Saturday, December 12, 2020

Soccer Bowl XXV

Anyone who follows my stuff over at MLSS knows I was thrust into the role of staff predictor down the stretch and have stayed on the beat all through the MLS Playoffs. I've gone a rather happy 12-4 so far in the playoffs, but handed off the MLS Cup pick to good ol' Matt Doyle over there. That doesn't mean I'm staying out of the game, though, as I'm after that baker's dozen like a donut monster

Now, I'm well aware that there are countless other more significant problems cause by COVID-19 this year. Still, speaking purely in our little soccer bubble, where we can escape the troubles of the world for a bit, I'm truly bummed that the stupid virus has robbed us what looked the be a classic title game match-up. I was all set to take a deep dive into match-ups across the field and yada yada yada suddenly this seems like a much easier call.

Instead of going tow-to-toe with their best, Columbus had to scramble to spell a couple of starters, as you can see in the line-ups. The Pedro Santos absence, I think they can adequately cover (though I'm a little surprised Caleb Porter bookended speedy winger Luis Diaz with another speed threat, whereas Youness Mokhtar offers a balancing style closer to that of Santos).

Darlington Nagbe is quite another story. And as much as these losses don't count the Crew out completely (don't forget they're at home), I think it's just too much to ask of young Aidan Morris to help contain both Nico Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan, if not also João Paulo from time to time. Long story shortened, I gotta go 3-1 Seattle in this one.

And now, because every great championship contest needs a sterling opening act, I present the Kinjaz doing a freestyle cypher in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle onesies...

- Greg Seltzer

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