Tag Archives: Toronto FC

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

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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


More MLS Playoffs, More MLS Madness



Hey, soccer fans! We’re talking more MLS playoff, and more MLS madness. Tonight, we give our takes on:

  • Nashville’s run to semi’s and how they fell to Columbus
  • Does Toronto FC need a reboot?
  • What’s the key to New England’s success? (Hint: star power)
  • Orlando’s complete collapse
  • Seattle does what Seattle does.
  • Columbus on track for another trophy

We also talk about a crazy trend in this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs: missed penalties. These missed PKs set the tone for the rest of the team:

  • Maxi Moralez missed for NYCFC
  • Wondo missed for SJ
  • Vela missed for LAFC
  • Nani missed for Orlando City

And there’s transfer news! Tune in for the latest about FC Dallas, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC.

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


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


Mike on the Mic



Hey soccer, fans! In this episode, join our host Mike as he talks all things American soccer. From MLS to USMNT, Concacaf to Champions League, Mike touches on all subjects while fielding listener questions. Join the American soccer conversation with The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.


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.


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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Soccer Memories, MLS is Back Group Previews, and American Soccer Headlines



Hey, soccer fans! It’s July and the temperature is almost as hot as our takes. In tonight’s episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast, tune in for our takes on:

Soccer Memories

  • From a listener question, our hosts share their favorite soccer memories – from Gold Cups to World Cups and all the MLS games in between.
  • Coincidentally, both Nick and Mike have a great memory of Dwayne DeRosario

MLS is Back Tournament Group Previews

  • Nick and Mike predict Toronto FC to take the group, but who comes in 2nd? New England is on the up, but look out for dark horse DC United
  • Group D is a toss up! Nick likes Sporting KC to finally fulfill their potential, while Mike is buying into what MNUFC is selling. Don’t count our resurgent Colorado or an RSL club that can outplay expectations.

American Soccer Headlines

  • Is Christian Pulisic injury prone? Or is it growing pains? He’s only 21, folks.
  • Do you like “Fighting” Matt Miazga?
  • Where will Cannon and Busio end up?

Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast!

Be sure to subscribe on YouTube to join the next live broadcast and get in on the conversation.

 

 


MLS Week 2 – Headlines, Injury Updates, and League Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans, to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Tonight, we are excited to discuss the following headlines:

  • Joe Fala, and friend of the show, starting center back for RBNYII
  • Injury Update – How do the teams most impacted cope?
  • Victor Wanyama leaves Tottenham for Montreal – the Thierry Henry Effect is in full force!
  • USYNT – U23s and Olympic Qualifying: Roster breakdown and what to expect.
  • Expansion worries: Nashville and Inter Miami have the same 0-2 record, so why does it feel like the squad from South Beach will have much more success?

In the second half of the show, Nick and Mike round up all the Week 2 actionj from around Major League Soccer, including:

  • Game of the Week: Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo
  • Time to panic for the LA Galaxy
  • Toronto FC get the best of a determined NYCFC squad
  • PK controversy gives Seattle a point vs. Columbus

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