Chelsea Mike'd Up Podcast
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL CHELSEA FC PODCAST
Hosted by Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham, Chelsea Mike’d Up provides U.S. fans weekly episodes with guests and topics that appeals to American fans' diverse sporting interests. Check out the latest episode and learn more about the club’s only official podcast.
Chelsea Mike’d Up Podcast: Post-Brighton Analysis and Lee Parker Interview
September 17, 2020
Episode Notes: Mike and Chris host the first post-game analysis of the season. They assess the performances of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Kepa, Reece James and more. Then, Chelsea FC reporter and stadium announcer Lee Parker joins the podcast to talk about media savviness of players at the club and gives a behind-the-scenes look at media relations with the squad.
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ABOUT THE OFFICIAL CHELSEA FC PODCAST
Chelsea Mike’d Up aims to bring you Blues news with an American focus, featuring players, staff, media, celebrity talent, superfans and more.
Each week, you’ll hear exclusive interviews with A-list soccer celebrities. Recent guests include players, such as Christian Pulisic, Billy Gilmour, Millie Bright and Petr Cech, as well as celebrity fans and sports experts, such as Katie Nolan, Michael Davies, Larry Nance Jr. and Josh Hart. Plus, there’s always a unique blend of Chelsea match analysis, pop culture and humor from our hosts. It’s an uncensored and uninhibited discussion about the world of soccer through blue-tinted lenses.
Catch a fresh episode at least once a week – available on all major podcast platforms.
MEET THE HOSTS
MIKE RYAN RUIZ
Mike Ryan Ruiz is the namesake and host of Chelsea Mike’d Up. Ruiz is a passionate Chelsea fan who is here to guide you through the highs and lows of the season. He also is the executive producer of ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show.
Chris Wittyngham is the neutral observer on Chelsea Mike’d Up, bringing level-headed analysis to the podcast and talking Mike off a cliff. He is a soccer announcer, having worked with Univision, ESPN, beIN Sports and Inter Miami FC.
PREVIOUS PODCAST EPISODES
August 20, 2020 – BEST OF CHELSEA (PART 1)
As the first season of our official club podcast comes to a close, Chelsea Mike’d Up is looking back at a successful debut.
In the latest episode, Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham have collected some of their favorite moments from the past year for the first half of our "Best of Chelsea Mike’d Up" series. These moments include exclusive interviews with Chelsea stars, such as Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham, Billy Gilmour and Millie Bright.
Tune in to hear Pulisic’s take on his "Captain America" nickname and Gilmour talk about why he benches himself on FIFA. You’ll also hear Abraham explaining how he scores so many goals and Bright telling the story of how the women’s team found out they were champions.
August 13, 2020 – WRAPPING UP THE SEASON
In the penultimate episode of the first season of Chelsea Mike’d Up, our hosts are looking back at a successful campaign before looking forward to an exciting 2020/21 term.
In the latest episode, Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham dissect our exit from the Champions League knockout stages. They also discuss Willian’s storied career at the club and how the new additions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech will change the look of the team. Plus, don’t miss their favorite moments from the season and thoughts on what the Premier League landscape looks like going into the start of the new season. It’s all on this episode of the official club podcast.
August 3, 2020 – FA CUP FINAL REACTION
Following the loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup Final, Chelsea Mike’d Up is back to provide you with all the analysis and venting you need.
In the latest episode, our hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham dissect the narratives coming out of the final, including how the team copes with the injury to Christian Pulisic, how Timo Werner will fit into the squad now, how N’Golo Kante could have made a difference, and Mike vents his frustration with the officiating in the match.
July 30, 2020 – PRE-FA CUP & NBA’S LARRY NANCE JR. INTERVIEW
Chelsea Mike’d Up is back with a special FA Cup final edition episode with NBA star, Larry Nance Jr. Ahead of the big match against Arsenal, the Cleveland Cavaliers star and passionate Chelsea fan joins our official club podcast to talk coaching, tactics and banter.
