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April 2014
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Syndication

D.C. United were the first to bring it to MLS, and Real Salt Lake perfected it. Now, a handful of teams are utilizing the diamond midfield to deadly effect this season – even the Galaxy are doing it! Is the diamond midfield the future of the league? Here's why it works north of the equator and why the set-up that made Argentina and AC Milan famous may revolutionize Major League Soccer, too.
That said, is Portland's trip to RSL's home on Saturday their best chance for their first victory of 2014? We go "To The Matts" on that, plus another of the biggest matches in MLS in Week 7.
Direct download: 140415_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Keller, Friedel, Howard, Guzan ... Clint Irwin? Is the Rapids No. 1 next in line for the US national team? MLS great Joe Cannon joins the guys for a special show on all things goalkeeper, including pointers for fans on what to look for in a quality netminder, what exactly Nick Rimando's secret is to stopping penalty kicks and what it's like being the man Landon Donovan has scored on more than any other man protecting the nets.

Direct download: 140408_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 12:00 PM

With a little more than two months until the World Cup, Jurgen Klinsmann has replaced his right-hand man. Just how big a deal is it? Huge, the guys say – and think cracks may have appeared in the US national team's approach in recent months. Is there time to fix it? Is Berti Vogts' hiring bigger than it seems? And is Maurice Edu suddenly a secret weapon in Brazil?

Plus, it's Rivalry Week! We go "To the Matts" on two of our favorite matchups, and suspect the high-flying Columbus Crew could be this year's Portland Timbers.
Direct download: 140401_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Julian Green is officially set for the USMNT. There's no doubt the German-American Bayern Munich starlet is plenty talented, but is he good enough to make the World Cup team? And if he does, whose spot would he take? If you were the odd man out, how would that make you feel? The guys tackle the tough question of nationalism.

Back in MLS, it's a hot start for Toronto and FC Dallas. But are both teams for real? We take a skeptical eye to Jermain Defoe's blistering scoring pace and ponder how on earth FCD can stay undefeated with all of their defensive midfielders out. Plus, what's eating Portland? The Armchair Analyst has a theory.
Direct download: 140325_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 12:00 PM

What now for MLS in CCL? Plus a Week 3 Preview

Picking Up The Pieces
The LA Galaxy were supposedly built the win the CONCACAF Champions League. So what undid them in Tijuana? And was this one done before a single ball was kicked? The guys discuss what MLS needs to do to catch up with Liga MX, and how long it might be before we see an MLS team finally win the big one.
Plus, we go To the Matts on a showdown of CCL participants as Sporting KC and San Jose look for their first MLS win of the year. Will the CONCACAF hangover linger at Sporting Park? 
Direct download: 140318_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 6:28 PM

Masters of the Dead Art

Once upon a time in the world's game, the long pass was a deadly weapon. Nowadays MLS, like the rest of the world, is obsessed with tiki-taka. But is the long ball really a dead art? Greg Lalas joins the guys for a discussion of the masters of the old school who still employ the long pass to deadly effect – and why those players' teams may have the last laugh.
Then, we go back "To the Matts" for the first time in 2014 for an in-depth tactical preview of the battle of DPs in Seattle vs. Toronto. Will Deuce finally find a breakout performance? Or will Bradley, Defoe & Co. announce their arrival with a shout?
Direct download: 140311_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Here We Go: Offbeat Predictions for the 2014 MLS Season

Alright fans, the 2014 season is upon us. And we've got your predictions. Sure, the usual stuff like our picks for Cup winners and MVP. But what about the most successful tactical shift? Or the Most Important Player? The Surprise Team of 2014? And, of course, the Steve Ralston Award for Lifetime Achievement?
Plus, we crack open the MttM Inbox and examine how a quarterfinal finish for the US national team at the World Cup might cause a ripple effect in MLS.
Direct download: 140304_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 1:00 PM

Heard enough TFC, D.C., Seattle and Portland news this offseason? The guys delve into eight of the most under-covered MLS stories over the winter that will have a major impact in 2014. And perhaps the headline is a Spanish influx of talent into the league that could only continue into the summer — could MLS even benefit from Barcelona’s woes?
Beyond that, we’re looking at big breakout seasons for Mauro Diaz, Kekuta Manneh and most of the Crew lineup. And why is no one looking closer at Landon Donovan’s shift back to midfield?
Direct download: 140225_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 1:00 PM

Miroslav Klose to the Chicago Fire? Lukas Podolski to the Montreal Impact? Samuel Eto'o as the first ever NYCFC signing? Dan Haiek, Matt Doyle and Nick Rosano play a bit of fantasy manager and flirt with the idea of 5 big Designated Player summer signings. Plus, which teams in MLS might toy with a 3-5-2 formation this season? Will Michael Parkhurst shine in the middle of a back 3 for the Columbus Crew? Do Cory Ashe and Kofi Sarkodie make perfect wingbacks in Houston? We may find out during the MLS regular season.

Direct download: 140218_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 8:08 PM

Did you crush our Eastern Conference quiz last week? Because we're back with another 11 burning questions about the West. The guys tackle the tough ones, such as: What is power-packed Seattle's best attacking set? Are the Galaxy even better than they were during the Beckham Era? Are Chivas USA a sleeper pick to surprise the field? And do the Timbers have an Achilles heel ... or should we all book tickets for Portland next December? Grab those No. 2 pencils.

Direct download: 140211_MttM_1-2.mp3
Category:Soccer -- posted at: 1:00 PM