Team Previews Part 2 – Houston, Montreal, and New England



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back with more team previews. Nick is out sick, so settle in for the smooth sounds of Mike’s voice as he walks you through the Houston Dyanamo, Montreal Impact, and New England Revolution as they prepare for the 2020 Major League Soccer season. For our MLS team previews, we cover players in and out, review the Designated Players (DPs), and predict breakout youngsters in the next generation of MLS talent. We also provide projected Starting XI and predict the floor/ceiling of each team.

Here are the hot takes from this episode:

  • Houston has a potent offense, and the Dynamo will need every goal to try to keep pace with the rest of the West
  • Montreal will need every bit of coaching guile from Thierry Henry, but just doesn’t have the talent to compete with the top of the East
  • The Revolution continues as Bruce Arena has a full off-season to work with New England. Expect to see them compete for a top spot in the East.

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Team Previews (FCD, NYC, RSL) and League News



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We are excited to begin our annual team previews for each of the franchises taking part in Major League Soccer’s 25th Anniversary season. We start with a look at FC Dallas, continue with NYCFC, and conclude with Real Salt Lake. What transactions occurred this offseason? Who are the DPs and which players will have the greatest impact? Are there any young starts ready to breakout? All this and more, including projected starting eleven and the floor and ceiling of each club, in our team preview series.

We wrap up the show with a review of the biggest headlines in MLS, and hear TFC superfan Mike’s take on the Michael Bradley “situation” and impending ankle surgery. Nick also rants against the Chicago Fire re-hiring Frank Klopas as an assistant coach. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on these and all the news from around the American soccer landscape in the comments below. Thanks for listening!

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Joe Fala: Future Star, Hot Minute, and USMNT Front Office Move



Greetings once again, soccer fans! This episode is a special one for The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for two reasons. First, we have joined with Big Heads Soccer Network! We are excited to partner with this podcast network and provide their first show dedicated to Major League Soccer (MLS). Be sure to follow BHM Soccer on twitter and check out the various shows on their network.

Next, we are thrilled to bring you an interview with rising star Joe Fala. Joe finished off a stellar college career with the Ramapo Roadrunners, setting a single-season scoring record and being a multiple All-American selection. He has played for FC Motown of the NPSL and most recently participated in the MLS SuperDraft – the only Division III player to participate. Though not selected, his reputation and work ethic have earned him a trial with Red Bull New York. Tune in to learn more about RBNY’s newest prospect, and be sure to with Joe all the best on his path to the pros.

In other news, Nick and Mike break down the moves (or lack thereof) by the Chicago Fire. They also introduce you to New York City’s new head coach Ronny Deila, and provide commentary on the Philadelphia Union’s record signing of Designated Player Jamiro Monteiro. How will these moves affect the Eastern Conference? Tune in to find out.

In the second half of the show, our hosts analyze the hiring of Brian McBride as General Manager of the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT). There’s agreement that McBride is a good hire, and there is hope he brings his hard-nose style of play to managing the program. As the man in charge of Gregg Berhalter, player recruitment, and club relations, McBride has a tall order to fill, but The Sons of a Pitch are confident in his abilities. They also discuss Sergino Dest’s recent decision to represent the USMNT over The Netherlands and his choice to leave Ajax training camp in Qatar.

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A Brief History of the MLS SuperDraft



Welcome back, soccer fans, and Happy New Year!

With Mike out sick, Nick wanted to take a little time to talk about the history of the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft. That little time turned into a lot of time, but time full of information. Listen in as Nick takes you through every 1st Overall Pick in SuperDraft history and then reviews the complete list of picks over the last three years.

Based on his analysis, you can see three periods of the SuperDraft: 1) teams searching for talent, 2) teams looking for teenagers to develop, and 3) teams looking for regular starters (not necessarily all-stars). Also, recent history suggest that the best talent is in the first ten picks, otherwise, you hope to develop your drafts picks in your USL affiliate.

Let us know if you agree with Nick’s analysis, and what are your thoughts on your team’s draft selections. Be sure to join the conversation and keep up with our social media:


Chicago and Miami Hire Coaches (Finally!) and USMNT Roster Review



Greetings once again, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we discuss the latest coaching hires in Major League Soccer (MLS) and review the latest United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) roster.

Chicago Fire FC have hired Raphael Wicky as their latest manager. He brings a solid resume, having coached FC Basel in Switzerland and most recently had a 9 month stint as the U-17 USYNT coach. He should bring a higher degree of technical ability and sound tactics back to Chicago, and fans can expect a disciplined team. But can they expect to win? For that, they’ll need to sign some DPs, which may come from Germany based on the hiring of the new technical and sporting directors. Tune in for the details!

Inter Miami CF have hired Diego Alonso, a coach that has bounced around Mexico and South America, but has had recent success in Concacaf Champions League (CCL). While that’s certainly appealing to MLS clubs, hopefully Alonso has a plan to qualify for CCL and not bottom out like recent expansion teams. However with his playing and coaching experience, he should fit in well with the Latin-influenced roster of Inter Miami.

