Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2010

Other Leg One MLS Cup Playoff Games Open Thread

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Colorado beat Columbus 1-nil. You can read that recap here at Burgundy Wave.

But today we've got two matches.

First up is Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas on Fox Soccer at 2PM Pacific.
Three Questions between two SBN Bloggers
Preview from Big D Soccer - Preview from RSL Soap Box
Matchcard and preview on the SBN Soccer portal

Second is New York Red Bulls at San Jose Earthquakes at 7PM on Telefutura (Rafa Marquez much?

James Riley Wins Final Goal of Week

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James Riley Wins Final Goal of Week

Sounders take 5 of final 6; 9 overall.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Galaxy, Leg 1

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The Sounders lineup was an easy one. We're expecting them to go with the same starting group they've used in five of the past six games.

Scouting the Galaxy - Landon Donovan, there were moments that you cheered for Annakin/Darth too

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More photos » Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images

Sometimes he fills us with joy. Don't expect that this weekend. He is to be respected, and feared.

West Seattle Water Taxi Adds Late Sunday Trip for Sounders

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West Seattle Water Taxi Adds Late Sunday Trip for Sounders

Nice to see at least one transit option being added.

Wouldn't it be neat to have light rail from the Eastside to help as well?

Jurgen Klinsmann Joining TFC as Consultant

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Jurgen Klinsmann Joining TFC as Consultant

No word yet as to how much power he and his organization will have.

Scouting the Galaxy: David Beckham so similar to Palpatine

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More photos » Victor Decolongon - Getty Images

25 days ago: CARSON CA - OCTOBER 03: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy scores on a direct free kick in the first half during the MLS match against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on October 3 2010 in Carson California.

SB Nation's MLS Playoff Coverage

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SB Nation's MLS Playoff Coverage

In case you're curious what I've been up to these days, I've been much busier over at the SB Nation soccer hub lately. Our latest thing has been previewing all the first-round playoff series. We even did match cards for the games. We'll also have live coverage tonight.

MLS Fans Aren't Watching MLS Games

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MLS Fans Aren't Watching MLS Games

Games on ESPN2 on two year decline. FSC flat.

If you love the game, watch the game.

Its Called Talking Away Support in Cascadia

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Its Called Talking Away Support in Cascadia

Last night I went on with Ben Rycroft to talk Away Support and Cascadia. Prior to myself was John Knox. Literally 40 minutes of an hour long show were dedicated to what we here in Cascadia can do to improve soccer in our two nations.

Updated Championship Odds (With Bonus Shock Favorite!)

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More photos » George Frey - Getty Images

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When it comes to optimizing playoff matchups, there's a healthy list of sports clichés: "No playoff opponent is easy", "It's a new season", "To be the champion you'll have to beat the champion", etc.

Barca Blog Joins SBN

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Barca Blog Joins SBN

You may recognize the author (Nick Ewing), as he's on the Alliance Council. I did not recruit him, but I expect him to kick ass.

We may expect to see him post here once in a while as well.

Scouting the Galaxy - Solo couldn't get through this Defense

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More photos » Victor Decolongon - Getty Images

The other Donovan has many to thank for his success between the pipes.

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Donovan Ricketts gets much of the attention for the Los Angeles Galaxy's strong defensive performance, but he shouldn't be the focus.

The Sounders and expansion Vancouver Whitecaps are scheduled for early February arrivals, followed...

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The Sounders and expansion Vancouver Whitecaps are scheduled for early February arrivals, followed by the expansion Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls, and possibly one or two more teams.

Jose Romero reports that Cascadia, RSL and RBNY are going to the Valley of the Sun

I love the idea of MLS enlarging its national footprint by using not-quite-ready for MLS Sunbelt cities as winter training sites.

Big D Soccer Joins SBNation

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Big D Soccer Joins SBNation

Yep, another MLS team has a blog on our growing soccer network. We're still searching to fill our North American soccer coverage, but to have gone from 1 blog to nearly a score in just a year has been a blast.

Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer Acknowledges Ticket Pricing Miscommunication, Pledges 'good solution' On Away Support

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Say this for Sounders GM and part owner Adrian Hanauer, he's usually willing to answer the uncomfortable questions.

While his team is preparing for a first-round playoff series against the Supporters' Shield winners, he made himself available to talk about Monday's season-ticket pricing flap and even addressed the growing issue of away support for Cascadia Cup matches.

Ticket prices and economic conditions

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For those of you like me, season ticket holders from year one, you probably have some questions after you got an email today. You saw an increase of 20-25%, even AFTER the refund from that Los Angeles Galaxy match.

From $360 to $375 to $419 in two trying economic years

Let's recall back in Fall of 2008.

