Tag Archives: Toronto FC

USMNT Embarrassment and Mediocrity, Nations League, and MLS League Roundup



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back! It’s great to have you as we recap the United States Men’s National Team’s embarrassing performance vs. Mexico and their mediocre outing vs. Uruguay. In the heat of the moment, most USMNT fans were through with the Berhalter experiment and his heavy use of MLS players. However after a 48hr cooling off period, Nick has talked himself off the ledge. Clearly, the USMNT was attempting to develop their new style, and unfortunately Mexico was the perfect team to destroy those attempts. In their next match-up vs. Uruguay, the USMNT controlled more of the game, but still could only muster a single goal. Has progress been made? When will games actually matter to Berhalter and the US Soccer Federation? Tune in to find out.

Next, the hosts give a brief update on what is the CONCACAF Nations League, how it impacts the development of soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, and what it means for World Cup Qualifying. We all love meaningful games, but could the new FIFA rankings based system end up hurting countries like the United States and Canada?

Finally, Nick and Mike recap the handful of Major League Soccer (MLS) games that took place this week. NYCFC is the new Eastern Conference leader, and could break their spell of early playoff exits. Meanwhile, Colorado surprises short-handed Seattle, and Portland defeats Sporting KC, despite not getting their share of referee’s whistles. Toronto FC and Orlando City pick up points to help their playoff push, but how will they fare as the season winds down?

All this and more from The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Be sure to join the conversation by subscribing to the podcast and joining in on social media.


All Star Game Thoughts, MLS Headlines, and League Roundup



Hello again boys and girls, soccer fans of all ages! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, our hosts give their candid opinions on the utility of the MLS All Star Game. Tune in to hear their thoughts on whether or not the league should do away with the All Star game or just re-format the event. Mike thinks the novelty of playing foreign clubs has worn off, where Nick proposes an all-MLS, 4 team, 7×7 round-robin tournament.
What are your thoughts on the current All Star Game format? Will you be watching?

Next, the hosts recap some movement around the league: Terrance Boyd departs TFC, Inter Miami ink their first two players, and surging San Jose signs Argentine striker. Also, RSL coach Mike Petke gets suspended by MLS for actions against officials in Leagues Cup, and Wilmer Cabrera sounds off against referees and the league not giving Houston enough respect.
What do you think about your team’s signings? Does Cabrera have a point about Houston?

Teams on the Rise

  • New England Revolution: New signings and a lengthy point streak have the Revs in 7th place in the Eastern Conference.
  • Portland Timbers: A resounding 4-0 victory has them above the playoff line and still a threat to take down any team ahead of them.

Teams on the Fall

  • Vancouver Whitecaps: You lost to Cavalry.
  • Orlando City: After getting thumped by New England 4-1, OCSC sit 7pts below the playoff line.

Break’s Over: MLS is Back! Gold Cup Knockouts, and WWC Recap



Greetings, soccer fans! And welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thanks for joining us as we get back to Major League Soccer coverage, review the Gold Cup knockout rounds, and recap the Women’s World Cup semi-finals. We also thank you for helping us in our mission of growing the sport, and thanks to Luke Murray for sending us these links on how to start up soccer in your neighborhood:

Please share your tips and advice for Luke and all those getting their kids involved in the world’s game!

Turning to soccer talk, Nick and Mike highlight a few MLS games, now that the league is back from international break. Tune in for analysis of

  • Red Bulls New York vs. Chicago Fire
  • Toronto FC’s games vs. DC United and Atlanta United
  • New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union
  • And a shout out to the Colorado Rapids for their upset over league leader LAFC!

Next, our hosts turn to the Gold Cup. While the USMNT has survived and advanced against Panama and Curacao, they need to find their game – especially their offense – for their semi-final match-up against Jamaica. The hosts predict Mexico to defeat the US in the final, but the games leading up to that will definitely be exciting.

