Tag Archives: MLS Playoffs

Disaster in Canada, Playing with Fire, and MLS Playoffs Preview



Welcome back, soccer fans! In this episode of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast, our hosts give their immediate reactions to the United States Men’s National Team’s disastrous 2-0 loss to the Canadian Men’s National Team. With this result, Canada sits atop their Concacaf Nations League Group, and USA fans across the 50 states continue to question everything that US Soccer and Gregg Berhalter have done over the last two years.

In Major League Soccer Headlines, the Chicago Fire announce that they will part ways with Nemanja Nikolic, their former Golden Boot winner. If Nico Gaitan’s option isn’t picked up, the Fire will have 3 DP slots for new owner Joe Mansueto to fill. It could be a banner off-season for the Fire, especially as they move to Soldier Field for the 2020 season. In the NWSL, the Chicago Red Stars get set to host the Portland Thorns for the semi-finals. Led by Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr, Chicago looks to advance to the NWSL finals for the first time in team history.

In the Second Half of the show, our hosts revisit their pre-season playoff predictions (for better or worse), and give their complete breakdown for the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. Be sure to join their bracket challenge for a chance to win SOP swag from Redbubble and a $25 Amazon gift card, if there are enough entrants.

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


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.


Josef’s Out, More Miami Rumors, VAR Rant, and the League Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans! We are The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast, and we are excited to talk soccer with you. In this episode, our hosts discuss the impact of Josef Martinez’ injury on Atlanta United’s playoff hopes and the impact that Michael Parkhurst had on Major League Soccer, in the wake of his retirement announcement. They break down the latest rumored signing for expansion club Inter Miami – David Silva, currently of Manchester City – and Nick thinks this signing would put Miami in the playoffs from the start.

Nick then rants about VAR and the misunderstanding and ignorance soccer fans have when it comes to reviewing goals scored and whether a player was offside. Look up the International Football Association Board’s Laws of the Game for the exact text, or just remember that a player either is or is not offside … there’s no subjectivity to it! That’s why clear and obvious error is the wrong standard when reviewing such a play.

Finally, Mike keeps things rolling with the league roundup – a look at every game from last week around the MLS and what impact they have on the playoff picture. Hint: not much impact as there are still half the playoff spots up for grabs. Only LAFC has clinched in the Western Conference, but only one spot remains in the Eastern Conference. Tune in to hear who has the best chance at getting in, and which team is a cup contender.

Be sure to follow along on social media for all our content.


Fire Sale! Nashville SC & Inter Miami Signings, and League Roundup



Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, our hosts provide their take on new Chicago Fire owner Joe Mansueto and his buy-out of majority owner Andrew Hauptman and their relocation to Soldier Field for the 2020 season. Nick and Mike also break down the latest signing for MLS expansion clubs Nashville SC and Inter Miami.

Tune in after the break to hear the league roundup, all the action from the week’s MLS match ups, and how it affects the playoff picture. As it currently stands:

In need of a push:

  • Chicago Fire – New owner bump!
  • FC Dallas – Stop losing to the Fire!

See you next year

  • Sporting KC – Not enough in the tank this year, get ready for a redemption season.
  • Montreal Impact – You still have Daniel Lovitz starting?
  • Orlando City – Give Nani the ball, and get out of the way.

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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MLS Playoffs Reformatted, Coaching Hires-Luchi to FCD, and Latest Player Transfers



Happy holidays, soccer fans! I hope you’re all on Santa’s nice list and avoid lumps of coal this Christmas.

In Major League Soccer news, Nick and Mike have good reviews for the new playoff format. In the latest change to the post-season, seven teams will qualify from each conference, with the top seed earning a first-round bye. The remaining teams will compete in a single-elimination format – no more home-and-home series or away goal confusion – without the re-seeding rule. The hosts agree this true, bracket-style tournament will add excitement to the playoffs and provide a more meaningful regular season with teams competing for seeding.

In coaching news, FC Dallas have hired Luchi Gonzalez as manager. Coming up with the FC Dallas academy, Luchi will continue the FCD culture of player development and an attacking style of play. However with the current roster and the departure of Maxi Urruti, it remains to be seen how Dallas will come by their offense. Also, Caleb Porter to LA Galaxy is not a done deal, as had been reported … but he also hasn’t signed with the Columbus Crew … or Atlanta … or anyone else. Where does he end up, and can he get a deal done before all the jobs are taken?

Finally in transfer news:

  • Zlatan returns to LA Galaxy as a DP
  • Kelyn Rowe to Sporting KC
  • Diego Rubio to Colorado Rapids
  • Marco Urena to Chicago Fire (via Waiver Draft)
  • Edgar Castillo to New England Revolution
  • Auro, Jr. returns to TFC, after the Reds exercise the purchase option

How these moves impact the players and teams remains to be seen, but keep an eye on Sporting KC to replace Rubio with a TAM level signing. Also, who gets moved with Zlatan taking up a DP spot on the Galaxy roster? And can Urena find his goal scoring touch in Chicago after failing to be LAFC’s main striker? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on twitter @SOPSoccer.

Finally, a shout out to our new twitter friend and Philadelphia Union blogger Shayan Waseh. Check out his take on all things DOOP, DOOP, DOOP at Philadelphia Soccer.

Thanks for listening, and have a wonderful holiday season!


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.

 


Ep 39 – MLS Decision Day Recap and Playoff Preview



Decision Day has come and gone, and so have the playoff dreams of the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact. How did the events of the final week of Major League Soccer games play out? Nick and Mike recap all the games, give you their analysis, and Mike has a really good time talking about Toronto FC’s shocking 4-1 victory over Atlanta United.

The hosts also preview the playoffs, with each picking Sporting Kansas City to lift the Cup. Nick likes the New York Red Bulls to win the East, while Mike thinks Atlanta is just too good to be denied a spot in the finals. Who do you think will make headlines? Join our playoff bracket challenge and compete with the hosts for a $25 dollar gift card.

Let us know your thoughts on all things MLS in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


MLS Playoff Predictions In Review



Now that #DecisionDay has come and gone, we look back on our pre-season playoff predictions and whether our picks had a penchant towards perfection. (Ok, enough with the alliteration.)

So, how did we do? In the Eastern Conference, we successfully predicted 3 of 6 playoff teams. Who knew Chicago and Orlando City would be historically bad? In the Western Conference, Nick picked 5/6 teams, while Mike picked 4/6. Nick got the wrong LA team, and Mike put his faith in Vancouver. (Serves him right as a TFC fan.) Our picks are in the table below. Continue reading MLS Playoff Predictions In Review