Five talking points from Week 20 in MLS

Week 20 in Major League Soccer was entertaining as ever, and despite a terrific World Cup final on Sunday, the most entertaining moment of the weekend came out of the mouth of Real Salt Lake’s head coach, Mike Petke.

As well as that, there were other great moments including Wayne Rooney’s DC United debut, and a dramatic late comeback win for LA Galaxy.

Let’s look at five talking points from this weekend’s action in MLS.


1. Mike Petke’s epic rant concerning VAR and MLS officiating

There’s no excuses, I must start with this – It was quite a magnificent moment.

Real Salt Lake head coach, Mike Petke, was once again left frustrated with MLS officiating after his team’s defeat against Minnesota United. During the extraordinary rant, Petke blasted MLS and VAR, whilst also questioning why coaches and players can’t speak to referees about their performances.

The rant concluded with the greatest line of all time from a professional soccer coach: “I’ll take the fine. Fine me! So, drain my bank account. I don’t give a s*** anymore.”

Petke has since gone onto apologise for his use of language..

Notice how he capitalises ‘cursing’ – He’s not sorry for what he was actually ranting about, and for that, good on him I say.


2. Wayne Rooney debuts as DC United open Audi Field with a W

This game had a lot of attention on it, and for two reasons really. Yes, Wayne Rooney was debuting, but DC United were also opening Audi Field.

Rooney began the game on the bench as expected, and he came on with around half an hour left. He looked sharp during his short cameo, always looking for the ball. He played a part in DC United’s second tiki-taka goal before assisting the third. 

I’d say the day couldn’t have gone any better, but it could have with a clean sheet. Vancouver Whitecaps wonder-kid, Alphonso Davies, scored a stoppage time beauty in a game which had a lot of eyes on it, especially in Europe. 

Should we expect a bid soon?


3. Orlando City FINALLY win a game

It has been a long-time coming, but Orlando City have finally won a game. 

New coach, James O’Connor and his players ended a nine-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over fellow Eastern Conference strugglers, Toronto FC.

Orlando now find themselves five points behind Montreal Impact who occupy the final play-off spot, however, they do have a couple of games in hand. It’s now time for the Lions to string a run of form together if they would like to finish in the playoffs.

4. LA Galaxy’s dramatic late comeback win against New England

LA Galaxy stole three huge points with a dramatic late comeback against New England Revolution.

The Revs had taken the lead twice in the game, and I thought they were going to secure the win. Like the typical jinx I am, I praised Brad Friedel on Twitter during the game, saying how impressed I have been with his start to management…

New England went on to lose the game 3-2, conceding in the 92nd and 93rd minute. A huge victory for the LA Galaxy, as they climb to sixth in the Western Conference.

Please accept my apologies, New England fans.


5. VAR both neglected and used poorly in Atlanta

Baldomero Toledo and VAR had an absolute nightmare in the game between Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders, and it was ultimately unfair on both teams.

I have three issues with how the game was officiated; Josef Martinez should have seen red for his actions during a row with Chad Marshall, Seattle should not have had a penalty, and Atlanta should have been awarded a spot-kick of their own after a blatant foul on Chris McCann.

Josef Martinez will most likely see retrospective action, but he should have been given a straight red during the game. It was poor from Toledo not spotting it, and even worse that those in control of VAR failed to act on it.

As for Seattle’s penalty, I’m not sure what went on there. I didn’t even see any genuine complaints from the Seattle players, and it took Toledo a ridiculous amount of time to decide he wanted to see replays of the incident.

All in all, the officiating was poor for both sides. Seattle gained the point they came for and Atlanta struggled to break down a side who were happy with taking anything from the game.


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