All posts by sonsofapitch

Another Higuain, Hall of Fame Fiasco, and League Roundup



Hello once again, soccer fans! We are back with our takes on all the action happening across the American soccer landscape. In tonight’s episode, we discuss:

Transfers – just to name a few!

  • Reggie Cannon and Alberth Elis to Boavista in the Portuguese Primeira Liga
  • Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus to Inter Miami
  • Jhonder Cadiz on loan from Benfica to Nashville SC

National Soccer Hall of Fame

  • Carlos Bocanegra gets in; Hope Solo, Jaime Moreno, Steve Cherundolo snubbed
  • Other hopefuls on the ballot
  • Is the process fair?

League Roundup

  • Game scores and recaps; Trending teams and standout performances
  • One Hot Minute on the Chicago Fire

All this and more in tonight’s episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


Pity’s Transfer, Blanco’s Knee, and MLS League Roundup



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thanks for tuning in as we talk everything around the American soccer landscape, including:

  • Pity Martinez sold to Saudi club Al Nassr FC: Did the investment payoff and what does it mean for future MLS transfers?
  • Diego Valeri joins the 80/80 Club – just where does he fall in pantheon of MLS greats?
  • Chris Armas out as Red Bulls manager – was it all his fault?
  • Weston McKennie joins Juventus – the first American to play at the historic club
  • Sebastian Blanco injures his knee – just how bad is the injury and Portland’s championship chances?
  • One Hot Minute – what’s going on in the world of the Chicago Fire?

In the second half of the show we roundup all the action from the past week. There were 21 games played since we last recorded, and all of them had excitement, action, and heartbreak. Stay tuned as we discuss such trends as:

  • Columbus as a title contender?
  • Is Toronto starting to slip?
  • Sporting KC can’t score
  • Houston is heating up!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


The Polarizing Play of Darlington Nagbe



In a recent outing, Darlington Nagbe banged home an absolute beauty of a goal to help elevate the Columbus Crew over the Chicago Fire. Immediately social media sang his praise and searched for reasons why Nagbe never starred for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) or made it big in Europe. The common refrain is he was played out of position, especially given his 2017 Gold Cup performance! Not too long after, the Nagbe detractors added their comments, which came down to the fact he just was not good enough.

While our regular listeners know I tend to fall in the second of those categories, I thought I owed it to the player and the fans to dive a little deeper than just my eye test and personal feelings. Let’s start with his Major League Soccer (MLS) career:

Nagbe is in his tenth season in the MLS. He is currently with the Columbus Crew after spending the last two seasons with Atlanta United, and the prior seven with the Portland Timbers. Per MLSsoccer.com, Nagbe’s career totals include 276 games played, 264 games started, 30 goals, and 38 assists. He’s never reached double digits in goals or assists in a single season, so from a points perspective, he hasn’t done much. For the USMNT, his point totals are even less appealing: 25 appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists.

In that 2017 Gold Cup, Nagbe did not play in the group stage, but was brought in for the knockout rounds. He played nearly every minute in the three knockout games. His stat lines were unimpressive, but he did draw the most fouls in the tournament (15). You can’t draw fouls if you don’t have the ball!

So what is the appeal for Darlington Nagbe?

The USMNT website describes him as a “confident and pacey midfielder,” and his fans point to his passion on the pitch, confidence on the ball, and ability to run at defenders. He is excellent with the ball at his feet and has a knack for getting his teammates involved in the attack. Critics point to the absence of these in international play and the lack of his stats. However, I haven’t been able to find measurable data in the areas in which Nagbe excels – passes and dribbles completed, progressive play, and other possession related categories.

So what can we conclude about Darlington Nagbe? Is anybody “right”?

Nagbe never lit up the score sheet, but no one ever quantitively measured how good he was on the ball. If you rely on “the eye test,” you can find great games and sub-par performances. Nagbe may be one of the best to ever play for Portland and was a solid USMNT call up. He seems pretty content with his career, and we as fans of the game in America should continue to enjoy him for as long as he laces up in MLS. Just don’t try to convince me he’s an American soccer legend that just never got his shot.

Nick Poteres
Host, Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast
@SOPSoccer


Haiti as World Cup Spoiler, MLS Recap, and Thoughts on Player Protests



Hey, soccer fans! Tonight we continue our discussion on USMNT World Cup Qualifying by breakdown down potential opponent Haiti. We recap all the action from around the MLS – and there was a lot of it to cover! We play a great pick-em game where the hosts pick whether they would have a current USMNT midfielder or Chris Mueller. The show concludes on a more somber topic, and we provide our thoughts on the player protests and how it could affect Major League Soccer. Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


MLS in Full Force and World Cup Qualifying



Hey, soccer fans! In tonight’s episode we start with some listener questions on the USWNT and expansion side Sacramento FC. The we dive in to Major League Soccer coverage.

