Tag Archives: Santos

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


Going FullMingo with Jason Klein, Responding to Rooney



Hey, soccer fans! We go Full Mingo tonight as we welcome Jason Klein from Forward Madison FC. Tune in as their Digital Content Manager gives us the inside scoop of the Chicago Fire’s newest affiliate in USL League 1. You don’t want to miss out on learning all about Madison’s professional soccer team, including their cow mascot Lionela Bessi, and hearing the origin story of the Astonishingly Shiny Cup of All Cups.

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In the 2nd half, Nick and Mike respond to Wayne Rooney’s criticism of MLS owner’s exploiting the trade structure to the detriment of American players. Is Rooney just “out of town stupid” or does he make a good point? Is he speaking from a position of privilege or is he trying to grow the game in the US? Tune in for our takes. The full interview can be found here.

The hosts conclude with their thoughts on Atlas and Santos pushing for a unified Liga MX and MLS super league. Both Nick and Mike agree that Liga MX is looking for a way to save their league, and MLS would be stupid to allow another league to siphon off fans, viewers, and dollars. But is the allure of a North American Superleague too great?

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