But first, our hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham dive into the narratives ahead of the showdown. Topics include what a win would mean for a young group of players, how a trophy would add to Frank Lampard’s impressive season, and a look at Arsenal’s storylines.
Mike and Chris then welcome friend of the podcast Larry Nance Jr. They discuss advantages of having a young manager like Lampard, where Nance would play Christian Pulisic against Arsenal, and how he banters with other NBA stars during the Premier League season.
Be sure to catch Larry Nance Jr. this weekend on our FA Cup preview show, where he’ll be speaking with Pulisic.
July 27, 2020 – POST-WOLVES REACTION
It’s official: Chelsea will be in the Champions League next season, and Chelsea Mike’d Up is here to celebrate with you.
After a decisive victory against the Wolves, our official podcast reconvened to talk about the performance and securing the top-four spot in Frank Lampard’s first season as manager.
On this bonus episode, our hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham dive into the prevailing topics from the match, including Mason Mount’s Man of the Match performance, how the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner will fit into the squad next season, the impact of Olivier Giroud, and how the rest of the Premier League table shaped up in the final day.
July 23, 2020 – POST-LIVERPOOL & ESPN’S KATIE NOLAN INTERVIEW
Following a difficult loss to Liverpool, Chelsea Mike’d Up is back again this week to chat with one of America’s most notable Reds fans, Katie Nolan. The ESPN host joins our official club podcast for some friendly banter with her longtime friend and Chelsea Mike’d Up host, Mike Ryan Ruiz.
But first, Mike and Chris Wittyngham provide analysis of the match against Liverpool. This includes a discussion on Christian Pulisic’s super-sub appearance with an assist and a goal, the form of keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, and what needs to happen for Chelsea to secure a Champions League spot in the last match of the season.
Mike and Chris then welcome Katie Nolan to Chelsea Mike’d Up for the first time. She’s a Liverpool fan, as well as the host of “Always Late with Katie Nolan” on ESPN2. In her interview, Nolan discusses the rivalry developing between the current Liverpool and Chelsea sides. She also talks about Christian Pulisic’s goal that helped seal the Premier League title for Liverpool and if she sees Chelsea as a threat to the Reds’ title next season.
July 20, 2020 – FA CUP SEMI-FINAL REACTION & CLAUDE MAKELELE INTERVIEW
Chelsea is headed to Wembley for an FA Cup Final, and Chelsea Mike’d Up is here to celebrate with you. The official club podcast is dissecting the big win over Manchester United on Sunday before Chelsea FC legend Claude Makelele joins to talk about the season thus far.
First, host Mike Ryan Ruiz serenades Chris Wittyngham with a few celebratory chants before getting into the meat of the match. Then, the duo discusses the growth of Frank Lampard as a manager, how he’s met lofty expectations, and if the club can challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title next season.
Mike and Chris then welcome legend Claude Makelele to Chelsea Mike’d Up for the first time. Formerly a stalwart midfielder, the Frenchman now serves as Technical Mentor at the club for our young players. In his interview, Makelele discusses his playing days, the comparisons of himself to N’Golo Kante and his assessment of Lampard’s first season as manager.
July 16, 2020 – POST-NORWICH RECAP AND ESPN’S MIKE GOLIC JR.
ESPN’s Mike Golic Jr. recently decided to pick a Premier League team. Within a matter of weeks, he’s cheering on the Blues and is the latest guest on Chelsea Mike’d Up. The former NFL player and current radio personality joins the pod this week to discuss his new-found love for the club.
But first, hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham have to dissect the club’s win against Norwich. The two try to determine if Christian Pulisic is the Player of the Year given his post-restart performance. They also discuss how new signings could help unlock defenses next season, and what Frank Lampard’s style is.
Then, Golic Jr. joins to talk about how he got into soccer, the Premier League and what he likes about the fandom. His Chelsea knowledge is even put to the test with a quiz from Chris Wittyngham.
