Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2010

Beyond the Touchline: Steve Zakuani Launches Kingdom Hope

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Steve Zakuani's life has taken him from the Congo, to London, to Akron and Seattle. Through that time he focused on soccer as his future. An accident had that dream stopped at one point and his focus shifted to life learning. His dream of a pro career in England stopped. But, as he returned to health he discovered this strange thing called an athletic scholarship to a university in America.

Pulling back the curtain on player acquisitions

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One of the more notable additions to Major League Soccer this offseason was undoubtedly the signing of teen-standout Luis Gil.

What should have been seen as a coup for MLS -- and Real Salt Lake which ultimately ended up with his services --was instead viewed by many detractors as yet another example of the league's insistence on rigging the rules however it sees fit.

Four Dollar Beers!

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Four Dollar Beers!

The Rapids are really busting out some great ideas. Terraces, 4$ beer, 5$ food, ticketless entry.

But it isn't just Colorado who has decided that they are tired of losing money.

The Revolution are kicking their ticketing buzz up a bit too. They launched a referral program, with a hell of a peak prize - trip to the All Star Game.

Cut Day becomes Add Day? Sounders Looking at Costa Rican Striker?

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Cut Day becomes Add Day? Sounders Looking at Costa Rican Striker?

A report this morning from Aldia.cr suggests that Costa Rican striker Álvaro Saborío could soon be joining Sounders FC. Previously the player had been connected to a move to Real Salt Lake. A Google translation reads:

Costa Rica striker Alvaro Saborio, is reportedly close to signing for the team Seattle Sounders in MLS, and is therefore, also in Costa Rican teammate Leonardo Gonzalez.

Preseason Level of Competition

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The Sounders preseason actually features some rather tough opponents. While the most of MLS is beating on each other, college teams or the US U-17 squad the Sounders are facing the 7th in League, 2nd in Playoff Vancouver Whitecaps FC (one time still to come). They took on the most storied team in Norwegian history in Rosenborg BK (1st in League, quarterfinals in Cup).

KJR-AM's Dick Fain Talks Labor Issues and Upcoming Season with Dave Clark

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KJR-AM's Dick Fain Talks Labor Issues and Upcoming Season with Dave Clark

If that link doesn't work try this one and scroll down to my name.

Roster Math Entering PreSeason Phase Three for Sounders

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Recently Prost Amerika broke news that two new players are likely to join the team for Phase 3 of training. First was the news of the young Colombian Montano, and just yesterday we got news of MLS vet Kevin Souter. Souter was acquired off of waivers, and has been predominantly a LM in his few games (8 of his 9 appearances), as playing time has been limited due to injury.

If we assume a strike; when would it be?

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I actually agree more with my colleague here, than I do with Ives on his Fox Soccer post. But if we think that Ives is right and a strike is still nearly certain, despite no announced deadline we can think about when those deadlines might be. The following four dates are the most likely ones that could be deadlines.

Cooler heads prevailing in CBA dispute

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They both blinked.

After Thursday's non-announcements that the owners are willing to let the season begin under the old CBA and the players aren't willing to walk off the job, I think we can safely say that both sides realize a work stoppage is not in either sides' best interests.

Both are playing it right from a negotiating standpoint.

Portsmouth have suffered a catalogue of ongoing financial problems. Players have been paid late...

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Portsmouth have suffered a catalogue of ongoing financial problems.

Players have been paid late on four occasions this season, while the club is also involved in a separate dispute with former owner Sacha Gaydamak over whether they have missed a deadline in paying a £9m chunk of the £28m they owe him.

Neagle beats Brann - Makes statement

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The Sounders took 5th in the La Manga Cup II for 2010 with their win over SK Brann of Norway. But again, these matches aren't necessarily about wins/losses, but instead about competing for time. That window is narrow (unless the rules change) as March First approaches. The competition for the last 1 or 2 Developmental spots is seems to be down to Lamar Neagle and Mike Fucito.

MLS Players not striking -- yet

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Fears of a MLS players strike appear to have been kicked down the road. How far, though, is anyone's guess.

The Major League Soccer Players Union released a statement saying that while they weren't going to be signing an extension to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, they wouldn't be calling for a strike, either.

La Manga Cup II - Sounders v SK Brann for 5th (Open Thread)

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Today's match is on a schedule that I can't liveblog - that and all we have at this point is a text only commentary from the Sounders. SK Brann had a great year in 2009, and in 2010 will be in European competition.

