LAFC Weekly Roundup: USOC Round Of 16, Loans, Horta Leaves, Gold Cup Update, Gold Links

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Survive and advance

LAFC gets revenge once again at Rio Tinto Stadium as they knocked out Real Salt Lake of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a 3-0 win advancing to next round. Carlos Vela, Lee Nguyen, and Adama Diomande scored all three goals of the night.

While four players: Tyler Miller, Walker Zimmerman, Peter-Lee Vassell, and Mark-Anthony Kaye; were away for international duty, the match saw Pablo Sisniega and Rodolfo “Fito” Zelaya make their club debuts helping LAFC stamp their ticket to the next round.

Full match recap here.

Next up. The black-and-gold will host the San Jose Earthquakes in the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup at the Banc of California Stadium on Thursday, June 20.

Batista and Jaković loaned out

Last week, LAFC loaned defender Lamar Batista to USL side, FC Tucson. This will be the 21-year-old’s second loan this year, as he appeared in two matches with Phoenix Rising during a brief loan stint.

Additionally, the club loaned defender Dejan Jaković to USL side, Las Vegas Lights FC. The Canadian, who appeared in 15 matches during the inaugural season, has yet to see any playing time this year.

Per the Right of Recall incorporated in the loan agreement, LAFC retains the right to recall Batista and Jaković at any point during the MLS regular season.

Bye, Horta

On Monday, the club announced it had transferred André Horta to Portuguese side, SC Braga; opening up a DP position on the roster. Returning to the club where he started his career, Horta is set to rejoin his brother and play on the same team again.

Horta first joined the team during last year’s summer transfer window from SL Benfica, appearing in 15 regular season matches, making five starts.

Who do you think will replace him?

The Italian Job

We’re getting another player? Well, maybe not this time.

Late Monday night, a rumor began circulating that LAFC was close to reaching an agreement with Italian International defensive midfielder, Daniele De Rossi. But LA Times’ reporter Kevin Baxter was quick to shut down rumors. And LAFC’s digital manager Vince La Rosa also chimed in to back up his statement.

Player’s Salaries Released

The MLS Players’ Union released their annual list of salaries for all players in the league. Including LAFC, whose full amount, according to the list, was over $13,000,000 across the roster this year.

In an article by Angels on Parade, they broke down the full salary for each player and discussed which player they believe is still underpaid, stating:

“Tyler Miller looks like the obvious choice. He did get a raise compared to last season, but it was a raise of less than $10,000. He’s solidified his status as a starter. He’s on the USMNT roster for the Gold Cup. The guy shouldn’t have to pick up the check this season.”

And I agree.

Carlos Vela is the fourth-highest player in the league with a base salary of a cool $4,500,000 and guaranteed compensation of $6,300,000. The now-departed Horta came in at second, while Diego Rossi was the third millionaire on the team.

Miller and Zimmerman join Gold Cup Roster

Tyler Miller and Walker Zimmerman have officially been added to the United States Men’s National Team roster for the 2019 Gold Cup. The duo appeared on the bench for the USMNT’s pair of final friendlies as they hosted Jamaica and Venezuela.

With Zack Steffen in goal both times, Miller remained on the bench. However, during the friendly against Venezuela – Zimmerman started the second half as a substitute with the team down 3-0 for his third senior appearance. Walker immediately picked up a caution for a foul in the 48th minute, but it didn’t stop him from becoming more involved on the pitch.

The USMNT open their Gold Cup slate on Tuesday, June 18 against Guyana in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Gold Links

Featured Image: Erick Gonzales

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NYCFC players proudly show their 2019 world Cup colors

Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

Brad Stuver, Anton Tinnerholm and Sebastien Ibeagha sporting their jerseys for US, Sweden and Nigeria (respectively).

The 2019 World Cup is under way across France and the players of New York City Football Club are here for it. Here’s how some of the team will be supporting their favorite national team and checking out the matches:

Sebastien Ibeagha

Defender Sebastien Ibeagha is rooting for Nigeria’s Super Falcons but his favorite female footballer right now is Carli Lloyd.