The MLS is back in full force and we recap all the games from the last week, including:

  • Inter Miami’s historic win
  • the return of Pity Martinez
  • the Galaxy’s statement, and
  • Seattle’s reminder of who’s the best in Cascadia.

In the second half we review Concacaf World Cup 2022 qualifying and what the USMNT has to do to make back to world soccer’s biggest stage. The schedule looks favorable to the Yanks, but they still need to perform on the pitch.

Stay tuned for all this and more in tonight’s episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


MLS Restart, Headlines, and Mascot Fights!?



Hey, soccer fans! We are back with another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

The MLS regular season has returned! We look at Nashville and Dallas’ re-start opener, the shape of the league as it stands right now, and explore headlines from around American soccer. Then we discuss the impact of Tyler Adams and Alphonso Davies playing in the UCL semi-finals. We conclude with some light-hearted fun about who would win in an MLS mascot fight. Stay tuned for all this and more!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


Portland vs. Orlando, Ebobisse and Dotson to USMNT? and MLS Headlines



Hey, soccer fans, and welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We break tonight’s show down into quarters as if we’re back in AYSO. Be sure to stay tuned for all this coverage and more:

First Quarter
We preview and predict the MLSisBack Final between Portland and Orlando City. Nick believes Portland will raise the trophy, but also describes a few scenarios where Orlando City comes out victorious (Sebastian Blanco red card, anyone?). Portland has the history and experience, but Orlando City as Nani and the desire to win “at home” and bring back their first ever Major League Soccer trophy – and a Concacaf Champions League berth.

Second Quarter
During the MLSisBack Tournament, Jeremy Ebobisse has cemented himself as the Timbers’ starting striker. Has he done enough to earn a spot on the United States Men’s National Team? Nick believes he’s earned a call up to training camp, at the very least. We break down the current USMNT striker pool and where we think Ebobisse fits in.

Third Quarter
Hassani Dotson of Minnesota United has also played himself into the USMNT conversation. We don’t think his outlook is quite as bright as Ebobisse’s, however. The lack of top flight experience and a deep United States defender pool are prohibitive. But why not bring him into camp and see what he can do!

Fourth Quarter
We break down lots of headlines around the Major League Soccer, including:

  • Gotze to MLS?
  • Inter Miami sign French international Blaise Matuidi from Juventus
  • Minnesota United sign Bakaye Dibassy
  • Christian Pulisic picks up another injury
  • New formats for MLS and CCL

Thanks for listening, and enjoy all the MLS and American soccer action!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


Replacing Josef, Broadcasting Bias, and MLSisBack Semis



Hey, soccer fans! We are back again, discussing anything and everything in the American soccer landscape. In tonight’s episode, our hosts tackle the following topics:

  • How Atlanta United will try to replace Josef Martinez with Cubo Torres
  • Is Christian Pulisic injury prone, and how injured should USMNT fans be?
  • More transfer rumors for Inter Miami – Willian and Suarez
  • Broadcasting bias in favor and against foreign broadcasters/announcers calling MLS games

We also recap the MLSisBack Tournament quarterfinals and preview the semi-final matchups of Philadelphia vs. Portland and Minnesota vs. Orlando City. Tune in for all this and more with the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


MLSisBack-deBoer is Not, USMNT Goalkeeper Talk



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back again dissecting the knockout rounds of the MLSisBack tournament. From the surprising wins by Orlando City and Philadelphia, to the penalty shoot out between Sporting KC and Vancouver, we’ve got you covered. We also analyze the “mutual parting of ways” between Atlanta United and former coach Frank de Boer. What happened to the potent Five Stripes offense? Did de Boer kill it? Maybe. Probably. Listen to our takes!

We conclude this episode with a discussion on the goalkeeper position for the United States Men’s National Team. Nick no longer thinks Zach Steffen is the presumptive No. 1 for the Yanks. Who should take his spot? Tune in for all our thoughts and some listener takes.

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


Listener Q&A, MLS Headlines, and Interview w/Cameron Young



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back with more soccer talk. This time we feature listener questions about:

  • Pro-Rel for MLS – will we see it? Not anytime soon, there’s too much money at stake.
  • Will MLS ever move to a fall/spring style format? Maybe if we form the Liga MX/MLS Superleague!
  • What’s the best league in the world? Obviously, Major League Soccer, but we discuss the runners up.

We also cover MLS headlines and recap the scores from the MLSisBack Tournament. Did you see that:

  • SKC transfer Botand Barath back to Hungary
  • MNUFC finalizing deal for “Bebelo” Reynoso
  • Impact sign Ugandan fullback Mustafa Kizza

This episode concludes with a special interview from Plymouth Argyle FC academy produce Cameron Young. He gives his take on training, rising through the ranks in English soccer, and how the MLS compares. All this and more in tonight’s episode!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.