Seattle's startling lineup has one surprise in it.

Montero Ljungberg Zakuani Nyassi Sturgis Alonso Gonzalez Riley Hurtado Marshall Keller


Nyassi getting the start after being reported with injury woes is the surprise.

Sounders General Manager Adrian Hanauer confirmed the deal when talking to Prost Amerika partner La...

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Sounders General Manager Adrian Hanauer confirmed the deal when talking to Prost Amerika partner La Raza del nuestronoroeste.com.

"We are very excited to bring Miguel to Seattle. Miguel has blazing speed, makes decisive runs, he has good technique and strikes the ball well with both feet.

Politics and Sports often Mix - Hopefully Sounders FC Choose Good

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As we sit and watch the Winter Olympics, and ponder the deep meaning of curling we are frequently reminded about how politics and sports have mixed in the Olympics. From the tragedy of Munich, to the inspiration of the Korean 'unified' team the Olympics have been used for political statements. They were used as a pawn in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States as well.

Sounders Reserves side fall to FC Midtjylland 3-1

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Zakuani scored with what reads like good interplay between he, Vagenas and Predido. Here's the game report. For me it was more intriguing to see who played where.


Predido Fucito/Montero Nyassi/Zakuani King/Estrada Vagenas/King Wallace/Vagenas Wahl Neagle Scott/Wallace Parke Carillo/Lane

That looks really familiar to the guess that I put out yesterday.

Scrimmage against Danish Side Midtjylland a Test of Reserves

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Wednesday's match will not be live-blogged. Not here, not at Sounders FC. The 60 Minute scrimmage though will be a time for the Reserves (really, there are reserves already?) to get time. This will also be the return of a few players from hamstring injuries.

Today's double training session do give us an indication of Senior and Reserve players.

Notes from the team - Feb 22, 2010

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With my first go at publishing the news and notes from the team, I'm going to try and keep it to stuff you don't already know. So here it goes. Everything from the team is in a blockquote. Links inside block quote were added by me.

Sounders FC to Play for Fifth in La Manga Cup
Countering its first loss of the preseason, Sounders FC found its legs in a Group A consolation on Sunday against Norway's Stabaek IF, with a2-0 shutout victory at the La Manga Cup II in La Manga, Spain.

Luis Gil to Seattle or RSL? Currently with Wizards, what is his value?

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Promoted to Frontpage to discuss what his value is to Sounders. Originally written prior to allocation lottery, within the comments you can find that a few papers are reporting the first rumor linked here as fact.

With the lottery one day away to decide where Luis Gil goes, it may not be such a lottery after.

After Sounders defeat Stabaek IF what do we know?

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We don't know much, but we know that Sounders can now finish with a winning record in the tourney. Maybe even a top 5 finish against Norwegian and Danish sides. That's basically it. Everything else is guessing.

I've postulated that there is competition for who will be the starting Right Wing/Mid, at the very least who will provide depth at the wide midfielder positions (Jaqua, Levesque, Estrada, King, Fucito).

Stabaek IF video highlights

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Stabaek IF video highlights

You can get the video highlights here. Lots of 1-2 passing from the Sounders. Ljungberg and Montero with big hugs.

Sounders face Stabaek in La Manga Cup - Live Blog

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La Manga Cup II is set-up so that every team plays three matches, but by losing on Day One the Sounders can now finish at best with a 5th place trophy by winning their next two. More importantly though we get another snapshot of competition within Sounders FC for those precious roster slots.

Today they face Stabaek IF's football side.

On Formations

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With a new sport comes a whole new raft of terminology to pick up. Dave thought it'd be nice to get everyone familiar with the formations (i.e. the way players are set up in the field) commonly used in MLS, the notation we use to describe them, and the strengths and weaknesses of each. So, let's get started.

Former Captain of La Liga Side, yet Felix Ettien is only Trialist with Sounders FC

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Another week, another trialists. This time it is Felix Dja Ettien. I haven't read the 'net reaction yet. Probably much a flutter over a former captain of a La Liga side (Levante UD) coming in for trial. Sure he fills a need as Right Midfielder, who leans towards the offensive side of things having spent time up top and in the middle as well.

Season may be in jeopardy

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Several websites and blogs are quoting representatives of the MLS Player Union as saying that the two sides are still far apart on numerous issues and that a strike could be their only bargaining chip.

