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New England Revolution make another coach change after Arena's exit

The New England Revolution have made a second coaching change in four days, announcing Tuesday evening Clint Peay will now serve as interim head coach after leading MLS NEXT Pro side Revolution II. The decision comes shortly after Richie Williams' time as interim head coach of New England was formalized Saturday evening upon the resignation of then-head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena. On Tuesday, The Athletic and other outlets reported Revolution players refused to train in the aftermath of Arena's exit.

USMNT win big over Oman

Folarin Balogun scored in the first half and Brenden Aaronson and Ricardo Pepi struck off the bench in the second as the US men’s national team closed out the FIFA September international window with a convincing 4-0 victory over Oman Tuesday night at Minnesota United FC’s Allianz Field.

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Grading each Eastern Conference team's biggest signing

We’re more than 30 match days in now. We’re getting close to the point where we can say we actually know something about the teams and players in this league. We’re not all the way there. But we’re close.

Sounds like a perfect time to use the power of hindsight to assess a team’s decision-making like we know all along their choices were good or bad. In particular, let’s take a look at each team’s biggest signing of the season and see how things are working out for them. It might give us a clear idea of why a team is where it is in the standings.

East today. West tomorrow. Reverse standings order.

Toronto FC - Matt Hedges and Sean Johnson

Grade: 😦

Welp. I’m including both Hedges and Johnson here because at the time I largely thought both were very good signings that would solidify Toronto defensively and allow the talented attackers in front of them to cook. And, yeah, in theory, maybe they should have. But neither could lift a Toronto side that turned into a whole entire mess over the course of the season. Hedges isn’t even with the team anymore.

None of that is on Hedges or Johnson of course. It’s more that this all could have gone far, far better. And it sure didn’t.

Inter Miami - Lionel Messi

Grade: A+

Hey. Good job, y’all.

New York Red Bulls - Dante Vanzeir

Grade: D-

Vanzeir came in as a club-record signing. New York spent somewhere around $5.5 million to bring him in and finally give the Red Bulls the striker they’ve been missing since Bradley Wright-Phillips left. Instead, Vanzeir has started seven games and added two goals and one assist while picking up a six-game suspension for racist language along the way. The Red Bulls are in very real danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, largely because they can’t consistently find the back of the net.

NYCFC - Santiago Rodriguez

Grade: C

LIke a few other signings on this list, Rodriguez’s return to NYCFC made sense on paper, but hasn’t turned into the results everyone hoped for. Rodriguez came back to NYCFC from Uruguay’s Montevideo City Torque after the end of his original 18-month loan with the Pigeons. This time, they made the move permanent and handed Rodriguez a DP deal and the No. 10 shirt. And for good reason too. Rodriguez put up four goals and 13 assists last season as a 22-year-old. But, for a number of reasons, those numbers have dwindled in his first year as a DP. Rodriguez has four goals on the year, but only five assists and NYCFC’s attack as a whole has struggled mightily. That’s not his fault alone, but he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations either.

Charlotte FC - Enzo Copetti

Grade: D

That grade feels harsh. But it’s less about Charlotte’s new DP striker and more about the situation he got thrown into. Copetti has just five goals and two assists over 16 starts largely because the pieces of Charlotte’s attack don’t fit together. At the time of Copetti’s signing, it felt like an odd fit to shift Karol Swiderski around and have Copetti be the full-time No. 9. But maybe Charlotte knew something we didn’t?

Well, so far, nope. It’s just been an odd fit. And Charlotte’s attack is slightly worse this year because of it. There’s certainly a world where Charlotte does some rearranging in attack this offseason and sets up Copetti to succeed, but the first year has been a bust.

Chicago Fire FC - Georgios Koutsias?

Grade: C

I think the real notable aspect of this is it seems like Chicago’s biggest signing was a 19-year-old U22 player. Koutsias has been totally fine in limited appearances. But it’s tough to take a leap forward as a team and finally make the playoffs again if your biggest signing on a team that missed the playoffs last year is a U22 player with potential.

