Tag Archives: MLS

New Post: Watch Bastian Schweinsteiger score on his MLS debut

By, Kyle Gibson

The Montreal Impact must not have read the scouting report on that new Chicago Fire player.

German legend and Manchester United cast-off Bastian Schweinsteiger needed just 16 minutes to open his MLS account, scoring a header on his home and league debut.

Schweinsteiger almost added a second goal late as well, but the Fire went on to win the match 2-1 anyway.

The silent treatment and shunning Jose Mourinho gave Schweinsteiger at Old Trafford this season was confusing, especially because the midfielder looked good in the handful of appearances he made. He never outwardly lost his class though, posting a heartfelt goodbye video.

Schweinsteiger was one of the best of his generation and in German history. Hopefully this is the start of a fun and successful second chance at a swan song in the Second City.

Advertisements

New Post: Pirlo to NYCFC? Three reasons why I like it.

By, Kyle Gibson

With Andrea Pirlo’s transfer to NYCFC complete, I wanted to revisit an earlier blog that explained three reasons that make this a good deal. This move has its detractors, but I like it.

Here are three reasons why Pirlo is a good move.

1) This will be the club’s fourth big signing. The team sprang quickly to sign Spain and Barcelona legend David Villa as its first player. Villa alone was a marquis signing.
The club didn’t stop there, also adding Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard. Lampard is due to play soon after spending the season at NYCFC parent club Manchester City.
To add American flair to the side, it also signed American midfielder Mix Diskerud. Pirlo will be just the latest star to join the blue side of the Big Apple.
Many were worried that Manchester City would just treat its New York club as a side project, but these signings would seem to suggest an “in it to win it” attitude. (On a side note, it appears NYCFC wanted a younger player to deal on, but we will see how that develops.)

2) Pirlo’s age isn’t a huge factor necessarily. Even though he is 36, Pirlo hasn’t seen a big regression in recent years. Deep-lying midfielders are thought to not age as fast as other players, because the position is more about instinct than physicality.
The American heat may cause problems, but I think Pirlo still has a few strong seasons in the tank.

3) Pirlo can only help this team. I’m thinking in terms of the other designated players here. Pirlo is the kind of player that can make all of them better. He will provide better service for Villa, who still has tight control, but can’t beat as many defenders 1v1 like his glory days.
He can also free Lampard and Diskerud to play further forward and can hit the speedy wingers with ease from way back in the midfield.
He’s also a major scoring threat from long shots and free kicks.

This is a deal that could really help NYCFC get over the hump and push for a playoff spot.

Guest Post: @ChristianCole93 Ranks the Top Ten @MLS Goalkeepers

Editor’s Note: Christian originally gave me this list ranked 1-10, but I reversed it to 10-1 to add a bit of “dramer” as the English would call it. MLS is a growing league and that has been increasingly evident in the quality of goalkeepers. Here, Christian Cole, a former goalkeeper himself, ranks the top of the MLS keeper pool. 

By, Christian Cole (@ChristianCole93)

10. Adam Kwarasey (Portland Timbers) – Kwarasey still might be a relative unknown to casual MLS fans but thus far in 2015 he’s posted seven clean sheets and has been very reliable for Portland. USMNT fans may remember him as he started in goal for Ghana against the US in the 2014 World Cup though as of late his international career has been in limbo.

9. Steve Clark (Columbus Crew SC) – Clark spent four seasons in Norway with Honefoss BK whom in 2011 he helped win promotion to the top flight in Norway. It was only a matter of team before MLS teams caught on. Since signing for the Crew in 2014 he’s wasted no time showing MLS what he’s capable of.

8. Bobby Shuttleworth (New England Revolution) – Shuttleworth was a big part of why New England made it all the way to the MLS Cup finals last season. He has shined when New England’s attack went dry. So many years as an understudy to Matt Reis is really starting to pay dividends.

7. Clint Irwin (Colorado Rapids) – Hard to believe prior to 2013 Irwin was plying his trade in USL Pro with the Charlotte Eagles but he has wasted no time making his mark in MLS. Let’s face it Colorado are one of the weaker teams in the league but it’s not because of Irwin. Irwin has posted six clean sheets so far this year and Colorado have only allowed 17 goals thus far tied for second fewest in the league. The problem for Colorado lies in their lack of goals.

6. Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) – Robles has experience playing in Germany with Kaiserslautern and Karlsruher however following his release from the latter he pondered retirement but was acquired by New York via allocation and has been very impressive.

5. Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders) – Frei is a great keeper but no doubt benefits from having an incredible back line to support him. Chad Marshall has been consistently one of the best centerbacks in the league and has built a great partnership with Frei. Currently leads the league in clean sheets with eight and saves with 70.

4. Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy) – Penedo was a great signing for the Galaxy in 2013. He has been a stalwart for the Panamanian national team since 2003 and has twice won the Golden Glove at the Gold Cup in 2005 and 2013. Led the Galaxy to the MLS Cup last season. Big question is why no MLS team tried to sign him sooner given his performances with Panama.

3. David Ousted (Vancouver Whitecaps) – Ousted is one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s coming off a game where he saved two penalties. So far in 2015 he’s second in the league in shutouts and Vancouver are in solid position in second with two games in hand.

2. Bill Hamid (DC United) – Hamid is the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. In 2013 DC won three games and finished dead last in the league but nearly went from worst to first in 2014 finishing first in the East and third overall largely in part to Hamid. So far in 2015 DC United have allowed second fewest goals in the league. A European move could happen soon.

1. Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake) – Rimando is the best keeper in MLS and has been for some time. He’s the most consistent keeper in the league and is the MLS all time leader in shut-outs. Not the biggest but makes it up for it with his agility and reliability. Has been rewarded for his stellar play in MLS by featuring for Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT set up.

New Kicking It Podcast! Summertime Gladness

By, Kyle Gibson

Unlike Lana Del Ray, we at the Kicking It podcast love summer! In this edition, we discuss our favorite activities, as well as our love of Louis Van Gaal’s speaking abilities.

We also discuss the EPL relegation battle, the awesomeness of Sydney Leroux and the #USWNT and we also heap tons of praise of the awesome MLS.

Check us out! Listen via our Buzzsprout page or subscribe via iTunes.

New Kicking It Podcast: Our Triumphant Return

By, Kyle Gibson

Please enjoy a free 33 minute sample of the Kicking It Podcast. Come for the free sample, stay every week because it’s always free!

This week, we discuss the EPL, Periscope, the MLS, Toilets, softball and NASCAR.

Listen via our Buzzsprout page and subscribe on iTunes by searching “Kicking It With Kyle and Richard.”

New Post: Crossing Columbus Crew is the Best Columbus Crew

By, Kyle Gibson

Columbus Crew SC started its first home game at the newly christened MAPFRE Stadium with a bang, winning 2-0 over last year’s bogey team, Toronto FC.

Toronto boasts perhaps the best trio of stars in the league, with Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, but the unheralded Crew was able to pick up the victory.

Both goals the Crew scored on came from crosses. The first was an Ethan Finlay cross to Justin Meram, while the second came from defender Waylon Francis to Kei Kamara.

Crossing has found its way out of much of the international game, but it’s something second year manager Gregg Berhalter has doubled down on.

It was clear from the word go last season that crossing was going to be part of the Crew’s game, but frustratingly, there did not seem to be many pieces that could get on the end of balls played into the box.

The Crew had 31 crosses last night, 19 more than Toronto. More important than quantity, however, is finally seeing players finishing the quality balls that are crossed in. I sat through two games last season when beautiful balls were played in, just to be frustratingly put wide.

Kamara (who rejoined the club in the fall) might be what the Crew needed, someone that players can consistently target.

Also, if Meram can keep getting his head on crosses, he might well become a fan favorite.

Crossing into the box isn’t always sexy, but goals are. A victory against one of the teams tipped to be best in the league might demonstrate that the Crew has finally found a connection with crossing.

New Kicking It Podcast: We Talk MLS Lockout One Hour Before the CBA Was Signed.

Check out the latest Kicking It podcast, where Kyle and Richard discuss the potential MLS lockout 1 hour before a CBA is signed. It’s the best alternate history story of 2015!

Listen here via Buzzsprout and subscribe on iTunes “Kicking It with Kyle and Richard.”