DiscoverPitch Pass
Pitch Pass
Claim Ownership

Pitch Pass

Author: Wonk Eye Media

Subscribed: 8Played: 62


Talkin’ soccer and life with the people who matter in Major League Soccer. Hosted by DC101's Gregory Roche.
160 Episodes
It's not "official" but D.C. United's season has unofficially come to an end without tangible success. The Athletic's Pablo Maurer joins Roche to look back on another lost season for the club, what Wayne Rooney did (and didn't do) for the organization, and where the team goes from here. They also discuss the Kasper situation, the ownership thought process, the DCU reputation in the global market, the tradition of United half measures, and the success of former DCU staff/players.  Finally, the boys get surprisingly introspective on the changes in their personal lives in 2023. Read Pablo's work on The Athletic. 
D.C. United Defender Brendan Hines-Ike has returned to full fitness after suffering two freak, long term injuries over the last three years. He joins Roche on this episode of Pitch Pass to discuss how his "foot exploded in his boot" and how he got back. He then addresses the team's response to the supporters' dissatisfaction with the disappointing match against Philadelphia before setting the stage for the last matches of the MLS season and why "playoff pressure" is not the same as "relegation pressure." Brendan also discusses his Swedish, his "memorable" time playing at America's Family Resort, and the inevitable double hyphen last name. Follow Pitch Pass on X (Twitter)
As MLS season winds down, MLSNext season starts up so it's a good time to check in with the D.C. United Academy with 's Travis Clark. The club's investment in the Academy has been uneven over the years but that seems to be changing with DCU making a real commitment to the youth of the club and the DMV at large. Travis and Roche try to make sense of the US youth soccer scene (no easy task) and DCU's place in it. They also break down the current Academy set up, some players and age groups to monitor, and when/if the first team can expect reinforcements from the Academy. 
D.C. United has reached the home stretch of the MLS season and things are...meh.Pro Soccer Wire's Jason Anderson joins Roche to answer three questions about the club as it makes its push to make the playoffs.1. Are things better or worse now as opposed to the last 4 years?2. Can #DCU make the playoffs? 3. Has the manager found a new formation for the last six weeks of the season?Within these questions, Jason and Roche also hit on the "win now" mentality, Yamil Asad = Attacking Assistant, letting Teddy cook, and the harrowing drive home from Audi Field for Marylanders. Follow Jason's work on X and at 
One of the pleasant surprises to the start D.C. United's  season has been the play of Ted Ku-DiPietro. The DCU Homegrown joins Roche on this edition of Pitch Pass to discuss his season thus far, his "traditional American sports" path to the first team,  Wayne Rooney's advice to the young players on the team, his "young veteran" advice to the teenagers on the team, and the (welcome) changes to the D.C. United Academy over the last few years. Follow Teddy on Instagram here.
There's not just a different vibe for D.C. United on the field. Off the field, the club has raised their game in a number of areas, especially the digital team. Claudia Pagan has been the face of DCU Digital for the last 4 years and joins Roche to discuss the process of creating content. Apple TV has played a role in the increase in content creation and Claudia explains how the Apple/MLS partnership has raised the game for creating content across the league. But it goes deeper than Apple. Claudia then points out other factors that have led to more content from the club including the hard work of the staff, relationships with business partners, and investment from the club. Then, Claudia discusses the struggles of last season, the improvements to Audi Field, the excitement of MLS All Star, being a bilingual reporter, and gives us the story behind the now famous "unintelligible scouse" Wayne Rooney caption. Subscribe to Claudia's YouTube page for even more behind the scenes looks at D.C. United. 
D.C. United's season is underway and the results thus far have been...encouraging? Pro Soccer Wire's Jason Anderson joins Roche to discuss the Black And Red's first two matches and if there is any long term takeaways from them.  Among the talking points:-What youngster has the best long term outlook?-Rooney's tactics-The still wobbly defense-Chris Durkin's "undroppable" status-Durkin as the poster child of DCU's move to the "middle ground" of MLSPlus, Jason and Roche discuss the ownership groups "good" offseason and the United's digital team's excellent start to the Apple era. You can follow Jason for all things NWSL and American soccer on Twitter @JasonDCsoccer.
It's been an unsatisfying period for D.C. United for both the club and its supporters. But with rumors swirling of multiple additions incoming during the summer transfer window, there is a sense of excitement around the team. Roche spoke with DCU GM Lucy Rushton about potential reinforcements, the type of player the club is looking to add, and when we might see them on the pitch. Rushton also walks Roche through the recruitment process of Taxi Fountas and how the club identifies and tracks potential new signings. Finally, she gives insight on D.C. United's overall vision and how it is evolving post-Hernan Losada. 
It has been a tumultuous month for D.C. United following the dismissal of Hernan Losada amid a cloud of controversy and confusion from supporters.New DCU Head Coach Chad Ashton joins Roche to talk about the transition from Losada to him. What's changed, what's stayed the same, and what's ahead. Ashton discusses the "have fun" comments from the players and himself that spurred so much unrest amongst fans as well as the disappointing U.S. Open Cup result against bitter rivals, New York Red Bulls.  Finally, he gives injury updates on Bill Hamid and Andy Najar.
