Tag Archives: Higuain

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!

 


Ep. 38 – Week 34 Round Up: Results, Playoff Predictions, and Storylines



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thank you for joining us at Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.
This episode looks back at Week 34 and looks forward at Decision Day and the Major League Soccer playoff picture.

With only one week remaining in the MLS regular season, nearly all playoff spots are locked up. The remaining spot in the Eastern Conference will belong to either Columbus (who will clinch with a win) or Montreal (who need to win and have Columbus draw or lose). After spending much of the season in the 4th spot, the Crew’s complacency and lack of scoring have finally caught up with them. In the West, Real Salt Lake will await their fate, having played their full 34 game season. If the LA Galaxy win against the Houston Dynamo, RSL gets eliminated and the Galaxy qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs – one step closer to their rebuild.

Regardless of the outcome, goal scoring and goal differential favor Atlanta Untied, New York Red Bulls, and Sporting Kansas City. But we all know that luck has as much to do with a one-game outcome as does consistent play all season. What are your playoff predictions? Who will win their conference. Which team will raise the MLS Cup?

All this and more in SOP Episode 38. Thanks for listening. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and find us one twitter @SOPSoccer.