Was there really ever any doubt that MLS was going to get the votes to build a stadium for the Columbus Crew in Austin? There may have been hope that it wouldn’t happen, that city politics would block a concerted lobbying campaign by MLS and Anthony Precourt, but that wasn’t to be. For now there are a few more steps and what seems like it should be impossible will relentlessly grind forward - a league that is run by and for owners to pursue their narrow interests will allow this to happen. There will be endless justifications and debates about attendance and markets and the perceived need for a new stadium, but barring a change, it seems like this is inevitable.
Not only that, it’s exhausting. As someone who follows and writes about the league I’d like it to do well, I want better players and more youth development and fun soccer with good coaching. I think those things are coming more and more every year. But this is so wrong on a gut level that it makes those other things seem completely meaningless. What’s the point? If the league can trade on its fans and sell its success stories as having bigger crowds than stadiums in Europe but then rip that away for no reason then what’s being sold is a lie and what I’m writing about seems fake.
As far as American players in that league, here’s how they did this week…
Chris Wondolowski got another goal in his quest to lead the league all time in goals scored. He got another one to get a point at home for San Jose against Toronto FC. The Earthquakes may be on pace to set a record for futility on the year as they have just three wins with 10 games left, but if Wondo gets 4 more goals they can set two records this year.
Wondoooooooo.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 19, 2018
1-1 in San Jose. #SJvTOR https://t.co/iZL2cziHKw
The American Zlatan strikes again
Speaking of the Columbus Crew, Gyasi Zardes continues to score goals for the Crew. The forward scored his 15th goal in the team’s 3-1 loss in Atlanta on Sunday. Zardes has been putting together an impressive season for the Crew, his 15 goals are only on behind the 16 he scored in 2014 when it seemed like he was going to become The Next Big Thing. People may have Zardes written off, but Gregg Berhalter has shown whoever ends up managing the USMNT how the striker can be used. The strike brought him even with Zlatan for second most goals in the league.
Turn and shoot.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 19, 2018
What a hit, @gyasinho! #ATLvCLB https://t.co/2mTvX8y2JK
A consistently impressive season
Reggie Cannon continues to impress in Big D. The teenage right back helped keep a cleans heet along with Matt Hedges on Saturday against Minnesota United. The Loons were without Darwin Quintero who was injured and Christian Ramirez who Adrian Heath, who in 136 MLS games managed has a 45-29-62 record, decided was surplus to requirements. Cannon is a special talent and should have a future for the national team at right back.
Play yer olds
Well it was fun while it lasted. Jaylin Lindsey and Wan Kuzain - out - Graham Zusi and Yohan Croizet - in. Sporting Kansas City is desperate to not finish fifth and get bounced out of the playoffs in the first round again this year. They’ve tried everything, playing fun soccer, playing the kids, trying to score goals. Some of it has worked and the team is second in the Western Conference. After giving the kids some starts though, it was back to the olds with Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Seth Sinovic, and Matt Besler keeping a cleansheet for Tim Melia against a formerly unbeatable Portland Timbers as SKC defended the Blue Hell with a 3-0 win.
Upset in Philly
Speaking of American defenders, there are young ones too. Imagine that, a bunch of Americans playing as defenders in MLS. Ramon Gaddis, Keegan Rosenberry, and Austin Trusty managed to shut out NYCFC as the Union have somehow climbed to 5th in the East. CJ Sapong managed a shot in the match while Ale Bedoya was called offside just once.