Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2009

Sounder at Heart - New and Different

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For many reading this you will be used to my writing, and the site name. For those what is new about the site is the structure and relationship with SBNation.com and Daily Soccer Fix and more sites to come. Sounder at Heart is now part of a network. More than just the one site you are used to you will find news about the beautiful game, American soccer and many teams to come.

Zakuani - 1st year learnings, Playoff preview

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I haven't done interviews for a while. My full time job had been at its peak, but now with a slight tailing off and the Sounders in the Playoffs I hope to get you a few interviews.

First up is Steve Zakuani. Rookie of the Year candidate, fan favorite and a threat along that left side. We talked via phone and any errors in the conversation are due to my efforts at transcription.

Pregame gathering

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In an effort to get even further hyped up, to meet more of the people who voted me onto the Council and just enjoy good beer I will be hanging out at Elysian Fields on Thursday. Probably from about 3:30PM until prior to kickoff, or so.

I'm inviting coworkers, people from the 214 and readers of the blog.

USL-1 no longer to be 2nd tier?

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Just getting this out there, no time for extensive thoughts.

24thMinute and CBC on Vancouver and Montreal pulling out of USL.

Inside MN Soccer on the fuller situation.

The TOA is clearly now the 2nd tier of the sport. Not just due to market size, but also due to the quality of the organizations involved.

The Second Season Starts

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Thursday night the Sounders launch the league's second season as the Playoffs in many sports are called, but in this case it might be particularly important. Though Houston and Seattle faced off twice in League play and once in the late rounds of the US Open Cup, the teams have changed quite a bit from where they were in previous meetings.

More Frustration at Home

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Well, more suffering for fans at Qwest. It's beyond a cliché to say that MLS referring is subpar, but there were two hugely controversial calls that will soon be reverberating over the interwebs. First is Onstad getting off with just a yellow. It's hard to see how that's not a red, and the Montero yellow is also mystifying.

Today's Reserve Game v Wolves 3-1 - Update

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This may seem like an odd departure during the Playoffs, but if the team does it why shouldn't we. Coach Schmid found a way to get his Reserves and Subs more playing time by getting together with the Seattle Wolves. He did this even while his senior side is smarting from the nil-nil draw.

Coach on why they played a Reserve match today

"It was important for the guys who haven't been playing as much to get a solid 60 [minutes] in.

Today’s Reserve Game v Wolves 3-1

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This may seem like an odd departure during the Playoffs, but if the team does it why shouldn't we. Coach Schmid found a way to get his Reserves and Subs more playing time by getting together with the Seattle Wolves. He did this even while his senior side is smarting from the nil-nil [...]

More Frustration at Home

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Well, more suffering for fans at Qwest. It's beyond a cliché to say that MLS referring is subpar, but there were two hugely controversial calls that will soon be reverberating over the interwebs. First is Onstad getting off with just a yellow. It's hard to see how that's not a red, and [...]

The Second Season Starts

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Thursday night the Sounders launch the league's second season as the Playoffs in many sports are called, but in this case it might be particularly important. Though Houston and Seattle faced off twice in League play and once in the late rounds of the US Open Cup, the teams have changed quite a bit [.

USL-1 no longer to be 2nd tier?

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Just getting this out there, no time for extensive thoughts. 24thMinute and CBC on Vancouver and Montreal pulling out of USL. Inside MN Soccer on the fuller situation. The TOA is clearly now the 2nd tier of the sport. Not just due to market size, but also due to the quality of the organizations involved.

Pregame gathering

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In an effort to get even further hyped up, to meet more of the people who voted me onto the Council and just enjoy good beer I will be hanging out at Elysian Fields on Thursday. Probably from about 3:30PM until prior to kickoff, or so. I'm inviting coworkers, people from the 214 and readers [...]

Zakuani – 1st year learnings, Playoff preview

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I haven't done interviews for a while. My full time job had been at its peak, but now with a slight tailing off and the Sounders in the Playoffs I hope to get you a few interviews. First up is Steve Zakuani. Rookie of the Year candidate, fan favorite and a threat along that [...]

A scarf and a media vote

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Individual awards are going to trickle in over the next few weeks. I had the opportunity to vote for them, and like most media in most markets I have way too much focus on the local side, but I think that since I watch more of this sport than I should I will share [...]

