Tag Archives: TFC

Nick’s Final Episode (and some CCL talk)



Hey, soccer fans! Sadly, that is the last time I great you as a host and producer for The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. After three years of podcasts and videos recorded in garages, basements, and campers, I am stepping away. The show is going in a new direction, and I can no longer be a part of it.

What I will say is this has been an incredible three years. I’ve met people from around the Chicago suburbs and around the world. I’ve been inspired by other shows and stories. I’ve truly found what others have already known: the soccer community is one of the best and most supportive. I cannot thank you all enough for choosing to take your precious time and listen to me talk all things American soccer on a weekly basis. It’s humbling, and I’ll never forget it.

Thank you to my co-host and good friend, Mike, to my family, to John Donovan (our first and greatest sponsor), and most of all to the viewers and listeners who’ve tuned in over the years. You’ve been amazing, and this whole experience is unforgettable.

Thank you, and keep growing the game of soccer.
-Nick

…and to fulfill my SEO and blogging duties, this episode also contains a breakdown of the Concacaf Champions League draw, along with our takes on the latest transfers from around Major League Soccer. How will our MLS clubs fare vs. regional competition:

  • Toronto FC or Forge FC vs. Leon
  • Columbus Crew vs. Real Esteli
  • Philadelphia Union vs. Saprissa
  • Atlanta United vs. Alajuelense
  • Portland Timbers vs. Marathon

Be sure to check out our LinkTree to find us on social media, support us with donations, and purchase your custom SOP swag.

 

 


Armas to TFC: A New Era Begins



Chris Armas is the new head coach of Toronto FC. The same coaching carousel that took Greg Vanney to LA has brought another familiar MLS face north of the border. While the MLS Cup still eluded the Red Bulls under Armas, Vanney managed TFC to historic heights. Will Armas be able to meet the expectations Vanney set?

What kind of coach is TFC getting in Armas? First and foremost, Armas knows the MLS. As a player, he spent twelve seasons in the league (‘96-’97, Galaxy; ‘98-’07, Fire), with a lengthy list of accomplishments. As coach of the Red Bulls for three seasons, he put together a resume of 29 wins, 21 losses, and 11 draws – a near .500 record. However, his best season came in his first season (2018), where the Red Bulls went 22-7-5, winning the Eastern Conference, but bowing out in the MLS Cup Semi-Finals.

Tactically, Chris Armas followed the typical Red Bulls style – high press. They relied on turnovers, speed, and counter-attacking. It worked for a time, but the MLS rapidly changed. Defenses have improved in talent and tactics, and the quality of offenses has improved, partly nullifying the press’ reliance on turnovers. Armas tried changing his tactics and adapting, but the Red Bulls just didn’t have the talent to make it work.

Toronto, however, has a much more talented roster, at least on paper. Armas gets to turn loose the potential of Ayo Akinola and Tsubasa Endoh, and help mold the careers of homegrowns Jayden Nelson, Jordan Perruzza, and Jacob Shaffelburg. He can lean on the experience of MLS veterans Michael Bradley, Nick DeLeon, and Jonathan Osario. And he has the playmaking of reigning MVP Alejandro Pozuelo and Auro Jr.

So what can we expect from Armas’ version of TFC? First, results will be tied to the talent. All indications are that sporting director Ali Curtis will keep the bank account open to bring in the best talent available – and he’s already looking at a new defender to shore up the back-line. Next, given the experience already on the roster, Armas will only need to groom the young players and make a few tactical tweaks to get good results for the club. It’s entirely possible to see Toronto as a top-four club in the East. However given everything the club already has and will be doing from a talent perspective, it’s entirely possible to see Armas without a job if the squad starts the season flat and the organization falls into old habits of quickly kicking coaches to the curb.

On a personal note, having watched Armas for so many seasons in Chicago, I really want to see him succeed. I also caught an autographed soccer ball from him at a bar during a World Cup 2010 watch party…but we’ll save that story for the podcast. So to the fans, organization, and new head coach himself, we at the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast wish you best of luck.

Nick
Host, The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast


Do Something, USMNT! and Fire Youth Movement



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We’ve got a real treat tonight as we continue talking USMNT. We look at their January camp roster, possible friendly vs. Serbia, and what we expect with a possible competitions they’ll play during 2021. We also get to know Matthew Hoppe, the young American taking Schalke 04 and the Bundesliga by storm.

In the second half, we look local, breaking down the Chicago Fire’s latest signings of four players 21 years old and under. We keep up with the Crew’s moves, and discuss the latest striker to join LAFC. Stay tuned for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

Be sure to check out our LinkTree to find us on social media, support us with donations, and purchase your custom SOP swag.


