Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2010

"We'd had conversations off and on with various entities. There wasn't really anything solid until...

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"We'd had conversations off and on with various entities. There wasn't really anything solid until the last couple of days. For Freddie's sake and the team's sake, we didn't want to drag this on all summer. A part of this was a timing issue, and we're very excited on getting Alvaro on roster.

Ljungberg officially traded to Chicago

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Freddie Ljungberg appears Chicago bound.

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UPDATE: The Sounders just released the official announcement, Freddie Ljungberg has been traded to the Chicago Fire for a conditional draft pick in either 2011 or '12.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders vs. Earthquakes

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Sounders at Earthquakes

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Hey, it's the deciding game of the much ballyhooed Heritage Cup. The Sounders probably need to win by two goals .

Depth Chart and the Second Team

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One of the notable things from Jeremiah's post earlier today is that the Sounders are likely to trade or waive a player soon. In light of that let's look at how the current depth chart looks, and then we'll look at how an ideal First Team and Second Team could be run out in League play at full health.

Seattle seems to have figured out what Major League Soccer fans have hypothesized for some time. ...

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Seattle seems to have figured out what Major League Soccer fans have hypothesized for some time. If you can't get a name international with your designated player slots and money - a Beckham, Henry, Ljundberg-type - look to the markets beyond Europe that MLS has failed to utilize. Use those markets to find and sign a younger, better player.

Explaining the Sounders signing of Alvaro Fernandez

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More photos » Cameron Spencer - Getty Images

See, proof that Alvaro Fernandez (that's him in the back) was indeed on the Uruguayan World Cup team.

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A lot of these issues have been addressed in comments, but figured it would be worthwhile to get as many answers in one place as possible.

On Sanna Nyassi

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More photos » Abelimages - Getty Images

Sanna Nyassi is blisteringly fast, but is that all a winger needs to succeed?

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Sanna Nyassi has been the main beneficiary of Freddie Ljungberg's absence over the past few weeks.

Alvaro Fernandez Signs

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

SEATTLE - MAY 22: Freddie Ljungberg #10 of the Seattle Sounders FC throws the ball in frustration after the Sounders failed to score against the San Jose Earthquakes on May 22, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

Sounders Dominate, but Edge Metapan in 1st Leg of CCL

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The Sounders were clearly dominant from the earliest moments of the match. Except for the odd Vagenas Yellow Card for taking a kick early, the first 15 minutes were all about Sounders' success. They then built on that as they got stronger with the Osvaldo Alonso appearance.

This was one of those matches like we saw early in the year, where the Seattle side was clearly better.

Gamethread: 1st Leg CCL Sounders v Metapan

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Seattle Sounders FC v AC Isidiro Metapan of El Salvador in a match that matters.

Match Day Quick Reference Card
Sounders taking match seriously
Keys to Game
CCL Primer

CONCACAF's Website for the Champions League

Jaqua Levesque Nyassi Seamon Montano Gonzalez Vagenas Riley Graham Marshall Keller

BENCH: : Boss, Parke, Wahl, Alonso, Montero, Zakuani, Estrada

Metapan Lineup: GK Alfaro, D Alvarado, D Prado, D Aquino, D Menendez, M Jimenez, M Mejia, M Umana, F Suarez, F Canales, F Flores

Let's see how they play before we call that a 4-3-3

This is your Gamethread

"Not only for myself, but it's an opportunity for the club. It's certainly a prestigious event. No...

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"Not only for myself, but it's an opportunity for the club. It's certainly a prestigious event. No team from the US has won the CONCACAF championship since then. It's something for whomever it is - the US team coming out of it - and doing very well and winning it. It's something on the club level we've got to deal with and it helps us keep pace with what the National Team is doing, continuing to move forward.

Alvaro Fernandez could become the best player in Major League Soccer. No, I’m not exaggerating or u...

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Alvaro Fernandez could become the best player in Major League Soccer. No, I'm not exaggerating or using hyperbole for the sake of hyperbole.

