Tag Archives: Playoffs

All Star Game Thoughts, MLS Headlines, and League Roundup



Hello again boys and girls, soccer fans of all ages! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, our hosts give their candid opinions on the utility of the MLS All Star Game. Tune in to hear their thoughts on whether or not the league should do away with the All Star game or just re-format the event. Mike thinks the novelty of playing foreign clubs has worn off, where Nick proposes an all-MLS, 4 team, 7×7 round-robin tournament.
What are your thoughts on the current All Star Game format? Will you be watching?

Next, the hosts recap some movement around the league: Terrance Boyd departs TFC, Inter Miami ink their first two players, and surging San Jose signs Argentine striker. Also, RSL coach Mike Petke gets suspended by MLS for actions against officials in Leagues Cup, and Wilmer Cabrera sounds off against referees and the league not giving Houston enough respect.
What do you think about your team’s signings? Does Cabrera have a point about Houston?

Teams on the Rise

  • New England Revolution: New signings and a lengthy point streak have the Revs in 7th place in the Eastern Conference.
  • Portland Timbers: A resounding 4-0 victory has them above the playoff line and still a threat to take down any team ahead of them.

Teams on the Fall

  • Vancouver Whitecaps: You lost to Cavalry.
  • Orlando City: After getting thumped by New England 4-1, OCSC sit 7pts below the playoff line.

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

 


MLS is Back! Week 1 Roundup, Headlines, and CCL Recap



#MLSisBack and so are the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Thanks for joining us as we provide a roundup of all the Major League Soccer action . We also look at the latest headlines and review the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.

In Week 1, we saw an abundance of goals and expansion team woes. LAFC and Sporting KC gave us an early preview of Western Conference title contendors, while DC United and Atlanta United provided a glimpse into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Though only one game in, Seattle and Minnesota impressed, San Jose struggled, and the LA Galaxy debuted their 16 year-old rising star. Listen in for all our takes on these games.

Off the pitch, headlines are still being made, with the LA Galaxy buying out Gio dos Santos’ contract, the Chicago Fire looking to sign Nico Gaitan, and Toronto FC finalizing the deal for Alejandro Pozuelo. Nick and Mike break down what these deals mean for the respective clubs, and project that Chicago and Toronto could add enough talent to put themselves firmly in playoff contention. Finally, the hosts recap the first round of CCL, and are disappointed with Red Bulls’ quarterfinal performance against Santos Laguna. This still could be the year an MLS team wins the tournament for the first time, but Sporting KC will have to overcome some tired legs, and Atlanta United will have to get out to a better start than their opening game.

 

Thank you all for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Additional thanks to our new sponsor and avid soccer supporter: Donovan Food Brokerage.


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!


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.


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.


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


Ep. 36: MLS Week 31 Recap: Playoff Picture, Quakes New Coach, and USMNT vs. Colombia



Greetings soccer fans, and welcome back to Sons of a Pitch!

In this episode, the hosts review the latest slate of MLS games and story lines coming out of Week 31. Chief among them:

  • Is Jozy’s time at TFC over?
  • Is Almiron’s injury fatal to Atlanta’s title hopes?
  • Can LAFC shock the world and win as an expansion team?
  • Who’s in and out of the playoffs?

San Jose hires Miguel Almeyda as their new coach. The Argentinian has a great playing and coaching pedigree, most notably winning the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League with Chivas Guadalajara. Is this a shift in thinking for the Quakes? Is this a shift in coaching talent for the MLS? Tune in for the hosts’ input.

On October 11, 2018, the USMNT faces Colombia in an international friendly played in Tampa, Florida. Nick will be looking closely at the defenders selected and how they work together and with the goalkeeper.  Mike is excited to see the continued development of young talent and how the live, in-game experiences they’ll gain.

 

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!