Tag Archives: Philadelphia Union

Joe Fala: Future Star, Hot Minute, and USMNT Front Office Move



Greetings once again, soccer fans! This episode is a special one for The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for two reasons. First, we have joined with Big Heads Soccer Network! We are excited to partner with this podcast network and provide their first show dedicated to Major League Soccer (MLS). Be sure to follow BHM Soccer on twitter and check out the various shows on their network.

Next, we are thrilled to bring you an interview with rising star Joe Fala. Joe finished off a stellar college career with the Ramapo Roadrunners, setting a single-season scoring record and being a multiple All-American selection. He has played for FC Motown of the NPSL and most recently participated in the MLS SuperDraft – the only Division III player to participate. Though not selected, his reputation and work ethic have earned him a trial with Red Bull New York. Tune in to learn more about RBNY’s newest prospect, and be sure to with Joe all the best on his path to the pros.

In other news, Nick and Mike break down the moves (or lack thereof) by the Chicago Fire. They also introduce you to New York City’s new head coach Ronny Deila, and provide commentary on the Philadelphia Union’s record signing of Designated Player Jamiro Monteiro. How will these moves affect the Eastern Conference? Tune in to find out.

In the second half of the show, our hosts analyze the hiring of Brian McBride as General Manager of the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT). There’s agreement that McBride is a good hire, and there is hope he brings his hard-nose style of play to managing the program. As the man in charge of Gregg Berhalter, player recruitment, and club relations, McBride has a tall order to fill, but The Sons of a Pitch are confident in his abilities. They also discuss Sergino Dest’s recent decision to represent the USMNT over The Netherlands and his choice to leave Ajax training camp in Qatar.

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


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.

Playoffs Predictions Revisited, Expansion Headlines, and League Roundup



Hello once again, loyal listeners of the Sons of a Pitch! Tonight’s episode is pure ear candy as our hosts revisit their pre-season playoffs predictions. As you can see, Nick and Mike weren’t too far off on their teams, picking 9 of 14 current playoff teams, but they chose poorly – terribly even – in their pick of Sporting KC to win the MLS Cup. See below for a breakdown.

In other MLS news, the expansion teams have been stealing the headlines. Josh Wolff was named head coach of Austin FC and Nick thinks the organization needs to break free from their prior spend-thrift ways and make a big splash. Wolff knows the league, but can someone who has been in Berhalter’s system for the last several years coach a winning team? Also, Mike dispels rumors of big names like Messi or Ronaldo signing with Inter Miami, but thinks that their anticipated signings of two young, Argentine wingers is a great start for the club.

Finally, the hosts round up the league and highlight Toronto FC’s ups-and-downs, LA Galaxy’s victory in El Trafico, and other league news. They even get in their weekly shots against the Chicago Fire.

Hope you enjoy the show, and please join the conversation @SOPSoccer on twitter, @sonsofapitchsoccer on facebook, or in the comments below!

Eastern Conference – Pre-Season Predictions

Mike Nick Current (7/24/19)
1 Atlanta United Red Bulls Philly
2 Red Bulls Atlanta United Atlanta
3 DC United DC United DC
4 Toronto FC NYCFC RBNY
5 NYCFC Columbus Crew NYCFC
6 Chicago Philadelphia Montreal
7 Columbus Chicago New England

Western Conference – Pre-Season Predictions

Mike Nick Current (7/24/19)
1 LAFC Sporting KC LAFC
2 Sporting KC LAFC LA Galaxy
3 Portland LA Galaxy Seattle
4 LA Galaxy Portland Minnesota
5 Seattle Seattle San Jose
6 FC Dallas Houston Dallas
7 Minnesota United Minnesota United RSL

 


USA! USA! USA! – National Team Recaps, US Open Cup Features, and MLS Roundup



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. And our show starts with American soccer at it’s highest levels. The USYNT was knocked out of the U-20 World Cup in Poland after a tough game vs. South American champion Ecuador. While they didn’t advance further, Tab Ramos’ team once again proved the United States is developing talent on an international level. The USMNT also had a disappointing week, with losses to Jamaica and Venezuela in international friendlies. These Gold Cup tune-up games are certainly disappointments, but Berhalter wasn’t playing his “A” team, and his tactics needs time to implement. That being said, Nick and Mike have picked against the US in the tournament, choosing Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

The bright spot for US Soccer has always been the USWNT, and they did not disappoint in their Women’s World Cup opener vs. Thailand. A thorough 13-0 drubbing of the Asian squad set a record for largest margin of victory and most goals in a WWC game. Alex Morgan also tied the WWC single game scoring record by netting 5 goals in a superb performance. This team has reminded the world that they are the favorites.

Meanwhile at home, the US Open Cup saw Major League Soccer teams enter the tournament. The Chicago Fire embarrassed themselves against St. Louis FC, losing the game 2-1 and losing their cool. Other MLS sides fared much better with Columbus, New England, LAFC, and Houston advancing. Chattanooga and Atlanta were postponed due to bad field conditions, and San Jose vs. Sacramento is ongoing as of time of posting.

