MLS Defending: United States domestic league’s defending struggles

MLS Defending: United States domestic league’s defending struggles

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Major League Soccer is a fascinating league to watch, presenting a strange, unique brand of football which has both its very clear strengths and weaknesses openly on display. Graced by world-renown names and stars of former years, the technical, attacking quality of the MLS is at a really high level, and yet is faced off against a defensive and goalkeeping core still seemingly in its developmental infancy.

Match after match, MLS supporters watch as the technically-gifted forwards and creative players of the league run rings round defenders often struggling with some of the more basic elements of top level football. Positioning and tactical defending seems yet to become properly rooted into MLS defences, and as such there is almost always an abundance of space and opportunity for the opposition attackers.

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MATCH FOCUS: LA Galaxy 7-2 Sporting Kansas City

MATCH FOCUS: LA Galaxy 7-2 Sporting Kansas City

Featured in the Raumdeuter Online Magazine – Edition #3

Against Sporting Kansas City, LA Galaxy proved all that is excited and frustrating with MLS football. As chance after chance came flying in during the end-to-end contest, it was exhilarating for supporters to watch and likely infuriating for the coaches.

Simple mistakes and lacklustre defending created opportunities out of nothing. Sporting Kansas City almost took the lead early into the contest with a complete pot shot from distance which clattered against the post.

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Is the MLS’ Designated Player Rule hurting US football, and is it time for a rethink?

Is the MLS’ Designated Player Rule hurting US football, and is it time for a rethink?

Atlanta United, fresh off the back of their 2018 MLS Cup win, announced the signing of highly-rated Argentine midfielder Pity Martinez. Normally, that kind of signing would be a coup for American clubs, but it has left Atlanta in an awkward position – they are now forced to sell or loan out one of their other top talents.

That is because of the MLS’ Designated Player Rule – or the Beckham Rule, as it’s sometimes known.

The rule was brought in as part of the salary cap regulations introduced for the 2007 MLS season. It allowed franchises to sign up to three players which they could declare as Designated Players.

Continue reading “Is the MLS’ Designated Player Rule hurting US football, and is it time for a rethink?”