Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2010

Scouting Report: Columbus Crew

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Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

The Sounders will probably have their hands full with ball-of-energy Steven Lenhart.

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Coming off a pair of games against two of the worst (by record anyway) teams in MLS, the Sounders must get ready for one of the league's two remaining undefeated teams in the Columbus Crew (2-0-1, 7 points).

Match Day Quick Reference Card, Game 7

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As I'm sure you'll notice, we finally figured out a way to get first names for all the players. To do this, we changed the shapes from circles to squares and put the numbers and positions on the same line.

Sounders make Montano signing official

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We can officially start talking about Miguel Montano as a potential answer when discussing the Sounders' options.

The 18-year-old Colombian striker's signing was finally made official today after he received his P-1 Visa and International Clearance.

Little is known about Montano, as he most recently played at the fifth tier of the Argentine developmental system.

A closer look at the week that was

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Abelimages - Getty Images

Freddie Ljungberg was key to improved passing the Sounders displayed in Sunday's loss to Toronto.

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Before we jump headlong into analysis and preview of this week's match with the Columbus Crew, I thought it would be useful to take a closer look at last week's pair of disappointing results.

Searching for a Sounders Icon

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More photos » Ted S. Warren - AP

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With the news about Walter Jones (FieldGulls with all your news/reaction) retiring it started me thinking. Me thinking can get scary.

So if King out, could Cox be on his way in?

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So this nugget was pointed out to me recently:

The Sounders FC were a bit short-handed in training today because of injuries that have trimmed their roster slightly. So, for today, they turned to Tacoma native and University of Washington product Raphael Cox. The Stadium High School product was in training, though not on trial, after being waived by Real Salt Lake in March.

What SPI thinks is that, in contrast to American squads from the recent past that were best known...

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What SPI thinks is that, in contrast to American squads from the recent past that were best known for their goalkeeping, this one is more offense-minded; its attack rates ninth in the world, according to SPI, but its defense is just 34th. The United States should figure it needs two goals to defeat England, since a clean sheet is unlikely -- and it'll need to watch against conceding soft goals against Slovenia and Algeria.

Stephen King apparently traded

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From reports I've seen, there's been nothing official, but all indications are that Sounders midfielder Stephen King has been traded to DC United for undisclosed compensation.

The Times Joshua Mayers tweeted about it earlier today, and said the midfielder wasn't at practice today.

Six games into the season, King was the only player who was both healthy and on the active roster not to get any playing time, so this would hardly count as a shocker.

Politics aside, Celtic is still disappointing

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Reaction was swift, opinionated and generally pretty negative regarding the Sounders' announcement Wednesday that Celtic FC would be one of the team's "friendly" opponents this year.

Reaction was far less heated about the other friendly opponent, Boca Juniors of Argentina (i'll get more into that later).

Fredy's Fabulous Free Kick Gets Rewarded

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Remember Montero's 41 yard blast? Back when we thought that a win could be had in Dallas? Before the performance in Toronto, or the friendly announcments. Montero won theGoal of the Week.

The Colombian's stunning free kick from 40 yards against FC Dallas last Thursday night earned him 43 percent of the fan vote.

Schelotto may skip Sounders

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Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

Maybe Guillermo Barros Schelotto just has a cold after playing in the rain last week.

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Columbus Crew manager Robert Warzycha is reportedly considering holding out Guillermo Barros Schelotto from Saturday's game.

Sounders announce dates and opponents for two of the friendlies

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Sounders announce dates and opponents for two of the friendlies

Boca Juniors comes to town on May 26th. Celtic plays on July 1st.

Aston Villa blog joins SBN

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Aston Villa blog joins SBN

You'll recognize one of the authors as a frequent commenter here. The network continues to grow.

Latest Power Rankings - Sounders don't fall much

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SBNhanced MLS Power Rankings! Team Total vote count First Tier votes Last week's Tier Tier 1 - Teams Contending For Cups LA Galaxy 21 7 1 KC Wizards 19 5 1 Colorado Rapids 19 5 2 Columbus Crew 19 5 1 NY Red Bulls 19 5 1 Tier 2 - Teams Likely in the Playoffs Seattle Sounders 13 0 2 Chicago Fire 12 0 3 Houston Dynamo 12 0 2 Tier 3 - Teams On the Outside Looking In Real Salt Lake 9 1 2 NE Revolution 7 0 3 Toronto FC 5 0 4 SJ Earthquakes 5 0 3 Tier 4 - Teams Competing for #3 Draft Pick FC Dallas 4 0 3 Chivas USA 3 0 4 Philadelphia Union 0 0 4 DC United 0 0 4

The SBNhanced MLS Power Rankings are a collaborative effort by SBN's soccer bloggers to rank the MLS teams each week.

