Round One continues tonight
Montréal part ways with head coach Losada
CF Montréal have parted ways with head coach Hernán Losada. Assistant coach Sebastián Setti has also been let go. Losada ultimately spent one season in charge of CFMTL, who missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs following a 2-1 loss at Columbus Crew on Decision Day. They finished 10th in the Eastern Conference standings (41 points; 12W-17L-5D).
St. Louis CITY's Bürki named 2023 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
Roman Bürki, after helping fuel St. Louis CITY SC's record-setting expansion season, has claimed the 2023 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year award. Bürki is the first player to win the award while competing for an expansion side since Zach Thornton (Chicago Fire FC) in 1998.
FC Cincinnati's Acosta wins 2023 AT&T 5G MLS Goal of the Year
FC Cincinnati's Lucho Acosta has won 2023 AT&T 5G MLS Goal of the Year honors for a spectacular golazo scored in their 3-0 rout of Charlotte FC on Sept. 23. The 78th-minute strike helped Acosta finish second in the Golden Boot presented by Audi race, dazzling the TQL Stadium crowd with a Lionel Messi-esque finish.
FC Cincinnati’s Celentano wins 2023 MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate
FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano has won the 2023 MLS Save of the Year presented by Allstate, earning the accolade for a last-minute denial in their May 20 victory over Hell is Real rival Columbus Crew.
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We made it to Match 3. Three Match 3s in fact. We get one every night this weekend, starting with tonight’s showdown between Seattle and FC Dallas. Seattle took Match 1 with relative ease, but Dallas forced tonight’s elimination game with an excellent performance back in Frisco. Anything could happen tonight, so let’s take a look at some ifs, ands and buts about it.
SEATTLE WIN IF…
The home-field advantage continues. Not just the normal “Lol MLS” home-field advantage, where home teams win at a rate higher than any other league in the world. The “Seattle is a city of nightmares” home-field advantage the Sounders seem to have over FC Dallas. The good folks at MLSsoccer.com pulled this stat after Match 1…
Seattle are unbeaten in 18-straight home MLS matches against FC Dallas (14W-0L-4D incl. playoffs) dating back to 2012. There has only been one longer home unbeaten run by one team over another in MLS history: New England’s 20 straight against New York from 2002-13.
The actual date of Dallas’ last MLS win in Seattle is May 25, 2011. Seattle haven’t lost at home to FC Dallas since the first term of the Obama administration. Seattle haven’t lost at home to FC Dallas since Mumford and Sons got consistent radio play. Seattle haven’t lost at home to FC Dallas since people listened to the radio. Seattle haven’t lost at home to FC Dallas since your parents didn’t understand how to use Facebook. Seattle haven’t lost at home to FC Dallas since “Friday” by Rebecca Black was YouTube’s most popular video. Seattle haven’t lost at home to FC Dallas since CHIVAS USA.
It’s been a long time, y’all. And there’s no real explanation for it beyond winning on the road in MLS is hard, and winning against a team as consistently excellent as Seattle is hard, and winning against a consistently excellent team on the road is really, really hard. It’s not like Seattle have a particular grudge against FC Dallas. But, the fact is, no one on FC Dallas knows what it’s like to win in Seattle as a member of FC Dallas. That matters on some level. Seattle can’t just rely on home-field advantage to carry them home, though. They’ll need that home-field advantage…
They’ll need to put in the kind of performance you’ve come to expect from a healthy Sounders lineup. It seems like injuries have been a constant for this group over the last couple of years. The team’s stars have gotten older and less available as time has gone on. When this group has all of their best pieces at their disposal, though, they still have enough juice to remind everyone why they’re the league’s most successful team over the last decade or so.
Well, dear reader, I’m here to inform you they have everyone available for tonight. Raúl Ruidíaz, Cristian Roldan, João Paulo – they’re all ready to go. It sounds like Reed Baker-Whiting is good to go, too. The Seattle Death Star may not be as powerful as it used to be, but it is fully operational at this point.
They did have a few moments in Match 1 where Jesús Ferreira nearly turned the game on its head. They got overrun quickly in Match 2. All it takes to potentially make this a long night for Seattle is an early goal that forces their sometimes lackluster attack to chase the game all night. Which, hey, speaking of…
FC DALLAS WIN IF…
They jump out to an early lead again. Like I said, there were opportunities to make that happen in Match 1. They capitalized early in Match 2. If they can find the net and change the game state first, then they have the kind of defense that can hunker down and set up shop in front of their own goal for a while and frustrate a Seattle side that sometimes has trouble finding new ideas in attack.
Also, don’t forget this thing goes straight to penalties if we’re tied at full-time. Asking Seattle to score twice against one of the best defenses in the league kind of feels like a tall task this year. Dallas can steal this if they score first…
Their fullbacks are up for a fight. Ema Twumasi and Marco Farfan (or maybe Sam Junqua again?) will have their hands full against a Seattle side that thrives when they’re repeatedly getting into the Prime Assist Zones on the edge of the box and when they’re creating opportunities for pullbacks from the end line. Closing down quickly and effectively in wide areas tends to be critical. If Seattle are pushing for a goal, you can bet they’re going to try and hammer the door down from the wings. The Dallas back line has to be up for it and maybe hope Maarten Paes can bail them out a few times as well. He’s usually pretty good at that.
It’s Seattle. Sometimes you do everything right, and it doesn’t matter. In part, because they’re very good at soccer and in part because they have a genuine belief that they’re never out of a big game. At their best, there’s an inevitability to the Sounders in these kinds of moments. Dallas will need to find a way to make us count out a team you never want to count out.
24 US players called in for Nations League vs. Trinidad & Tobago: The two-time defending US men's national team have named their 24-player roster for a 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal home-and-away series against Trinidad & Tobago that qualifies the winner for the 2024 Copa América.
- FC Dallas rising star Bernard Kamungo embraces his remarkable journey to MLS.
- Cristian Roldan is bringing "all the little things" to the Seattle Sounders this postseason.
- Here’s an updated look at the 2023 MLS Cup hosting scenarios.
- Jonathan Sigal picked out one big question for teams out of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Matt Doyle took a deeper dive into what the 2023 MLS season meant for New York, San Jose, Charlotte and Portland.
- The USMNT are seeking solutions as Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah are set to miss the team’s upcoming Nations League match.
- Take a look at the updated list of coaching vacancies in MLS.
Good luck out there. Sometimes you just need to do it yourself.