That's Kevin McCauley in World Soccer Reader. This little nugget is stuck all the way in final paragraph, but he certainly thinks highly of the man we fully expect to eventually join the Sounders.

Alvaro Fernandez could become the best player in Major League Soccer. No, I’m not exaggerating or u...

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Alvaro Fernandez could become the best player in Major League Soccer. No, I'm not exaggerating or using hyperbole for the sake of hyperbole.

That's Kevin McCauley in World Soccer Reader. This little nugget is stuck all the way in final paragraph, but he certainly thinks highly of the man we fully expect to eventually join the Sounders.

Keys to the Game: Sounders Host Metapan in First Leg of CCL Prelims

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Seriously, this is a big deal. And yet, we know so little. Metapan plays in a 10-team league with two seasons in a given calendar year. They have playoffs at the end. They are the top team in recent El Salvador history.

We think they run a 4-4-2 variant, and we know they can score goals.

So what are the keys to Seattle getting the early lead in the two-leg aggregate series?

Sounders saying all right things about CCL

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Fredy Montero says the Sounders want to "make history" during the CONCACAF Champions League.

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The #TrophiesNotFriendlies movement was formally created by our own Dave Clark.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Metapan vs. Sounders

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sounders ccl

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As you may or may not notice, our starting lineup predictions are often times less than 100 percent accurate. Usually, they are based on a mix of what we've seen and personal biases.

Great primer on CCL

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Great primer on CCL

Each country determines the manner in which their squads qualify, excepting the Caribbean, whose squads enter the CFU Club Champions Cup, with the top three finishers moving on to the preliminary round of the CCL. In the United States, the Open Cup winners and the runners up in the MLS Cup qualify for the preliminary rounds, while the regular season (Supporters' Shield) winners and the MLS Cup winners are automatically entered in the group stage.

Jimmy Nielsen, Kasey Keller, Joel Lindpere, Robbie Rogers, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero and...

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Jimmy Nielsen, Kasey Keller, Joel Lindpere, Robbie Rogers, Freddie Ljungberg, Fredy Montero and Conor Casey.

So how does Ljungberg make it in the midst of a nightmarish season?

Simple really. He received so much of the popular vote, boosted by the combination of his own star status and the size of Seattle's fan following, that he made it on ahead of several more deserving players.

Joe Towner "is okay" I can confirm that he checked in with his girlfriend late last night, and she...

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Joe Towner "is okay" I can confirm that he checked in with his girlfriend late last night, and she has released the following statement:
"thanks everyone for the concerns and positive thoughts. I have made contact with Joe and he is ok."

Sounders Road To KnockOut Rounds of CCL Tough As They Get

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You may have seen the FanShot earlier today about the Strength of Schedule for the remainder of the MLS season. It likely made you feel pretty good. To save you time, if you don't remember, the Sounders had the second easiest set of remaining matches, by the measure there. Hooray for the regular season and small hopes.

Tod Leiweke Leaves Vulcan Sports, and Sounders

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More photos » Ted S. Warren - AP

about 6 hours ago: This photo taken Aug. 16, 2008 shows Seattle Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke at a preseason NFL football game in Seattle.

my solution to the idiotic MLS standings

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I can't look at the MLS standings and figure anything thing out... first you have these idiotic and utterly pointles "conferences" which serve no purpose other than to obfuscate, and second you have no rhyme or reason to the number of matches played. Sounders have played 4 more matches than Chicago, and 2 or 3 more than most of the teams we are chasing.

Sounders with 2nd Easiest Remaining Schedule

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Sounders with 2nd Easiest Remaining Schedule

Duane uses one method to figure out that the Sounders have the second easiest remaining schedule based on the opponents they face.

I'll need to look deeper into the data, but this gives me another sliver of hope.

NES member Joe Towner apparently missing

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Our good friend, and a NES LC member, Joe Towner was last seen on July 17 by his brother. He took his Sounders tickets for the Celtic match but was not present and has not given any indication he was leaving. His girlfriend and family have made a missing persons report and would appreciate if you have heard from him since to please contact the Bellevue police department (425) 452-6917.

