By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Sep 16, 2019) US Soccer Players – It's easy to criticize the MLS playoffs. Specifically, the number of teams that make the postseason. Fourteen teams will make the playoffs, two more than last season, in a rebranded format. For critics of the league, this turns the regular season into a long qualifying tournament. Maybe it is, but that only adds to the pressure . . .
The soccer news starts with the Chicago Fire announced that Joe Mansueto is now the club's investor/operator. Mansueto had a minority stake in the club before buying out Andrew Hauptman. The change in investor/operator comes as the club plans to move back to Soldier Field next season while considering a rebranding and name change. "I joined Andrew as a partner because he developed a tremendous . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 13, 2019) US Soccer Players - "Playoff implications" is like magic. The phrase immediately increases the intensity of regular-season games that would otherwise lack for intrigue. It's fair to say that it takes too long for Major League Soccer's regular season to get to the point where the "playoff implications" magic cascades down over proceedings. When it . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 4, 2019) US Soccer Players - The criticism was as easy as it was predictable. Following LAFC's 2-0 loss to Minnesota United on Sunday night in Los Angeles, voices from many quarters declared the league's best team so far in 2019 "average" in the absence of its Mexican superstar, Carlos Vela. LAFC certainly did not look as dominant without Vela, who missed the . . .
By J Hutcherson (Jul 16, 2019) US Soccer Players - Judging good and bad in MLS has long been an issue. The playoffs haven't always helped. From 2002-04, only two teams missed out. It took multiple rounds of expansion to make the playoffs count. In 2010, half the league qualified. The league added two teams and two playoff spots the following season. MLS also couldn't help but tinker. In a nod to . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Dec 19, 2018) US Soccer Players - In the beginning, there were playoffs. From the very launch of Major League Soccer back in 1996, a postseason playoff tournament decides the league’s champion. At no point in the history of America’s top division was there any real thought given to doing things differently. Sure, European leagues prefer to crown a winner on the . . .
The 2018 MLS Cup is set. Atlanta won the Eastern Conference final 3-1 on aggregate, losing 1-0 on the night to the New York Red Bulls. In the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers came back to take the series 3-2 on the night and by the same score on aggregate. Atlanta will host the 2018 MLS Cup on December 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (8pm ET - Fox). In the East, the Red Bulls trailed 3-0 going . . .
The soccer news starts with the clear favorite in the 2018 MLS playoffs, and that's Atlanta United. With all due respect to the other half of the bracket, this is now Atlanta's MLS Cup to lose. It would take a meltdown of epic proportions in the second-leg on Thursday (7:30pm ET - FS1) for the New York Red Bulls to stage an unlikely comeback. FiveThirtyEight puts that Red Bulls scenario at 6%. . . .
It's halftime of the 2018 MLS conference finals and that's bad news for the New York Red Bulls. The Eastern Conference final opened in Atlanta with United taking the first-leg 3-0. In the Western Conference, Portland and Sporting finished their opening leg 0-0. Mercedes-Benz Stadium once again showed why it's a tough venue for the away team. Atlanta shutout the Red Bulls 3-0. Josef Martinez . . .
By Jason Davis – WASHINGTON DC (Nov 16, 2018) US Soccer Players - There’s still more than a week to go before the FIFA international break is over and MLS resumes its playoff season with the conference final stage. The anticipation for one matchup, in particular, is already high. The Eastern Conference final, pitting the record-breaking New York Red Bulls team against the club the' beat to the . . .