MLS had it’s now annual expansion draft on Tuesday as Fussball Club Cincinnati picked from a list of players that the other teams in MLS were hoping to offload onto the new club. Apparently, the new team is focused on building around a core of MLS castoffs, USL players, and players that seem past their prime or never lived up to expectations in MLS. It will be interesting to see how they solidify the roster in the offseason as training camp in the league opens in just two short months, but so far the team is shaping up to be more Minnesota United than LAFC or Atlanta United.
Notes from MLS Cup
Atlanta United lifted MLS Cup thanks in no small part to the effort of their American core, I looked into how those players contributed to the team and their historic season.
For those curious, Jeff Attinella was everything he was promised to be as he sprayed aimless long balls all over the field hoping one would find Diego Valeri. Jeremy Ebobisse got his pocket picked by Michael Parkhurst to set up the first Atlanta goal and Jorge Villafana and Zarek Valentin are also on this team.
One Atlanta player who may figure in the national team picture is moving to a new club. Greg Garza was acquired by FC Cincinnati for allocation money. The left back battled injuries over his two seasons in MLS but is one of the better players at his position in the league when he’s healthy. The move may open the door for more playing time for youth national teamer George Bello. Also off the field for the MLS Cup champs, it seems that Andrew Carleton was suspended for violating team rules for the Cup and other team festivities. The young attacker had an uneven year for the Five Stripes as he got his first MLS start but failed to establish himself as a starter or key bench player for the team in 2018.
Meanwhile, in the normal world of social media...
Someone is getting the last laugh, Merritt will be dearly missed. His insight into the league and amazing ability to delete tweets even though they ended up being screen capped for posterity was a true joy to behold.
Last week, Eddie Johnson shared his thoughts on Jordan Morris. Somehow the Seattle forward has become somewhat of a poster child for things that are wrong with national team players staying in MLS.
Boy, EJ is pulling no punches when it comes to Jordan Morris’ new contract. Tell us what you really think, tho: pic.twitter.com/rXL9p3v8AT— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) December 7, 2018
From the Pacific Northwest to the Hollywood Hills...
Speaking of the Timbers, the latest in the line of managers to get a chance to save the LA Galaxy seems to be lined up. I’m sure Zlatan is thrilled. It’s been noted elsewhere but Porter is an interesting choice since LA’s new General Manager Dennis te-Kloese is focused on youth development while the team’s supposed new coach really didn’t give the youngs a big chance in Portland. However, that may be a symptom of the Timber’s organization more so than Porter’s choice so we’ll see what happens.
Sources tell @KristianRDyer that The LA Galaxy are set to name Caleb Porter as the club's new head coach, with another former MLS head man in the running for a spot on his staff: https://t.co/Qy9kjwyxKZ— The Athletic Soccer (@TheAthleticSCCR) December 11, 2018
Keepers on the go
Staying on the West Coast, Zac MacMath is headed to the Vancouver Whitecaps. The keeper seemed to be set to have his star on the rise after escaping a backup role in Philly, but the addition of Tim Howard derailed that a bit. MacMath helped the 2015 version of the Colorado Rapids have one of the best defenses in the league until Howard’s unrustable gold showed up in the Rockies.