Tag Archives: ATL

Nagbe wants a transfer and 2019 Season Previews: ATL, CHI, CIN, COL



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. The 2019 Major League Soccer season kicks off in a couple short weeks, and we at SOP want to have you prepared for all action. In this episode, we’ll talk a few notable transfers and rumors, and then dive into our first set of team previews.

Speaking of transfers, have you ever heard of a player wanting to leave a championship team? Darlington Nagbe, currently of defending champion Atlanta United, has made statements asking for a transfer to the Columbus Crew, his hometown team. While our host Nick doesn’t think as highly of Nagbe as Nagbe thinks of himself, he would be an improvement to the Crew roster. If the price is right, don’t be surprised to see Nagbe in black and yellow. Also, Vancouver signs Uruguayan youth national Joaquin Ardaiz and Philadelphia set a club record in signing Mexico international star Marco Fabian.

Next, the hosts begin their 2019 previews, taking quick looks at Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire, FC Cincinnati, and the Colorado Rapids. For each team, Mike and Nick break down the rosters, potential starters, most important players, and just where the team will end up come Decision Day. Of these four, Atlanta obviously has the highest ceiling. Is this the year Colorado makes a playoff run? Can Chicago bounce back from last year’s disappointment? Will FC Cincinnati continue the hot streak of expansion teams? Tune in for all these thoughts and more from the Sons of a Pitch!

 

Thanks so much for listening and for interacting with us on twitter, via email, or in the comments below. Please share our website and keep the conversation on American soccer going!


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!


ATL in the CCL, the Importance of the Combine and SuperDraft, LA’s DPs, and Nick Rants Against the Fire



Welcome back to another edition of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Tonight, we put listener @eric_turner7 in the driver seat, answering his questions and discussing the latest news from around the league.

With Atlanta United coming off an MLS Cup victory, undergoing a lot of roster changes, and matching up against Liga MX club Monterrey or Sporting KC in the 2nd round of the Concacaf Champions League, the odds are definitely against the Five Stripes making a deep run. Mike shares how Atlanta can learn from Toronto FC’s run in 2018 and why they might be able to overcome the challenges that await.

Next, Nick dives into the MLS Combine and SuperDraft, sharing different philosophies. FC Cincinnati, needing to fill a new MLS roster, traded to acquire draft picks, for a total of 7. They’re building through the draft. Philadelphia Union, who traded 5 picks to FCC, needs the money to build through signings, while the Red Bulls and FC Dallas are known to build through their academies. In other player news, Mike breaks down how the LA Galaxy can get out of having 4 Designated Players on their roster (rules mandate no more than 3). While Gio dos Santos is the likely move, having grossly under-performed, the Galaxy could most easily move Romain Alessandrini, who has been the brightest star for the Galaxy over the last several seasons.

Finally and after listening to an interview with GM Nelson Rodriguez, Nick goes on a rant against the Chicago Fire. Not only is Rodriguez a terrible interview, he offered no concrete plan for the future, no evidence of future signings, and supports a coach who players have been fleeing from. Mike breaks down the current Fire roster and isn’t optimistic either. With only weeks to go before training camp, Chicago only has 4 defenders and 2 goalkeepers on their roster – and neither GK should be starting in the MLS. Keep your eyes open for more underwhelming moves by the Fire.

 

Thanks again for listening, be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Ep 39 – MLS Decision Day Recap and Playoff Preview



Decision Day has come and gone, and so have the playoff dreams of the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact. How did the events of the final week of Major League Soccer games play out? Nick and Mike recap all the games, give you their analysis, and Mike has a really good time talking about Toronto FC’s shocking 4-1 victory over Atlanta United.

The hosts also preview the playoffs, with each picking Sporting Kansas City to lift the Cup. Nick likes the New York Red Bulls to win the East, while Mike thinks Atlanta is just too good to be denied a spot in the finals. Who do you think will make headlines? Join our playoff bracket challenge and compete with the hosts for a $25 dollar gift card.

Let us know your thoughts on all things MLS in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


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. 36: MLS Week 31 Recap: Playoff Picture, Quakes New Coach, and USMNT vs. Colombia



Greetings soccer fans, and welcome back to Sons of a Pitch!

In this episode, the hosts review the latest slate of MLS games and story lines coming out of Week 31. Chief among them:

  • Is Jozy’s time at TFC over?
  • Is Almiron’s injury fatal to Atlanta’s title hopes?
  • Can LAFC shock the world and win as an expansion team?
  • Who’s in and out of the playoffs?

San Jose hires Miguel Almeyda as their new coach. The Argentinian has a great playing and coaching pedigree, most notably winning the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League with Chivas Guadalajara. Is this a shift in thinking for the Quakes? Is this a shift in coaching talent for the MLS? Tune in for the hosts’ input.

On October 11, 2018, the USMNT faces Colombia in an international friendly played in Tampa, Florida. Nick will be looking closely at the defenders selected and how they work together and with the goalkeeper.  Mike is excited to see the continued development of young talent and how the live, in-game experiences they’ll gain.

 

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!


Ep. 30 – Week 27 MLS Recap: Trouble atop the East, RSL is Scoring, the Galaxy keep Spiraling



Welcome back, soccer fans!

In this episode, we review all the scores and highlights from Week 27 of Major League Soccer. Notably, the top three teams from the Eastern Conference (New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United, and New York City FC) all suffered losses. Should the teams be worried as they head for the playoffs, or is this an opportunity for them to re-focus and finish the season strong?

Meanwhile out West, Real Salt Lake continues its scoring blitz, defeating the LA Galaxy 6-2. The hosts talk in depth about RSL’s scoring pair of Rusnak and Kreilach, the strong wing play of Plata, and the confidence of Coach Petke. If RSL can keep scoring, the hosts know they can keep winning. In fact, when scoring 2 goals, RSL has 11W, 1L, and 1D. When scoring 1 or less goals, they fall to 2W, 9L, 4D.

Finally, the hosts take a hard look at the LA Galaxy and come to some hard truths: the Dos Santos brothers were a flop, David Bingham is an average goalie at best with a defense that continually lets him down, and Sigi Schmid might have to hang up his whistle. But at least they have Zlatan, right … ?

Let us know your thoughts on all things MLS in the comments below, or find us on twitter @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


Ep 14 – MLS Week 14 Recap



Mike and Nick recap and review all the Week 14 action in Major League Soccer. Josef Martinez sets an MLS record, Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas are the best in the West, while Atlanta United and New York City FC are the class of the East. And what’s going on in Colorado? (Spoiler Alert: It’s a lack of talent.) Be sure to comment below on whether you think any teams will challenge ATL and SKC (Nick doesn’t think so), and look out for our next twitter polls before the next slate of games.

 

Finally, keep an ear out for all of Nick’s puns. He knows they’re terrible, but hopes you’ll laugh anyway.