Monthly Archives: August 2018

Ep. 29 – MLS Week 26 Recap, Jozy’s Suspension, and SKC is Rolling



Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch!

In this episode, the hosts break down Rivalry Week matchups from Major League Soccer and how they impacted the playoff race. New York went purple, TFC got back to scoring, and Seattle has pulled themselves up from the basement and become the West’s hottest team. SKC similarly has gone on a 4 game unbeaten streak, without conceding a goal during that time. (Another Goalkeeper of the Year trophy for Tim Melia?)

Mike gives you his candid thoughts on Jozy Altidore’s additional game suspension handed out by the Disciplinary Committee. Specifically, how the timing and consistency of the decision are sparking conspiracy theories. Finally, LAFC stalwart and Belgian international Laurent Ciman has been transferred to French Ligue 1 team Dijon FCO for a cool $500,000 fee. How will LAFC respond? Tune in to find out!


Ep. 28 – FCC Cincinnati: An Introduction



In an effort to educate and inform the soccer loving public, the Sons of a Pitch have put together a brief introduction to Major League Soccer’s newest expansion franchise: FC Cincinnati (“FCC”). FCC will be the 24th team in the current league, and will most likely join the Eastern Conference. Coming off two very respectable years in the United Soccer League (“USL”), FCC found its greatest success as a semi-finalist in 2017’s Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. There, they defeated the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire before suffering defeat to the Red Bulls of New York. Combining that historic run with regularly selling-out home games, FCC were selected as the next expansion franchise.

Join the hosts as they give a brief overview of the history, management, and roster of FCC. For more in depth reading, see the links below. We intend to keep us with expansion teams more regularly, so let us know if you like the segment and what more we can do to improve your knowledge of the league. In the meantime, welcome again to FCC!

MLS to Cincy
FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati Wikipedia
Cincinnati Soccer Talk
SB Nation – USL


Ep 27. – MLS Week 25 Recap, Playoff Picture, and Rivalry Week!



Welcome back, soccer fans!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the latest action from Major League Soccer and are ready as teams make their playoff push. In this episode we recap the scores around the league and get into to detail for the following topics:

Toronto FC and Jozy Altidore
TFC wins another Canadian Championship, this time defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 7-4 on aggregate. The Boys in Red qualify for next year’s CONCACAF Champions League and add to their trophy case. Jozy Altidore had a hat-trick in the 2nd leg and was the center of some transfer speculation to Ligue 1 in France or Serie A in Italy. The hosts give their take on TFC, the transfer rumors, and whether Jozy should stay in MLS.

Rivalry Week
It’s Rivalry Week in the MLS (sponsored by Heineken)! This week’s slate of games has Red Bulls New York vs. NYCFC, LA Galaxy vs. LAFC, Toronto vs. Montreal … Philly vs. New England? SKC vs. Minnesota?
The hosts explore whether the marketing machine has stretched itself a little too far, and they discuss whether rivalry games are good for the league.

In or Out
Is your team making the playoffs? The top three teams in each conference seem like locks, so the hosts discuss who ends up with the final three spots. Listen as they give their vote of confidence to surging DC United and Seattle Sounders. Nick and Mike aren’t so confident when it comes to struggling LA Galaxy or unimpressive New England Revolution.

Josef Martinez
You may have heard that the Atlanta United striker tied the single-season goal scoring record (27), and still has nine games left this season. We think he can hit the 34 goal mark and become an all-time great in the MLS.


Some Thoughts on Graham Zusi



When Major League Soccer played its first game on April 6, 1996, I was an 11 year old kid spending my weekends playing soccer for Rock Run Express in Rockford, Illinois. I was excited for the new league and the opportunity to immerse myself in the sport. Not having a local team, I found myself drawn to the Kansas City Wiz and their star player, Preki. (Maybe it was the jerseys?) Over the years, I’ve kept a soft spot in my soccer heart for the club, but I’ve recently been mulling over one question: Who is the star of Sporting KC? And who have been the stars of the franchise? Assuming that Preki is the franchise’s greatest player, I believe that Graham Zusi could be the 2nd greatest player to put on an SKC jersey.

Zusi has played his entire professional career for SKC (2009-present), and he’s had a respectable career with the USMNT (55 caps). Here’s his profile from mlssoccer.com:

And here is where he falls on SKC’s all-time lists: Continue reading Some Thoughts on Graham Zusi


Ep. 26 – MLS Week 24 Recap, DC United, and Supporters’ Shield Talk



Greetings once again, MLS fans!

