Something that has surprised me in the five substitute era is that there isn’t a manager who is trying to game the system some how. It seems like this would be a prime chance for an innovative coach to use his five substitutes to do something different. For example, why not lineup in a 5-0-5 and just launch balls into the box and see if a five striker formation can’t snatch a few goals early and then drop in some subs to play a more typical formation?
At the very least, it might just spice things up. MLS has been really weird this season in terms of consistent quality and if that’s going to be the case anyway, why not just turn a few games into an intentional mess instead of one where things just aren’t right because of the circumstances we’re in?
Before there was Aaronson, there was Fontana
The story of Brenden Aaronson’s rise is a familiar one by now, but one that could have been and possibly could still be is that of Anthony Fontana. The 20 year-old attacking midfielder scored in his MLS debut in 2018, but he’s spent most of his career in USL. He had a chance to make an impact against the New England Revolution on Saturday and came through with two goals. At just 20, he’s got a ton of potential and with Aaronson possibly heading to Europe at some point, also has a path to more MLS minutes.
Mueller sets up the winner for OCSC
Orlando keeps winning and Chris Mueller keeps doing good things. The winger is having a breakout year for OCSC and that continued against Inter Miami as he provided an assist on the game winner in the match.
In truly heartwarming news, Brek Shea also scored.
Goals for Djordje and Gyasi
One of the surprising developments in 2020 has been that the Columbus Crew have a stout defense and through 10 games this year had only allowed an astounding two goals. This is a dramatic improvement for a Caleb Porter led team as his sides typically can defend for about 75 minutes a game. That goals allowed number doubled against the Chicago Fire over the weekend thanks in part to a goal from Djordje Mihallovic.
Sadly, the Fire midfielder would depart the match with an injury in the 22nd minute. Gyasi Zardes salvaged a draw for the Crew with an 88th minute goal when he scored when he probably didn’t mean to but in a good way.
Don’t look now, but Gyasi, Morris and Mueller are all in the top five of goal scorers this season in MLS.
San Jose Embarrassmentquakes
The Seattle Sounders vs. San Jose Earthquakes match turned into an embarrassment of goals that puts the future of MLS in jeopardy type of game. It started out with this horrible display of defending that led to Jordan Morris’ first goal.
It was 5-0 by the 33rd minute. Morris added an assist on the seventh goal in the 59th after making a blistering run down the left flank and sending a looping cross into the box that caused Joevin Jones’ marker to fall over.
Wondo scored too.
Last minute winner for Jozy
USMNT strikers came through in the clutch this week as Jozy Altidore found the net in the 88th minute in Montreal to secure a 2-1 win for Toronto.
For his part, Ayo Akinola came in for 10 minutes in the match.
The one bright spot for Atlanta United in 2020 is a teenaged left back
Atlanta United is really bad this year, very bad, completely out of sorts, not good even. If there’s one positive that they can point to this year it is the play of George Bello who has proven to be an effective, if not slightly over-reliant on his athleticism, defensive starter at left back.
Speaking of left backs, Daniel Lovitz also added an assist in the game.