Tag Archives: Porter

MLS Cup Recap, CCL Preview



Hey, soccer fans! And welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we recap the 2020 MLS Cup Final and congratulate the champions: the Columbus Crew. We recap what they did right and what Seattle did wrong. Would anyone have guessed that Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris would have played so well, or that Zelarayan would’ve bagged a brace?

Next, we examined the sustainability of each franchise. The Seattle Sounders dynasty is a near perfect model, and with Tim Bezbatchenko at the helm in Columbus, he could be building the next dynasty with the Crew. They’re already making moves! To close out the first half, we review the 2020 MLS season award winners and review our own picks from February (a lifetime ago).

In the second half, we preview the Concacaf Champions League with special guest Ryan Anderson. Stay tuned in for our picks and predictions, and hear our thoughts on how the adapted tournament format and the other factors that could finally favor an MLS club. Tune in to the end, as our final picks will not disappoint.

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MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After



What a season, what a finish! The Columbus Crew are the champions of Major League Soccer. In a season marred by Covid-19, the Crew proved themselves worthy champions. Full disclosure: I had predicted the Seattle Sounders would repeat from the pre-season all the way to the MLS Cup Pregame. So how did Caleb Porter and Crew – without stars Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos – dethrone the defending champs? It came down to three things: System, Pressure, and some MAPFRE Magic.

System

Porter and the Crew employ a system where every player knows the responsibility of every other player on the pitch. When they begin to build possession from the back or when they turn over an opponent, the ball can be played to a specific area of the field given the situation. If the opposing team presses, play a ball over the top. If they hang back, take the space in the middle of the field. If they use zonal marking, overload and get a numbers advantage.

The Crew’s system allowed them to more easily overcome the loss of two starters than most other teams. (Imagine Seattle trying to play without Joao Paulo or Nico Lodeiro.) Derrick Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris filled in superbly, playing with the confidence that comes from this system. Continue reading MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After


2020 MLS Cup Preview



Hey, soccer fans! It’s trophy time! We break down the 2020 MLS Cup matchup between the Seattle Sounders and the Columbus Crew. We bring you our keys to the game, players to watch, and our final predictions. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and join us on social media!

Keys to the Game

Columbus: Composure out of the back, Prevent the counter.

Seattle: Press, Score early

Players to Watch

Columbus: Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayan

Seattle: Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris

Picks

Mike: Columbus Crew, 2-1

Nick: Seattle Sounders, 3-2

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


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!