Finally, Nick and Mike take a quick look back at the USWNT’s run to the Women’s World Cup Final, where they will most likely meet the Netherlands (though don’t count Sweden out for an upset). The US Women have defeated Thailand, Chile, and Sweden in the group stages, then advanced through the knockout rounds past Spain, France, and England. They’ve got a target on their back, have taken the best shot of every team they’ve faced, and have risen to the challenge. USA! USA! USA!


Midweek Roundup and Special Guest Dr. Vanessa: Physical Therapist



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to a special episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode we review the mid-week action around MLS and welcome for the first time Dr. Vanessa, a physical therapist. She talks about proper training, common injuries, and how to best prevent them. Here are a few highlights:

  • Toronto FC make history with the most shots without a goal
  • Timbers new DP Fernandez scores and salvages a point for his new team
  • Atlanta gets another win, it wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win
  • Sounders keep winning, Orlando needs to settle on a lineup
  • LAFC continue to dominate the results, make Dallas feel like the rest in the West

In our interview with Dr. Vanessa: Physical Therapist, we learn about the education required of certified therapists and how they go about their business. Dr. Vanessa highlights how she develops exercises for her patients (including a modern pentathlete!). She discusses dynamic warm-ups, integrating game actions into training, and emphasizes practicing how you play. By doing this, you can minimize the risk of the most common sports injuries: ACL tears and ankle sprains.

A big thanks to Dr. Vanessa for taking the time to speak with us. Let us know of any questions for Dr. Vanessa or for the show at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com or on twitter @SOPSoccer. Have a great night!


Week 11 Roundup: Zlatan’s Trash Talk, SKC/Revs Shootout, and What’s Wrong with the East?



Welcome back, soccer fans! Thanks for returning to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for all your Major League Soccer news. In this episode, the hosts recap Week 11 and all the goals, drama, and story-lines that accompanied it. Tune in for:

  • Houston and Dallas keep taking points
  • LAFC – Seattle rematch not live up to the hype
  • Zlatan’s talking trash and the league is letting him

The hosts also discuss what’s going on in the Eastern Conference. With no team looking like a favorite, the conference is up for grabs. Listen to Nick and Mike break down how:

  • Columbus is slumping, Chicago is under-performing
  • Atlanta is the most talented team, but only on paper
  • DC can’t string together wins
  • Is TFC the favorite? Based on PPG, they sure are

And to round out the discussion, we take a glimpse at the newly formed Canadian Premier League (CPL). With seven teams in Canada’s top flight, Mike discusses the influence of Toronto on the league and the league’s focus on developing young, Canadian talent. Nick is optimistic about the experience coaches, organizations, and owners will get and how they can apply that to the future of soccer in North America.

Finally, the hosts gives some early US Open Cup picks. The US Open Cup gets underway next week, and while MLS teams are favored to win (Mike likes Seattle, Nick likes Houston or Sporting KC), don’t be surprised is USL Championship sides like Louisville City or Saint Louis FC make a run.

 

Thanks again for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below!


Pick-A-Player, Howard’s Rant, and Week 9 Roundup



Greetings soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, we take a twitter question asking us to pick-a-player who our favorite team could reasonably attain. Thanks to FC Cincinnati fan Eric Turner (@eric_turner7) for his question:

Keeping focused on a real, attainable player, Mike thinks Toronto FC could benefit from signing Omar Gonzalez in the allocation order. Nick wants young, European talent to make its way to teams like Sporting KC and Chicago in an effort to change up some of the styles of play the teams have been known for. Also, the hosts give their take on the Tim Howard Instagram rant against a fan critical of his performance in the Rapids’ 4-1 defeat at Chicago.

Finally, in the league roundup, our hosts recap all the Week 8 action. Out west, LAFC and the LA Galaxy continue to dominate headlines and stat sheets. Here are some quick takes on the current status of the teams:

Teams on the Rise

  1. LAFC – A disinterested LAFC lost 1-0 at Vancouver, only to beat Seattle 4-1 a few days later. Vela doing Vela things.
  2. LA Galaxy – 2nd in the West, conceding only 1 goal per game. And they have Zlatan.
  3. Philadelphia Union – Won 2 of 3, and 4 of 5. When scoring 2 goals, they haven’t lost.
  4. Toronto FC – Can Pozuelo keep up his amazing form (4 goals, 5 assists in 4 games) now that Jozy picked up an injury?
  5. San Jose Quakes – Goals and wins and points!