Quick Review: Sounders back in playoff hunt

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Blaise Nkufo was short of dominant, but he did show a lot of the skills we expected of him.

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Say what you will about how they did it, but the Sounders won a game they absolutely had to have.

GameThred: Sounders vs. Rapids

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Sounders vs. Rapids

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Looks like it's going to be a wonderful day out at Qwest for a game that is about as big as they get in July.

Keys to Game: Sounders host Colorado Rapids

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More photos » Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images

St Blaise Nkufo Saves? It gets easier for him this week.

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This could be one of those "six point" games.

Sounders Academy in Tie for First in Group

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You may have read this in the comments of the last post, but the Sounders won last night 2-1 over the Philadelphia Union.

Seattle Sounders 2, Philadelphia Union 1

Seattle continued its strong play with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union thanks to a strong defensive effort from the Sounders back line and goalkeeper Rodney Greiling.

Three Questions: Colorado Rapids

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I caught up with Chris of the Denver Regional here at SBN and of Burgundy Wave to chat about the Rapids a little bit. Here are the Three Questions that every Sounders fan should know the answer to before the game.

Dave Clark: Last year the Rapids had a high powered offense, then in the offseason one would think that they got a little better, but that hasn't been the case.

Sounders Academy at SUM Cup in Houston

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SUM Cup you say? That's one of the Academy competitions that MLS teams participate in during a given year. This one is a U-17 competition, which means that the Sounders team won't be one of their two official academy teams as they operate a U-16 and U-18 team right now. And honestly do we really need a team for every single year?

Scouting Report: Colorado Rapids

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More photos » Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Conor Casey has accounted for 41 percent of his team's goals (7 of 17) and 40 percent of its assists (4 of 10).

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Heading into their final game before the unofficial end the first half of the season, the Colorado Rapids had to be feeling pretty good about themselves.

Seattle Sounders FC U-17 Boys prevailed over FC Dallas in a penalty kick tiebreaker in its debut...

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Seattle Sounders FC U-17 Boys prevailed over FC Dallas in a penalty kick tiebreaker in its debut match Friday at the 2010 SUM Cup in Houston. The two teams had finished tied at 1-1 after regulation.

Sounders FC goalkeeper Rodney Greiling saved the fourth round penalty attempt for Dallas and Seattle converted all five of its spot kicks to win the shootout, 5-4.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Rapids vs. Sounders

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Sounders vs. Rapids

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We originally thought Mike Seamon would get the start, but apparently Nathan Sturgis is the primary corner kick man, which means he'll probably be starting at center mid.

Hanauer and Schmid on Ljungberg

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Here are the quotes from today's media session:

Adrian Hanauer – General Manager

(On Freddie Ljungberg . . .) "Freddie at this time he is training by himself, getting healthy, getting fit. We agreed together that it made some sense to keep him away from the club as he is exploring other options.

Snapshot of why MLS follows the NFL Model over European Football

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The Forbes Sports 50/50 list just came out, and Manchester United was at the top of the list. Real Madrid and Arsenal are also in the top 10. So of course MLS should follow that model right? I mean 2 EPL teams in the top 10 and worth more than a billion dollars seems like the system is working.

Except that EVERY SINGLE NFL team is in the top 50 teams in the world for valuation.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: MF Brad Evans (R knee meniscus); FW Michael Fucito (R knee contusion);...

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SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: MF Brad Evans (R knee meniscus); FW Michael Fucito (R knee contusion); DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (L ACL); QUESTIONABLE: MF Freddie Ljungberg (L ankle sprain); DF Tyrone Marshall (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Osvaldo Alonso (R quadriceps strain); MF Michael Seamon (R ankle sprain); FW Nate Jaqua (R groin strain); GK Kasey Keller (R midfoot sprain)

Weekly Injury Report

And it should be even longer as David Estrada still has his hip & toe sprain and is on the IR.

