MLS is Back Tournament Recap: 7/22/20!

Real Salt Lake 0 – Sporting Kansas City 2

FC Cincinnati 2 – New York Red Bulls 0

Colorado 2 – Minnesota 2

It took only 51 seconds for a goal to be scored today and by the end of it there were four times the goals from yesterday. Much more exciting matches in my opinion. We saw Group D and Group E finish up their group stage and got a clearer picture of who the wild cards will be with only three group games remaining.

Game 1:

SKC came to this game knowing that they needed a win to assure that they would move through, and even an outside shot at winning the group outright. Real Salt Lake were confident that they would get through as at least a wild card either way. That’s how the game played out.

Sporting Kansas City: B

Johnny Russell didn’t need much time to put his stamp on the game. SKC quickly drove down and were awarded a corner. The kick batted around a few players before finally being put in by Russell. From that point on, SKC played their defensive game and rested a bit on their laurels. Late in the game Gerso was able to put in a second to take the wind out of RSL’s sails. They had to watch the Minnesota outcome tonight to know that they clinched the top group spot

Real Salt Lake: C+

Real Salt Lake were behind the 8-ball from the very start. They were able to control possession but continuously fell into SKC’s trap. They were not able to break the pressure despite the control and only managed to get one shot on goal. They still were able to sneak through as a wild card.

Man of the Match: Johnny Russell

Being able to net a goal in the first minute of the game is extremely demoralizing for your opponent. RSL was never the same after Russell’s goal. I wonder what would have changed if that one hadn’t gone in.

Game 2:

This game was a winner take all for the second spot in group E, and I was very surprised at the team that took advantage of that. To make matters worse, it looks like the better team won’t be making it to the knockout stage.

Cincinnati: C

I stand behind the fact that I don’t think Cincinnati is good and I will continue to believe it until they are holding a trophy. They were thoroughly dominated by the Red Bulls in this game everywhere except the scoreboard. Luckily for Cincinnati, the scoreboard is all that matters. Still, Cincinnati is through to the knockout stage and I truly hope to see LAFC win tomorrow to earn the right to face them.

New York Red Bulls: B

68% of the possession. 19 shots. 51 crosses… 51 CROSSES. But the number that matters is a big fat 0… 0 goals scored. It doesn’t matter how well you play in a match if you can’t get the ball in the back of the net. They will be watching tomorrow’s matches hoping for a bit of a miracle. They will need Chicago to lose by 3+ goals and the Houston-Galaxy game to end in a tie or a one goal Galaxy win. I wouldn’t bet on them making it through.

Man of the Match: Przemyslaw Tyton

While he only had 4 saves in this game, Tyton was under pressure the entire time and never blinked once. Getting a shutout is a difficult thing to do. Even more so when you’re playing the entire match on your heels.

Game 3:

This was a frustrating but very exciting game to watch. Colorado had nothing to play for and yet they matched Minnesota’s intensity stride for stride. Neither team should hang their head after this draw.

Colorado Rapids: B+

This was a well played game on both sides of the ball. Colorado looked pumped up and poised to take a win after Kei Kamara finally got on the goal sheet in the 19th minute. However, a bit of sloppy play right before half put them in a halftime deficit that they needed to pull themselves out of to earn a point. They’ll be pleased with this game.

Minnesota United: B+

Their stats were a little better than Colorado’s, but not quite enough to push into “A” grade category. Tyler Miller looked a little sloppy in goal and gave Colorado a chance to get back in the game. They will be moving on to the knockout stage, but will be kicking themselves for not getting the job done and finishing on top of the group.

Man of the Match: Ethan Finley

Finley scored two goals to take the match ball out of Colorado keeper William Yarbrough’s hands. The fact that the goals were only 7 minutes apart just add to the greatness of it. Ethan Finley saved Minnesota from the utter disappointment that would have been if they would have lost this game.

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