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DSS Mailbag #4: The Phantom Mailbag-ace

It’s been a while since I couldn’t hold my head up high

MLS: Toronto FC at Atlanta United FC Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the DSS Mailbag, our new weekly-ish feature ******checking****** THAT WE LAST RAN IN MARCH? Holy smokes. How have I not been fired yet?.....Don’t answer that, actually. Anyway, this a weekly-ish AF feature at DSS where J. Sam Jones takes your assorted questions and exploits them for content and a chance to stand on the soapbox that DSS has given him for no explainable reason. If you’d like to send in a question for next week’s bag, just want to say mean things about Sam’s writing, or want to apologize for a previous tweet or email where you were inconsiderate and really hurt my feelings, you can send words to @J_SamJones on or Nothing is off-topic because there is no topic. There’s a legitimate chance you won’t enjoy this and it will hurt a little. All answers are final and unquestionably correct. All in all, as one DSS commenter once said, “Nothing to see here folks. This was a waste of time.”

With the game this Saturday turning into a bunch of pushing and shoving with Toronto where/who do you rank as our most hated “rivals”? I had Orlando as #1 and still do but after being at the game Saturday and seeing everything go down Toronto seems like they are catching up plus we have tied in three meetings. Pretty good stuff - Clayton

Clayton starting the return of the mailbag off right. Hating things and ranking things in one question? This is the most DSS Mailbag question of all-time. One is obviously and probably will forever be Orlando until they self-immolate their own stadium ten years from now after Will Johnson — who’s still starting — scores an own goal on the final day to keep them out of the playoffs for the 13th straight year and cease to exist as a club.

So, Atlanta United’s rivals based on current hate ranking:

  1. Orlando City
  2. Bobby Warshaw
  3. Toronto
  4. NYCFC
  5. Seattle Twitter
  6. Mark Geiger
  7. Seattle Sounders
  8. PRO
  9. NYRB
  10. One goal leads after the 85th minute

Would Josef Martinez have killed Urena for injuring Acuña if Ender had actually got into the fray for a fight? - Matt

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: I’ve decided the equivalent of what Urena did to Acuna is the soccer equivalent of San Jose Scrub #4 two-footing Andrew Carleton immediately after kickoff.

In baseball, these things result in players hopping over the dugout fence to meet the offending party on the field. Last night for the Braves it was Ender Inciarte and Brian Snitker leading the charge to avenge Acuna. So let’s say the Carleton two-footing goes down. Which players get into the fight and in what order?

The first responder to the scene is obviously Josef who then proceeds with aforementioned murdering. Next is Larentowicz who would be in full protective Dad mode and therefore in full Dad-strength mode meaning there would be a murder. Jeff is followed by Tito who does a murder. LGP is a little slower but still gets there for a murder. The murders stop with Miguel and Parky arriving next, but still that’s four San Jose players gone. Chris McCann stands on the edge of the fight making jokes that no one can hear and mugging into the nearest available camera with a face that says “What can ya do? Boys right?”

Down to 7-men, San Jose will bunker for the rest of the game and score in the 89th minute off a corner to win 1-0.

On a scale from 1-10 how worried are you about ATLUTD dropping points at home in terms of how that may com e back to bite in playoffs? - Hayes Creech

Uhhhh as far as the playoffs go, like -5. I’ve written about this before but I’m a firm believer that the playoff seeds DO NOT MATTER. The stats back it up too. It’s practically a crap shoot. Most of the time just having a home game in the knockout round gives as good a chance as anyone of winning MLS Cup.

Last year’s home loss in the knockout round had a lot more to do with an Atlanta United team running on fumes from playing 343494349, games in 21 days to end the season and Zack Steffen being Zack Steffen than anything else. Oh, and also having to start Jeff Larentowicz at CB in a back four due to injury. We know by now how that turns out.

Really not great teams have won MLS Cup (Hi, 2016 Seattle!) and really good teams have won (Hi, 2017 Toronto!). Why? Because none of this matters. It’s all random and you’re stupid for caring because it’s just going to end in pain. Single game tournaments/playoffs and their relatives like MLS Cup are horrible, terrible, no good ways for determining the best team in the league. The NCAA Tournament is super fun to watch and maybe the worst possible way to determine the true best team in college basketball. But sports are an entertainment product and it’s ok to make things dumb to make them entertaining sometimes.

If we’re looking for a real barometer of success then you’re looking at the Supporters’ Shield. Am I horrified that we’ve already lost that because of some dumb home performances from us and PRO? Yeah. I am. Congrats to NYRB on the title. See you in the playoffs though.

Why do the refs love Atlanta United more than any other team in MLS? - Parker Cleveland

What’s your Over/Under on the total number of goals Josef scores this season? - Payson Schwin

Way back in mailbags long ago, I put the over/under for Josef’s season at 23.

“Honestly, assuming he’s healthy for most of the year you can put the over/under at 23 and I think I might take the over. Josef averaged nearly a goal a game last year (0.95/gm) putting him on pace for 28.5 goals in 30 games. With an Atlanta attack that somehow improved in the offseason (Seriously, we might win the league) around him, I don’t think it’s completely crazy to consider him being better this year.”

