Tag Archives: Columbus

MLS Cup Recap, CCL Preview



Hey, soccer fans! And welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we recap the 2020 MLS Cup Final and congratulate the champions: the Columbus Crew. We recap what they did right and what Seattle did wrong. Would anyone have guessed that Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris would have played so well, or that Zelarayan would’ve bagged a brace?

Next, we examined the sustainability of each franchise. The Seattle Sounders dynasty is a near perfect model, and with Tim Bezbatchenko at the helm in Columbus, he could be building the next dynasty with the Crew. They’re already making moves! To close out the first half, we review the 2020 MLS season award winners and review our own picks from February (a lifetime ago).

In the second half, we preview the Concacaf Champions League with special guest Ryan Anderson. Stay tuned in for our picks and predictions, and hear our thoughts on how the adapted tournament format and the other factors that could finally favor an MLS club. Tune in to the end, as our final picks will not disappoint.

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MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After



What a season, what a finish! The Columbus Crew are the champions of Major League Soccer. In a season marred by Covid-19, the Crew proved themselves worthy champions. Full disclosure: I had predicted the Seattle Sounders would repeat from the pre-season all the way to the MLS Cup Pregame. So how did Caleb Porter and Crew – without stars Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos – dethrone the defending champs? It came down to three things: System, Pressure, and some MAPFRE Magic.

System

Porter and the Crew employ a system where every player knows the responsibility of every other player on the pitch. When they begin to build possession from the back or when they turn over an opponent, the ball can be played to a specific area of the field given the situation. If the opposing team presses, play a ball over the top. If they hang back, take the space in the middle of the field. If they use zonal marking, overload and get a numbers advantage.

The Crew’s system allowed them to more easily overcome the loss of two starters than most other teams. (Imagine Seattle trying to play without Joao Paulo or Nico Lodeiro.) Derrick Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris filled in superbly, playing with the confidence that comes from this system. Continue reading MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After


2020 MLS Cup Preview



Hey, soccer fans! It’s trophy time! We break down the 2020 MLS Cup matchup between the Seattle Sounders and the Columbus Crew. We bring you our keys to the game, players to watch, and our final predictions. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and join us on social media!

Keys to the Game

Columbus: Composure out of the back, Prevent the counter.

Seattle: Press, Score early

Players to Watch

Columbus: Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayan

Seattle: Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris

Picks

Mike: Columbus Crew, 2-1

Nick: Seattle Sounders, 3-2

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Wrecking Crew and MLS Cup Final Preview



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back talking the latest results from the MLS Cup Playoffs. Tune in for our takes on:

  • Seattle def. Dallas 1-0: Despite their dominance, the Sounders only find the back of the net once. Dallas failed to capitalize on their opponents scoring drought, and on this night, one goal was all it took to advance.
  • Minnesota def. Sporting KC 3-0: On one of Minnesota’s best offensive nights, Kansas City played perhaps their worst game of the season. They were completely out of sync, and the Loons took full advantage.
  • Columbus def. New England 1-0: Columbus returned to their wrecking crew ways from the begging on the season, as they make the MLS Cup Finals for the third time in club history. They did just enough to edge an evenly matched Revolution squad.

We also discuss the latest USMNT news, including their December 9, 2020 friendly against El Salvador. With a young, MLS based line-up, there’s lots to discuss and lots of names to learn.

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

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2020 MLS Playoff Preview



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we break down the first round of the 2020 MLS Playoffs. We give our picks, predictions, and what to look for in each game. Take a look at our notes and give us your thoughts:

Nashville Miami
Record 8W-7L-8T

24GF, 22GA

7W-13L-3T

25GF, 35GA

H2H 1W, 1D vs. Miami 1L, 1D vs. Nashville
Notes Do it on Defense

3rd best GA in league (PHI, COL)

xGA: 25.5, Goals Allowed: 22

Back line leads in minutes: top 5 minutes this season are Romney (D),
Willis (GK), Zimmerman (D), Lovitz (D), McCarty (DM)

Star Power

Morgan: 5G, 5A

Pizarro: 4G, 4A

Brek Shea: 4G

Rest of team: 11G, 9A

Pick Nick: Nashville Mike: Nashville

Continue reading 2020 MLS Playoff Preview


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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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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U-20 World Cup, Zack Steffen, and MLS League Roundup



USA! USA! USA!

Hello soccer fans! The USYNT/U-20 team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Poland. This is a record-tying, third straight trip to the round of eight for the U-20s. After finishing 2nd in their group (Loss to Ukraine, Wins over Qatar, Nigeria), the US stunned France 3-2. Their next opponent is South American champion Ecuador. Despite the great run, the favorites in the tournament still are on the opposite side of the bracket, with Italy and Colombia. We’ll see how far the US can go. Their next match is June 8.

As we move to the senior team, it’s been announced that GK Zack Steffen will be loaned to Bundesliga team Fortuna Dusseldorf. A loan was expected, and Steffen is sure to get minutes with a Dusseldorf side that finished 10th in the league. This is a great loan for Steffen who will be exposed to a new and faster style of play.

Finally, Nick and Mike round up all the games from around Major League Soccer. Notably, Atlanta United continues their ascent in the Eastern Conference while LAFC maintain dominance out West. Here are our trending teams:

Teams on the Rise

  • Atlanta United: They figured out how to play deBoer’s style and are thriving. The Five Stripes are now sitting 3rd in the East with games in hand.
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Almeyda keeps riding the hot hand …er, foot … and Chris Wondolowski has 7 goals in 3 games. The Quakes are 1 point below the playoff line, but have a game in hand.
  • Colorado Rapids: Despite the 2nd worst record in the league, worst in the West, the Rapids have 3 wins, 1 draw in their last four.

Teams on the Fall

  • Columbus Crew: 1-3-1 in their last 5, Higuain tears and ACL, Steffen played his last game – management is blowing this up with loans and trades. Time for manager Caleb Porter to institute his culture and style.
  • Minnesota United: Giving up 6 goals in their last 2 games, the Loons need to shore up the defense quickly as games vs. hot Colorado and desperate SKC are looming.

Teams who can’t get up

  • Sporting Kansas City and FC Cincinnati: Let’s be honest. Watching these two teams has been rough.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or in the comments below. See you next week!