If 2020 is remembered for one thing, it won’t be soccer. But the year may still be marked as the one where youth development turned a corner in MLS. After hearing so much about how important the league is for giving young players a chance, that’s finally happening this year. Seemingly every team has a player under 21 who is starting every week and contributing in every match, not just filling a spot on the roster.
Americans on Atlanta United finally get a win
Suddenly, Atlanta United is jam packed with Yanks. Brooks Lennon, George Bello, Jeff Larentowicz, Emerson Hyndman, Miles Robinson, and Brad Guzan have all been regular starters for the Five Stripes. The results haven’t been so good though... The team finally won a game 1-0 to the FC Dallas thanks to a solid defensive showing and a goal from Larentowicz. Atlanta is struggling and needs players like Hyndman, who got a big raise in the off season, to step up. So far, that hasn’t happened, but it did come together for one glorious game.
Goals for two yanks and a solid win for NY Red Bulls
The Red Bulls earned a solid win against Inter Miami thanks to a goal from Brian White and good defensive effort led by Aaron Long and Tim Parker. The bright spot for Miami come when Juan Agudelo tied the game in the 39th minute.
White responded and NYRB tacked on two more to come away with the 4-1 victory.
Young talent comes through for the Rapids against the Quakes
Maybe one of the more unexpected developments of 2020 is that the Colorado Rapids have some good young players this season. In the team’s 5-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes that talent was on full display. Midfielder Cole Bassett opened the scoring for the Rapids in the first half, Bassett would also get an assist on the 5th Colorado goal in the 84th minute.
Cole Bassett strikes again for Colorado for his 3rd goal in his last 4 games. He now has 4 goals this season, the most of any teenage player in MLS.— Future USMNT (@FutureUsmnt) September 24, 2020
The 19 year old is averaging a goal or assist every 79 minutes as well pic.twitter.com/6zWQ2rI2ov
Jonathan Lewis grabbed the second goal for Colorado thanks to an assist from Kellyn Acosta.
Meanwhile, Sam Vines went the full 90 as Colorado cruised to an easy win. For the Quakes, Cade Cowell got the start but came off at the half while Jackson Yueill and Tommy Thompson went the full 90. The game would be one Thompson would want to forget as he chipped in an own goal.
The Philadelphia Union: like the Red Bulls but likable
In Philly, the Union easily dispatched Inter Miami 3-0 as Anthony Fontana scored the opener and is starting to establish himself as a starter.
Anthony Fontana does it again. The 20 year old strikes for his 4th goal in his last 3 games! On fire pic.twitter.com/m3LRyCnFUf— Future USMNT (@FutureUsmnt) September 28, 2020
In your weekly Brenden Aaronson highlight, the youngster scored the 3rd goal for Philly as Mark McKenzie once again anchored the backline in the clean sheet effort.
Salzburg-bound Brenden Aaronson scores to put the nail in the coffin and & seal Philly’s win. Fun game. Anthony Fontana was a standout but left in the 60th with a knock. Hopefully it’s not serious. Higauin’s miss & ensuing melee will be the highlight pic.twitter.com/S0ywRXI91A— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) September 28, 2020
That’s it, that’s the highlight.
Chris Mavinga scored an own goal but it was probably Omar Gonzalez’s fault. Ayo Akinola also went 89 minutes playing on the right wing as Toronto beat Columbus 3-1.
Lots of Americans score in LA vs Seattle
The Sounders went to LA and thoroughly thumped the Galaxy 3-1 with all four goals being scored by Yanks. Cristian Roldan had two of his own, but his second was brilliantly finished to put the score at 3-0 at the hour mark.
Jordan Morris had a goal of his own and is really good at soccer as he begins hitting his prime years.
Jordan Morris continues to produce— AmericanHooligans ⚽️ (@AmericanHoolis) September 28, 2020
While LA did get beat convincingly, Sebastian Lletget continued his habit of scoring with his 5th goal of the season.
Sebastian Lletget's fifth goal of 2020 ✨ pic.twitter.com/QaSDYawhGq— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 28, 2020
Juan Araujo started on the right wing and had a shot with his customary yellow card also.
Somehow the Earthquakes beat LAFC
The league makes absolutely no sense. LAFC is struggling badly right now, but the Earthquakes are having the worst season in MLS history.
Moment of Zen
Gonzalo Higuain came to MLS thinking he’d have it easy and score goals galore against college graduates (he will probably), but his debut produced nothing for the accomplished disaster artist.