MLS Week 9
by plaid_pants (2017-05-01 19:47:35)
Edited on 2017-05-01 19:49:16
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I have yet to watch the NYC-Columbus game which may be the best of the bunch, but otherwise there were some pretty dreadful games this week. This dummy by Lee Nguyen made it all worthwhile, though.

I almost ripped on Juan Agudelo last week for being inconsistent, so of course he scores two goals, as did Altidore. The Revs were living by the counter, ceding nearly all of the possession and took a 3 goal lead. But they died by the counter, not able to possess the ball when they needed to grind down the clock. I think Will Bruin is the next closest thing to Chris Wondolowski when it comes to being in the right place at the right time.

Altidore has scored 20 goals in his last 34 games for TFC, but he somehow hasn't looked very good doing it. With Zlatan injured, and louder rumors that Chicarito is heading to LAFC for next season, maybe the Galaxy can trade for Altidore.

The other interesting result was DC United shutting down Atlanta. DC just had three midfielders sit in the deep center of the pitch to force Atlanta's breaking out at speed to happen near the sidelines away from the danger zone. And it worked. It is really an interesting passing chart:

DC-Atlanta Distribution

Scroll down, select successful passes and select the midfielders for both teams. The Atlanta passes in white look like a hurricane with the empty eye of the storm in the center of the pitch. The DC midfield in black, doesn't have too many passes, but they all form a square in the middle in the area Atlanta couldn't penetrate.

I speculated a month ago as coaches see more film on Atlanta they might start to figure them out. Now we can see if other teams will do the same and how Tata Martinez responds. This was not the return home after a long road trip the fans were looking for. (I still think Bobby Dodd looks like a great venue for soccer. The new place better be awesome.)

The MLS Players Union released the 2017 salary data during the week. This is a pretty cool info-graphic visualizing each team's salary composition:

2017 MLS Salary Graphic

Of the big earners, Giovinco, David Villa, Diego Valeri, Clint Dempsey and Bradley Wright-Phillips are clearly worth it from a sporting perspective. For the other big earners, I feel like there are better players on their own team. League analysts feel that it is the concept of Targeted Allocation Money (the ability to get the medium blue salaries on the graphic) that has really raised the level of play in the league.

Horrid defending and finishing from Atlanta.
by NDBass  (2017-05-01 23:34:13)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

What should've been a 4-1 or so win turned into a 3-1 loss. Josef can't get healthy soon enough. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I think they missed Larentowicz in midfield protecting the back four. Garza and Mears need to offer much more offensively. Their service was mostly awful.

I'm expecting to be disappointed with matches in the new stadium. I thought it would probably just be the turf that irks me, but I bet it'll be more antiseptic. The turnout/production has surprised me so far, so there is some hope.

Re: the Revs...
by Skip Encarnacion  (2017-05-01 20:01:37)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Finishing 5th and 7th the past two seasons with that roster is not good enough. Is Heaps on the hot seat? He seems to have lost his touch completely. After another breakdown this weekend I can't imagine his job is very safe.

somewhere between Sharlie Joseph and Kei Kamara
by plaid_pants  (2017-05-01 20:37:50)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

the Revs went wrong. They are generally a fun team to watch. Nguyen makes the most unexpected (good) passes of any of the #10's in MLS. Fagundez has a great future.

Kamara didn't start against Seattle and they put up 3 goals. They keep trying to figure out how to get Kamara and Agudelo on the field at the same time and it doesn't really work. Now they have Rowe playing as a fullback and keep experimenting with Nguyen more as a Clint Dempsey role.

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