Tag Archives: Atlanta United

Decision Day Drama and USMNT Youth Movement



Hey, soccer fans, and welcome back! We’ve got all your American soccer talk from MLS to USMNT.

In Major League Soccer, the playoffs are set and Decision Day saw a lot of drama. The Chicago Fire flamed out, and the LA Galaxy fell like a falling star. But Sporting KC topped the Western Conference, and the Philadelphia Union brought home their first major trophy. We cover everything between and how it shaped the playoff picture.

In the second half, we get back to talking United States Men’s National Team. With upcoming friendlies against Wales and Panama, Nick gives his desired starting eleven, and Mike tells him where he’s wrong. Get excited, international soccer is back!

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Mike on the Mic



Hey soccer, fans! In this episode, join our host Mike as he talks all things American soccer. From MLS to USMNT, Concacaf to Champions League, Mike touches on all subjects while fielding listener questions. Join the American soccer conversation with The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

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And the worst team in MLS is…?



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we bring you a plethora of punditry as we parse the play of the this week’s participants. First, we discuss whether the New England Revolution are for real. Hampered by injuries, but still in the playoff picture, the Revs could be a season or two – or a player or two – from being a top tier Eastern Conference team. We also break down the impact of Philadelphia’s drubbing of Toronto FC to take over the top spot in the league.

Next, we answer the question: Who is the worst team in MLS right now? With choices like DC United, Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, Colorado Rapids, and LA Galaxy, there’s been no shortage of poor play this season. Tune in for why Nick thinks the Galaxy are this season’s disappointment and hear why Mike believes Cincinnati is even worse.

We wrap up the show with talk about the USMNT finally scheduling an international friendly. They take on Wales in Swansea on November 12, 2020. We chat about what this means for the squad, how good of an opponent is Wales, and what lies in store for the future of US Soccer. Leave your feedback in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe on Youtube and wherever you listen to podcasts.


MLS Headlines, Roundup, and USMNT Chatter



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we cover all the happenings from an action-packed week of Major League Soccer (MLS).

In the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC has risen to the top and is Supporter Shield favorites. DC United tries to rebound after firing Ben Olsen as manager – but may try to keep him as part of the organization, and Caden Clark makes a memorable MLS debut for Red Bulls New York. In the Western Conference, Sporting KC keeps winning without an offense, and Portland just keeps winning. Period.

In the second half, we discuss the record number of Americans playing in UEFA’s Champions League, and discuss whether we’re on the cusp of an American Golden Generation. If we are, WHY ISN’T USSF DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!? No international friendlies, no training camps, no updates on what Berhalter is thinking…are we the only ones furious?

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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


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!

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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!

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MLSisBack Recap and Repercussions



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. The MLS is Back Tournament is underway and making headlines. FC Dallas and Nashville SC were withdrawn due to numerous Covid-19 cases on their teams, Group A got reshuffled with Chicago joining Western Conference Group F (San Jose, Seattle, and Vancouver), and play has been rather sloppy.

But games have been played and we’re recapping all the action, including:

  • NYCFC’s injuries and Union’s ascendance
  • Revolution in control of group after TFC collapse
  • Goalkeeper blunders in Sporting KC and MNUFC
  • RBNY stun Atlanta, prove almost everyone wrong
  • LAFC and LA show early struggles

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

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MLSisBack but not Dallas, Group Previews, and Transfer Headlines



Welcome back, soccer fans, to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! By now you’ve surely heard the news: FC Dallas has been withdrawn from the MLSisBack Tournament due to Covid-19 concerns, Carlos Vela has elected to stay home with his pregnant wife, and Robbie Robinson has been exempted for personal reasons. We’re missing the league’s best player, their possible rookie of the year, and an entire team … but the show must go on!

Listen in on our take on the Dallas new, Groups E and F Previews, and all the transfer headlines, including:

  • Leandro Gonzalez Pirez “LGP” is back in MLS after signing with Inter Miami
  • Jurgen Damm completes his move to Atlanta United
  • Expansion club Austin FC sign their first player: Paraguayan Rodney Redes

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

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Listener Questions, MLSisBack Tourney Preview, Americans Abroad Roundup



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight we answer the questions burning in your mind. Specifically:

  • In soccer, is all defense “zone defense”? Would you ever put your best defender as a “spy” on the other team’s best player and have him follow them all over the field?
  • What is your fear of the MLS is Back Tournament being cancelled amid Covid-19 concerns?
  • What’s the best English Premier League team for Weston McKennie to transfer to from Schalke?
  • How many Americans do you see in Europe in the next ten years? Double what the number now?

We also talk MLS headlines, including

  • Chicago Fire’s tournament experience and edge to the new MLS season
  • Jurgen Locadia gets a loan extension and FC Cincy get the option to buy
  • Ezequiel Barco transfer rumors

Finally, we roundup all the USMNT players in England and the Bundesliga. Hear just how well our current and future stars – Pulisic, McKennie, Adams, Brooks, Llanez, Ream, Reyna, Vickers, Robinson, Sargent – performed for their respective clubs. All this and more in tonight’s episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

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