Tag Archives: Expansion

Signings around the MLS, Thoughts on the CBA, and the Future Structure of the League



Hello once again, soccer fans! Tonight, our hosts answer listener questions on trades and signings from around Major League Soccer (MLS). What are the key points and what makes them different from other American leagues? While they bargaining and goals are the same (get the best players for the best value) there are a lot more bargaining chips in the MLS – TAM, GAM, and international roster spots, to name a few. Also, MLS franchises can scout the entire world for soccer talent, where other American leagues have a much more limited player pool.

Specifically, our hosts address the signings of:

  • Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
  • Francisco Ginella, Los Angeles FC
  • Adam Buksa, New England Revolution

In the 2nd half of the show, Nick and Mike give their thoughts on the upcoming CBA negotiations and the anticipated issues between the MLSPA and the league. The focus of the negotiations will likely revolve around free agency, salaries, and … chartered flights!? Yes, with increased revenue, the league is going to have a much more difficult time not raising the salary cap, minimum salaries, or allowing chartered flights.

The show wraps up with thoughts on further expansion and what the future structure of the league might look like. With Charlotte being just announced as the MLS’ 30th franchise, the Major League Soccer is at the size of most other American sports leagues, but much larger than any other soccer league in the world. Are they at a breaking point? Or is a restructure on the horizon? Tune in for some scenarios that Nick and Mike think could happen.

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


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:


September Call-ups, Expansion Update, and League Roundup



Welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we’re covering both the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) as they prepare for September friendlies and all the latest news from around Major League Soccer (MLS).

Gregg Berhalter and US Soccer released their roster for the USMNT friendlies vs. Mexico (9/6) and Uruguay (9/10), and there certainly were some surprises. No Toronto FC players made the squad, much to the ire of Michael Bradley (though Berhalter says it was to help TFC make the MLS playoffs). Fans of American youth will be happy to see Sergino Dest and Josh Sargent on the roster. And listeners of the podcast will be disappointed that Daniel Lovitz has again taken a roster spot than should be used to develop some young talent. The Montreal Impact defender has mostly ridden the bench, but Berhalter continues to include him on the roster. Meanwhile, we are excited at the possible pairing of Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent, and the duo could provide the offense that the US roster has lacked.

Next, Nick and Mike provide an update on expansion teams Inter Miami (who are they linked to now!?), St. Louis MLS (not the USL club, this is different, it’s not a promotion), and Nashville SC (now with new DP signing Hany Mukhtar!). Finally, they round up all the action from this week’s slate of MLS games, including those with major playoff implications: Philly beats Atlanta, Loons over LAFC, and Seattle defeat the Galaxy.

And don’t forget to keep up with all of our social media content! Subscribe using the links in the side bar, and check us out on social media:


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.


Nagbe wants a transfer and 2019 Season Previews: ATL, CHI, CIN, COL



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. The 2019 Major League Soccer season kicks off in a couple short weeks, and we at SOP want to have you prepared for all action. In this episode, we’ll talk a few notable transfers and rumors, and then dive into our first set of team previews.

Speaking of transfers, have you ever heard of a player wanting to leave a championship team? Darlington Nagbe, currently of defending champion Atlanta United, has made statements asking for a transfer to the Columbus Crew, his hometown team. While our host Nick doesn’t think as highly of Nagbe as Nagbe thinks of himself, he would be an improvement to the Crew roster. If the price is right, don’t be surprised to see Nagbe in black and yellow. Also, Vancouver signs Uruguayan youth national Joaquin Ardaiz and Philadelphia set a club record in signing Mexico international star Marco Fabian.

Next, the hosts begin their 2019 previews, taking quick looks at Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire, FC Cincinnati, and the Colorado Rapids. For each team, Mike and Nick break down the rosters, potential starters, most important players, and just where the team will end up come Decision Day. Of these four, Atlanta obviously has the highest ceiling. Is this the year Colorado makes a playoff run? Can Chicago bounce back from last year’s disappointment? Will FC Cincinnati continue the hot streak of expansion teams? Tune in for all these thoughts and more from the Sons of a Pitch!

 

Thanks so much for listening and for interacting with us on twitter, via email, or in the comments below. Please share our website and keep the conversation on American soccer going!


Ep. 28 – FCC Cincinnati: An Introduction



In an effort to educate and inform the soccer loving public, the Sons of a Pitch have put together a brief introduction to Major League Soccer’s newest expansion franchise: FC Cincinnati (“FCC”). FCC will be the 24th team in the current league, and will most likely join the Eastern Conference. Coming off two very respectable years in the United Soccer League (“USL”), FCC found its greatest success as a semi-finalist in 2017’s Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. There, they defeated the Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire before suffering defeat to the Red Bulls of New York. Combining that historic run with regularly selling-out home games, FCC were selected as the next expansion franchise.

Join the hosts as they give a brief overview of the history, management, and roster of FCC. For more in depth reading, see the links below. We intend to keep us with expansion teams more regularly, so let us know if you like the segment and what more we can do to improve your knowledge of the league. In the meantime, welcome again to FCC!

MLS to Cincy
FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati Wikipedia
Cincinnati Soccer Talk
SB Nation – USL


Welcome FC Cincinnati!



On Tuesday May 29, 2018, the MLS announced that FC Cincinnati would become the newest expansion franchise and the league’s 26th team, citing the club’s record-setting USL attendance and the city’s growing economy. We at Sons of a Pitch welcome FC Cincinnati to the American top-flight and are excited to see their immediate impact in the league and how they develop as a team and as an organization. FC Cincinnati will begin MLS play next season, and plans to open its soccer-specific stadium in 2021. Check out the links below for all the news.

FC Cincinnati Website
MLS Soccer Announcement
Sports Illustrated Article
ESPN Announcement

Notably, FC Cincinnati has not been assigned to a conference, and there may be some realignment. As a way-too-early measuring stick, FCC currently sit 2nd in the USL table. They play Minnesota United FC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on 6/6/18. Keep your eyes on FCC!