He will most likely watch the majority of the games from the comfort of his couch and if he gets an urge to grab some of his favorite Nigerian foods, he “can easily find them in New York”.

James Sands

Native New Yorker James Sands is supporting the United States. He too is a fan of Carli Lloyd and plans to watch the matches at home with his family. Sands’ favorite game day snack? Chips and Salsa.
And who does he think are the toughest teams in the tournament? “France and the USA”

Valentín “Taty” Castellanos

Taty Castellanos will be cheering for Team Argentina from his home in New York. His favorite Argentine dishes are Asados or Milanesas con pure, which can be found in select Argentine restaurants in the city.  Castellanos likes Argentina’s chances to take home the Cup.

Brad Stuver

Goalkeeper Brad Stuver is a fan of Team USA. He too enjoys watching the games from the comfort of his couch, possibly while indulging in his favorite game day “watching sports” snack of chicken wings. His favorite player in the tournament? Tobin Heath.
Stuver predicts a battle between France and the US in the quarterfinals.

Taty Castellanos, James Sands and Héber share a laugh.

All images are by  Tisha Gale  and are part of her photo project “For Club and Country”. For more photos from this shoot, check out: Summer of Soccer, For Club & Country.

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

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NYCFC scores all seven goals in win vs FC Cincinnati 5-2

Official NYCFC Reporter

By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith

New York, New York: The city so nice, their team scores twice for the visiting team.  Who said that New Yorkers weren’t hospitable?  New York City Football Club proved to be a humble host to FC Cincinnati on Thursday by putting two goals into the back of their own goal.

In a beautiful spring evening celebrating LGBTQ pride in New York City, NYCFC took control quickly over the match.  MLS newbies FC Cincinnati had trouble stringing together passes and gave away their limited possession in the middle third of the field.  

NYCFC accessed its roster depth via some lineup changes. Due to to injuries and international call-ups City was without a mix of starters, including Sean Johnson, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat, Ronald Matarrita and Ebenezer Ofori.

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The team also appeared to be utilizing about five forwards in a bold play for a big win. The first thirty minutes would have been tough to watch if you were a FC Cincinnati fan as NYCFC scored about 1 goal every 10 minutes of play. However, in the 37th minute, NYC did foul up a defensive play in the box and suffered an own goal, which was “credited” to Héber. Half time score was 3-1, making it once again a ball game.

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Héber at work

In the second half, within minutes Héber put in another one off a Maxi Moralez assist. In a quick sequence of events in the 76th minute, Brad Stuver made a difficult punch save off a hard FCC shot but the ball ricocheted off the leg of Sebastien Ibeagha and went into the back of New York City’s goal, making the score 4-2.

Still not content in the 90th minute with the victory claimed, NYCFC finished off the match with a gorgeous weaving pattern into the box where the master of webs finished off the ball via a difficult angle.

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Héber and Maxi Moralez celebrate a goal
Justin Haak
Justin Haak of Brooklyn, NY, makes his 2019 debut

Moralez was credited in this match with three assists and one goal, Héber had a brace, while Alexandru Mitrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had one a piece. Also worth noting is homegrown Brooklynite Justin Haak made his debut in the second half.  

This match was a definite team effort while being down some starters, and while giving the guests a few goals to help with their goal differential. A win all around for NYCFC. However, this news put a definite damper on the celebratory vibes:

The anchor of NYCFC’s defensive line suffered a broken arm in a collision with Stuver near the end of the match.  Although this is bad news for the team, he may only miss two league games.   Fans of the team are hoping for a speedy recovery for Sands.

All photos by Tisha Gale

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith

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Old Meets New When The Rapids Face FC Cincinnati

Official Colorado Rapids Reporter

By Jess Houwen // @jesshuh15

Colorado Rapids v. FC Cincinnati: 3-1

It was a busy week for the Rapids as Saturday was their third game in seven days. FC Cincinnati came to Colorado for the first time in their history as an MLS side and left without any points. (Also worth noting, this was the first game this season where the Rapids have not received a card of any color.)