Correlating Sounder Player Ratings and Salary

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More photos » Abelimages - Getty Images

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Last week we took a look at the aggregated Sounders player ratings for the season available from a few different sites.

Initial Look At Lineups and Strategies of Sounders and Galaxy

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Much will/has been written about the previous two match-ups in League play. The cliche will be thrown around about how the Playoffs are a whole new season. People will also talk about how different the teams are.

Let's look at that.

The Los Angeles Galaxy used 8 of the same players in those previous two matchups and essentially played a 4-1-3-2.

MLS needs relocation, not expansion

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Editor's note: Can't say I agree with all the findings, but there is lots of interesting stuff in here that is worth discussing on the front page. - Jeremiah

With the announcement a few months ago that Montreal will get the league's 19th team in 2012, the recent activity with the New York Cosmos name rights, and Don Garber saying the league will eventually be larger than 20 teams, I think it's obvious that MLS has no intention of slowing down the rate of expansion.

Sounders Will Play Galaxy In First Round

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More photos » Bob Levey - Getty Images

1 day ago: HOUSTON - OCTOBER 23: Sanna Nyassi #23 of the Seattle Sounders chests a ball down in front of Danny Cruz #5 of the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on October 23 2010 in Houston Texas.

Battle for Supporters Shield Open Thread

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Victor Decolongon - Getty Images

Once they were favorites

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If the Los Angeles Galaxy win or draw then they win the Supporters Shield, enter the CCL 2012 in the Group Stage and will face Seattle in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Cascadian Away Support - Facts and Solutions

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This a large look, at a complex issue. It reviews how an issue has gone from simmer to nearly boiling, but ideally will include new data, new opinions, and a way that we in this region of over 10 Million people can continue to move forward in our love of sport.

About a month ago an article was published which claimed that Away fans would be forbidden from attending matches amongst the Cascadian teams in MLS beyond the MLS-mandated 150 tickets.

How amazing was that Real Salt Lake Comeback?

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Let's just call it a 2 in 1000 chance of happening. The Colorado Rapids had a 99.8% chance of victory entering stoppage time and then disaster struck. It not only meant that the Rapids didn't win the Rocky Mountain Cup, it also meant that the Denver side will have an easier road to the MLS Cup Finals than Seattle.

MLS/ Don Garber Considering Move Back to Unbalanced Schedule

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MLS/ Don Garber Considering Move Back to Unbalanced Schedule

This also looks at the TFC situation, but the primary emphasis is on different scheduling concepts and how travel can effect play.

He notes two teams have traveled twice as much as Manchester United, but the list could be longer.

Sounders end season with 1-2 loss to Dynamo

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Bob Levey - Getty Images

John Legend scores for the Sounders

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As the result didn't matter, much, now there is nothing but the waiting.

GameThread: Seattle Sounders at Houston Dynamo

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Fight and Win!

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Match Card | Three Questions | Scouting Report | Regional Preview | Jaqua or Fucito video

Today's match makes KING5 rather than their younger sibling on KONG6/16.

If CONCACAF had Coefficients like UEFA, where would Sounders and MLS be?

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If CONCACAF had Coefficients like UEFA, where would Sounders and MLS be?

Howard uses the same methodology as UEFA.

While Seattle didn't do well, they aren't the worst MLS side, not by far. Houston Dynamo are the number one team from the League, but RSL and Columbus both have a shot at passing.

Three Questions with the Ginge about the Orange of Houston

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More photos » Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

Will this be the last we see of Pat Onstad? Or will his face still grace the upper deck?

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Zach Woolsey has many internet enterprises, but the one he does for SBNation is a rapidly growing Houston Dynamo blog.

One other roster tool is a brief trade window that will open shortly before the draft. Henderson...

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One other roster tool is a brief trade window that will open shortly before the draft. Henderson said the most likely move would reduce roster size: rather than a player-for-player trade, a team such as the Sounders might try to trade a player for a draft pick or for allocation money.

MLS Is Looking Less And Less Like A Parity League

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MLS Is Looking Less And Less Like A Parity League

Teams like Real Salt Lake and the Sounders that make smart personnel decisions are opening bigger gaps between themselves and other teams. In my SBNation column, I endorse this kind of disparity.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Dynamo

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We are definitely guilty of some wishful thinking this week. No offense to Nate Jaqua, but we are really hoping to be surprised and see Michael Fucito starting alongside Blaise Nkufo this week.

Jaqua v Fucito in minutes battle

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Filling in for Montero from Seattle Sounders FC on Vimeo.

Either Nate Jaqua or Mike Fucito will get the start in Fredy Montero's stead. Matt Gaschk goes over their advanages. Who do you want to see get the start?

