• Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

US. Patada indie

> Sports News, MLS soccer & international Football

Your Wednesday Kickoff: LAFC Plays in CCL Final Tonight, MLS All-Star Voting is Open!

Your Wednesday Kickoff: LAFC Plays in CCL Final Tonight, MLS All-Star Voting is Open!

Online voting for the 2023 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target opened Wednesday to fans, media and players. Voting ends at 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday, June 14th.

To be eligible, players must have attended at least 50 percent of their club’s games this season by the time the ballot was created on May 18.

League staff reviewed performance metrics from the current 2023 season to categorize players into their most utilized positions. For the first time, fans, media and players will be asked to select their squad. All-Star nominees can be selected for seven specific positions: goalkeeper, right back, center back, left back, defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and forward/winger.

Ineligible Players Still Eligible for Game: Players who did not qualify are still eligible for selection by MLS All-Star Head Coach Wayne Rooney or General Manager Don Garber.

Yes, yes, there are other games today. But let’s get our priorities straight. Anything that isn’t the CCL Final is the underdog. Even if you are actively rooting for LAFC to lose. Which, man, an MLS team wins this trophy once and all of a sudden you’re haters the next year. This is fine, but you have to at least respect the fact that….

LAFC are on the verge of something a little more special

Something unprecedented really. There have been some great runs in MLS, but nothing as good as winning the Supporters’ Shield, MLS Cup and CCL in about six months. The fact that they are hailed on their way to a CCL final is an incredible achievement. If they can pull this off, there’s no real debate as to which MLS team has had the most success in league history.

The thing is, they won’t be made after this. Regardless of the outcome. Denis Bouanga is not going anywhere. Carlos Vela is not going anywhere. The core of this team isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They could lose a few pieces this summer. But it’s not like they’ve missed bringing in replacements lately. Plus, you know, even if they miss out, LAFC STILL STILL OPEN DP-POT. We probably don’t talk about it enough. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see them get this right as well and go on to follow up the CCL finals with another Shield and another cup and maybe a league cup too. That’s just where we are with this club right now. Step back and appreciate it before you go back to being angry, it’s not your team. Unless it’s your team. Then congratulations you lucky [incredibly redacted].

How do you approach teleportation?

Obviously, we can’t assume anything here. Yes, LAFC are the favorites and they should be. But it will still take a huge effort to beat a team that allowed the fewest goals in the new Clausura Liga MX and took down Tigres in the CCL semifinals with a brilliant second-leg comeback. Tonight is of course important.

That’s especially true because the CCL still uses the out-of-bounds rule. It’s always going to be harder to control the game and be on the front line on the road, but I think if you’re LAFC here, you should be out to take full advantage of the rule. I know, I know, “score more goals” is an incredible analysis. What I’m trying to get at is that LAFC should be completely comfortable leaving this game as wide open as possible. Even if it opens them up to some chaos elements in the first place. A 3-3 draw is better than a 0-0 draw in this case. They have the firepower to do it, so don’t be shy.

Although maybe LAFC should be even more scared than usual after…

Will Timothy Tillman’s comments come back to bite him?

Oh man, a good rule of thumb in life is “no one makes you say things”. If you have the opportunity to deliver your opponent’s next bulletin board material, you don’t have to. LAFC’s Timothy Tillman didn’t have to do this:

“I don’t think Mexican teams usually play that tactically.” It’s more or less emotional, very much 1-v-1. It’s all about fighting, it’s all about the emotions. Of course they have quality up front. But if we play well, I’m sure we can win there,” Tillman told the media earlier this week.

That’s just asking for a whole lot of cosmic justice from the higher football powers that be. I generally believe when curses are broken they are broken forever. MLS’s CCL curse is broken thanks to Seattle. There is no trace of curse particles floating in the air from several decades of MLS teams driving the fight bus against Liga MX.

But if you want to go ahead and start a brand new curse… there’s no stopping you, right?

A few keys and the rest is up to a higher power

There’s only so much real-world analysis you can do between departments. We know that León has been relatively discreet defensively. We know LAFC has enough firepower that it won’t matter. And we know how the game is, and whoever takes first blood will probably play a big role in that first game. If León can score early and sit in, LAFC could be in trouble. These are just the basics though. The rest of this matching is all random, high-variance, small-sample-size bounce. The tenor and chemistry of this final could change on a dime.

Feels like LAFC should do this though. That is the level of faith they have inspired. It’s a rare place for an MLS team to be. Now we just have to find out if they can handle the pressure.

U.S. advances to U-20 World Cup quarterfinals with contest in New Zealand: The U.S. has advanced to its fourth straight FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinal, reaching the quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over New- Zealand to maintain their perfect record at 2023 edition of the tournament in Argentina. Head coach Mikey Varas’ side, who topped Group B and are yet to progress through the round of 16, will face either Uruguay or Gambia on Sunday, June 4 in the quarter-finals. The yet-to-be-determined opponent will be revealed on Thursday afternoon.

USMNT to face Germany, Ghana in October friendlies: The US men’s national team will play two high-profile friendlies this coming October to prepare for the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals next month, the confederation announced Tuesday. The game against Germany will be held at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in Connecticut. The match against Ghana will be held at GEODIS Park Nashville SC.