Tag Archives: Houston

Team Previews Part 2 – Houston, Montreal, and New England



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back with more team previews. Nick is out sick, so settle in for the smooth sounds of Mike’s voice as he walks you through the Houston Dyanamo, Montreal Impact, and New England Revolution as they prepare for the 2020 Major League Soccer season. For our MLS team previews, we cover players in and out, review the Designated Players (DPs), and predict breakout youngsters in the next generation of MLS talent. We also provide projected Starting XI and predict the floor/ceiling of each team.

Here are the hot takes from this episode:

  • Houston has a potent offense, and the Dynamo will need every goal to try to keep pace with the rest of the West
  • Montreal will need every bit of coaching guile from Thierry Henry, but just doesn’t have the talent to compete with the top of the East
  • The Revolution continues as Bruce Arena has a full off-season to work with New England. Expect to see them compete for a top spot in the East.

Be sure to join the conversation and keep up with our social media:


MLS Cup 2019, Chicago Clean House, and Transfers Aplenty!



Welcome back, soccer fans, to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. The MLS has its newest champion in the Seattle Sounders, after their 3-1 victory over Toronto FC. While TFC may have looked the better side, Seattle got the better of the goal-scoring opportunities to earn their second MLS Cup in team history. Our condolences to our host Mike, a Toronto superfan, but at least he got his pick right.

In the second half of the show, our hosts review the latest headlines from around Major League Soccer, including:

  • Chicago Fire clean house – head coach Paunovic and entire staff let go. Is GM Rodriguez next?
  • Nagbe returns to Columbus for a hefty sum – Did the Crew overpay?
  • Inter Miami acquire TFC midfielder Jay Chapman – experience key for the expansion squad
  • Houston increase its attacking potential by trading for Darwin Quintero – doubtful that Adrian Heath is upset

Be sure to join the conversation and keep up with our social media:


Dest Chose Best, Houston has a Coach, and Playoff Roundup



Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In tonight’s episode, our hosts recap all the headlines from around Major League Soccer, including:

  • Sacramento Republic FC’s natural rivalry with the San Jose Earthquakes
  • Houston Dynamo hire Tab Ramos as head coach
  • Sergino Dest to play for USMNT
  • MLS Best XI: who else could’ve made the list?

In the second half of the show, Nick and Mike also round up the MLS Cup Playoffs giving their takes on:

  • LAFC v. LA Galaxy: Goals, goals, and goals
  • Seattle vs. RSL: Sounders to much to handle for Real Salt Lake
  • Atlanta vs. Philly: Doop’s run comes to an end, but a season to build on
  • NYCFC vs. Toronto: New York can’t get the playoff monkey off their back (What with the northeast and not winning cups?)

The hosts also give their prediction for the next round. Follow along on social media and let us know your thoughts. Thanks for listening!


Cabrera Out, Lion Tamed, and MLS League Roundup



Welcome back soccer fans! Thank you for tuning in to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this week’s episode our hosts round up all the action from this week in Major League Soccer, including the following headlines:

  • Houston Dynamo fire coach Wilmer Cabrera
  • Zlatan sets record for most shots in a game (15), but fails to score … Lion Tamed!
  • Is Vanney on the hot seat in Toronto?
  • Chicago Fire need to play like LAFC to make the playoffs
  • Minnesota United have the biggest game in franchise history coming up. Can they top Atlanta United in the US Open Cup Final?

All this and other discussion from each and every game this past week. Listen in to hear what Nick and Mike think of your team. Also, join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook @sonsofapitch soccer, or email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com, or comment below!

Teams on the Rise

  • Real Salt Lake: 3 wins and 2 draws in their last 5 games has RSL 6th in the West.
  • Atlanta United: Winners of their last 3, including Ws against rivals Orlando City and NYCFC

Teams on the Fall

  • Houston Dynamo: Firing their coach seems like they’ve given up on the season.
  • Toronto FC: A team in need of points can find any … at home … against Orlando City.

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!


Week 11 Roundup: Zlatan’s Trash Talk, SKC/Revs Shootout, and What’s Wrong with the East?



