Tag Archives: Martinez

MLS Headlines, Champions League, and Week 1 Roundup



Hey soccer fans, and welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode we kick off our third season as a podcast and the 25th season of Major League Soccer. Tune in to hear all the latest headlines, tournament news, and league roundup, including:

Headlines

  • Higuain signs with DC United as a player and a development coach
  • Josef Martinez out for the season. Who does Atlanta United turn to?
  • Bedoya bought down with TAM. Is Philly ready for a shopping spree?

Concacaf Champions League

4 MLS teams remain after Seattle’s early ouster. Nick thinks the odds of an MLS team in the final are pretty good, and there’s even a chance we have an all-MLS semi-finals … Mike brings him back to Earth, but a guy can dream, right? Tune in for a recap of the first round and our thoughts on who has the best chances to advance toward MLS glory.

League Roundup

Week 1 is in the books. The theme: dramatic goals from Designated Players. Vela, Alanis, Beric, Pulido, and Zelarayan all find the back of the next. Tune in for a recap of all the results and our hosts’ quick takes on each.


Team Previews Pt. 6 – Atlanta United, Seattle Sounds, and the MLS CBA



Hello, soccer fans! The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast are back with more team previews. In this episode, our hosts examine two powerhouses of Major League Soccer: Atlanta United and the Seattle Sounders. In each preview, Nick and Mike review the roster (who’s in/who’s out), analyze the Designated Players (DPs), and pick a young player to have a break out season. They conclude each preview with projected starting lineups and predict the ceiling and floor for each team.

Atlanta Untied look to compete for more trophies and have the talent to do so. Could they become the first MLS team to win Concacaf Champions League? Could they match Toronto’s record setting 2016 season? Or will they fall flat and come up empty handed? Tune in to find out.

Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Sounders again have a roster built to compete for an MLS Cup. They are experienced, well-coached, and look to be transitioning to a more attacking mindset. If their defense can play at an average level, look for the Sounders to once again be near the top of the Western Conference.

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


Mike & The Kings in the North, Dr. Vanessa on Josef’s Injury, and MNUFC Reality Check



Welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, our hosts discuss a wide range of Major League Soccer topics, and we look forward to your feedback.

To start, Mike tells tales of the final Chicago Fire game at Bridgeview while cheering with the Kings of the North. Our host and TFC superfan saw the Reds clinch a playoff spot, eliminate the Fire, and witness the final whistle at Seat Geek Stadium for the men’s team. The atmosphere was great despite the home team’s play on the field. In the next segment, the hosts touch on the Nations League, what it means for the USMNT and the CanMNT, and how Brenden Aaronson – who is reported to be called up – will fit in with the squad.

Next, Nick gives MNUFC fans a reality check. While making the playoffs is great, doing to in your third year is quite the under-whelming task historically. While Loons fans should be happy to have made it, the team may not be built for sustained success, and back-to-back playoff appearances for expansions teams isn’t too common. So Minnesota fans, let him know exactly how you feel in the comments below. Then in a special segment, Dr. Vanessa opines on Josef’s knee injury and probably time tables for the Atlanta United striker. She and the Five Stripes faithful are hopeful he returns for the playoffs, but the team can’t rush his recovery.

The hosts then round up all the action from the last week of games and analyze their impact on the playoff picture. All this more on this week’s episode. Be sure to join the conversation in the comments below or on social media:


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 Conference Semi-Finals Recap



Hello fans of Major League Soccer, and welcome to another episode of Sons of a Pitch Soccer Podcast!

Tonight, the hosts recap the conference semi-finals of the Major League Soccer Playoffs.

  • Portland and Seattle gave us another chapter in the Cascadia rivalry and an instant MLS Playoff classic. Did anyone think that Dairon Asprilla would be the deciding factor?
  • Sporting KC showed up against Real Salt Lake and confirmed why they were the best in the West. Has SKC’s offense proven the deciding factor in the playoffs so far?
  • Red Bulls New York ended Columbus Crew’s dream season. No one could #SavetheCrew from the high press. Can RBNY finally capture that elusive cup victory?
  • Josef Martinez regained his Golden Boot form as he and Atlanta United eliminated NYCFC. How will he fare against Red Bulls pressure and their ability to smother the best players on opposing teams?

Looking forward, Nick and Mike stick to their pick of SKC winning the MLS Cup. Nick has them defeating RBNY, while Mike sees Atlanta United advancing out of the East. What are your thoughts on the playoffs so far? Is your pick to win still alive? Follow us @SOPSoccer or email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.


Ep. 29 – MLS Week 26 Recap, Jozy’s Suspension, and SKC is Rolling



Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch!

In this episode, the hosts break down Rivalry Week matchups from Major League Soccer and how they impacted the playoff race. New York went purple, TFC got back to scoring, and Seattle has pulled themselves up from the basement and become the West’s hottest team. SKC similarly has gone on a 4 game unbeaten streak, without conceding a goal during that time. (Another Goalkeeper of the Year trophy for Tim Melia?)

