Tag Archives: Costa Rica

Gold Cup Victories, WWC Near Miss, and USOC-MLS Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans, to your source for all things American soccer. In this episode our hosts break down the Gold Cup group stages and what to expect from the knockout rounds. Mike is still confident in his pick of Mexico over the United States in the final, while Nick believes this is Costa Rica’s year. With Haiti upsetting Costa Rica, Canada could be the dark horse team to make the finals. The USMNT will still need to get past Canada and Jamaica, but their path looks promising after convincing wins over Guyana and Trinidad & tobago.

Meanwhile, the USWNT defeated Spain in less than convincing fashion. But for two Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks, the #1 ranked team and tournament favorites nearly missed their worst ever finish in the Women’s World Cup. Mike believes this will act as motivation for the team to roll to victories in their upcoming matches. Still the favorite, the US will face tough tests in France, Norway, Germany, or whichever team they may meet in the final.

Back on US soil, the US Open Cup delivered additional Cupsets! with New Mexico defeating Colorado and Saint Louis defeating FC Cincinnati. LAFC, Portland, and Atlanta are still the favorites, but Mike believes NYCFC will surprise everyone and take the trophy. Meanwhile in MLS action, the Chicago Fire once again underwhelm in a 1-1 draw to Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy beat up on a floundering FCC, and Sporting KC somehow come out on top in the Battle of the Bad against Columbus. Someone has to win, right?

Enjoy all the soccer action, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer and leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Going International: Women’s World Cup-France 2019, US Open Cup (Cupsets!), and Gold Cup



There’s soccer around the world, and we’ve got your American perspective.

The Women’s World Cup is taking place in France, and favorite United States continues to dominate. After a convincing 3-0 victory over Chile, the USWNT have locked up a spot in the knock-out round. They’ll have their work cut out for them with possible opponents of Spain, France, Norway, and Australia … and that’s even before the finals! Still the favorite, this is the US Women’s tournament to lose. Also, Marta (Brazil) sets the all-time World Cup goal-scoring record, with her 17th career WC goal.

Meanwhile in the US Open Cup … CUPSETS! Mike’s new favorite word (though annoying when overused, and the MLS is sure trying to overuse it) is appropriate to describe the victories of New Mexico United over Colorado Rapids and Saint Louis FC over Chicago Fire. And the Cupsets could continue with Saint Louis facing FC Cincinnati. Nick and Mike still think this is LAFC’s tournament to lose, but they’ll have to get through Portland and the Galaxy to do it. Meanwhile, Atlanta has found their rhythm, despite going down early to Chattanooga, and the Five Stripes are the favorite on the other side of the bracket.

Finally, Gold Cup 2019 is underway. Favorites Mexico and Costa Rica started with convincing wins vs. Cuba and Nicaragua, and Canada impressed vs. Martinique. Panama topped Trinidad and Tobago, and the USMNT defeated debutante Guyana. Mike is picking Mexico over the USA in the final, while Nick thinks that Costa Rica is destined to win.

Stay tuned every week to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for all your tournament recaps. Join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below, subscribe to the podcast in the links in the banner, and please share the word of our show!


USA! USA! USA! – National Team Recaps, US Open Cup Features, and MLS Roundup



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. And our show starts with American soccer at it’s highest levels. The USYNT was knocked out of the U-20 World Cup in Poland after a tough game vs. South American champion Ecuador. While they didn’t advance further, Tab Ramos’ team once again proved the United States is developing talent on an international level. The USMNT also had a disappointing week, with losses to Jamaica and Venezuela in international friendlies. These Gold Cup tune-up games are certainly disappointments, but Berhalter wasn’t playing his “A” team, and his tactics needs time to implement. That being said, Nick and Mike have picked against the US in the tournament, choosing Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

The bright spot for US Soccer has always been the USWNT, and they did not disappoint in their Women’s World Cup opener vs. Thailand. A thorough 13-0 drubbing of the Asian squad set a record for largest margin of victory and most goals in a WWC game. Alex Morgan also tied the WWC single game scoring record by netting 5 goals in a superb performance. This team has reminded the world that they are the favorites.