He’s been better this year. He’s already past 23 and will probably be past that projected 28.5 mark in 2017 by the end of the Orlando game next Friday. This is absurd. The whole thing is just absurd.

26 goals in 24 games puts him at about 1.08 goals per contest. Tata isn’t the type of person to rest anyone so god-willing Josef will get into all 34 games this season. If he’s able to stay on his current (ridiculous) pace he’ll end up some where around 36. 10 goals in 10 games doesn’t seem out of the realm. I’ll put the over/under at 35 though, just to make it a little more enticing.

I also want to remind you that the MLS record is 27. He may break that by 10. Last year’s golden boot winner, Nemanja Nikolic, has 10 goals this entire season. Have I mentioned how absurd this is.

What is your favorite cover of Africa by Toto? - Charlie

The one where Atlanta United digital finally gives in and covers it just so I stop bothering them about it.

Will @atlutd ever cover Africa by Toto? - A different Charlie

Lord knows I’m trying.

The ATLUTD Digital Staff (who do great work and who I love dearly) don’t seem to love the idea though.

What club would you prefer Miggy get transferred to when the time comes for that? - Jack

When this goes down — and it will go down soon, prepare yourself — there are a few names that have popped up pretty often. Off the top of my head, Fiorentina and Newcastle are the teams I’ve seen the most.

My practical choice is Newcastle. A chance for Miggy to play under Rafa Benitez (if he hasn’t left) and an opportunity for us good folks stateside to watch him weekly is enticing. It just seems to fit his level and his skill set.

My “haahahahah this is amazing omg” choice is.......well, Newcastle. My god, the transition from Atlanta, aka God’s City, a near perfect town with warm weather and friendly, progressive people, to Newcastle upon Tyne in lord knows where Northeast England where the people speak a dialect of English that’s incomprehensible to actually every other English speaking person. There’s potential for high, high comedy here folks. Any English Miggy has picked up in Atlanta will immediately be useless. I can’t imagine a stranger culture to throw him into. I’m here for it in every way and I’m excited to have him come back to Atlanta in three years when he figures out how much he misses us.

Speaking of Miguel...

When we sell Almirón, do you think we go for a direct replacement with the DP slot? Or give Carleton more opportunities and use the DP elsewhere. Maybe a younger CB to replace Parkhurst when he retires. - Coach Tug

When Miggy gets moved this offseason, I can’t imagine Tata being ready to hand the keys to Andrew and doing something like moving Zeke centrally. A replacement for Miggy is coming via the money we get from one of the largest outgoing transfer fee’s in MLS history and frankly, that player is almost certainly already lined up. I don’t expect the front office to waste any time in identifying a target.

What’s the best live album? - Tiotal Football

Coldplay Live 2012

I didn’t get this in to HDAD so...

if ATLUTD played in the English ladder, where would they end up? Bottom of Premier League, mid-level Championship? - Zach

We’re going to have to get scientific here Zach. By using an intensely designed mathematical system ranking hundreds of teams around the world that I spent hours tweaking and testing to the the perfect oh hey look 538 already did this and they have math degrees from like MIT instead of being a journalism grad student and I bet their formula didn’t involve 24-sided dice. Let’s just use theirs and we’ll go from there.

538 has Atlanta United as the 159th best team in the world . The best of any MLS team. The next “English” league team above them is Swansea City at 140. The next English team below them is Leeds United at 175. Those are both Championship teams. Seems a little high but 538 has us projected as an above average second-tier team in England. That’s impressive but probably a little far from the truth. Gut call, I bet we end up somewhere in the lower-middle to lower part of that second-tier table if we play out a whole season. At least that’s what I rolled.

Who’s the worse [sic] soccer journalist in USA? - Jeremiah Oshan

To clarify he said “journalist” and not blogger. So its not me.

How about that guy who leaked the Atlanta United crest? Darren Eales still hates that guy I think. Which means I do too.

What is the meaning of life? Like, why are we all here, man? - Rob Usry

Do you think one can control one’s own destiny? - Tiotal Football

The meaning of life is to learn that the control of one’s own destiny is the greatest and most pure gift ever given. Without control love, hope, joy, fear, kindness and all acts of humanity would be determined outcomes. Predetermined pieces of a machine working towards an unknown and unforeseeable outcome.

That we are allowed to be in control means that all of our acts, both good and bad, are real. There must be bad to have good and keep life from a stale neutrality. Our actions have unknown consequences which means they bear more weight than ever. In turn, our actions have more meaning than ever. Choices of friendship, of kindness, of love are all laid out in front of us on a grand table and you and only you can choose them when the time comes. Take deep solace in the fact that you have the ability to make meaningful actions. An infinite amount of forces are pushing against the universe in an infinite number of ways, yet you’ve been blessed with the world’s most beautiful opportunity to create love on your own accord. Making those choices — in the biggest and smallest of moments, day by day, minute by minute — and accepting life’s greatest challenge of choosing kindness for kindness sake in every moment you can, that, THAT, is the meaning of life.


NAH Y’ALL. I’M JUST KIDDING. IT’S ABOUT THOSE MOTHER***** ** * ***** ******* TWITTER FOLLOWERS YOU ****** * * ** * ***** ** **************** *** **** **** *** LOSERS. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT AS LONG AS IT GETS THOSE LIKES.