The West is Won

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Well, actually, the West was won yesterday by the Galaxy, but today everything is completely settled. Houston's 3-2 victory over Chivas gives them second and puts us into third. The truth is that today's result couldn't ever have changed much in terms of our playoff picture. The main difference is our home [.

… if this is a dream I want to stay asleep

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That line is from Sigi Schmid, but I think it relates to so many of us after this first season. I know it personally feels that way. Last night, with all of the pomp, with the win, it was one of my favorite days of my young life that didn't involve family (yes, [...]

Democracy in Sports – What does it mean?

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The young movement in America has at its strongest example the light of Barcelona and Real Madrid. A regular fan (ok, not so regular they are always rich businessmen really) can be elected as the President. They can urge the manager to sign certain players (Henry) and free up funds in order to [...

Keys to Beating the Cunningham Effect

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If form matters, then Dallas is the one team that the Sounders don't want to face. Since September 1st they earned 16 points, best in the league. Sounders though are tied for 3rd with 10 points over that same stretch. Much of their success has been credited to one Jeff Cunningham, who [...]

MLS Playoffs vs Other Playoffs

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Is it too easy to get into the MLS playoffs? At the moment, over half the league makes the post season, so by definition, some pretty average teams will be competing for the MLS Cup. This has led some to suggest that the MLS playoffs should be trimmed to four teams. But how do [...]

Freddie speaks up, asks for the impossible

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Freddie asks for something we'd all like to see: A good example is Paul Scholes who I personally saw as the best player in United for many years. He never got as much media attention as he maybe deserved, but as a footballer he was and still is fantastic. MLS maybe should go for players like Paul as [.

Hello World

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Those with some programming experience will recognize the weak joke in the title. I've been invited by Dave to join him as a blogger on Sounder at Heart. In this first post, I'd like to introduce myself and give an idea of where I'm coming from. First a little bit of my history (as far as [...]

Fucito on video with SoundersFC.com on Davies

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Expect more on plans for Saturday and the #9

Freddie Speaks UP

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Sounders Swede Freddie Ljungberg has launched his own blog over the past week, and two of the posts are directly related to the last match. He LOVES the KC pitch. The actual grass that is. Also good words for Houston's Robertson Stadium. He also points out that he was trying to score directly off of the [.

Team Salutes Fans

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The team just announced that Saturday will be a Salute to Fans. Here's there words. This is NOT the limit of their activities, but merely an introduction. Sounders FC to Salute Fans as Record-Breaking Inaugural Season Ends Owners to reveal permanent tribute to season ticket holders at Qwest Field RENTON, Wash.

I win, and so do the kids

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Duane and I made a bet way back when the season started and I was just a novice blogger that people thought lacked sanity. While I still lack sanity, just maybe I was right. Duane picked an organization called Right to Play, and I agreed. So because the two of us are both passionate [...]

Size Matters

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Sample size that is. In soccer statistics this shows up in several ways. 1 there are so few significant events that the correlation and accuracy of the statistics will never be where they are for baseball, or really any of the American sports. It will ever only be close with correlations in the [.

Playoffs?! Don’t talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me?

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Thank you Jim Mora. He was right. No team wants to talk about the Playoffs. They just want to win more games. Now, for the Sounders that includes a Playoff game, preferably at least three. This match was another where the Sounders played well enough to double their goal scoring total, and also played maybe the [.

Unfit for 90 in KC

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Sometimes people pass things on that I have missed. In this case it isn't a minor detail, but a rather disturbing statement from the KC interim coach Peter Vermes. Thanks Leo. He admits in public that his team is unfit. "The thing that is hard for me to swallow is when we lose the game [...]

Keys to Sounders at Wizards

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Everyone that reads this site knows how important this match is for the Sounders and their ability to make the MLS Cup Playoffs. It is even more important for Kansas City, would be eliminated with a loss. KC was so poor early in the season that they fired their coach, and it hasn't [...]

USA knocking on seeding door

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At least if the latest FIFA rankings are a guide. USA earned a few more points, but remains at 11. The Red, White and Blue still have a chance at cracking into the top 8 by December, but it would take more failures from France and Portugal, a win at Denmark, and probably [...]

