Tag Archives: LA

Signings around the MLS, Thoughts on the CBA, and the Future Structure of the League



Hello once again, soccer fans! Tonight, our hosts answer listener questions on trades and signings from around Major League Soccer (MLS). What are the key points and what makes them different from other American leagues? While they bargaining and goals are the same (get the best players for the best value) there are a lot more bargaining chips in the MLS – TAM, GAM, and international roster spots, to name a few. Also, MLS franchises can scout the entire world for soccer talent, where other American leagues have a much more limited player pool.

Specifically, our hosts address the signings of:

  • Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
  • Francisco Ginella, Los Angeles FC
  • Adam Buksa, New England Revolution

In the 2nd half of the show, Nick and Mike give their thoughts on the upcoming CBA negotiations and the anticipated issues between the MLSPA and the league. The focus of the negotiations will likely revolve around free agency, salaries, and … chartered flights!? Yes, with increased revenue, the league is going to have a much more difficult time not raising the salary cap, minimum salaries, or allowing chartered flights.

The show wraps up with thoughts on further expansion and what the future structure of the league might look like. With Charlotte being just announced as the MLS’ 30th franchise, the Major League Soccer is at the size of most other American sports leagues, but much larger than any other soccer league in the world. Are they at a breaking point? Or is a restructure on the horizon? Tune in for some scenarios that Nick and Mike think could happen.

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Episode 100! MLS Headlines and Coaching Moves, Cup Final Preview



Welcome back, soccer fans, to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In our 100th episode spectacular, Nick and Mike discuss the various headlines from around Major League Soccer (MLS), including:

    • Possible strategies for new Chicago Fire owner Joe Mansueto
    • Adam Lallana rumored to MLS
    • Should Toronto FC get a CCL berth if they win the MLS Cup?
    • Nashville acquires McCarty (CHI) and Romney (LAG)
    • Tab Ramos adds Namazi, Mastroeni to Houston Dynamo coaching staff
    • Reports of Dome Torrent resigning as NYCFC head coach

In the Second Half of the show, the hosts break down the playoff runs of MLS Cup Finalists Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders and just how amazing these post-seasons have been. They also give their expectations of the final, and both hosts predict that Seattle will end up raising the cup.

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


S2Ep22 – World Cup Triumph, Gold Cup Heartbreak, and MLS Roundup



The United States is World Cup Champions!
How nice that sounds!

One day we’ll say it about the men, but for now, enjoy the USWNT once again asserting their dominance over the rest of the world of women’s soccer. After taking a comfortable 2-0 lead, the US Women were content to play more defensively and see the game out. Congrats to Jill Ellis on her game plan, the players for their performances, and to the fans who traveled to France.

Meanwhile on home soil, the USMNT advanced to the Gold Cup Final after defeating Jamaica in a solid performance. Sadly, they were plagued by an inability to score and atrocious 2nd half coaching, which included three terrible substitutions. The US is improving, but is nowhere near Mexico or the rest of the top soccer nations around the world.

Major League Soccer also had a slate of games between the international competitions, which featured a number of Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference match-ups. The West dominated in those games, and is dominating the East in most statistical categories.

Thanks for listening and be sure to follow along on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below!


MLS 2019 Season Previews: LAFC, LA Galaxy, MNUFC, and Montreal



Hello soccer fans! Anyone have a CCL hangover yet?
We’ll cover that (and possible remedies) in our next episode, but right now we turn our attention to the 2019 Major League Soccer season as we preview the next four teams in the league, alphabetically:

LAFC – This team has MLS Cup aspirations, and they have the talent on the roster to do it. They won’t take anyone by surprise like they did in their expansion season, but with the likes of Vela and Rossi, and new signing Zelaya, LAFC are poised to win the West and the Cup.

LA Galaxy – Coming off a season of dysfunction and failing to make the playoffs, Zlatan & Co. are primed to elevate their games. However, they still have too many Designated Players (DPs) on the roster and a new coach trying to implement a new system. With the Western Conference growing ever-stronger, where does this original MLS club fit in today’s league?

MNUFC – Minnesota United have declared they are ready to compete for trophies, not just points. They’ve got intstant defense by transferring in Ike Opara from Sporting KC and have solidified the midfield with international signing Jan Gregus. Now, can they link everything together to keep Ibarra and Quintero scoring goals?

Montreal Impact – A team that flies under the radar until Ignacio Piatti does something spectacular, Montreal is looking to get back to the playoffs after nearly missing out in 2018. Whether or not the roster has been reworked enough to get there remains to be seen. Our hosts don’t think they’re quite at that level, and the Impact will likely be watching the 2019 MLS playoffs from home.

