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Americans at home: MLS still exists, it does

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Just because other soccer is back doesn’t mean MLS went away

MLS: New York Red Bulls at CF Montreal Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

It was an exciting weekend for USMNT players and fans. The Premier League is back, the Bundesliga is back, La Liga is back, and Ligue 1 is back. There were plenty of exciting moments in those top leagues, but... don’t forget about Major League Soccer, if you need to Euro it up call it Major League Football. Nobody will make fun of you for saying Major League Football as you wake up early rather than sleeping on the weekend to support the teams in Europe you have had a lifelong affinity for since 2017. If they do, those people don’t understand Pashun anyway.

Here’s how the yanks at home did this week - all stats via FBref.com.

An assist for Djordje as the Red Bulls continue to struggle

Djordje Mihailovic got his 6th assist of the season as he is putting together his best year as a pro. Already in 2021 the midfielder has three goals to go along with the six assists. He’s getting .40 assists per 90 which puts him in the top 95th percentile for attacking midfielders and wingers in MLS, in the game he also had seven shot creating actions. He supplied this floaty cross to Sunusi Ibrahim to even the score with NYRB at 1-1.

New York continues to struggle as the Red Bulls have not won in seven games. Caden Clark played 66 minutes but only had 20 touches in the game. Andrew Gutman and Kyle Duncan led the team with 68 and 55 touches respectively as the stat demonstrates how New York struggled to get the ball into central areas for their attacking threats to do much of anything for the entire match.

A clean sheet in the ATL

Atlanta United is starting to win soccer games again and they even kept a clean sheet. The team had been attack minded under interim manager Rob Valentino, but shut down LAFC with a 1-0 win at home over the weekend. George Bello had 66 touches, good for third on the team in the match, four shot creating actions, and 17 pressures. Both his shot creating actions and pressures were second most on the team in the game. He constantly got into dangerous areas as an inverted wingback cutting inside from the left throughout the game.

Miles Robinson anchored the backline with a tackle, block, interception and five clearances. It was somewhat of a surprisingly defensively dominant game for both teams as they were each under 1 xG for the match.

Wayyyyy too easy for NYCFC

Sometimes you just want a gimmie and put it on rookie mode or whatever in FIFA to get a nice hit of dopamine for winning a video game. Maybe that’s what NYCFC did against Inter Miami over the weekend as the team came away with an easy 2-0 win over the worst team in MLS (whatever the standings say).

James Sands led the Pigeons with 71 touches while making a team leading 49 of 55 passes. He also made seven tackles, nine pressures, two blocks, three interceptions and had five clearances. He was steady in the game. Perhaps another of the City Group teams is paying attention.

Matt Turner doesn’t miss

Look at this wicked strike from Matty T.

He allowed a goal but had three saves on four shots faced against Toronto at home in a 2-1 win. It’s fair to say he misses Sands and Robinson playing in front of him in New England probably.

Is Cristian Roldan going to be in the World Cup qualifiers squad?

We’re going to have to ask this question. Qualifiers are Concacaf’y and Roldan fits that description. Seattle trounced Portland at Providence Park 6-2 and Cristian Roldan supplied the assist on the final goal. Here Nicolas Benezet points to where he’s going to run and Roldan passes the ball to him there, then Benezet scores and does a culturally relevant goal celebration that I don’t understand.

Roldan offers a lot of versatility, experience, and leadership. He led the team with 40 carries and had four shot creating actions in the game. It was a fun match and shows why the player is on Gregg Berhalter’s radar.