Depth Chart Update 4/27

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

10 days ago: SEATTLE - APRIL 17: Head coach Sigi Schmid of the Seattle Sounders FC looks on during the game against the Kansas City Wizards on April 17, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

the fine line between good and mediocre...

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Promoted FanPost

The two-for one: Sounders Match 5 & 6, 2-2 @ Dallas and 2-0 @ Toronto

So, I decided after Thursday night to write up one report for the Sounders 72-hour whirlwind tour of the continent, with an eye towards finding a common theme to tie the road trip together and establish the fact that they were well on their way to the Supporters Shield.

"And let me offer a comment - the league needs to do something about teams like Toronto that are...

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"And let me offer a comment - the league needs to do something about teams like Toronto that are using hit-hard tactics like tennis racquets (apologies to Kurupt). I'm all for a hard tasty game, but there comes a point when a yellow early in the game for a tackle with the intent to injure just isn't enough.

Quick Review: Sounders lose to Toronto FC by two goals

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In a match that saw a non-traditional lineup with 4 Central Midfielders on the pitch and two players who are small quick wide/withdrawn types there is a significant debate within the gamethread as to where blame lies in this loss to the Reds (who wore white). The keys to the game I posted this morning were about Seattle having patience, testing the defensive third of Toronto and giving Ljungberg control of the match.

GameThread Match Day 6: Seattle Sounders FC at Toronto FC

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WIth just about a half hour until kickoff we open up the gamethread. Keys to the Game, and the Scouting Report are both up for you to review, but now its just abou the boys on the pitch and what they can do to pull 4 points out of the Double. Oh, and as always with a TFC match, Duane will have sober second thoughts tomorrow.

Keys to Game: Seattle at Toronto

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Match Day 6 2010 QRC

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As the points race has two teams surging ahead (Red Bull and Galaxy), Seattle has the backend of the Double against a side that can't be underestimated, as they are a solid home side.

Game 6 Scouting Report: Toronto FC

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Marc Piscotty - Getty Images

Julian de Guzman has a world-class reputation, but Omar Cummings seemed to get the best of their matchup last week.

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God bless Toronto FC fans.

MLS Rd 5 Open Thread

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The League has a relatively full Saturday with a new rivalry awakening and a rematch of last year's stunning first round upset of Salt Lake over Columbus. Oh, and Edson Buddle plays today as well.

Philly at New York - 1PM Telefutura- Two SBNation sides go against each other as two ACELA cities begin a soccer rivalry to join in the rivalries that they have in every other American sport.

Rank Team Country Current Value1 ($mil) Debt/Value(%)2 1-Yr Value Change(%) Revenue ($mil)...

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Rank Team Country Current Value1 ($mil) Debt/Value(%)2 1-Yr Value Change(%) Revenue ($mil) Operating Income3($mil)
2 Real Madrid Spain 1,323 54 -2 563 130
4 Barcelona Spain 1,000 0 4 513 113
1 Manchester United England 1,835 46 -2 459 150
5 Bayern Munich Germany 990 14 -11 406 61
3 Arsenal England 1,181 41 -2 369 102
9 Chelsea England 646 8 -19 340 -73
6 Liverpool England 822 47 -19 304 37
8 Juventus Italy 656 3 9 285 57
7 AC Milan Italy 800 0 -19 276 41
10 Inter Milan Italy 413 0 12 276 -14
14 Hamburg SV Germany 329 0 0 206 41
15 AS Roma Italy 308 0 -19 205 25
13 Olympique Lyonnais France 333 10 -21 196 5
17 Olympique Marseille France 262 0 9 187 19
12 Tottenham Hotspur England 372 29 -16 186 35
11 Schalke 04 Germany 384 50 -25 175 -7
16 Werder Bremen Germany 274 0 -6 161 24
18 Borussia Dortmund Germany 261 32 -20 145 8
19 Manchester City England 258 0 -17 143 -56
20 Newcastle United England 198 8 -30 142 -49

Forbes Annual Soccer Report

I find it notable that with the Galaxy once being value at 100M$, the Sounders likely earning about 15M$, and expansion feees now in the 35-50M$ MLS as a financial system is on solid ground in a down global economy.