As D.C. United embarks on its second year under the stewardship of head coach Hernan Losada (assisted in the front office by Lucy Rushton and Dave Kasper), off the pitch, the club is going through a similar re-imaging under DCU's President of Business Operations, Danita Johnson. Danita joins Roche on this episode of Pitch Pass to discuss the health of the club behind the scenes. Topics include: the new partnership with XDC Networks and where the club will allocate the influx of cash that comes with it, the the move towards fully staffing all facets of club operations after running lean for so long, the initiatives to making Audi Field a smoother fan experience for supporters, and the role Audi Field and the United Performance Center play in modernizing the work place environment within the club. 
D.C. United has a new youth academy director and he joins Roche on this episode of Pitch Pass. Patrick Ouckama plays his hard close to the vest which makes for a fun  cat and mouse type conversation. After getting some background on Ouckama, Roche asks about the Pathway2Pro initiative, the recent success of the academy, uniform tactics throughout the club, the lack of lower level youth teams for DCU, ownership commitment to youth development, and more. 
D.C. United homegrown Griffin Yow joins Roche on this episode of Pitch Pass to discuss his "senior year" of high school, the expectations that come with being the first homegrown signing of his generation, his fit in Hernan Losada's plans, and the challenges of the first half of this DCU season. 
U.S. Soccer Hall Of Famer Bruce Murray joins the show to discuss The Accelerator School, how it differs from traditional schools, soccer clubs, and MLS academies, and his hope that it changes how Americans look at education and soccer (12:50). Then, Roche and Bruce go over the state of the American soccer system, , the rise in the stature of MLS and American players, and D.C. United's turnaround off the pitch. 
D.C. United started the Hernan Losada era Depends on your definition of the word. What isn't up for debate is that DCU got a result against NYCFC in their first MLS regular season of 2021. They did it with, more aggressive tactics and a renewed vigor. Writer Charles Boehm joins Roche to give some first impressions of the team under Losada including what looked good, what still needs work, and what is or isn't sustainable. Then, Roche and Charlie discuss the behind the scenes changes at D.C. United and if the hiring of Losada and new GM Lucy Rushton is a sign of change in the club's culture or another mirage. Click here for Charlie's piece on Lucy Rushton. 
Pitch Pass kicks off its 10th season with one of our favorite guests. The Athletic's Pablo Maurer recently wrote the definitive oral history on the insane 2012 MLS Eastern Conference Semi-Final between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls. He joins Roche to discuss the oral history and share a few more stories from that tie that didn't make it into the article. Then, they discuss DCU prospects for the 2021 season...and whether the roof at Audi Field will ever be completed.Read Pablo's oral history here. 
#DOOP is all the rage and it's due in large part to the Philadelphia Union Academy.  The Union academy is quickly becoming the youth development model in MLS and Charles Boehm has been covering it since its beginnings. Boehm joins Roche for the latest Pitch Pass to discuss the Union model, how it relates to European youth setups, how it's different from other MLS academies, and if it's sustainable. Then, Charlie and Roche wonder how far D.C. United is from Academy relevance again. To read more about the Union Academy, check out Charles Boehm's work on
Roche checks in with The Athletic's Pablo Maurer for an update on the MLS Is Back Tournament. Has the tournament been good for the league? Is youth finally being served in the League? What teams' performance is indicative of its future? Plus, an update on D.C. United and more.  Click here for more info on Jaime Moreno.
Former MLS GK Andrew Dykstra now makes his living coaching the next generation of soccer players. In this episode of Pitch Pass, Dykstra discusses the challenges of being a youth coach during a pandemic, which age groups suffer the most from a disruption in training, and which MLS team mines the Mid-Atlantic region for talent the best. Roche and Andrew also discuss the MLS Is Back Tournament, life in the USL, and more. 
After scoring the game winning goal against Inter Miami, D.C. United veteran Frederic Brillant, like almost everyone else, has spent the past two months at home. During that time, he's spent time with family, stayed sharp with DCU's tactical Zoom sessions, mentored the younger United players, while being mentored by Nolan Sheldon on the nuances of coaching. The veteran has also had time to ponder his future in the sport as a player and coach. Also, Fred and Roche break down his ultimate French 5v5 team and look for possible weaknesses and alternatives. 
The new season of Pitch Pass is here! First guest of the year is D.C. United captain, Steven Birnbaum. It's his second stint as captain of the Black and Red and he tells Roche what he's learned since his first tenure. Then, Roche and Steve discuss the life changing money to be made in MLS now, sitting next to "regular" people on flights, the DCU new boys, being a #GirlDad, and what it's like being Wayne Rooney's friend off the pitch. 
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store