Finally in MLS action, we saw the Union assert their dominance over the Eastern Conference with a thrilling come-back win over RBNY. The other games went as expected and all the results are up at www.mlssoccer.com. Thanks for listening, and be sure to comment below and follow us @SOPSoccer.

 


Week 10 Roundup – Transfers, Trades, Firings – New IFAB Rules



Hello again, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. This week, we review the latest slate of Major League Soccer (MLS) games and talk about a surprising team on top of the Eastern Conference – Philadelphia Union, and a surprising team near the bottom of the Western Conference – Sporting KC.

The hosts also discuss the latest moves from around the league:

  • Chicago Fire acquire Francisco Calvo from Minnesota United
  • Portland Timbers sign Brian Fernandez from Necaxa
  • FC Cincinnati fire coach Alan Koch
  • Justin Meram traded from Columbus Crew to Atlanta United

Finally, Nick and Mike review new IFAB rules that are forthcoming. While not a major impact in any one area of the game, they will make a noticeable difference. The rules are:

  • Any goal scored by the hand/arm is disallowed (even if accidental)
  • Attacking players can’t be within 1 meter of the wall
  • Ball need not exit the goal box on a goal kick before being touched
  • Substituting player must exit at the nearest touchline
  • Goalkeeper need only keep one foot on the goal line before a penalty kick

Thanks for listening, and be sure to follow along on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or join the conversation in the comments below.


Goal Scorer Trivia and MLS Week 6 Round Up



Greetings soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thanks for checking out the website and for listening in.

In this episode we welcome Kei Kamara to the Top 5 All Time MLS Goal Scorers list. This striker has played for 7 MLS teams and 2 English Championship teams, and has consistently scored goals at every stop. Congrats to Kei!  Around the league, the hosts recap all the action and give their takes on the teams going forward.

TEAMS ON THE RISE

  • LAFC – Can’t get any higher than the top.
  • Philadelphia Union – 3 straight wins, 4th in the East.
  • Chicago Fire – Draw vs. a surging TFC, and we’ve yet to see Gaitan at his best
  • San Jose Quakes – Technically, when you win your’re first game of the season, you’re on the rise.
  • Orlando City – Goals are coming, and so are points!

TEAMS ON THE FALL

  • DC United – Rooney sees red in a blowout loss to LAFC, and a draw to Montreal have people scratching heads.
  • Sporting KC – Tired legs and a 5-0 thumping in Concacaf Champions League.
  • Portland Timbers – Has the championship window closed?
  • Red Bulls New York – 3 straight losses. This hasn’t happened since May 2017.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, follow us on twitter and facebook, and join the conversation in the comments below.


Nagbe wants a transfer and 2019 Season Previews: ATL, CHI, CIN, COL



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. The 2019 Major League Soccer season kicks off in a couple short weeks, and we at SOP want to have you prepared for all action. In this episode, we’ll talk a few notable transfers and rumors, and then dive into our first set of team previews.

Speaking of transfers, have you ever heard of a player wanting to leave a championship team? Darlington Nagbe, currently of defending champion Atlanta United, has made statements asking for a transfer to the Columbus Crew, his hometown team. While our host Nick doesn’t think as highly of Nagbe as Nagbe thinks of himself, he would be an improvement to the Crew roster. If the price is right, don’t be surprised to see Nagbe in black and yellow. Also, Vancouver signs Uruguayan youth national Joaquin Ardaiz and Philadelphia set a club record in signing Mexico international star Marco Fabian.

Next, the hosts begin their 2019 previews, taking quick looks at Atlanta United, the Chicago Fire, FC Cincinnati, and the Colorado Rapids. For each team, Mike and Nick break down the rosters, potential starters, most important players, and just where the team will end up come Decision Day. Of these four, Atlanta obviously has the highest ceiling. Is this the year Colorado makes a playoff run? Can Chicago bounce back from last year’s disappointment? Will FC Cincinnati continue the hot streak of expansion teams? Tune in for all these thoughts and more from the Sons of a Pitch!

 

Thanks so much for listening and for interacting with us on twitter, via email, or in the comments below. Please share our website and keep the conversation on American soccer going!


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 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!


USMNT vs. Italy and MLS Headlines



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

We are pleased to bring you our live reactions to the USMNT friendly versus Italy. Listen as the hosts give their live takes on the game and answer all the burning questions surrounding the teams:
-What’s the status of the head coaching position?
-How should Christian Pulisic be utilized?
-Can Ethan Horvath compete with Zack Steffen for the starting GK spot?
-What is the team’s identity?

During the game, Mike and Nick also break down the latest Major League Soccer headlines. Listen for their reactions to:
-Jim Curtain’s contract extension with the Philadelphia Union
-MLS players currently in the playoffs playing internationally – For or Against?
-Minnesota United FC re-signs defender Kallman
-American U-20s defeat Honduras to advance to Concacaf finals; USMNT announces friendly vs. Costa Rica
-Concacaf Champions League teams from the MLS

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast using the links on the right, follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer, and as always, thanks for listening!