July 8, 2020 – REACTING TO A BACK-AND-FORTH WIN AT CRYSTAL PALACE
Breathe, Chelsea fans. After the final whistle of an entertaining 2–3 victory, our hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham catch their breaths and discuss the wild affair at Selhurst Park.
The hosts start with their praise of the “Man of the Match” performance and desperate defending from Kurt Zouma. Next, there’s no denying it: Christian Pulisic is officially on fire, and Mike is loving every minute of it. He says, “This is the best American footballer that has ever performed at this level. I’ve never seen a run like this from an American player.” They then look ahead at the top-four race. Don’t miss a minute of this episode!
July 6, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH FC HARLEM’S IRV SMALLS
Irv Smalls is the executive director of FC Harlem and our guest on this week’s episode of Chelsea Mike’d Up. Learn more about this great American soccer organization and Smalls’ ties to Christian Pulisic.
Hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham discuss our loss at West Ham United last week and the win against Watford over the weekend. They’re then joined by Smalls, who is in charge of FC Harlem, an American organization that works to create more opportunities for Black and Latino youth in New York City neighborhoods. Smalls touches on the club’s partnership with FC Harlem, which has been in place since 2013, as well as how the organization is aiming to change the soccer landscape in America and inner cities.
Finally, you especially won’t want to miss Smalls telling the full story of how he was personally invited to Christian Pulisic’s secret Stamford Bridge meetup to help persuade the American to join the Blues in 2018.
June 29, 2020 – FA CUP QUARTER-FINAL REACTION
Chelsea is going to Wembley, and Chelsea Mike’d Up is here to talk all about it. The official club podcast returns yet again to discuss our FA Cup quarter-final win over Leicester City on Sunday.
Our Chelsea Mike’d Up hosts, Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham, return to dissect the implications of the result, look ahead to our semi-final clash with Manchester United, and discuss another standout performance from American Christian Pulisic, including comparing his style to former Blue Eden Hazard.
The podcast also includes discussion on Billy Gilmour, Ross Barkley and Jorginho. Plus, don’t miss the conversation about Frank Lampard’s lineup and tactical decisions to turn to the more experienced players in the match over the weekend.
June 26, 2020 – MANCHESTER CITY MATCH REACTION
"Hot take, Christian Pulisic is good."
Our Chelsea Mike’d Up hosts, Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham, have recorded an emergency podcast after the American star scored yet again on the way to a massive win against Man City.
Mike and Chris are back with another episode of our official club podcast to discuss the result, react to Liverpool’s title win and talk about why Chelsea are the biggest threat to the Reds in future seasons. Be sure to tune in for another series of "luke-warm hot takes" from a Chelsea die-hard and our resident neutral observer.
June 24, 2020 – MILLIE BRIGHT ON THE CHELSEA FC WOMEN’S TITLE
Fresh after the Chelsea FC Women were named champions of the Women’s Super League, one of the team’s stars joins Chelsea Mike’d Up. Defender and England international Millie Bright is the guest on this week’s episode. Listen to her talk about being the newly crowned champs amidst the global pandemic.
But first, our hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham look ahead to our showdown against Manchester City this week. They discuss whether or not Christian Pulisic earned a starting role with his goal against Aston Villa, if Tammy Abraham will get the nod against the defending champions and how Sergio Aguero’s injury could impact the matchup.
Then, Millie Bright joins the official Chelsea podcast. Don’t miss hearing her discuss how the Chelsea FC Women found out they were champions, how the 2019 World Cup helped the women’s game grow this season, and more.
June 22, 2020 – POST-ASTON-VILLA REACTION
After 105 days without football, Chelsea have finally returned to the Premier League with a 2–1 comeback win over Aston Villa and an ecstatic episode of Chelsea Mike’d Up to go with it. This week, the official Chelsea podcast celebrates the three points and, most importantly for our two American hosts, Christian Pulisic’s equalizing goal in his first game for the Blues since New Year’s Day.
Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham break down Pulisic’s performance and discuss if he’s earning his way back into Frank Lampard’s starting lineup. They then turn to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s first start in more than a year and all of the manager’s lineup decisions, including a man of the match performance from N’Golo Kante in defensive midfield.
To close the show, the guys discuss Chelsea’s confirmation that Timo Werner is joining the Blues, pending a medical. They also break down the state of the Top 4 race after a great weekend of results and debut a new segment: “Lukewarm Hot Takes.”
June 18, 2020 – FOOTBALL PRESENTER ALISON BENDER
Finally, after months of waiting, Chelsea Mike’d Up is back in a Premier League match week. Our official podcast’s hosts are ecstatic to be dissecting Chelsea matches again – this time with football presenter Alison Bender.
But before they’re joined by the special guest, Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham chat about the club’s behind-closed-doors friendly against QPR, what the midfield could look like this weekend with Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s return, and what we can expect from Aston Villa in the match on Sunday.
Then, Bender joins the discussion. Bender has been reporting on the game for Chelsea, The BBC, ESPN, TalkSport and more for a number of years. Hear her thoughts on how coverage will change with the return of football during the pandemic, how her Chelsea fandom intersects with her work, her favorite Chelsea moments she has reported on, how the club overcame the loss of Eden Hazard, and more.
June 11, 2020 – NBA STAR JOHN COLLINS’ CHELSEA FANDOM
This week, the NBA meets Chelsea FC on the official U.S. podcast, Chelsea Mike’d Up. Hear what Atlanta Hawks star and Chelsea fan John Collins has to say.
Before Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham are joined by the NBA player, our hosts discuss a plethora of transfer rumors involving the club, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Chelsea’s transfer strategy and the return of N’Golo Kante to training.
Then, John Collins joins to discuss how he became a fan of Chelsea and his favorite Chelsea players. Collins has been in the NBA for three seasons, averaging more than 21 points per game this season. So, he shares his take on how professional athletes have dealt with quarantine and more.
June 4, 2020 – CANDID CONVERSATIONS
This week, on a stripped-down episode of Chelsea Mike’d Up, our hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham have a candid conversation about the Black Lives Matter protests taking shape around the globe.
Mike and Chris talk about their personal feelings amidst the protests; discuss the club’s statement in support of George Floyd and victims in the fight against discrimination, brutality, and injustice; and touch on the players’ unified response to show support.
Then, the conversation shifts to the imminent return of the Premier League – which is currently set for June 17 – and re-evaluate Chelsea’s spot in the battle for top four.
May 28, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH HERCULEZ GOMEZ
This week our official club podcast, Chelsea Mike’d Up, features an interview with Herculez Gomez, a former member of the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) who currently serves as a commentator for ESPN.
Chelsea Mike’d Up hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham start the pod with some Chelsea news before diving into another discussion on the ever-developing “Project Restart,” the Premier League’s plan to return to play this summer. The duo looks at the progress in training, which has entered a new phase, and discuss when you might be able to see your Blues on TV again.
Then, Mike and Chris welcome former MLS and Liga MX forward and ESPN commentator Herculez Gomez to Chelsea Mike’d Up for the first time. Herculez, who earned 24 caps for the USMNT, discusses the return of football, Christian Pulisic’s development and much more.
May 21, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN MCBRIDE
It’s a red, white and, of course, blue episode of Chelsea Mike’d Up. One of the greatest scorers in American soccer history Brian McBride joins the official Chelsea podcast to talk about Christian Pulisic’s development and much more.
Chelsea Mike’d Up hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham start the pod with another look at the Premier League’s “Project Restart” as players make their return to training this week with small-group exercises. They go on to discuss Chelsea players’ post-quarantine hairstyles and dissect the Bundesliga’s return to play with no fans in attendance.
Then, Mike and Chris welcome U.S. Soccer legend Brian McBride to Chelsea Mike’d Up for the first time. McBride earned 96 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) and made 140 appearances in the Premier League for Fulham. Plus, earlier this year, he was named general manager of the USMNT.