Mike gives you his candid thoughts on Jozy Altidore’s additional game suspension handed out by the Disciplinary Committee. Specifically, how the timing and consistency of the decision are sparking conspiracy theories. Finally, LAFC stalwart and Belgian international Laurent Ciman has been transferred to French Ligue 1 team Dijon FCO for a cool $500,000 fee. How will LAFC respond? Tune in to find out!


Ep 27. – MLS Week 25 Recap, Playoff Picture, and Rivalry Week!



Welcome back, soccer fans!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the latest action from Major League Soccer and are ready as teams make their playoff push. In this episode we recap the scores around the league and get into to detail for the following topics:

Toronto FC and Jozy Altidore
TFC wins another Canadian Championship, this time defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 7-4 on aggregate. The Boys in Red qualify for next year’s CONCACAF Champions League and add to their trophy case. Jozy Altidore had a hat-trick in the 2nd leg and was the center of some transfer speculation to Ligue 1 in France or Serie A in Italy. The hosts give their take on TFC, the transfer rumors, and whether Jozy should stay in MLS.

Rivalry Week
It’s Rivalry Week in the MLS (sponsored by Heineken)! This week’s slate of games has Red Bulls New York vs. NYCFC, LA Galaxy vs. LAFC, Toronto vs. Montreal … Philly vs. New England? SKC vs. Minnesota?
The hosts explore whether the marketing machine has stretched itself a little too far, and they discuss whether rivalry games are good for the league.

In or Out
Is your team making the playoffs? The top three teams in each conference seem like locks, so the hosts discuss who ends up with the final three spots. Listen as they give their vote of confidence to surging DC United and Seattle Sounders. Nick and Mike aren’t so confident when it comes to struggling LA Galaxy or unimpressive New England Revolution.

Josef Martinez
You may have heard that the Atlanta United striker tied the single-season goal scoring record (27), and still has nine games left this season. We think he can hit the 34 goal mark and become an all-time great in the MLS.


Ep. 22 – MLS Week 20 Recap: Trends, Officiating, and the Portland Timbers



The new show format continues! More content, more discussion, more analysis … and more mispronouncing of player names.

The hosts recap the results from Week 20 of Major League Soccer, where Columbus and Kansas City keep losing, the Red Bulls beat another good team, and D.C. United unveil their new stadium and new hit signing, Wayne Rooney. RSL Coach Petke goes on another rant, but the hosts think he’s justified and makes some good points about the referees in the league.

Speaking of officiating…
Nick and Mike also attempt to solve the officiating crisis, offer some advice to PRO Referees, and break down their interpretation of “what is a hand ball?” Nick explains why the Portland Timbers are a legitimate contender for the MLS Cup – they just signed another young Argentine! He also gets worried about Atlanta United after their recent slide (.500 over last 5 games), but Mike reassures him that the Five Stripes are still the favorite to win the Eastern Conference and the MLS Cup (and maybe even the Supporters’ Shield).

 

Mike, such a good co-host, calming things down, keeping Nick grounded.


Ep. 21 – MLS Week 19 Recap and Mid-Season Story Lines



Sons of a Pitch takes on a new format, giving you more content, more discussion, and more story lines from around Major League Soccer. This week’s topics include:

  • A mini-slump for Sporting Kansas City
  • What’s causing the Columbus Crew collapse? (1W, 3L, 4D in last eight!)
  • Nick and Mike compare the Eastern Conference vs. the Western Conference: Does the East still have the edge?
  • The hosts review the recent transfers (Geoff Cameron to MLS?) and a big coaching change in New York … again!

Also, Nick and Mike review their pre-season playoff predictions. See how they’re fairing at the mid-point of the MLS season.

Eastern Conference

  Predictions Currently
1 Toronto FC Atlanta United
2 NYCFC NYCFC
3 Atlanta United Red Bulls
4 Chicago Columbus
5 Orlando City New England
6 Red Bulls (Nick) / Union (Mike) Montreal

Western Conference

  Predictions Currently
1 Sporting KC FC Dallas
2 Seattle LAFC
3 Real Salt Lake SKC
4 Portland Real Salt Lake
5 Dallas (Nick) / Vancouver (Mike) Portland
6 LA Galaxy Vancouver

 


Ep 14 – MLS Week 14 Recap



Mike and Nick recap and review all the Week 14 action in Major League Soccer. Josef Martinez sets an MLS record, Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas are the best in the West, while Atlanta United and New York City FC are the class of the East. And what’s going on in Colorado? (Spoiler Alert: It’s a lack of talent.) Be sure to comment below on whether you think any teams will challenge ATL and SKC (Nick doesn’t think so), and look out for our next twitter polls before the next slate of games.

 

Finally, keep an ear out for all of Nick’s puns. He knows they’re terrible, but hopes you’ll laugh anyway.