Tag Archives: SKC

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:


S2Ep22 – World Cup Triumph, Gold Cup Heartbreak, and MLS Roundup



The United States is World Cup Champions!
How nice that sounds!

One day we’ll say it about the men, but for now, enjoy the USWNT once again asserting their dominance over the rest of the world of women’s soccer. After taking a comfortable 2-0 lead, the US Women were content to play more defensively and see the game out. Congrats to Jill Ellis on her game plan, the players for their performances, and to the fans who traveled to France.

Meanwhile on home soil, the USMNT advanced to the Gold Cup Final after defeating Jamaica in a solid performance. Sadly, they were plagued by an inability to score and atrocious 2nd half coaching, which included three terrible substitutions. The US is improving, but is nowhere near Mexico or the rest of the top soccer nations around the world.

Major League Soccer also had a slate of games between the international competitions, which featured a number of Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference match-ups. The West dominated in those games, and is dominating the East in most statistical categories.

Thanks for listening and be sure to follow along on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below!


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!

 


Transfers, Firings, and Week 12 MLS Roundup



Hello again, soccer fans! And welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thank you for joining us again as we look at all the moves from around Major League Soccer (MLS) and roundup the slew of games from Week 12.

But first, we want to wish all the soccer moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for waking up early, driving your kids to games and practices, and being their biggest supporters as they grow and learn the game. Without soccer moms, there is simply no soccer.

Transfers

  • Columbus Crew acquire David Accam and extend Gyasi Zardes, giving him a DP contract. Lalas Abubaker loaned to Colorado Rapids.
  • New York City transfers USMNT forward Jonathan Lewis to Colorado Rapids.
  • Sporting KC bring Benny Feilhaber back to shore up depleted defense.
  • Joevin Jones back in Seattle, in his prime, and ready to light up the stat sheet.

Firings

  • Hudson out at Colorado
  • Koch out at Cincinnati
  • Freidel out at New England
  • New England also fire GM Michael Burns

Teams on the Rise

  • Eastern Conference Regulars: Fire playing up to their talent, Atlanta win 3 straight, NYCFC found their offense.
  • LAFC: Points per game average is near record levels

Teams on the Fall

  • Toronto FC: No Jozy, no offense.
  • Colorado: It can’t get much worse. (And don’t tell me if it can.)
  • FC Cincinnati: What’s their identity and does it score goals?

MLS is Back! Week 1 Roundup, Headlines, and CCL Recap



#MLSisBack and so are the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Thanks for joining us as we provide a roundup of all the Major League Soccer action . We also look at the latest headlines and review the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.

In Week 1, we saw an abundance of goals and expansion team woes. LAFC and Sporting KC gave us an early preview of Western Conference title contendors, while DC United and Atlanta United provided a glimpse into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Though only one game in, Seattle and Minnesota impressed, San Jose struggled, and the LA Galaxy debuted their 16 year-old rising star. Listen in for all our takes on these games.

Off the pitch, headlines are still being made, with the LA Galaxy buying out Gio dos Santos’ contract, the Chicago Fire looking to sign Nico Gaitan, and Toronto FC finalizing the deal for Alejandro Pozuelo. Nick and Mike break down what these deals mean for the respective clubs, and project that Chicago and Toronto could add enough talent to put themselves firmly in playoff contention. Finally, the hosts recap the first round of CCL, and are disappointed with Red Bulls’ quarterfinal performance against Santos Laguna. This still could be the year an MLS team wins the tournament for the first time, but Sporting KC will have to overcome some tired legs, and Atlanta United will have to get out to a better start than their opening game.

 

Thank you all for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Additional thanks to our new sponsor and avid soccer supporter: Donovan Food Brokerage.


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!


USMNT vs. Panama, Giovinco Rumors, and 3 Big Transfers



Greetings soccer fans from the soon-to-be coldest place on Earth: the Chicago suburbs. Post-apocalyptic and extreme freezing temperatures have shut down much of the Midwest, including our recording studio, but the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast is still bringing you the latest in Major League Soccer (MLS) and United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) news.

This episode starts off with Nick recapping the USMNT friendly matchup against Panama, the first game under new head coach Gregg Berhalter. The US arrived with an all-MLS based squad and employed a rarely seen 4-3-3 formation. However, the attacking depth of the roster and the tactics employed by Berhalter necessitated such a formation. With a result of 3-0, who can argue!?

Next our resident Toronto FC (and all things Canada) expert, Mike gives his take on the Giovinco trade rumors. Will he stay at TFC, and will it be a DP or TAM deal? Will the Atomic Ant end up in Asia? Be sure to listen to find out details.

Finally, Nick discussed three big transfers and their impact on the league:
1. Almiron to Newcastle United
Where does the MLS now stand in the world marketplace?
2. Opara to Minnesota United FC
Did MNUFC overpay? And if so, who cares!?
3. Ousted to Chicago Fire
An improvement over Sanchez, but what wouldn’t have been?

 

Thanks for listening! Join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments section below.


MLS Headlines and Conference Championship Leg 1 Recap



Welcome, soccer fans, and thanks for listening to the Sons of a Pitch Podcast!

In this episode we bring you all the latest headlines around Major League Soccer (MLS), including:

  • Zack Steffen’s transfer to Manchester City: what it means for him, the USMNT, and the league
  • Coaching moves: Pareja to Tijuana, Berhalter to USMNT, Tata to El Tri – Is this the next phase of the league growth?
  • Player options exercised: Urena out at LAFC, Ricketts out at TFC, Quioto in at Houston, Abubaker in at Columbus – what it means for the teams
  • FC Cincinnati not signing 3rd Designated Player (DP) – Is Fanendo Adi enough? Is this the way to build a team?

Mike and Nick also recap Leg 1 of the Conference Championships

 

Shout out to Mark Fangmeier, HeathOut, and David Sterling for providing great MNUFC fan insight. And condolences to our resident Red Bulls fan Stephen J. Phillips. Someone please hide the sharp objects from him.


MLS Conference Semi-Finals Recap



Hello fans of Major League Soccer, and welcome to another episode of Sons of a Pitch Soccer Podcast!

Tonight, the hosts recap the conference semi-finals of the Major League Soccer Playoffs.

  • Portland and Seattle gave us another chapter in the Cascadia rivalry and an instant MLS Playoff classic. Did anyone think that Dairon Asprilla would be the deciding factor?
  • Sporting KC showed up against Real Salt Lake and confirmed why they were the best in the West. Has SKC’s offense proven the deciding factor in the playoffs so far?
  • Red Bulls New York ended Columbus Crew’s dream season. No one could #SavetheCrew from the high press. Can RBNY finally capture that elusive cup victory?
  • Josef Martinez regained his Golden Boot form as he and Atlanta United eliminated NYCFC. How will he fare against Red Bulls pressure and their ability to smother the best players on opposing teams?

Looking forward, Nick and Mike stick to their pick of SKC winning the MLS Cup. Nick has them defeating RBNY, while Mike sees Atlanta United advancing out of the East. What are your thoughts on the playoffs so far? Is your pick to win still alive? Follow us @SOPSoccer or email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.