Scouting Report: Houston, They Have A Problem

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

2 months ago: SEATTLE - AUGUST 08: Brian Ching #25 of the Houston Dynamo battles Fredy Montero #17 and Nathan Sturgis #12 of the Seattle Sounders FC on August 8 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington.

My Day In Brougham End: Something You Have To Experience

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

5 months ago: SEATTLE - JUNE 05: Fans of the Seattle Sounders FC hold signs during team introductions prior to the game against the New England Revolution on June 5, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

Estoy muy emocionado hoy! Tengo las llaves de mi primer casa! Gracias por todo su apoyo Seattle! I love Seattle!

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Estoy muy emocionado hoy! Tengo las llaves de mi primer casa! Gracias por todo su apoyo Seattle! I love Seattle!

Direct from Fredy's newly started twitter. Translation comes to:

"I am very excited today! I have the keys to my first home! Thanks for all your support Seattle! I love Seattle!

Denz wants Seattle to lose Saturday

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Denz wants Seattle to lose Saturday

That isn't really news. The news is that he wants Seattle to lose because he thinks that Seattle v Real Salt Lake would be the best MLS Cup Final

Any issues to communicate to ownership?

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The Council is compiling our latest communication to the ownership group and I thought I would reach out and ask for your suggestions/questions as well.

All I know at this time is I am going to continue to talk about #TrophiesNotFriendlies (which RSL adopted as a semi-official slogan), and Away Support for Cascadia derbies.

First Impressions

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That's what the Brits mean when they say 'shambolic'.

  • I'm always surprised at how crappy play can infect a whole team at once. You can take a player or group of players who are on a torrid hot streak and through no fault of their opponent they'll randomly just get everything wrong. Tonight Vagenas' poor passing piled on top of Seamon's slow distribution piled on top of the defense's poor communication piled on top of Fucito's poor free kicks piled on top of Keller's boner.

Gamethread: Sounders Host Saprissa in Final Champions League Game

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Glow in the Dark Goalscorers - 3.19 PP90 and 1.64 PP90, good for top 2. 53% shots on goal. Pressure.

Timbers sign first 4 players for MLS

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Timbers sign first 4 players for MLS

"Portland announced the signing of forward Bright Dike and midfielder Ryan Pore, as well as goalkeeper Steve Cronin, from the USSF D-2 Portland Timbers, while also signing English forward Eddie Johnson away from the Austin Aztex."

Do you guys still think I'm crazy for not protecting Kasey Keller for the MLS Expansion Draft now?

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Saprissa

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Putting the lineup together today may have been the hardest game we've done this for. With the Sounders already eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League and having already clinched a spot in the playoffs, we have a set of circumstances where the team has little to play for but also not much to lose.

All Competitions Statistics Update

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First up are the statistics around putting shots on frame

Players

Role

On Goal %

Scoring %

On and In %

Fucito

WF

66.

Sounders Owner Joe Roth Eyes Hawks Nest for Expansion

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

16 days ago: SEATTLE - OCTOBER 02: Fans of the Seattle Sounders FC cheer during the game against Toronto FC on October 2 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington.

Aggregated Sounder Player Ratings

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

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A topic that comes up frequently around these parts is the comparative lack of objective data in soccer.

Americans Abroad: In Our Defense

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More photos » Mike Hewitt - Getty Images

Directing a backline would be fun. If he had one when in USA colors.

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American soccer is probably best known for its goalkeepers.

Sounders Who Are Up for Awards

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Sturgis and Parke contesting the Comeback Player of Year Award

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Obviously anyone can be voted the MVP.

Josh Mayers confirms One Major Friendly for 2011

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A recent tweet says that the season ticket package will be 17 MLS league matches with one major friendly against a top 5 club in the world. This slightly differs from what Joe Roth had said at the last Alliance Council meeting, where he had indicated a preference for 17 league games, 1 major friendly and a ticket for each of the US Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League.

Oct 16 MLS Open Thread

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Busy football.futbol.soccer Saturday in MLS. Here's the schedule from MLSsoccer.com

Sat Oct 16, 2010 Home Away Venue (tickets) 1:00pm PT Chicago Preview D.C. United Telefutura Toyota Park 1:00pm PT Toronto FC Preview Columbus BMO Field 3:00pm PT Philadelphia Preview New York FSC/FSE PPL Park 5:00pm PT New England Preview Kansas City Gillette Stadium 6:00pm PT Real Salt Lake Preview FC Dallas Rio Tinto Stadium 7:00pm PT San Jose Preview Houston Buck Shaw Stadium 7:30pm PT Los Angeles Preview Colorado The Home Depot Center

The best storyline of the day, besides wins/losses, is this will be the final home game for Brain McBride.

