Tag Archives: Houston

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!


Ep. 34 – MLS Week 29 Recap: ‘Caps Can their Coach, USOC Final Preview, and Playoff Favorites



Greetings soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch Podcast.
Tonight we recap Week 29 of Major League Soccer, including all the scores and story lines around the league.

In Vancouver, Carl Robinson is out as head coach. The Whitecaps parted ways with the 3rd longest tenured MLS head coach, along with his entire coaching staff. The hosts discuss Robinson’s tenure, his future, and what the Whitecaps need to do to compete with rivals Seattle, Portland, and Toronto.

Next, Nick and Mike both pick the Philadelphia Union to defeat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Both think the game will be tight and defense oriented, but Philly’s recent run of form should put them over the top. DOOP! DOOP! DOOP!

As the episode wraps up, the hosts discuss teams’ records against playoff-bound teams. No surprise that Atlanta United and Red Bulls New York have 8 wins each against playoff-bound teams, but Sporting KC has only defeated 3 teams currently in the playoffs. Does that bode well for SKC and the others? Tune in to find out.

 

Thanks for listening, and leave a comment below with your thoughts and all things MLS and US Soccer.


Ep. 23 – MLS Week 21 Recap, US Open Cup, Canadian Championship, and Story Time with Mike



Hello soccer fans! Thanks for stopping by and giving us a listen. In this episode, you’ll get a recap of the scores around Major League Soccer along with the latest news from the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup (USOC) and the Canadian Championship. We also analyze Minnesota United FC’s possible play-off push, discuss Alphonso Davies’ record setting transfer to Bayern Munich, and Mike shares his stories about attending Chicago vs. TFC.

Specifically, the hosts break down the final four teams of the USOC and their picks to win. They also take a detailed look at why Portland Timbers filed a protest against LAFC for using too many international players in their quarterfinal match-up. Will Bob Bradley take another expansion team to the finals? You know the press would love to write that story line! Also, the hosts still think the Canadian Championship is Toronto FC’s to lose. With their starters getting healthy, they could be poised for a surprising second half of the MLS season.

Did you see how MNUFC dismantled LAFC? Our hosts did, but they don’t want to make too much of a big deal about beating a depleted LAFC team, especially when 4 of the next 5 games are against Western Conference playoff teams. However, the Loons have all the pieces, starting with Superman Quintero, to make a playoff push.

Finally, Mike shares his experience at Toyota Park in Bridgeview as he and his wife (who is a big fan of Alex Bono) saw the Fire host TFC. When he was not exchanging pleasantries with Jordan Hamilton, Mike was learning information concerning the health of TFC’s starting goal keeper. Make sure to tune in to the entire episode to hear what might keep Bono from playing at 100%.

 

Let us know what you think about these, or any MLS topics, in the comments below. Thanks again for listening!


Ep 19 – MLS Week 17 Recap



What a week for the MLS! The hosts cover all the scores and stories from Week 17.

Eastern Conference
Is Atlanta showing cracks in its armor?
How can Orlando City get back on track?
Philadelphia keeps rolling! DOOP! DOOP! DOOP!

Western Conference
When will teams figure out Ciman’s free kick powers?!
Colorado wins! (no typo)
Is Houston in danger of missing the playoffs?

Tune in and hear Nick and Mike’s take on these topics and all things MLS. Listen to the end to hear their picks for next week’s games. You might even learn something.