Tag Archives: Minnesota

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:


2019 MLS Playoffs!



The playoffs are here, and the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast has them covered! Tune in for all the action as the MLS is rewarded for their change to a one-and-done playoff format. There were 90+ minutes of exciting soccer in each and every one of the six matches played, and fans in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference were treated to great atmospheres in the stands and play on the pitch. Home teams won five of the six 1st round games, with the Galaxy winning on the road to set up El Trafico: Playoff Edition.

Our hosts also discuss the headlines from around the American soccer landscape, including:

  • Expansion announcement: Sacramento Republic to become 29th league franchise
  • NWSL Update: Chicago Red Stars to take on North Carolina Courage in finals
  • Philadelphia Union make history with 1st playoff win…DOOP, DOOP, DOOP!
  • Wondo signs a 1yr contract with San Jose Earthquakes

Thanks for listening, and be sure to join the conversation:


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:


September Call-ups, Expansion Update, and League Roundup



Welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we’re covering both the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) as they prepare for September friendlies and all the latest news from around Major League Soccer (MLS).

Gregg Berhalter and US Soccer released their roster for the USMNT friendlies vs. Mexico (9/6) and Uruguay (9/10), and there certainly were some surprises. No Toronto FC players made the squad, much to the ire of Michael Bradley (though Berhalter says it was to help TFC make the MLS playoffs). Fans of American youth will be happy to see Sergino Dest and Josh Sargent on the roster. And listeners of the podcast will be disappointed that Daniel Lovitz has again taken a roster spot than should be used to develop some young talent. The Montreal Impact defender has mostly ridden the bench, but Berhalter continues to include him on the roster. Meanwhile, we are excited at the possible pairing of Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent, and the duo could provide the offense that the US roster has lacked.

Next, Nick and Mike provide an update on expansion teams Inter Miami (who are they linked to now!?), St. Louis MLS (not the USL club, this is different, it’s not a promotion), and Nashville SC (now with new DP signing Hany Mukhtar!). Finally, they round up all the action from this week’s slate of MLS games, including those with major playoff implications: Philly beats Atlanta, Loons over LAFC, and Seattle defeat the Galaxy.

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Fan Feedback, USOC Final Recap, and MLS League Roundup



Greetings again, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this week’s episode, our hosts respond to fan feedback, recap the US Open Cup Final, and give their roundup of all the MLS action from the prior week.

To kick things off, listeners Studs Up Report and Michael Hobert ask which teams need to play desperately and has Dallas turned their season around? In the Eastern Conference, our hosts argue that DC Untied, the Montreal Impact, and Orlando City need to play desperately if they’re too realize their playoff potential, and in the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers, Sporting KC, and FC Dallas need to do the same. Dallas currently sits 7th in the West, and should win 4 of their final 8 matches to solidify a playoff spot.

In US Open Cup action, Atlanta United defeats Minnesota United 2-1, in a game dominated by the Five Stripes. The Loons made it a game, but ultimately fell short to an Atlanta team that is playing its best soccer. There’s also the questions of why Minnesota coach Adrian Heath didn’t start Darwin Quintero and how Vito Mannone, MNUFC’s keeper, mis-read a play that lead to a goal. But in the end, the better team is going home with the trophy. Finally, Nick and Mike round up all the action from MLS Rivalry Week. Nick still years for the days when Chicago vs. New England and DC vs. Red Bulls/Metro Stars were torrid affairs, but he’ll settle for LA Galaxy vs. LAFC and Portland vs. Seattle.

If you’re in Miami next month, be sure to check out the Futsal All-Star Tournament, featuring teams from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Tickets are going fast, and the games take place September 23 and 24. You could witness the next Messi or Neymar honing their skills on the futsal court.
WHERE: Marlins Park, Miami, FL
WHEN: September 23rd & 24th, 2019
TIME: Matches start at 7 p.m. EDT
TICKET PRICES: Start at $20 per day for doubleheader

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Cabrera’s Back, Pulisic’s EPL Start, and Miami’s Toxic Site



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this week’s episode, Nick and Mike cover a variety of headlines, including:

  • Montreal Impact fire Remy Garde, hire Wilmer Cabrera. How will Cabrera fit in with a drastically different roster?
  • Christian Pulisic is off to a great start with Premier League side Chelsea. He’s playing with confidence, fitting in well, and creating scoring chances. Can he be an even bigger face of American soccer?
  • Inter Miami is making lots of headlines with rumored signings and actual signings, but the biggest headline is the toxicity of their proposed complex site. It could cost them $50 million to clean it up.