A Few Nuggets

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To sprinkle over the more detailed game review:

  • Stage Two of Operation Make Jorge Vergara Sad is Complete
    1. Chivas de Guadalajara 3 - 1
    2. Chivas USA 2 - 1
    3. Saprissa ? - ?
  • With the win, the Sounders' odds of winning the Cup actually dropped - from 12.

Quick Review: Sounders Pass Themselves, Top Chivas 2-1

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Chivas USA defenders were left feeling like the henchmen in a kungfu movie while Steve Zakuani played the roll of master.

GameThread: Seattle Sounders Host Chivas USA

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Your Baby Brother is Here. He will lose.

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Scouting Report | Fan Appreciation Night | Quick Reference Card | Odds of MLS Cup

This is a game that only matters for seeding, well and that little bit of pride available by finally beating Chivas USA in league play - or let's start smaller, scoring on them.

USA pulls out of 2018 bid

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USA pulls out of 2018 bid

This essentially makes 2018 a two horse race between England and Russia with England clearly in the lead.

It also essentially makes 2022 a four horse race between USA, Japan and South Korea (all previous hosts, but USA furthest) with Qatar as well.

Big plans for club and country Sanna says that playing against his twin is a complicated matter...

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Big plans for club and country
Sanna says that playing against his twin is a complicated matter and hopes in the future that they can pull on the same jersey like they did as children. Now, though, Sanna's focus is singular and simple: success for the Sounders and keeping up the form that has seen him score five goals in his last four games.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Chivas USA

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With two games left in the season and a playoff spot locked up, it would be understandable if the Sounders mixed in several reserves with their starters.

Judging by Sig's comments this week, I don't think that's going to happen.

Fake Sigi on Target in Review of MLS Marketing Problems

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Seattle's Youth is Served

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While the pseudonym is no longer necessary, I'd still like the Fake Sounders Coach to pay a little more attention to Seattle.

Sounders Will Open Playoffs On Halloween Night

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Sounders Will Open Playoffs On Halloween Night

If you have kids, news that the Sounders will be opening their playoff run at home on Halloween night at 5 p.m. is probably a tough pill. For those of us who have Halloween parties to attend on Saturday, it's a blessing. In any case, it should make for an interesting environment.

Evans Put On Shelf For Remainder Of Season

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More photos » George Frey - Getty Images

Brad Evans was developing into a true box-to-box central midfielder before injuries -- his own and others -- got in the way.

Scouting Report: Las Chivas Pequeñas

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More photos » Victor Decolongon - Getty Images

CARSON CA - AUGUST 14: Sanna Nyassi kicks Justin Braun in the face out of frustration over the fact that Sounder at Heart doesn't give him enough respect.

One of the people I met at that baseball game-Tampa Bay at Seattle, one of the worst games in the...

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One of the people I met at that baseball game-Tampa Bay at Seattle, one of the worst games in the history of the sport-was Aaron Campeau, 7500's co-founder, although he certainly had no clue at the time that he'd get sucked in by Villa. He thought I was just buying him a beer. But, and more importantly for this story, I also met someone so infamous in the SBN community that he needed to go by just one name: Graham.

Playmakers, Deep-lyers, Holdings, Defensive types - they do it centrally

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Abelimages - Getty Images

Sturgis is not a fish, but he is a particular TYPE of central midfielder.

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Seattle is blessed with one of the better defensive midfielders in the league with Osvaldo Alonso.

Expansion Draft: Who would you protect? (AKA the Fucito Question)

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Bumped to the FrontPage as it seems every week there is more and more expansion draft talk. Trust me, we'll hit you with a ton, but let's start the discussion now.

Anytime Fucito plays well, which apparently is just about every time he graces the pitch commenters on the interwebs express their fears and woes of him getting stolen in the expansion draft.

The fact that we’re going from 15 to 17 regular season games at home will affect what we do with a...

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The fact that we're going from 15 to 17 regular season games at home will affect what we do with a season ticket. The fact that we are playing in Champions League again, and hope to make it further into the tournament will affect it. I think all things being equal I think maybe we'd choose not to have this October friendly.

Quick Review: Sounders Reserves care more than Chivas Reserves by score of 3 to 1

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Attack the Ball - Attack the Goal

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Things we learned from this match

  • Terry Vaughn Sucks
  • Mike Fucito scores when he plays
  • Sanna Nyassi scores when he plays in October
  • Nate Jaqua is still pretty good
  • Don't make Tyrone Marshall mad

That's about it.

GameThread: Sounders Host Chivas de Guadalajara

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TV is FSN - yeah, FSN. Which means HD rather than FSC. Hooray for secondary rights holders.

There are no Keys to the Game besides Don't Get Hurt

Things I want to see;

1 - More Fucito

2 - Alvaro centrally

Yeah, that's about it.

