Tag Archives: Philly

Pre-Season Previews Pt. 7 – Vancouver, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We are continuing our 2020 pre-season team previews with in-depth analysis of the Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Cincinnati, and the Philadelphia Union.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Whitecaps expert Alexandre Gangue-Ruzic, Editor-in-Chief of Between the Sticks, joins our show in a specials pre-season preview. Along with our hosts, Alexandre details the Vancouver roster, tactics, and predicts a vastly improved team in 2020. Be sure to check out all his coverage of the team, and let us know if you agree with the optimism.

FC Cincinnati

There’s nowhere to go but up, right? After a historically bad expansion season, FC Cincy turned over their coaching and their roster. Can they take a team that looks respectable on paper and turn it into results on the pitch? Tune in for all of Nick and Mike’s takes on this Eastern Conference squad.

Philadelphia Union

What does Philly and DOOP Nation do after the most successful season in team history? If everything goes right, they repeat their success and add a long playoff run. Nick and Mike think the Union will be competitive, but not a threat to win the conference. Let us know if you disagree in the comments or on social media.

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


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:


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:


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.


Sapong, CCL, and More 2019 Team Previews



Hello soccer fans! We are back with a full hour of MLS and CCL news and entertainment (Nick even works in a Robert Kraft joke amidst his usual puns). With so much going on around Major League Soccer, we dive right in: CJ Sapong was traded to Chicago and no one is impressed. Real Salt Lake signs USL player Portillo to add depth to their midfield, and FC Cincinnati introduces their new mascot – Gary the Lion – who is the soccer equivalent of a scary clown.

Next, our hosts recap the 1st leg of the Concacaf Champions League. Toronto FC falls flat against Panamanian side Independiente for the second time, Atlanta gets upset by Herediano of Costa Rica, but Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo, and Red Bulls New York all come away with wins. Nick still thinks RBNY will be the first MLS team to win the tournament, but Sporting KC may have the easiest path to the finals.

Mike and Nick also continue their MLS 2019 Team Previews. In this episode, they break down the roster moves and potential for New England Revolution, New York City FC, Red Bulls New York, Philadelphia Union, and the Portland Timbers. These teams span from league cellar-dwellers to MLS Cup Contenders, but all have entertaining story lines to follow as the season gets underway.

Finally, we want to put in a plug for new friend of the show Christopher Sweeney. This author recently released Mad Dog Gravesen: The Last of the Modern Footballing Mavericks, about the footballing spectacle that was Thomas Gravesen. Order online if you’re a fan of European football or great soccer stories.

Thanks for listening, and please join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or on facebook @sonsofapitchsoccer. Stay tuned for our final team preview episode later this week, but in the meantime, enjoy all the soccer action!


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!


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.