Tag Archives: Vela

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:


Dest Chose Best, Houston has a Coach, and Playoff Roundup



Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In tonight’s episode, our hosts recap all the headlines from around Major League Soccer, including:

  • Sacramento Republic FC’s natural rivalry with the San Jose Earthquakes
  • Houston Dynamo hire Tab Ramos as head coach
  • Sergino Dest to play for USMNT
  • MLS Best XI: who else could’ve made the list?

In the second half of the show, Nick and Mike also round up the MLS Cup Playoffs giving their takes on:

  • LAFC v. LA Galaxy: Goals, goals, and goals
  • Seattle vs. RSL: Sounders to much to handle for Real Salt Lake
  • Atlanta vs. Philly: Doop’s run comes to an end, but a season to build on
  • NYCFC vs. Toronto: New York can’t get the playoff monkey off their back (What with the northeast and not winning cups?)

The hosts also give their prediction for the next round. Follow along on social media and let us know your thoughts. Thanks for listening!


Indy Eleven, MLS History, Fire Relocate, and League Roundup



Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode our hosts cover topics from the United Soccer League (USL) to Major League Soccer (MLS) to the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT). Enjoy hearing about the Indy Eleven from a fan’s perspective, the rumor mill surrounding Olivier Giroud, and how the Chicago Fire’s relocation to Soldier Field will impact their upcoming season.

Nick and mike then review all the games from Decision Day in their league roundup. Hear about the spectacular goals, the agonizing defeats, and how the results set up the MLS Cup Playoffs. If you enjoy energetic and opinionated soccer talk, or if you enjoy entertaining and informative MLS discussion, then you’ll enjoy The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast.


Fan Feedback, USOC Final Recap, and MLS League Roundup



Greetings again, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this week’s episode, our hosts respond to fan feedback, recap the US Open Cup Final, and give their roundup of all the MLS action from the prior week.

To kick things off, listeners Studs Up Report and Michael Hobert ask which teams need to play desperately and has Dallas turned their season around? In the Eastern Conference, our hosts argue that DC Untied, the Montreal Impact, and Orlando City need to play desperately if they’re too realize their playoff potential, and in the Western Conference, the Portland Timbers, Sporting KC, and FC Dallas need to do the same. Dallas currently sits 7th in the West, and should win 4 of their final 8 matches to solidify a playoff spot.

In US Open Cup action, Atlanta United defeats Minnesota United 2-1, in a game dominated by the Five Stripes. The Loons made it a game, but ultimately fell short to an Atlanta team that is playing its best soccer. There’s also the questions of why Minnesota coach Adrian Heath didn’t start Darwin Quintero and how Vito Mannone, MNUFC’s keeper, mis-read a play that lead to a goal. But in the end, the better team is going home with the trophy. Finally, Nick and Mike round up all the action from MLS Rivalry Week. Nick still years for the days when Chicago vs. New England and DC vs. Red Bulls/Metro Stars were torrid affairs, but he’ll settle for LA Galaxy vs. LAFC and Portland vs. Seattle.

If you’re in Miami next month, be sure to check out the Futsal All-Star Tournament, featuring teams from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. Tickets are going fast, and the games take place September 23 and 24. You could witness the next Messi or Neymar honing their skills on the futsal court.
WHERE: Marlins Park, Miami, FL
WHEN: September 23rd & 24th, 2019
TIME: Matches start at 7 p.m. EDT
TICKET PRICES: Start at $20 per day for doubleheader

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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.


Gold Cup Preview, MLS Week 7 Roundup, and the Legal Case vs. Kaku



Hello once again, soccer fans! Thanks for returning to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode, the hosts explore the draw for the Gold Cup, recap all the Week 7 MLS action, and even make a case for a fan’s possible lawsuit vs. RBNY and Kaku.

As for the Gold Cup, the four groups are drawn, and the United States Men’s National Team will face Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama. If you like story lines, this is the group for you! As you know T&T knocked the USMNT out of World Cup qualifying in 2018, and the USMNT has already faced Panama in a January friendly. How will these teams come out during the Gold Cup tournament? The US needs to be prepared for anything.

In Week 7 of Major League Soccer, we saw some movement in the Eastern Conference while the top teams in the Western Conference continued their domination. Here’s how things stack up at the top of the table:

Eastern Conference

  1. DC United – Regaining its form, DC is once again top of the conference. Can anyone knock it down?
  2. Columbus Crew – Despite the loss, the Crew remain a contender. Their margin for error is very slim, but so far have been able to overcome it.
  3. Montreal Impact – Montreal in 3rd place!? Enjoy it while it lasts, as this team has the tendency to yo-yo up and down the standings.
  4. Toronto FC – Even after their loss to Seattle, TFC have the best points per game in the conference, suggesting last year was a fluke. Watch out for the men in red.

