Every week in the MLR provides us with too much information to process over two game days. We’ll be providing 3 immediate takeaways each week.
Toronto is Fully Back
Ben Foden started. Troy Lockyear started. Dan Hollinshead started. Andy Ellis came off the bench. The RUNY backline is star studded.
Toronto could care less.
The Arrows dismantled the East leaders and took the lead for themselves by virtue of tiebreaker. The 53-12 stomping reminded everyone that Toronto was 4-1 in the abbreviated last season.
Who can stop them?
LA did it, but remove the 10 minutes Toronto had of a red card, and it would’ve been a narrow loss. Who else would you pick to beat these Arrows on any given week? San Diego is stumbling. Utah isn’t consistent. RUNY already fell. NOLA is fallible. Only one other team holds the potential.
Austin is Done being a Joke
Excuse us if someone on your Twitter feed has already informed you, but the Gilgronis have risen to the three team top tier, along with the aforementioned Arrows and their sister club in LA.
After a few tight wins where defense was key, Austin opened up the attack and left Seattle looking like a schoolboys pick up team. How much of that was Seattle being rudderless, and how much was Austin finding their front foot? We’ll have to see, but if they can keep it up, the rest of the league, including LA, needs to be on notice.
Seattle’s New Coaching Staff has Their Work Ahead of Them
I’m trying to remember this level of coaching change mid-season in the MLR. A new head coach, a reassigned old head coach, and adding former Ospreys and future Dallas Jackals coach Allen Clark and Irish international Rory Best. This is essentially a new staff, a midseason development you rarely see in high level sports.
Candidly, I don’t know what to make of this. There’s some real commitment to coaching here. International talent on the field and in the coaching box is stunning for a franchise that has, historically, leaned on play-coaches and part-time coaching. But this roster is a few years behind the rest of the league. You can bring in Allen Clarke, but he’s not bringing Alan Wyn Jones with him. Rory Best is not bringing Johnny Sexton, Robbie Henshaw, or Connor Murray. This is a depleted roster. Hopefully, this staff can develop some younger guys and reload for next year, but Seattle is the only side that just does not have any realistic path into the playoffs in 2021.