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
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!
The Rapids are really busting out some great ideas. Terraces, 4$ beer, 5$ food, ticketless
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?
A report this morning from Aldia.cr suggests that Costa Rican striker Ãlvaro SaborÃo 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.
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
If that link doesn't work try this one and scroll down to my name.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fears of a MLS players strike appear to have been kicked down the road. How far, though, is
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.
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
Seattle's startling lineup has one surprise in it.
Montero Ljungberg Zakuani
Nyassi Sturgis Alonso Gonzalez
Riley Hurtado Marshall
Nyassi getting the start after being reported with injury woes is the surprise.
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
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
That looks really familiar to the guess that I put out yesterday.
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.
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,
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
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,
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.
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
Today they face Stabaek IF's football side.
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.
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.
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
"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
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,"
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
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.
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
The Manchester Derby has a home on SBNation with both Man City and Man United having homes here
From a Sounders standpoint there is a chance that either or both of the primary Manchester clubs
could be here this year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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.