Category Archives: Major League Soccer (MLS)

Content covering Major League Soccer (MLS), the top flight, domestic soccer league in the United States.

CCL Gone Wild!



Hey, soccer fans! You’ve heard of CCL fever, but this is full blown Mad CCL Disease! Theatrics and hard fouls, red cards and suspensions, coaches throwing punches…you’ve never witnessed anything like this before! (And if you have, where did you grow up?) In tonight’s episode we recap all the highlights and lowlights from LAFC’s stunning, come-from-behind-victory over Club America. We break down the aftermath of the game, and then look forward to the final: LAFC vs. Tigres.

Turning locally, we ask the question: do you want Miguel Herrera to coach in MLS? There are advantages to having an experienced coach with a winning pedigree, but certainly disadvantages to hiring someone like “El Piojo.” (Translation: louse) We conclude the show by discussing the latest moves from around the league, including:

  • Greg Vanney to LA Galaxy: A done deal?
  • The retirement of Kyle Beckerman: How much of an MLS legend is he?
  • FC Dallas sign CB Jose Antonio Martinez: Are Los Toros poised for playoff success?
  • Austin FC roster update: How are they building?

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MLS Cup Recap, CCL Preview



Hey, soccer fans! And welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we recap the 2020 MLS Cup Final and congratulate the champions: the Columbus Crew. We recap what they did right and what Seattle did wrong. Would anyone have guessed that Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris would have played so well, or that Zelarayan would’ve bagged a brace?

Next, we examined the sustainability of each franchise. The Seattle Sounders dynasty is a near perfect model, and with Tim Bezbatchenko at the helm in Columbus, he could be building the next dynasty with the Crew. They’re already making moves! To close out the first half, we review the 2020 MLS season award winners and review our own picks from February (a lifetime ago).

In the second half, we preview the Concacaf Champions League with special guest Ryan Anderson. Stay tuned in for our picks and predictions, and hear our thoughts on how the adapted tournament format and the other factors that could finally favor an MLS club. Tune in to the end, as our final picks will not disappoint.

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MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After



What a season, what a finish! The Columbus Crew are the champions of Major League Soccer. In a season marred by Covid-19, the Crew proved themselves worthy champions. Full disclosure: I had predicted the Seattle Sounders would repeat from the pre-season all the way to the MLS Cup Pregame. So how did Caleb Porter and Crew – without stars Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos – dethrone the defending champs? It came down to three things: System, Pressure, and some MAPFRE Magic.

System

Porter and the Crew employ a system where every player knows the responsibility of every other player on the pitch. When they begin to build possession from the back or when they turn over an opponent, the ball can be played to a specific area of the field given the situation. If the opposing team presses, play a ball over the top. If they hang back, take the space in the middle of the field. If they use zonal marking, overload and get a numbers advantage.

The Crew’s system allowed them to more easily overcome the loss of two starters than most other teams. (Imagine Seattle trying to play without Joao Paulo or Nico Lodeiro.) Derrick Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris filled in superbly, playing with the confidence that comes from this system. Continue reading MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After


2020 MLS Cup Preview



Hey, soccer fans! It’s trophy time! We break down the 2020 MLS Cup matchup between the Seattle Sounders and the Columbus Crew. We bring you our keys to the game, players to watch, and our final predictions. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and join us on social media!

Keys to the Game

Columbus: Composure out of the back, Prevent the counter.

Seattle: Press, Score early

Players to Watch

Columbus: Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayan

Seattle: Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris

Picks

Mike: Columbus Crew, 2-1

Nick: Seattle Sounders, 3-2

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Wrecking Crew and MLS Cup Final Preview



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back talking the latest results from the MLS Cup Playoffs. Tune in for our takes on:

  • Seattle def. Dallas 1-0: Despite their dominance, the Sounders only find the back of the net once. Dallas failed to capitalize on their opponents scoring drought, and on this night, one goal was all it took to advance.
  • Minnesota def. Sporting KC 3-0: On one of Minnesota’s best offensive nights, Kansas City played perhaps their worst game of the season. They were completely out of sync, and the Loons took full advantage.
  • Columbus def. New England 1-0: Columbus returned to their wrecking crew ways from the begging on the season, as they make the MLS Cup Finals for the third time in club history. They did just enough to edge an evenly matched Revolution squad.

We also discuss the latest USMNT news, including their December 9, 2020 friendly against El Salvador. With a young, MLS based line-up, there’s lots to discuss and lots of names to learn.

Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

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More MLS Playoffs, More MLS Madness



Hey, soccer fans! We’re talking more MLS playoff, and more MLS madness. Tonight, we give our takes on:

  • Nashville’s run to semi’s and how they fell to Columbus
  • Does Toronto FC need a reboot?
  • What’s the key to New England’s success? (Hint: star power)
  • Orlando’s complete collapse
  • Seattle does what Seattle does.
  • Columbus on track for another trophy

We also talk about a crazy trend in this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs: missed penalties. These missed PKs set the tone for the rest of the team:

  • Maxi Moralez missed for NYCFC
  • Wondo missed for SJ
  • Vela missed for LAFC
  • Nani missed for Orlando City

And there’s transfer news! Tune in for the latest about FC Dallas, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC.

