Tag Archives: Portland Timbers

Pre-Season Previews, Pt. 9 – Inter Miami CF, Chicago Fire, and Portland Timbers



We’re inching ever closing to the start of the 2020 MLS season, so tune in to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for their previews of Inter Miami CF, the Chicago Fire, and the Portland Timbers. Our hosts analyze the rosters, DPs, and projected finish for each team.

Expansion side Inter Miami have built a diverse roster of MLS veterans, young talent, and international stars. Chicago is essentially an expansion team with a new roster, new coach, and new stadium. Portland’s off-season signings have left their championship window open for another season, but can they compete in such a strong Western Conference? Tune in for all this and more in the latest episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

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Signings around the MLS, Thoughts on the CBA, and the Future Structure of the League



Hello once again, soccer fans! Tonight, our hosts answer listener questions on trades and signings from around Major League Soccer (MLS). What are the key points and what makes them different from other American leagues? While they bargaining and goals are the same (get the best players for the best value) there are a lot more bargaining chips in the MLS – TAM, GAM, and international roster spots, to name a few. Also, MLS franchises can scout the entire world for soccer talent, where other American leagues have a much more limited player pool.

Specifically, our hosts address the signings of:

  • Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps
  • Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
  • Francisco Ginella, Los Angeles FC
  • Adam Buksa, New England Revolution

In the 2nd half of the show, Nick and Mike give their thoughts on the upcoming CBA negotiations and the anticipated issues between the MLSPA and the league. The focus of the negotiations will likely revolve around free agency, salaries, and … chartered flights!? Yes, with increased revenue, the league is going to have a much more difficult time not raising the salary cap, minimum salaries, or allowing chartered flights.

The show wraps up with thoughts on further expansion and what the future structure of the league might look like. With Charlotte being just announced as the MLS’ 30th franchise, the Major League Soccer is at the size of most other American sports leagues, but much larger than any other soccer league in the world. Are they at a breaking point? Or is a restructure on the horizon? Tune in for some scenarios that Nick and Mike think could happen.

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MLS Expansion Draft, Border War!, and Nations League Deep Dive



Hello, soccer fans! Welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, our hosts preview the eligible players in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Expansion Draft. Who will be the next group to join expansion sides Nashville SC and Inter Miami FC? Will your favorite players be protected? Tune in as Nick and Mike break down the current rosters of the expansion teams and their possible expansion draft picks.

Next, they review the biggest headlines from the MLS:

  • Thierry Henry is the new head coach of the Montreal Impact: How will he fare?
  • Brian Fernandez’ contract terminated, released from Portland Timbers roster: How does Portland replace him? Should they just rebuild?
  • Do these teams need to go big or slow build? Tune in and find out!

Finally, The Sons of a Pitch go international. Nick and Mike recap the second Nations League meeting between the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and the Canadian Men’s National Team (CanMNT). After stunning the US 2-0 in Toronto, the Americans jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Zardes and Morris shined in a 4-1 victory, and the defense held. Then, they take a deep dive into the Concacaf Nations League. They analyze the current tournament, its impact on the confederation, and how it affects World Cup qualifying. They also provide a look at how the new FIFA ranking system works and the algorithm used to determine the points for each game. Is it fair? Are there still bugs? You’ll hear all about it in tonight’s episode.

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2019 MLS Playoffs!



The playoffs are here, and the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast has them covered! Tune in for all the action as the MLS is rewarded for their change to a one-and-done playoff format. There were 90+ minutes of exciting soccer in each and every one of the six matches played, and fans in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference were treated to great atmospheres in the stands and play on the pitch. Home teams won five of the six 1st round games, with the Galaxy winning on the road to set up El Trafico: Playoff Edition.

Our hosts also discuss the headlines from around the American soccer landscape, including:

  • Expansion announcement: Sacramento Republic to become 29th league franchise
  • NWSL Update: Chicago Red Stars to take on North Carolina Courage in finals
  • Philadelphia Union make history with 1st playoff win…DOOP, DOOP, DOOP!
  • Wondo signs a 1yr contract with San Jose Earthquakes

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


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.

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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.

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

 


S2Ep23 – MLS Headlines, Chicago Fire News, and US Open Cup Semi-Finals Previews



Hi soccer fans! We didn’t forget you, we’re just coming at you a day later than usual. Mike was too busy celebrating his birthday with his family. Where are his priorities!?

Now that we’re back, we turn our attention to the latest MLS headlines, with lots of news coming from Chicago … er … I mean, Bridgeview. The Fire have a memo of understanding with the village to terminate their lease. They also traded Mo Adams to Atlanta for $100k in GAM. They pay to move and dump a fan favorite, typical Fire. Elsewhere , New England Revolution’s new DP signing Gustavo Bou has a goal in his debut game. Will this put the Revs into the playoff picture? They still have a long way to go, but this offensive injection certainly helps.

Meanwhile, around the league:

Teams on the Rise

  • Minnesota United FC – 2 wins away from a trophy. What will they do with all this momentum!?
  • San Jose Quakes – They just keep taking points, and a Cali Clasico victory over LA Galaxy is the cherry on top of their recent form

Teams on the Fall

  • Chicago Fire – Last three results: losses to SKC, FCC, and a draw to the Crew. Yet Paunovic and Rodriguez still have jobs.
  • DC United – If they’re not careful. they could be in the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoffs in a hurry.

US Open Cup Predictions
Nick: Portland over Atlanta – These are the two best teams left in the tournament. Atlanta is playing the best, and Portland has all the goal-scoring power needed to keep pace with the Five Stripes.

Mike: Minnesota over Atlanta – The Loons continue their fine form, keep up momentum, and on the backs of some stellar individual performances, bring home their first trophy.


Gold Cup Victories, WWC Near Miss, and USOC-MLS Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans, to your source for all things American soccer. In this episode our hosts break down the Gold Cup group stages and what to expect from the knockout rounds. Mike is still confident in his pick of Mexico over the United States in the final, while Nick believes this is Costa Rica’s year. With Haiti upsetting Costa Rica, Canada could be the dark horse team to make the finals. The USMNT will still need to get past Canada and Jamaica, but their path looks promising after convincing wins over Guyana and Trinidad & tobago.

Meanwhile, the USWNT defeated Spain in less than convincing fashion. But for two Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks, the #1 ranked team and tournament favorites nearly missed their worst ever finish in the Women’s World Cup. Mike believes this will act as motivation for the team to roll to victories in their upcoming matches. Still the favorite, the US will face tough tests in France, Norway, Germany, or whichever team they may meet in the final.

Back on US soil, the US Open Cup delivered additional Cupsets! with New Mexico defeating Colorado and Saint Louis defeating FC Cincinnati. LAFC, Portland, and Atlanta are still the favorites, but Mike believes NYCFC will surprise everyone and take the trophy. Meanwhile in MLS action, the Chicago Fire once again underwhelm in a 1-1 draw to Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy beat up on a floundering FCC, and Sporting KC somehow come out on top in the Battle of the Bad against Columbus. Someone has to win, right?

Enjoy all the soccer action, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer and leave your thoughts in the comments below.