In the interview, McBride talks about how the United States Soccer Federation and Chelsea work together on Christian Pulisic’s development and how the perception of Americans in the Premier League has changed. Then even shares some stories of his time in the league.
May 14, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH PETR ČECH
It’s a legendary kind of episode this week on Chelsea Mike’d Up thanks to our guest, Petr Čech. The greatest Premier League goalkeeper of all time joins our official podcast to talk about his career with Chelsea.
First, hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham start the pod with an update on the Premier League’s potential return to play this season, including a reported new development that allows games to be played at teams’ home stadiums, and how other pieces of the puzzle need to come together for the league to resume.
Then, Mike and Chris welcome the legendary Petr Čech to Chelsea Mike’d Up for the first time. The interview with Čech dives into topics, such as how he dealt with playing for a Chelsea rival, playing with a life-changing injury and his iconic save in the 2012 Champions League final.
May 7, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH BILLY GILMOUR
There’s only one Billy Gilmour, and this week, he’s on Chelsea Mike’d Up. Our Scottish wunderkind joins the official Chelsea podcast to discuss a wide range of topics after his breakout season.
But first, hosts Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham kick off the pod with an update on the reporting surrounding the Premier League’s potential return to play this season. Then, it’s a look to the Bundesliga as their return ramps up and a quick discussion on Cesc Fabregas’ Twitter banter.
After surveying the transfer landscape, Mike and Chris welcome Gilmour to Chelsea Mike’d Up for the first time. Gilmour dives into topics, including the surrealness of his success this season while playing for a legend like Frank Lampard, how he’s dealing with isolation during the pandemic, playing as himself in FIFA, and a whole lot more.
April 30, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH ESPN’S JON CHAMPION & TAYLOR TWELLMAN
Your favorite podcast about your favorite team is back once again. Chelsea Mike’d Up returns, this time with two of ESPN’s biggest voices in football: Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman.
Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham kick off this week’s pod by assessing football leagues around the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – specifically the reported plan to bring the Premier League back and finish the season this summer.
Then, the podcast welcomes two of the most recognized football voices in America – ESPN’s Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman. The broadcasting tandem, who handle play-by-play and commentary for the station’s biggest games, talk about the complications of bringing back the sport on all levels and how Chelsea are well-positioned for an unusual transfer window thanks to the youth movement.
April 23, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH FORMER BLUE JASON CUNDY
Football is on hold, but Chelsea Mike’d Up is pushing ahead. This week, the official club podcast welcomes former Chelsea player and current TalkSport host Jason Cundy.
Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham start off the latest pod with a look to Germany for a glimpse at how football could look in a post-pandemic world. They then bring things back to London to take a survey of the transfer landscape while rumors swirl around Phillipe Coutinho, Jadon Sancho and more.
Then, Mike and Chris bring Cundy into the fold. The lifelong Blue talks about growing up around the club and his success in his playing days, before they move on to Cundy’s analysis of Chelsea’s young core.
April 16, 2020 – INTERVIEW WITH USMNT MANAGER GREGG BERHALTER
It’s time again for an episode of the official club podcast, Chelsea Mike’d Up - this time with a United States Men’s National Team focus.
Current USMNT manager and former player Gregg Berhalter is our guest for an interesting conversation about Christian Pulisic’s development and more.
Before they speak with Berhalter, Mike Ryan Ruiz and Chris Wittyngham discuss reporting on when and how football could safely return in the midst of the pandemic, an interesting story involving the late Kobe Bryant, Didier Drogba, and former NBA player Adam Morrison, plus the transfer rumor mill.
Then, Berhalter joins the pod, where he answers questions on Pulisic’s performance in his first season at Chelsea and how he sees Pulisic’s role differing between club and country, while also explaining in-depth how his on-the-field instincts can impact tactics.
Finally, the guys wrap up the show with a snippet from the new "Ask Pulisic" series, in which the American star answers questions from fans around the country.