The first half was relatively uneventful, but the Rapids came out with a hunger of a team who finally remembered what winning felt like. The first substitution of the game came early, in the fifteenth minute, with Sam Vines replacing Deklan Wynne. Wynne looked to be injured as he was helped off the field by training staff after sitting down in the middle of play.

The Rapids took the lead just before the half thanks to a pass from Sam Nicholson directly to Andre Shinyashiki. Nicholson himself had a chance shortly thereafter, but was offside and the FC Cincinnati keeper, Spencer Richey, played out of his mind to stop the ball from going in.

Second half was a different story. Three goals within ten minutes meant the Rapids were ahead, but not before an excellent save off the line by Jack Price on a Cincinnati corner kick. The 72nd minute saw Kekuta Manneh split our center backs, Keagan Rosenberry and Lalas Abubakar, and put the ball in with two touches. Nico Mezquida came in for Cole Bassett about fifteen minutes into the second half and made the most of his time by putting the game winner in net.

Not ten minutes later, the Rapids charged down the field again and won a corner. Price served to the center of the box and Diego Rubio (in during the 67th minute for Andre Shinyashiki) headed it in for the final goal of the game.

Mezquida celebrates. Photo courtesy of John A. Babiak (@photog_johnb)

For me, Man of the Match this game had to be Andre Shinyashiki. He hustled; he was where he needed to be when he needed to be there. He scored the opening goal and created opportunities for his teammates. (Lucky for me, C38 agreed. Shinyashiki was awarded the Oar for the game.) With only three starts for 2019, he is off to an incredible season and is definitely making his case for MLS’ Rookie of the Year.

The Rapids play Minnesota United this weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

17’ – SUBSTITUTION: Sam Vines in for Deklan Wynne (COL 1/3)

43’ – GOAL: Andre Shinyashiki (COL 1 – FCC 0)

60’ – SUBSTITUTION: Nico Mezquida in for Cole Bassett (COL 2/3)

60’ – SUBSTITUTION: Corben Bone in for Franuel Amaya (FCC 1/3)

68’ – SUBSTITUTION: Diego Rubio in for Andre Shinyashiki (COL 3/3)

70’ – SUBSTITUTION: Kekuta Manneh in for Allan Cruz (FCC 2/3)

72’ – GOAL: Kekuta Manneh (COL 1 – FCC 1)

73’ – GOAL: Nico Mezquida (COL 2 – FCC 1)

82’ – GOAL: Diego Rubio (COL 3 – FCC 1)

84’ – SUBSTITUTION: Darren Mattocks in for Roland Lamah (FCC 3/3)

Featured image: Daniel Reinberger // IG @reinbergerphoto

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Undefeated At Home, Dynamo Still Have WORK To Do

Official Houston Dynamo Reporter

By Darbi Lockridge // @sonchyenne

Houston Dynamo v. Sporting Kansas City 1-1

Every soccer fan knows that there are some ties that feel like wins and others that seem like losses. The Houston Dynamo’s draw on Saturday keeps them undefeated at home, but many fans left the match wanting more. In a game where Houston saw the return of their Honduran playmakers in the front and back, the midfield that has created so many successful counter attacks was nowhere to be found.  

The SKC rivalry has always been contentious, and since the Dallas rivalry is often conflated pre-match trash talk and post-match bickering, I feel like the SKC rivalry is the one that is most truly felt among the players. This matchup is always physical, but Sporting definitely came in looking to break the rules. At one point SKC’s Melia even came out of the goal box to the penalty spot to take a goal kick, and the official may have let it slide had Tomas Martinez not drawn so much attention. The broadcast showed a quick clip of Martinez’s protest near the 15 minute mark, but there was no other mention of the issue in the broadcast.

The pairing to watch for this opinionated writer was no doubt Alberth Elis and AJ DeLaGarza on Houston’s right side. They spent most of the first half failing to communicate and missing key passes to and from one another. They were each visibly frustrated, and one of my only tweets from the match offered a crowdsourced solution.

