Tag Archives: Five Stripes

MLSisBack but not Dallas, Group Previews, and Transfer Headlines



Welcome back, soccer fans, to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! By now you’ve surely heard the news: FC Dallas has been withdrawn from the MLSisBack Tournament due to Covid-19 concerns, Carlos Vela has elected to stay home with his pregnant wife, and Robbie Robinson has been exempted for personal reasons. We’re missing the league’s best player, their possible rookie of the year, and an entire team … but the show must go on!

Listen in on our take on the Dallas new, Groups E and F Previews, and all the transfer headlines, including:

  • Leandro Gonzalez Pirez “LGP” is back in MLS after signing with Inter Miami
  • Jurgen Damm completes his move to Atlanta United
  • Expansion club Austin FC sign their first player: Paraguayan Rodney Redes

Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

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Team Previews Pt. 6 – Atlanta United, Seattle Sounds, and the MLS CBA



Hello, soccer fans! The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast are back with more team previews. In this episode, our hosts examine two powerhouses of Major League Soccer: Atlanta United and the Seattle Sounders. In each preview, Nick and Mike review the roster (who’s in/who’s out), analyze the Designated Players (DPs), and pick a young player to have a break out season. They conclude each preview with projected starting lineups and predict the ceiling and floor for each team.

Atlanta Untied look to compete for more trophies and have the talent to do so. Could they become the first MLS team to win Concacaf Champions League? Could they match Toronto’s record setting 2016 season? Or will they fall flat and come up empty handed? Tune in to find out.

Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Sounders again have a roster built to compete for an MLS Cup. They are experienced, well-coached, and look to be transitioning to a more attacking mindset. If their defense can play at an average level, look for the Sounders to once again be near the top of the Western Conference.

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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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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.


U-20 World Cup, Zack Steffen, and MLS League Roundup



USA! USA! USA!

Hello soccer fans! The USYNT/U-20 team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Poland. This is a record-tying, third straight trip to the round of eight for the U-20s. After finishing 2nd in their group (Loss to Ukraine, Wins over Qatar, Nigeria), the US stunned France 3-2. Their next opponent is South American champion Ecuador. Despite the great run, the favorites in the tournament still are on the opposite side of the bracket, with Italy and Colombia. We’ll see how far the US can go. Their next match is June 8.

As we move to the senior team, it’s been announced that GK Zack Steffen will be loaned to Bundesliga team Fortuna Dusseldorf. A loan was expected, and Steffen is sure to get minutes with a Dusseldorf side that finished 10th in the league. This is a great loan for Steffen who will be exposed to a new and faster style of play.

Finally, Nick and Mike round up all the games from around Major League Soccer. Notably, Atlanta United continues their ascent in the Eastern Conference while LAFC maintain dominance out West. Here are our trending teams:

Teams on the Rise

  • Atlanta United: They figured out how to play deBoer’s style and are thriving. The Five Stripes are now sitting 3rd in the East with games in hand.
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Almeyda keeps riding the hot hand …er, foot … and Chris Wondolowski has 7 goals in 3 games. The Quakes are 1 point below the playoff line, but have a game in hand.
  • Colorado Rapids: Despite the 2nd worst record in the league, worst in the West, the Rapids have 3 wins, 1 draw in their last four.

Teams on the Fall

  • Columbus Crew: 1-3-1 in their last 5, Higuain tears and ACL, Steffen played his last game – management is blowing this up with loans and trades. Time for manager Caleb Porter to institute his culture and style.
  • Minnesota United: Giving up 6 goals in their last 2 games, the Loons need to shore up the defense quickly as games vs. hot Colorado and desperate SKC are looming.

Teams who can’t get up

  • Sporting Kansas City and FC Cincinnati: Let’s be honest. Watching these two teams has been rough.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or in the comments below. See you next week!

 


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!


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!


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!


MLS Cup Reactions, Transfers and Impact, and FC Cincinnati Expansion Draft



Welcome back soccer fans! Did you enjoy the MLS Cup?

The hosts of Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast give their take on one of the most meaningful MLS Cup Finals in league history. With Atlanta United’s 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, and the last 4 MLS Cup Champions being expansion teams, there is a clear message to owners and managers what is needed to build a contender. Tune in for Nick and Mike’s thoughts and where the league is going, and whether we are witnessing MLS 3.0. Also, the hosts discuss the idea of league parity and whether league imposed rules should be lifted.

Next, the podcast takes a look at the latest transfer news. Big names have moved – Zack Steffen to Manchester City, Maxi Urruti to Montreal Impact, Caleb Porter to coach a returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy. How does this shape the teams, and was the value of the player worth the deal?

Finally, the hosts review FC Cincinnati’s expansion draft picks and transfers. The big news being the expansion side’s acquisition of Greg Garza from Atlanta, along with Kendall Waston, Darren Mattocks, Kei Kamara, Roland Lamah, Eric Alexander, and Hassan Ndam. Has FCC built an immediate contender or will they need a few seasons to compete for hardware?

Finally, congratulations to our bracket challenge winner, Greg, with his entry: My Loons Suck. Surprisingly, Greg was our only entrant who picked Atlanta United to win the MLS Cup. Greg: Email us your information so Mike can send your prize!

 

As we enter the offseason, let us know what topics you’d like covered and be sure to follow us @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


MLS Headlines and Conference Championship Leg 1 Recap



Welcome, soccer fans, and thanks for listening to the Sons of a Pitch Podcast!

In this episode we bring you all the latest headlines around Major League Soccer (MLS), including:

  • Zack Steffen’s transfer to Manchester City: what it means for him, the USMNT, and the league
  • Coaching moves: Pareja to Tijuana, Berhalter to USMNT, Tata to El Tri – Is this the next phase of the league growth?
  • Player options exercised: Urena out at LAFC, Ricketts out at TFC, Quioto in at Houston, Abubaker in at Columbus – what it means for the teams
  • FC Cincinnati not signing 3rd Designated Player (DP) – Is Fanendo Adi enough? Is this the way to build a team?

Mike and Nick also recap Leg 1 of the Conference Championships

 

Shout out to Mark Fangmeier, HeathOut, and David Sterling for providing great MNUFC fan insight. And condolences to our resident Red Bulls fan Stephen J. Phillips. Someone please hide the sharp objects from him.