Tag Archives: FCC

Contract Talk, Re-Entry Draft Recap, and League Headlines



Greetings, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In tonight’s episode, Nick and Mike give their opinions on what is a good contract or a bad contract. For Mike, good contracts are all about player production, while Nick looks at the value of the contract and how teams can move players for transfer fees. Thanks to new listener David Ruffin for the email and the conversation starter!

Next, the hosts recap the Major League Soccer Re-Entry Draft, and break down the picks from Stage 1 and 2 of the event. Most notably, Toronto FC pick up Juan Agudelo and FC Cincinnati sign Saad Abdul-Salaam. Both signings are at worst depth signings, and at best can be immediate impact players. Agudelo can provide a goal-scoring presence in place of injury-plagued Jozy Altidore, and Abdul-Salaam can help shore up a league worst defense. Finally, the Sons of a Pitch highlight Real Salt Lake signings on the pitch and on the staff, and they discuss Chicago Fire’s link to Chivas striker Alan Pulido.

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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.


Transfers, Firings, and Week 12 MLS Roundup



Hello again, soccer fans! And welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thank you for joining us again as we look at all the moves from around Major League Soccer (MLS) and roundup the slew of games from Week 12.

But first, we want to wish all the soccer moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for waking up early, driving your kids to games and practices, and being their biggest supporters as they grow and learn the game. Without soccer moms, there is simply no soccer.

Transfers

  • Columbus Crew acquire David Accam and extend Gyasi Zardes, giving him a DP contract. Lalas Abubaker loaned to Colorado Rapids.
  • New York City transfers USMNT forward Jonathan Lewis to Colorado Rapids.
  • Sporting KC bring Benny Feilhaber back to shore up depleted defense.
  • Joevin Jones back in Seattle, in his prime, and ready to light up the stat sheet.

Firings

  • Hudson out at Colorado
  • Koch out at Cincinnati
  • Freidel out at New England
  • New England also fire GM Michael Burns

Teams on the Rise

  • Eastern Conference Regulars: Fire playing up to their talent, Atlanta win 3 straight, NYCFC found their offense.
  • LAFC: Points per game average is near record levels

Teams on the Fall

  • Toronto FC: No Jozy, no offense.
  • Colorado: It can’t get much worse. (And don’t tell me if it can.)
  • FC Cincinnati: What’s their identity and does it score goals?

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.


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.


Sapong, CCL, and More 2019 Team Previews



Hello soccer fans! We are back with a full hour of MLS and CCL news and entertainment (Nick even works in a Robert Kraft joke amidst his usual puns). With so much going on around Major League Soccer, we dive right in: CJ Sapong was traded to Chicago and no one is impressed. Real Salt Lake signs USL player Portillo to add depth to their midfield, and FC Cincinnati introduces their new mascot – Gary the Lion – who is the soccer equivalent of a scary clown.

Next, our hosts recap the 1st leg of the Concacaf Champions League. Toronto FC falls flat against Panamanian side Independiente for the second time, Atlanta gets upset by Herediano of Costa Rica, but Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo, and Red Bulls New York all come away with wins. Nick still thinks RBNY will be the first MLS team to win the tournament, but Sporting KC may have the easiest path to the finals.

Mike and Nick also continue their MLS 2019 Team Previews. In this episode, they break down the roster moves and potential for New England Revolution, New York City FC, Red Bulls New York, Philadelphia Union, and the Portland Timbers. These teams span from league cellar-dwellers to MLS Cup Contenders, but all have entertaining story lines to follow as the season gets underway.

Finally, we want to put in a plug for new friend of the show Christopher Sweeney. This author recently released Mad Dog Gravesen: The Last of the Modern Footballing Mavericks, about the footballing spectacle that was Thomas Gravesen. Order online if you’re a fan of European football or great soccer stories.

Thanks for listening, and please join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or on facebook @sonsofapitchsoccer. Stay tuned for our final team preview episode later this week, but in the meantime, enjoy all the soccer action!


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!


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.


ATL in the CCL, the Importance of the Combine and SuperDraft, LA’s DPs, and Nick Rants Against the Fire



Welcome back to another edition of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Tonight, we put listener @eric_turner7 in the driver seat, answering his questions and discussing the latest news from around the league.

With Atlanta United coming off an MLS Cup victory, undergoing a lot of roster changes, and matching up against Liga MX club Monterrey or Sporting KC in the 2nd round of the Concacaf Champions League, the odds are definitely against the Five Stripes making a deep run. Mike shares how Atlanta can learn from Toronto FC’s run in 2018 and why they might be able to overcome the challenges that await.

Next, Nick dives into the MLS Combine and SuperDraft, sharing different philosophies. FC Cincinnati, needing to fill a new MLS roster, traded to acquire draft picks, for a total of 7. They’re building through the draft. Philadelphia Union, who traded 5 picks to FCC, needs the money to build through signings, while the Red Bulls and FC Dallas are known to build through their academies. In other player news, Mike breaks down how the LA Galaxy can get out of having 4 Designated Players on their roster (rules mandate no more than 3). While Gio dos Santos is the likely move, having grossly under-performed, the Galaxy could most easily move Romain Alessandrini, who has been the brightest star for the Galaxy over the last several seasons.

Finally and after listening to an interview with GM Nelson Rodriguez, Nick goes on a rant against the Chicago Fire. Not only is Rodriguez a terrible interview, he offered no concrete plan for the future, no evidence of future signings, and supports a coach who players have been fleeing from. Mike breaks down the current Fire roster and isn’t optimistic either. With only weeks to go before training camp, Chicago only has 4 defenders and 2 goalkeepers on their roster – and neither GK should be starting in the MLS. Keep your eyes open for more underwhelming moves by the Fire.

 

Thanks again for listening, be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Transfer News, Roster Impact, and Nick addresses Atlanta Haters



Happy Holidays everyone, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Even though the MLS is in the middle of its off-season, there has been no shortage of action. Teams are addressing their needs and a flurry of signings has taken place:

  • Laurent Ciman to Toronto FC
  • Yoshi Yotun to Cruz Azul
  • Alvas Powell to FC Cincinnati
  • Marcelo to Chicago Fire
  • Joe Bendik to Columbus Crew
  • Schelotto to manage the LA Galaxy

How do these signings affect their respective teams? Orlando City may have admitted it’s time for a rebuild. FC Cincinnati is looking to continue the success of expansion teams. Chicago and Toronto finally have center-backs, and Schweinsteiger and Bradley can return to their midfield roles. The hosts break down the rosters in greater detail and examine the potential playing style of each team as a result of these signings.

In a special segment, Nick addresses an issue that has been on his mind for some time: Atlanta haters. They hate on Atlanta for being good but never winning a trophy, then they hate on Atlanta for winning a trophy too soon. What are your thoughts on all the hate?

Finally, Sons of a Pitch recognizes the passing of an American soccer icon: Sigi Schmid. His imprint on the MLS and US Soccer will forever be felt, and we send our condolences to his family, friends, and all who are affected.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned next week for our review of the USMNT January camp roster and what it means for the next four years of American soccer. Happy New Year to all!