I watched some of the eMLS last night, and let me tell you: I did not understand how eMLS works.
I assumed that signing up to play for an eMLS team meant that you had to play with the associated team in your FIFA games, but that is not the case. The Loons were wearing the Loons jerseys, but that was pretty much the end of the similarities.
Anyway, Ronaldo had a hat-trick for the Loons in the game I watched - not Cristiano Ronaldo, the Brazilian one from twenty years ago - with most of them assisted by Neymar or Kylian Mbappé.
So not only is there a fantasy component, there is time travel as well.
MNUFC’s eMLS player, a guy named Ehsan “Lamps” Zakeri, kept saying he was having trouble with his game lagging, but you couldn’t tell from how much he dominated. Lamps in eMLS »> Lamps for NYCFC?
In news that makes me sound less like a senior citizen, MNUFC made one selection in the 2022 MLS Superdraft, taking striker Tani Oluwaseyi from St. John’s University with the 17th pick.
It’s the third time in six years that the Loons have spent their top pick on a toolsy forward, and the others didn’t work out that well. Abu Danladi, the top pick in the 2017 draft, was mostly a bust; he had eight goals in 2017 but injuries and other struggles derailed his career afterwards.
A year later, the Loons took Mason Toye, who showed flashes - enough, at least, for the Loons to send him to Montreal late in the 2020 season, in exchange for a fair chunk of cash. Toye still may come through and be a success, but it won’t be for the Loons.
David Gass, who covers Big East soccer and also regularly appears on the MLS Extratime podcast, was high on Oluwaseyi, and thinks he can challenge for a roster spot and be a contributor in MLS in 2022, so that’s a positive note.
Plus, just yesterday I was writing about how MNUFC2 will provide opportunities for young players who need games, and here we are already and MNUFC has a young player who might need some games! The system works.
The depth chart for the front three is starting to look interesting. Beyond Adrien Hunou, Franco Fragapane, and Robin Lod, the team now has added Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Oluwaseyi. Niko Hansen, Aziel Jackson, and Justin McMaster are holdovers from last year, too.
There are options, at least. And given that last year at one point the Loons were down to “maybe Hassani Dotson can play wing” and “maybe Fanendo Adi has something left in the tank,” options are what they needed.
Also, in preseason news, Adrian Heath had an Emanuel Reynoso update in his draft press conference:
In a draft-day media call just now, #MNUFC's Adrian Heath said Emanuel Reynoso "for sure" will be in Blaine for training next week. He wouldn't comment further, other than to say club is working with MLS to review allegations made after he was arrested in Argentina last month.— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) January 11, 2022