2020 MLS Playoff Preview



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we break down the first round of the 2020 MLS Playoffs. We give our picks, predictions, and what to look for in each game. Take a look at our notes and give us your thoughts:

Nashville Miami
Record 8W-7L-8T

24GF, 22GA

7W-13L-3T

25GF, 35GA

H2H 1W, 1D vs. Miami 1L, 1D vs. Nashville
Notes Do it on Defense

3rd best GA in league (PHI, COL)

xGA: 25.5, Goals Allowed: 22

Back line leads in minutes: top 5 minutes this season are Romney (D),
Willis (GK), Zimmerman (D), Lovitz (D), McCarty (DM)

Star Power

Morgan: 5G, 5A

Pizarro: 4G, 4A

Brek Shea: 4G

Rest of team: 11G, 9A

Pick Nick: Nashville Mike: Nashville

Continue reading 2020 MLS Playoff Preview


Decision Day Drama and USMNT Youth Movement



Hey, soccer fans, and welcome back! We’ve got all your American soccer talk from MLS to USMNT.

In Major League Soccer, the playoffs are set and Decision Day saw a lot of drama. The Chicago Fire flamed out, and the LA Galaxy fell like a falling star. But Sporting KC topped the Western Conference, and the Philadelphia Union brought home their first major trophy. We cover everything between and how it shaped the playoff picture.

In the second half, we get back to talking United States Men’s National Team. With upcoming friendlies against Wales and Panama, Nick gives his desired starting eleven, and Mike tells him where he’s wrong. Get excited, international soccer is back!

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And the worst team in MLS is…?



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we bring you a plethora of punditry as we parse the play of the this week’s participants. First, we discuss whether the New England Revolution are for real. Hampered by injuries, but still in the playoff picture, the Revs could be a season or two – or a player or two – from being a top tier Eastern Conference team. We also break down the impact of Philadelphia’s drubbing of Toronto FC to take over the top spot in the league.

Next, we answer the question: Who is the worst team in MLS right now? With choices like DC United, Atlanta United, FC Cincinnati, Colorado Rapids, and LA Galaxy, there’s been no shortage of poor play this season. Tune in for why Nick thinks the Galaxy are this season’s disappointment and hear why Mike believes Cincinnati is even worse.

We wrap up the show with talk about the USMNT finally scheduling an international friendly. They take on Wales in Swansea on November 12, 2020. We chat about what this means for the squad, how good of an opponent is Wales, and what lies in store for the future of US Soccer. Leave your feedback in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe on Youtube and wherever you listen to podcasts.


Aaronson’s Big Move, Unsupported Shield, and League Roundup



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! We’ve got all your MLS and USMNT action covered in tonight’s episode.

As we run through the latest slate of games, we touch on the big topics surrounding Major League Soccer, including:

  • More transfers to Saudi Arabia
  • Aaronson’s move to RB Salzburg
  • Another VAR controversy between Dallas and Kansas City
  • Gonzal Higuain keeps running his mouth
  • How do you beat Toronto?

In the second half of the show, we review all the controversy surrounding the decision by the board of directors of the Supporters Shield Foundation to not aware the Supporters Shield this season. We review the statements put forth by the Independent Supporters Council (ISC), MLS, and the back-tracking the ISC has had to do after the backlash from fans. What do you think: Should we keep the Shield?

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MLS Headlines, Roundup, and USMNT Chatter



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we cover all the happenings from an action-packed week of Major League Soccer (MLS).

In the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC has risen to the top and is Supporter Shield favorites. DC United tries to rebound after firing Ben Olsen as manager – but may try to keep him as part of the organization, and Caden Clark makes a memorable MLS debut for Red Bulls New York. In the Western Conference, Sporting KC keeps winning without an offense, and Portland just keeps winning. Period.

In the second half, we discuss the record number of Americans playing in UEFA’s Champions League, and discuss whether we’re on the cusp of an American Golden Generation. If we are, WHY ISN’T USSF DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!? No international friendlies, no training camps, no updates on what Berhalter is thinking…are we the only ones furious?

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MLS Mega-Roundup!



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast, covering all things American soccer. Tonight, our weekly Major League Soccer (MLS) roundup turns into a mega roundup of all 25 games played this past week. Tune in for our takes on:

  • Chicago Fire finally look like a playoff team
  • San Jose hits rock bottom
  • What’s up with the Western Conference?
  • Profile of Houston Dynamo forward Ariel Lassiter

We also review transfer news and league headlines from around the league, including the Roman Torres goes ‘home,’ Covid plagues Colorado, and MLS declines to release Conmebol players for World Cup qualifying. Stay tuned for all this and more, in tonight’s episode of SOP Soccer!

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