Tag Archives: Friendly

USMNT Expectations vs. El Salvador



Hey, soccer fans, we’ve got USMNT soccer! And we’ve got a young, MLS based roster for Gregg Berhalter and the red, white, and blue. 21 of 23 roster spots are filled by MLS-based players. The USMNT will also showcase young talent. Most of the roster has only a handful of caps, if any at all. Given those factors, the quickly scheduled game, and Covid, what should we expect? I want to see three things from this game:

1. Play the System

We know GGG implemented a very particular system when he took over as manager of the USMNT. He used it to perform better than his talent with the Columbus Crew, and he’s used it to some success at the international level. If the players on the roster want a future with the USMNT, they’ll need to demonstrate their understanding of GGG’s tactics.

What does this mean? On offense, the defenders will need to play with composure out of the back, the midfielders will need to control possession – and find those long, diagonal passes when able – and the strikers will need to link up to break down the El Salvador back line. Defensively: keep shape, disrupt passing lanes, and don’t give up set-piece goals..

2. Build Depth

This roster is not even close to the USMNT best eleven. The only player on it with a chance to start in World Cup Qualifying is Walker Zimmerman. This game is about building depth. I’ll be watching for Paul Arriola and Aaron Long to prove they belong or play themselves off of GGG’s roster.

The most open spot for a young player is striker. Altidore is no longer a viable starter (injury, attitude), so Zardes is the next best option (form, experience, system knowledge). Sargent still has some growing, so the spot is open for emerging MLS stars Ayo Akinola and Daryl Dike. Akinola’s finishing ability and Dike’s size and hold-up play stand out. The USMNT needs a pure striker, and these two could fill that role.

3. Win.

The USMNT needs to re-establish a winning culture, and to do that, they need to win. Despite this roster looking like the USMNT’s “C” team, they still have the talent to beat an El Salvador team ranked 70th by FIFA – the 6th best team in Concacaf as of the November rankings. They also need to consistently beat Concacaf opponents. There should be no doubt the USMNT will walk off the field with a victory when facing other confederation teams. Back-to-back wins vs. Panama and El Salvador would go a long way to re-establishing the USMNT as the premier Concacaf nation, especially with this roster.

Get excited, USMNT fans! We’ve got international soccer and a Concacaf opponent. As you watch, look out for which players fit the system, who can fill senior roster depth, and cheer for the win.

Nick
The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast

And be sure to tune in to The Sons of a Pitch YouTube channel for our USMNT vs. El Salvador watch-along, featuring live commentary and love chat. Coverage of USMNT vs. El Salvador begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN News, UniMás and TUDN.


And the worst team in MLS is…?



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we bring you a plethora of punditry as we parse the play of the this week’s participants. First, we discuss whether the New England Revolution are for real. Hampered by injuries, but still in the playoff picture, the Revs could be a season or two – or a player or two – from being a top tier Eastern Conference team. We also break down the impact of Philadelphia’s drubbing of Toronto FC to take over the top spot in the league.

Next, we answer the question: Who is the worst team in MLS right now? With choices like DC United, Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, Colorado Rapids, and LA Galaxy, there’s been no shortage of poor play this season. Tune in for why Nick thinks the Galaxy are this season’s disappointment and hear why Mike believes Cincinnati is even worse.

We wrap up the show with talk about the USMNT finally scheduling an international friendly. They take on Wales in Swansea on November 12, 2020. We chat about what this means for the squad, how good of an opponent is Wales, and what lies in store for the future of US Soccer. Leave your feedback in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe on Youtube and wherever you listen to podcasts.


USMNT Friendlies vs. Ecuador and Chile and MLS Week 4 Roundup



Hello again, soccer fans! We hope you enjoyed the USMNT action to offset the short MLS schedule this weekend. We at the Sons of a Pitch certainly enjoyed seeing all the names and faces of the future of US Soccer this week.

In their 3rd game under coach Gregg Berhalter, the United States Men’s National Team played a controlling game against Ecuador, but only had a 1-0 victory to show for it. In the next game against Chile, the USMNT had a difficult time beating the high press and were on the back-foot most of the game. Despite that, they held on for a 1-1 draw. Our biggest takeaways are the continued implementation of Coach GGG’s system and the integration of the European based players, and the building of a winning culture. We really say was Adams, McKennie, and Pulisic can do together, but we also saw the flaws in letting wing-backs push too far up the field.