Meanwhile at home, the US Open Cup saw Major League Soccer teams enter the tournament. The Chicago Fire embarrassed themselves against St. Louis FC, losing the game 2-1 and losing their cool. Other MLS sides fared much better with Columbus, New England, LAFC, and Houston advancing. Chattanooga and Atlanta were postponed due to bad field conditions, and San Jose vs. Sacramento is ongoing as of time of posting.

Finally in MLS action, we saw the Union assert their dominance over the Eastern Conference with a thrilling come-back win over RBNY. The other games went as expected and all the results are up at www.mlssoccer.com. Thanks for listening, and be sure to comment below and follow us @SOPSoccer.

 


USMNT vs. Costa Rica, and FC Dallas Preview



Welcome back, soccer fans, to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Once again winter storms have prevented us from getting to the recording studio, but once again we’ve been able to put together about 30min of soccer talk.

First, Nick breaks down the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) victory over fellow CONCACAF member Costa Rica. The United States controlled most of the game, but really dominated the last 15min or so after the Lletget’s entrance. The 2-0 victory showcased how Berhalter has his team disorganize opponents through possession, and Arriola, Lletget, Mihailovic, and others continued to impress.

Next, the hosts address a question from a listener about FC Dallas:

Mike gives his breakdown of the FC Dallas roster, noting that they have a lot of talent but have struggled to really establish themselves as a dominant team in the Western Conference. Nick thinks they can compete for the 1 or 2 seed, but will need to go on a significant point run given the depth in the West. What are your thoughts? Can FC Dallas win the conference? Do they have the right chemistry to win a trophy? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned later in the week for another episode.


USMNT Roster Analysis, TFC Roster Departures, and the Viability of Austin FC and MLS Expansion



Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. It’s cold and icy outside, but we’ve got our supporter scarves to keep us warm. Mike is obviously sporting the TFC tribute to the Sebastian Giovinco “The Atomic Ant” while Nick is paying tribute to the Fire’s signing of Marcelo with his Sporting Portugal scarf.

In the episode, the hosts break down Gregg Berhalter’s first United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) roster for upcoming friendlies against Panama and Costa Rica. The all MLS-based roster has a few surprises with Sean Johnson as the backup goalkeeper, Jeremy Ebobisse one of three strikers, and Daniel Lovitz as a potential starting defender. Nick and Mike get into a lively discussion on how much winning these games means to Berhalter and the American fan-base, as opposed to simply gaining experience and finding players who fit his style.

Next, Mike dives in to breaking news out of Toronto. TSN Live reporter Kristian Jack reports that Toronto FC (TFC) have traded defender Nick Hagglund to FC Cincinnati and that TFC is parting ways with Gregory van der Wiel after an altercation with head coach Greg Vanney. As Mike states, van der Wiel has had issues in the past and things have gotten to the point where the two sides can no longer work together. Meanwhile, the trade of Hagglund gives TFC greater salary cap space while FCC gets a proven defender to help guide their expansion franchise. It looks like TFC has started their rebuild a year sooner than expected.

Finally, the hosts give their impressions on the league’s latest expansion franchise: Austin FC. Logo jokes aside, the hosts agree that more soccer is always welcome. However, the history of soccer in the city of Austin is spotty at best (see Austin Aztex x2). Can Major League Soccer (MLS) survive in Austin? Only time will tell.

 

Thanks for listening, and be sure to spread the word! Let us know your thoughts on all things USMNT and MLS in the comments below.


Meet Przemyslaw Frankowski – Chicago Fire’s latest signing; Nick reflects on Tim Howard’s career



Hello soccer fans! And welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In tonight’s abridged episode, Nick cover’s the latest roster moves by the Chicago Fire and reflects on Tim Howard’s career in the wake of his announcing his retirement after the 2019 MLS season.

In Chicago, the Fire front office have announced the signing of Polish attacker Przemyslaw Frankowski to a four year contract. This pacy winger is sure to add another option to the Fire’s attacked, and should link up well with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Aleksandar Katai. Most intriguing is that he will be signed with TAM, leaving the Fire with their 3rd and final Designated Player (DP) spot unfilled. Could another big signing be in the works?
Frankowski’s signing is welcome new for an offense that loses Marco Urena, who the Fire acquired from LAFC in the Waiver Draft. Urena has opted to return to Costa Rica to play for Alajuelense, the club where he made his professional debut. It’s too bad he never became that goal-scoring sensation that San Jose, LAFC, and Chicago hoped he would be.