Game 6: Match Day Quick Reference Card

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More so than any other game, we are really guessing here, so please excuse us if this is wrong.

For one thing, the MLS Injury Report has like half the guys on the team listed, including potential starters Kasey Keller, Pat Noonan, Michael Fucito, James Riley and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

Statistics to back you away from the ledge

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On a casual Friday afternoon I'm cruising around looking for a little bit of direction, a slightly different angle. Maybe something that might carry some meaning. I haven't found that, but I have found some unique stats so far this year, and yes small sample size and lack of correlation almost certainly exists.

Never take performance on the road for granted. I know you guys are used to seeing a...

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Never take performance on the road for granted.

I know you guys are used to seeing a free-flowing, attacking team there. But consider a couple of points from someone at the match:

Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso were freakin' animals out there. Perhaps that was less than apparent on TV.

And now for something completely different

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Ronald Martinez - Getty Images

No, this article is not about officiating incompetence.

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At some point today, I'm sure we'll post a complete recrimination of last night's debacle.

Quick Review: Terry Vaughn had 3 Assists in Sounders 2-2 Draw at Dallas

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I like to blog about tactics. I like to blog about players. I like to blog about the game. Very rarely do I blog about referees. Tonight, in this thread I will. But still not much. We'll break the game itself down more later, but for now, let's just note that the referee should be given an assist on both PKs and the Montero Free Kick.

Gamethread Match Day 5: Sounders at Dallas

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game 5 preview card (update 1)

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Today's lineup is going to be a bit odd, a twist on what was expected, or in this case, something no one expected.

Scouting Report: FC Dallas

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Mike Stobe - Getty Images for New York Red Bu

Dax McCarty, left, and Atiba Harris are two players Sounders defenders will want to keep an eye on.

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The breaks have not been kind to the team once branded Burn.

Sounders FC-FC Dallas, Game 5, Match Day Quick Reference Card

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We decided that our best guess at a starting XI is Pat Noonan up top in the center forward position, Fredy Montero in the withdrawn forward spot, Freddie Ljungberg on the right wing and Brad Evans back at center midfield.

Just something to get you a little more pumped for World Cup. Hey, and Blaise N'kufo even makes a...

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Just something to get you a little more pumped for World Cup. Hey, and Blaise N'kufo even makes a cameo.

Ref: Evans got 'unfair advantage' on goal

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I'm not sure I would go as far as saying Paul Tambernio, the U.S. Director of Referee Development, is saying the deciding goal in Saturday's game shouldn't have been allowed, but in this week's roundup of MLS games he does acknowledge that all was not as it should have been.

"We feel that the Seattle player [Evans] got an unfair advantage on the throw-in," Tamberino said.

The Double and what it does to Lineups

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

3 days ago: SEATTLE - APRIL 17: Michael Fucito #2 (center) of the Seattle Sounders FC is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 win against the Kansas City Wizards on April 17, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

The Third Kit Is Out

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The Third Kit Is Out

Personally, I like it. Easy on the eyes? Perhaps not to some people. I'm guessing the same people that didn't like the Seahawks' alternate uniforms last year won't like these, but you can't please everyone. What're your thoughts?

The Short Fuse joins SBN for Arsenal Coverage

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The Short Fuse joins SBN for Arsenal Coverage

That's now four teams from the EPL that have SBNation blogs. Give him a welcome. More to come, of course.

Denz over at RSLSoapBox found this article about fan make-up in MLS. Go give it a look. Notable...

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Denz over at RSLSoapBox found this article about fan make-up in MLS. Go give it a look.

Notable is that despite years of marketing MLS still isn't making inroads into the Hispanic market.

Today's Episode of Small Sample Size Theater

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Sometimes the statistics mean nothing, but still make you smile. Like Ianni having a Plus/Minus per 90 Minutes of 90, or Fucito having a Points Per 90 of 9.00.

But they still make me smile.


Tomorrow is a Reserve Game and I hope to update the sidebars after that, but today here are the current statistics in League Play

Player

Min

G

A

Pts

PP90

CS

Raw +/-

+/- Per 90

Ianni

1

0

0

0

0.

Supporter for a Day - From within the ECS

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Cell phone pic from inside the GA

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Over the past couple years covering this sport I have made some good friends, be they the fellow members of the Council, many of the other Sounders bloggers (if I don't know you, you can't be a friend), some of the fellow members of the 214 even.

Fucito's late goal wins it for Sounders

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Peter Vagenas battles Kei Kamara during the Sounders' 1-0 win at Qwest Field on Saturday. Vagenas struggled a bit with his passing, but was instrumental in shutting down the Kansas City attack.

