Monthly Archives: December 2018

Transfer News, Roster Impact, and Nick addresses Atlanta Haters



Happy Holidays everyone, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Even though the MLS is in the middle of its off-season, there has been no shortage of action. Teams are addressing their needs and a flurry of signings has taken place:

  • Laurent Ciman to Toronto FC
  • Yoshi Yotun to Cruz Azul
  • Alvas Powell to FC Cincinnati
  • Marcelo to Chicago Fire
  • Joe Bendik to Columbus Crew
  • Schelotto to manage the LA Galaxy

How do these signings affect their respective teams? Orlando City may have admitted it’s time for a rebuild. FC Cincinnati is looking to continue the success of expansion teams. Chicago and Toronto finally have center-backs, and Schweinsteiger and Bradley can return to their midfield roles. The hosts break down the rosters in greater detail and examine the potential playing style of each team as a result of these signings.

In a special segment, Nick addresses an issue that has been on his mind for some time: Atlanta haters. They hate on Atlanta for being good but never winning a trophy, then they hate on Atlanta for winning a trophy too soon. What are your thoughts on all the hate?

Finally, Sons of a Pitch recognizes the passing of an American soccer icon: Sigi Schmid. His imprint on the MLS and US Soccer will forever be felt, and we send our condolences to his family, friends, and all who are affected.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned next week for our review of the USMNT January camp roster and what it means for the next four years of American soccer. Happy New Year to all!


MLS Playoffs Reformatted, Coaching Hires-Luchi to FCD, and Latest Player Transfers



Happy holidays, soccer fans! I hope you’re all on Santa’s nice list and avoid lumps of coal this Christmas.

In Major League Soccer news, Nick and Mike have good reviews for the new playoff format. In the latest change to the post-season, seven teams will qualify from each conference, with the top seed earning a first-round bye. The remaining teams will compete in a single-elimination format – no more home-and-home series or away goal confusion – without the re-seeding rule. The hosts agree this true, bracket-style tournament will add excitement to the playoffs and provide a more meaningful regular season with teams competing for seeding.

In coaching news, FC Dallas have hired Luchi Gonzalez as manager. Coming up with the FC Dallas academy, Luchi will continue the FCD culture of player development and an attacking style of play. However with the current roster and the departure of Maxi Urruti, it remains to be seen how Dallas will come by their offense. Also, Caleb Porter to LA Galaxy is not a done deal, as had been reported … but he also hasn’t signed with the Columbus Crew … or Atlanta … or anyone else. Where does he end up, and can he get a deal done before all the jobs are taken?

Finally in transfer news:

  • Zlatan returns to LA Galaxy as a DP
  • Kelyn Rowe to Sporting KC
  • Diego Rubio to Colorado Rapids
  • Marco Urena to Chicago Fire (via Waiver Draft)
  • Edgar Castillo to New England Revolution
  • Auro, Jr. returns to TFC, after the Reds exercise the purchase option

How these moves impact the players and teams remains to be seen, but keep an eye on Sporting KC to replace Rubio with a TAM level signing. Also, who gets moved with Zlatan taking up a DP spot on the Galaxy roster? And can Urena find his goal scoring touch in Chicago after failing to be LAFC’s main striker? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on twitter @SOPSoccer.

Finally, a shout out to our new twitter friend and Philadelphia Union blogger Shayan Waseh. Check out his take on all things DOOP, DOOP, DOOP at Philadelphia Soccer.

Thanks for listening, and have a wonderful holiday season!


MLS Cup Reactions, Transfers and Impact, and FC Cincinnati Expansion Draft



Welcome back soccer fans! Did you enjoy the MLS Cup?

The hosts of Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast give their take on one of the most meaningful MLS Cup Finals in league history. With Atlanta United’s 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, and the last 4 MLS Cup Champions being expansion teams, there is a clear message to owners and managers what is needed to build a contender. Tune in for Nick and Mike’s thoughts and where the league is going, and whether we are witnessing MLS 3.0. Also, the hosts discuss the idea of league parity and whether league imposed rules should be lifted.

Next, the podcast takes a look at the latest transfer news. Big names have moved – Zack Steffen to Manchester City, Maxi Urruti to Montreal Impact, Caleb Porter to coach a returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy. How does this shape the teams, and was the value of the player worth the deal?

Finally, the hosts review FC Cincinnati’s expansion draft picks and transfers. The big news being the expansion side’s acquisition of Greg Garza from Atlanta, along with Kendall Waston, Darren Mattocks, Kei Kamara, Roland Lamah, Eric Alexander, and Hassan Ndam. Has FCC built an immediate contender or will they need a few seasons to compete for hardware?

Finally, congratulations to our bracket challenge winner, Greg, with his entry: My Loons Suck. Surprisingly, Greg was our only entrant who picked Atlanta United to win the MLS Cup. Greg: Email us your information so Mike can send your prize!

 

As we enter the offseason, let us know what topics you’d like covered and be sure to follow us @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


Berhalter Hired (finally), MLS Cup Preview, and CCL Quick Takes



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for joining the conversation on all things American soccer with the Sons of a Pitch podcast.

In this week’s episode, the hosts give their reactions to the USMNT hiring Gregg Berhalter as the new coach. While both are in favor of the hiring, it remains to be seen if Berhalter’s system with the Columbus Crew can be implemented at the national team level. Having players like Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp, and Zack Steffen could certainly help. Nick’s biggest takeaway is Berhalter’s ability get the most out of his team, while Mike looks to Berhalter’s unique blend of playing for the USMNT, MLS, and European leagues to help him build the team’s identity.

In Major League Soccer action, the MLS Cup Final is set between the Portland Timbers and Atlanta United. Portland, tested road warriors, travel to Atlanta and Merdedess-Benz stadium to take on the high powered attack of the Five Stripes. While the home team is favored, look to the visitors to play spoiler and ruin Atlanta’s best chance at a trophy. Expect another big game from the stars: Valeri, Blanco, Martinez, and Almiron. And how great has Attinella’s post-season play been for the Timbers? He’ll be called on more than once in this matchup.

The hosts conclude their podcast looking at the Concacaf Champions League (CCL) draw featuring 5 MLS teams. In a balanced bracket (2/3 MLS and 2 Liga MX teams on each side) don’t be surprised if this is the first year for an MLS team to win the tournament or if four Mexican teams make up the semi-finals.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to connect with us on twitter @SOPSoccer or by email: podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.