Scouting Report: Las Chivas Grandes

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More photos » Donald Miralle - Getty Images

28 days ago: SAN DIEGO CA - SEPTEMBER 14: ] Chivas Guadalajara looks on as they are beating by Chivas USA in penalty kicks during their ChivasClásico exhibition soccer match against on September 14 2010 at PETCO Park in San Diego California.

Wizards, Once the Wiz, now on SBNation full-time

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Wizards, Once the Wiz, now on SBNation full-time

Another MLS team with a dedicated MLS blog. While his team has a .03 chance of winning the MLS Cup at this time, they do have a bright future with the young talent on the club.

Go Welcome Andy to the Network.

Sadly the combination of his trip to see the USMNT at Chicago and the final transfer of the files between serves meant that the match v Seattle is lost in the ether.

5-3-2 for a Few, but Proof of Role Flexibility

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Josh Umphrey - Getty Images

Alvaro Allows Shape Shifting

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Like most teams, the Sounders have plenty of players who can assume multiple roles within their standard system.

Moving Beyond Playoff Odds to Championship Odds

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More photos » Alex Brandon - AP

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Regular readers of the site will know that this year I setup a software simulation of the MLS season in order to get a better understanding of the likely course of the season - in particular, the Sounders's chances of making the playoffs.

"Soccer City USA" has still, oddly, never won a title in soccer

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"Soccer City USA" has still, oddly, never won a title in soccer

Portland was knocked out of the Div II playoffs this weekend by Vancouver, who'd have a better claim to 'Soccer City USA' despite not being in the USA.

Goal Scoring In League Play - Rate Stats

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I want a more complete picture, and shortly I'll be adding non-league matches, but for now here are three stats for everyone who has scored in MLS play.

On Goal % = Percent of Shots taken that are judged On Goal, whether saved or not

Scoring % = Percent of Shots that result in a Goal

On and In % = Percent of Shots on Goal that resulted in a Goal

Players

On Goal %

Scoring %

On and In %

Evans

44.

ECS Statement on Friendly "C" and Club Priorities

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With this being the next match I'm bumping it to FrontPage/top of FanPosts. Last I had heard nearly 200 tickets had been donated.

Some of you may have already received or read this notification from the leadership of Emerald City Supporters. I asked if I could share it with all, and they said yes.

Statistics I Found Interesting About Playoff Teams

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With the MLS Cup Playoffs basically a lock (yes, Colorado and Kansas City are still in a bit of a battle) I started looking at some of the data around the 8 teams that will make the second season.

With current first round match-ups how did those opponents fair during the regular season?

Eastern
New York Red Bulls vs.

Sounders, RSL Have Thrived Despite Heavy Schedule

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Sounders, RSL Have Thrived Despite Heavy Schedule

My latest piece at the hub looks at how different teams have faired in MLS matches following CCL matches. Surprise, surprise, no one is better than the Sounders. RSL has done pretty good, too, despite using fewer players. TFC and Columbus have not done well, however.

TFC

Quick Review: Sounders Over Kansas City - Clinch Playoff Berth with 2 - 1 victory

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The greatest week in Sanna Nyassi's life continues. In the past 8 days he has 4 goals in three matches. While most have been born out of opportunity, it is generally off of opportunity he has created. But with Alvaro Fernandez scoring as well tonight, and likely Nate Jaqua being credited with an assist, the arguments over the starting Right Wing can still drag on and keep the interwebs alive.

GameThread: Seattle Sounders at Kansas City Wizards

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Scouting Report | Match Day Reference Card | Three Questions

I will not tell Wizard of Oz jokes. At least not in the intro. Seattle with a single point will clinch the Playoffs in Year Two of their MLS life. They would continue their challenge on the Chicago Fire for the best performance in first two years of expansion.

... the team [US U-17 Nationals] will travel across the country to Seattle, Wash., for a match up...

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... the team [US U-17 Nationals] will travel across the country to Seattle, Wash., for a match up against Crossfire Premier on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Husky Soccer Stadium. On Oct. 16, the U.S. will round out its trip with a match against Seattle Sounders FC, serving as the serving as the undercard for the MLS game between the Sounders and Chivas USA.

Oct 9/10 MLS and International Open Thread

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Your MLS Weekend from MLSsoccer.com Sat Oct 09, 2010 Home Away Venue (tickets) 4:00pm ET New York Preview Real Salt Lake Telefutura Red Bull Arena 6:00pm ET FC Dallas Preview Colorado Pizza Hut Park 7:30pm ET D.C. United Preview San Jose RFK Stadium 8:30pm ET Kansas City Preview Seattle CommunityAmerica Ballpark 10:30pm ET Chivas USA Preview Toronto FC FSC/FSE The Home Depot Center Sun Oct 10, 2010 Home Away Venue (tickets) 8:30pm ET Houston Preview New England Robertson Stadium

Jeremiah's storystream of the weekend's action, updating as things happen.