There Will Be No Domestic Trebles for MLS

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As we start to see some possible Super Clubs forming in MLS, the idea that these clubs will turn a parity league upside down and it will transition to a league of haves and have nots has started to appear in conversations. Some would like this, others will not. But due to rules structures and the unique nature of the possible domestic trebles these Super Clubs will not dominate in the ways that the big clubs in the EPL do as favorites for the domestic treble there.

MLS ranked '88th Strongest League In The World'

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More photos » Ned Dishman - Getty Images

Good enough to play in Armenia? Apparently not.

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While you would expect Major League Soccer to be behind the giants of Europe and South America in the race for strongest league in the world, the folks at the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) may have taken things a little too far.

In absence of information, speculation fills the vacuum

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The Sounders may or may not have already come to an agreement with Uruguayan national team player Alvaro Fernandez and I'm of the mind that their official statement does nothing to dampen that speculation:

"The club is continuing to look at all options to improve the squad during the transfer window.

We’ve received some new information suggesting Uruguay international Alvaro Fernandez is actually h...

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We've received some new information suggesting Uruguay international Alvaro Fernandez is actually headed to Seattle Sounders FC. Several reports out of Uruguay are suggesting the 24 year old midfielder is currently close to sealing a deal with the club. Fernandez has 10 caps for the Uruguay national team, including appearances at this summers World Cup, where Uruguay finished 4th

Alvaro Fernadez of URG Nationals to join Sounders

Pre-peak!

FL10 'exploring options'

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More photos » George Frey - Getty Images

Physical play such as this surely has a role to play in FL10's apparent desire to leave MLS.

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If you own a Twitter machine (and if you don't you should consider obtaining one) you are probably aware that there was some rather juicy news to come out of Sounders training today: Freddie Ljungberg has officially decided to "look at other options," according to Sounders Technical Director Chris Henderson, via @johnpboyle Twitter account.

By including CCL and Open Cup tickets in a season ticket package, the club gives the fans a reason...

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By including CCL and Open Cup tickets in a season ticket package, the club gives the fans a reason to go to those matches. By not including them, the club is making it imminently clear that the games hardly matter, that the tournaments are extraneous the rest of the season, and that there's little reason for their most committed fans to attend.

Should Sounders be buyers?

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More photos » Ned Dishman - Getty Images

Osvaldo Alonso was a real difference-maker against DC United. The Sounders are hoping it's a preview of things to come down the stretch.

No Sounders selected for All-Star team

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We've kind of ignored this story over here, but figured it was worth mentioning since Bruce Arena made it official today that no Sounders would be selected to the All-Star team that will play against Manchester United on July 27.

The reason for the omission is actually pretty straight-forward: Any Sounders picked would be unavailable because of the CONCACAF Champions League game against Metapan is scheduled for the same day.

Kristian Dyer say NYRB target #2 for third DP slot is ...

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Kristian Dyer say NYRB target #2 for third DP slot is ...

... Mark van Bommel. With Rafa Marquez being the #1 target, it's pretty clear they are going for a holding mid and we can all but rule out Ljungberg to NYRB. FWIW

Where things stand

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In the quest for trophies a few things became clear this weekend.

The Galaxy will make the Playoffs. Chivas USA, while sucking in league play have a chance at semifinals in the Open Cup and SuperLiga which has got to make them smile at least a bit.

The League has one great team, a few good ones, and several bad ones.

Quick Review: Celtic over Sounders 2-1

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I was going to be the anti-Churchill and say "Never has a game meant so little to so few" but the implied double negative ruined things. And there have been worse friendlies on a American soil.

There isn't much to take away from the game. Yes, the Sounders played better and lost, but when down a man tieing 1-1 is a solid "result.

Gamethread: Sounders Host Glasgow Celtic

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This is a match that doesn't count, and doesn't matter. The number one goal is don't get injured. The number two goal is learning how to play with Nkufo. The number three goal is don't get injured.

Its that simple.

