Tag Archives: SJ

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!

 


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. 33 – MLS Week 28 Recap: TFC, Playoff Positioning, and ‘Quakes Coach



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

We thank you for listening, and we are happy to present our Week 28 Major League Soccer recap. In what was one of the highest scoring weeks in MLS history, very little change occurred regarding playoff positioning. Atlanta, Red Bulls, and NYCFC remain solidly atop the East, while Sporting KC, FC Dallas, and LAFC still control the West. Can DC United, Vancouver, and the LA Galaxy make a push? Tune in for the hosts’ analysis.

Also, Toronto FC host Liga MX powerhouse Tigres in the inaugural Campeones Cup, the matchup between the defending MLS champions and the reigning Mexican club. These two teams have some recent history from the Concacaf Champions League, and both will be eager to add a trophy during their less than stellar seasons. Nick and Mike expect a high scoring affair, with both teams looking to play up-tempo. What do you expect to see?

Finally, San Jose has fired their coach … a move we all knew was coming. The future of the club is at stake, but will anything change without a revamped roster?

 

Thanks for listening, and join the conversation 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!


MLS Players in World Cup 2018



The 23-man rosters for World Cup 2018 in Russia have been released and there is a contingent of MLS players included. Below is a graph breaking down the players’ club and country.

Costa Rica and Panama have a notable group of players based in Major League Soccer. Is their success or failure a reflection on the MLS as a league? Let us know in the comments below!

Last Name First Name Club Country
Ciman Laurent LAFC Belgium
Matarrita Ronald NYCFC Costa Rica
Calvo Francisco MNUFC Costa Rica
Waston Kendall Vancouver Costa Rica
Guzman David Portland Costa Rica
Wallace Rodney NYCFC Costa Rica
Urena Marco LAFC Costa Rica
dos Santos Jonathan LA Galaxy Mexico
dos Santos Giovani LA Galaxy Mexico
Vela Carlos LAFC Mexico
Cummings Harold San Jose Panama
Escobar Fidel NYRB Panama
Machado Adolfo Houston Panama
Murillo Michael NYRB Panama
Torres Roman Seattle Panama
Godoy Anibal San Jose Panama
Yotun Yoshimar Orlando City Peru
Polo Andy Portland Peru
Svensson Gustav Seattle Sweden
Gaber Omar LAFC Egypt

*This list based on ESPN’s roster release article, found here. If any player has been omitted (and I’m not talking Zlatan out for Sweden), either ESPN missed it, or Nick needs reading glasses.