Tag Archives: MLS Cup

Indy Eleven, MLS History, Fire Relocate, and League Roundup



Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode our hosts cover topics from the United Soccer League (USL) to Major League Soccer (MLS) to the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT). Enjoy hearing about the Indy Eleven from a fan’s perspective, the rumor mill surrounding Olivier Giroud, and how the Chicago Fire’s relocation to Soldier Field will impact their upcoming season.

Nick and mike then review all the games from Decision Day in their league roundup. Hear about the spectacular goals, the agonizing defeats, and how the results set up the MLS Cup Playoffs. If you enjoy energetic and opinionated soccer talk, or if you enjoy entertaining and informative MLS discussion, then you’ll enjoy The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.


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:


2019 MLS Team Previews: RSL, San Jose, Seattle, Sporting KC, Toronto FC, and Vancouver



The 2019 Major League Soccer season is less than one day away, and The Sons of a Pitch have completed their previews of all the teams competing for the MLS Cup. In this final preview episode, Nick and Mike break down teams with mixed success in 2018. Tune in and listen to transaction moves, roster recaps, players to watch, and the floors and ceilings for Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Seattle, Sporting KC, Toronto, and Vancouver.

While the hosts remain skeptical about RSL and San Jose, they feel that Sporting KC can compete for trophies while TFC and Vancouver look to improve on their 2018 campaigns. If Seattle can actually get off to a fast start and keep up their usual dominance in the second half of the season, then the Sounders could also be MLS Cup contenders.

With the previews finalized and the predictions in, here is how our hosts think the season will shake out:

Eastern Conference

Mike Nick
1 Atlanta United Red Bulls
2 Red Bulls Atlanta United
3 DC United DC United
4 Toronto FC NYCFC
5 NYCFC Columbus Crew
6 Chicago Philadelphia
7 Columbus Chicago

Western Conference

Mike Nick
1 LAFC Sporting KC
2 Sporting KC LAFC
3 Portland LA Galaxy
4 LA Galaxy Portland
5 Seattle Seattle
6 FC Dallas Houston
7 Minnesota United Minnesota United

MLS Conference Finals and Champion

Mike Nick
East Atlanta vs. RBNY RBNY vs. Atlanta
West Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy Sporting KC vs. LAFC
Champion Sporting KC Sporting KC

What are your predictions? How far will your team go? Let us know in the comments below!


ATL in the CCL, the Importance of the Combine and SuperDraft, LA’s DPs, and Nick Rants Against the Fire



Welcome back to another edition of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Tonight, we put listener @eric_turner7 in the driver seat, answering his questions and discussing the latest news from around the league.

With Atlanta United coming off an MLS Cup victory, undergoing a lot of roster changes, and matching up against Liga MX club Monterrey or Sporting KC in the 2nd round of the Concacaf Champions League, the odds are definitely against the Five Stripes making a deep run. Mike shares how Atlanta can learn from Toronto FC’s run in 2018 and why they might be able to overcome the challenges that await.

Next, Nick dives into the MLS Combine and SuperDraft, sharing different philosophies. FC Cincinnati, needing to fill a new MLS roster, traded to acquire draft picks, for a total of 7. They’re building through the draft. Philadelphia Union, who traded 5 picks to FCC, needs the money to build through signings, while the Red Bulls and FC Dallas are known to build through their academies. In other player news, Mike breaks down how the LA Galaxy can get out of having 4 Designated Players on their roster (rules mandate no more than 3). While Gio dos Santos is the likely move, having grossly under-performed, the Galaxy could most easily move Romain Alessandrini, who has been the brightest star for the Galaxy over the last several seasons.

Finally and after listening to an interview with GM Nelson Rodriguez, Nick goes on a rant against the Chicago Fire. Not only is Rodriguez a terrible interview, he offered no concrete plan for the future, no evidence of future signings, and supports a coach who players have been fleeing from. Mike breaks down the current Fire roster and isn’t optimistic either. With only weeks to go before training camp, Chicago only has 4 defenders and 2 goalkeepers on their roster – and neither GK should be starting in the MLS. Keep your eyes open for more underwhelming moves by the Fire.

 

Thanks again for listening, be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


MLS Cup Reactions, Transfers and Impact, and FC Cincinnati Expansion Draft



Welcome back soccer fans! Did you enjoy the MLS Cup?

The hosts of Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast give their take on one of the most meaningful MLS Cup Finals in league history. With Atlanta United’s 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, and the last 4 MLS Cup Champions being expansion teams, there is a clear message to owners and managers what is needed to build a contender. Tune in for Nick and Mike’s thoughts and where the league is going, and whether we are witnessing MLS 3.0. Also, the hosts discuss the idea of league parity and whether league imposed rules should be lifted.

