Tag Archives: Concacaf Champions League

Nick’s Final Episode (and some CCL talk)



Hey, soccer fans! Sadly, that is the last time I great you as a host and producer for The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. After three years of podcasts and videos recorded in garages, basements, and campers, I am stepping away. The show is going in a new direction, and I can no longer be a part of it.

What I will say is this has been an incredible three years. I’ve met people from around the Chicago suburbs and around the world. I’ve been inspired by other shows and stories. I’ve truly found what others have already known: the soccer community is one of the best and most supportive. I cannot thank you all enough for choosing to take your precious time and listen to me talk all things American soccer on a weekly basis. It’s humbling, and I’ll never forget it.

Thank you to my co-host and good friend, Mike, to my family, to John Donovan (our first and greatest sponsor), and most of all to the viewers and listeners who’ve tuned in over the years. You’ve been amazing, and this whole experience is unforgettable.

Thank you, and keep growing the game of soccer.
-Nick

…and to fulfill my SEO and blogging duties, this episode also contains a breakdown of the Concacaf Champions League draw, along with our takes on the latest transfers from around Major League Soccer. How will our MLS clubs fare vs. regional competition:

  • Toronto FC or Forge FC vs. Leon
  • Columbus Crew vs. Real Esteli
  • Philadelphia Union vs. Saprissa
  • Atlanta United vs. Alajuelense
  • Portland Timbers vs. Marathon

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CCL Gone Wild!



Hey, soccer fans! You’ve heard of CCL fever, but this is full blown Mad CCL Disease! Theatrics and hard fouls, red cards and suspensions, coaches throwing punches…you’ve never witnessed anything like this before! (And if you have, where did you grow up?) In tonight’s episode we recap all the highlights and lowlights from LAFC’s stunning, come-from-behind-victory over Club America. We break down the aftermath of the game, and then look forward to the final: LAFC vs. Tigres.

Turning locally, we ask the question: do you want Miguel Herrera to coach in MLS? There are advantages to having an experienced coach with a winning pedigree, but certainly disadvantages to hiring someone like “El Piojo.” (Translation: louse) We conclude the show by discussing the latest moves from around the league, including:

  • Greg Vanney to LA Galaxy: A done deal?
  • The retirement of Kyle Beckerman: How much of an MLS legend is he?
  • FC Dallas sign CB Jose Antonio Martinez: Are Los Toros poised for playoff success?
  • Austin FC roster update: How are they building?

Be sure to check out our LinkTree to find us on social media, support us with donations, and purchase your swag.


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.

Check out our LinkTree to find us on social media, support us with donations, and purchase your swag.


Portland vs. Orlando, Ebobisse and Dotson to USMNT? and MLS Headlines



Hey, soccer fans, and welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We break tonight’s show down into quarters as if we’re back in AYSO. Be sure to stay tuned for all this coverage and more:

First Quarter
We preview and predict the MLSisBack Final between Portland and Orlando City. Nick believes Portland will raise the trophy, but also describes a few scenarios where Orlando City comes out victorious (Sebastian Blanco red card, anyone?). Portland has the history and experience, but Orlando City as Nani and the desire to win “at home” and bring back their first ever Major League Soccer trophy – and a Concacaf Champions League berth.

Second Quarter
During the MLSisBack Tournament, Jeremy Ebobisse has cemented himself as the Timbers’ starting striker. Has he done enough to earn a spot on the United States Men’s National Team? Nick believes he’s earned a call up to training camp, at the very least. We break down the current USMNT striker pool and where we think Ebobisse fits in.

Third Quarter
Hassani Dotson of Minnesota United has also played himself into the USMNT conversation. We don’t think his outlook is quite as bright as Ebobisse’s, however. The lack of top flight experience and a deep United States defender pool are prohibitive. But why not bring him into camp and see what he can do!

Fourth Quarter
We break down lots of headlines around the Major League Soccer, including:

  • Gotze to MLS?
  • Inter Miami sign French international Blaise Matuidi from Juventus
  • Minnesota United sign Bakaye Dibassy
  • Christian Pulisic picks up another injury
  • New formats for MLS and CCL

Thanks for listening, and enjoy all the MLS and American soccer action!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


MLS Headlines, Champions League, and Week 1 Roundup



Hey soccer fans, and welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode we kick off our third season as a podcast and the 25th season of Major League Soccer. Tune in to hear all the latest headlines, tournament news, and league roundup, including:

Headlines

  • Higuain signs with DC United as a player and a development coach
  • Josef Martinez out for the season. Who does Atlanta United turn to?
  • Bedoya bought down with TAM. Is Philly ready for a shopping spree?

