Tag Archives: Eastern Conference

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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Playoffs Predictions Revisited, Expansion Headlines, and League Roundup



Hello once again, loyal listeners of the Sons of a Pitch! Tonight’s episode is pure ear candy as our hosts revisit their pre-season playoffs predictions. As you can see, Nick and Mike weren’t too far off on their teams, picking 9 of 14 current playoff teams, but they chose poorly – terribly even – in their pick of Sporting KC to win the MLS Cup. See below for a breakdown.

In other MLS news, the expansion teams have been stealing the headlines. Josh Wolff was named head coach of Austin FC and Nick thinks the organization needs to break free from their prior spend-thrift ways and make a big splash. Wolff knows the league, but can someone who has been in Berhalter’s system for the last several years coach a winning team? Also, Mike dispels rumors of big names like Messi or Ronaldo signing with Inter Miami, but thinks that their anticipated signings of two young, Argentine wingers is a great start for the club.

Finally, the hosts round up the league and highlight Toronto FC’s ups-and-downs, LA Galaxy’s victory in El Trafico, and other league news. They even get in their weekly shots against the Chicago Fire.

Hope you enjoy the show, and please join the conversation @SOPSoccer on twitter, @sonsofapitchsoccer on facebook, or in the comments below!

Eastern Conference – Pre-Season Predictions

Mike Nick Current (7/24/19)
1 Atlanta United Red Bulls Philly
2 Red Bulls Atlanta United Atlanta
3 DC United DC United DC
4 Toronto FC NYCFC RBNY
5 NYCFC Columbus Crew NYCFC
6 Chicago Philadelphia Montreal
7 Columbus Chicago New England

Western Conference – Pre-Season Predictions

Mike Nick Current (7/24/19)
1 LAFC Sporting KC LAFC
2 Sporting KC LAFC LA Galaxy
3 Portland LA Galaxy Seattle
4 LA Galaxy Portland Minnesota
5 Seattle Seattle San Jose
6 FC Dallas Houston Dallas
7 Minnesota United Minnesota United RSL

 


Expansion & Attendance, Wondo’s Record, and League Roundup



Hello ladies, gentleman, and soccer fans of all ages! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. This week’s episode covers a variety of topics, and we kick things off with questions from you, the listeners.

First, we discuss which cities would be great for expanding the MLS to 30 teams (Thanks to @whoiswholio for the question!). In our last episode, Nick suggested Milwaukee and St. Louis, while this week Mike added New Orleans to the list. Next, @TheFreshPrintz asked us to comment on the general declining of attendance across the league. While early numbers aren’t indicative of the entire season, there has been a noticeable drop in attendance over the last two seasons.

It has been a historic week in Major League Soccer, with Chris Wondolowski breaking Landon Donovan’s record for all-time leading MLS goal scorer. Wondo did it in amazing fashion, netting 4 vs. Chicago to jump to 148 all-time, 2 ahead of Donovan. Listen in to our hosts discuss Wondo’s impact on the league and where he stands among the all-time greats. Finally, Nick and Mike break-down all the games from this week, and look at who is on the rise and fall in a league where margins of error are paper thin.

 

Thanks for listening and for all your support! Please follow us on twitter, facebook, or leave a comment below to join in the conversation.


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.


Week 11 Roundup: Zlatan’s Trash Talk, SKC/Revs Shootout, and What’s Wrong with the East?



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for returning to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for all your Major League Soccer news. In this episode, the hosts recap Week 11 and all the goals, drama, and story-lines that accompanied it. Tune in for:

  • Houston and Dallas keep taking points
  • LAFC – Seattle rematch not live up to the hype
  • Zlatan’s talking trash and the league is letting him

The hosts also discuss what’s going on in the Eastern Conference. With no team looking like a favorite, the conference is up for grabs. Listen to Nick and Mike break down how:

  • Columbus is slumping, Chicago is under-performing
  • Atlanta is the most talented team, but only on paper
  • DC can’t string together wins
  • Is TFC the favorite? Based on PPG, they sure are

And to round out the discussion, we take a glimpse at the newly formed Canadian Premier League (CPL). With seven teams in Canada’s top flight, Mike discusses the influence of Toronto on the league and the league’s focus on developing young, Canadian talent. Nick is optimistic about the experience coaches, organizations, and owners will get and how they can apply that to the future of soccer in North America.

