As I’ve repeatedly stated, this was the season I really tried to follow MLS closely. It’s been mostly hit, some miss, but it’s hard to not see the charm. It is perhaps the last bastion of the true No. 10, where the space in midfield allows them to work their magic and drive teams to success. It’s where some teams press furiously, and even fewer are equipped to deal with it. Which can lead to frantic, lacrosse-like spread across the field in some games.
Basically, MLS is where just about anything can happen. Hilarious mistakes can be made, and with the most skilled players getting time on the ball they might not get anywhere else, they have the opportunity to do wondrous things. Or basically, it’s this:
Before we even get to the climax of that, it’s worth noting that Portland gets from its own penalty box to the other against San Jose here in about three seconds — once again exemplifying how the league sometimes just eschews a midfield at times. Yeah, it’s off a corner, and sometimes this happens, but man, tactical foul anyone?
JT Marcinkowski looks like he’s trying to corral a defrosting turkey that’s been in brine for 24 hours, under almost no pressure. And yet he should be safe, because Darion Asprilla is still some 25-to-30 yards from goal at a bad angle, with his back turned. Marcinkowski, while feeling sheepish, must have also thought he was out of jail pretty quickly. And then Asprilla does… that! It’s not just the perfect connection, but the perfect arc he puts on it while, y’know, parallel to the ground.
Baseball announcers always talk about seeing things you’ve never seen before at the ballpark every night. No, MLS is where you go to see things you have never seen before, on both ends of the spectrum, sometimes literally seconds apart. This is the madness and beauty the league produces simultaneously, and most of the time it feels like both are by accident. It’s an eighth-grade science fair, where comedy, dedication, experimentation, and promise all intersect.
Original source here