Western Conference

  1. LAFC – Best team, best player, best coach. LAFC have a goal differential of +16 over 7 games, and they still are improving.
  2. Seattle Sounders – Finally, a strong start. Can they sustain it throughout the entire season? They way Jordan Morris is playing, Seattle just might.
  3. LA Galaxy – Zlatan keeps scoring, the Galaxy keep winning. Just imagine how good they could be when their role players start thriving.
  4. Houston Dynamo – As Nick put it, Houston is “The other contender in the West.” They haven’t lost, have a talented attack, and have a coach who has been around the league. Houston could surprise come playoff time.

 

Thanks for listening! Join the conversation in the comments below, on twitter @SOPSoccer, on facebook, or via email: podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.

Thank you to our sponsors: Donovan Food Brokerage and Nice! Pure Icelandic Spring Water.


Goal Scorer Trivia and MLS Week 6 Round Up



Greetings soccer fans! Welcome back to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Thanks for checking out the website and for listening in.

In this episode we welcome Kei Kamara to the Top 5 All Time MLS Goal Scorers list. This striker has played for 7 MLS teams and 2 English Championship teams, and has consistently scored goals at every stop. Congrats to Kei!  Around the league, the hosts recap all the action and give their takes on the teams going forward.

TEAMS ON THE RISE

  • LAFC – Can’t get any higher than the top.
  • Philadelphia Union – 3 straight wins, 4th in the East.
  • Chicago Fire – Draw vs. a surging TFC, and we’ve yet to see Gaitan at his best
  • San Jose Quakes – Technically, when you win your’re first game of the season, you’re on the rise.
  • Orlando City – Goals are coming, and so are points!

TEAMS ON THE FALL

  • DC United – Rooney sees red in a blowout loss to LAFC, and a draw to Montreal have people scratching heads.
  • Sporting KC – Tired legs and a 5-0 thumping in Concacaf Champions League.
  • Portland Timbers – Has the championship window closed?
  • Red Bulls New York – 3 straight losses. This hasn’t happened since May 2017.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, follow us on twitter and facebook, and join the conversation in the comments below.


Pro/Rel for MLS? and Week 5 League Roundup



Greetings, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer podcast. This week in Major League Soccer saw a flood of goals, a couple hat-tricks, and a spectacular debut from TFC’s Pozuelo. But first, we turn to an issue that is never far from American soccer fans thoughts: Promotion and Relegation.

In a prior blog post, Nick put forth the arguments against Pro/Rel, and Mike agrees the league is not yet ready for such a system. Briefly, Pro/Rel is not suitable for the MLS or US Soccer because of the lack of:

  1. financials
  2. media coverage at all levels
  3. overall popularity
  4. de facto promotion via expansion franchises
  5. potential to drive away talent.

What are your thoughts on Pro/Rel for MLS? Should it be implemented? Can it work?

Next, the hosts break down the Week 5 action from around the MLS. With a weekend that saw 42 goals scored, the major headlines were from the offensive side of things. Specifically:

  1. TFC stays perfect; Pozuelo with a brace in his debut
  2. Sporting KC has an offense! Ties MLS single game scoring record with a 7-1 victory
  3. Gyasi Zardes scores again, despite the haters
  4. LAFC and Carlos Vela dominate the Quakes; Vela is early MVP favorite
  5. Pomykal leading FC Dallas’ “Play your kids” movement

 

Thanks for listening! Be sure to leave your comments below and follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer.


CCL Quarterfinals Recap and MLS Week 3 Roundup – Seattle’s Best, Mitrita’s Attitude, and Cincy’s Home Opener



Hello, soccer fans! Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. So much has happened since our last episode, and we thank you to coming to us for all your Major League Soccer news. We’ve started to see a few teams separate themselves as contenders, while others are already scrambling to save their season. In this episode, we recap MLS Week 3, highlighting the following:

  • Seattle is the best team in MLS after 3 weeks, DC United is the best team in the East
  • Paunovic and the Fire don’t know what they’re doing (and no amount of mediocre international signings can stop it)
  • Columbus just keeps collecting points – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
  • Atlanta, Philly, and Orlando: what are you doing?
  • Portland is in trouble, the window may have closed a year early
  • Minnesota got a reality check
  • NYCFC’s Mitrita got his first goal, but needs a reality check of his own
  • FC Cincinnati’s home opener was just perfect

Nick and Mike also recap the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League, seeing three Liga MX teams (Monterrey, Tigres, Santos Laguna) and one MLS team (Sporting KC) advance. Mike thinks SKC will advance past Monterrey to face Tigres in the finals, but Nick isn’t sharing his optimism. While we all want an MLS team to win the tournament for the first time, this most likely isn’t the year.

Thanks to everyone for listening, tweeting, emailing, and joining in the conversation. Be on the look out for a short episode previewing the USMNT roster for upcoming international friendlies. And a special thanks to our sponsors: Donovan Food Brokerage and Nice! Icelandic Spring Water.