Weston McKennie makes debut but Major Leeds Soccer sink closer to relegation

"It's taken too long to get to where I want the team to go," Leeds manager Jesse Marsch said on the eve of his team's trip to Nottingham Forest. "We're now able to really start to play the way we want."

The American manager was heavily backed by ownership in the January window, including a strengthening of the Major Leeds Soccer moniker with Weston McKennie arriving from Juventus, but the club slipped further into the relegation mire after a 1-0 defeat to Forest on Sunday left them level on points with 18th-place Everton and only out of the drop zone on goal difference.

Tyler Adams started and went the full 90 in his defensive midfield position, while McKennie got his debut as a 57th-minute substitute in the No. 8 role. Brenden Aaronson, who hasn't had much of an impact since August, was left on the bench.

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But Marsch's vision was trumped by Forest's own Galácticos Lite approach to the transfer market. Manager Steve Cooper had room for January arrivals Keylor Navas, Danilo and Chris Wood in his starting XI. 33-year-old Ghana captain André Ayew, signed on Thursday, even got a little runout. 

Forest's winner arrived in the 14th minute following a set-piece. The ball fell to Brennan Johnson at the edge of the area and the 21-year-old Welshman hammered a side volley inside the near post.

Leeds controlled 70% of possession and put four of 10 shots on frame, but Navas repelled them all for a clean sheet on his debut. The Ticos legend made sure that Concacaf found some success this weekend after the Seattle Sounders let us all down on Saturday

For Marsch and Leeds, it's now two PL matches against Manchester United in the space of five days. The sides play Wednesday at Old Trafford (this match was originally postponed due to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II) and then Sunday at Elland Road.

Someone needs to step up and provide the cutting edge for Leeds with leading scorer Rodrigo out for two months following an ankle injury.

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