Tag Archives: Western Conference

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.


MLS is Back! Week 1 Roundup, Headlines, and CCL Recap



#MLSisBack and so are the Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast! Thanks for joining us as we provide a roundup of all the Major League Soccer action . We also look at the latest headlines and review the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.

In Week 1, we saw an abundance of goals and expansion team woes. LAFC and Sporting KC gave us an early preview of Western Conference title contendors, while DC United and Atlanta United provided a glimpse into the Eastern Conference playoffs. Though only one game in, Seattle and Minnesota impressed, San Jose struggled, and the LA Galaxy debuted their 16 year-old rising star. Listen in for all our takes on these games.

Off the pitch, headlines are still being made, with the LA Galaxy buying out Gio dos Santos’ contract, the Chicago Fire looking to sign Nico Gaitan, and Toronto FC finalizing the deal for Alejandro Pozuelo. Nick and Mike break down what these deals mean for the respective clubs, and project that Chicago and Toronto could add enough talent to put themselves firmly in playoff contention. Finally, the hosts recap the first round of CCL, and are disappointed with Red Bulls’ quarterfinal performance against Santos Laguna. This still could be the year an MLS team wins the tournament for the first time, but Sporting KC will have to overcome some tired legs, and Atlanta United will have to get out to a better start than their opening game.

 

Thank you all for listening, and be sure to join the conversation on twitter @SOPSoccer or in the comments below. Additional thanks to our new sponsor and avid soccer supporter: Donovan Food Brokerage.


MLS Conference Semi-Finals Recap



Hello fans of Major League Soccer, and welcome to another episode of Sons of a Pitch Soccer Podcast!

Tonight, the hosts recap the conference semi-finals of the Major League Soccer Playoffs.

  • Portland and Seattle gave us another chapter in the Cascadia rivalry and an instant MLS Playoff classic. Did anyone think that Dairon Asprilla would be the deciding factor?
  • Sporting KC showed up against Real Salt Lake and confirmed why they were the best in the West. Has SKC’s offense proven the deciding factor in the playoffs so far?
  • Red Bulls New York ended Columbus Crew’s dream season. No one could #SavetheCrew from the high press. Can RBNY finally capture that elusive cup victory?
  • Josef Martinez regained his Golden Boot form as he and Atlanta United eliminated NYCFC. How will he fare against Red Bulls pressure and their ability to smother the best players on opposing teams?

Looking forward, Nick and Mike stick to their pick of SKC winning the MLS Cup. Nick has them defeating RBNY, while Mike sees Atlanta United advancing out of the East. What are your thoughts on the playoffs so far? Is your pick to win still alive? Follow us @SOPSoccer or email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com.


Ep 40 – Knockout Round Recap, Next Round Preview



It’s a Saturday special here at the Sons of a Pitch podcast!

The MLS Cup Playoffs have begun, and the knockout round is complete. NYCFC defeated the Union, Columbus upset DC United, Portland held on vs. FC Dallas, and LAFC fell to Real Salt Lake in a late night shocker. Nick and Mike recap the games, the goals, and what surprised them most in the early stages of the playoffs.

Also, Sons of a Pitch is hosting their own MLS Bracket Challenge group, and after the first round of games, only one entry is perfect. Congrats to Gary, the Dynamo fan and apparent Western Conference expert, who successfully predicted the knockout round. We’ll keep you updated as all the picks come in throughout the playoffs.

Looking ahead, there are some great playoff match-ups around the league:

NYCFC vs. Atlanta United
It’s offense vs. offense as this series could be decided by the goals scored at Yankee stadium. Expect a high scoring 1st leg. SOP Pick: Atlanta

Columbus vs. Red Bulls
#SavedtheCrew vs. #SupportersShield. Can Berhalter’s team figure out the high press and stymie BWP? If not, they could be in for a long series. SOP Pick: RBNY

Timbers vs. Sounders
A rivalry match-up early in the playoffs? Thank the soccer gods! This should be an exciting affair, and I expect players’ emotion to be as important as goals scored. Nick’s pick: Timbers, Mike’s pick: Sounders

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC
If RSL’s strikers continue their form, SKC’s defense is going to be put to the test. But there’s a reason SKC is best in the West. SOP Pick: SKC

 

How does your bracket look? Is your team still in? Let us know in the comments below, or reach out to us on twitter @SOPSoccer.


Ep 39 – MLS Decision Day Recap and Playoff Preview



Decision Day has come and gone, and so have the playoff dreams of the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact. How did the events of the final week of Major League Soccer games play out? Nick and Mike recap all the games, give you their analysis, and Mike has a really good time talking about Toronto FC’s shocking 4-1 victory over Atlanta United.

The hosts also preview the playoffs, with each picking Sporting Kansas City to lift the Cup. Nick likes the New York Red Bulls to win the East, while Mike thinks Atlanta is just too good to be denied a spot in the finals. Who do you think will make headlines? Join our playoff bracket challenge and compete with the hosts for a $25 dollar gift card.

Let us know your thoughts on all things MLS in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer. Thanks for listening!


MLS Playoff Predictions In Review



Now that #DecisionDay has come and gone, we look back on our pre-season playoff predictions and whether our picks had a penchant towards perfection. (Ok, enough with the alliteration.)