In the second half of the show, the hosts roundup and recap all the action from around Major League Soccer and the American soccer landscape. They review scores, highlights, and how the results affect the MLS playoff picture.

Thanks for tuning in, and be sure to follow along on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook @sonsofapitchsoccer, or leave us a comment below.

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What’s the Future of Youth Development? and other MLS Headlines, Transfers, and League Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans! We here at the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast truly appreciate your listening and your engagement with the show. In this episode we address listener questions and comments regarding the future of youth development in the United States. We also take a look at the use of metrics in soccer and whether they can replace the “eye test” of player evaluation.

Next, our hosts look at all the transfer news around the league – especially for DC United. Rooney has announced his departure, DC signed Felipe from Vancouver, and has gotten a lot a cash. Look for a big signing in the off-season. Also, Chicago Fire sign veteran and formear USMNT defender Jonathan Bornstein to help their defensive woes, Columbus Crew deal GK Joel Bendik to the Philadelphia Union, and several teams swap TAM for GAM as they look to the future.

Finally, our hosts recap all the action around Major League Soccer. The All-Star Game was a laugh, Atlanta United knock out Orlando City SC from the US Open Cup, and the league has a number of surprise results. Tune in for all the details!

Teams on the Rise

  • Philadelphia Union: With a 5-1 victory over DC United, the Union re-assert themselves on top the Eastern Conference.’
  • Atlanta United: They follow up a dominating game against the LA Galaxy by advancing to the US Open Cup Final

Teams on the Fall

  • Houston Dynamo: A tough loss to a struggling Chicago Fire team sees them fall outside the playoff picture.
  • Montreal Impact: Currently in one of their down swings after losing to Colorado and barely beating York 9.

MLS is Back! Week 1 Roundup, Headlines, and CCL Recap



#MLSisBack and so are the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Thanks for joining us as we provide a roundup of all the Major League Soccer action . We also look at the latest headlines and review the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.

In Week 1, we saw an abundance of goals and expansion team woes. LAFC and Sporting KC gave us an early preview of Western Conference title contendors, while DC United and Atlanta United provided a glimpse into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Though only one game in, Seattle and Minnesota impressed, San Jose struggled, and the LA Galaxy debuted their 16 year-old rising star. Listen in for all our takes on these games.

Off the pitch, headlines are still being made, with the LA Galaxy buying out Gio dos Santos’ contract, the Chicago Fire looking to sign Nico Gaitan, and Toronto FC finalizing the deal for Alejandro Pozuelo. Nick and Mike break down what these deals mean for the respective clubs, and project that Chicago and Toronto could add enough talent to put themselves firmly in playoff contention. Finally, the hosts recap the first round of CCL, and are disappointed with Red Bulls’ quarterfinal performance against Santos Laguna. This still could be the year an MLS team wins the tournament for the first time, but Sporting KC will have to overcome some tired legs, and Atlanta United will have to get out to a better start than their opening game.

 

Thank you all for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Additional thanks to our new sponsor and avid soccer supporter: Donovan Food Brokerage.


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.


USMNT vs. Panama, Giovinco Rumors, and 3 Big Transfers



Greetings soccer fans from the soon-to-be coldest place on Earth: the Chicago suburbs. Post-apocalyptic and extreme freezing temperatures have shut down much of the Midwest, including our recording studio, but the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast is still bringing you the latest in Major League Soccer (MLS) and United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) news.

This episode starts off with Nick recapping the USMNT friendly matchup against Panama, the first game under new head coach Gregg Berhalter. The US arrived with an all-MLS based squad and employed a rarely seen 4-3-3 formation. However, the attacking depth of the roster and the tactics employed by Berhalter necessitated such a formation. With a result of 3-0, who can argue!?

Next our resident Toronto FC (and all things Canada) expert, Mike gives his take on the Giovinco trade rumors. Will he stay at TFC, and will it be a DP or TAM deal? Will the Atomic Ant end up in Asia? Be sure to listen to find out details.

Finally, Nick discussed three big transfers and their impact on the league:
1. Almiron to Newcastle United
Where does the MLS now stand in the world marketplace?
2. Opara to Minnesota United FC
Did MNUFC overpay? And if so, who cares!?
3. Ousted to Chicago Fire
An improvement over Sanchez, but what wouldn’t have been?

 

Thanks for listening! Join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments section below.