GameThread, KC Wizards vs. Seattle Sounders FC, Game 4

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Here's the new match day quick reference card. Notice some players have been moved around and Brad Evans is off for Peter Vagenas.

I know many were hoping for our first rain-free home game, but Mother Nature has not cooperated.

Changes to starting lineup

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Looks like Peter Vagenas will be taking the place of Brad Evans in the starting 11. Pat Noonan is moving up top. Freddie Ljungberg is sliding back to the wing. Fredy Montero is playing more of a withdrawn position. The GameThread is scheduled to go up at 11:30. In the meantime, feel free to start commenting here.

Keys to Game: Sounders hosting Wizards

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G. Newman Lowrance - Getty Images

5 days ago: KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 10: Davy Arnaud #22 of the Kansas City Wizards advances the ball during the game against the Colorado Rapids on April 10, 2010 at Community America Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Game 4

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game 4 preview card big

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As you'll see, I made some tweaks from last week's debut. Hope you like the changes. After the jump, you'll find a more printer-friendly version that loses the stuff on the right.

Let's Say Something Isn't Clicking on Offense for Sounders

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Actually it seems everyone is saying it these days. The thoughts around the Greater Sounder Nation is that there is something wrong with the team, particularly the offense. Fingers have been pointed, around the blogosphere most of these are at Adrian Hanauer for not getting Talent upgrade until halfway through season, some have pointed at Sigi for not having the team ready when the season starter.

Columbia calls on Montano

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Here's the release from the team:

RENTON, WASH. - The Seattle Sounders FC announced today that the Colombia Under-20 National Team has called in forward Miguel Montaño for two friendlies next week.

Colombia plays Ecuador in Ibarra on April 22 and in La Libertad on April 25.

Designated players, take two.

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Now that we're in the new era of multiple DPs, I'm renewing my call for MLS to go and get Juninho Pernambucano. Specifically, I'm calling for the Sounders to go and get him. If you don't know who he is, he's this guy (apologies in advance for the music):

Surely it's obvious what one of the best, and maybe the best, free kick takers ever would offer to one of the most fouled teams in MLS?

Scouting Report: Kansas City Wizards

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Chances are that if you bothered to look at the schedule at the beginning of the season, you saw the Kansas City Wizards coming to town and skipped right over to the next game.

While there may be no such thing as a guaranteed victory in Major League Soccer, you probably saw the noon start time and lack of star power, and started wondering if maybe this should be the weekend you spend time with the family.

Increased stakes: In addition, it sounds as if Major League Soccer may be set to provide more...

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Increased stakes: In addition, it sounds as if Major League Soccer may be set to provide more incentive for its teams to take the Open Cup seriously.

"The league is likely to attach a prize to winning the tournament this time," said Lagerway. "They've indicated that they're behind it and think it's important, and I think it's important to our organization.

Montero not Leaving Yet

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

10 days ago: SEATTLE - APRIL 03: Mike Petke #12 of the New York Red Bulls battles Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC on April 3, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

Notes around MLS 13 April

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Marshall wound up credited with that goal in the end. Ljungberg with the assist. The Sounders have now scored on a Free Kick (indirect), although they did give up two corners and are now +0 on the 2010 season on set-plays.

Robert Pires looks fairly likely to be in MLS in the Secondary Window.

Don Garber speaks about MLSsoccer.com

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Freddie Ljungberg would like to know what is going on with MLSsoccer.com, too.

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Usually, I'd leave it to the more technically inclined writers in the soccer blogosphere to do the heavy lifting on this one.

Nyassi Scored, Moreno Didn't - What next?

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This isn't a standard complaint about referees. Those are too frequent in sports, but recently with the USSF ruling that Nyassi was in fact onside against the Union and should be credited with a goal (who had the non-assist?) and today's notice that Jaime Moreno should have been given a Yellow Card and not a goal things get interesting.

MLS Teams regularly start season with lesser talents

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As the transfer window is about to close on April 15th (see, that day is kind of important) it should be noted that many teams are still adding players. This includes the soon to visit Kansas City Wizards who just added Indian (sub-continent) Forward Sunil Chhetri to their squad. Yes, they lost Zoltan to an ACL injury, but Chhetri has been in camp for a while, so this was an intended move for some time.

Sounders got better than the deserved

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Robbie Findley gets free for a header. Photo courtesy of RSL Soapbox.

