Tag Archives: USA

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:


MLS Expansion Draft, Border War!, and Nations League Deep Dive



Hello, soccer fans! Welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, our hosts preview the eligible players in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Expansion Draft. Who will be the next group to join expansion sides Nashville SC and Inter Miami FC? Will your favorite players be protected? Tune in as Nick and Mike break down the current rosters of the expansion teams and their possible expansion draft picks.

Next, they review the biggest headlines from the MLS:

  • Thierry Henry is the new head coach of the Montreal Impact: How will he fare?
  • Brian Fernandez’ contract terminated, released from Portland Timbers roster: How does Portland replace him? Should they just rebuild?
  • Do these teams need to go big or slow build? Tune in and find out!

Finally, The Sons of a Pitch go international. Nick and Mike recap the second Nations League meeting between the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) and the Canadian Men’s National Team (CanMNT). After stunning the US 2-0 in Toronto, the Americans jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Zardes and Morris shined in a 4-1 victory, and the defense held. Then, they take a deep dive into the Concacaf Nations League. They analyze the current tournament, its impact on the confederation, and how it affects World Cup qualifying. They also provide a look at how the new FIFA ranking system works and the algorithm used to determine the points for each game. Is it fair? Are there still bugs? You’ll hear all about it in tonight’s episode.

Be sure to join the conversation and keep up with our social media:


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.


September Call-ups, Expansion Update, and League Roundup



Welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we’re covering both the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) as they prepare for September friendlies and all the latest news from around Major League Soccer (MLS).

Gregg Berhalter and US Soccer released their roster for the USMNT friendlies vs. Mexico (9/6) and Uruguay (9/10), and there certainly were some surprises. No Toronto FC players made the squad, much to the ire of Michael Bradley (though Berhalter says it was to help TFC make the MLS playoffs). Fans of American youth will be happy to see Sergino Dest and Josh Sargent on the roster. And listeners of the podcast will be disappointed that Daniel Lovitz has again taken a roster spot than should be used to develop some young talent. The Montreal Impact defender has mostly ridden the bench, but Berhalter continues to include him on the roster. Meanwhile, we are excited at the possible pairing of Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent, and the duo could provide the offense that the US roster has lacked.

Next, Nick and Mike provide an update on expansion teams Inter Miami (who are they linked to now!?), St. Louis MLS (not the USL club, this is different, it’s not a promotion), and Nashville SC (now with new DP signing Hany Mukhtar!). Finally, they round up all the action from this week’s slate of MLS games, including those with major playoff implications: Philly beats Atlanta, Loons over LAFC, and Seattle defeat the Galaxy.

And don’t forget to keep up with all of our social media content! Subscribe using the links in the side bar, and check us out on 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!


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!


Gold Cup Victories, WWC Near Miss, and USOC-MLS Roundup



Welcome back, soccer fans, to your source for all things American soccer. In this episode our hosts break down the Gold Cup group stages and what to expect from the knockout rounds. Mike is still confident in his pick of Mexico over the United States in the final, while Nick believes this is Costa Rica’s year. With Haiti upsetting Costa Rica, Canada could be the dark horse team to make the finals. The USMNT will still need to get past Canada and Jamaica, but their path looks promising after convincing wins over Guyana and Trinidad & tobago.

Meanwhile, the USWNT defeated Spain in less than convincing fashion. But for two Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks, the #1 ranked team and tournament favorites nearly missed their worst ever finish in the Women’s World Cup. Mike believes this will act as motivation for the team to roll to victories in their upcoming matches. Still the favorite, the US will face tough tests in France, Norway, Germany, or whichever team they may meet in the final.

Back on US soil, the US Open Cup delivered additional Cupsets! with New Mexico defeating Colorado and Saint Louis defeating FC Cincinnati. LAFC, Portland, and Atlanta are still the favorites, but Mike believes NYCFC will surprise everyone and take the trophy. Meanwhile in MLS action, the Chicago Fire once again underwhelm in a 1-1 draw to Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy beat up on a floundering FCC, and Sporting KC somehow come out on top in the Battle of the Bad against Columbus. Someone has to win, right?

Enjoy all the soccer action, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer and leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Going International: Women’s World Cup-France 2019, US Open Cup (Cupsets!), and Gold Cup



There’s soccer around the world, and we’ve got your American perspective.

The Women’s World Cup is taking place in France, and favorite United States continues to dominate. After a convincing 3-0 victory over Chile, the USWNT have locked up a spot in the knock-out round. They’ll have their work cut out for them with possible opponents of Spain, France, Norway, and Australia … and that’s even before the finals! Still the favorite, this is the US Women’s tournament to lose. Also, Marta (Brazil) sets the all-time World Cup goal-scoring record, with her 17th career WC goal.

Meanwhile in the US Open Cup … CUPSETS! Mike’s new favorite word (though annoying when overused, and the MLS is sure trying to overuse it) is appropriate to describe the victories of New Mexico United over Colorado Rapids and Saint Louis FC over Chicago Fire. And the Cupsets could continue with Saint Louis facing FC Cincinnati. Nick and Mike still think this is LAFC’s tournament to lose, but they’ll have to get through Portland and the Galaxy to do it. Meanwhile, Atlanta has found their rhythm, despite going down early to Chattanooga, and the Five Stripes are the favorite on the other side of the bracket.

Finally, Gold Cup 2019 is underway. Favorites Mexico and Costa Rica started with convincing wins vs. Cuba and Nicaragua, and Canada impressed vs. Martinique. Panama topped Trinidad and Tobago, and the USMNT defeated debutante Guyana. Mike is picking Mexico over the USA in the final, while Nick thinks that Costa Rica is destined to win.

Stay tuned every week to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast for all your tournament recaps. Join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below, subscribe to the podcast in the links in the banner, and please share the word of our show!


USA! USA! USA! – National Team Recaps, US Open Cup Features, and MLS Roundup



Hello soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. And our show starts with American soccer at it’s highest levels. The USYNT was knocked out of the U-20 World Cup in Poland after a tough game vs. South American champion Ecuador. While they didn’t advance further, Tab Ramos’ team once again proved the United States is developing talent on an international level. The USMNT also had a disappointing week, with losses to Jamaica and Venezuela in international friendlies. These Gold Cup tune-up games are certainly disappointments, but Berhalter wasn’t playing his “A” team, and his tactics needs time to implement. That being said, Nick and Mike have picked against the US in the tournament, choosing Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.

The bright spot for US Soccer has always been the USWNT, and they did not disappoint in their Women’s World Cup opener vs. Thailand. A thorough 13-0 drubbing of the Asian squad set a record for largest margin of victory and most goals in a WWC game. Alex Morgan also tied the WWC single game scoring record by netting 5 goals in a superb performance. This team has reminded the world that they are the favorites.

Meanwhile at home, the US Open Cup saw Major League Soccer teams enter the tournament. The Chicago Fire embarrassed themselves against St. Louis FC, losing the game 2-1 and losing their cool. Other MLS sides fared much better with Columbus, New England, LAFC, and Houston advancing. Chattanooga and Atlanta were postponed due to bad field conditions, and San Jose vs. Sacramento is ongoing as of time of posting.

Finally in MLS action, we saw the Union assert their dominance over the Eastern Conference with a thrilling come-back win over RBNY. The other games went as expected and all the results are up at www.mlssoccer.com. Thanks for listening, and be sure to comment below and follow us @SOPSoccer.

 


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!