LAFC 2 LAG 2 in match #2 of El Trafico

MLS put out this video to recap the drama leading to the first match and highlights from the match itself.

MLS | El Trafico - Chapter 01 from EVO Films USA on Vimeo.

Here is the highlight package from last night's match.

LAG managed to "steal" a draw.

Down 2-0, they removed Cole, a defender, and added Pontius, an attacker. They also took out Kitchen, the defensive midfielder, and put in Lleget a more offensive minded midfielder. LAG went all in to equalize.

The Galaxy brain trust has a lot to think about. In both matches, LAG was over-run in the first half. They spent lots of money for defense and against fast teams like LAFC they can't keep up. In the end, LAG has go into offense mode and open things up and hope to outscore the opponent. Against weaker opposition that works. But against the top tier that will probably not end well. LAFC is still a work in progress and eventually they will get to the point where the 2-0 lead will be enough and they will make LAG pay when they go all in to equalize.

So what does LAG do going forward?

For some teams, they could afford to play the slightly more defensive minded 3-5-2 version they started with against LAFC. However, what do they do against a team that might carve up the LAG backline? Do they go with the more offense minded 3-5-2 of the second half against LAFC?

QPR - what next?

Breaking news: QPR Financial Fair Play (FFP) settlement reached.
Brief background:

  1. QPR overspent in violation of FFP rules during its 2013-2014 season when they won promotion to the Premier League. 
  2. QPR has been in a legal battle with the English Football League regarding the monetary fines for the FFP violation
  3. QPR has now agreed to a settlement that includes monetary fines and inability to make transfers in the 2019 January window.

The English Championship season is done with the exception of promotion playoffs.

Wolverhampton and Cardiff City have won promotion.

Barnsley, Burton Albion, and Sunderland have been relegated.

Fulham has defeated Derby County to advance to the promotion finals.

Aston Villa plays Middlesbrough tomorrow to determine the other finalist.

Meanwhile, QPR finished 16th.

With the FFP penalties that have been hanging over their heads (now official as of July 27, 2018), they are constrained financially. Thus, the club's realistic aspirations at this point in their life-cycle is mid-table with hopes of being at the higher end of the mid-table. However, that didn't happen this year with a mix of injuries hampering team cohesion. There weren't too many matches where they were kicked from one end to the other but with 20 losses to 15 wins, they were a sub "0.500" team a sign of modest talents and consistency. The team simply didn't have the level of quality and consistency to make a serious push. Most revealing was how the team frequently would fall behind and scramble to make a game of it. In a handful of occasions, they would make the comeback to steal a win or squeeze out a draw. On that score, I'd give them high mark for team spirit and a willingness to keep at it!

The above is a screen capture of the 23 players who got the most minutes in the just concluded season. How many will be around for the next season?

Will try to keep a running tab of player news in the summer.

Steve McClaren named the new manager (May 18, 2018)
Manager Holloway has been released (May 10, 2018)
Onuoha - departing (April 27, 2018)
Mackie - departing (April 6, 2018)
Perch - departing (April 6, 2018)

Awaiting news:
Freeman - viewed as player likely to draw interest (February 5, 2018)
Smithies - moved to EPL promoted Cardiff City (June 28, 2018)
Robinson - deal expired awaiting (April 14, 2018) has signed with Nottingham Forest (June 30, 2018)
Manning - Crystal Palace & Celtic rumored to be interested (April 17, 2018)

Fixture schedule for 2018-2019 season (June 21, 2018)

The bookies don't have much expectations for QPR tabbed to finish 21st in the league just missing relegation! If "market value" is any indicator of potential, QPR is lower mid-table. This analysis also suggests that QPR has one of the younger squads in the Championship.

Initial publication date 5/21/2018
Update 7/25/2018
Update 7/27/2018

Heading into the October international break

LA Galaxy have dropped two in a row and in both cases their defense was the culprit. As a result, they go into the MLS playoffs in fifth pla...