Week two of MLS got underway with some exciting matches as defense wasn’t really the theme of the week. The league has had some high scoring matches in the opening frames of the season and week two saw some Americans get on the board. Here’s how some Yanks at home fared.
The days of our lives
Good news, there’s a young versatile defender/midfielder that is doing important things for one of the better teams in the league. James Sands has shown he can play defensive midfield and centerback and against Toronto he started on the backline. It’s hard to get excited about defender highlights, but these are pretty great.
James Sands was one of NYCFC's bright spots against Toronto filling in at CB for Maxime Chanot.— Kevin Nelson (@Kevin_N_Nelson) March 8, 2020
He was incredibly physical in defense, battling Jozy Altidore throughout, & held up well when caught in 1-on-1 situations.
Buy stock in him if you haven't already. pic.twitter.com/CtkaHoExhz
While Toronto won, Jozy Altidore had eight shots but was kept off the scoresheet.
Gyasi Zardes finds the net
It seemed like the days of the Columbus Crew giving up late leads were over, but it only took two weeks for the team to throw points away after the 75th minute. Despite a goal from Zardes in the 33rd minute after the striker showed off some dynamic movement to set up the score.
Ike likes goals
A wild seven goal game in San Jose was started thanks to an effort by Ike Opara. The defender opened the scoring in the 13th minute and appropriately scored the seventh of the game in the 71st. Nick Lima started at left back opposite Tommy Thompson on the right. Lima came off at the half for 16 year-old Cade Cowell who has featured for the USMNT youth teams.
Hyndman the hero again
Two games, two big goals - Emerson Hyndman has stepped up for Atlanta United as the young attacker again scored for Atlanta United. This time the midfielder did some fancy dribbling and took a well placed shot to put Atlanta up 2-0 over FC Cincinnati.
Hyndman lined up in central midfield next to Eric Remedi, but was the player going forward from the center of the pitch. Frankie Amaya went 80 minutes for FCC as he’s started both games for the team in 2020. Elsewhere for Atlanta, George Bello made the bench after a prolonged injury last year and centerback George Campbell got his first MLS minutes after coming in at the 44th minute due to an injury to starter Laurence Wyke.
A goal and an assist for Khiry
Khiry Shelton is a player that many have been waiting to see become a possible MLS impact player. At 26 it seemed like that was getting less and less likely, but so far the forward has two starts for Sporting KC and over the weekend notched a goal and an assist. SKC struggled mightily last year but made a few key moves in the offseason and might be a team to watch in the West this year. Shelton lined up next to newcomer from LigaMX Alan Pulido and assisted on the striker’s goal.
The six goal stunner
If anyone on the East Coast stayed up until 2 AM or whenever the LAFC vs. Philadelphia Union match ended they took in a feast for the eyes. It was a fun, madcap game with six goals. The 5th was scored by fancy footed American Brenden Aaronson. The crafty no. 10 was involved in the buildup and finished the sequence off nicely for Philly to put the team up 3-2. The lead wouldn’t last as LA scored again in the 71st minute.