"In the last month, there's been no significant movement at all," MLSPU Executive Board Member Pat Onstad said, according to Centerlinesoccer.

Luis Gil signs - to be allocated via Lottery

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Luis Gil signs - to be allocated via Lottery

The young Gil signs with MLS and will be allocated via a weighted lottery. For us Sounders fans it sometimes sucks to have won so many last year.

"His family would like to see him on the West Coast, but we'll see where he's going to be," Gartlan said.

Rhyme or Reason behind the Lineups in the loss to Rosenborg?

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I like to talk in the terms of Starters, Rotationals, Subs and Reserves. These days though those final two sections are really just Trialists. The depth chart is in flux, and so Sigi had to choose a lineup that he hoped could win, but at the same point the Sounders are trying to figure out a few spaces who the starter will be (RM and CB), and are the depth is certainly up for battle.

Sounders face Rosenborg in another Live Blog only match

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Sounders face Rosenborg in another Live Blog only match

The good news is that there is a live blog at 9AM. The bad news is the only real way to follow this match is via the Sounders website, but no audio or video.

It will be intriguing to watch Sigi balance winning v. roster decisions. They are facing the best club in Norwegian soccer.

3/11 Community Shield between Seattle and Portland

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People need to quit the concern, the fright, the fear mongering. Sure, it is designed around being a General Admission event against a team with the most passionate supporters AGAINST Seattle, but everyone involved is smart, and aware. I don't know if we are seeing concern trolling from the anti-SG people online but the fret and worry is quite unnecessary.

Man U joins Citizens on SBNation

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Man U joins Citizens on SBNation

The Manchester Derby has a home on SBNation with both Man City and Man United having homes here now.

From a Sounders standpoint there is a chance that either or both of the primary Manchester clubs could be here this year.

Wahl Re-signs - Sounders Roster Battle gets Fierce

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With the announcement of who is traveling, who is staying, who is back at school, and who is injured the re-signing of Tyson Wahl via "free agency" complicates things a little bit. It means the club has 21 on the Senior Roster and 2 on the Developmental Roster. Now if one assumes that the roster size will stay the same (which may/may not happen) that means the club is looking at 2 Developmentals and still has to cut, or transfer to the Injured List 1 Senior member.

Kasey Keller - Simply the Best

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It is rare in club soccer in relatively minor leagues to be able to watch the best player that has ever played for your own nation. For the Sounders of Seattle we have that unique privilege. Certainly the best American Keeper in history has retired from international play, but he is still a decent player.

Premier League sources have confirmed that the play-off proposal was presented at the most recent...

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Premier League sources have confirmed that the play-off proposal was presented at the most recent meeting of all clubs, on 4 February, and the league's chief executive, Richard Scudamore, was authorised to return with further details in April.

It is understood that the idea was enthusiastically supported by all clubs – except the so-called big four of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Mid Season Help Coming to Sounders?

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Mid Season Help Coming to Sounders?

It seems that a Swiss/Congo international is out of contract from one of my favorite teams - FC Twente. Unfortunately the CAM (Akram) that they aren't playing isn't one of them.

If the Nkufo rumors are true it would be a guy that is known for using his head, and a bit surprising for his 34 years is still getting playing time (450 Minutes since Jan 1 with a goal) for a club that is currently one of the better ones in Europe.

Open Letter to NBC/Universal Concerning Tape Delay

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To Whom it May Concern,

The United States has hosted the Winter Olympics on four occasions at three sites. Two of those sites the people of NBC have determined don't deserve to see the Olympics live on NBC. Neither Utah, nor California will be able to get live results on television in the USA, two states with HUGE Olympic history are being ignored by a programming decision.

Its Called Football with Dave Clark

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I chatted with Ben, Duane and Squizz about a few offseason Sounders issues.

Here is their full show

Or you can listen to just the interview with me

Ben Rycroft helped inspire one of my shirts.

Facebook Connect on Sounder At Heart and SBNation

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Facebook Connect on Sounder At Heart and SBNation

We love rolling out features. Today we've made it easier for Facebook users to signup for SB Nation and to participate in our fan communities. For existing SB Nation members, Connect allows you to login with your Facebook account. Keeping track of different passwords is a hassle, yes?

