Tag Archives: USMNT

Pity’s Transfer, Blanco’s Knee, and MLS League Roundup



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thanks for tuning in as we talk everything around the American soccer landscape, including:

  • Pity Martinez sold to Saudi club Al Nassr FC: Did the investment payoff and what does it mean for future MLS transfers?
  • Diego Valeri joins the 80/80 Club – just where does he fall in pantheon of MLS greats?
  • Chris Armas out as Red Bulls manager – was it all his fault?
  • Weston McKennie joins Juventus – the first American to play at the historic club
  • Sebastian Blanco injures his knee – just how bad is the injury and Portland’s championship chances?
  • One Hot Minute – what’s going on in the world of the Chicago Fire?

In the second half of the show we roundup all the action from the past week. There were 21 games played since we last recorded, and all of them had excitement, action, and heartbreak. Stay tuned as we discuss such trends as:

  • Columbus as a title contender?
  • Is Toronto starting to slip?
  • Sporting KC can’t score
  • Houston is heating up!

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


The Polarizing Play of Darlington Nagbe



In a recent outing, Darlington Nagbe banged home an absolute beauty of a goal to help elevate the Columbus Crew over the Chicago Fire. Immediately social media sang his praise and searched for reasons why Nagbe never starred for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) or made it big in Europe. The common refrain is he was played out of position, especially given his 2017 Gold Cup performance! Not too long after, the Nagbe detractors added their comments, which came down to the fact he just was not good enough.

While our regular listeners know I tend to fall in the second of those categories, I thought I owed it to the player and the fans to dive a little deeper than just my eye test and personal feelings. Let’s start with his Major League Soccer (MLS) career:

Nagbe is in his tenth season in the MLS. He is currently with the Columbus Crew after spending the last two seasons with Atlanta United, and the prior seven with the Portland Timbers. Per MLSsoccer.com, Nagbe’s career totals include 276 games played, 264 games started, 30 goals, and 38 assists. He’s never reached double digits in goals or assists in a single season, so from a points perspective, he hasn’t done much. For the USMNT, his point totals are even less appealing: 25 appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists.

In that 2017 Gold Cup, Nagbe did not play in the group stage, but was brought in for the knockout rounds. He played nearly every minute in the three knockout games. His stat lines were unimpressive, but he did draw the most fouls in the tournament (15). You can’t draw fouls if you don’t have the ball!

So what is the appeal for Darlington Nagbe?

The USMNT website describes him as a “confident and pacey midfielder,” and his fans point to his passion on the pitch, confidence on the ball, and ability to run at defenders. He is excellent with the ball at his feet and has a knack for getting his teammates involved in the attack. Critics point to the absence of these in international play and the lack of his stats. However, I haven’t been able to find measurable data in the areas in which Nagbe excels – passes and dribbles completed, progressive play, and other possession related categories.

So what can we conclude about Darlington Nagbe? Is anybody “right”?

Nagbe never lit up the score sheet, but no one ever quantitively measured how good he was on the ball. If you rely on “the eye test,” you can find great games and sub-par performances. Nagbe may be one of the best to ever play for Portland and was a solid USMNT call up. He seems pretty content with his career, and we as fans of the game in America should continue to enjoy him for as long as he laces up in MLS. Just don’t try to convince me he’s an American soccer legend that just never got his shot.

Nick Poteres
Host, Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast
@SOPSoccer


Haiti as World Cup Spoiler, MLS Recap, and Thoughts on Player Protests



Hey, soccer fans! Tonight we continue our discussion on USMNT World Cup Qualifying by breakdown down potential opponent Haiti. We recap all the action from around the MLS – and there was a lot of it to cover! We play a great pick-em game where the hosts pick whether they would have a current USMNT midfielder or Chris Mueller. The show concludes on a more somber topic, and we provide our thoughts on the player protests and how it could affect Major League Soccer. Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

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


MLS Restart, Headlines, and Mascot Fights!?



Hey, soccer fans! We are back with another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.

The MLS regular season has returned! We look at Nashville and Dallas’ re-start opener, the shape of the league as it stands right now, and explore headlines from around American soccer. Then we discuss the impact of Tyler Adams and Alphonso Davies playing in the UCL semi-finals. We conclude with some light-hearted fun about who would win in an MLS mascot fight. Stay tuned for all this and more!