Next, the podcast takes a look at the latest transfer news. Big names have moved – Zack Steffen to Manchester City, Maxi Urruti to Montreal Impact, Caleb Porter to coach a returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy. How does this shape the teams, and was the value of the player worth the deal?

Finally, the hosts review FC Cincinnati’s expansion draft picks and transfers. The big news being the expansion side’s acquisition of Greg Garza from Atlanta, along with Kendall Waston, Darren Mattocks, Kei Kamara, Roland Lamah, Eric Alexander, and Hassan Ndam. Has FCC built an immediate contender or will they need a few seasons to compete for hardware?

Finally, congratulations to our bracket challenge winner, Greg, with his entry: My Loons Suck. Surprisingly, Greg was our only entrant who picked Atlanta United to win the MLS Cup. Greg: Email us your information so Mike can send your prize!

 

As we enter the offseason, let us know what topics you’d like covered and be sure to follow us @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


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 Headlines and Conference Championship Leg 1 Recap



Welcome, soccer fans, and thanks for listening to the Sons of a Pitch Podcast!

In this episode we bring you all the latest headlines around Major League Soccer (MLS), including:

  • Zack Steffen’s transfer to Manchester City: what it means for him, the USMNT, and the league
  • Coaching moves: Pareja to Tijuana, Berhalter to USMNT, Tata to El Tri – Is this the next phase of the league growth?
  • Player options exercised: Urena out at LAFC, Ricketts out at TFC, Quioto in at Houston, Abubaker in at Columbus – what it means for the teams
  • FC Cincinnati not signing 3rd Designated Player (DP) – Is Fanendo Adi enough? Is this the way to build a team?

Mike and Nick also recap Leg 1 of the Conference Championships

 

Shout out to Mark Fangmeier, HeathOut, and David Sterling for providing great MNUFC fan insight. And condolences to our resident Red Bulls fan Stephen J. Phillips. Someone please hide the sharp objects from him.


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.


Time Killers Before Kickoff: MLS Media Links



Have we got news for you!

Just one more day until the 2nd leg of 1st round of the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs continues, and it seems like forever since we had a match! If you need something to get you through the next 24 hours, we’ve assembled a host of links to various coverage. Enjoy reading and supporting other MLS news sources.

We at Sons of a Pitch would especially like to thank Nick Chavez and LAFC Weekly for following us on twitter and putting out great content. We hope to collaborate with them in the future. Also, we’d like to recognize Grant for his support of the MLS and support of our podcast.

  • Check out The NYCFC Nation as they look towards the Cityzens match up with Atlanta United.
  • Even with LAFC out of the playoffs, be sure to bookmark LAFC Weekly to keep up with the latest club news from the fans’ perspective.
  • The numbers guys over at Five Thirty Eight still have Atlanta United as the MLS Cup favorites. Check out their advanced statistics and see if you agree.
  • Speaking of The Five Stripes, The Cooligans are certainly entertaining, if not also informative.
  • SB Nation has your team covered! Catch the latest headlines from around the league by their knowledgeable team of writers.
  • Sports Illustrated and Planet Futbol have in-depth playoff coverage on a variety of topics and storylines. And also one about Inter Miami FC’s new stadium.
  • And of course, all the news straight from the league itself: MLS Soccer.

Happy reading!


Ep 40 – Knockout Round Recap, Next Round Preview



It’s a Saturday special here at the Sons of a Pitch podcast!

The MLS Cup Playoffs have begun, and the knockout round is complete. NYCFC defeated the Union, Columbus upset DC United, Portland held on vs. FC Dallas, and LAFC fell to Real Salt Lake in a late night shocker. Nick and Mike recap the games, the goals, and what surprised them most in the early stages of the playoffs.

Also, Sons of a Pitch is hosting their own MLS Bracket Challenge group, and after the first round of games, only one entry is perfect. Congrats to Gary, the Dynamo fan and apparent Western Conference expert, who successfully predicted the knockout round. We’ll keep you updated as all the picks come in throughout the playoffs.

Looking ahead, there are some great playoff match-ups around the league:

NYCFC vs. Atlanta United
It’s offense vs. offense as this series could be decided by the goals scored at Yankee stadium. Expect a high scoring 1st leg. SOP Pick: Atlanta

Columbus vs. Red Bulls
#SavedtheCrew vs. #SupportersShield. Can Berhalter’s team figure out the high press and stymie BWP? If not, they could be in for a long series. SOP Pick: RBNY

Timbers vs. Sounders
A rivalry match-up early in the playoffs? Thank the soccer gods! This should be an exciting affair, and I expect players’ emotion to be as important as goals scored. Nick’s pick: Timbers, Mike’s pick: Sounders

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC
If RSL’s strikers continue their form, SKC’s defense is going to be put to the test. But there’s a reason SKC is best in the West. SOP Pick: SKC

 

How does your bracket look? Is your team still in? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on twitter @SOPSoccer.