D.C. United - Mateusz Klich

Grade: B

Klich came in from Leeds United as a DP and has been generally very solid since he arrived. He’s got good numbers, passes the eye test and D.C. United as a whole have been better than their record indicates. Klich is a big part of that. I wouldn’t call him a world beater, but he’s absolutely not a bust either. Just a quality contributor.

CF Montréal - Bryce Duke

Grade: B-

Montréal’s biggest move is one of the single biggest trades of the season. It’s still kind of shocking to see it all laid out. Montréal sent Kamal Miller and $1.3 million in GAM to Miami in exchange for Duke and Ariel Lassiter. That’s a starting-caliber center back and a ton of MLS money for two players without a ton of output in their careers.

But since arriving in Montréal, Duke has started 18 games in midfield and been a consistent contributor. You can debate whether that’s worth the price tag, but Duke himself has been fine. And Montréal still had plenty of GAM left over to make a move for Mahala Opoku in the summer transfer window. For now, it seems like Montréal are a playoff team. Although there is a timeline not too far from ours where Inter Miami knocks Montréal out of the playoffs with Kamal Miller starting and some players signed with help from all that GAM they sent over.

Nashville SC - Sam Surridge

Grade: B

I’m cheating here by including a recent signing, but Surridge appears to be what Nashville have been looking for at striker and their winter signings were all decent, but not all that interesting. It’s early, but Surridge could find his place in the Nashville system soon and, thanks to his obvious skillset, start to make a major impact at the right time.

Atlanta United - Giorgos Giakoumakis

Grade: A

Yeah, there are some injury concerns, but he’s been the best No. 9 in the league when he’s on the field, and it’s not really all that close. He’s averaging close to a goal per 90 minutes right now and leads the league in non-penalty goals. Atlanta nailed this one. The only question is how long his legs will let it last.

Columbus Crew - Wilfried Nancy

Grade: A+

They did technically have to send an undisclosed amount of money to Montréal to bring him to Columbus so I’m counting it. Y’all know that here at The Daily Kickoff we’re team “Managers generally don’t matter except for a select few.” Nancy seems to be one of the select few. At least at an MLS level. Eventually, there’s a good chance we’ll find out what he can do elsewhere though. He’s a star.

Philadelphia Union - Damion Lowe

Grade: B-

They didn’t need to add anything but depth to last year’s (near) double-winning side. Lowe has been exactly that since arriving from Miami, starting nine games and even scoring two goals. Seems like that went totally fine.

Orlando City SC - Martin Ojeda

Grade: C++

Ah man, this one is so weird to assess. Ojeda has five goals and eight assists since arriving as a DP from Godoy Cruz. That’s pretty good for a first year MLS guy. However, he only has 13 starts on the season and is being used primarily as a super sub at this point.

Ojeda hasn’t started an MLS game since July 1, but has made seven appearances off the bench since then. So, for appearing to be both simultaneously a good and bad signing, the best we can do right now is give a C++.

New England Revolution - Dave Romney

Grade: A

At the time, it felt strange to see Nashville send Romney to the Revs after he was a consistent performer on one of the league’s best back lines. And, yeah, it’s still strange. Because Romney has started every game for New England this season and helped the Revs climb up to second place in the standings while allowing a respectable 32 goals on the season. That’s despite Romney going without fellow starting center back Henry Kessler next to him for a while now due to injury. They nailed this one.

FC Cincinnati - Yerson Mosquera

Grade: A-

It’s pretty simple here. Mosquera arrived on loan from Wolves and Cincy turned into Shield winners thanks in large part to one of the best defenses in the league. Mosquera has played a key role in that over his 20 starts. The only worry with Mosquera now is whether Cincy can find a way to get him to stay for 2024.

Other things

Inter Miami sign homegrown midfielder Morales: Inter Miami CF have signed homegrown midfielder Santiago Morales through the 2027 MLS season with an option for 2028. The 16-year-old is the son of Inter Miami assistant coach and Real Salt Lake legend Javier Morales. He is the seventh academy product to join the Herons’ first team

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Good luck out there. Take a vacation with friends.