Roura: MLS Extra Time

Extra Time Column logo. - Graphic / Alex Roura

90+1’ – Storylines

It has been over a month into Major League Soccer (MLS) action, yet a year’s worth of chaos has occurred.

We have seen an ecstatic “El Tráfico,” with plenty of penalties, and ridiculous refereeing. The defending champions, New York City FC, have continued their woes, last season’s supporters’ shield winners, the New England Revolution, have gone south just like their new badge, and LA’s teams reign supreme.

To start, for their entire MLS stint, FC Cincinnati has been the laughingstock of the league. Now? They have one of the league’s leading goal scorers in Brandon Vazquez, a stealthy and exact shooter from inside the box.

They also tied their franchise win streak record this early in the season. However, that record turned out to be two wins.

They lost the five other games on their schedule, including getting thrashed 5-0 and 2-0 by the two newest clubs in the league in Austin FC and Charlotte FC. Things don’t plan on changing it seems.

MLS’ bottom feeder, San Jose Earthquakes, managed to put up three goals while visiting the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, April 9. The bad? They let up four, adding to a total of 15 goals allowed in the first six games.

The Quakes are the lone winless team after Inter Miami snagged all three points this week.

90+3’ – Week 6 Highs and Lows

High: Los Angeles Teams

El Tráfico always delivers. This year was no different.

LA Galaxy narrowly defeated LAFC 2-1 on Saturday, as LAFC’s 90+7’s equalizer was ruled offside. Both teams sit one and two in the Western Conference standings and the league’s social media manager and power rankings maker could not be happier.

Low: Refs. Again.

If I had a penny for every questionable call the MLS refs made in the first few weeks, I would have a dollar. It is not much, but I could buy bacon slices with it from Rowan’s Brkfst & Co.

Sadly, saying that there have been one hundred “HUH?” moments might classify as an understatement.

Sidetracking back to that almost LAFC equalizer, the MLS decided to put out a post questioning the ruling hours after the game concluded, asking the fans if the VAR call of offside was the correct choice. Many questioned if the black and gold were robbed of at least a draw.

Every week, a team is supposedly robbed by the refs. It could be an overreaction, but the fact everyone is concerned week after week is not something to avoid looking over. Sigh.

High: New Kids on the Block

Inter Miami FC has been a club that has yet to find traction in the first two seasons of play. Although this season is looking to be no different, Leonardo Campana recorded the first-ever hat trick for the franchise in its 3-2 victory over the struggling New England Revolution, with star player Gonzalo Higuain sadly watching from the press box.

Charlotte FC’s debut season didn’t have many expectations from the start, but they now sit in the top five after the first seven games! Charlotte defeated a potential new rival in Atlanta United 1-0, avenging a loss one month back.

Austin FC’s second year in the league is going better than planned, with 11 points in the first six matches, good enough for fourth in the west. A brilliant strike by Maxi Urruti was the lone goal in the victory over Minnesota United.

Low: 2021’s Eastern Conference Finals Teams

New England, NYCFC. Two huge disappointments after huge 2021 campaigns.

NYCFC won the Cup last year and has slid to 12 of 14 in this year’s standings. New England put up the best MLS Regular Season last year, only to be 13 to start off this year. Will they both rebound?

90+5’ – A Look Ahead into Week 7

Toronto FC v Philadelphia Union

Daniel Gázdag, who has had four goals in five matches, and the East-leading Union take a trip across the border, as goalkeeper Alex Bono and Toronto FC look to add a fourth straight game with points.

Prediction – Union: 2-1

NYCFC v Real Salt Lake

To back up their first-ever title win, NYCFC has plummeted to the bottom three in the East. If that is not enough to worry about, Yankee Stadium will have the third-best in the West head onto their pitch on Sunday in Real Salt Lake.

Prediction – Draw: 1-1

LAFC v Sporting KC

The West’s best in LAFC eye another game without defeat, as they have a home date with a Sporting KC side who has scored five goals in the first seven games.

Prediction – LAFC: 3-1

Full-Time – The Rest of the Slate:

Montréal vs. Vancouver:

San Jose vs. Nashville

Atlanta vs. Cincinnati

Houston vs. Portland

NY Red Bulls vs. Dallas

Columbus vs. Orlando

DC vs. Austin

New England vs. Charlotte

Chicago vs. LA Galaxy

Minnesota vs. Colorado

Seattle vs. Miami

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