The quarter-finals of the tournament for the resumption of the MLS begins on Thursday evening and if there are teams that were not expected, there is also a safe investment. But more importantly, there are confrontations to be very interesting. There are at least three of the four games for which it is very difficult to determine a favorite, and for the fourth, it is a beautiful story of David and Goliath.
A fight tactic
The first duel opposes the Union of Philadelphia at Sporting Kansas City, two teams that have a lot of things in common.
It should also attend a good duel tactics as much on the offensive than defensive.
Sporting has finished first in its group with six points while the Union (seven points) finished in a tie with Orlando, but has taken second place due to a worse differential.
The Sporting has lost a match, while the Union is still unbeaten since the start of the competition.
The Sporting has proven he can score goals as he has scored six in three games in the preliminary.
Kansas City, however, has had much more trouble in the eighth-finals, because despite 37 attempts to fire, the men of Peter Vermes have been unable to pierce the young Thomas Hasal Vancouver Whitecaps fc.
They will finally have needed the penalty shoot-out to defeat the team of Marc Dos Santos and to make sure the game Thursday night.
Let’s just say it promises against the good defensive of the Union and the goalkeeper Andre Blake, who has not the habit to be generous in front of his net.
Since it is a question of defense of the Union, note that it has not granted just two goals in four games since the start of the tournament, and it is all thanks to the work of Blake, that of the group in front of him.
The Union does not let much of anything and the opponent must be opportunistic to score.
This quality defensive compensates for the attack, which has nothing broken so far with a harvest of five goals in four parts.
But precisely, this unit offensive has not yet really switched on since his arrival to Orlando and the Sporting would be well unlucky if he made the expenses of this awakening.
As has already been said Thierry Henry, it is the team that makes the least mistakes that wins, and that is probably what is going to happen in this duel for which it is difficult to determine a favorite.
David against Goliath
Orlando has taken everyone by surprise by finishing in the first rank of its group since the team of the Florida vivote a bit much for a few years, not being able to find the right recipe.
But with the arrival of Oscar Pareja at the helm of the team seems to be in the process of change. This is only a small sample, but it seems that the approach of the former coach of the FC Dallas and the Rapids of the Colorado works with the Lions.
They have still not lost with a record of three wins and a draw, in addition to have scored seven goals in four outings.
In this meeting, of Orlando will be the role of David against Goliath, that is the Los Angeles FC, the champion of the regular season in 2019.
The Black and Gold, however, has not experienced a phase of group very attractive with a record of a win and two draws.
But despite the absence of leading scorer last season, Carlos Vela, the LAFC has scored a ton of goals, eleven in three matches in the preliminary stage and the other four during the game of knockout against the Seattle Sounders.
The defensive play of California may, however, leave something to be desired since they have granted eight goals in four games up to now.
In addition, the trio of midfielders was able to contain the attacking Sounders with panache, which is not reassuring for Orlando.
That doesn’t mean that the Lions are going to get to eat all round, but they are going to have to fight with all their fibres to reach the semi-finals, which would be a great accomplishment for them.
To do this, they will have to maintain the solid structure put in place by Oscar Pareja in addition to contain Diego Rossi and Bryan Rodriguez, who took the attack in hands in the absence of Carlos Vela, who, remember, has remained in Los Angeles with his wife who will soon give birth.
Everyone loves to see a surprise in a tournament of the sort, to see a team Cinderella who goes through to the end. But to less of a faux pas on the part of the LAFC, it would be surprising that Orlando cause a major surprise on Thursday evening.
The shock of opposites
The third game, quarter-final opposes two teams diametrically different.
The Earthquakes of San Jose, practice a style of game ultra-energetic, where the pressure is constant during 90 minutes.
For its part, the Minnesota United FC is more methodical, and opted for a tactical approach strong and thorough that leaves little to the opposite attack.
And we must believe that the formula works as the team ofAdrian Heath still hasn’t lost in six games in 2020. It presents a record of two wins and two draws during the tournament.
Minnesota has the great quality of being stingy, having allowed only four goals in as many games in Orlando. This team needed a shootout to beat the Columbus Crew in the fourth round of the final Tuesday, but she was ten minutes away.
In fact, The Loons were the only team to score against the Crew in the course of this tournament. It gives a good idea of the character of this training.
It is a team of courageous and stubborn that it will not dismount by a meeting to tempo high, as proposed by the Quakes.
In fact, Minnesota has won the last three games between these two teams by a score combined from 11 to 3.
On the other hand, it was the Quakes who have surprised the whole world since the beginning of the competition, finishing in first place of their group ahead of the Seattle Sounders.
The Quakes have not lost in Florida, and have scored eleven goals in four matches, including five against Real Salt Lake in the knockout stages.
But the style tempo high as risky defensive, which will not be overlooked against Minnesota.
The Quakes will certainly try to dominate physically the Loons, and might well achieve this.
In spite of the advantage that seems to have Minnesota, it is without doubt the confrontation is the most difficult to gauge in the quarterfinals, and the balance would lean to one side or the other.
Discretion and rise in power
In the last quarter-final, it has the right to a duel with very equal between the Timbers of Portland and New York City FC.
Portland finished top of its group, ahead of the powerful Los Angeles FC and scoring two victories and a tie in the passage. However, they have needed penalty shootouts to eliminate the FC Cincinnati in the first knockout round.
For its part, the New York City FC is the only team in third place still active in this tournament.
It must be said that the troupe in new york has simply not started the competition.
To borrow a phrase, the NYCFC has reached the knock-out stage, by the back door, being the last team, winner.
New York presented a record of a win and two defeats in group stage and finally woke up with a victory of 3 to 1 on the Toronto FC in the knockout stages.
The difference is that the attack has finally woken up against the LCCS. Prior to this match three goals, New York had scored only two in three matches of the preliminary round.
If it is necessary that the defense tightens up more, we will have the right to a confrontation tactics of the most entertaining.
In a group which included the two teams of Los Angeles, the Timbers are a little bit passed under the radar and made their merry way.
They finished first with two victories and one tie, scoring six goals and providing four.
After a group stage virtually without a history, Portland, however, has had to work very hard to show the door to the mangy CF Cincinnati, a nice surprise in this tournament.
If the Timbers want to win, they will have to present a perfect balance between the threat of offensive and defensive play neat.
It will certainly be the team of the Oregon exerts a greater pressure offensive to double NYCFC, otherwise it could be the end for her.