Teams on the Decline

  1. DC United – Dropping points after being poised to separate from the rest of the conference.
  2. Columbus Crew – See DC United.
  3. Sporting KC – Losses, goals conceded, and injuries the likes KC hasn’t seen in a long time.
  4. Minnesota United – Maybe that rebuilt defense wasn’t so rebuilt.

Thanks for listening! Please join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or via email at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.


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!


Nani, Nagbe, & Long – Jersey Fashion – CCL Preview and Picks



Welcome back soccer fans! The terrible, winter weather has held off just long enough for our hosts to get back to the studio and give you a full length episode of analysis and entertainment.

To begin, Nick and Mike break down Orlando City’s latest Designated Player (DP) signing in Nani. The Portugese international and former Manchester United star may be 32 years old, but can bring a certain quality to the Orlando roster. Look for him to work the wing, creating opportunities for Dwyer and get the rest of the Orlando squad involved in the attack. Next, Mike gives his take on Darlington Nagbe wanting a trade to reunite with Caleb Porter in Columbus. Mike calls Nagbe overrated, and Nick doesn’t disagree. Finally, Aaron Long signs a three year deal with Red Bulls New York, who now can focus on rebuilding their attack after locking down the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year

To lighten the mood, the hosts take a look at the new jerseys released by MLS teams this year. The LA Galaxy disappoint, expansion side FC Cincinnati start off solid, and Minnesota United’s away jersey has a classic look. Also, Toronto FC’s new red, home jersey looks just as terrible as they played in their CCL opener.

Speaking of the Concacaf Champions League, TFC and Independiente kicked things off with a 4-0 result in favor of the Panamania home side. Nick appreciated a home team playing aggressively while Mike could barely stand to watch his beloved Reds play like garbage. TFC had no structure, formation, or attacking threat, but at least they can now focus on the regular season. The other MLS teams should fare a better fate with Houston, Red Bulls, Sporting KC, and Atlanta all the favorites to win their first round matchup. In a bold prediction, Nick picks RBNY to win the tournament, while Mike thinks that Liga MX teams will dominate and have all four semi-final spots.

What are your thoughts on the transfer news around Major League Soccer? Who’s your pick to win the CCL? Let us know on twitter @SOPSoccer and in the comment section below. Thanks for listening, and enjoy all the soccer action this week.


More Transfers, International Roster Rules, and Imagine No Salary Cap



Greetings, soccer fans! We hope you all survived the polar vortex and are enjoying warmer temperatures. At Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer podcast, we keep things heated with a fiery discussion on the future of the league.

First, transfers and moves keep happening all around Major League Soccer (MLS). Vancouver and LAFC sign Hwang In-beom and Rodolfo Zelaya. NYCFC gets striker Alex Mitrita from Romania. Toronto FC sign Terrance Boyd to offset the loss of Toussaint Rickets, and Luciano Acosta’s deal with Paris St. Germain (PSG) falls through in the 11th hour. Acosta returns to DC United, but with what mentality?

Speaking of Rodolfo Zelaya, host Mike takes exception to the rule allowing Zelaya to occupy a domestic roster spot. As an El Salvadoran, he should take up an international roster spot, right? Not according to league rules allowing green card holders to be considered domestic players. Nick gives a reading of the rules, and the two debate the topic.

From there, an even lively debate was sparked. Both Mike and Nick address the future of the league, with Mike advocating for an open-market style with no salary caps or roster restrictions. Nick vehemently disagrees, advocating for the current system with steady changes. They might agree on where the league is going, but definitely not on how to get there.

Join the conversation @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Thanks for listening, and be sure to spread the word of the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.


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.