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The Daily Dirt February 22, 2018: Is it March yet?

Garbage shots at things I don’t understand

AWXII - Day 3 Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for AWXII

Atlanta United got a draw against Minnesota United, a soccer team that has existed in some form since 1990 - which is a lot longer than Atlanta United has existed - they have so much heritage, in a game that showed some improvement for the Five Stripes. For the most part the Loons played what could be generously called a defensive style of play - that is they generally seemed content to not only let Atlanta have the ball but let Matt Lampson keep them in the game on sheer will power, relied on the slippy pitch, and hoped Francisco Calvo was in the right place at the right time the whole match.

And it worked! They earned a penalty on a terrible Chris McCann tackle, got away with a lot of questionable challenges since the ref was calling nothing, and basically were forced to use Calvo as a second keeper. It was a draw, but it’s preseason so there’s not too much to say about it, except the team looked a lot better than it did against Columbus and the chances were flying in for the Five Stripes. Plus, it was absolutely glorious to see Ezequiel Barco devour Tyrone Mears’ soul.

Luckily there’s only one more preseason game, so Atlanta can get back to doing what they do best - scoring more goals than seems mathematically possible.

Anyway, onto the Dirt...

Domestic

Steve Nash will be joining the Turner Sports soccer coverage. Yes that Steve Nash, yes soccer, not basketball. He’s also a part owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Real Mallorca so this isn’t quite Gus Johnson calling Champions League games, but I can’t say I saw this coming.

eSports is gaining not only in popularity but also in visability. It only makes sense that MLS would want to use the popularity of EA Sports FIFA to 18 as a way to market the league. Polygon has a deeper look at how that could work.

It was so cold in Denver during the CONCACAF Champions League game between the Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC that beer taps froze.

Dallas only lost to Tauro by a score of 1-0 in CCL yesterday. If they advance and end up playing a team from LigaMX, their luck can only get worse as Tutul Rahman writes in ProSoccerUSA.

International

Apparently Paul Pogba is unimpressed with manager Jose Mourinho and is agitating for a move to a different club. The last time Mourinho got on the wrong side of a player it was basically the entire Chelsea team, but the biggest spat seemed to be with Eden Hazard. Of course, Mourinho ended up leaving the club after winning the Premier League and two seasons seems to be the longest anyone will put up with him.

Speaking of Manchester United, they also played a soccer game - and won!

Also in Champions League, Roma lost to Donetsk as the next round of the CL continues to take shape.

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