There are no keys to the game. There is not a match card. This is a friendly.

Today's Quote Sheet Has Nice Morsels

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I don't often post these except in a post-game thread, but today's has some things of not in my opinion.

First on Freddie Ljungberg

"I gave Freddie the weekend off. I know that we weren't going to use him this weekend with the situation he was in. And so I just told him to have a weekend.

Your Starting XI Half Way Through MLS Season

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No Hurtado, No Fucito, No Estrada. We'll say all the minor injuries are normal. We'll also say that Seattle is in their variant of the 4-1-3-2 with stacked forwards. Let's do this in light of Ljungberg moving onwards with no one brought on to the club.

Nkufo Montero Zakuani Seamon Jaqua Alonso Gonzalez Parke Ianni Riley Keller

I have Brad Evans on the bench, because I think that the Sounders really play so well with Nate Jaqua on the pitch, but the team still needs some off ball speed, and only Seamon can do that from a Central Midfield role.

What is wrong with you people there in DC? Booing Kasey? It's like booing George Washington. It's...

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What is wrong with you people there in DC? Booing Kasey? It's like booing George Washington. It's like booing Major Dick Winters, or Audie Murphy. It's like booing you Mom while throwing an apple pie in the dirt while blowing your nose with the American flag.

Keller deserves better than DC fans gave him

Booing someone for getting injured seems not just stupid, it is down right assinine.

we will no longer be anything less than a world power in the sport of "football, futbol, soccer". ...

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we will no longer be anything less than a world power in the sport of "football, futbol, soccer". We believe that the XI steps that we will unveil in the coming days are steps that must be taken over the next 12 year to result in the United States winning the 2022 World Cup, anything less is simply unacceptable

XI for '22

Over the next several days the SBN soccer bloggers will be posting a list of eleven ideas to take US soccer from being a decent side to be a great one.

Quick Review: Sounders over United on Montero Assist

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Sure, the traditional headline would be the Roger Levesque goal, but it was the assist that was impressive there. Montero lofted the ball just high enough, and placed it perfectly. Roger buried it, as expected and the 89th minute while long, was also perfect for the Sounders.

The defense was all Kasey Keller tonight, but his knock will take some time to heal, and so we wait.

Gamethread: Sounders at DC United

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Kasey Keller is undefeated all-time in RFK, and the Rave Green have a decent history v the Black and Red. Tonight on ESPN2 we'll see which of these two teams can start to climb out of the cellar. Both sides added Designated Players in those efforts.

We should be able to see Blaise Nkufo for a late sub, likely in the same role as Nate Jaqua, as it would require no tactical shift.

Estrada to Injured Reserve

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Estrada to Injured Reserve

That's Mayers latest tweet.

Currently on the IR are Fucito, Hurtado and Estrada. Room is clear to add Nkufo.

Estrada is still able to play in Open Cup and CCL.

CCL

Keys to Game: Sounders at DC United

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Sometimes games come at odd times for fans. Maybe its because they are in middle of the week, with a start time right about when work ends. Or maybe the timing feels odd because there are off field concerns with a team; how many people are more concerned about the shifting homes of designated players than they are with United?

OK, fine, what if we do get JPA?

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More photos » Andy Marlin - Getty Images

The prospect of adding Juan Pablo Angel certainly seems intriguing.

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As much as Dave and I hate writing about rumors and innuendo, I think both of us will admit that this idea of swapping Freddie Ljungberg straight up for New York's Juan Pablo Angel has the whiff of intrigue and might even make for an interesting deal.

Match Day Quick Reference Card, Sounders vs. DC United

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Sounders at DC United

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With the Sounders playing their sixth match in 18 days, we have a feeling there could be some more changes to the lineup.

Blaise talks

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Just got off a conference call with newest Sounder Blaise Nkufo and coach Sigi Schmid.

Not a whole lot to report of massive import, but it does sound like Nkufo will suit up against DC United, although he probably won't start. Schmid made it sound like there's a decent chance he could come off the bench if the circumstances are right.

