Mon, 31 October 2016
Leslie Jones was the breakout star of Sunday night’s 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs action, as the SNL star-turned-MLS fan was treated to four sterling home performances by the lower seeds as the Conference Semifinals got things rolling back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Andrew, David and Matt jump in the studio to give you the highs and lows, starting with the Western Conference, where FC Dallas played it safe and paid for it. Seattle Times reporter Matt Pentz joins the guys to dish on the roller coaster ride that is the Sounders, Brian Schmetzer’s future and the club’s MLS Cup ambitions. Then it’s out to LA, where Colorado ought to be feel fine about a 1-0 loss to the Galaxy.
The Eastern Conference was just as tight, with Toronto FC held in check in the late going by New York City FC. Those two goals hurt, though, and now Patrick Vieira and the boys from the Bronx have an uphill battle to climb that could have been avoided had they stuck to their guns from the regular season. Meanwhile, the Impact know who they are, and they aren’t ashamed to bunker and counter, a strategy that gave Montreal a 1-0 lead over the Red Bulls heading back to New York. Former Impact player and RDS commentator Patrick Leduc calls in the dish on the pragmatic Mauro Biello, Drogba-gate and Matteo Mancosu’s emergence.
In the mailbag, a New York metro area conundrum, a new MLS Cup champion, payroll vs. home-field advantage and more Ben ‘The Research’ Baer gloating by Sounders fans.
Fri, 28 October 2016
Andrew, David and Matt are beat after two straight nights of Knockout Round action, but they drag themselves into the broom closet anyway for a special Friday morning summing up the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs so far and looking ahead to Sunday’s conference semifinals. First up, what happened to much-fancied D.C. United, who laid an egg against the bunker-and-break Impact at RFK? Do Sporting KC have reason to be peeved at the referees after their late lost to the Sounders? Are LA the favorites in the West? Did Toronto FC’s win say more about them or Philly?
There’s no rest for the weary, as barely more than 48 hours are left until Montreal and the Red Bulls get a Sunday quadruple-header started from Stade Saputo in what promises to be a fascinating tactical battle between Jesse Marsch and Mauro Biello, one that could include a Didier Drogba trump card. Same goes for Galaxy-Rapids, a clash of clubs with very different histories but MLS Cup aspirations all the same. Toronto and NYCFC, meanwhile, promises to be the most fun matchup, and Seattle and Dallas will rehash a playoff rivalry that seems to pop up every year.
In the mailbag, the Houston Dynamo’s coaching search appears to be over, with Wilmer Cabrera getting the nod over Wade Barrett. What’s that mean for the club? The guys wade in.
Mon, 24 October 2016
Bring on the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs! Decision Day was over in a flash, and the Armchair Analyst is in studio for one last show to help digest it all and look ahead to midweek Knockout Round action.
How did FC Dallas get over the finish line on the way to the Supporters’ Shield and double? What happened to Portland as the Timbers flamed out in Vancouver? Is Seattle the favorite in the West? How crazy do you have to be to bet against Bruce and Landon in the playoffs? And that’s not even mentioning the Eastern Conference, where Toronto FC are targeting their first-ever playoff win, both sides of New York earned byes, Drogba drama continues and D.C. United are hitting their stride at just the right time.
Finally, it’s time for Knockout Round previews, plus the reasons why every playoff team will lift MLS Cup … or crash out.
Thu, 20 October 2016
After months of buildup, we’re almost there. Decision Day looms, and the guys are busy trying to figure out the best way to watch 10 games at once without missing any action. In the Western Conference, three playoff spots are up for grabs, and the biggest game on the docket seems to be Seattle hosting Real Salt Lake with one of the two guaranteed a spot – and perhaps both in the field should other results go their way. Yura Movsisyan calls in to discuss the mounting pressure, his permanent MLS move and the evolution of the league and RSL. Then it’s Supporters’ Shield talk and mourning for Mauro Diaz.
Out East, the field is basically set, but seeding remains in flux. It matters where you finish. Like, a lot, according to Andrew’s research. Will Toronto FC or New York City FC skip the Knockout Round? Can D.C. United get a game at RFK? Will Didier Drogba be extra jacked to prove himself after Joey Saputo put out last weekend’s fire in Montreal? What about Philly? Are they destined for a quick exit, or might Jim Curtin put a charge in his troops?
In the mailbag, Darlington Nagbe’s USMNT future is in flux, a listener wonders what MLS matchup an international-audience would find most intriguing, plus someone floats a Kei Kamara-to-Seattle trade that Matt doesn’t see happening.
Mon, 17 October 2016
Whoa. Just whoa. If you thought Week 33 and the Final Push to the Playoffs packed a punch, what will Decision Day be like? With the Armchair Analyst in New York City, the guys get in the same room for banter, breakdowns and some serious analysis of Sunday’s MLS doubleheader.
Starting in the Western Conference, FC Dallas grabbed control of the Supporters’ Shield race … but may have lost Mauro Diaz for months and Kellyn Acosta for the playoff run. The magical unicorn’s apparent Achilles injury breaks Andrew’s heart, but perhaps Carlos Ruiz and his timeless goal magic can fuel an MLS Cup run in Big D. Seattle, meanwhile, wasted another opportunity to clinch a playoff spot, meaning there are three up for grabs among four teams with Portland and Kansas City controlling their own fates. Can Colorado pip Dallas to the Shield? It’d be a fitting bow on the Rapids’ best regular season ever.
