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Americans at home: Earth Day green washing, a USMNT injury, and Big-D’s youngsters win big

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Zack Steffen may soon have some competition

MLS: FC Dallas at Atlanta United FC Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In what is becoming an annual tradition, MLS teams played in special Adidas jerseys made from recycled plastic picked out of the oceans by a company called Parley for the Oceans. For the price of $90 fans can grab one of the kits and feel oh so good about supporting their team and the planet! The jerseys are a part of MLS’ Greener Goals program which coincides with the week ending on Earth Day.

All of this sounds good - Adidas gets to sell limited edition merchandise, MLS gets good PR and does things to benefit communities and probably can write off something on its taxes, and the environment gets saved. It’s a hat trick!

Or is it an own goal? From a environmental perspective, the idea that consumers should be responsible for environmental cleanup is a notion that obscures how commodity chains put that onus on end users while letting producers create waste and then take no or little responsibility for it. While Adidas has goals around “sustainability”, looking closer these are vague and won’t apply to their supply chain in a way that leads to real environmental protection.

So on the one hand they’re cleaning up the oceans, but on the other Adidas is cashing in on marketing a “sustainable” product to environmentally conscious consumers while continuing to be responsible for damaging ecosystems they claim to be concerned about.

In the end, this is another thing that a huge company along with its partner MLS, whose teams are sponsored by some not so savory actors when it comes to environmental destruction, has done to get good PR while not really addressing a problem. This is green-washing and MLS is actively promoting it. The environmental issues that Adidas and MLS are selling a product to try to resolve won’t come from consumers buying something, they will come from changes in policy that might end up making companies like Adidas and other MLS sponsors, along with other polluters, take responsibility for the waste and environmental damage that they create.

For those interested about the soccer that was played in the special jerseys, here’s how it went...

Djordje scores

Give the Chicago Fire credit, I’ve been pointing out how they don’t have a plan or good players and they didn’t really prove me wrong but they did beat the worst team in MLS so far this year 4-1. Djordje Mihailovic played for 62 minutes and got the third Fire goal in the game:

CJ Sapong would also find the scoresheet and, along with Dax McCarty, would get a hockey assist in the game.

Kellyn Acosta would come out of the game at the half after starting in central midfield. Benny Feilhaber dropped into his role - the sub didn’t make much of a difference for the Rapids as they’d allow three goals in the second half.

An assist, injury for Jozy Altidore

It’s April, which means it’s time for Jozy Altidore to get hurt again. This is a pretty tough break for Jozy and the USMNT. Say what you want about him, but he’s been scoring at a torrid rate in MLS this year. Scoring is good, the USA will need people to score goals when they play in the Gold Cup.

Altidore talked about the injury after the game, as reported by MLSSoccer.com, and seemed pretty sure he knew why he got hurt: “We had a trainer here the last three years that has been helping me avoid muscle injuries, but because he was attached to Seba [Giovinco, transferred in January], he’s not allowed in the club, which I think is ridiculous,” explained Altidore. “And so now, this is what I’m faced with.” Somehow, this trainer has been so vital to Jozy staying on the field that he missed 20 games last year... Seems like something else is going on in Toronto. Here is the assist he made on the game winner before he came off for his injury:

The Reds would beat Minnesota United in a wild 4-3 game with seven goals and two red cards. Aside from Jozy, Americans doing things of note in the game were Justin Morrow getting himself an assist on Alejandro Pozuelo’s second goal - which everyone should see.

Alex Bono had a bit of a rough night giving up three goals to the Loons. He’s having an uneven 2019 so far with a cleansheet but eight goals allowed in five games overall.

Jesus, Paxton and Jesse shine in Atlanta

Ah, Atlanta United - they dominated the stats in terms of shots and possession but couldn’t crack the FC Dallas defense until a late consolation penalty in the 7th minute of injury time. For FCD, Jesse Gonzalez had a career game standing on his head and making seven saves on 22 Atlanta shots including this pure reflex move on a ball that Josef Martinez may have been a bit surprised by:

Dallas scored early, thanks to Jesus Ferreria, and held on until they managed a second goal on a breakaway in the 84th minute. Fereira’s goal came just at the right time -

Given that Atlanta dominated the match and Dallas was playing close to their box for most of the game, it was a relatively quiet night for Paxton Pomykal, but another young Yank had an impact in the game. 18 year-old defensive midfielder Edwin Cerrillo has been making the most of his chances for Dallas in his five starts this year. He helped spring the counter that would make the score 2-0 as well as helping to frustrate the Atlanta attack.

Jeremy Ebobisse gives Portland win no. 1

The Columbus Crew under Caleb Porter have had an... interesting season. The team has eight goals and four wins, but three goals have been scored by defenders and two were scored in a game played during one of the water polo matches MLS seems determined to have at least once a season. Are they good? Lucky? Is Caleb Porter capable of keeping the consistency that Gregg Berhalter had as manager? It’s early, but so far the results seem to be based on good things happening to the team rather than a system that creates them.

Case in point, the Portland Timbers came to town and promptly beat the Crew 3-1. Portland has been awful on the year. Their defense has been disjointed, without Diego Valeri putting up MVP numbers and carrying the entire team on his back they have struggled. Portland went into Columbus without a win and a goal difference of -11 in six games. Thanks in part to a go-ahead goal by Jeremy Ebobisse, the Timbers would work on turning that around:

Someone make sure Zack Steffen is OK after that nutmeg.

LAFC bounces back against Seattle

The Los Angeles Football Club had a shocking performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps and lost 1-0 in a midweek game on Wednesday. On Sunday, they would bounce back against the Sounders as Carlos Vela remembered that Bob Bradley is a brilliant coach who told him to play like Messi and scored a brace. For Yanks in the game, Christian Ramirez would get his second goal of the year to put LA up 4-1 and put the game away.

After a blazing hot start to begin the year, Jordan Morris would start as the lone striker for Seattle and not register a shot in his 68 minutes on the field. The goal for the visitors would be scored by Harry Shipp and Cristian Roldan would be fouled five times in the game.