This was difficult to watch as these are undoubtedly my two favorite players on the pitch. I love Elis’s speed, skill, and the fact that his stats show a spirit of teamwork, with as much effort in assists as goals. AJ is the personable workhorse whose commitment to his family and charity work on social media builds the kind of goodwill that the Dynamo need to win fans’ hearts – the team’s JJ Watt, if you will.

The right side confusion was perfectly illustrated in the 27th minute when DeLaGarza came forward to support and somehow ended up ahead of Elis and battling defenders in Kansas City’s box. Elis, who had shaken his defenders and found space, was begging for a pass. However in his success against SKC’s defense, DeLaGarza couldn’t draw his gaze up to Elis, and finally lost possession to a two-man challenge.   

The Dynamo were down after a silly mistake when Lundquist was surprised by a run in the 63rd by SKC’s Croizet. Shortly after, my starcrossed players finally got it together in the 69th minute, and the beauty of their pairing was amazing. Maynor Figueroa sent a long ball up and across to DeLaGarza, who headed it to Elis’s feet just outside of the box. A beautiful shot through ill-prepared defenders tied it up for Houston and secured the draw.

AJ DeLaGarza and Alberth Elis celebrate their success on the right side.
Photo: Leslie Chairez

At the end of the match, the Dynamo remained undefeated at home and are still in the top 5 of their conference with games in hand. As many players leave for international duty over the next two weeks (including Elis to Honduras and DeLaGarza to Guam), Houston will again seek success in their depth to begin defending the US Open Cup on June 11. Houston then faces a brutal cross-country, 3 match road stint through the end of June.

Featured image: Leslie Chairez

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @sonchyenne

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MNUFC Continues Consistent Inconsistent Streak

Official Minnesota United FC Reporter

By: Bridget McDowell // @BCMcDowell 

Wednesday, May 29: 0-3 loss | Sunday, June 2: 3-2 loss

After the exhilarating home win last weekend, the Loons traveled to Atlanta to face their expansion rivals in a midweek match, then turned tail to host Philadelphia Union at home. Through the two matches, Minnesota’s defensive streak came to a screeching halt. Would their attack rise to counterbalance?

It nearly happened in Atlanta, but the best chance came from a much contested play, when Brad Guzan’s goal line save appeared to be a goal from one angle.

There was just enough reasonable doubt that many Loons fans expected a VAR call and were frustrated when it didn’t come. Had it happened, the call would not have changed, but not using VAR on a possible equalizing play is a bit confusing, but that’s another story. Josef Martinez got his mojo back and Atlanta went on to win 3-0. The Loons turned around to prepare for a Doop duel.

As opposed to a number of previous matches when, even after a win, Heath would criticize a handful of players for poor performances, he sang their praises on Sunday afternoon, refusing to address any mistakes or poor quality.

Even in the face of a league-high shots tally (29!), Heath refused to discuss the elephant in the room – his strikers’ failure to finish when putting up all those shots: “A little higher percentage of [goals to shots] we would’ve been, probably, clear. But I’m not going to let that mask what was an outstanding performance on top of the shift that the guys did on Wednesday in Atlanta.”

Instead, he put Sunday’s loss down to fantastic “last-ditch defending” by Philadelphia and their “very, very good – shall we say, professional” ability to go to ground cheaply and stay there. The latter was certainly a factor, earning deafening boos from the Wonderwall, but the former was made easy by some poor finishing from Minnesota’s attackers.

Rookie defender Hassani Dotson, who scored the first equalizer on his first ever MLS career shot, was asked by media if he would do anything to commemorate his first goal: “It was a nice moment, but it doesn’t feel good because we lost.” He did add, however, “Everyone put in a good shift and we were unlucky to not get three points.”

The players, especially defenders, were disappointed. Brent Kallman, involved in Philadelphia’s third goals, said: “I was looking around, I was kind of – we didn’t have many numbers at the back post, we had no guys there. So I stayed on the spot. The ball came in and I kind of got frozen[…] If I keep my feet moving, then I can attack and and it’s not a problem […] It’s obviously one I’d like to have back.”