Freddie didn't travel

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Freddie didn't travel

The Swede's ankle injury apparently flared up -- at least that's the official story -- and didn't make the trip with the team to DC. Blaise also joined the team in DC.

Scouting Report: DC United, Take 2

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More photos » Andy Marlin - Getty Images

Julius James has emerged as a solid defender for DC United.

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Whatever was wrong with DC United a couple of months ago, it can safely be said that it is behind them.

Using Ljungberg Situation to Better Understand Transfers, Trades, Rumors and Speculation

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Ljungberg wants you to get it right

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By now it seems like most Sounders related sites have posted something regarding Ljungberg and a potential transfer/trade that may/may not be upcoming in the near, or not near future.

Netherlands-Spain Championship Match Earns 8.1 Rating and 15.5 Million Viewers ESPN Networks...

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Netherlands-Spain Championship Match Earns 8.1 Rating and 15.5 Million Viewers
ESPN Networks Finish 2010 World Cup +31% in Ratings, +41% in Viewers Thru 64 Matches

later

The top 10 metered markets for Sunday's four-hour telecast (including pre- and post-match programming) were: San Francisco (14.

FC Twente fans unveil statue of Blaise Nkufo. h/t Joshua Mayers of Seattle Times.

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FC Twente fans unveil statue of Blaise Nkufo. h/t Joshua Mayers of Seattle Times.

Late Review: FCDallas Draw Sounders after Montano Red Card Grants Opportunities

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The positives from last night were that the Sounders played the type of game we like to watch in the first half. They were aggressive, crafty and for the most part defensively sound. That first half foretold a future that looks solid. With youth scattered everywhere we can see that there is skill and talent on the team that should help recreate a team that can challenge for major trophies.

FC Dallas v Seattle Sounders Open Thread

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More photos » Jeff Golden - Getty Images

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I hope I'm not stepping on toes here, but I don't see a game thread and I'm afraid SBN went nuts again.

Keys to Game: Previewing Sounders hosting FC Dallas

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More photos » Ronald Martinez - Getty Images

Dax the Deep Lying Playmaker

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There are going to be lineup changes.

Someone Out; Someone In?

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Someone Out; Someone In?

That from the TNT blog as linked above.

Conspiracy theorists already thinking that the Ljungberg ankle injury may be to protect his health while deal finalized.

I dream its a Center Mid, or even Holding Mid.

Barcelona also Broke; fails to pay players in June

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Barcelona also Broke; fails to pay players in June

Yes, the USA needs to mimic a system where even the wealthiest and most famous of clubs fail to pay their players.

World Cup and MLS Open Thread 7/10-7/11

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The weekend is full of MLS action, and there are those two World Cup matches as well. Our guide today will tell you what interest Sounders fans should have.

Colorado Rapids at Toronto FC - 9AM- This is a game where a draw helps more than anything. Both of these teams are contending for a top two spot in their Conferences, and are almost locks for the playoffs at this time.

JAY DeMERIT : Strong rumours that the USA World Cup central defender will be arriving at BDTBL...

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JAY DeMERIT : Strong rumours that the USA World Cup central defender will be arriving at BDTBL next week on trial. Left Watford at the end of last season, a free agent.

Vital Football with the news

Yep, Sheffield United for the aging yet successful starter for the USA.

Match Day Quick Reference Card, Sounders vs. FC Dallas

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Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas

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We're playing it somewhat conservative and going with just two changes; Nate Jaqua taking over for Pat Noonan and Michael Seamon taking over for Peter Vagenas in the midfield.

Starfire: What works and what doesn't

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As Mike Seamon went to defend a corner kick shortly after a Sounders goal, he recalled barely being able to breathe.

"There was all this smoke," he said with a grin. "Some of them, I don't even think they were watching the game. They were still hugging each other and jumping. I just looked up there and said 'Oh my gosh.

What we learned and where we go from here

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Miguel Montano may not have earned starter's minutes just yet, but he's certainly shown a lot of promise.

