Tag Archives: DCU

2019 MLS Playoffs!



The playoffs are here, and the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast has them covered! Tune in for all the action as the MLS is rewarded for their change to a one-and-done playoff format. There were 90+ minutes of exciting soccer in each and every one of the six matches played, and fans in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference were treated to great atmospheres in the stands and play on the pitch. Home teams won five of the six 1st round games, with the Galaxy winning on the road to set up El Trafico: Playoff Edition.

Our hosts also discuss the headlines from around the American soccer landscape, including:

  • Expansion announcement: Sacramento Republic to become 29th league franchise
  • NWSL Update: Chicago Red Stars to take on North Carolina Courage in finals
  • Philadelphia Union make history with 1st playoff win…DOOP, DOOP, DOOP!
  • Wondo signs a 1yr contract with San Jose Earthquakes

Thanks for listening, and be sure to join the conversation:


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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What’s the Future of Youth Development? and other MLS Headlines, Transfers, and League Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans! We here at the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast truly appreciate your listening and your engagement with the show. In this episode we address listener questions and comments regarding the future of youth development in the United States. We also take a look at the use of metrics in soccer and whether they can replace the “eye test” of player evaluation.

Next, our hosts look at all the transfer news around the league – especially for DC United. Rooney has announced his departure, DC signed Felipe from Vancouver, and has gotten a lot a cash. Look for a big signing in the off-season. Also, Chicago Fire sign veteran and formear USMNT defender Jonathan Bornstein to help their defensive woes, Columbus Crew deal GK Joel Bendik to the Philadelphia Union, and several teams swap TAM for GAM as they look to the future.

Finally, our hosts recap all the action around Major League Soccer. The All-Star Game was a laugh, Atlanta United knock out Orlando City SC from the US Open Cup, and the league has a number of surprise results. Tune in for all the details!

Teams on the Rise

  • Philadelphia Union: With a 5-1 victory over DC United, the Union re-assert themselves on top the Eastern Conference.’
  • Atlanta United: They follow up a dominating game against the LA Galaxy by advancing to the US Open Cup Final

Teams on the Fall

  • Houston Dynamo: A tough loss to a struggling Chicago Fire team sees them fall outside the playoff picture.
  • Montreal Impact: Currently in one of their down swings after losing to Colorado and barely beating York 9.

Midweek Roundup and Special Guest Dr. Vanessa: Physical Therapist



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to a special episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode we review the mid-week action around MLS and welcome for the first time Dr. Vanessa, a physical therapist. She talks about proper training, common injuries, and how to best prevent them. Here are a few highlights:

  • Toronto FC make history with the most shots without a goal
  • Timbers new DP Fernandez scores and salvages a point for his new team
  • Atlanta gets another win, it wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win
  • Sounders keep winning, Orlando needs to settle on a lineup
  • LAFC continue to dominate the results, make Dallas feel like the rest in the West

In our interview with Dr. Vanessa: Physical Therapist, we learn about the education required of certified therapists and how they go about their business. Dr. Vanessa highlights how she develops exercises for her patients (including a modern pentathlete!). She discusses dynamic warm-ups, integrating game actions into training, and emphasizes practicing how you play. By doing this, you can minimize the risk of the most common sports injuries: ACL tears and ankle sprains.

A big thanks to Dr. Vanessa for taking the time to speak with us. Let us know of any questions for Dr. Vanessa or for the show at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com or on twitter @SOPSoccer. Have a great night!


Week 10 Roundup – Transfers, Trades, Firings – New IFAB Rules



Hello again, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. This week, we review the latest slate of Major League Soccer (MLS) games and talk about a surprising team on top of the Eastern Conference – Philadelphia Union, and a surprising team near the bottom of the Western Conference – Sporting KC.

The hosts also discuss the latest moves from around the league:

  • Chicago Fire acquire Francisco Calvo from Minnesota United
  • Portland Timbers sign Brian Fernandez from Necaxa
  • FC Cincinnati fire coach Alan Koch
  • Justin Meram traded from Columbus Crew to Atlanta United

Finally, Nick and Mike review new IFAB rules that are forthcoming. While not a major impact in any one area of the game, they will make a noticeable difference. The rules are:

  • Any goal scored by the hand/arm is disallowed (even if accidental)
  • Attacking players can’t be within 1 meter of the wall
  • Ball need not exit the goal box on a goal kick before being touched
  • Substituting player must exit at the nearest touchline
  • Goalkeeper need only keep one foot on the goal line before a penalty kick

Thanks for listening, and be sure to follow along on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or join the conversation in the comments below.


Gold Cup Preview, MLS Week 7 Roundup, and the Legal Case vs. Kaku



Hello once again, soccer fans! Thanks for returning to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, the hosts explore the draw for the Gold Cup, recap all the Week 7 MLS action, and even make a case for a fan’s possible lawsuit vs. RBNY and Kaku.

As for the Gold Cup, the four groups are drawn, and the United States Men’s National Team will face Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama. If you like story lines, this is the group for you! As you know T&T knocked the USMNT out of World Cup qualifying in 2018, and the USMNT has already faced Panama in a January friendly. How will these teams come out during the Gold Cup tournament? The US needs to be prepared for anything.

In Week 7 of Major League Soccer, we saw some movement in the Eastern Conference while the top teams in the Western Conference continued their domination. Here’s how things stack up at the top of the table:

Eastern Conference

  1. DC United – Regaining its form, DC is once again top of the conference. Can anyone knock it down?
  2. Columbus Crew – Despite the loss, the Crew remain a contender. Their margin for error is very slim, but so far have been able to overcome it.
  3. Montreal Impact – Montreal in 3rd place!? Enjoy it while it lasts, as this team has the tendency to yo-yo up and down the standings.
  4. Toronto FC – Even after their loss to Seattle, TFC have the best points per game in the conference, suggesting last year was a fluke. Watch out for the men in red.

Western Conference

  1. LAFC – Best team, best player, best coach. LAFC have a goal differential of +16 over 7 games, and they still are improving.
  2. Seattle Sounders – Finally, a strong start. Can they sustain it throughout the entire season? They way Jordan Morris is playing, Seattle just might.
  3. LA Galaxy – Zlatan keeps scoring, the Galaxy keep winning. Just imagine how good they could be when their role players start thriving.
  4. Houston Dynamo – As Nick put it, Houston is “The other contender in the West.” They haven’t lost, have a talented attack, and have a coach who has been around the league. Houston could surprise come playoff time.

 

Thanks for listening! Join the conversation in the comments below, on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or via email: podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.

Thank you to our sponsors: Donovan Food Brokerage and Nice! Pure Icelandic Spring Water.


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.


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!


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.