Tag Archives: San Jose Earthquakes

CCL is Back! and Big Money and Big Signings around MLS



Greetings, soccer fans, and welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, your hosts review the draw for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) and give their picks and preliminary positions. Tune in to hear about the favorites, the dark horses, and the teams that could surprise. If you’re not familiar with the tournament, this episode will give you all the knowledge to confidently rant about the games on social media.

In the second half of the show, Nick and Mike discuss the latest headlines from around Major League Soccer (MLS). Tonight, they focus on big names and big money as Sporting KC, Toronto FC, LA Galaxy, and San Jose Earthquakes all made recent headlines. Quickly:

  • SKC sign Alan Pulido
  • TFC sign Michael Bradley
  • LA Galaxy sign Sacha Kljestan
  • San Jose Earthquakes sign Cristian Espinoza
  • Barcelona (rumored to) sign Carlos Vela

These teams have broken the bank to get these players. Will it pay off? Let Nick and Mike give you their unfiltered opinion on the signings … along with which teams have missed out so far (ahem … Chicago).

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


U-20 World Cup, Zack Steffen, and MLS League Roundup



USA! USA! USA!

Hello soccer fans! The USYNT/U-20 team has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Poland. This is a record-tying, third straight trip to the round of eight for the U-20s. After finishing 2nd in their group (Loss to Ukraine, Wins over Qatar, Nigeria), the US stunned France 3-2. Their next opponent is South American champion Ecuador. Despite the great run, the favorites in the tournament still are on the opposite side of the bracket, with Italy and Colombia. We’ll see how far the US can go. Their next match is June 8.

As we move to the senior team, it’s been announced that GK Zack Steffen will be loaned to Bundesliga team Fortuna Dusseldorf. A loan was expected, and Steffen is sure to get minutes with a Dusseldorf side that finished 10th in the league. This is a great loan for Steffen who will be exposed to a new and faster style of play.

Finally, Nick and Mike round up all the games from around Major League Soccer. Notably, Atlanta United continues their ascent in the Eastern Conference while LAFC maintain dominance out West. Here are our trending teams:

Teams on the Rise

  • Atlanta United: They figured out how to play deBoer’s style and are thriving. The Five Stripes are now sitting 3rd in the East with games in hand.
  • San Jose Earthquakes: Almeyda keeps riding the hot hand …er, foot … and Chris Wondolowski has 7 goals in 3 games. The Quakes are 1 point below the playoff line, but have a game in hand.
  • Colorado Rapids: Despite the 2nd worst record in the league, worst in the West, the Rapids have 3 wins, 1 draw in their last four.

Teams on the Fall

  • Columbus Crew: 1-3-1 in their last 5, Higuain tears and ACL, Steffen played his last game – management is blowing this up with loans and trades. Time for manager Caleb Porter to institute his culture and style.
  • Minnesota United: Giving up 6 goals in their last 2 games, the Loons need to shore up the defense quickly as games vs. hot Colorado and desperate SKC are looming.

Teams who can’t get up

  • Sporting Kansas City and FC Cincinnati: Let’s be honest. Watching these two teams has been rough.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or in the comments below. See you next week!

 


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!


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!


Ep. 24 – MLS Week 22 Recap and All-Star Preview



The Sons of a Pitch continue to provide soccer talk for the casual fan and die-hard supporter, this week recapping Week 22 of Major League Soccer. The discussion starts by previewing the Canadian Championship Final between Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps. TFC is the favorite, but Mike discusses how certain factors favor Vancouver. Who do you think will lift the trophy? Comment below!

MLS All-Star Game 2018
This year the best eleven for the MLS take on Serie A powerhouse Juventus and try to snap the home side’s losing streak in this exhibition match. Tune-in and learn a little more about the Italian club, what to expect from the game, and how we expect Sebastian Giovinco to have a great game against his former club. SOP Host Mike puts on his coaching hat and gives you his Starting XI. Who would you start? Leave your comments below!

Surprise Signings in Cincinnati
2019 MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati announced the signing of Portland Timbers forward Fenandi Adi as the club’s first Designated Player. They also signed Fatai Alashe from San Jose, two moves praised by SOP Host Nick. Listen how he thinks this is a great move on the field and in the board room. Has FCC put the MLS on notice? Leave a comment below!

Western Conference Playoffs
The hosts may have put the kiss of death on Sporting KC when they picked them as the favorite to win the Supporters’ Shield. SKC sits one point above the red-line for the playoffs after losing to conference leader FC Dallas. Has the torch been passed? Can SKC still dominate the playoffs? Nick isn’t so sure, but Mike remains confident. Who is your current favorite to win the West? Leave a comment below!

 

Enjoy the All-Start Game, and thanks for listening!


Ep 19 – MLS Week 17 Recap



What a week for the MLS! The hosts cover all the scores and stories from Week 17.

Eastern Conference
Is Atlanta showing cracks in its armor?
How can Orlando City get back on track?
Philadelphia keeps rolling! DOOP! DOOP! DOOP!

Western Conference
When will teams figure out Ciman’s free kick powers?!
Colorado wins! (no typo)
Is Houston in danger of missing the playoffs?

Tune in and hear Nick and Mike’s take on these topics and all things MLS. Listen to the end to hear their picks for next week’s games. You might even learn something.