What separates good players from great ones is that the great players have an unwavering belief in...

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What separates good players from great ones is that the great players have an unwavering belief in their skills. Montero's got that in spades. He is most effective as a second forward, where he can use his speed, skill, touch and vision to create opportunities for his teammates. But he will just as comfortably turn to face the goal and deliver a pin-point shot with either foot.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Wizards

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sounders vs. kc

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With a tie clinching a playoff spot for the Sounders, and earning their starters some much deserved rest, this still represents an important match.

Hanauer Talks Improving The U.S. Open Cup

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Hanauer Talks Improving The U.S. Open Cup

I had a chance to spend a few minutes discussing the U.S. Open Cup with Adrian Hanauer yesterday. I'm hoping to write something more Sounders-centric for this site, but in the meantime, this is what I wrote for the hub.

Three Questions: Kansas City Wizards

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Abelimages - Getty Images

4 months ago: TORONTO - JUNE 5: Nana Attakora #3 of Toronto FC trips up Teal Bunbury #9 of the Kansas City Wizards during a MLS game at BMO Field June 5, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Insight Into Reserve League and Academies

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But also, just a solid reference for what is likely to happen in 2011 concerning overall rosters.

Just go HERE and read the whole thing. I'm going to quote some portions, but the whole interview is worth your time.

Essentially the Reserve League is the real deal for 2011. Sure, there are still details to come out, but there are some solid developments.

Sanna Nyassi Refusing To Be Wally Pipped

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Sanna Nyassi Refusing To Be Wally Pipped

With playing time unknown and other issues clouding the matter, Sanna Nyassi has decided to stay stateside rather than join the Gambia National team in Burkina Fasso. Playing like he is, it's certainly hard to blame him.

Scouting Report: Time to Sober Up and Get Back To Work

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More photos » Jamie Squire - Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 15: Forward Kei Kamara #23 of the Kansas City Wizards celebrates with Teal Bunbury #9 after scoring during the game against the Chicago Fire on May 15, 2010 at Community America Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Goings On In The Lower Divisions

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Goings On In The Lower Divisions

Some minor league team from Oregon is playing some other team from British Columbia tonight. Might be of interest to locals.

OK, this is probably the last time that I'm going to be polluting the front page with this stuff,...

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OK, this is probably the last time that I'm going to be polluting the front page with this stuff, but we're putting in orders tomorrow and want to make sure we order a reasonable amount of scarves. Suffice it to say, neither Dave nor I can really afford to pay for a lot of unclaimed scarves (and probably don't have room to store them anyway).

5. Seattle Sounders: Who's the team with the best record over the past 12 matches? Obviously, I'm...

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5. Seattle Sounders: Who's the team with the best record over the past 12 matches? Obviously, I'm asking you here because it's the Sounders. They have claimed a league-best 26 points in that span (Dallas has 23), while also winning their second piece of silverware since joining MLS last year.

Shutting Down Passing Lanes - Crew Play Compact

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One of the things that stuck out even more as I watch the replay on FSC just now was how during run-of-play (rather than on counters) the team in black played so compact. It was a combination of a fairly high-line with very soft forward defense.

There were times that the distance between Steven Lenhart and Chad Marshall was maybe 15 yards.

Things I Love About Today

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ESPN gives Open Cup love

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Seeing progress made as the US Open Cup is considered a big enough title that the "Worldwide Leader" gives it a major headline with the Liverpool sale, Miami Heat news and the MLB playoffs.

Sigi nearly stays dry...

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Sigi nearly stays dry...

Just in case you missed these yesterday, or were too wrapped up in more important Sounders...

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Just in case you missed these yesterday, or were too wrapped up in more important Sounders happenings, I wanted to post them here again.

If you just plumb didn't see the post, let me explain. We came up with this slogan a few months ago, worked with Seattle-based Ruffneck Scarves to get this mock up and are now bringing it to you.

Quick Review: Sounders Are U.S. Open Cup Champs, Again

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No need to get cute: The Sounders are still the best club team in the United States.

No, they aren't going to win the Supporters' Shield, they might not win the MLS Cup, but don't let anyone tell you the Sounders won an insignificant trophy tonight.

On their way to the U.S. Open Cup championship, the Sounders had to travel to the home of their biggest historical rival and win on penalty kicks; they then had to beat the best team in MLS -- who had already beaten them twice this year -- and did so with room to spare; and they finished it off by beating one of the most successful teams in MLS history, which also happened to be having a pretty good season themselves, after going down a goal in the 24th minute.