Welcome back to the show. This week we dive right in to recapping all the Week 24 action around the MLS. Columbus and Sporting KC get back to winning, Vancouver surprises Portland, and the stars were out for DC United: Luciano Acosta nets a hat-trick and Wayne Rooney makes the play of the week.

The hosts dive into the state of DC United soccer, noting outstanding performances so far by Wayne Rooney, the rising Luciano Acosta, and the impending goalkeeper switch now that Bill Hamid is back in the capital on loan from FC Midtjylland. Current goalkeeper Ousted, who interestingly is from Denmark, needs to improve his form or he’ll be ousted from his position.

As the show wraps up, the hosts discuss the Supports’ Shield race, and not surprising to everyone is that Atlanta United is the current favorite. However, the hosts discuss what happened to their original pick, SKC, whether a club from the Western Conference can claim the shield.

Thanks for listening! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com or follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer.


The Controversial PK in LAFC vs. SKC: Interpreting the Rules



This discussion comes about as a result of a play in the Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting Kansas City game of August 11, 2018. In the 66th minute of the game, the referee awarded SKC a penalty kick as a result of a foul in the box. On the play, LAFC’s goalkeeper blocks the initial shot, resulting in a bouncing ball about 6 yards from the box. The ball is about chest high, and Felipe Gutierrez of SKC attempts a diving header. At the same time, LAFC defender Dejan Jokovic attempts to clear the ball, but also kicks Gutierrez in the head. The debate our hosts had on twitter centered around whether the defender played the ball first and if that actually matters. To help explain the call on the field, we must first turn to the rules.

The game of soccer is governed by the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game, and this article will use the 2018-2019 version. Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct applies to this case. Article 1: Direct free kick, states the following relevant parts:
Continue reading The Controversial PK in LAFC vs. SKC: Interpreting the Rules


Ep 25 – MLS Week 23 Recap, All-Star Game Thoughts, and Transfer Talk



Welcome back to SOP Soccer!

This week, we recap the scores around the league, noting the upset by San Jose (at FC Dallas), Toronto FC drawing Atlanta United (at Atlanta!), and Sporting KC picking up 3 crucial points in a physical game with the Houston Dynamo.

We recap the MLS All-Star game vs. Juventus and discuss whether the games against big-name, international clubs still has its appeal. Is it all about the money or all about the game?

Finally, the hosts discuss the latest transfer moves and rumors:
Christian Ramirez to LAFC. The expansion team adds more firepower, and why the trade is good for Minnesota United (despite the fans losing a favorite). Is LAFC going for it now?
Bill Hamid back to DC United? Speculation is that he wants to better compete for the USMNT job. Does he have a chance to supplant Bono or Steffen?
Wil Trapp to Blackburn Rovers? Pay us, says Columbus Crew! Coach Gregg Berhalter sends a message that they value their players much higher than their suitors. Should they?


Ep. 24 – MLS Week 22 Recap and All-Star Preview



The Sons of a Pitch continue to provide soccer talk for the casual fan and die-hard supporter, this week recapping Week 22 of Major League Soccer. The discussion starts by previewing the Canadian Championship Final between Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps. TFC is the favorite, but Mike discusses how certain factors favor Vancouver. Who do you think will lift the trophy? Comment below!

MLS All-Star Game 2018
This year the best eleven for the MLS take on Serie A powerhouse Juventus and try to snap the home side’s losing streak in this exhibition match. Tune-in and learn a little more about the Italian club, what to expect from the game, and how we expect Sebastian Giovinco to have a great game against his former club. SOP Host Mike puts on his coaching hat and gives you his Starting XI. Who would you start? Leave your comments below!

Surprise Signings in Cincinnati
2019 MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati announced the signing of Portland Timbers forward Fenandi Adi as the club’s first Designated Player. They also signed Fatai Alashe from San Jose, two moves praised by SOP Host Nick. Listen how he thinks this is a great move on the field and in the board room. Has FCC put the MLS on notice? Leave a comment below!

Western Conference Playoffs
The hosts may have put the kiss of death on Sporting KC when they picked them as the favorite to win the Supporters’ Shield. SKC sits one point above the red-line for the playoffs after losing to conference leader FC Dallas. Has the torch been passed? Can SKC still dominate the playoffs? Nick isn’t so sure, but Mike remains confident. Who is your current favorite to win the West? Leave a comment below!

 

Enjoy the All-Start Game, and thanks for listening!