Concacaf Champions League

4 MLS teams remain after Seattle’s early ouster. Nick thinks the odds of an MLS team in the final are pretty good, and there’s even a chance we have an all-MLS semi-finals … Mike brings him back to Earth, but a guy can dream, right? Tune in for a recap of the first round and our thoughts on who has the best chances to advance toward MLS glory.

League Roundup

Week 1 is in the books. The theme: dramatic goals from Designated Players. Vela, Alanis, Beric, Pulido, and Zelarayan all find the back of the next. Tune in for a recap of all the results and our hosts’ quick takes on each.


CCL is Back! and Big Money and Big Signings around MLS



Greetings, soccer fans, and welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, your hosts review the draw for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) and give their picks and preliminary positions. Tune in to hear about the favorites, the dark horses, and the teams that could surprise. If you’re not familiar with the tournament, this episode will give you all the knowledge to confidently rant about the games on social media.

In the second half of the show, Nick and Mike discuss the latest headlines from around Major League Soccer (MLS). Tonight, they focus on big names and big money as Sporting KC, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, and San Jose Earthquakes all made recent headlines. Quickly:

  • SKC sign Alan Pulido
  • TFC sign Michael Bradley
  • LA Galaxy sign Sacha Kljestan
  • San Jose Earthquakes sign Cristian Espinoza
  • Barcelona (rumored to) sign Carlos Vela

These teams have broken the bank to get these players. Will it pay off? Let Nick and Mike give you their unfiltered opinion on the signings … along with which teams have missed out so far (ahem … Chicago).

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


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.


CCL Quarterfinals Recap and MLS Week 3 Roundup – Seattle’s Best, Mitrita’s Attitude, and Cincy’s Home Opener



Hello, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. So much has happened since our last episode, and we thank you to coming to us for all your Major League Soccer news. We’ve started to see a few teams separate themselves as contenders, while others are already scrambling to save their season. In this episode, we recap MLS Week 3, highlighting the following:

  • Seattle is the best team in MLS after 3 weeks, DC United is the best team in the East
  • Paunovic and the Fire don’t know what they’re doing (and no amount of mediocre international signings can stop it)
  • Columbus just keeps collecting points – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
  • Atlanta, Philly, and Orlando: what are you doing?
  • Portland is in trouble, the window may have closed a year early
  • Minnesota got a reality check
  • NYCFC’s Mitrita got his first goal, but needs a reality check of his own
  • FC Cincinnati’s home opener was just perfect

Nick and Mike also recap the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League, seeing three Liga MX teams (Monterrey, Tigres, Santos Laguna) and one MLS team (Sporting KC) advance. Mike thinks SKC will advance past Monterrey to face Tigres in the finals, but Nick isn’t sharing his optimism. While we all want an MLS team to win the tournament for the first time, this most likely isn’t the year.

Thanks to everyone for listening, tweeting, emailing, and joining in the conversation. Be on the look out for a short episode previewing the USMNT roster for upcoming international friendlies. And a special thanks to our sponsors: Donovan Food Brokerage and Nice! Icelandic Spring Water.


MLS Week 2 Roundup and CCL Woes



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Major League Soccer is in full swing as Week 2 of league play is in the books. We saw the rise of LAFC and MNUFC in the West, and the continued solid play of DC United and Columbus in the East. There are still questions around Atlanta United and LA Galaxy, but thankfully for them, the season is young.

Here are a few hot takes from tonight’s episode:

  • Paunovic and the Fire make the same coaching mistakes every game
  • Gyasi Zardes is the best American striker in MLS
  • Atlanta fans need to chill
  • MNUFC is a lock to make the playoffs
  • Sporting KC will win a trophy this season

We next turn to Concacaf Champions League, where the MLS teams have fallen far behind their Liga MX counterparts. Red Bulls have been eliminated after what may have been the worst 9 minutes of soccer in the tournament’s history, giving up 4 goals between the 72′ and 81′ to Santos Laguna. Houston needs a miracle to advance past Tigres, already down 2-0 and with only the 2H to play (at time of posting). Atlanta is down 3-0 to Monterrey, but returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Five Stripes pulled off a first-round comeback against Herediano. Is there more magic to be had? The MLS’ best hope for a deep run in CCL is now Sporting KC, who are down 2-1 but return home against Independiente.

While Nick’s pick (RBNY) to win it all has been eliminated, and things look bleak for the remainder of the league’s teams, the talent gap between MLS and Liga MX is slowly shrinking. But for about 10-15 minutes of each game, MLS teams have gone toe-to-toe with their Mexican counterparts, even dominating at times. But as we all know, moral victories count for nothing, and results are all that matter.

 

What are your thoughts on Week 2? What can MLS teams do to catch up with Liga MX? Tweet at us or leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for listening!