The MLSisBACK tournament was back this week with the end of the group stage and start of the knockout round. Americans had plenty to say in the outcome of the matches and here are some highlights for potential national team players.
The shrieks of the defeated are bellowing
The best thing to happen to Atlanta United in the MLSisBACK tournament is that they didn’t score any goals, lost all three of their games, and their coach got fired. The other kinda good thing is that George Bello started two games and played 141 minutes. He’s a left back and he’s an American so it means he’s on the national team radar if he stays healthy. Whatever MLS is able to safely do when the tournament, hopefully Bello does enough to keep starting under whoever the new manager is.
What can you say about a 0-0 draw?
Michael Bradley had 90 minutes? Omar Gonzalez kept a clean sheet and managed 0 own goals? The only thing that can stop Ayo Akinola from scoring is Bruce Arena? Jozy Altidore did come off of the bench for 4 minutes... That’s about it from the Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution match.
A brace for Finlay
Ethan Finlay was William Yarborough’s worst nightmare as Minnesota United took on the Colorado Rapids. The American winger scored both goals for the Loons in the 2-2 draw. The first was on a set play while number two came from open play.
Minnesota kept a 2-1 lead until the 59th minute when Jonathan Lewis tied things up with an absolute rocket into the net.
I just felt obligated to mention a Fire player in here for some reason.
An American defensive midfielder to be excited about
James Sands put on a defensive clinic against Toronto FC and helped NYCFC advance in the knockout stage of the tournament. He’s gotten a lot of attention since his time with the youth national team and his breakthrough year in 2019 with New York. Big things should be ahead of him.
James Sands vs Toronto FC— Sanjiv (@USMNTvideos) July 27, 2020
Great positioning, wins his duels, and reads the game so well. Sands was instrumental in shutting down TFC’s attack. Impressive performance by him tonight.
Matt Turner with a magical pass
Keepers really only get credit for making saves that nobody remembers or allowing goals that everyone forgets. Maybe Matt Turner’s eye for passing could change that, because this is terrific.
Sadly for Turner, he would not make a save about three minutes later and the Revs lost to Philly 1-0 in the first knockout stage match.