3 Things: MLR Round 7

San Diego Has Completely Fallen Apart

The Legion is in trouble. This isn’t the Legion of old. Yes, on paper there’s immense talent, but the injury bug refuses to let San Diego go. It only took a few minutes for the starting 10 to go down this week, forcing Cecil Afrika to move into out half. The same Cecil Afrika that starred on the 7s circuit, but has little 15s experience and none at 10. The scrum half hadn’t played the position in MLR or college.

When does ownership look in the mirror and wonder what’s gone wrong. The fact that the Legion has collapsed due to injury has went from bad luck to an indication of something deeper. Yes, Rob Hoadley was fired and a weird co-head coaching arrangement might be part of it. Is the new practice schedule not conducive to adequate recovery? Is there something wrong on the training end? Every team had the same abbreviated preseason. What’s led to San Diego suffering so much in a way no other team seems to?

Seattle Shows Real Fight

The other struggling giant of MLR showed fight this week. Yes, a blown kick to win it in the waning moments is tough to swallow, but Seattle finally looked somewhat comfortable at home in front of their fans. I don’t think there’s many (if any) sides that would be the underdog against the Seawolves, but consider the schedule. Seattle spends its first five weeks on the road, then they show real grit in one game at Starfire. Could having 7 of their last 10 at home give them the advantage needed to make a push? It’s likely too late, but a collapse by Austin paired with no other team really looking like a serious contender could leave an opening. A slim opening, but an opening.

Toronto Comes Back to Earth

What happened here? After Toronto was starting to look like a power team, they managed to fall in NOLA. Now, the Gold are a good side and a potential playoff team, but they overcame a team that seemed to really be finding their way.

Will either of these two really become contenders?

NOLA has been hot than cold. Toronto struggled, then thrived, before dropping this one. Even RUNY, the third real contender, had some fantastic games but also a pair of blowouts. While its exciting to have a real playoff race, it’s best for the league if two of them can really step up and provide a show in late July and August.

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