Tag Archives: Gregg Berhalter

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 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.


What Pulisic to Chelsea Means, USMNT Camp Roster, CCL Preview, and MLS Moves



Happy New Year soccer fans! Thanks for spending time with us as we flip the calendar and look forward to another year of soccer. We at Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast appreciate you listening as we break down all the latest soccer news.

And speaking of breaking news, Christian Pulisic has been sold from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea for $73.1 million (64 million pounds) – the largest transfer for an American player by far. Nick is giddy with excitement at the opportunity for Pulisic and how it will raise the profile of American soccer and the talent level of the USMNT. Mike feels confident that Pulisic can live up to the hype and not yield to the pressure. Whatever the case, this is a great move for all parties involved.

Next, Mike and Nick break down the USMNT January camp roster – new coach Gregg Berhalter’s first camp roster – and what it means to have a group made up of all MLS-based players. There’s excitement in the goalkeeping competition, but Nick thinks there’s real competition at the forward position. Mike believes the international based players have the edge, but competition will be better at every position.

Sticking with the international theme, Concacaf Champions League (CCL) kicks off in just a few short weeks. Our hosts still believe that the tournament belongs to Liga MX, but the talent gap is closing, and there should be some great match-ups. Finally, Nick and Mike break down the latest headlines from around Major League Soccer (MLS), including:

  • Kei Kamara to the Colorado Rapids
  • Speculation around FC Dallas South American signinsg
  • Chicago Fire extend coach Veljko Paunovic’s contract

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer. Have a great 2019!


Berhalter Hired (finally), MLS Cup Preview, and CCL Quick Takes



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for joining the conversation on all things American soccer with the Sons of a Pitch podcast.

In this week’s episode, the hosts give their reactions to the USMNT hiring Gregg Berhalter as the new coach. While both are in favor of the hiring, it remains to be seen if Berhalter’s system with the Columbus Crew can be implemented at the national team level. Having players like Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp, and Zack Steffen could certainly help. Nick’s biggest takeaway is Berhalter’s ability get the most out of his team, while Mike looks to Berhalter’s unique blend of playing for the USMNT, MLS, and European leagues to help him build the team’s identity.

In Major League Soccer action, the MLS Cup Final is set between the Portland Timbers and Atlanta United. Portland, tested road warriors, travel to Atlanta and Merdedess-Benz stadium to take on the high powered attack of the Five Stripes. While the home team is favored, look to the visitors to play spoiler and ruin Atlanta’s best chance at a trophy. Expect another big game from the stars: Valeri, Blanco, Martinez, and Almiron. And how great has Attinella’s post-season play been for the Timbers? He’ll be called on more than once in this matchup.

The hosts conclude their podcast looking at the Concacaf Champions League (CCL) draw featuring 5 MLS teams. In a balanced bracket (2/3 MLS and 2 Liga MX teams on each side) don’t be surprised if this is the first year for an MLS team to win the tournament or if four Mexican teams make up the semi-finals.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to connect with us on twitter @SOPSoccer or by email: podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.

 


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.


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!