Monthly Archives: May 2018

Ep 12 – Week 13 MLS Recap – The West Rises!



All your MLS Week 13 action in one place! This week’s trends include missed PKs and road wins. The Western Conference gains some ground on the East, with Houston, Dallas, and Vancouver all taking points against Eastern Conference opponents. Mike begrudgingly admits that Toronto FC isn’t good this year, and Minnesota United take three points against a struggling Montreal Impact.

Also, is someone from the Chicago Fire listening? Nikolic hasn’t been offside since we started tracking it.

And on a final note: Brek Shea, cut your hair. #whiteguycornrows


Welcome FC Cincinnati!



On Tuesday May 29, 2018, the MLS announced that FC Cincinnati would become the newest expansion franchise and the league’s 26th team, citing the club’s record-setting USL attendance and the city’s growing economy. We at Sons of a Pitch welcome FC Cincinnati to the American top-flight and are excited to see their immediate impact in the league and how they develop as a team and as an organization. FC Cincinnati will begin MLS play next season, and plans to open its soccer-specific stadium in 2021. Check out the links below for all the news.

FC Cincinnati Website
MLS Soccer Announcement
Sports Illustrated Article
ESPN Announcement

Notably, FC Cincinnati has not been assigned to a conference, and there may be some realignment. As a way-too-early measuring stick, FCC currently sit 2nd in the USL table. They play Minnesota United FC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on 6/6/18. Keep your eyes on FCC!


Ep 11 – A Review of Video Assistant Referee (VAR)



… but who watches the watchmen?

Nick and Mike provide a summary of MLS rules governing Video Assistant Referee (VAR), and share their thoughts on its role, effectiveness, and how it could possibly change the game of soccer. Throughout the piece, Nick compares MLS’ VAR policies to those of other professional American sports, specifically the NFL and MLB. The hosts discuss the potential impact of video review on the World Cup and how its performance could impact VAR’s future. Finally, Mike shares a list of his Best Five and Worst Five head referees (please excuse the Toronto FC biases), highlighting officiating errors which may have influenced the introduction of VAR in the league.

 

The guys also try to make a couple lawyer jokes. (Emphasis on the word “try.”)


Ep 10 – MLS Week 12 Recap



All the Major League Soccer (MLS) action from Week 12 in one convenient podcast. In the Eastern Conference, the hosts discuss whether other teams will copy the Red Bulls tactics against Atlanta United, Toronto FC get back to their winning ways, and Columbus wins again. Out West, Minnesota United might be building some momentum, Portland Timbers play a great game against LAFC, and the LA Galaxy finally win … without Zlatan!

 

Also, the hosts discuss the pros and cons of DC United signing English striker Wayne Rooney, and Mike introduces you to a host of players who scored, but that you might not recognize.


Ep 9 – Giovinco and TFC; Rimando, Beckerman and RSL



The hosts provide a more in depth at Toronto FC and their international star Sebastian Giovinco, breaking down his stats, recent performances, and where he ranks on MLS’ all time list of greats. They also discus the career of Nick Rimando, who is coming off his 200th career win, and ask whether his record setting career is simply a product of longevity. Mike breaks down the current playoff picture and picks Sporting KC to win the Supporters’ Shield.

 

And Nick tells everyone exactly what he thinks about Kyle Beckerman’s style of play … and his hair.


Episode 8 – MLS Week 11 Recap



The hosts recap and analyze of all the MLS Week 11 games. Mid-week play has started, and there was a ton of action. SKC vs. Atlanta and LAFC vs. NYCFC highlighted potential MLS Cup Finals. Toronto FC hosted Seattle in a re-re-match of the last two MLS Cups. Be sure to listen to find out the results from the weekend, as well as commentary on TFC’s struggles, Columbus’ resurgence, and Real Salt Lake’s playoff chances. Also, do the LA Galaxy keep losing?

 

Yes, yes they do. (And Mike predicted it!)


Episode 7 – Quarter Season Awards



The hosts hand out awards at the quarter point of the season. Hear their picks and analysis for the top Rookie, Defender, Newcomer, and Goalkeeper. Find out the front-runners for Coach of the Year, and who could still emerge. Join the discussion for league MVP and whether an American player will eventually break the streak of international MVPs.

Yes, David Villa is on the MVP list. And no, Mike doesn’t like it.


Episode 6 – Week 10 MLS Roundup



Mike and Nick break down all the action from Week 10 of Major League Soccer. Tune in to hear whether Atlanta’s tactical changes paid off against Chicago, if Lee Nguyen gave LAFC a boost, and whether Toronto FC and Seattle got back on track. Another New York Derby is in the books, and the hosts analyze whether the New York Red Bulls are an MLS Cup contender. They also review last week’s predictions and make their picks for the next slate of games.

Also, Mike plays the role of the Riddler and begins his regular trivia segment. Nick keeps up with Nemanja Nikolic off-sides watch.


Episode 5 – Week 9 MLS Roundup



With lots of action around the MLS, Nick and Mike look back at the big moments from each game. Their discussion highlights the impact of VAR, how Toronto faired coming off their loss in the CCL final, and whether Orlando City is a real contender. Please leave a comment, or reach out via email, and let us know your thoughts.

 

Also, Mike’s disdain for David Villa continues to grow.


Episode 4 – CCL Final Leg Review, TFC vs. Chivas



Nick and Mike review the final leg of the Concacaf Champions League Final between Chivas Guadalajara (Liga MX) and Toronto FC (MLS). Toronto overcame a 2-1 home loss in the first leg to send the game to penalties, but were eventually bested by their Mexican counterpart. Relive the highlights (and low-lights) of the game, and try to ignore the tears of Mike, our resident Toronto FC super fan.