Tag Archives: Zelarayan

MLS Cup Recap, CCL Preview



Hey, soccer fans! And welcome to The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. Tonight, we recap the 2020 MLS Cup Final and congratulate the champions: the Columbus Crew. We recap what they did right and what Seattle did wrong. Would anyone have guessed that Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris would have played so well, or that Zelarayan would’ve bagged a brace?

Next, we examined the sustainability of each franchise. The Seattle Sounders dynasty is a near perfect model, and with Tim Bezbatchenko at the helm in Columbus, he could be building the next dynasty with the Crew. They’re already making moves! To close out the first half, we review the 2020 MLS season award winners and review our own picks from February (a lifetime ago).

In the second half, we preview the Concacaf Champions League with special guest Ryan Anderson. Stay tuned in for our picks and predictions, and hear our thoughts on how the adapted tournament format and the other factors that could finally favor an MLS club. Tune in to the end, as our final picks will not disappoint.

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MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After



What a season, what a finish! The Columbus Crew are the champions of Major League Soccer. In a season marred by Covid-19, the Crew proved themselves worthy champions. Full disclosure: I had predicted the Seattle Sounders would repeat from the pre-season all the way to the MLS Cup Pregame. So how did Caleb Porter and Crew – without stars Darlington Nagbe and Pedro Santos – dethrone the defending champs? It came down to three things: System, Pressure, and some MAPFRE Magic.

System

Porter and the Crew employ a system where every player knows the responsibility of every other player on the pitch. When they begin to build possession from the back or when they turn over an opponent, the ball can be played to a specific area of the field given the situation. If the opposing team presses, play a ball over the top. If they hang back, take the space in the middle of the field. If they use zonal marking, overload and get a numbers advantage.

The Crew’s system allowed them to more easily overcome the loss of two starters than most other teams. (Imagine Seattle trying to play without Joao Paulo or Nico Lodeiro.) Derrick Etienne, Jr. and Aidan Morris filled in superbly, playing with the confidence that comes from this system. Continue reading MLS Cup 2020: The Morning After


2020 MLS Cup Preview



Hey, soccer fans! It’s trophy time! We break down the 2020 MLS Cup matchup between the Seattle Sounders and the Columbus Crew. We bring you our keys to the game, players to watch, and our final predictions. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section and join us on social media!

Keys to the Game

Columbus: Composure out of the back, Prevent the counter.

Seattle: Press, Score early

Players to Watch

Columbus: Jonathan Mensah and Lucas Zelarayan

Seattle: Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris

Picks

Mike: Columbus Crew, 2-1

Nick: Seattle Sounders, 3-2

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


MLS Headlines, Champions League, and Week 1 Roundup



Hey soccer fans, and welcome back to another episode of The Sons of a Pitch: An American Soccer Podcast. In this episode we kick off our third season as a podcast and the 25th season of Major League Soccer. Tune in to hear all the latest headlines, tournament news, and league roundup, including:

Headlines

  • Higuain signs with DC United as a player and a development coach
  • Josef Martinez out for the season. Who does Atlanta United turn to?
  • Bedoya bought down with TAM. Is Philly ready for a shopping spree?

Concacaf Champions League

4 MLS teams remain after Seattle’s early ouster. Nick thinks the odds of an MLS team in the final are pretty good, and there’s even a chance we have an all-MLS semi-finals … Mike brings him back to Earth, but a guy can dream, right? Tune in for a recap of the first round and our thoughts on who has the best chances to advance toward MLS glory.

League Roundup

Week 1 is in the books. The theme: dramatic goals from Designated Players. Vela, Alanis, Beric, Pulido, and Zelarayan all find the back of the next. Tune in for a recap of all the results and our hosts’ quick takes on each.