Tag Archives: Columbus

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

Be sure to join the conversation and keep up with our social media:


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!

 


Goal Scorer Trivia and MLS Week 6 Round Up



Greetings soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thanks for checking out the website and for listening in.

In this episode we welcome Kei Kamara to the Top 5 All Time MLS Goal Scorers list. This striker has played for 7 MLS teams and 2 English Championship teams, and has consistently scored goals at every stop. Congrats to Kei!  Around the league, the hosts recap all the action and give their takes on the teams going forward.

TEAMS ON THE RISE

  • LAFC – Can’t get any higher than the top.
  • Philadelphia Union – 3 straight wins, 4th in the East.
  • Chicago Fire – Draw vs. a surging TFC, and we’ve yet to see Gaitan at his best
  • San Jose Quakes – Technically, when you win your’re first game of the season, you’re on the rise.
  • Orlando City – Goals are coming, and so are points!

TEAMS ON THE FALL

  • DC United – Rooney sees red in a blowout loss to LAFC, and a draw to Montreal have people scratching heads.
  • Sporting KC – Tired legs and a 5-0 thumping in Concacaf Champions League.
  • Portland Timbers – Has the championship window closed?
  • Red Bulls New York – 3 straight losses. This hasn’t happened since May 2017.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, follow us on twitter and facebook, and join the conversation in the comments below.


2019 MLS Previews: Columbus, Dallas, DC, and Houston



Hey soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We continue our previews of Major League Soccer teams leading up to the kickoff of the 2019 season. How do your teams stack up? What are you expecting to change this year?

Nick starts off the episode previewing the Columbus Crew, and thinks they’ll continue their playoff appearance streak. He picks Artur to be the most important player, but knows that Robinho will be crucial to new head coach Caleb Porter’s game plan. Nick expects Robhinho to get a lot of touches on the wing, but Artur and Higuain will still be the focus of the Crew from a tactical perspective.

As for FC Dallas, Mike predicts another playoff appearance and further expects Matt Hedges to be the most important player. With a starting 11 still a bit in flux – Will Dom Badji break the starting lineup? – Mike expects Dallas to play well, but not really challenge for the Western Conference title.

Next up: DC United. Mike likes the projected starting lineup, and thinks that DC is on the cusp of competing for the Eastern Conference. He picks Rooney as the most important player, and believes that DC will keep winning so long as Rooney keeps scoring. Do you think that this original franchise is back to capturing their old glory?

Finally, Nick looks at the potential for the Houston Dynamo. They have the talent and experience to impress during the regular season, but everything comes down to how they balance Concacaf Champions League (CCL) with the regular MLS season. So long as Elis, Manotas, and Quioto are scoring, Houston compete with any team in the West.

How do you think these teams stack up? Have they improved from last year? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for listening!


Transfer News, Roster Impact, and Nick addresses Atlanta Haters



Happy Holidays everyone, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Even though the MLS is in the middle of its off-season, there has been no shortage of action. Teams are addressing their needs and a flurry of signings has taken place:

  • Laurent Ciman to Toronto FC
  • Yoshi Yotun to Cruz Azul
  • Alvas Powell to FC Cincinnati
  • Marcelo to Chicago Fire
  • Joe Bendik to Columbus Crew
  • Schelotto to manage the LA Galaxy

How do these signings affect their respective teams? Orlando City may have admitted it’s time for a rebuild. FC Cincinnati is looking to continue the success of expansion teams. Chicago and Toronto finally have center-backs, and Schweinsteiger and Bradley can return to their midfield roles. The hosts break down the rosters in greater detail and examine the potential playing style of each team as a result of these signings.

In a special segment, Nick addresses an issue that has been on his mind for some time: Atlanta haters. They hate on Atlanta for being good but never winning a trophy, then they hate on Atlanta for winning a trophy too soon. What are your thoughts on all the hate?

Finally, Sons of a Pitch recognizes the passing of an American soccer icon: Sigi Schmid. His imprint on the MLS and US Soccer will forever be felt, and we send our condolences to his family, friends, and all who are affected.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned next week for our review of the USMNT January camp roster and what it means for the next four years of American soccer. Happy New Year to all!


Berhalter Hired (finally), MLS Cup Preview, and CCL Quick Takes



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for joining the conversation on all things American soccer with the Sons of a Pitch podcast.

In this week’s episode, the hosts give their reactions to the USMNT hiring Gregg Berhalter as the new coach. While both are in favor of the hiring, it remains to be seen if Berhalter’s system with the Columbus Crew can be implemented at the national team level. Having players like Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp, and Zack Steffen could certainly help. Nick’s biggest takeaway is Berhalter’s ability get the most out of his team, while Mike looks to Berhalter’s unique blend of playing for the USMNT, MLS, and European leagues to help him build the team’s identity.

In Major League Soccer action, the MLS Cup Final is set between the Portland Timbers and Atlanta United. Portland, tested road warriors, travel to Atlanta and Merdedess-Benz stadium to take on the high powered attack of the Five Stripes. While the home team is favored, look to the visitors to play spoiler and ruin Atlanta’s best chance at a trophy. Expect another big game from the stars: Valeri, Blanco, Martinez, and Almiron. And how great has Attinella’s post-season play been for the Timbers? He’ll be called on more than once in this matchup.

