Four matches into the MLS is Back Tournament and the highest-scoring match involved three goals, and the average match had just 1.25 goals. Two of the matches involved just one-goal and last night’s match between the Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes ended scorelessly.
So how does this compare to the NWSL’s Challenge Cup? Well in the first four matches of the Challenge Cup the highest scoring game was a six-goal match between the Houston Dash and the Utah Royals. The average match had three goals. Two of the four matches ended in draws and the other two in one-goal matches.
So why exactly is the MLS product falling far short of what the NWSL provided in the early stages of their tournament? Heat and humidity. The real feel for tonight’s 8 p.m. kick between Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls is 88 degrees and a humidity of 84%. Hop out to Utah for the Chicago Red Stars v Utah Royals match and while the real feel is 94 degrees at kick-off, the humidity is at 13% and the reel feel will go down to 85 at the end of the match. In Orlando, the reel feel at the end of the match is 86 degrees but will still have 85% humidity.
The result for MLS has been very sloppy play and players pulling up injured every few minutes in the late stages of the match with conditioning coming into play. Hopefully, as teams get into their second and third matches the quality of play will improve with it. After all, this is basically preseason matches for these teams after not playing competitive matches since March. That being said, NWSL had a longer layoff…..
Photo Credit: Matthew Stith and Devin L’Amoreaux
Matt Turner Already Better Than 2019?
On Thursday night Matt Turner made two saves, one of them a 96th minute stoppage time lay-out save to keep the game at 1-nil. According to StatsBomb, the expected goals for the Impact were 1.3. Turner through two matches in the 2020 season has a +1.2 expected goals minus actual goals. Per 90 minutes that is +0.59. Last season Turner had +0.35 per 90 in 27 starts.
Early results but it doesn’t look like Turner has missed a beat.
MLS Should Delay Sporting Kansas City v Minnesota United
On Friday MLS announced a team had a positive COVID-19 case and Sporting Kansas City announced it was one of their players. All other members of their delegation tested negative. This isn’t speculation, it is confirmed by both the league and the team.
The problem is Kansas City is expected to play Minnesota on Sunday. Given the length of time for conclusive test results the league should postpone the match to give players and both sides peace of mind. Now, I am not one of those honks calling for MLS to cancel the whole tournament, just delay the match in an instance where it makes perfect sense. Sporting KC has trained together and one would assume that positive case has been in close contact with other members of the team.
At this time the match is slated to go on as scheduled at 8:00 p.m. and all members of the Sporting Kansas City delegation are now being tested daily per MLS protocols.
On This Date…..2-3-2 overall, 1-3-2 in MLS play
1996: 2-1 win at Columbus Crew
1998: 1-2 loss at Colorado Rapids
1999: 2-5 loss to LA Galaxy
2001: 2-1 win over Charleston Battery in Third Round of U.S. Open Cup
2004: 1-1 draw at Chicago Fire
2009: 0-0 draw to Kansas City Wizards
2015: 1-4 loss at New York Red Bulls
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