Tag Archives: MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup Recap, CCL Preview



Hey, soccer fans! And welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we recap the 2020 MLS Cup Final and congratulate the champions: the Columbus Crew. We recap what they did right and what Seattle did wrong. Would anyone have guessed that Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris would have played so well, or that Zelarayan would’ve bagged a brace?

Next, we examined the sustainability of each franchise. The Seattle Sounders dynasty is a near perfect model, and with Tim Bezbatchenko at the helm in Columbus, he could be building the next dynasty with the Crew. They’re already making moves! To close out the first half, we review the 2020 MLS season award winners and review our own picks from February (a lifetime ago).

In the second half, we preview the Concacaf Champions League with special guest Ryan Anderson. Stay tuned in for our picks and predictions, and hear our thoughts on how the adapted tournament format and the other factors that could finally favor an MLS club. Tune in to the end, as our final picks will not disappoint.

Check out our LinkTree to find us on social media, support us with donations, and purchase your swag.


MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After



What a season, what a finish! The Columbus Crew are the champions of Major League Soccer. In a season marred by Covid-19, the Crew proved themselves worthy champions. Full disclosure: I had predicted the Seattle Sounders would repeat from the pre-season all the way to the MLS Cup Pregame. So how did Caleb Porter and Crew – without stars Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos – dethrone the defending champs? It came down to three things: System, Pressure, and some MAPFRE Magic.

System

Porter and the Crew employ a system where every player knows the responsibility of every other player on the pitch. When they begin to build possession from the back or when they turn over an opponent, the ball can be played to a specific area of the field given the situation. If the opposing team presses, play a ball over the top. If they hang back, take the space in the middle of the field. If they use zonal marking, overload and get a numbers advantage.

The Crew’s system allowed them to more easily overcome the loss of two starters than most other teams. (Imagine Seattle trying to play without Joao Paulo or Nico Lodeiro.) Derrick Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris filled in superbly, playing with the confidence that comes from this system. Continue reading MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After


2020 MLS Cup Preview



Hey, soccer fans! It’s trophy time! We break down the 2020 MLS Cup matchup between the Seattle Sounders and the Columbus Crew. We bring you our keys to the game, players to watch, and our final predictions. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and join us on social media!

Keys to the Game

Columbus: Composure out of the back, Prevent the counter.

Seattle: Press, Score early

Players to Watch

Columbus: Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayan

Seattle: Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris

Picks

Mike: Columbus Crew, 2-1

Nick: Seattle Sounders, 3-2

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


Wrecking Crew and MLS Cup Final Preview



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back talking the latest results from the MLS Cup Playoffs. Tune in for our takes on:

  • Seattle def. Dallas 1-0: Despite their dominance, the Sounders only find the back of the net once. Dallas failed to capitalize on their opponents scoring drought, and on this night, one goal was all it took to advance.
  • Minnesota def. Sporting KC 3-0: On one of Minnesota’s best offensive nights, Kansas City played perhaps their worst game of the season. They were completely out of sync, and the Loons took full advantage.
  • Columbus def. New England 1-0: Columbus returned to their wrecking crew ways from the begging on the season, as they make the MLS Cup Finals for the third time in club history. They did just enough to edge an evenly matched Revolution squad.

We also discuss the latest USMNT news, including their December 9, 2020 friendly against El Salvador. With a young, MLS based line-up, there’s lots to discuss and lots of names to learn.

Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


More MLS Playoffs, More MLS Madness



Hey, soccer fans! We’re talking more MLS playoff, and more MLS madness. Tonight, we give our takes on:

  • Nashville’s run to semi’s and how they fell to Columbus
  • Does Toronto FC need a reboot?
  • What’s the key to New England’s success? (Hint: star power)
  • Orlando’s complete collapse
  • Seattle does what Seattle does.
  • Columbus on track for another trophy

We also talk about a crazy trend in this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs: missed penalties. These missed PKs set the tone for the rest of the team:

  • Maxi Moralez missed for NYCFC
  • Wondo missed for SJ
  • Vela missed for LAFC
  • Nani missed for Orlando City

And there’s transfer news! Tune in for the latest about FC Dallas, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC.

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


Pure Entertainment – 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs



Hey, soccer fans! Are you seeing this? Have the MLS Cup Playoffs completely changed your view on American soccer? Join us as we recap the first round of the playoffs and try to make some sense of the pure entertainment and utter insanity of these matches, including:

  • New England 2-1 Montreal
  • Nashville 3-0 Miami
  • Orlando 1(6)-(5)1 NYCFC
  • Columbus 3-2 Red Bulls New York
  • Sporting KC 3(3)-(0)3 San Jose
  • Minnesota 3-0 Colorado
  • Portland 1(7)-(8)1 Dallas
  • Toronto 0-1 Nashville
  • Philadelphia 0-2 New England

How good is Nashville? Is Tim Melia the best MLS goalkeeper ever? Let’s all shed a tear for the Timbers. Is TFC’s trophy window closed? All this and more in tonight’s episode!


2020 MLS Playoff Preview



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we break down the first round of the 2020 MLS Playoffs. We give our picks, predictions, and what to look for in each game. Take a look at our notes and give us your thoughts:

Nashville Miami
Record 8W-7L-8T

24GF, 22GA

7W-13L-3T

25GF, 35GA

H2H 1W, 1D vs. Miami 1L, 1D vs. Nashville
Notes Do it on Defense

3rd best GA in league (PHI, COL)

xGA: 25.5, Goals Allowed: 22

Back line leads in minutes: top 5 minutes this season are Romney (D),
Willis (GK), Zimmerman (D), Lovitz (D), McCarty (DM)

Star Power

Morgan: 5G, 5A

Pizarro: 4G, 4A

Brek Shea: 4G

Rest of team: 11G, 9A

Pick Nick: Nashville Mike: Nashville

Continue reading 2020 MLS Playoff Preview


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:


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:


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!