The hosts conclude their podcast looking at the Concacaf Champions League (CCL) draw featuring 5 MLS teams. In a balanced bracket (2/3 MLS and 2 Liga MX teams on each side) don’t be surprised if this is the first year for an MLS team to win the tournament or if four Mexican teams make up the semi-finals.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to connect with us on twitter @SOPSoccer or by email: podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.

 


MLS Conference Semi-Finals Recap



Hello fans of Major League Soccer, and welcome to another episode of Sons of a Pitch Soccer Podcast!

Tonight, the hosts recap the conference semi-finals of the Major League Soccer Playoffs.

  • Portland and Seattle gave us another chapter in the Cascadia rivalry and an instant MLS Playoff classic. Did anyone think that Dairon Asprilla would be the deciding factor?
  • Sporting KC showed up against Real Salt Lake and confirmed why they were the best in the West. Has SKC’s offense proven the deciding factor in the playoffs so far?
  • Red Bulls New York ended Columbus Crew’s dream season. No one could #SavetheCrew from the high press. Can RBNY finally capture that elusive cup victory?
  • Josef Martinez regained his Golden Boot form as he and Atlanta United eliminated NYCFC. How will he fare against Red Bulls pressure and their ability to smother the best players on opposing teams?

Looking forward, Nick and Mike stick to their pick of SKC winning the MLS Cup. Nick has them defeating RBNY, while Mike sees Atlanta United advancing out of the East. What are your thoughts on the playoffs so far? Is your pick to win still alive? Follow us @SOPSoccer or email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.


Ep 40 – Knockout Round Recap, Next Round Preview



It’s a Saturday special here at the Sons of a Pitch podcast!

The MLS Cup Playoffs have begun, and the knockout round is complete. NYCFC defeated the Union, Columbus upset DC United, Portland held on vs. FC Dallas, and LAFC fell to Real Salt Lake in a late night shocker. Nick and Mike recap the games, the goals, and what surprised them most in the early stages of the playoffs.

Also, Sons of a Pitch is hosting their own MLS Bracket Challenge group, and after the first round of games, only one entry is perfect. Congrats to Gary, the Dynamo fan and apparent Western Conference expert, who successfully predicted the knockout round. We’ll keep you updated as all the picks come in throughout the playoffs.

Looking ahead, there are some great playoff match-ups around the league:

NYCFC vs. Atlanta United
It’s offense vs. offense as this series could be decided by the goals scored at Yankee stadium. Expect a high scoring 1st leg. SOP Pick: Atlanta

Columbus vs. Red Bulls
#SavedtheCrew vs. #SupportersShield. Can Berhalter’s team figure out the high press and stymie BWP? If not, they could be in for a long series. SOP Pick: RBNY

Timbers vs. Sounders
A rivalry match-up early in the playoffs? Thank the soccer gods! This should be an exciting affair, and I expect players’ emotion to be as important as goals scored. Nick’s pick: Timbers, Mike’s pick: Sounders

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC
If RSL’s strikers continue their form, SKC’s defense is going to be put to the test. But there’s a reason SKC is best in the West. SOP Pick: SKC

 

How does your bracket look? Is your team still in? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on twitter @SOPSoccer.


Ep. 37: MLS Week 32 Recap-TFC Headlines, #SaveDtheCrew, Nations League, and more!



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

In this episode, we recap Week 32 in Major League Soccer, including game recaps, highlights, and headlines. LAFC continue pushing for 1st place in the West, DC United earn a tough win against FC Dallas, and Orlando City can’t buy a goal. In other headlines, Victor Vasquez of Toronto FC undergoes season-ending arthroscopic knee surgery and Puebla striker (and Canadian national) Lucas Cavallini starts talk of a move to TFC. The hosts also touch on Dom Dwyer’s struggles in Orlando and the team’s all too common struggles.

In perhaps the biggest league news, #SavetheCrew has become #SaveDtheCrew. With the lawsuit against current ownership going forward, and the required shopping window open, all signs point to a new ownership group purchasing the Columbus Crew from Precourt Sports Venture. If you’d like more legal analysis, let us know in the comments, and our resident legal expert will put together a comprehensive analysis. In the meantime, the staff at Massive Report have you covered.

The show wraps up with a discussion on the CONCACAF Nations League, the newest tournament to feature the national teams from North America. The hosts break down the format, qualifying, and whether the increased competition will encourage or hinder the development of soccer in the United States and the other member nations of the confederation.

 

Enjoy the show, and leave your comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on twitter.


Ep. 33 – MLS Week 28 Recap: TFC, Playoff Positioning, and ‘Quakes Coach



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

We thank you for listening, and we are happy to present our Week 28 Major League Soccer recap. In what was one of the highest scoring weeks in MLS history, very little change occurred regarding playoff positioning. Atlanta, Red Bulls, and NYCFC remain solidly atop the East, while Sporting KC, FC Dallas, and LAFC still control the West. Can DC United, Vancouver, and the LA Galaxy make a push? Tune in for the hosts’ analysis.

Also, Toronto FC host Liga MX powerhouse Tigres in the inaugural Campeones Cup, the matchup between the defending MLS champions and the reigning Mexican club. These two teams have some recent history from the Concacaf Champions League, and both will be eager to add a trophy during their less than stellar seasons. Nick and Mike expect a high scoring affair, with both teams looking to play up-tempo. What do you expect to see?

Finally, San Jose has fired their coach … a move we all knew was coming. The future of the club is at stake, but will anything change without a revamped roster?

 

Thanks for listening, and join the conversation in the comments below.