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Americans at Home: Put out the Bat Signal

Spread your wings and fly away

MLS: Toronto FC at Minnesota United FC Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

There were 17 games since last we checked in on the Americans in MLS and their lack of representation on the All-Star Team. Surely, in that time a Yank pulled himself up by his bootstraps and showed everyone that there was a snub or two out there. Alas, that just didn’t seem to be in the cards. There were a few good performances and a goal and assist or two here or there, but are any of these players All Stars? Should they be on the national team? Would they push the needle in the World Cup?

Here are a few Americans that stood out in the last week...

Batman strikes again

Minnesota United was the latest team to heap more misery on the defending MLS Cup winners as the Loons beat Toronto FC 4-3. Midfielder Miguel Ibarra has continued to make the most of his opportunity this year with the injuries suffered by Kevin Molino and Ethan Finlay. Ibarra managed a goal and an assist in the win for his fourth and fifth in each category respectively.

The game would be a difficult one for Alex Bono** Clint Irwin who watched three - THREE - goals scored by Darwin Quintero sail over his head.

In other Minnesota news, the team has let in approximately 300 goals since joining MLS last season, so naturally they added Romario Ibarra, a winger from Ecuador.

But, it’s Will Bruin...

Sure, the Seattle Sounders have fewer goals this year as a team than Josef Martinez, but Will Bruin managed to add to that tally win the team’s 4th win of the year. The two goals represent 2/15 of the times that Seattle has scored this year, but the second one was a good finish off of what looked like Colorado trying to play the ball out of the back for some reason.

Get that mess out of my living room

A player on a bad team in a position that typically doesn’t get much attention, Perry Kitchen is quietly putting together a good season. LA might be nearing the point where they turn it around this season. The team hasn’t lost in five games and Zlatan, Romain Alessendrini, and Ola Kamara are beginning to find the goal more and more. With Jonathan Dos Santos joining the team after returning from the World Cup, Kitchen now has a capable central midfield partner who will allow him to focus on his more defensive duties. If things keep going right, the Galaxy could be a surprising team by the time the playoffs roll around.

Bright spots in a rough patch for Sporting

They may not have helped Sporting Kansas City as the team has run into a bit of a rough patch, but Wan Kuzain and Jaylin Lindsay have gained the trust of Peter Vermes and are now regular starters with the team. Kuzain, a midfielder who takes excellent care of the ball, had a tough game on Wednesday getting pulled at the half as SKC changed its tactics after going down 3-1 to Real Salt Lake. He bounced back against Toronto FC as Sporting earned a draw over the weekend.

As for Lindsay, the defender would be an unused sub in the Wednesday match, but went the full 90 in the 2-2 result against TFC.

A backup rises to the occasion in Atlanta

Mikey Ambrose is getting his first chance a meaningful minutes in MLS and he’s making the most of them. With Greg Garza out for the rest of the regular season, the Atlanta United left back has racked up eight starts on the year. He helped Atlanta look like they were going to come out of Dallas with a win on Wednesday before FCD came back for a 3-2 win in the last five minutes of the game and then he started against the Philadelphia Union and kept a clean sheet for the team on Saturday.

Then there were some not top performances from Americans in the league...

New England and Seattle played 90 minutes of soccer and settled absolutely nothing.

Then there was North Carolina FC doing whatever this is...

**I originally had Alex Bono listed as the keeper for Toronto against Minnesota and it was actually Irwin. I’m sure Alex would have been positioned better for those.