GameThread: US Open Cup Final - Sounders Host Columbus Crew

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To link every bit of pre-match writing on this would be futile. There's been poetry, personal stories, match previews, the importance of Cups, how to make the Open Cup better, the match card, countdowns, impact assessments, and more.

Seattle Sounders FC has 2 wins and 2 draws v. Columbus, who despite moaning about the Field Turf, have to remember the 4-0 drubbing was on grass, at their stadium.

U.S. Open Cup Preview: Sounders vs. Crew

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

The crowd at Qwest could prove to the difference tonight.

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We've done a lot of from-the-heart writing the last couple days, but being as this is a site that takes it analysis pretty seriously, I felt it was necessary to at least give you a semblance of straight forward writing.

MLS supporters contend that the Open Cup means little because so many clubs use their second-string...

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MLS supporters contend that the Open Cup means little because so many clubs use their second-string in early rounds of the competition. Of course they do-no club is going to field their best team for a midweek match against inferior competition. There's no shame in fielding a team that doesn't include stars and still going on to win the game.

Cups And Relative Importance

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In Competition A, a full season of MLS play weeds the MLS teams down into a group of 8, which advance into a single-elimination tournament that decides a final champion.

In Competition B, a full season of MLS play plus a qualifying tournament weeds the MLS teams (minus Toronto) down into a group of 8, which advance into a single-elimination tournament along with a host of lower division teams which decides a final champion.

Ever since Sidereal came up with our Latin saying, we've been wanting to do Sounder at Heart...

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Ever since Sidereal came up with our Latin saying, we've been wanting to do Sounder at Heart scarves. With the help of the people at Seattle-based Ruffneck Scarves, our dream has finally come true. This is basically what we've come up with (the one exception being that Nos Audietis will be spelled correctly on the actual scarf).

Crew Throw Some Cold Water on USOC Final

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Crew Throw Some Cold Water on USOC Final

The Crew's technical director claims to know that the winner of tonight's game will NOT get a berth in next season's CCL, which is not what we've been hearing. The story, for the Columbus Dispatch, is full of other things that the Crew are upset about: travelling to Seattle, playing on turf, not getting to play on the day they wanted.

Establish a permanent home for the final: The model here is the way the NCAA baseball championship...

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Establish a permanent home for the final: The model here is the way the NCAA baseball championship has developed a relationship with Omaha, Neb. NCAA baseball is huge there. Yes, it would take a few years to cultivate this relationship, but once it took you might really have something special.

12 Hours to Go - US Open Cup Final

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12 hours until kickoff

12 hours until opportunity

12 hours until Seattle erupts

12 hours until you will hear us

12 hours until we rise up

12 hours until I stand proudly in my place

12 hours until with family and friends I will watch as the team that represents my region attempts to declare the this Puget Sound, this people, these Sounders are the best in America, if just for this one year.

"We’ve had a lot of conversations with Fredy, especially now that the transfer window has passed,"...

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"We've had a lot of conversations with Fredy, especially now that the transfer window has passed," Hanauer said on Monday's edition of ExtraTime Radio. "We'd like to see him here for lot of years and if that means using a Designated Player slot on him, we won't be shy about doing that.

24 Hours to Go - Why This Means So Much

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Like many Seattle sports fans, I've never seen any of my teams win anything. I've seen plenty of them get close; the 2001 Mariners were the best baseball team ever assembled, but they faded in the playoffs. Then there were 2005 Seahawks, and the less said about that the better. The 2008 University of Memphis men's basketball team were seconds away before Mario Chalmers happened.

Oddsmakers Like The Sounders For Open Cup Repeat

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I took a stroll around the world of online sports books this afternoon to see what the oddsmakers had to say about the USOC. Online sports books don't give a lot of attention to soccer in the US, not least because their customers aren't in the US (right?), but a surprising number have odds listed for the final.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Crew (USOC final)

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The lineup is in a bit of flux. We realize we have six internationals on the roster, and you'll just have to forgive us that. Chances are, either Blaise Nkufo or Leo Gonzalez will not be in the 18.

Wars have stopped golf from crowing their national champions. Strikes have halted baseball....

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Wars have stopped golf from crowing their national champions. Strikes have halted baseball. Disorganization has helped keep tennis from playing their U.S. Open. Basketball and football are both relatively new to the national title dance. Hockey has always been played across international borders, and doesn't have an official crown for the best team in the United States.

U.S. Open Cup: The Beginning Of My Sounders Love Affair

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More photos » Ned Dishman - Getty Images

Let's hope there's a trophy in these hands tomorrow.

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My last day of work at my old job in the Bay Area was Aug.