So, how did we do? In the Eastern Conference, we successfully predicted 3 of 6 playoff teams. Who knew Chicago and Orlando City would be historically bad? In the Western Conference, Nick picked 5/6 teams, while Mike picked 4/6. Nick got the wrong LA team, and Mike put his faith in Vancouver. (Serves him right as a TFC fan.) Our picks are in the table below. Continue reading MLS Playoff Predictions In Review


Ep. 33 – MLS Week 28 Recap: TFC, Playoff Positioning, and ‘Quakes Coach



Hello soccer fans, and welcome back to Sons of a Pitch!

We thank you for listening, and we are happy to present our Week 28 Major League Soccer recap. In what was one of the highest scoring weeks in MLS history, very little change occurred regarding playoff positioning. Atlanta, Red Bulls, and NYCFC remain solidly atop the East, while Sporting KC, FC Dallas, and LAFC still control the West. Can DC United, Vancouver, and the LA Galaxy make a push? Tune in for the hosts’ analysis.

Also, Toronto FC host Liga MX powerhouse Tigres in the inaugural Campeones Cup, the matchup between the defending MLS champions and the reigning Mexican club. These two teams have some recent history from the Concacaf Champions League, and both will be eager to add a trophy during their less than stellar seasons. Nick and Mike expect a high scoring affair, with both teams looking to play up-tempo. What do you expect to see?

Finally, San Jose has fired their coach … a move we all knew was coming. The future of the club is at stake, but will anything change without a revamped roster?

 

Thanks for listening, and join the conversation in the comments below.


Ep. 29 – MLS Week 26 Recap, Jozy’s Suspension, and SKC is Rolling



Welcome back to the Sons of a Pitch!

In this episode, the hosts break down Rivalry Week matchups from Major League Soccer and how they impacted the playoff race. New York went purple, TFC got back to scoring, and Seattle has pulled themselves up from the basement and become the West’s hottest team. SKC similarly has gone on a 4 game unbeaten streak, without conceding a goal during that time. (Another Goalkeeper of the Year trophy for Tim Melia?)

Mike gives you his candid thoughts on Jozy Altidore’s additional game suspension handed out by the Disciplinary Committee. Specifically, how the timing and consistency of the decision are sparking conspiracy theories. Finally, LAFC stalwart and Belgian international Laurent Ciman has been transferred to French Ligue 1 team Dijon FCO for a cool $500,000 fee. How will LAFC respond? Tune in to find out!


Ep 27. – MLS Week 25 Recap, Playoff Picture, and Rivalry Week!



Welcome back, soccer fans!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the latest action from Major League Soccer and are ready as teams make their playoff push. In this episode we recap the scores around the league and get into to detail for the following topics:

Toronto FC and Jozy Altidore
TFC wins another Canadian Championship, this time defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 7-4 on aggregate. The Boys in Red qualify for next year’s CONCACAF Champions League and add to their trophy case. Jozy Altidore had a hat-trick in the 2nd leg and was the center of some transfer speculation to Ligue 1 in France or Serie A in Italy. The hosts give their take on TFC, the transfer rumors, and whether Jozy should stay in MLS.

Rivalry Week
It’s Rivalry Week in the MLS (sponsored by Heineken)! This week’s slate of games has Red Bulls New York vs. NYCFC, LA Galaxy vs. LAFC, Toronto vs. Montreal … Philly vs. New England? SKC vs. Minnesota?
The hosts explore whether the marketing machine has stretched itself a little too far, and they discuss whether rivalry games are good for the league.

In or Out
Is your team making the playoffs? The top three teams in each conference seem like locks, so the hosts discuss who ends up with the final three spots. Listen as they give their vote of confidence to surging DC United and Seattle Sounders. Nick and Mike aren’t so confident when it comes to struggling LA Galaxy or unimpressive New England Revolution.

Josef Martinez
You may have heard that the Atlanta United striker tied the single-season goal scoring record (27), and still has nine games left this season. We think he can hit the 34 goal mark and become an all-time great in the MLS.


Ep. 26 – MLS Week 24 Recap, DC United, and Supporters’ Shield Talk



Greetings once again, MLS fans!

Welcome back to the show. This week we dive right in to recapping all the Week 24 action around the MLS. Columbus and Sporting KC get back to winning, Vancouver surprises Portland, and the stars were out for DC United: Luciano Acosta nets a hat-trick and Wayne Rooney makes the play of the week.

The hosts dive into the state of DC United soccer, noting outstanding performances so far by Wayne Rooney, the rising Luciano Acosta, and the impending goalkeeper switch now that Bill Hamid is back in the capital on loan from FC Midtjylland. Current goalkeeper Ousted, who interestingly is from Denmark, needs to improve his form or he’ll be ousted from his position.

As the show wraps up, the hosts discuss the Supports’ Shield race, and not surprising to everyone is that Atlanta United is the current favorite. However, the hosts discuss what happened to their original pick, SKC, whether a club from the Western Conference can claim the shield.

Thanks for listening! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, email us at podcast@sonsofapitchsoccer.com or follow us on twitter @SOPSoccer.