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Pure Entertainment – 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs



Hey, soccer fans! Are you seeing this? Have the MLS Cup Playoffs completely changed your view on American soccer? Join us as we recap the first round of the playoffs and try to make some sense of the pure entertainment and utter insanity of these matches, including:

  • New England 2-1 Montreal
  • Nashville 3-0 Miami
  • Orlando 1(6)-(5)1 NYCFC
  • Columbus 3-2 Red Bulls New York
  • Sporting KC 3(3)-(0)3 San Jose
  • Minnesota 3-0 Colorado
  • Portland 1(7)-(8)1 Dallas
  • Toronto 0-1 Nashville
  • Philadelphia 0-2 New England

How good is Nashville? Is Tim Melia the best MLS goalkeeper ever? Let’s all shed a tear for the Timbers. Is TFC’s trophy window closed? All this and more in tonight’s episode!


2020 MLS Playoff Preview



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we break down the first round of the 2020 MLS Playoffs. We give our picks, predictions, and what to look for in each game. Take a look at our notes and give us your thoughts:

Nashville Miami
Record 8W-7L-8T

24GF, 22GA

7W-13L-3T

25GF, 35GA

H2H 1W, 1D vs. Miami 1L, 1D vs. Nashville
Notes Do it on Defense

3rd best GA in league (PHI, COL)

xGA: 25.5, Goals Allowed: 22

Back line leads in minutes: top 5 minutes this season are Romney (D),
Willis (GK), Zimmerman (D), Lovitz (D), McCarty (DM)

Star Power

Morgan: 5G, 5A

Pizarro: 4G, 4A

Brek Shea: 4G

Rest of team: 11G, 9A

Pick Nick: Nashville Mike: Nashville

Continue reading 2020 MLS Playoff Preview


Playoffs Predictions Revisited, Expansion Headlines, and League Roundup



Hello once again, loyal listeners of the Sons of a Pitch! Tonight’s episode is pure ear candy as our hosts revisit their pre-season playoffs predictions. As you can see, Nick and Mike weren’t too far off on their teams, picking 9 of 14 current playoff teams, but they chose poorly – terribly even – in their pick of Sporting KC to win the MLS Cup. See below for a breakdown.

In other MLS news, the expansion teams have been stealing the headlines. Josh Wolff was named head coach of Austin FC and Nick thinks the organization needs to break free from their prior spend-thrift ways and make a big splash. Wolff knows the league, but can someone who has been in Berhalter’s system for the last several years coach a winning team? Also, Mike dispels rumors of big names like Messi or Ronaldo signing with Inter Miami, but thinks that their anticipated signings of two young, Argentine wingers is a great start for the club.

Finally, the hosts round up the league and highlight Toronto FC’s ups-and-downs, LA Galaxy’s victory in El Trafico, and other league news. They even get in their weekly shots against the Chicago Fire.

Hope you enjoy the show, and please join the conversation @SOPSoccer on twitter, @sonsofapitchsoccer on facebook, or in the comments below!

Eastern Conference – Pre-Season Predictions

Mike Nick Current (7/24/19)
1 Atlanta United Red Bulls Philly
2 Red Bulls Atlanta United Atlanta
3 DC United DC United DC
4 Toronto FC NYCFC RBNY
5 NYCFC Columbus Crew NYCFC
6 Chicago Philadelphia Montreal
7 Columbus Chicago New England

Western Conference – Pre-Season Predictions

Mike Nick Current (7/24/19)
1 LAFC Sporting KC LAFC
2 Sporting KC LAFC LA Galaxy
3 Portland LA Galaxy Seattle
4 LA Galaxy Portland Minnesota
5 Seattle Seattle San Jose
6 FC Dallas Houston Dallas
7 Minnesota United Minnesota United RSL

 


S2Ep23 – MLS Headlines, Chicago Fire News, and US Open Cup Semi-Finals Previews



Hi soccer fans! We didn’t forget you, we’re just coming at you a day later than usual. Mike was too busy celebrating his birthday with his family. Where are his priorities!?

Now that we’re back, we turn our attention to the latest MLS headlines, with lots of news coming from Chicago … er … I mean, Bridgeview. The Fire have a memo of understanding with the village to terminate their lease. They also traded Mo Adams to Atlanta for $100k in GAM. They pay to move and dump a fan favorite, typical Fire. Elsewhere , New England Revolution’s new DP signing Gustavo Bou has a goal in his debut game. Will this put the Revs into the playoff picture? They still have a long way to go, but this offensive injection certainly helps.

Meanwhile, around the league:

Teams on the Rise

  • Minnesota United FC – 2 wins away from a trophy. What will they do with all this momentum!?
  • San Jose Quakes – They just keep taking points, and a Cali Clasico victory over LA Galaxy is the cherry on top of their recent form

Teams on the Fall

  • Chicago Fire – Last three results: losses to SKC, FCC, and a draw to the Crew. Yet Paunovic and Rodriguez still have jobs.
  • DC United – If they’re not careful. they could be in the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoffs in a hurry.

US Open Cup Predictions
Nick: Portland over Atlanta – These are the two best teams left in the tournament. Atlanta is playing the best, and Portland has all the goal-scoring power needed to keep pace with the Five Stripes.

Mike: Minnesota over Atlanta – The Loons continue their fine form, keep up momentum, and on the backs of some stellar individual performances, bring home their first trophy.