Tag Archives: Almiron

More Transfers, International Roster Rules, and Imagine No Salary Cap



Greetings, soccer fans! We hope you all survived the polar vortex and are enjoying warmer temperatures. At Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer podcast, we keep things heated with a fiery discussion on the future of the league.

First, transfers and moves keep happening all around Major League Soccer (MLS). Vancouver and LAFC sign Hwang In-beom and Rodolfo Zelaya. NYCFC gets striker Alex Mitrita from Romania. Toronto FC sign Terrance Boyd to offset the loss of Toussaint Rickets, and Luciano Acosta’s deal with Paris St. Germain (PSG) falls through in the 11th hour. Acosta returns to DC United, but with what mentality?

Speaking of Rodolfo Zelaya, host Mike takes exception to the rule allowing Zelaya to occupy a domestic roster spot. As an El Salvadoran, he should take up an international roster spot, right? Not according to league rules allowing green card holders to be considered domestic players. Nick gives a reading of the rules, and the two debate the topic.

From there, an even lively debate was sparked. Both Mike and Nick address the future of the league, with Mike advocating for an open-market style with no salary caps or roster restrictions. Nick vehemently disagrees, advocating for the current system with steady changes. They might agree on where the league is going, but definitely not on how to get there.

Join the conversation @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Thanks for listening, and be sure to spread the word of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.


USMNT vs. Panama, Giovinco Rumors, and 3 Big Transfers



Greetings soccer fans from the soon-to-be coldest place on Earth: the Chicago suburbs. Post-apocalyptic and extreme freezing temperatures have shut down much of the Midwest, including our recording studio, but the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast is still bringing you the latest in Major League Soccer (MLS) and United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) news.

This episode starts off with Nick recapping the USMNT friendly matchup against Panama, the first game under new head coach Gregg Berhalter. The US arrived with an all-MLS based squad and employed a rarely seen 4-3-3 formation. However, the attacking depth of the roster and the tactics employed by Berhalter necessitated such a formation. With a result of 3-0, who can argue!?

Next our resident Toronto FC (and all things Canada) expert, Mike gives his take on the Giovinco trade rumors. Will he stay at TFC, and will it be a DP or TAM deal? Will the Atomic Ant end up in Asia? Be sure to listen to find out details.

Finally, Nick discussed three big transfers and their impact on the league:
1. Almiron to Newcastle United
Where does the MLS now stand in the world marketplace?
2. Opara to Minnesota United FC
Did MNUFC overpay? And if so, who cares!?
3. Ousted to Chicago Fire
An improvement over Sanchez, but what wouldn’t have been?

 

Thanks for listening! Join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments section below.


Episode 50! SuperDraft Reflections, Chicago Fire Picks, and ATL DPs



Hello soccer fans, and welcome to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Today we mark a milestone in SOP history as we hit 50 episodes! Thanks to our hosts, listeners, followers, and everyone who helps make soccer in America the great sport it is.

In this episode, we had a lot to say about the future of the MLS SuperDraft, and whether it even has a future. Is it worth teams spending time and resources on the draft? Should it be left to USL affiliates, development projects, and academies? Some think so, but Nick believes this uniquely American device has a place in the league and the soccer landscape.

In follow up to last week’s Chicago Fire discussion, Nick breaks down #cf97’s draft picks: $150k in GAM, Amando Reyeno, Ebenezer Ackon, Grant Stoneman, and Mark Forrest. While definitely not immediate 1st-teamers, these are solid picks in their own right. Each excelled in their respective college conferences, and Stoneman’s local roots are worth cheering for. However, the Fire still have yet to make that one significant signing and are leaving fans with a lot to be desired.

In other league news, Atlanta United has a similar problem to the LA Galaxy: 4 DPs and one needs to move. With Almiron, Josef, Barco, and Pity Martinez, one of the players has to be sold or loaned to comply with Major League Soccer’s roster rules. All the speculation is that Almiron will be sold, but so far Atlanta has yet to agree on a price. It remains to be seen how the reigning MLS Cup Champions deal with their roster while preparing their title defense. Meanwhile north of the border, Toronto FC has agreed to sell Victor Vazquez to a club in Qatar for an undisclosed amount. While a vital piece to TFC’s recent success, Vazquez has become injury prone and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to possibly coach overseas at the conclusion of his playing career.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to cover the announcement in Austin and the new career path for standout referee Mark Geiger, but tune-in next week for all the additional coverage. Thanks for listening, thanks for 50 episodes, and thanks for supporting American soccer!


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.

 


Ep. 38 – Week 34 Round Up: Results, Playoff Predictions, and Storylines



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thank you for joining us at Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.
This episode looks back at Week 34 and looks forward at Decision Day and the Major League Soccer playoff picture.

With only one week remaining in the MLS regular season, nearly all playoff spots are locked up. The remaining spot in the Eastern Conference will belong to either Columbus (who will clinch with a win) or Montreal (who need to win and have Columbus draw or lose). After spending much of the season in the 4th spot, the Crew’s complacency and lack of scoring have finally caught up with them. In the West, Real Salt Lake will await their fate, having played their full 34 game season. If the LA Galaxy win against the Houston Dynamo, RSL gets eliminated and the Galaxy qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs – one step closer to their rebuild.

Regardless of the outcome, goal scoring and goal differential favor Atlanta Untied, New York Red Bulls, and Sporting Kansas City. But we all know that luck has as much to do with a one-game outcome as does consistent play all season. What are your playoff predictions? Who will win their conference. Which team will raise the MLS Cup?

All this and more in SOP Episode 38. Thanks for listening. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and find us one twitter @SOPSoccer.


Ep. 23 – MLS Week 21 Recap, US Open Cup, Canadian Championship, and Story Time with Mike



Hello soccer fans! Thanks for stopping by and giving us a listen. In this episode, you’ll get a recap of the scores around Major League Soccer along with the latest news from the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (USOC) and the Canadian Championship. We also analyze Minnesota United FC’s possible play-off push, discuss Alphonso Davies’ record setting transfer to Bayern Munich, and Mike shares his stories about attending Chicago vs. TFC.

Specifically, the hosts break down the final four teams of the USOC and their picks to win. They also take a detailed look at why Portland Timbers filed a protest against LAFC for using too many international players in their quarterfinal match-up. Will Bob Bradley take another expansion team to the finals? You know the press would love to write that story line! Also, the hosts still think the Canadian Championship is Toronto FC’s to lose. With their starters getting healthy, they could be poised for a surprising second half of the MLS season.

Did you see how MNUFC dismantled LAFC? Our hosts did, but they don’t want to make too much of a big deal about beating a depleted LAFC team, especially when 4 of the next 5 games are against Western Conference playoff teams. However, the Loons have all the pieces, starting with Superman Quintero, to make a playoff push.

Finally, Mike shares his experience at Toyota Park in Bridgeview as he and his wife (who is a big fan of Alex Bono) saw the Fire host TFC. When he was not exchanging pleasantries with Jordan Hamilton, Mike was learning information concerning the health of TFC’s starting goal keeper. Make sure to tune in to the entire episode to hear what might keep Bono from playing at 100%.

 

Let us know what you think about these, or any MLS topics, in the comments below. Thanks again for listening!


Episode 7 – Quarter Season Awards



The hosts hand out awards at the quarter point of the season. Hear their picks and analysis for the top Rookie, Defender, Newcomer, and Goalkeeper. Find out the front-runners for Coach of the Year, and who could still emerge. Join the discussion for league MVP and whether an American player will eventually break the streak of international MVPs.

Yes, David Villa is on the MVP list. And no, Mike doesn’t like it.