy, instead of a USMNT fan fave but a tough actual watch.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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Felipe Cárdenas on Twitter

Massive injury news for #ATLUTD: Ozzie Alonso has torn his right ACL (injured on Sunday)
Matheus Rossetto is out 2-4 weeks with a hamstring injury.
Josef Martinez will travel to Pittsburgh to have his surgically repaired knee re-examined. His return to the pitch - TBD