MLS, it’s back. There are so many young Americans doing good things in the league it’s like a children’s birthday party here! It’s not, they’re mature adults. Anyway, here’s a look at the league in week one and how the Yanks fared.
Speaking of kids, as I mentioned in SCOAS, Americans at home is going on paternity leave for a bit until newborn child chaos becomes newborn child disarray. There might be an interim short post or two here or there until the full article is back.
Houston Dynamo 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes
Recap: Not a ton of highlights from Americans we’re paying attention to. San Jose still hasn’t figured out... it seems like they don’t know how to play soccer sometimes. It’s odd. Houston was in control from the jump and despite Tab Ramos not playing his best players came away with a victory.
Cade Cowell: 65 minutes, 1 shot
Jackson Yueill: 90 minutes, 2 interceptions, 2 tackles
Seattle Sounders 4-0 Minnesota United
The Sounders thumped Minnesota in a rematch of the Western Conference Final in a game that the Loons were totally flat in. It wasn’t even snowing so I don’t know what the excuse here was.
Hassani Dotson: 80 minutes, 1 shot, 1 shot on target, playing as a left winger
Cristian Roldan: 90 minutes, 1 assist, 1 yellow card
Joshua Atencio: 90 minutes, 1 shot, 3 tackles, 1 interception
Alex Roldan: (just kidding).
Montreal Club Foot 4-2 Toronto FC
The former Impact figured out something that Leon couldn’t: just kick the ball past the old slow guys on Toronto. It worked and they dispatched their Canadian rivals at their home field in Ft. Lauderdale. Toronto is an oddly made up team, their average age is 28 but that’s because half the players are 18 and the other half are 38. It will make having an effective press something that’s difficult for them throughout the year. If Toye can have a good year and stay healthy we might see a lot of but from Americans in French Canada this year.
Mason Toye: 56 minutes, 1 goal, 3 shots
Djordje Mihalovic: 78 minutes, 1 goal, 3 shots, 2 shots on target
Orlando City 0-0 Atlanta United
This one was pretty rough. Brad Guzan made some miraculous saves to keep the game at 0-0 for Atlanta and Miles Robinson is going to have a huge year at centerback for the team. Orlando seemed like they were controlling the match but didn’t do much to disrupt Atlanta’s possession in the game while Atlanta didn’t do much with the possession they did have. The Five Stripes also seem to have more of an edge to them this year as the game started with Santiago Sosa removing Nani’s hamstring in the 5th minute and Franco Ibarra sweeping Pato’s leg when he came on late in the second half.
Chris Mueller: 89 minutes, 1 shot, 3 crosses
Andres Perea: 45 minutes 1 shot, 1 shot on target, came on in the second half for striker Tesho Akindele.
George Bello: 90 minutes, 1 shot
Miles Robinson: 90 minutes, 4 tackles, 1 interception
Brooks Lennon: 90 minutes, 1 shot, 10 (!) crosses
Brad Guzan: 90 minutes, 0 red cards, 3 saves
LAFC 2-0 Austin FC
The marquee matchup from Saturday featuring a showcase team with the league’s best player and one that it wants to market a lot vs. an expansion side promised to be... well it seemed like LA should win easily and one that Carlos Vela should play in. He got 21 minutes in the match because Bob Bradley thought he was hurt and pressed ‘quick sub’ a bit too quickly on his FM21 app. It was embarrassing and potentially threatening to the long term success of MLS. This seems like a season where Corey Baird can step up and get some attention and he showed that by scoring the opening goal in the match.
Corey Baird: 74 minutes, 1 goal, 4 shots, 2 on target
Nick Lima: 90 minutes, 2 shots, 4 crosses, 1 tackle, 0 posts
Matthew McConaughey: “That’s what I love about these American teenage soccer players, I keep getting older and they stay the same age. Yes they do, yes they do.”
FC Dallas 0-0 Colorado Rapids
This was in the hard to watch category. The ref spent most of the game telling the players how to play soccer, it was really bad.
Ricardo Pepi: 10 minutes... that’s it
Paxton Pomykal: 22 minutes (see above)
John Nelson: 90 minutes, 4 crosses, 1 interception
Cole Bassett: 90 minutes, 1 shot, 1 shot on target
Kellyn Acosta: 90 minutes
William Yarbrough: Remember him?