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As much as Bruce Arena would like you to believe that Wednesday's game was essentially a "reserve game" that "doesn't make sense," I'm not at all convinced that it was an insignificant victory for the Sounders.

Quick Review: Sounders Knock Galaxy Out of Open Cup

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For the fourth straight year the Seattle Sounders have advanced to the US Open Cup Semi Final Round. This year's opponent dropped from the nation's oldest soccer tournament were the LA Galaxy who started a mix of substitutes and rotational players against Seattle's Reservists and Subs. Jeremiah and I got 10 Sounders' starter correct, and 8 for the Galaxy, which is pretty good guessing in this type of thing.

US Open Cup Game Thread: L.A. Galaxy at Seattle Sounders

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More photos » Jeff Golden - Getty Images

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Crossing our fingers that this match goes a bit more smoothly than last Sunday's.

Your gamecard can be found here.

Major Cup, or Minor Cup, its still a Cup - Sounders host Galaxy in Open Cup Quest

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I frequently refer to certain trophies as "majors" and others as "minors." I always build up the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as a major trophy that just doesn't get the respect it deserves. It is a slot into the CONCACAF Champions League. The winner can call themselves the U.S. Champion. Those things are a big deal.

Quick Reference Match Card, Sounders vs. Galaxy (USOC version)

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Sounders vs. Galaxy, U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals

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Like all U.S. Open Cup matches, predicting the lineups is pretty sketchy stuff.

Believe it or not, Sounders still have shot at playoffs

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More photos » Jeff Golden - Getty Images

The return of Nate Jaqua is one reason to maintain hope in the Sounders' salvaging this season.

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There's no question the Sounders' chances of making the playoffs are looking pretty bleak right now.

Instead, home and away the 2010 MLS season has been more about not leaving points on the table. If...

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Instead, home and away the 2010 MLS season has been more about not leaving points on the table. If enough results don't end up with three points, any team should expect to be in trouble. Last season it simply didn't work that way. So far in 2010, it has. For Seattle, that's the difference between being competitive and being in 7th-place.

Your unofficial Seattle World Cup viewing guide (updated for Semifinals)

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Watching the World Cup has been like a part-time job for me, literally up to the point where I actually appreciated the days off.

Hopefully that doesn't sound like I'm burnt out or anything but the reality is that I've spent more time watching soccer in the past few weeks than I have spent watching almost any other one thing in the past year.

In our discussions with Blaise we encouraged him to take a full two weeks off once he returned from...

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In our discussions with Blaise we encouraged him to take a full two weeks off once he returned from the World Cup. His first training date is scheduled for July 13 and he is eligible to be added to the roster on July 15.

From Team Press Release
Adrian Hanauer on the impending arrival of Blaise Nkufo.

Sounders Statistics at the Halfway Mark

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Let's just start off with those players that are currently injured.

Player Min G A Pts Pts Per 90 CS Raw +/- +/- Per 90 Fucito 19 1 0 2 9.

Getting to Starfire: A frustrating dilemma

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Reviving a tradition started last year, Sounders-hosted U.S. Open Cup matches will be back at Starfire Sports Complex for the foreseeable future. The Sounders' will host Wednesday's quarterfinal match against the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Tukwila facility and they have already announced that a prospective semifinal match (against the Chivas USA-Houston winner) would also be hosted there as well.

Quick Review: Sounders Fall to Galaxy Again, this time only 3-1

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More photos » Jeff Golden - Getty Images

Look at that Buddle can score! Except I wanted to see that LAST WEEK!

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The bright spots were the play of Zakuani, Jaqua, Montano and Seamon.

Gamethread: Sounders at Galaxy

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More photos » Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

The only thing I want to see you celebrate is our Independence

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First and Foremost - Happy Independence Day!

Keys to Game: Seattle Sounders at LA Galaxy

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More photos » Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images

Thank you for your time with our great nation. It is now time for you to lose.

