The MLS Soccer Thread

Surprised I have to start this…

So, I resigned to watch the CONCACAF Champions League semi with LAFC playing some thugs and LAFC played down to it, both playing down a man. América played second half without their coach who was red-carded, though it was obvious from several shots of him talking on a walkie-talkie in the stands that he was still coaching. Hard to watch such an unbeautiful game, though Vela had two goals in the first minutes of the second half.
LAFC advanced to the final last night. Better soccer, thug-wise, but still lots of incomplete passes, lack of control. LAFC go ahead, then give up two sweet goals to lose.

And, C-Bus won the MLS Cup a few weeks ago. Yay. RIP MAPFRE Stadium, though it will be repurposed as the Crew training ground

Missed the semi. Heard it was a total shitstorm. Watched the final, though. Not surprised LAFC lost. It just looked like even after going up 1-0 they were looking for ways to lose it.

Now we get Austin FC in '21.

Atlanta hired Gabriel Heinze as their new head coach. Most “experts” seem to think this was a great hire. As a Bielsa disciple, seems like the team is looking to return to the type of tactical approach and attacking soccer that made them so fun to watch in their first couple of seasons.

I am also glad that the team moved on from deBoer quickly. It took some guts to fire a coach that early in the season after having won the Open Cup the prior year and narrowly missing a second consecutive MLS finals appearance.

The roster still needs some work though. I am cautiously optimistic.

Montreal changing name to Club Foot, or something bound to offend someone.

It’s Club de Foot. Great, there goes all the Canadian actuaries who are soccer fans.

Could have been worse, maybe. Could have been some variant of Montreal United FC. Means we now have (if I counted right) 14 MLS teams that have FC in some way and then another 3 that tagged SC on at the end. And then we’ll get Charlotte FC, and then Sacramento Republic FC and St. Louis SC.

I’m glad they do that, though. Otherwise, I’m sure there would be people who would have no idea those teams play soccer and think New York has 4 teams in one pro league. I hope we can get a similar rebranding in all the other leagues and we can get say Green Bay AFC who plays in the NFC.

MLS president sent out a memo to clubs instructing them to prepare for a potential work stoppage per the Athletic.

“The January 29 deadline provides all constituents ― the League, the clubs, and the players ― adequate time to prepare for the upcoming season,” the memo reads, in part. “At this point, however, we are required to plan for the possibility that the CBA may be terminated and that a work stoppage could occur. Therefore, we will be providing the clubs with guidance later today regarding the rules that must be followed during any such work stoppage.”

More talk about merging with Liga MX:

I think the biggest thing it has going for it is the large amount of teams, 18 in the top Mexican division, 27 currently in MLS. Owners would have to agree to Pro/Rel, I think, in order for it to be “the best league in the world” (not my words).
They’d also have to agree on which seasons to play. Summer can be too hot, and Winter can be too cold. Might have to go Fall/Spring, like Norway, with a long Winter break. Liga MX already takes two months off between “tournaments” (their split seasons).
They’d also have to agree on whether to do Apertura/Clausura seasons.

And, might as well merge the women’s teams.

MLS killing it in the CCL so far. Assuming that C-Bus doesn’t shit the bed tonight, the quarters will be 5 MLS vs 3 LigaMX teams.

We’re all just going to refrain from talking about MLS opening weekend? Sounds good to me!

Sorry, I didn’t watch.

There was nothing to watch or talk about. Let’s pick up week 2.

Eh, I’ll read about it here.
Or, I can wait until it merges with Liga MX, which would easier if the USA annexes Mexico.

Still nothing to talk about. Let’s pick up week 3.

Looking like it might be the Union vs Liga MX in the semis, unless Portland and CBus can more than likely win in Mexico.

Tuesday night was fairly boring
Union win at ATL 3-0.
Toronto loses 3-1 at “home” to Cruz Azul

Wednesday night brought the CCL heat
Crew draw at home vs Monterey 2-2. Crew scored twice in the last 25 mins (and had a questionable offside call disallow a 3rd) to take a 2-1 lead, then give up a wide open back post header in the 93’ to tie it up.
Portland draw at home vs America. Timbers get a PK called in the 95’ and convert it for the 1-1 draw.

After last night’s results, we are now free to talk about the MLS season.

Let’s point out the positive and say that the Loons are only 4 points out of a playoff spot. And are bringing in a French DP forward and Argentine winger in the next couple of weeks that should help the attack.

I’m going to my first match in over a year tomorrow!

It was somewhat of a dull match before an exciting finish in the final seconds.

This was the largest soccer crowd in the world since the pandemic hit last year.

Something good coming out of The MLS: VAR improvements

  1. As we’ve discussed, I think the referee should always be ready to review the video, and perhaps there should be more than one monitor (say, four) on the touchlines to make the process faster. Even Offside calls. MLS refs seem to do this for every decision, while one or two seasons ago, the Referees in the EPL made a point NOT to review anything on the touchline monitor. I’m in the “Referee it’s your match, and it’s your call” camp.
  2. I agree on using retired refs as the VAR. You have people who’ve been on the pitch at the highest levels. EPL is using, at times, ELC referees who’ve never refereed an EPL match, as well as EPL referees who are not working a match that day (maybe ref’ed the day or two before).
  3. The Hawkeye tech is making correct calls on Offside, so I’m not sure why the criticism of it. But “infuriating the fans” is an issue? Bamford’s shoulder was in an Offside Position, and got involved in play. Yes, I will blame “infuriated” fans for not knowing the change in the Law starting in 2020 that the outside of the shoulder can now play the ball without its being called a handball and since that is so, it is also a determinant of the Offside Position. Webb thinks The MLS “gets it right by not being able to determine Offside or not”?
  4. Hearing the VAR and Ref discuss the call is “what fans want”? In real time?? I’m OK with letting fans see the video that the ref is watching. They can then figure out the rest.

Handball and penalty reviews have been inconsistent in the Premier League; no one seems at all sure when the VAR will or won’t intervene.

I don’t understand this. As I understand it, EVERY call/non-call in or near the penalty area is reviewed. They might not stop the match on the non-call, but it’s certainly reviewed while play goes on. Just today in CHE-LEI, after a minute or so, play was stopped a non-called foul on Timo Werner. Turned out it was a foul, was in the box, and a penalty shot awarded. Nearly every goal is checked for offside or handball. Again, no delay unless the VAR says so for something close. Timo Werner scored a goal that came off his arm. After review, it was overturned. That’s what VAR is supposed to do. It just shouldn’t take forever (more than, say, two minutes, and DEFINITELY the referee should stop his/her watch for that). THAT’s infuriating for fans.

I was surprised at this being a red.

That is a tough call. The VAR is supposed to look at that, and I would hope that the ref himself looked at the replay, since, as a red card, it must be reviewed.
What I see is the defender leaving his space (“his space” (not a soccer term) is a silo where is torso is) with his legs, entering the space of an opponent, and contacting the opponent. Why it’s red? Guessing the referee saw it as dangerous, the contact coming at the knees. Perhaps there is prior information regarding the playing style of that particular player?