In other news, Tim Howard, American soccer legend and the “Secretary of Defense”, announced he will be retiring after the 2019 season with the Colorado Rapids. His professional career will span 20 years, including playing for clubs such as the MetroStars, Manchester United, Everton, the Rapids, and of course the USMNT. The only question remains is: Where does Howard fall in the all-time list of American soccer greats?

 

What are your thoughts on the Chicago Fire roster? What was your favorite Tim Howard moment? Let us know in the comments below, and continue the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for a full episode recording later this week!


USMNT vs. Italy and MLS Headlines



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

We are pleased to bring you our live reactions to the USMNT friendly versus Italy. Listen as the hosts give their live takes on the game and answer all the burning questions surrounding the teams:
-What’s the status of the head coaching position?
-How should Christian Pulisic be utilized?
-Can Ethan Horvath compete with Zack Steffen for the starting GK spot?
-What is the team’s identity?

During the game, Mike and Nick also break down the latest Major League Soccer headlines. Listen for their reactions to:
-Jim Curtain’s contract extension with the Philadelphia Union
-MLS players currently in the playoffs playing internationally – For or Against?
-Minnesota United FC re-signs defender Kallman
-American U-20s defeat Honduras to advance to Concacaf finals; USMNT announces friendly vs. Costa Rica
-Concacaf Champions League teams from the MLS

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast using the links on the right, follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer, and as always, thanks for listening!


Ep 15 – World Cup 2018 Preview



It’s almost here! World Cup 2018 kicks off June 14, and we at Sons of a Pitch Soccer couldn’t be more excited! In this episode, the hosts review the 2026 bid process between the United Bid (United States, Canada, and Mexico) and Morocco, comparing their ratings, infrastructure and stadiums, and global impact. Next, we break down all the MLS players and who could make the biggest impact for their respective countries. And if that wasn’t enough …

Mike ran a complete WC 2018 simulation on FIFA 2018, and we go over his predicted group winners and his surprising final matchup. Nick tells him where the video game is wrong, and we review the actual favorites. Who is your favorite to win? Who will most likely surprise the field? Leave your comments below, and enjoy the greatest sports tournament in the world!

 

*Editor’s Note: Since recording, Belgium’s Laurent Ciman has been named an alternate to their World Cup roster and is not on the final, 23-man roster. Sorry for any confusion. (We just really like him.) Here is FIFA’s official rosters page.


MLS Players in World Cup 2018



The 23-man rosters for World Cup 2018 in Russia have been released and there is a contingent of MLS players included. Below is a graph breaking down the players’ club and country.

Costa Rica and Panama have a notable group of players based in Major League Soccer. Is their success or failure a reflection on the MLS as a league? Let us know in the comments below!

Last Name First Name Club Country
Ciman Laurent LAFC Belgium
Matarrita Ronald NYCFC Costa Rica
Calvo Francisco MNUFC Costa Rica
Waston Kendall Vancouver Costa Rica
Guzman David Portland Costa Rica
Wallace Rodney NYCFC Costa Rica
Urena Marco LAFC Costa Rica
dos Santos Jonathan LA Galaxy Mexico
dos Santos Giovani LA Galaxy Mexico
Vela Carlos LAFC Mexico
Cummings Harold San Jose Panama
Escobar Fidel NYRB Panama
Machado Adolfo Houston Panama
Murillo Michael NYRB Panama
Torres Roman Seattle Panama
Godoy Anibal San Jose Panama
Yotun Yoshimar Orlando City Peru
Polo Andy Portland Peru
Svensson Gustav Seattle Sweden
Gaber Omar LAFC Egypt

*This list based on ESPN’s roster release article, found here. If any player has been omitted (and I’m not talking Zlatan out for Sweden), either ESPN missed it, or Nick needs reading glasses.