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On this day of celebration that the British chose to "tactically retreat" (ht to Arlo White), the Sounders will be facing the league leaders, the team that seems unstoppable, the team with the greatest American soccer player of this generation.

Scouting Report: Los Angeles Galaxy, Take 2

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More photos » Stephen Dunn - Getty Images

Tristan Bowen is one of several players to have emerged during the absence of Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan.

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When last we met, the Galaxy were the hottest team in MLS, Edson Buddle was the top goal scorer and Donovan Ricketts was nearly impenetrable in goal.

News from practice today

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In case you missed my Tweets (@jeremiahoshan), it looks like Blaise Nkufo won't be joining the team until July 12 or 13 and probably won't play against DC United as originally expected. Instead, he could make his debut in the friendly against Celtic FC or at the latest at home against Colorado on July 25.

Possible Points Won by Region

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So I eat a bit of crow. Europe looks like to win the Cup at this point, but did the region win often enough to justify the representation it has at the World Cup?

Here are the numbers at the end of the Group Stage

Region Wins Draws Played % Pts Won CONMEBOL 8 4 15 0.

July 3rd/4th Open Gamethread - World Cup and MLS

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First off is the ABC game of the day (as in its at a better time to watch) at 11AM Pacific

Spain v Paraguay - Its South America's last chance at getting two teams to the Semis and Europe's chance to declare that their teams aren't overrated. I'm rooting for the Guays even though this tourney will be a disappointment without a Netherlands v Germany Final.

Match Day Quick Reference Card: Sounders at Los Angeles Galaxy

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Sounders vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

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The only big change to the Sounders we see is Nate Jaqua getting his first MLS start of the season, despite a heavy workload on Wednesday.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: MF Brad Evans (R knee meniscus); MF Michael Fucito (R knee contusion);...

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SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: MF Brad Evans (R knee meniscus); MF Michael Fucito (R knee contusion); DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (L knee ACL tear); DOUBTFUL: MF Osvaldo Alonso (R quadriceps strain)

LOS ANGELES GALAXY -- OUT: FW Mike Magee (bilateral sports hernia surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Dema Kovalenko (R hamstring strain)

MLS Injury Report for current week

Only the New England Revolution have had more starters miss games than Seatlte, though DC United and Houston Dynamo have also missed major players.

Is it Time to Flip Our Priorities?

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More photos » Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images

Our USOC and Champions League lineup? (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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Given the sorry state of play currently from the Sounders, and the quite likely scenario that we won't make the playoffs this year, I'd like to propose that we adopt a different approach to the season than is the standard MLS template.

I plan to join the team as soon as possible. I am really excited to wear the Sounders jersey.

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I plan to join the team as soon as possible. I am really excited to wear the Sounders jersey.

Blaise Nkufo sits down with SoundersFC.com

The downward trend of the SBNhanced Power 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 LA Galaxy 21 7 1 Real Salt Lake 21 7 1 Columbus Crew 21 7 1 Tier 2 - Teams Likely in the Playoffs Colorado Rapids 17 3 2 NY Red Bulls 15 1 2 Toronto FC 14 0 2 SJ Earthquakes 12 0 2 Tier 3 - Teams On the Outside Looking In Chicago Fire 11 1 3 FC Dallas 11 0 3 Houston Dynamo 7 0 3 Seattle Sounders 5 0 3 Tier 4 - Teams Competing for #3 Draft Pick KC Wizards 2 0 3 DC United 2 0 4 Philadelphia Union 1 0 4 NE Revolution 1 0 4 Chivas USA 0 0 4

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

The Emotion of Penalty Kicks

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The Emotion of Penalty Kicks

Kirsten checks in on the Sounders from her new post at SBNation/Seattle.

Quick Review: Sounders top Timbers, advance in USOC

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It's pretty late, so I'll keep this simple: Thank you Kasey Keller and thank you Zach Scott.

If Keller's place in Sounders lore was ever in doubt, I think he sealed his spot today. He probably could have done better on the Timbers' goal, but the two saves he made in the penalty shootout were a thing of legend.