Finally, the hosts gives some early US Open Cup picks. The US Open Cup gets underway next week, and while MLS teams are favored to win (Mike likes Seattle, Nick likes Houston or Sporting KC), don’t be surprised is USL Championship sides like Louisville City or Saint Louis FC make a run.

 

Thanks again for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below!


Pick-A-Player, Howard’s Rant, and Week 9 Roundup



Greetings soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we take a twitter question asking us to pick-a-player who our favorite team could reasonably attain. Thanks to FC Cincinnati fan Eric Turner (@eric_turner7) for his question:

Keeping focused on a real, attainable player, Mike thinks Toronto FC could benefit from signing Omar Gonzalez in the allocation order. Nick wants young, European talent to make its way to teams like Sporting KC and Chicago in an effort to change up some of the styles of play the teams have been known for. Also, the hosts give their take on the Tim Howard Instagram rant against a fan critical of his performance in the Rapids’ 4-1 defeat at Chicago.

Finally, in the league roundup, our hosts recap all the Week 8 action. Out west, LAFC and the LA Galaxy continue to dominate headlines and stat sheets. Here are some quick takes on the current status of the teams:

Teams on the Rise

  1. LAFC – A disinterested LAFC lost 1-0 at Vancouver, only to beat Seattle 4-1 a few days later. Vela doing Vela things.
  2. LA Galaxy – 2nd in the West, conceding only 1 goal per game. And they have Zlatan.
  3. Philadelphia Union – Won 2 of 3, and 4 of 5. When scoring 2 goals, they haven’t lost.
  4. Toronto FC – Can Pozuelo keep up his amazing form (4 goals, 5 assists in 4 games) now that Jozy picked up an injury?
  5. San Jose Quakes – Goals and wins and points!

Teams on the Decline

  1. DC United – Dropping points after being poised to separate from the rest of the conference.
  2. Columbus Crew – See DC United.
  3. Sporting KC – Losses, goals conceded, and injuries the likes KC hasn’t seen in a long time.
  4. Minnesota United – Maybe that rebuilt defense wasn’t so rebuilt.

Thanks for listening! Please join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or via email at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.


MLS is Back! Week 1 Roundup, Headlines, and CCL Recap



#MLSisBack and so are the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Thanks for joining us as we provide a roundup of all the Major League Soccer action . We also look at the latest headlines and review the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.

In Week 1, we saw an abundance of goals and expansion team woes. LAFC and Sporting KC gave us an early preview of Western Conference title contendors, while DC United and Atlanta United provided a glimpse into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Though only one game in, Seattle and Minnesota impressed, San Jose struggled, and the LA Galaxy debuted their 16 year-old rising star. Listen in for all our takes on these games.

Off the pitch, headlines are still being made, with the LA Galaxy buying out Gio dos Santos’ contract, the Chicago Fire looking to sign Nico Gaitan, and Toronto FC finalizing the deal for Alejandro Pozuelo. Nick and Mike break down what these deals mean for the respective clubs, and project that Chicago and Toronto could add enough talent to put themselves firmly in playoff contention. Finally, the hosts recap the first round of CCL, and are disappointed with Red Bulls’ quarterfinal performance against Santos Laguna. This still could be the year an MLS team wins the tournament for the first time, but Sporting KC will have to overcome some tired legs, and Atlanta United will have to get out to a better start than their opening game.

 

Thank you all for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Additional thanks to our new sponsor and avid soccer supporter: Donovan Food Brokerage.


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 39 – MLS Decision Day Recap and Playoff Preview



Decision Day has come and gone, and so have the playoff dreams of the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact. How did the events of the final week of Major League Soccer games play out? Nick and Mike recap all the games, give you their analysis, and Mike has a really good time talking about Toronto FC’s shocking 4-1 victory over Atlanta United.

The hosts also preview the playoffs, with each picking Sporting Kansas City to lift the Cup. Nick likes the New York Red Bulls to win the East, while Mike thinks Atlanta is just too good to be denied a spot in the finals. Who do you think will make headlines? Join our playoff bracket challenge and compete with the hosts for a $25 dollar gift card.

Let us know your thoughts on all things MLS in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!