Americans in MLS kicked off in regular season play over the weekend. We gave a partial look at some names that will be covered here in the coming season, a belated part III is coming up, and now we’ll see how players do in 2020.
One of there interesting things about the domestic league and USMNT is that some of the best Americans in the league don’t show up on national team rosters. That was exemplified in the top 50 player list that MLS published before the season started. The list has 12 Americans on it:
9. Ike Opara
15. Jozy Altidore
17. Darlington Nagbe
19. Aaron Long
25. Miles Robinson
30. Jordan Morris
33. Walker Zimmerman
34. Stefan Frei
45. Cristian Roldan
46. Bill Hamid
47. Alejandro Bedoya
48. Reggie Cannon
Opara, Nagbe, Frei, and Bedoya haven’t been called in for years and the rest get frequent callups. However, aside from Altidore and Morris the list consists of up and coming players and those who don’t really make an impact with the USMNT. It will be good to see how the younger players on this list continue to develop and how those who aren’t on it stake a claim in the top 50.
Finally, if you’re reading this and wondering, “MLS is terrible, why should I care or watch it?” I say to you - EXACTLY. This is part of what makes it compelling as I discussed last year. Happy MLS season everyone!
Jomo-off to a hot start again
Jordan Morris had a great 2019 and he picked up where he left off to start 2020. After coming off of the bench at the half, the forward scored both of Seattle’s goals in their 2-1 win over the rebranded Chicago Fire.
Roldan had a goal disallowed in the game while Djordje Mihailovic had an assist for the Fire. Mihailovic will be in the no. 10 role for Chicago this year and will make or break their attack in 2020, so it’s promising to see him off to a good start.
Kyle Duncan? KYLE DUNCAN!
The right back was an off an on starter for NYRB in 2019 but got the nod in the opening day for 2020. The choice paid off as he opened the scoring for New York against Cincinnati.
New York was a bit shakier on defense with Aaron Long out of the lineup. Cincinnati looked rough but stayed in the game to their credit. Striker Brandon Vazquez chipped in an assist on the first FCC goal though.
An American scores a tap in and another hits a banger
Atlanta United travelled to Nashville for the Tennessee team’s inaugural match in front of nearly 60,000 fans. Those who showed up were not disappointed. Atlanta opened the scoring on an effort from Ezequiel Barco but Nashville evened things up thanks to a goal from Walker Zimmerman.
Each team pushed for a goal in an exciting game but Atlanta would win thanks to a well taken shot by Emerson Hyndman.
The score might have been different but, then this happened.
Did Nashville's 'keeper deserve to see red? pic.twitter.com/x9EMqJox0S— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 2, 2020
It’s apparently just a yellow card since the laws of physics could have stopped applying if the ball was going to go into the goal after the shot so not DOGSO.
A comeback winger makes a difference for the Loons
Last year, Ethan Finley claimed a starting role in Minnesota and put together a 7g/3a season. He is already almost over that assist total after the opener in Portland. The winger had a pair of assists in an impressive win against the Timbers. Finley had 7, 13, and 9 assists from 2014-2016 before falling off in 2017. An injury up north threw his career in further doubt, but he’s showing that he can find his form again.