In the Eastern Conference, Drogba-gate dominates the headlines. Long story short, Didier Drogba decided coming off the bench wasn’t for him, so the Impact went out and nabbed a point sans superstar via a hard-fought draw with archrivals Toronto FC, led by Sebastian Giovinco (the Atomic Ant is back!) and Jozy Altidore. Elsewhere, the Red Bulls locked up the top seed, but gave their fanbase more late heart palpitations, Philly backed into the Knockout Round, D.C. United are playing the best soccer in MLS, and New York City FC are still the most schizophrenic team in North America.
Don’t tune out before the mailbag, in which Doyle explains the origins of the Octagon, Michael Bradley’s TFC future gets a harder look, the guys explain the repercussions ofSunday’s Expansion Priority Draft, MLS affiliates book their places in USL Cup and Steve Jobs … no, Bob Bradley … nearly leads Swansea City to a massive road win in his first EPL match.
Thu, 13 October 2016
It’s Final Push to the Playoffs time, and that means two blocks of games to occupy your Sunday afternoon plus a live show featuring some ExtraTime Radio flavor. The guys, with Doyle back in the mix, start in the Western Conference, where Seattle wasted a golden opportunity midweek, Portland are holding on for dear life, Colorado are chasing an unlikely Supporters’ Shield, Yura and RSL got a deal done and LA might be better off without Steven Gerrard.
In the Eastern Conference, Toronto vs. Montreal headline the slate of games. TFC head coach Greg Vanney joins the guys to discuss the home slide that dropped them out of the Shield race, Jozy Altidore’s hamstring, those Michael Bradley rumors and the 401 Derby. Plus, an MVP discussion, another year of D.C. proving the doubters wrong, whether the East will be red or blue and Philadelphia’s suddenly desperate playoff reality.
The mailbag begins with US national team talk. Should Julian Green be in consideration against Mexico? Is Sacha Kljestan really a starting central midfielder after so long out in the cold? Finally, Doyle’s thoughts on the rumors surrounding CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
Mon, 10 October 2016
Following a historic trip to Havana for the US national team’s first friendly on the island since 1947, MLSsoccer.com’s own Arielle Castillo returns to tell her story. The people, the architecture, the food, the vintage cars, the bureaucracy – the stories are as colorful as the country itself, and you won’t want to miss out on her travel diaries. Oh, and of course there was a game to play as well. Julian Green impressed, Chris Wondolowski silenced some doubters and Ethan Horvath got a shot. There’s also a Tuesday friendly against New Zealand to preview after Jurgen Klinsmann juggled his roster.
In the second segment, Ben ‘The Research’ Baer gets on the mic to help David and Andrew preview the week to come in MLS. The Rapids control their own Supporters’ Shield destiny, and are making history at home. Meanwhile, Seattle and Houston clash on Wednesday with the Sounders aiming to make Ben eat his words. Finally, a word of warning for playoff teams who miss out on a home game or fail to finish in the top-two spots.
The mailbag has CONCACAF fever, both of the CCL and World Cup qualifying variety. Nick Rosano, our very own CONCACAF expert, joins to walk you through the proposed changes to both being floated in the media.
Thu, 6 October 2016
The international break is here, which means an MLS breather but there’s still a huge US national team game to chat about as Jurgen Klinsmann and the boys head to Havana for a historic friendly against Cuba (4 pm ET; ESPN2, UniMas). What’s the right lineup mix as the US prepare for a huge match in November against Mexico? The top three: Geoff Cameron-John Brooks, Jozy Altidore-Bobby Wood and Fabian Johnson-Christian Pulisic. Plus, David is hyped about Bob Bradley’s new job at Swansea City.
There may only be one MLS game this weekend, but there’s still plenty of MLS scuttlebutt for the guys to gab about, starting with some big news on the broadcast side as the season comes to a close. That lone game? Houston vs. Colorado, a matchup that has Andrew eating crow, and everyone praising the job Pablo Mastroeni has done in his third year as head coach. Plus, stadium and Homegrown news in Atlanta, an update on the Quakes general manager search, Goalkeeper of the Year candidates and, bizarrely, MLS players turned police officers.
In the mailbag, a listener asks for an update on the USL playoffs, Sigi Schmid’s LAFC candidacy gets the once over, Vancouver’s disappointing season raises the stakes for 2017 and the guys praise Patrick Mullins in Doyle’s stead.
Mon, 3 October 2016
With the holidays and vacation keeping Matt and David from their customary spots in the ETR lineup, Andrew turns to super sub Calen Carr to pick up the slack after an intense MLS weekend that saw Seattle solidify their hold on a playoff spot, D.C. United continue their rapid climb up the Eastern Conference table and Colorado keep pace with their Supporters' Shield dreams. The red line will dictate the rest of the season as teams fight to stay alive or for seeding. Alphonso Davies and the Vancouver Whitecaps are out of the race, but Andrew and Calen can't help but rave about the 15-year-old who is turning heads in British Columbia. He's the truth. So is Dax McCarty, whose return may have solved the Red Bulls' issues.
The latest US national team roster dropped over the weekend, and the guys applaud Jurgen Klinsmann for making timely choices from a deep pool. In bigger US national team news, former manager Bob Bradley became the first American to coach an EPL on Monday morning when Swansea City hired the one-time World Cup boss.
In the mailbag, Calen reveals why this week is bigger than most, and one listener hopes/wishes/prays for Lionel Messi to ATL UTD.