Editorial- As we’ve all come to expect, Ohio caused some chaos in an election year. This time, it was much more to do with soccer than politics. Most expected the Columbus Crew to top Group E when the group draw was made. However, nobody saw the surprise that FC Cincinnati ended up being, especially after their 4-0 defeat.
Ohio brings Chaos to MLS is Back Group E
The Columbus Crew were classy in their handling of every single match. A thorough win against FC Cincinnati, a comfortable win over RBNY, followed by a walk in the park against Atlanta United. The crew was always in control, and it made their run to first in the group as easy as can be. Led by the finishing of Gyasi Zardes, and creativity of Pedro Santos and Lucas Zelarayan, the Crew should be a favorite to win the whole thing. Caleb Porter has them largely in control of matches, and they’re going to be a very tough team to play against. Good luck, everyone else.
If you can recall our group preview, I’ll now take my chance to gloat in the fact that I predicted FC Cincinnati would actually make the round of 16 and cause a lot of heads to turn. We couldn’t have predicted the other favorites to capitulate in the fashion they did, but what isn’t surprising is that something semi-chaotic happened. FC Cincinnati got shellacked in the first game, but rather unfairly. Despite that four-goal scoreline, the most likely outcome was a 1-0 win for Columbus. But, for FCC they’ve yet to even cross the line of 1 xG in a match. Yet, they’ve got 3 goals in two games. I don’t know how they got to where they are, really. But, they got there, and I guess that’s all that happens.
New York Red Bulls started off with a 1-0 win over Atlanta United. However, did not score another goal in the tournament and got knocked out with a -3 GD. The Red Bulls, did kind of what we expected, just not against who we would’ve expected. This is probably the weakest overall version of RBNY we’ve seen in years, and it’s not surprising too much to see them out of the tournament. Their own goal against FC Cincinnati sealed their fate though, and they’re headed home early.
Atlanta United FC capitulate at MLS is Back
Before we could even recap the group, the five stripes fired Frank de Boer. That should tell you enough about their campaign. However, their campaign in MLS is Back shouldn’t be the only issue. It’s been an extension of FdB’s tenure in charge. They were rigid, boring, lacked any sort of passion or creativity, and most of all, the front office had lost any sort of confidence. Carlos Bocanegra was on the sideline giving player instructions in the middle of their final 1-0 loss. At that point, FdB was done. It was over. The Five Stripes want to be a super-club and making moves like that after a seriously disappointing display at MLS is Back, helps reinforce that sentiment.