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I know Saturday's draw feels like a loss. It should, and not just because the Sounders gave up the equalizer in the 94th minute.

Quick Review: Sounders 2 - Salt Lake 2

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ECS at Rio Tinto with thanks to RSLSoapBox

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I promised Steve Clare that I would do the player ratings at his site for this match, and those will be up later today or tomorrow, as I will be watching this match again.

This one felt like a loss

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George Frey - Getty Images

We couldn't believe our eyes either, Tyrone. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

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One of the things that most perplexes Americans not familiar with soccer is the draw.

Gamethread: Match Day 3 Sounders at Real Salt Lake

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Quick Reference Card for Sounders v Real Salt Lake

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There's a party over there with ~150 traveling Sounders supporters. There's a party right here with many of you hanging out at the Elysian Fields watching with me, Jeremiah, Carlos, and Steve Clare of ProstAmerika.

Rd 3 MLS Plays Eight - Open Thread

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Never before in history has MLS played 8 matches on a single day (sure this is the first year with 16 teams), but today they do just that. Here again is your open thread to discuss the day's non-Sounders action, with mini-capsules on each match.

Red Bull NY @ Chivas - 1 PM Pacific on Telefutura - Once a Metro will have the day's action for you, but if you watch this one it could be a goal scorers delight.

Preview: Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake

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Two major trophy winners from 2009 face off in an early test for 2010. Salt Lake was the first of the expansion sides to win the MLS Cup, and Seattle was the first to take the US Open Cup. Both are following a similar path in how to be good, but not just going through typical for MLS roster churn, but instead focusing on keeping a strong and large core of talent with just a few tweaks between seasons.

Three Questions about Real Salt Lake

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Like last week the Sounders are facing another SBNation blog/opponent. I caught with denz over at www.RSLSoapBox.com about Real Salt Lake, holders of the MLS Cup. By the way, this weekend the team gets their rings in a pre-game ceremony.

1 - RSL has had a core of players over the past 2+ seasons, are you seeing year to year improvements as they learn each others games?

Match Day Quick Reference Card

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Feel free to do whatever you want with this. If you have any suggestions for improvements (can you read the colored fonts?), drop us an email. We'd like to make these a staple of your pregame routine.

Nate Jaqua update

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Here's the release from the team:

Nate Jaqua Undergoes Surgery

RENTON, WASH. - The Seattle Sounders FC announced today that midfielder/forward Nate Jaqua underwent surgery on Wednesday in Philadelphia for a lower abdominal fascial repair.

Major League Soccer Continues to Encourage Academies

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Let's break this down quickly

- 2 slots for players to be signed to the roster straight from the Academy, but up to 4 can be signed per year
- these Home Grown Players will be signed to Generation Adidas contracts
- roster slots 21-24 can be of ANY age, make minimum salaries and are now called "protected"
- MLS clubs can wind up retaining a greater amount of a transfer, and can use a greater amount as Allocation Dollars.

Nice story on Nkufo

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FIFA.com had a chance to sit down with future Sounders forward Blaise N'kufo. The story details his early struggles with the Swiss national team, and how he resurrected his career with Dutch pro side Twente Enschede.

"In Switzerland, people often didn't recognise my true potential.

Five for Fighting: Battle for a Starting Spot

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Levesque watches the Reserve match v the Huskies, photo by Rick Morrison

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Roger Levesque has started the past two matches on the Right Wing, and Pat Noonan came on with a decent performance for a man just cut from the Rapids.

Scouting David Estrada

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David Estrada is one of five Sounders fighting for a chance to start, as well as the opportunity to be the first player off the bench.

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Most Sounders fans know David Estrada was the club's first pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft.

You are invited to Sounders at Real Salt Lake Viewing Party

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Who: Readers of Prost Amerika and Sounder at Heart
What: Sounders @ Real Salt Lake Viewing Party
Where: Elysian Fields (1st Ave Private Room and West Side Bar)
When: 5PM Pre-Match Q&A, 6PM Match

The event will feature the Eylsian's Happy Hour beer specials, instant commentary from the ProstAmerika and SounderAtHeart teams, to include liveblogging the match.