Hidden gems

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Recently Steve Clare over at Prost Amerika interviewed Jeremy St Louis of Fox Soccer. It is a far ranging interview covering national teams (particularly the issues facing Canada), MLS, Sounders, the EPL and the upcoming World Cup. There were a few semi-precious stones in there, that you might just miss.

Sounders Fans to Raise #9 in Support of Davies

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Like many fans around the nation, Sounders Fans will be raising the number 9 in support. Tonight at viewing parties (including the George & Dragon Fundraiser with Sigi and Chris Henderson) during the 9th minute, as well as at the final home match v FC Dallas. The idea originated with the ECS, but they do [.

Our thoughts and prayers, Charlie

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Sounders thoughts and prayers out to Charlie Davies, US MNT Forward. Charlie granted me a few moments of his time back when the National Team was training at Starfire prior to the Gold Cup. Last night he was in a car accident, and today in surgery. ESPN has more information. Here I will just [...]

More on the Off-5

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I'm still as certain as ever that while Sigi has been employing the Arrow formation with a defensive midfielder and a box-to-box man the offensive woes of the team are such that finding a way to get five offensive players on the pitch rather than the 4.5 to 6.5 ratio that exists now is vital. [...]

Turmoil is not just an American phenomena

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While I have been focusing on the issues that are facing the lower tiers of the American soccer system recently, please let's all remember that our issues here are not as bad as in other places. In Scotland the Old Firm are constantly making noise about leaving the SPL and SFA for the supposedly greener patches [.

Turmoil is not just an American phenemena

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While I have been focusing on the issues that are facing the lower tiers of the American soccer system recently, please let's all remember that our issues here are not as bad as in other places. In Scotland the Old Firm are constantly making noise about leaving the SPL and SFA for the supposedly greener patches [.

Academies, Reserves and an integrated soccer system

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In all the drama around the USL mess (NuRock v the TOA - sounds WWE) much of the speculation is about how and sometimes why MLS is involved. Let's address the why first. Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing control 99% of all revenue generating soccer in the country. From the [...]

More on Supporters Summit ‘09

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The weekend of November 20th 22nd, Major League Soccer fans and specifically, Supporters Groups of MLS clubs from across the U.S. and Canada will converge in the city of Seattle for the MLS Cup Finals. This is Our Passion, these are Our Clubs and this is Our League. We will all be celebrating [...

Outside of MLS North American Soccer currently in a mess

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Yes, the USL-1 Finals are between Canadian teams. This isn't the problem. The problems is that the USL (all levels: 1, 2, PDL, SuperY, WLeague) was purchased by a group that currently does not operate a team NuRock Sports. They do have the rights to operate a team in Birmingham, AL [...]

Supporters Summit ‘09

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We are about to send out our first press release, but here you can start to see what we are doing. Keep tabs on that site for more info.

Josh Wicks the Open Cup won’t miss you

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The suspension of Josh Wicks came down as fairly hefty (5 Open Cup games, play in don't count). Considering what the USSF determined were his total offenses it seems fair. He was violent when he stomped on Fredy Montero, berated an official and honestly I won't miss him in next year's tourney. I will [.

Sounders stats for the next two weeks

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Sounders have another off-week. A week in which they will be watching scoreboards and working on tactics. Probably the biggest decision will be who to start as the other Forward with Montero, who to put on the Right Wing and followed by how to use the Central Midfielders. These decisions have really [.

Missed opportunities – for everyone, but more for the Crew

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GBS misses a PK Gaven hits the post Marshall saves a certain goal Sure Alonso nearly scored as well (Or Montero could have slid that in after). But the fact is that the Crew had more opportunities and did not capitalize. Their moments of strength were stronger, and this was a match where luck, Tyrone Marshall [.

Going back to C-Bus

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Ah, Columbus Ohio land of great sushi? While this is a home coming for Sigi, Ezra and Brad. It is also in ways a homecoming for myself. While I did not travel, I have some Ohio roots, but more importantly my MLS roots are with the Crew and Brian McBride. During MLS [...]

MLS succeeding in this economy?

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Sure, the attendance numbers for MLS aren't that strong, down about 700 per game. But it is still the 4th best season for the league by any attendance measure. No it doesn't compare strongly to the NBA (slightly up) or NHL (also slightly up), but does to MLB (down 6%) and NFL (in danger of [...]