Stop me if you’ve heard this before... MLS, lots of games, just a staggering quantity of soccer played by the league over the last week.
If last week was about Americans breaking out, this week was a little more subdued for the Yanks in the league. With congested schedules and matches taking place on travel days for away teams, ups and downs for Americans in the league might be the story of 2020 rather than consistency.
My, my Khiry
It’s taken a while, but Khiry Shelton has found his place in MLS and he’s doing it playing in a number of roles for Peter Vermes. The SKC manager has shown himself to be tactically malleable and this year will require that of teams and players due to the cramped schedule. In the past, that hasn’t always gone well for Sporting, but this year seems to be different. Shelton has been a part of an attacking front three, but this week he led the line against FC Dallas with SKC playing a 4-1-4-1 and scored the equalizer in a game that ended one a piece against Dallas.
Shelton also makes a great run and puts in a strong shot to set up the first SKC goal against Houston over the weekend.
We’re going to see a lot of Brenden Aaronson on here until he moves to Europe
Because he keeps doing stuff like this:
Gyasi scores two
He isn’t going anywhere and he keeps scoring, he’s Gyasi Zardes. The Columbus Crew striker score two very MLS goals against FC Cincinnati, a team that is capable of pulling off extreme MLS defending. The first goal was pretty solid with Zardes cycling the ball to the wing to set up the score. Pedro Santos gets a shot off and Zardes re-directs it out of the path of the keeper and into the net.
Hero defending denies Orlando
Atlanta United fans are getting to know something that just about every other MLS supporter can relate to - what it is like to support an MLS team. In the three years that Atlanta has been in the league there have been ups and downs, but prolonged periods of drudgery have thus far not befallen the Five Stripes. Until now. The team gutted out a 0-0 draw at home against Inter Miami. They then relied on some heroic defensive efforts from George Bello to keep hope in their weekend match at Orlando. It paid off when the most MLS of MLS things to happen did happen and Adam Jahn scored a last minute trashcan of a header to draw the game at one.
Meanwhile, Orlando is left to rue their missed chances. Because they missed a lot of them...
Still, Daryl Dike managed an assist on the goal from OCSC.
DC United is putting the future of MLS in jeopardy
Recent DC United history has gone something like this: kinda OK, but pretty hard to watch; cutting wages and being the worst team in the league to pay for building a stadium; getting Wayne Rooney and being good, but not really living up to it’s potential; this:
Didn't happen. Only the 2nd time in @MLS history a team's been held without a shot.— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) September 7, 2020
Got the point, tho! #BennyBallForever https://t.co/JJZppupkIq
Ben Olsen has gotten a lot of slack in his career. Back when Bruce Arena and Jason Kreis were the best managers in the league, Olsen could make do with what he had and grind out wins or whatever his overall objective was. DCU recorded zero shots against NYCFC... at home and got a 0-0 draw. That follows a last minute 1-0 away victory against NYRB who just fired Chris Armas. DC can and should do better, it’s time for MLS to move on from coaches who can’t figure out how to keep up.
You know who might get a call-up for a domestic based USMNT friendly? Sebastian Lletget. The American has been lining up in the no. 10 role for the LA Galaxy and while his numbers aren’t eye popping across his career, he seems to be settling into a central role this year. A solid attacking midfielder who can also put in strong work defensively and get the ball to playmaking wingers sounds somewhat attractive for the Stars and Stripes. He also scored two goals against LAFC over the weekend 10 minutes apart. Julian Araujo also went 74 minutes in the win.