1. We broke New England. After drubbing the New England Revolution 27,000 to nothing last Wednesday, their Twitter account ceased tweeting entirely for almost TWO DAYS and their supporters replied to the final match tweets with an array of unpleasantries, including a barrage of "#HeapsOut" spam. Six days later, Jay Heaps is out. That's right, if you've got a coach who's just hanging around too long for your liking and you want it taken care of so your team can focus on rebuilding for next season, just send them our way. Well, that is, unless you're DC United. You guys can just keep walkin'. We don't want anything to do with that Ben Olsen Raccoon Witch voodoo.
2. Train noises are awesome. Whether you want to call it a train whistle, or a horn, it's introduction to the already thunderous goal celebrations inside a packed Mercedes Benz Stadium was a surprising, and welcome addition. I also heard it used when the Atlanta Falcons scored a touchdown, but it just didn't seem to have the same effect. I know many of us discussed the idea of having a tradition like this, so to see it -- or rather, to HEAR it come to fruition is tremendous. Regardless if it's true or not, I'll continue to believe this new addition is a nod to Atlanta's railroad history as the Terminus of the South, and I encourage everyone to write the MLS, their congressman, and Santa Claus (or even Santa United if you see him at the tailgate) to permit the throwing of waffles onto the pitch after a goal. They're light weight, soft, durable, and reusable. If we're going to adopt a hockey tradition of blowing a giant horn when we score, we may as well go ALL IN!
3. Orlando Still Ain’t the South, and now they’re short a couple previously held records care of the Five Stripes. Atlanta United Supporters helped crush the record for average season attendance for an expansion team with five more home matches remaining, and Josef Martinez straight up burglarized Cyle Larin -- stealing the record for most hat tricks by a player in their debut MLS season. At this rate we're snatching records out of Orlando's Mickey Mouse hands quicker than Cyle Larin getting pulled over on the wrong side of the road. We stay undefeated against Orlando, which means my "Orlando Ain't The South" 2-pole can now retire posthumously to the Home Before Dark studio. But hey, at least Dom Dwyer walked away with something worth while from Sunday's match -- a Josef Martinez jersey after exchanging jerseys with Josef at the end of the match. Maybe he can wear it while he's sitting on his couch watching Josef break even more records in the playoffs.
4. Jason Kreis sold his soul to Ben Olsen, the Racoon Witch. That's right, Kreis was so desperate for 3 points to give Orlando any chance of fighting for a playoff spot that he gave Ben Olsen his annual passes to Dismey World and has to agree to sign three more dysfunctional Canadian players onto his squad next year in exchange for a winning strategy. In return, the Raccoon Witch gave him a secret back-post, header formula -- instructing him to hit crosses at his shortest forward’s face and he’ll knock them in from the far post. What they didn’t expect is Cyle Larin was drunk and wondered into Dwyer’s position in the end, scoring the third goal accidentally. Or it could just be that Orlando play better without Kaka and the front two are finally starting to click. Believe what you want, but I'm firm in my position that this had Ben Olsen's raccoon hands... paws? ... all over it.
5. Josef Martinez is the MLS Player of the Week for a 2nd time this year, matching the number of times Miguel Almirón has also received the honor. And I don't expect it will be the last time. In fact, Martinez scored 7 goals in 3 matches, becoming just the third player in MLS history to score a hat-trick in consecutive games, joining Robbie Keane and Eddie Johnson. He’s the fifth to have a hat-trick in three league games. The players with three hat tricks in an an MLS season are now:
2017 Josef Martínez
2014 Bradley Wright-Phillips
2000 Diego Serna
1998 Stern John
1998 Cobi Jones
But! No David Villa *wink*
When we look at *non-penalty* goals plus assists per 90 minutes (with a league required minimum of 1,000 minutes played to officially register); Josef would be No. 1 at 1.14 goals per 90 minutes, but due to injury he has only played 945 minutes. If you *include* penalty goals, Josef is scoring a mind blowing 1.39 goals per 90. His 16 goals on the season also puts him just three shy of David Villa, who only just returned from a hamstring injury to play 18 minutes this past weekend. Only two others in MLS history averaged over 1 goal per 90 (requiring a minimum of 1000 minutes played): Stern John (1.08), and Wolde Harris (1.03) -- both in 1998. Heck, even Josef's penalty kick performance is perfect so far, which is matched only by... you guessed it -- David Villa. Josef is on pace to break more records, obtain the Golden Boot, and win our hearts in the process.