In Sigi Schmid's meeting with reporters he confirmed something he said a while back, that indeed...

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In Sigi Schmid's meeting with reporters he confirmed something he said a while back, that indeed his team would be in "electricity" yellow, thus forcing Columbus to wear black. Schmid also said Terry Boss will likely play Monday's game for the Puerto Rican national team and fly into town Tuesday morning/afternoon in time for the final.

Thank you to www.soundersfc.com for letting us relive victory.

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Thank you to www.soundersfc.com for letting us relive victory.

36 hours until a Title Defense

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Get your colors on!

If you don't have tickets get some. If you know someone who may be interested in attending a Cup Final at Qwest Field, but may not like soccer, take them.

Thirty-six hours until the clear and certain most important match of the year.

On Tuesday, make it game day all day.

Americans Abroad: How does one get ready for Poland and Colombia?

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More photos » Michael Regan - Getty Images

This is your future

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This week's look at Americans playing abroad will focus on those that were recently selected by Bob Bradley to represent the Stars & Stripes against Poland and Colombia in the up-coming friendlies.

Today the Academy; Tomorrow the World

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Sunday seems to have become reading day for me, you know, besides the non-blogging stuff that Sunday requires that I call "life maintenance." Out there in the ether of the interwebs one can find a lot of great stories, oftentimes disconnected from the Sounders, or from my intentional writings (Am Abroad later tonight).

Things You Only Notice After Watching The Broadcast The Next Day

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  1. Jeff Parke is a tough $@#*&!$ - From section 109 it wasn't entirely clear what was ailing Parke after DeRo's goal. I guessed he clashed heads or something, since it didn't look like his legs got involved with anyone or anything. It was only after watching the TiVo'd game (in HD) that I got to see Parke's finger pointing in a direction fingers don't point (in HD).

Like Sounder At Heart? Like it on Facebook!

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Like Sounder At Heart? Like it on Facebook!

I split my personal account and the S@H account onfacebook so I could use one to talk about non-soccer stuff, and to better gain visibility for the blog as a whole as the show is not just mine. By liking the fan page over on Facebook, you will still get the links to the site in your news feed.

Sounders Points Per 90

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I just updated this for all competitions, something that Jeremiah and I haven't done for some time. I only included players with more than a singular event (meaning Keller isn't on the list). Remember Points Per 90 is 2 times Goals plus Assists divided by Minutes times 90. It is solely a backward looking stat, and is meant to give only an image of a player's offensive ability.

Quick Recap: Flurry of goals sends Sounders past TFC, 3-2

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Sanna Nyassi is officially off the schneid. The Gambian's first MLS goal, after more than 1,200 minutes played over two seasons, turned out to be the game-winner in the Sounders' 3-2 victory over Toronto FC.

Nyassi pounded home a left-footed shot from about 17 yards out. The ball sat up perfectly for Nyassi who one-touched it after a Toronto player deflected a Steve Zakuani pass.

GameThread: Seattle Sounders host Toronto FC

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Match Day Lineup Card | Dave on It's Called Football | Scouting Report | View from the TFC side

The next three games will make or break the season. Wins over Toronto, Columbus (in Open Cup Final - be there and support champions) and Kansas City will mean that Seattle gets a trophy and locks their spot in the Playoffs.

Scouting Report: What the Hell Happened to TFC?

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More photos » Abelimages - Getty Images

7 days ago: TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 25: Dwayne De Rosario #14 of Toronto FC reacts to the final whistle as San Jose Earthquakes celebrate the win during a MLS game at BMO Field September 25 2010 in Toronto Ontario Canada.

I make my debut on the Mother Ship

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I make my debut on the Mother Ship

Just FYI, I've recently accepted a job with SB Nation as the North American soccer editor. I'll be doing a lot of MLS coverage over there, as well as CONCACAF Champions League, Mexican league, USL/NASL/USSF, national teams and various other stuff that warrants attention from our continent.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Toronto FC

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sounders-tfc

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There shouldn't be many surprises in this week's Sounders lineup. We're expecting Sanna Nyassi to get the nod over Alvaro Fernandez on the right wing, mainly because El Flaco started against Marathon and Sigi has been reluctant to push him too much.

But, is there an underlying advantage or disadvantage that teams have based on the scheduling of...

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But, is there an underlying advantage or disadvantage that teams have based on the scheduling of their matches? There might be an argument for a couple of squads that haven't had the easiest time so far.

Three teams: Toronto FC, the Seattle Sounders and Santos had to play three out of their first four matches on the road.

Riley named MLS WORKS humanitarian of the month

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Riley named MLS WORKS humanitarian of the month

Is there a Sounder who works harder at being a nice guy and giving back to the community than James Riley? The man is a total class act.