Week 4 of MLS is in the books. Here at the weekly rewind we’ll go over things that are interesting (at least to me, hey it’s my column) or quirky about MLS. One part game review, one part observation, all MLS.
Let’s get to it!
RBNY Keep Rolling
After the Loons surprised by winning their previous two games this had the look and feel of a hard fought matchup for both sides. However, two fantastic goals from BWP (who has kicked off 2018 absolutely on fire) was more than enough to propel the Red Bulls to victory. With their matchup against Chivas in CONCACAF Champions League looming it was good to see RBNY bounce back after a disappointing loss to Real Salt Lake last week.
Columbus Crew SC
Speaking of teams that are hot. Columbus has been absolutely on fire to start the season. Taking ten points from four games, going 3-1-0, Crew SC are tied with NYCFC atop the Eastern Conference. After trading away Ola Kamara and Justin Meram many, including this writer, had them taking a step back but remaining a tough out in the east. So far in 2018 they have been proving us all wrong. Gregg Berhalter seems to be hitting all the right buttons and the Crew seem destined for a solid season. If only the spectre of their ownership and a possible relocation were not hanging over the team. (#savethecrew)
Also, congratulations to Federico Higuain on joining the 50-50 club in MLS. Accruing fifty goals and fifty assists in MLS is no small feat.
Did anyone else notice how many teams were missing players this week? Representing twenty one of the twenty three teams in the league. That really does show the growth and progress of MLS as a league. However, with twenty one teams missing players and twelve of those teams competing this week it really puts into focus the fact that MLS does not closely adhere to the international schedule.
Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Zlatan to the Galaxy has been much reported about and in this writer’s humble opinion it is a match made in MLS heaven. The Galaxy needed something with LAFC in town and taking a lot of the swagger what with their *near* downtown stadium, killer branding, celebrity ownership, well known coach, splashy designated player signings and hot start (not to mention that they have captured the LA soccer fan in a way that the Galaxy have not done in years) it seemed like the Galaxy would go the way of so many original MLS teams and fade into the background while their flashy new counterpart capture the attention of the city but this is LA and this is the Galaxy. Signing Zlatan to a TAM deal for two seasons certainly means that they will continue to compete with LAFC for the hearts and minds of every Angeleno.
How very MLS thought of the week
Ok, can someone explain to me how the Philadelphia Union had a discovery claim on Zlatan Ibrahimovic? He’s one of the most recognizable players in the world. Got to love the wacky roster rules and mechanisms, it’s part of makes this league so frustrating yet endearing. Somehow in the midst of convincing Zlatan to sign a TAM contract with the Galaxy (which is insane in and of itself) the Galaxy had to pay the union for the right to negotiate that contract.
Sometimes you just have to *shrug* and keep going. You do you MLS.