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for returning to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for all your Major League Soccer news. In this episode, the hosts recap Week 11 and all the goals, drama, and story-lines that accompanied it. Tune in for:

  • Houston and Dallas keep taking points
  • LAFC – Seattle rematch not live up to the hype
  • Zlatan’s talking trash and the league is letting him

The hosts also discuss what’s going on in the Eastern Conference. With no team looking like a favorite, the conference is up for grabs. Listen to Nick and Mike break down how:

  • Columbus is slumping, Chicago is under-performing
  • Atlanta is the most talented team, but only on paper
  • DC can’t string together wins
  • Is TFC the favorite? Based on PPG, they sure are

And to round out the discussion, we take a glimpse at the newly formed Canadian Premier League (CPL). With seven teams in Canada’s top flight, Mike discusses the influence of Toronto on the league and the league’s focus on developing young, Canadian talent. Nick is optimistic about the experience coaches, organizations, and owners will get and how they can apply that to the future of soccer in North America.

Finally, the hosts gives some early US Open Cup picks. The US Open Cup gets underway next week, and while MLS teams are favored to win (Mike likes Seattle, Nick likes Houston or Sporting KC), don’t be surprised is USL Championship sides like Louisville City or Saint Louis FC make a run.

 

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


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!


Nani, Nagbe, & Long – Jersey Fashion – CCL Preview and Picks



Welcome back soccer fans! The terrible, winter weather has held off just long enough for our hosts to get back to the studio and give you a full length episode of analysis and entertainment.

To begin, Nick and Mike break down Orlando City’s latest Designated Player (DP) signing in Nani. The Portugese international and former Manchester United star may be 32 years old, but can bring a certain quality to the Orlando roster. Look for him to work the wing, creating opportunities for Dwyer and get the rest of the Orlando squad involved in the attack. Next, Mike gives his take on Darlington Nagbe wanting a trade to reunite with Caleb Porter in Columbus. Mike calls Nagbe overrated, and Nick doesn’t disagree. Finally, Aaron Long signs a three year deal with Red Bulls New York, who now can focus on rebuilding their attack after locking down the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year

To lighten the mood, the hosts take a look at the new jerseys released by MLS teams this year. The LA Galaxy disappoint, expansion side FC Cincinnati start off solid, and Minnesota United’s away jersey has a classic look. Also, Toronto FC’s new red, home jersey looks just as terrible as they played in their CCL opener.

Speaking of the Concacaf Champions League, TFC and Independiente kicked things off with a 4-0 result in favor of the Panamania home side. Nick appreciated a home team playing aggressively while Mike could barely stand to watch his beloved Reds play like garbage. TFC had no structure, formation, or attacking threat, but at least they can now focus on the regular season. The other MLS teams should fare a better fate with Houston, Red Bulls, Sporting KC, and Atlanta all the favorites to win their first round matchup. In a bold prediction, Nick picks RBNY to win the tournament, while Mike thinks that Liga MX teams will dominate and have all four semi-final spots.

What are your thoughts on the transfer news around Major League Soccer? Who’s your pick to win the CCL? Let us know on twitter @SOPSoccer and in the comment section below. Thanks for listening, and enjoy all the soccer action this week.


2019 MLS Previews: Columbus, Dallas, DC, and Houston



Hey soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We continue our previews of Major League Soccer teams leading up to the kickoff of the 2019 season. How do your teams stack up? What are you expecting to change this year?

Nick starts off the episode previewing the Columbus Crew, and thinks they’ll continue their playoff appearance streak. He picks Artur to be the most important player, but knows that Robinho will be crucial to new head coach Caleb Porter’s game plan. Nick expects Robhinho to get a lot of touches on the wing, but Artur and Higuain will still be the focus of the Crew from a tactical perspective.

As for FC Dallas, Mike predicts another playoff appearance and further expects Matt Hedges to be the most important player. With a starting 11 still a bit in flux – Will Dom Badji break the starting lineup? – Mike expects Dallas to play well, but not really challenge for the Western Conference title.

Next up: DC United. Mike likes the projected starting lineup, and thinks that DC is on the cusp of competing for the Eastern Conference. He picks Rooney as the most important player, and believes that DC will keep winning so long as Rooney keeps scoring. Do you think that this original franchise is back to capturing their old glory?

Finally, Nick looks at the potential for the Houston Dynamo. They have the talent and experience to impress during the regular season, but everything comes down to how they balance Concacaf Champions League (CCL) with the regular MLS season. So long as Elis, Manotas, and Quioto are scoring, Houston compete with any team in the West.

How do you think these teams stack up? Have they improved from last year? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for listening!