That self-criticism and drive is one reason Minnesota fans like that hometown boy. Another is his honesty about his teammates. Kallman had words for Dotson on a few occasions, when he didn’t feel enough support from the left back, but he also had some feelings about the Loons’ attack when questioned on their shot total:

“We got to be better going to goal. I mean, when you have enough quality, you know where the defenders are, you know where they’re going to put their legs. You miss that on purpose, so we [defenders] push for it. Those point guys were flying around, but we just have to finish our chances.”

Hassani’s goal was a byproduct of the attackers quitting on the play. The body language before Dotson strikes is telling:

While their coach looked at the big picture, for once, the players are stuck thinking of moments. Wishing they had reacted a little differently here or could have done more to make a play matter there. So many numbers that should have added up to something – a gutsy draw, a gritty win – fluttered away and left Minnesota with zero points earned on a two-match week.

Improvements to be made

Defense: Clean and tough. Minnesota has become a defensive team rather than a ‘let’s score one more than we concede’ team. Communication among the back three/four has dramatically improved thanks to veteran additions and their 90 minute stamina is bolstered by the youthful legs and workhorses, but conceding free kicks in dangerous areas and giving up unnecessary penalty kicks have proven costly.

Midfield: Passing and possession. These are the Loons’ Achilles heel. Philadelphia turned into a turnover battle more than once and there was no strength there in Atlanta on Wednesday. Minnesota needs to find a way to connect their improving defense with the floundering attack to see any overall improvement.

Attack: Finishing. Even when the Loons do finally get the ball into the final third where the strikers can take a shot, those same strikers who saved many a match over the last couple seasons are having trouble finishing the job now. Rodriguez is often slow on the final touch; Abu Danladi isn’t strong enough to muscle past defenders and maintain the ball; and Quintero seems to have lost his confidence, missing simple shots and quitting on the play.

Playing roles in both losses were: Officials, solid opposing defense and Minnesota defensive mishaps. What’s the best way to counter those factors?

An attack capable of scoring goals with – shall we say – consistency? Perhaps with the same consistency with which MNUFC recognizes and celebrates Pride – but that’s, again, another story.

COYL

Featured image: @MNUFC

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A new rivarly begins: LAFC crashes party in Portland, 3-2

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club ignites new rivalry with a 3-2 win on the road against the Portland Timbers during the grand re-opening of renovated Providence Park.

Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Latif Blessing helped christen the newly renovated stadium before two of Timbers’ own added to the goal count. Around 750-1,000 traveling supporters made the trek to Portland to support LAFC.

And the Mexican captain didn’t disappoint as he got the early lead for the visitors in the 6th minute thanks to an error from Jeff Attinella – scoring his 16th MLS-career goal.

For a brief period of time, both teams kept slipping on the fresh new artificial turf but the black-and-gold used that to their advantage to stop Portland from finding the equalizer.

In the 20th minute, Eduard Atuesta – who has been a formidable player – was quick to block Diego Valeri in a crowded box; sending the ball to Blessing – who ran it down to the opposite end and was blocked.

Blessing would later find Tristian Blackmon from the sideline with a through ball. The Las Vegas native wasted little time to pass it to Rossi for his first assist – who then tucked it away in the right corner of the net to double the score in the 34th minute.

The Timbers immediately cut the lead in half off the rebound right after the restart. Miller saved the first attempt but then Cristhian Paredes opened up the home side’s goal account with the header.

Blessing, who has been dangerous in the midfield lately, was quick to answer Paredes by scoring the third and final goal of the night for LAFC in the 54th minute off a perfect run from Jordan Harvey.

In a six-minute stretch, Miller made two critical saves to deny both Brian Fernandez and Valeri to preserve the two-goal lead.

However, Miller’s efforts did not last long as Fernandez pulled one back in the 84th minute with a bicycle kick to up the score 3-2.

The drama spilled into stoppage time quickly as there were no signs of either team slowing down. Prior to the extra eight minutes given, Vela kept getting chopped down from behind. But alas, the Timbers received little to no punishment from referee Robert Sibiga. And second-half substitution Adama Diomande became the new subject of conversation during the dramatic final moments. He and Timbers’ Fernandez both received a caution following a brawl that broke out between the two.