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


Portland vs. Orlando, Ebobisse and Dotson to USMNT? and MLS Headlines



Hey, soccer fans, and welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. We break tonight’s show down into quarters as if we’re back in AYSO. Be sure to stay tuned for all this coverage and more:

First Quarter
We preview and predict the MLSisBack Final between Portland and Orlando City. Nick believes Portland will raise the trophy, but also describes a few scenarios where Orlando City comes out victorious (Sebastian Blanco red card, anyone?). Portland has the history and experience, but Orlando City as Nani and the desire to win “at home” and bring back their first ever Major League Soccer trophy – and a Concacaf Champions League berth.

Second Quarter
During the MLSisBack Tournament, Jeremy Ebobisse has cemented himself as the Timbers’ starting striker. Has he done enough to earn a spot on the United States Men’s National Team? Nick believes he’s earned a call up to training camp, at the very least. We break down the current USMNT striker pool and where we think Ebobisse fits in.

Third Quarter
Hassani Dotson of Minnesota United has also played himself into the USMNT conversation. We don’t think his outlook is quite as bright as Ebobisse’s, however. The lack of top flight experience and a deep United States defender pool are prohibitive. But why not bring him into camp and see what he can do!

Fourth Quarter
We break down lots of headlines around the Major League Soccer, including:

  • Gotze to MLS?
  • Inter Miami sign French international Blaise Matuidi from Juventus
  • Minnesota United sign Bakaye Dibassy
  • Christian Pulisic picks up another injury
  • New formats for MLS and CCL

Thanks for listening, and enjoy all the MLS and American soccer action!

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


Replacing Josef, Broadcasting Bias, and MLSisBack Semis



Hey, soccer fans! We are back again, discussing anything and everything in the American soccer landscape. In tonight’s episode, our hosts tackle the following topics:

  • How Atlanta United will try to replace Josef Martinez with Cubo Torres
  • Is Christian Pulisic injury prone, and how injured should USMNT fans be?
  • More transfer rumors for Inter Miami – Willian and Suarez
  • Broadcasting bias in favor and against foreign broadcasters/announcers calling MLS games

We also recap the MLSisBack Tournament quarterfinals and preview the semi-final matchups of Philadelphia vs. Portland and Minnesota vs. Orlando City. Tune in for all this and more 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.


MLSisBack-deBoer is Not, USMNT Goalkeeper Talk



Hey, soccer fans! We’re back again dissecting the knockout rounds of the MLSisBack tournament. From the surprising wins by Orlando City and Philadelphia, to the penalty shoot out between Sporting KC and Vancouver, we’ve got you covered. We also analyze the “mutual parting of ways” between Atlanta United and former coach Frank de Boer. What happened to the potent Five Stripes offense? Did de Boer kill it? Maybe. Probably. Listen to our takes!

We conclude this episode with a discussion on the goalkeeper position for the United States Men’s National Team. Nick no longer thinks Zach Steffen is the presumptive No. 1 for the Yanks. Who should take his spot? Tune in for all our thoughts and some listener takes.

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


MLSisBack but not Dallas, Group Previews, and Transfer Headlines



Welcome back, soccer fans, to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! By now you’ve surely heard the news: FC Dallas has been withdrawn from the MLSisBack Tournament due to Covid-19 concerns, Carlos Vela has elected to stay home with his pregnant wife, and Robbie Robinson has been exempted for personal reasons. We’re missing the league’s best player, their possible rookie of the year, and an entire team … but the show must go on!

Listen in on our take on the Dallas new, Groups E and F Previews, and all the transfer headlines, including:

  • Leandro Gonzalez Pirez “LGP” is back in MLS after signing with Inter Miami
  • Jurgen Damm completes his move to Atlanta United
  • Expansion club Austin FC sign their first player: Paraguayan Rodney Redes

Tune in for all this and more in tonight’s episode!

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


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.

 

 


Listener Questions, MLSisBack Tourney Preview, Americans Abroad Roundup



Hey, soccer fans! Welcome to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight we answer the questions burning in your mind. Specifically:

  • In soccer, is all defense “zone defense”? Would you ever put your best defender as a “spy” on the other team’s best player and have him follow them all over the field?
  • What is your fear of the MLS is Back Tournament being cancelled amid Covid-19 concerns?
  • What’s the best English Premier League team for Weston McKennie to transfer to from Schalke?
  • How many Americans do you see in Europe in the next ten years? Double what the number now?

We also talk MLS headlines, including

  • Chicago Fire’s tournament experience and edge to the new MLS season
  • Jurgen Locadia gets a loan extension and FC Cincy get the option to buy
  • Ezequiel Barco transfer rumors

Finally, we roundup all the USMNT players in England and the Bundesliga. Hear just how well our current and future stars – Pulisic, McKennie, Adams, Brooks, Llanez, Ream, Reyna, Vickers, Robinson, Sargent – performed for their respective clubs. 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.