Monthly Archives: December 2019

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.

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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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