 

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


More Transfers, International Roster Rules, and Imagine No Salary Cap



Greetings, soccer fans! We hope you all survived the polar vortex and are enjoying warmer temperatures. At Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer podcast, we keep things heated with a fiery discussion on the future of the league.

First, transfers and moves keep happening all around Major League Soccer (MLS). Vancouver and LAFC sign Hwang In-beom and Rodolfo Zelaya. NYCFC gets striker Alex Mitrita from Romania. Toronto FC sign Terrance Boyd to offset the loss of Toussaint Rickets, and Luciano Acosta’s deal with Paris St. Germain (PSG) falls through in the 11th hour. Acosta returns to DC United, but with what mentality?

Speaking of Rodolfo Zelaya, host Mike takes exception to the rule allowing Zelaya to occupy a domestic roster spot. As an El Salvadoran, he should take up an international roster spot, right? Not according to league rules allowing green card holders to be considered domestic players. Nick gives a reading of the rules, and the two debate the topic.

From there, an even lively debate was sparked. Both Mike and Nick address the future of the league, with Mike advocating for an open-market style with no salary caps or roster restrictions. Nick vehemently disagrees, advocating for the current system with steady changes. They might agree on where the league is going, but definitely not on how to get there.

Join the conversation @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Thanks for listening, and be sure to spread the word of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.


Episode 50! SuperDraft Reflections, Chicago Fire Picks, and ATL DPs



Hello soccer fans, and welcome to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Today we mark a milestone in SOP history as we hit 50 episodes! Thanks to our hosts, listeners, followers, and everyone who helps make soccer in America the great sport it is.

In this episode, we had a lot to say about the future of the MLS SuperDraft, and whether it even has a future. Is it worth teams spending time and resources on the draft? Should it be left to USL affiliates, development projects, and academies? Some think so, but Nick believes this uniquely American device has a place in the league and the soccer landscape.

In follow up to last week’s Chicago Fire discussion, Nick breaks down #cf97’s draft picks: $150k in GAM, Amando Reyeno, Ebenezer Ackon, Grant Stoneman, and Mark Forrest. While definitely not immediate 1st-teamers, these are solid picks in their own right. Each excelled in their respective college conferences, and Stoneman’s local roots are worth cheering for. However, the Fire still have yet to make that one significant signing and are leaving fans with a lot to be desired.

In other league news, Atlanta United has a similar problem to the LA Galaxy: 4 DPs and one needs to move. With Almiron, Josef, Barco, and Pity Martinez, one of the players has to be sold or loaned to comply with Major League Soccer’s roster rules. All the speculation is that Almiron will be sold, but so far Atlanta has yet to agree on a price. It remains to be seen how the reigning MLS Cup Champions deal with their roster while preparing their title defense. Meanwhile north of the border, Toronto FC has agreed to sell Victor Vazquez to a club in Qatar for an undisclosed amount. While a vital piece to TFC’s recent success, Vazquez has become injury prone and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to possibly coach overseas at the conclusion of his playing career.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to cover the announcement in Austin and the new career path for standout referee Mark Geiger, but tune-in next week for all the additional coverage. Thanks for listening, thanks for 50 episodes, and thanks for supporting American soccer!


Transfer News, Roster Impact, and Nick addresses Atlanta Haters



Happy Holidays everyone, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Even though the MLS is in the middle of its off-season, there has been no shortage of action. Teams are addressing their needs and a flurry of signings has taken place:

  • Laurent Ciman to Toronto FC
  • Yoshi Yotun to Cruz Azul
  • Alvas Powell to FC Cincinnati
  • Marcelo to Chicago Fire
  • Joe Bendik to Columbus Crew
  • Schelotto to manage the LA Galaxy

How do these signings affect their respective teams? Orlando City may have admitted it’s time for a rebuild. FC Cincinnati is looking to continue the success of expansion teams. Chicago and Toronto finally have center-backs, and Schweinsteiger and Bradley can return to their midfield roles. The hosts break down the rosters in greater detail and examine the potential playing style of each team as a result of these signings.

In a special segment, Nick addresses an issue that has been on his mind for some time: Atlanta haters. They hate on Atlanta for being good but never winning a trophy, then they hate on Atlanta for winning a trophy too soon. What are your thoughts on all the hate?

Finally, Sons of a Pitch recognizes the passing of an American soccer icon: Sigi Schmid. His imprint on the MLS and US Soccer will forever be felt, and we send our condolences to his family, friends, and all who are affected.

Thanks for listening, and stay tuned next week for our review of the USMNT January camp roster and what it means for the next four years of American soccer. Happy New Year to all!