MLS – Big 5
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DC United – Don’t Use the “B” Word

It may be only half a BILLION, but still. The $500 million figure is the valuation said to be fixed on the MLS original franchise in the process that, according to a Bloomberg report, will see Erick Thohir sell his majority staked to partner Jason Levien with L.A. based billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong coming on board as a DC United investor.

Thohir and Levien. (ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

That number also includes a brand new soccer stadium in Washington D.C. and the number itself may not hold up to scrutiny, still, it is eye-catching.

Other investors may yet join the DC United group, Thohir may remain in some capacity, and details are scarce at this time, so we will keep an eye out on further developments in the coming days and weeks.

2) Josef Martinez: Goal Machine

Last year in his MLS debut season Martinez made a shambles of defenses across the league, scoring 19 goals in 20 games, making the now 24-year-old Venezuelan the easy pre-season consensus pick for MLS Golden Boot 2018; if he can stay healthy.

Josef Martinez has continued where he left off. (ISI Photos/Perry McIntyre)

Well, so far so good on both counts with a weekend brace giving the gifted poacher five goals to put Martinez atop the MLS Leader Board level with Felipe Gutierrez of Sporting KC and all alone in the MLS record books with a remarkable total of 24 goals from 25 games across his one season plus in Major League Soccer.

3) VAR – What is it good for?

Absolutely Nuthin, some would say. For others, the Video Assistant Referee can be a game saver. Once again this week in MLS VAR made itself known.

Here are a few examples. Winless Portland failed to pick up its first W of the season having traveled across the country to Orlando only to drop a 3-2 thriller in which VAR played a role in the outcome.

Is VAR good for the game? (ISI Photos/Bill Barrett)

On the plus side, VAR got it right correcting a no call by the referee and awarding Portland a pk after Sebastian Blanco was fouled in the 20th minute. Blanco had initially been given a second yellow card on the play, which was rescinded. So, Portland took a 1-0 lead and continued with a full complement of players.

VAR was not called on when a slight breeze knocked Dom Dwyer to the turf in the 82nd minute allowing referee Baldomero Toledo’s incorrect call to stand.

VAR also saw plenty of action in Atlanta’s 5-0 win over the LAFC, reversing a first-minute red card on Chris McCann for a hellacious, red card worthy, tackle on Benny Feilhaber.

But VAR got it right later in the match when the referee’s helper narced on Walker Zimmerman when the LA defender appeared to have escaped punishment for taking Miguel Almiron down in the penalty area.

4) zlatan

Last week it was all capitals and exclamation points, we even had an all ZLATAN! Big – 5 but today normal service is resumed and in the wake of the Galaxy’s 2-0 loss at Kansas City, Ibrahimovic and the L.A. Galaxy are merely item number four in GotSoccer’s weekly league-wide roundup.

Zlatan had a pretty quiet game and some credit should go to Kansas. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

First place Sporting KC get the credit for derailing the ZLATAN! Hype train after last week’s spectacular debut versus the Galaxy’s fellow Los Angelenos, LAFC.

Ibrahimovic had a few dangerous moments, including a couple of long-range bombs, once he entered the fray in the 62nd minute with LA trailing 2-0 but Tim Melia and the SKC defense stood strong to improve to 4-1-1.

5) CCL Fever

Tuesday night at 8:00 the New York Red Bulls host Chivas Guadalajara in Harrison, New Jersey trailing 1-0 after the first leg in Mexico. Then in the nightcap, Toronto will try to make a 3-1 lead over Club America stand up at Estadio Azteca.

It will be tense and there will be blood, meaning bad blood, not spilled blood.

MLS have high hopes of getting at least one team into the CCL Final, Liga MX would like to maintain its traditional dominance.

CCL Fever – Catch it!

About Peter Nolan

Peter Nolan is a staff writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, covering MLS and other US leagues, He's GotSoccer's chief National Team Correspondent.
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