Monthly Archives: May 2019

Expansion & Attendance, Wondo’s Record, and League Roundup



Hello ladies, gentleman, and soccer fans of all ages! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. This week’s episode covers a variety of topics, and we kick things off with questions from you, the listeners.

First, we discuss which cities would be great for expanding the MLS to 30 teams (Thanks to @whoiswholio for the question!). In our last episode, Nick suggested Milwaukee and St. Louis, while this week Mike added New Orleans to the list. Next, @TheFreshPrintz asked us to comment on the general declining of attendance across the league. While early numbers aren’t indicative of the entire season, there has been a noticeable drop in attendance over the last two seasons.

It has been a historic week in Major League Soccer, with Chris Wondolowski breaking Landon Donovan’s record for all-time leading MLS goal scorer. Wondo did it in amazing fashion, netting 4 vs. Chicago to jump to 148 all-time, 2 ahead of Donovan. Listen in to our hosts discuss Wondo’s impact on the league and where he stands among the all-time greats. Finally, Nick and Mike break-down all the games from this week, and look at who is on the rise and fall in a league where margins of error are paper thin.

 

Thanks for listening and for all your support! Please follow us on twitter, facebook, or leave a comment below to join in the conversation.


Midweek Roundup and Special Guest Dr. Vanessa: Physical Therapist



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to a special episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode we review the mid-week action around MLS and welcome for the first time Dr. Vanessa, a physical therapist. She talks about proper training, common injuries, and how to best prevent them. Here are a few highlights:

  • Toronto FC make history with the most shots without a goal
  • Timbers new DP Fernandez scores and salvages a point for his new team
  • Atlanta gets another win, it wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win
  • Sounders keep winning, Orlando needs to settle on a lineup
  • LAFC continue to dominate the results, make Dallas feel like the rest in the West

In our interview with Dr. Vanessa: Physical Therapist, we learn about the education required of certified therapists and how they go about their business. Dr. Vanessa highlights how she develops exercises for her patients (including a modern pentathlete!). She discusses dynamic warm-ups, integrating game actions into training, and emphasizes practicing how you play. By doing this, you can minimize the risk of the most common sports injuries: ACL tears and ankle sprains.

A big thanks to Dr. Vanessa for taking the time to speak with us. Let us know of any questions for Dr. Vanessa or for the show at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com or on twitter @SOPSoccer. Have a great night!


Transfers, Firings, and Week 12 MLS Roundup



Hello again, soccer fans! And welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thank you for joining us again as we look at all the moves from around Major League Soccer (MLS) and roundup the slew of games from Week 12.

But first, we want to wish all the soccer moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for waking up early, driving your kids to games and practices, and being their biggest supporters as they grow and learn the game. Without soccer moms, there is simply no soccer.

Transfers

  • Columbus Crew acquire David Accam and extend Gyasi Zardes, giving him a DP contract. Lalas Abubaker loaned to Colorado Rapids.
  • New York City transfers USMNT forward Jonathan Lewis to Colorado Rapids.
  • Sporting KC bring Benny Feilhaber back to shore up depleted defense.
  • Joevin Jones back in Seattle, in his prime, and ready to light up the stat sheet.

Firings

  • Hudson out at Colorado
  • Koch out at Cincinnati
  • Freidel out at New England
  • New England also fire GM Michael Burns

Teams on the Rise

  • Eastern Conference Regulars: Fire playing up to their talent, Atlanta win 3 straight, NYCFC found their offense.
  • LAFC: Points per game average is near record levels

Teams on the Fall

  • Toronto FC: No Jozy, no offense.
  • Colorado: It can’t get much worse. (And don’t tell me if it can.)
  • FC Cincinnati: What’s their identity and does it score goals?

Week 10 Roundup – Transfers, Trades, Firings – New IFAB Rules



Hello again, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. This week, we review the latest slate of Major League Soccer (MLS) games and talk about a surprising team on top of the Eastern Conference – Philadelphia Union, and a surprising team near the bottom of the Western Conference – Sporting KC.

The hosts also discuss the latest moves from around the league:

  • Chicago Fire acquire Francisco Calvo from Minnesota United
  • Portland Timbers sign Brian Fernandez from Necaxa
  • FC Cincinnati fire coach Alan Koch
  • Justin Meram traded from Columbus Crew to Atlanta United

Finally, Nick and Mike review new IFAB rules that are forthcoming. While not a major impact in any one area of the game, they will make a noticeable difference. The rules are:

  • Any goal scored by the hand/arm is disallowed (even if accidental)
  • Attacking players can’t be within 1 meter of the wall
  • Ball need not exit the goal box on a goal kick before being touched
  • Substituting player must exit at the nearest touchline
  • Goalkeeper need only keep one foot on the goal line before a penalty kick

Thanks for listening, and be sure to follow along on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or join the conversation in the comments below.


Week 11 Roundup: Zlatan’s Trash Talk, SKC/Revs Shootout, and What’s Wrong with the East?



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for returning to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for all your Major League Soccer news. In this episode, the hosts recap Week 11 and all the goals, drama, and story-lines that accompanied it. Tune in for:

  • Houston and Dallas keep taking points
  • LAFC – Seattle rematch not live up to the hype
  • Zlatan’s talking trash and the league is letting him

The hosts also discuss what’s going on in the Eastern Conference. With no team looking like a favorite, the conference is up for grabs. Listen to Nick and Mike break down how:

  • Columbus is slumping, Chicago is under-performing
  • Atlanta is the most talented team, but only on paper
  • DC can’t string together wins
  • Is TFC the favorite? Based on PPG, they sure are

And to round out the discussion, we take a glimpse at the newly formed Canadian Premier League (CPL). With seven teams in Canada’s top flight, Mike discusses the influence of Toronto on the league and the league’s focus on developing young, Canadian talent. Nick is optimistic about the experience coaches, organizations, and owners will get and how they can apply that to the future of soccer in North America.

Finally, the hosts gives some early US Open Cup picks. The US Open Cup gets underway next week, and while MLS teams are favored to win (Mike likes Seattle, Nick likes Houston or Sporting KC), don’t be surprised is USL Championship sides like Louisville City or Saint Louis FC make a run.

 

Thanks again for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below!