Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Night MLS: D.C.United take first round of Atlantic Cup

D.C.United 2-0 New York Red Bulls
With neither of these sides off to an overly impressive start, this is one of the less important Atlantic Cup matches in recent memory. Aside from the score, this version was pretty even, though. Both sides took 13 shots and landed six of them on target. Possession was slightly in favor of New York, but the fact that United was up 2-0 at halftime probably accounted for that.

Alvaro Saborio got D.C.on the board 20 minutes in by tapping in after getting behind the sloppy Red Bull back line. The second came from Patrick Nyarko in the 43rd. His wonderful volley was too mucho for Luis Robles to handle. Travis Worra would take over the show in the second half. Several terrific saves were the difference between New York coming back and at least earning a draw and D.C. hanging on for the win.

The reaction from this match got me thinking a lot about MLS and the extreme unpredictability that seems to follow the league around. Especially after I read this British opinion piece about The league lacking continuity. Seeing United fans shocked that they were able to get the win here and other fans calling the Red Bulls awful really drove this point home. MLS is a parity league. The difference between the best team and the worst is very, very small. The fact that one of the worst teams last year, Colorado, is currently ahead in the Supporters Shield race is even more evidence.

I don't think that this is an issue with the league, as that article above contends. But it really does take the surprise out of United raking in three points tonight when they weren't expected to and a team like Colorado leading the league a quarter of the way through the season. All in all, I'm no longer shocked by anything that happens in this league anymore. And that's just fine.

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