With tensions high, the match ended in a 3-2 win keeping LAFC’s winning streak alive and cushioning their lead atop of the western conference even more with 37 points.

Before resuming regular MLS action, LAFC will travel to Rino Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake on June 11 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Photo credit: @LAFC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

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New York Red Bulls Show Their True Colors

Official NY Red Bulls Reporter

By Sylvana Budesheim // @WhiteZinWench

Saturday, June 1st: 4-0 Win

Welcome to June! I hear it likes to bust out all over… but I decided against Broadway musical themes this season, so I’ll just leave that there. The New York Red Bulls hosted Real Salt Lake in a cross-conference match at home in Harrison.

In a world full of people…

From the moment I arrived, there was a celebratory vibe outside the Stadium. There were Cirque du Soleil performers and traditional Portuguese dancers. I walked past a freestyle exhibition and games for kids. Music was playing, and fans were chatting. This is nothing new. But it felt…different. There were more kids than usual, probably indicative of the school year coming to an end. The fans were excited… because they hadn’t seen the team play in a week? Because former RBNY coach Mike Petke was returning to his old stomping grounds? Because fireworks were expected after the match?

Because fireworks of a different sort were expected during the match?

Don’t be discouraged…

The first half was rather sloppy on both sides of the ball. RBNY had twice as many shots on goal as RSL, but nothing found the back of the net. Red Bulls also had majority of possession, but it didn’t mean much of anything. And while I’ve touched a little bit on what the High Press style means, I may not have pointed out that it actually does not rely on possession. However, I know that in the last few games, the scales have tipped to New York in terms of possession. Maybe I just don’t know what things mean anymore…

Don’t be afraid to let them show…

Just when it may have seemed that nothing was going to happen… a lot of stuff happened. It all started with the forced own goal, courtesy of Michael Amir Murillo, in the 58th minute. Then, before the red smoke cleared, Daniel Royer caught a pass from Alejandro “Kakú” Romero Gamarra and scored the second goal just about one minute later. Not content to have only kinda caused a goal, Murillo came back for more. He scored the third goal in the 64th minute.

And that’s why I love you…

That really could have been the game, just at the 64th minute. Three goals in seven minutes would pretty much do it. Soon after the flurry of goals, defender Amro Tarek had to come off with an injury, with Sean Nealis replacing him. Royer and Alex Muyl made way for Omir Fernandez and Andreas Ivan. In the 83rd minute, Ivan crossed the ball to Fernandez, who buried the ball in the net for one last goal. So yeah– that could have been the game, nearly twenty minutes earlier. But that’s not how RBNY played it. They just kept going. And that is what fans want from their team.

RBNY travel to Talen Energy Stadium next week to face the Philadelphia Union.

(P.S. The kids out there will more likely know the Justin Timberlake/Anna Kendrick rendition for the movie “Trolls.” But this original is the one associated with the Pride movement being celebrated around the league in the month of June.)

Featured image:  Sylvana Budesheim

Follow and chat with me on twitter // @WhiteZinWench

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The Elephant is Out of the Room and Running Wild for the Montréal Impact

Official Montreal Impact Reporter

By Eve // @ejp_nb

Montréal’s got some problems. They’ve been bubbling below the surface as the team remained high in the standings in the opening half of the season, but it all feels as though the alarm bells are sounding loudly. Some of these problems are more of the same, and some are new concerns.

Following an abject 3-0 humiliation at the hands of 10th-placed Orlando City SC on Saturday, a glaring light has been shone on the team, from players, to technical staff and the upper management.

Here are but a few of the most pressing matters to address:

Ignacio Piatti will miss 8-12 weeks with a knee injury. The saying goes “No Nacho, No Party” for a reason. If he’s not playing, there’s a good chance the team has to work far harder to score fewer goals than when he is in the side. The logic of relying on a 34-year -old player to play week in, week out in the new condensed schedule format was a risky bet at best, but the team is now stuck between a rock and a hard place, hamstrung financially without much of a draw to the stadium.