Speaking of rosters, Gregg Berhalter has announced a group of young MLS players for the USMNT January camp. The next generation of talent has the opportunity to impress in friendlies against Costa Rica and the Netherlands, with more games sure to be announced. Let’s temper our expectations for results and just enjoy some fresh faces in the USMNT camp.

Thanks for listening, and please let us know your feedback! Be sure to join the conversation and keep up with our social media:


Signings around the MLS, Thoughts on the CBA, and the Future Structure of the League



Hello once again, soccer fans! Tonight, our hosts answer listener questions on trades and signings from around Major League Soccer (MLS). What are the key points and what makes them different from other American leagues? While they bargaining and goals are the same (get the best players for the best value) there are a lot more bargaining chips in the MLS – TAM, GAM, and international roster spots, to name a few. Also, MLS franchises can scout the entire world for soccer talent, where other American leagues have a much more limited player pool.

Specifically, our hosts address the signings of:

  • Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
  • Francisco Ginella, Los Angeles FC
  • Adam Buksa, New England Revolution

In the 2nd half of the show, Nick and Mike give their thoughts on the upcoming CBA negotiations and the anticipated issues between the MLSPA and the league. The focus of the negotiations will likely revolve around free agency, salaries, and … chartered flights!? Yes, with increased revenue, the league is going to have a much more difficult time not raising the salary cap, minimum salaries, or allowing chartered flights.

The show wraps up with thoughts on further expansion and what the future structure of the league might look like. With Charlotte being just announced as the MLS’ 30th franchise, the Major League Soccer is at the size of most other American sports leagues, but much larger than any other soccer league in the world. Are they at a breaking point? Or is a restructure on the horizon? Tune in for some scenarios that Nick and Mike think could happen.

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CCL is Back! and Big Money and Big Signings around MLS



Greetings, soccer fans, and welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, your hosts review the draw for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) and give their picks and preliminary positions. Tune in to hear about the favorites, the dark horses, and the teams that could surprise. If you’re not familiar with the tournament, this episode will give you all the knowledge to confidently rant about the games on social media.

In the second half of the show, Nick and Mike discuss the latest headlines from around Major League Soccer (MLS). Tonight, they focus on big names and big money as Sporting KC, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, and San Jose Earthquakes all made recent headlines. Quickly:

  • SKC sign Alan Pulido
  • TFC sign Michael Bradley
  • LA Galaxy sign Sacha Kljestan
  • San Jose Earthquakes sign Cristian Espinoza
  • Barcelona (rumored to) sign Carlos Vela

These teams have broken the bank to get these players. Will it pay off? Let Nick and Mike give you their unfiltered opinion on the signings … along with which teams have missed out so far (ahem … Chicago).

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Contract Talk, Re-Entry Draft Recap, and League Headlines



Greetings, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In tonight’s episode, Nick and Mike give their opinions on what is a good contract or a bad contract. For Mike, good contracts are all about player production, while Nick looks at the value of the contract and how teams can move players for transfer fees. Thanks to new listener David Ruffin for the email and the conversation starter!

Next, the hosts recap the Major League Soccer Re-Entry Draft, and break down the picks from Stage 1 and 2 of the event. Most notably, Toronto FC pick up Juan Agudelo and FC Cincinnati sign Saad Abdul-Salaam. Both signings are at worst depth signings, and at best can be immediate impact players. Agudelo can provide a goal-scoring presence in place of injury-plagued Jozy Altidore, and Abdul-Salaam can help shore up a league worst defense. Finally, the Sons of a Pitch highlight Real Salt Lake signings on the pitch and on the staff, and they discuss Chicago Fire’s link to Chivas striker Alan Pulido.

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MLS Expansion Draft, Border War!, and Nations League Deep Dive



Hello, soccer fans! Welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, our hosts preview the eligible players in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Expansion Draft. Who will be the next group to join expansion sides Nashville SC and Inter Miami FC? Will your favorite players be protected? Tune in as Nick and Mike break down the current rosters of the expansion teams and their possible expansion draft picks.

Next, they review the biggest headlines from the MLS:

  • Thierry Henry is the new head coach of the Montreal Impact: How will he fare?
  • Brian Fernandez’ contract terminated, released from Portland Timbers roster: How does Portland replace him? Should they just rebuild?
  • Do these teams need to go big or slow build? Tune in and find out!

Finally, The Sons of a Pitch go international. Nick and Mike recap the second Nations League meeting between the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and the Canadian Men’s National Team (CanMNT). After stunning the US 2-0 in Toronto, the Americans jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Zardes and Morris shined in a 4-1 victory, and the defense held. Then, they take a deep dive into the Concacaf Nations League. They analyze the current tournament, its impact on the confederation, and how it affects World Cup qualifying. They also provide a look at how the new FIFA ranking system works and the algorithm used to determine the points for each game. Is it fair? Are there still bugs? You’ll hear all about it in tonight’s episode.

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