Nightmare performances around MLS: 'Bunch of frauds' and 'mentally weak'

On a night when all 26 teams were in action, three teams stood out -- for their futility.

D.C. United and San Jose, the last-place teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences, lost yet ahead, while Vancouver fell after conceding an MLS record four goals in the first 14 minutes at LAFC.

D.C. United has won just two of 13 games after its 1-0 loss to Nashville SC. The lone goal came on a goal by Mexican Daniel Rios in the 70th minute, but United head coach Ben Olsen was more upset with how his team played in the first half.

“We were a bunch of frauds in the first half,” he said. “Unacceptable performance from us. It was uninspiring."

The only team worse than D.C. United in MLS is San Jose, which lost to Colorado, 5-0, four days after a 6-1 loss at home to Portland. Earlier in September, the Quakes fell to LAFC, 5-1, and Seattle, 7-1.

Veteran Chris Wondolowski's assessment was simple: “I think that right now we’re mentally weak. I think that once something goes wrong we’re expecting more things to go wrong.”

The Earthquakes are on course to shatter an MLS record for the most goals-per game allowed -- it's currently at 2.92, half a goal a game higher than the record set by the 2001 Tampa Bay Mutiny -- and head coach Matias Almeyda doesn't seem confident that things will get better quickly.

 “I try to be real and objective in my life," he said after the Colorado game. "There are 10 games left and they’re going to be as difficult as these games. We’re not going to change in three days and have the magic wand to touch the players.”

Vancouver's 6-0 loss to LAFC was marked by four goals in the first 14 minutes and two own goals. The first, credited to Vancouver defender Ranko Veselinovic in the 14th minute, denied what appeared to be a nine-minute hat trick by Bradley Wright-Phillips; the second was scored by Andy Rose, whose father-in-law in LAFC head coach Bob Bradley.

"The first 14 minutes looked like it was going towards a huge nightmare," said Whitecaps coach Marc dos Santos, who spent LAFC's first season in 2018 as an assistant under Bradley. "We were late to everything. We were not focused. The first two goals from corner kicks were situations, easy to control. And then when you're 4-0 down after 14 minutes, you have to make sure that at least you stop the bleeding. Because the reality was we're not going to win this game, 5-4."

Dos Santos preferred to look at the bright spot: "We didn't lose nine points. We lost three points."

Photo: LAFC

9 comments about "Nightmare performances around MLS: 'Bunch of frauds' and 'mentally weak'".
  1. Brian Yaney, September 24, 2020 at 6:23 a.m.


  2. Wooden Ships replied, September 24, 2020 at 9:32 a.m.

    Yes and that's what we thought the goal would be with my peer group going back to the 60's. But, most US soccer people think it can't be done or that it's necessary. It would benefit all pro sports here, but our professional sports leagues are participation leagues. 

  3. humble 1 replied, September 24, 2020 at 2:06 p.m.

    Yes relegation.  MLS didn't anticipate - that there is competition abroad for player so when you underpay and don't offer good development platform - players go abroad -  - they do have relegation.  They are trying to process this now after being completely shut-out of Pulisic and other top names.  Now as for relegation - they still don't get that if they cannot gererate the excitement of the premier league - if they let teams languish - they will lose the battle for eyeballs to Premier League, La Liga, Bundasliga, Serie A, etc.  Wake Up!  Have a Plan!  

  4. Wallace Wade, September 24, 2020 at 8:29 a.m.

    DC United would loss matches to NISA teams, but, they will be back in MLS next season...

  5. James Mcalister, September 24, 2020 at 11 a.m.

    Not sure the players are frauds, with expansion and top young talent going to Europe there's just too many teams and not enough talent. Don't see P&R happening anytime soon.

  6. David Richardson, September 24, 2020 at 2:46 p.m.

    DC United needs to start with a new coach.  Long overdue.

  7. Kevin Leahy replied, September 25, 2020 at 11:05 a.m.

    It isn't just the coach that needs to go in D.C. but, the general manager too!

  8. Gordon Holt, September 24, 2020 at 3:28 p.m.

    Humble 1..... You nailed it!  But what's the solution?

    Finally there's  a fair degree of TV to (sort of) hype the game, but so little print coverage as to guess kindergarten dodgeball could be  getting more coverage. The NYTimes ignores it completely. 

    Where's the pressure from advertisers?  Drop a hockey roundup and phones ring off the hook and social media goes nuts. 

    So...  May I say once more that the VIPs of the USSA, but the in  MLS in particular, need to stop looking at their own reflections and hire people who know how to promote. 

    NASCAR came  almost from out of nowhere to major positions in the country's media in no small measure because its execs made an overt effort to spend big and then to brag big. 

    Around the country when soccer speaks you can hear a pin drop. 

    Just saying.....

  9. Wooden Ships replied, September 25, 2020 at 3:17 p.m.

    Good point Gordon on the promoting. St. Louis has had decen to good soccer print coverage going back decades. Many times entire fron page of the Post Dispatch. But, print is fading. With this generation is social media. Great analogy with NASCAR by the way. Like always though we need to toot our own horn. There's not enough tooting. 

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