Tag Archives: Columbus Crew

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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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!

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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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MLS Restart, Headlines, and Mascot Fights!?



Hey, soccer fans! We are back with another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

The MLS regular season has returned! We look at Nashville and Dallas’ re-start opener, the shape of the league as it stands right now, and explore headlines from around American soccer. Then we discuss the impact of Tyler Adams and Alphonso Davies playing in the UCL semi-finals. We conclude with some light-hearted fun about who would win in an MLS mascot fight. Stay tuned for all this and more!

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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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Team Previews Pt. 3 – San Jose, Columbus, and Sporting Kansas City



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, our hosts continue their pre-season team previews, giving you everything you need to know about the San Jose Earthquakes, Columbus Crew, and Sporting Kansas City. They look at acquisitions, departures, and project who will be the break out youngsters and most important players for each time. They conclude each preview with a prediction of the floor and ceiling of each club. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on your team!

  • Can San Jose break back into the playoffs?
  • Will Columbus continue their roster shuffle?
  • Is Sporting Kansas City going to contend for the Western Conference?

All this and more with The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

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MLS Cup 2019, Chicago Clean House, and Transfers Aplenty!



Welcome back, soccer fans, to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. The MLS has its newest champion in the Seattle Sounders, after their 3-1 victory over Toronto FC. While TFC may have looked the better side, Seattle got the better of the goal-scoring opportunities to earn their second MLS Cup in team history. Our condolences to our host Mike, a Toronto superfan, but at least he got his pick right.

In the second half of the show, our hosts review the latest headlines from around Major League Soccer, including:

  • Chicago Fire clean house – head coach Paunovic and entire staff let go. Is GM Rodriguez next?
  • Nagbe returns to Columbus for a hefty sum – Did the Crew overpay?
  • Inter Miami acquire TFC midfielder Jay Chapman – experience key for the expansion squad
  • Houston increase its attacking potential by trading for Darwin Quintero – doubtful that Adrian Heath is upset

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Fan Feedback, USOC Final Recap, and MLS League Roundup



Greetings again, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this week’s episode, our hosts respond to fan feedback, recap the US Open Cup Final, and give their roundup of all the MLS action from the prior week.

To kick things off, listeners Studs Up Report and Michael Hobert ask which teams need to play desperately and has Dallas turned their season around? In the Eastern Conference, our hosts argue that DC Untied, the Montreal Impact, and Orlando City need to play desperately if they’re too realize their playoff potential, and in the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers, Sporting KC, and FC Dallas need to do the same. Dallas currently sits 7th in the West, and should win 4 of their final 8 matches to solidify a playoff spot.

In US Open Cup action, Atlanta United defeats Minnesota United 2-1, in a game dominated by the Five Stripes. The Loons made it a game, but ultimately fell short to an Atlanta team that is playing its best soccer. There’s also the questions of why Minnesota coach Adrian Heath didn’t start Darwin Quintero and how Vito Mannone, MNUFC’s keeper, mis-read a play that lead to a goal. But in the end, the better team is going home with the trophy. Finally, Nick and Mike round up all the action from MLS Rivalry Week. Nick still years for the days when Chicago vs. New England and DC vs. Red Bulls/Metro Stars were torrid affairs, but he’ll settle for LA Galaxy vs. LAFC and Portland vs. Seattle.

If you’re in Miami next month, be sure to check out the Futsal All-Star Tournament, featuring teams from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Tickets are going fast, and the games take place September 23 and 24. You could witness the next Messi or Neymar honing their skills on the futsal court.
WHERE: Marlins Park, Miami, FL
WHEN: September 23rd & 24th, 2019
TIME: Matches start at 7 p.m. EDT
TICKET PRICES: Start at $20 per day for doubleheader

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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.