Rising Stock: Zardes-1 goal, 1 assist in last 2 games; Trapp-the smartest guy on the field;

Falling Stock: Baird-who was non-existent; Lovitz-who looked lost; Ream-who still makes that one, dumb play every game

Meanwhile in a less than full slate of Major League Soccer games, the headlines could read:

  • FC Dallas keeps taking points
  • Orlando City finally get a win
  • LAFC get another stoppage time victory – this time courtesy of some Walker Zimmerman brilliance
  • FC Cincinnati win again, turning critics into bandwagon fans
  • At least one New England is terrible: the Revolution are in complete disarray

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


USMNT vs. Ecuador and Chile: Roster Breakdown, U-23 Coaching Hire



Hello soccer fans, and welcome to a special USMNT episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

While the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) have prepared for friendly matches vs. Ecuador and Chile, our hosts have prepared an analysis of Gregg Berhalter’s squad. Breaking down each position player pool, Nick and Mike discuss the strengths of each player, expected line-ups, and what they expect out of the match. While still relatively young and inexperienced, the USMNT needs to develop both tactics and a winning culture.

In other national team news, the U-23 USMNT squad have hired Jason Kreis as their new coach. Mike thinks this is a great move, and getting someone who’s played and coached at various levels in the United States is a big advantage. As the youth squad prepares for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Kreis’ direction of the team and continued development of players like Weah, Carter-Vickers, Mihailovic, and Robinson will be key.

What do you expect from the friendly matchups? Who are you excited to see put on the Red, White, and Blue? Follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer or leave us a message in the comments below.

USMNT SCHEDULE:

March 21, 2019 8 PM ET MNT vs Ecuador Orlando City Stadium; Orlando, FL
March 26, 2019 7:55 PM ET MNT vs Chile BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas

USMNT vs. Panama, Giovinco Rumors, and 3 Big Transfers



Greetings soccer fans from the soon-to-be coldest place on Earth: the Chicago suburbs. Post-apocalyptic and extreme freezing temperatures have shut down much of the Midwest, including our recording studio, but the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast is still bringing you the latest in Major League Soccer (MLS) and United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) news.

This episode starts off with Nick recapping the USMNT friendly matchup against Panama, the first game under new head coach Gregg Berhalter. The US arrived with an all-MLS based squad and employed a rarely seen 4-3-3 formation. However, the attacking depth of the roster and the tactics employed by Berhalter necessitated such a formation. With a result of 3-0, who can argue!?

Next our resident Toronto FC (and all things Canada) expert, Mike gives his take on the Giovinco trade rumors. Will he stay at TFC, and will it be a DP or TAM deal? Will the Atomic Ant end up in Asia? Be sure to listen to find out details.

Finally, Nick discussed three big transfers and their impact on the league:
1. Almiron to Newcastle United
Where does the MLS now stand in the world marketplace?
2. Opara to Minnesota United FC
Did MNUFC overpay? And if so, who cares!?
3. Ousted to Chicago Fire
An improvement over Sanchez, but what wouldn’t have been?

 

Thanks for listening! Join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments section below.


USMNT vs. Italy and MLS Headlines



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

We are pleased to bring you our live reactions to the USMNT friendly versus Italy. Listen as the hosts give their live takes on the game and answer all the burning questions surrounding the teams:
-What’s the status of the head coaching position?
-How should Christian Pulisic be utilized?
-Can Ethan Horvath compete with Zack Steffen for the starting GK spot?
-What is the team’s identity?

During the game, Mike and Nick also break down the latest Major League Soccer headlines. Listen for their reactions to:
-Jim Curtain’s contract extension with the Philadelphia Union
-MLS players currently in the playoffs playing internationally – For or Against?
-Minnesota United FC re-signs defender Kallman
-American U-20s defeat Honduras to advance to Concacaf finals; USMNT announces friendly vs. Costa Rica
-Concacaf Champions League teams from the MLS

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast using the links on the right, follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer, and as always, thanks for listening!


Ep 32 – USMNT vs. Mexico: No such thing as a friendly



Welcome back to SOP Soccer and our special USMNT live recording!

In this special episode, Nick and Mike recorded their conversations during the broadcast of the US Men’s National Team vs. Mexico. Listen to their reactions, analysis, and Nick’s #soccerracist rants. Join the conversations on twitter @SOPSoccer and in the comments below.

Also, the halftime thoughts include the news of Sigi Schmid stepping down as LA Galaxy head coach, the direction of US Soccer in their coaching search, and the future of the US vs. Mexico rivalry.

It’s a longer, free-flowing type of episode, so get comfy and get ready to be entertained.