MLS Ramblings for Week 3
by plaid_pants (2017-03-20 14:00:00)
Edited on 2017-03-20 15:56:40
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If I had to pick my playoff teams today:

Eastern Conference:
Red Bulls
New York City
Atlanta or Toronto

Philadelphia is currently below the line, but they look pretty good. Chris Pontius was so-so and often injured on DC, but he is the engine making Philadelphia go these first three weeks. I am frustrated by Bedoya on the national team, but he is rising to the challenge of the added responsibility of being the playmaker for the Union. Sapong is probably the second best target man in the league behind Fanendo Adi. And Onyewu looks classy despite hardly playing for two years. And Andre Blake is one of my favorite goalkeepers. I think the Union will steadily rise up the table.

Atlanta may be too soon to call. They scored 6 goals in the snow in a game I would have postponed. It seriously looked dangerous out there with the tackles sliding in, and at least on TV it was difficult to see the ball. They followed that up with 4 goals after a red card playing most of the game against 10 men. They do look very incisive. You don't often see that many through balls played on the ground either behind or directly in front of the defense. They look good, but there is still time for the league to figure them out once they can study some film. They will be fun to watch just to analyze coaching adjustments on both sides.

Red Bulls are still feeling their way, but I have high confidence in Marsch to figure out something special in the long run. They really went after Seattle on the road with a swarming press in the first 10 minutes. They didn't get the opening goal, but it shows a tactical flexibility from week to week most other teams are not capable of organizing...much like their always interesting set pieces.

Western Conference:
Kansas City
San Jose
Houston or LA Galaxy

Dallas is pulling off wins in the Champs League with the A-Team and wins in the MLS with the B-Team. They don't do anything particularly new or inventive, but they are building depth, never and easy out and will certainly make the playoffs. The bottom of the Western Conference feels pretty far off the top half of the conference. Vancouver, Minnesota and Salt Lake I feel like we can write off already with Colorado not much better off.

Seattle looks like a complete team. Dempsey looks good after his time off. Jordan Morris feels like the second coming of Michael Owen in Emille Hesky's body. I hate Osvaldo Alonso, and that's the exact quality you want from your #6 position. I hate Chad Marshal but he reads the game very well. Shipp is the player I am not convinced about yet for the Sounders. He needs to find his place, but with Lodeiro, Dempsey and Alonso drifting right, all of the play seems to go away from Shipp. Seattle needs somebody to pull things back to the left a bit.

Portland better hope that Adi goes through a cold spell, because the way he is playing now, he will get bought by a lower half of the table Premier League Team. He is such a perfect target forward right now, you could make an instructional video.

LA is the team on the fringe here. I assume they will buy what they need in the transfer window. Zlatan would certainly help. Houston looks good right now, but they are playing very differently from last season. Like Atlanta, I assume teams will start to figure them out with more video evidence. I need to see more before I am willing to put them in above LA.

The last two games in Kansas City have been great atmospheres. What a nice stadium that is. KC has modeled the best transition from MLS 1.0 to MLS 2.0. We shall see if DC United, Chicago and New England can pull that off nearly as well. DC seems to be in a holding pattern waiting for their new stadium. New England seems to be in a funk, perhaps due to some criticism their front office took for lack of caring just before the season started.

Do you think the Timbers attack is all Adi? I do agree he
by Domerduck  (2017-03-21 13:55:55)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

takes a lot of attention but his goals have been after the games have been decided in the final minutes of the match. His best play when the game was still in doubt was his work in the box when he passed off to Valentin who was spot on crossing it for Valeri's header to equalize against Houston. I do agree Adi is special, particularly the way the Timbers play with one forward he would be hard to replace.

I think Valeri and Nagbe's play have been outstanding this year and I love the addition of Guzman. I think they will keep improving on defense. They looked tremendous in thtese second half against Houston but it was at Providence. They still need to improve on the road as they were lucky inthe LA game that they only had 10 for the last 60 minutes. The Columbus game Saturday could tell a lot as they'll be fired up evn though they are not a strong club.

Timbers are deep, except for Adi's position
by plaid_pants  (2017-03-21 15:59:03)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I guess Darren Mattocks would play if Adi was not available.

The front 6 are all solid and playing well together, but Adi is the player they can least afford to lose.

I don't know the particulars of the Fire's agreement
by miamioh_irishfan  (2017-03-20 16:10:45)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

with Bridgeview and Toyota Park, but I don't think they have the option to move for a long time.

When they do, it'd be great if they could find space in the city limits to develop. I think the city would support it more now than when they launched the franchise.

30 year lease which runs until 2035
by HTownND  (2017-03-20 16:32:07)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Without much wiggle room.

Just a terrible situation.

it doesn't have to be a new stadium or new location
by plaid_pants  (2017-03-20 17:46:43)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

A club is about a feeling. If you aren't happy with the club, you have to change that feeling first. Once you do that, you have a little time to get the quality on the field correct.

- Give the supporter's group some rigging in the stadium to raise tifos.

- Pay the supporters group money for supplies to make the tifos for each home match. A couple of hundred is well worth the investment each home game.

- Have a safe-standing terrace area and make those tickets dirt cheap. Even better if it competes with the Section 8 guys, but across the field. Different supporters groups trying to impress each other is great for atmosphere.

On a side note, even though RFK is a terrible venue for soccer, it is cool that the main supporter's group is right at midfield. That is unique and looks good on TV.

- Provide fire-safe drums to light off flares.

- Bring in a polka band...something unique to rally behind

- Your jerseys are boring. Pick a new color. Work in Mrs. O'Leary's cow and have a bovine black and white pattern. Nobody has done that. Build a barn on the far side of the stadium and light it on fire when you score a goal...something like the Durham Bull.

- Pick some kind of identity. Bring in three players from Hungary or something weird like that. The supporters can make a game out of it like the Hanson Brothers from Slapshot. This is a safer bet anyway. A big money signing may or may not work. A lower cost signing with a big personality is better for the fans. Or go big name and big personality...a guy with a huge afro like Marouane Fellaini / Carlos Valderrama or the incomparable Mario Balotelli.

If you did those things, the team could still suck, and the fans would come out more and have a better time. Make it look like you are trying to reboot. Then you have a 2-3 year window to build a competitive team.

Thanks for posting these - I enjoy them
by irishlaw2010  (2017-03-20 14:57:44)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Took my 3.5 year old to our first NYCFC match of the year. NY had some great chances and missed 3-4 chances inside the 6. Walking out it felt like 2 points lost instead of 1 point gained.

I enjoyed yesterday's Seattle-RBNY match. Two teams that seem to have a good idea of what they are and are half decent at executing management's vision.

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