Three big storylines
- There were four midweek MLS games this week with some surprising results. The Columbus Crew hosted the Supporters’ Shield leading LA Galaxy and beat them 3-1. Atlanta United look to be pulling things together with a 2-0 home win over Toronto FC for their third victory in a row, the Montreal Impact took three points at the once impenetrable Red Bull Arena, and the New England Revolution continued their horrid stretch of games with a 5-0 loss at the Chicago Fire. The Revs have given up 18 goals and scored five over their last four matches. There was even a Friday night game as the Vancouver Whitecaps made a ninth minute Fredy Montero goal stand up as they took three important Cascadia Cup points from the Portland Timbers last night in Vancouver.
- For the second week in a row this section features a coach getting fired but this week it’s two coaches getting their walking papers. Last week it was the Colorado Rapids firing Anthony Hudson. This week it is the Revolution firing Brad Friedel. Friedel finished his season and a bit as the Revs manager with a 12-21-13 (W-L-T) record. Mike Lapper has taken over as interim manager. Expansion side FC Cincinnati has already made a change as their first manager, Alan Koch, was let go after just 11 matches in charge. Koch finishes his short MLS tenure with a 2-7-2 record. After a frisky start, FC Cincinnati have lost five in a row and only have one point in their last seven matches. At week 11 in MLS only three teams sit below 1.0 points per game and all three have fired their manager in the month of May.
- Let’s talk about the new MLS playoff format for 2019. With the stunning results in the Champions League this week, Liverpool turned a 3-0 deficit in Barcelona into a 4-3 win at Anfield and Ajax took a 1-0 win in London against Tottenham then entered halftime of the return leg up 3-0 before losing on away goals as Spurs scored three second half goals, it’s worth reminding everyone that MLS has decided to do away with the two-legged format in favor of a single elimination fixed bracket. Currently there are Ajax and Barcelona fans nodding along thinking that’s a great idea, let’s do what MLS does. Seven teams now make the playoffs (Atlanta and the Whitecaps are the lucky 7th team in their respective conferences as of the writing of this story) with the top team in each conference receiving a bye.
From a Sounders point of view
The Sounders host Orlando City on Wednesday in Seattle. You can watch Orlando play in Atlanta on Sunday morning; that game is on FOX (see below for details). Normally it’s the Sounders stuck flying across the continent on short rest. Might as well take advantage of the scheduling challenge presented to Orlando.
National TV listings
FC Dallas v New York Red Bulls
Date/Time: Saturday, 11 AM PT
Streaming: Univision Deportes and Twitter Live Stream of the Week
LA Galaxy v New York City FC
Date/Time: Saturday, 1 PM PT
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Atlanta United FC v Orlando City SC
Date/Time: Sunday, 11:30 AM PT
D.C. United v Sporting Kansas City
Date/Time: Sunday, 4 PM PT
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This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 11 gamethread. Watch with us.