Tag Archives: Armas

Armas to TFC: A New Era Begins



Chris Armas is the new head coach of Toronto FC. The same coaching carousel that took Greg Vanney to LA has brought another familiar MLS face north of the border. While the MLS Cup still eluded the Red Bulls under Armas, Vanney managed TFC to historic heights. Will Armas be able to meet the expectations Vanney set?

What kind of coach is TFC getting in Armas? First and foremost, Armas knows the MLS. As a player, he spent twelve seasons in the league (‘96-’97, Galaxy; ‘98-’07, Fire), with a lengthy list of accomplishments. As coach of the Red Bulls for three seasons, he put together a resume of 29 wins, 21 losses, and 11 draws – a near .500 record. However, his best season came in his first season (2018), where the Red Bulls went 22-7-5, winning the Eastern Conference, but bowing out in the MLS Cup Semi-Finals.

Tactically, Chris Armas followed the typical Red Bulls style – high press. They relied on turnovers, speed, and counter-attacking. It worked for a time, but the MLS rapidly changed. Defenses have improved in talent and tactics, and the quality of offenses has improved, partly nullifying the press’ reliance on turnovers. Armas tried changing his tactics and adapting, but the Red Bulls just didn’t have the talent to make it work.

Toronto, however, has a much more talented roster, at least on paper. Armas gets to turn loose the potential of Ayo Akinola and Tsubasa Endoh, and help mold the careers of homegrowns Jayden Nelson, Jordan Perruzza, and Jacob Shaffelburg. He can lean on the experience of MLS veterans Michael Bradley, Nick DeLeon, and Jonathan Osario. And he has the playmaking of reigning MVP Alejandro Pozuelo and Auro Jr.

So what can we expect from Armas’ version of TFC? First, results will be tied to the talent. All indications are that sporting director Ali Curtis will keep the bank account open to bring in the best talent available – and he’s already looking at a new defender to shore up the back-line. Next, given the experience already on the roster, Armas will only need to groom the young players and make a few tactical tweaks to get good results for the club. It’s entirely possible to see Toronto as a top-four club in the East. However given everything the club already has and will be doing from a talent perspective, it’s entirely possible to see Armas without a job if the squad starts the season flat and the organization falls into old habits of quickly kicking coaches to the curb.

On a personal note, having watched Armas for so many seasons in Chicago, I really want to see him succeed. I also caught an autographed soccer ball from him at a bar during a World Cup 2010 watch party…but we’ll save that story for the podcast. So to the fans, organization, and new head coach himself, we at the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast wish you best of luck.

Nick
Host, The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast


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.