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Pitch Pass

Author: Wonk Eye Media

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Talkin’ soccer and life with the people who matter in Major League Soccer. Hosted by DC101's Gregory Roche.
145 Episodes
#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. 
The MLS Cup Playoffs are here! Pitch Pass will spend the next month breaking down the match ups and making BOLD predictions. Roche will be joined throughout the month by former MLS Defender Of The Year, Bobby Boswell, who will be sharing his expert analysis exclusively on Pitch Pass. Sounds legit, don't it? It definitely isn't but it'll be a lot of fun to hear. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  
Don't tell Russell Canouse he's had an up and down year. No, seriously, don't. Roche tried and Canouse shut that right down. Hear why he thinks comments about his "form" were overblown, his numerous off the field interests, the long term plan for his life as a realtor, playing right back for D.C. United, the uniqueness of a lung injury, sports fandom in Central PA, and much, much more. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
Good friend of the podcast (and D.C. United legend), Bobby Boswell joins Roche to discuss the upcoming MLS CBA. Boswell has been in the room for the last two rounds of CBA negotiations and offers unique insight on what the players got last time and what they can achieve this time. He also advises you "stay woke" (his words) on what is and isn't important to the players(13:06). But first, he breaks down the recent appearance of the number 32 in a recent D.C. United match, how it got there (hint: Steve Birnbaum), and the magical powers of the iconic number. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
Roche brought ESPN's Sebastian Salazar on talk D.C. United tactics. He did not want to talk about D.C. United tactics. Instead, Roche and Sebi discussed fan alienation, an owner's obligation to club supporters, long term investment vs. short term capitalization, and the role of minority voices in the media. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. 
If you like a grown man whining about a sports team for 90 minutes, this episode of Pitch Pass is for you. Pablo Maurer joins Roche to discuss his latest articles on The Athletic including his column on the troubles with Audi Field. Then, the guys get into a hypothetical starting XI for D.C. United in 2020, Wayne Rooney's legacy, Lucho Acosta's legacy, who is to blame for DCU's meh season, and much, much more. It's an episode to air all the grievances with D.C. United. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe 
Roche hates Felipe Martins! Whew! That felt good. Now, Roche and Felipe can move forward with an insightful conversation about Felipe's reputation amongst MLS (and especially DCU) fans, his incredible journey from Brazil to Europe to MLS, the difficulties he experienced in Vancouver, and the MLS urban legend featuring him and Frank Lampard. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  
D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen joins Roche to discuss the life of a soccer dad and how/if to coach your kid, keeping an eye on the Academy, and the number 14 in DC history. Then, Roche compares Branko Boskovic and Zoltan Stieber and asks Olsen if Stieber is a luxury the team can afford. Plus, talk of DCU formations, Rooney's minutes, and transfer talk. It's a jam packed episode of Pitch Pass brought to you in part by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. 
New Loudoun United head coach Ryan Martin joins Roche to discuss his new role in the D.C. United organization, what Loudoun United means to the Black And Red, and, integrating youth players into the professional ranks. Then, Martin breaks down the homegrown signing process, the Pathway 2 Pro initiative, and the perception vs. reality of DCU. Listen and subscribe so you never miss an episode.Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. 
D.C. United homegrown signing, Griffin Yow, joins Roche for this episode of Pitch Pass. The 16 year old has already made his first team debut for DCU and is a fixture in the Loudoun United starting XI. Hear when Yow knew he could compete with professionals, what Academy players could be following in his footsteps, and his excellent advice for players dreaming of a career as a professional soccer player. Pitch Pass is sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Listen + Subscribe so you never miss an episode!
Donovan Pines has had a fantastic start to his rookie season with D.C. United. In this episode of Pitch Pass, he gives his thoughts on his play thus far, the injury that has put his season on hold and how much time he'll miss, and the difference between USL and MLS. Plus, he explains why he's a Liverpool fan, how close he was to starting his career overseas, and why his teammates call him Bambi. But first, Emily Olsen of joins Roche to discuss DCU's current form, summer transfer targets, what formation is most successful for United, and Marquinhos Pedroso's crazy travel to get to D.C. Listen + Subscribe to Pitch Pass so  you never miss an episode!
Chris McCann joined D.C. United this season after winning the MLS Cup with Atlanta United last season, which was preceded by a long career in England. Now, the Irishman talks with Roche about his time in England, the Netflix documentary Sunderland Til I Die, the process of getting a green card, and whether he can still deal with cold weather now that he's in America. 
Orlando City hosts D.C. United and The Orlando Sentinel's Jordan Culver joins the show to discuss the Lions early season form, how they want to play, and the impact of Nani. Then, The Athletic's Pablo Maurer talks with Roche about Johan Cruyff, his worldwide and national legacy, why his "mixtapes" don't pop, and who would play Cruyff in the Netflix limited series about his time in DC.
Paul Arriola has been D.C. United's most in form player during the first two matches of the new MLS Season. He joins Roche to discuss his form, the cold, wet opener at Audi Field, USMNT Coach Gregg Berhalter's style, and more. Make sure you subscribe to Pitch Pass so you never miss an episode!
The new season of MLS is finally here! One of the marquee match ups during opening weekend is D.C. United hosting MLS Cup Champions, Atlanta United. Defender Steven Birnbaum joins Roche to discuss the #DCU preseason, the rash of weddings in the League this offseason, and Wayne Rooney's golf game. Then, The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas calls in to talk about Atlanta United's CONCACAF Champion's League experience, the pressure on Frank DeBoer to hit the ground running, and Miguel Almiron's outstanding EPL start. 
D.C. United has a new Technical Director and he joins Roche on the latest episode of Pitch Pass. Dane Murphy has climbed the front office ladder at breakneck speed and discusses how he transitioned from player to exec so quickly. Then, he takes Roche behind the scenes at Loudoun United to talk roster building, establishing an organizational infrastructure, and how the Academy will play an important role with the new USL team. 
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