Updated SBN Tiered MLS Rankings

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SBNhanced MLS Power Rankings! Team Total vote count First Tier votes Last week's Tier Tier 1 - Teams Contending For Cups Columbus Crew 20 6 1 LA Galaxy 19 5 1 NY Red Bulls 19 5 2 Real Salt Lake 19 5 1 Tier 2 - Teams Likely in the Playoffs KC Wizards 15 3 2 Houston Dynamo 15 2 2 Colorado Rapids 15 1 2 Seattle Sounders 15 1 1 Tier 3 - Teams On the Outside Looking In Chicago Fire 9 0 3 NE Revolution 7 0 3 FC Dallas 7 0 3 Toronto FC 6 0 3 Tier 4 - Teams That Should Be Relegated Chivas USA 1 0 4 Philadelphia Union 0 0 4 SJ Earthquakes 0 0 4 DC United 0 0 4

The SBNhanced MLS Power Rankings are a collaborative effort by SBN's soccer bloggers to rank the MLS teams each week.

Stuck in Last Year's Thinking - MLS Still Targeting Wrong DPs

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IMScouting is saying that MLS is targeting the following 5 players for the Secondary Window this summer - Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Ludovic Giuly and Camel Meriem. If we assume that this is true, and since the first three have been linked fairly frequently it may be, this is an indication that MLS is still stuck in MLS 2.

Sounders reserves rough up UW

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Coming off a frustrating match in which the Sounders dominated play, failed to score on any of their 12 corner kicks and lost their first game of the season, it should come as no surprise that the players appeared to have a little extra motivation in their Monday reserve game.

While beating the University of Washington men's team 5-0 does nothing to salve the wounds of Saturday's loss, there were signs that the Sounders may be figuring out what ails them, at least on corners.

Updated Statistics to Include Sounders Reserve Play

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Now I know most of you probably just glance past the sidebars, but on the left side you are missing updated Goals, Assists, Clean Sheets, +/-, Points Per 90 and Plus/Minus Per 90 numbers for League Play, and in Reserve/Friendly action you are missing the Goals, Assists and Points.

Below is the full data for both current League Play and Reserve/Friendly play.

MLS attendance update: Looking better, but...

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Attendance for Sounders' games at Qwest Field is up more than 18 percent over last year's pace, leading a league-wide attendance bump of 13.6 percent over last year.

Review: Sounders lose to Red Bull 1-Nil

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Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

about 11 hours ago: SEATTLE - APRIL 03: Steve Zakuani #11 of the Seattle Sounders FC reacts after missing a goal shot against the New York Red Bulls on April 3, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

Gamethread: Game 2, Sounders vs. Red Bull

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Both teams come into tonight's game unbeaten after solid performances in Week 1. The Sounders took care of the expansion-side Philadelphia Union, 2-0, while the Red Bulls beat the Chicago Fire, 1-0.

In some ways, the sides are mirror images, with the Sounders returning the bulk of their playoff team of a year ago and the Red Bulls undergoing an almost complete overhaul after missing the playoffs in '09.

Preview: Sounders host Red Bull New York

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Red Bull had a very bad year. Their head coach, sporting director and other personnel people were fired, and they were a team that demands roster churn. The club followed through. Bringing in Backe to coach is a move that Freddie Ljungberg really liked, having previously suggested him for coach of Sweden.

Rd 2 Weekend Open Thread

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An Open Thread for those watching the games of the weekend. After RSL lost to Houston and the Galaxy beat the Goats the Western Conference has a few teams out to a hot start. The Galaxy have earned 6 pts in 2 played, and the Dynamo with 4 pts in 2. As less than 3 points seperate Seattle from 1st or 6th last year, every week matters.

What the new DP rule means

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By now you are probably familiar with the gist of the new DP rule, in particular you've started dreaming of a Juninho, or a Deco, maybe an Henry. All of the speculation will be about players that are "one namers." Much of this focus will be misplaced, as it operates under the old paradigm when a team only got one bullet and so the shot a team
took had to be perfect.

Three Questions about Red Bull New York

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Sure, lots of fun news about Designated Players, and two great games tonight, but there is also a rather important home game Saturday night for the Sounders. You can join me for pre-game at Elysian Fields in the private room on the First Avenue side at 5PM.

But let's move to match day, things between the touch and endlines.

Designated Player slots explode in number

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Official MLS release here. What does this mean for the Sounders? Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised if the Nkufo signing was made with this already in mind. Our biggest issue would be clearing roster space to accommodate up to 2 more Designated Players, but I'm sure we have the money to sign big name guys.

Was the Second Goal from a Corner?

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Sometimes when tracking a game, no matter how stiff the definitions a play comes down to the judgement of the official scorekeeper. Baseball fans are all too familiar with this, as there is actually a time period when the official stats can change. Well, we get to see one of those cases from just the last game.