NYRB 1-2 Sporting KC
Caden Clark scored a goal.... no, no, no, it wasn’t a gol, it was a GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZOAZO
The Red Bulls went up early thanks to Clark’s goal and then gave up two goals in two minutes to SKC and that was all the team needed to see out the win.
Caden Clark: 90 minutes, 2 shots, 2 shots on target, 1 gol
Andrew Gutman: 90 minutes, 3 crosses, 3 tackles, 3 interceptions
Kyle Duncan: 90 minutes, 5 crosses, 2 tackles, 7 interceptions
David Archibald: DNP
Gianluca Busio: played as a forward - 90 minutes, 1 shot, 1 shot on target, 4 crosses
Jaylin Lindsey: 90 minutes, 6 crosses, 2 interceptions
John Pulskamp: 90 minutes, 2 saves, proved that 4th string goalkeeper is the most important position on the roster
District of Columbia United 2-1 New York City Baseball Club
Ben Olsen is gone and DCU is forging a new identity. They opened 2021 with a 2-1 win over NYCFC coming back after falling behind 1-0 in the 15th minute. Both their goals were scored by Yanks with centerback Brendan Hines-Ike and Russell Canouse contributing to the points.
Adrien Perez: 17 minutes, 1 shot
Brenden Hines-Ike: 90 minutes, 1 really, really good goal, 2 shots, 1 shot on target, 4 interceptions
Ok.. MLS week 1 GOALAZZO ranking (so far - it’s changing quickly)— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) April 18, 2021
Gold: Joao Paulo
Silver: Paul Marie
Bronze: Brenden Hines-Ike ⬇️⬇️ pic.twitter.com/u01J5OcVBq
Andres Jasson: 20 minutes... that’s it
Keaton Parks: 90 minutes, 2 tackles, 3 interceptions
James Sands: 90 minutes, 3 interceptions
Chicago Fire 2-2 New England GilBous
The first half was very entertaining with four goals before the half hour mark. The Fire don’t really have any Americans worth touching on, but Matt Turner was put to work making five saves in the game.
Henry Kessler: 90 minutes, 1 tackle, 2 interceptions
DeJuan Jones: 89 minutes, 1 cross, 1 tackle, 5 interceptions
Nashville SC 2-2 FC Cincinnati
FCC are going to try to be competitive this year and score goals this time. It worked! Early goals from Luciano Acosta and Brenner put them up 2-0 but Nashville came back with a pair of scores of their own to split the points. Cinci might be fun, but they’re going to score a lot and allow a lot of goals.
Handwalla Bwana: 31 minutes, 2 shots, 1 on target
Walker Zimmerman: 90 minutes, 3 shots, 2 on target, 1 tackle, 3 interceptions
Inter Miami 2-3 LA Galaxy
Speaking of scoring a lot and giving a lot of goals up, in what might have been the most exciting game of the weekend the Galaxy came back to win against Inter Miami in Ft. Lauderdale. American Robbie Robinson put the home side up 1-0 with Chicharito evening the score at about the hour mark. Gonzalo Higuain put Miami up 2-1 before Chicharito struck again and then Sacha Kljestan put the game away late for LA.
Robbie Robinson: 90 minutes, 1 goal, 4 shots, 2 on target
Joshua Penn: 8 minutes
John McCarthy: who?
Sebastian Lletget: 90 minutes, 1 assist, 1 cross
Adam Esparza: 57 minutes
Jonathan Klinsmann: 0 minutes
Columbus Crew 0-0 Philadelphia Union
I think it was mentioned elsewhere, but this may have been the first time the MLS Cup winner played the Supporter’s Shield winner in MLS history. That seems like a huge whiff by the league but this is the kind of thing it should do more of. Except that this game was not good. Neither team could do much with the ball as Caleb Porter complained that his team didn’t have the ball enough at halftime. It’s possible he could have changed things and tried to do more with the possession they did have but that didn’t happen. Philly also didn’t do anything with their possession. It wasn’t good.
Gyasi Zardes: 90 minutes, 0 goals, 1 shot
Leon Flach: 90 minutes, 1 shot, 1 shot on target, 5 tackles
Alejandro Bedoya: 90 minutes, 1 yellow card
Anthony Fontana: 61 minutes, 1 shot, may have died of starvation from not being fed the ball all game
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 Portland Timbers
This was a 1-0 game that started at 10pm on the East Coast.
Eryk Williamson: 69 minutes, way more dangerous than any of the players that were in the Olympic squad, 0 shots