As the Montréal Impact are finally enjoying their first homestand of the season, Omar Browne scored a remarkable goal in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake. The goal was remarkable because it was the Impact’s first first-half goal since March 16th. Of course the lack of offensive punch is partially attributed to Piatti’s absence, but it is an issue that must be addressed by the coaching staff … and perhaps the recruitment staff as the secondary transfer window looms.

  • But wait! The contracts that Montréal currently have on their books leave them rather hamstrung when it comes to looking for quality players to improve their squad and help with the ongoing offensive issues. Benchwarmer Rudy Camacho is bringing home a $700K salary. Maxi Urruti, with one goal in 17 matches, is reportedly earning over $1 million. They are but two of several big-money players who are not justifying their salaries.
  • In a salary-cap league, you have to spend your money wisely, especially with an owner who is very much set on not adding a third Designated Player. It feels as though it’s been a good 3 or 4 years that we have to wait for a player’s contract to expire just so the cap space can be freed for someone who hopefully will perform better.

Saturday’s non-performance against Orlando City left many with such a poor taste in their mouths that they’re asking why make the financial and emotional investment in a club that simply doesn’t show up. For those who don’t have the Impact entirely woven into their souls, they still need a certain level of spectacle to justify their commitments. While the results have (sometimes) been there, the show certainly hasn’t, and it seems as though the team who were a solid unit with an “esprit de corps” was but an early-season dream.

Even for those of us who are Bleu-Blanc-Noir through and through, as I watch the heads drop and the arms raised in frustration on the pitch, I have to question my own sanity in continuing to follow this mess of a team.

The Impact have the third match of their homestand on Wednesday, June 6th against Seattle Sounders. Between injuries and international duty, there will not likely be 18 players fit to field.

Featured image: @mlsfemale

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Sounders Score Three as Dallas wins 2-1

Official FC Dallas Reporter

By Abigail Kistner// @abruhcadabruhh

After taking a break from heavily analyzing FC Dallas, I must say that I picked a very interesting game to come back and write about. Although I couldn’t attend the FC Dallas home game against Seattle, I had the opportunity to review the game online to see if Dallas could revive their winning streak at home.

Needless to say, Dallas gained another three points, all thanks to the Seattle Sounders.

After a previous loss to Vancouver, Dallas fans were looking for a home win to move the team up in the rankings. Thankfully, after several weather delays throughout the night, that’s exactly what happened.

When the game started, you could see the energy within FC Dallas despite the long delay. However, the excitement of the team was (as always) calmed by defender Matt Hedges who had just returned from his suspension. Having Hedges on the field gave Dallas a reliable point of reference, which allowed the team to be a little more creative offensively.

The creativity struck by minute 33 as Michael Barrios crossed the ball to Ryan Hollingshead to head into goal. Seattle’s Xavier Arreaga scored an own goal, bringing FC Dallas ahead 1-0.

In the 39th minute, FC Dallas was given ANOTHER own goal as Bryan Acosta passed to Michael Barrios, who assisted the own goal, scored by Brad Smith from Seattle. FC Dallas ended the half with a 2-0 lead.

Coming back from halftime, Luchi Gonzalez replaced some players in the midfield with a more defensive middle to protect the two goals obtained in the first half. However, in the 65th minute, the Sounders scored with a goal by Raul Ruidiaz just outside the box.

Seattle Sounders tweet

Despite the backlash some fans gave for the subs in the second half, FC Dallas proceeded to protect their victory and end the game with three more points.

With FC Dallas’ Bryan Acosta receiving man of the match, the title was well given as he introduced the kick that led to the game winning own goal. However, I deemed Michael Barrios as my personal man of the match, as Barrios assisted both goals in FC Dallas’ favor.

Dallas’ creative offense and sturdy defense is no doubt what won them this game. Despite the own goals from Seattle, you could see the eagerness in FC Dallas in this game, which is something that has been missing (especially at home) for quite a few games now.

Overall, Dallas is sitting comfortably at 6th in the MLS Western Conference Standings, and the team is undoubtedly going to work hard this week as they approach another away game in San Jose next Saturday.

Featured image: @FCDallas

Follow and chat with me on twitter! // @abruhcadabruhh

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