Sanna's brace reminds Sounders fans of presence

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There isn't a ton you can take away from the first pre-season match/friendly/whatever. Sure it is nice to win, even if it is only 3-2. Certainly the Sounders lineup was stacked with Substitutes, Reserves and Trialists. In fact only 3 Starters saw time (Marshall, Alonso and Evans) and Evans was played at Right Back as it appears he will move up the depth chart and get the Match Day One start.

To be an Alarmist - Is tomorrow the last day of preseason?

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Today, the snowpocalypse canceled the scheduled meeting between the MLS PU and the League. The current extension runs through Friday the 12th, but for the Sounders they have a scrimmage against the VancouverWhitecaps in AZ (not to be confused with theMarch 6th date in BC) and then have several off days until ther trip to participate in La Manga II against the likes of Rosenborg BK and their 21 League Titles, 9 Norwegian Cups and 3 straight trips to European competition.

Arlo White to succeed Kevin Calabro as Sounders' Play-by-Play announcer

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sounders/2011027342_sounders10.html

Calabro wasn't exactly "let go," as he was only on a one year contract in the first place. Looks like the team just wanted to go in a "different direction."

I don't know about others, but I actually like this move.

Sometimes Friendly is the Wrong Word - Sounders hosting Portland in Charity Match

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Who: Sounders v Timbers
What: Charity Match, preseason friendly
Where: Qwest Field
When: 3/11 6PM
How Much: 10$ for Adults, 6$ for Children (U-6 free)

Yep, read that how much again. General admission for the whole dang thing, or however much they decide to open.

Two Off Season Votes this Season for Sounders FC

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As the whole concept behind Democracy in Sports continues to be refined there are currently two ongoing votes for Sounders FC Alliance members.

The first is a continuation of the Alliance Council. Four more just recently reached the 25 vote minimum and 15 now serve. Eleven of us wil be ending our term at the end of this season, while those elected this year will be done in 2011.

SBNation welcomes a ManCity Blog

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SBNation welcomes a ManCity Blog

Now at 3 MLS team sites (SSFC, RSL, DCU), a US/MLS site, a World competitions site, a Euro overview site and our first EPL site. All lthis in a just a few months.

"But the real exciting time for all of us is in 2011, when you join with Vancouver (B.C.) and match...

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"But the real exciting time for all of us is in 2011, when you join with Vancouver (B.C.) and match up with Seattle and I think give us what this country has never had, which is a true epicenter of passion for the sport," Garber said.

"Seattle is continuing to surprise us all.

Is Standing Pat really that Risky?

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Falk sounded off, and has really represented what a majority of fans are thinking. The Sounders haven't done enough in the off-season. They haven't added any names. And yet, is that an indication that they have wasted an opporutnity?

Are we really going to think that a surprise draft pick (David Estrada), a resurgent former 2nd Team All-American (Mike Fucito) and a precisely tuned offense are going to get this team to be the offensive power that we once that it should be?

MLS Regular Season Schedule is Out

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This is not the complete schedule for Sounders FC. Most of you know that, but I should remind you that there will be the US Open Cup, the CONCACAF Champions League as well as 3 friendlies tagged onto the following schedule.

It is notable to me that though 1/3 of all league matches are on TV this year, only 9 will be of Sounders.

Estrada Signs with Sounders - What is Impact on Remaining Trialists

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This according to Goff at the Wa Post.

Forward David Estrada, Seattle's first-round draft pick from UCLA, has signed with the Sounders.

And so now the roster is starting to get full without players getting cut to make room. Here's the current training list with only the guys under contract listed

Goalkeepers (3): Terry Boss, Chris Eylander, Kasey Keller
Defenders (8): Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, James Riley, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis
Midfielders (6): Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Stephen King, Freddie Ljungberg, Sanna Nyassi, Peter Vagenas
Forwards (5): David Estrada, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani.

Sigi to improve Sounders game through improved technique

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Many fans have pointed out that the lack of signings is an indication that the Sounders offense will struggle again. I think this is a simplistic look at the coaching process, particularly with a coach who is accomplished at developing talent. It also ignores the trials and tribulations of expansion.

Freddie Ljungberg - Shifting Focus

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When 2009 opened the Ljungberg focus was two-fold; would he be healthy and would he take the American version of the game seriously? For 2010 we won't have those questions. We know that Ljungberg will be fairly healthy, a reasonable expectation would be for him to have 25 starts this season. We also know that he may just be taking the game here too seriously.