Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2011

MLS Playoffs Conference Semis Triple Header Gamethread

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On a drippy, grey Sunday soccer fans get a triple header of games to enjoy. Match action starts with season #10 and wild card winners New York Red Bulls hosting the Supporters Shield winning Los Angeles Galaxy out in the suburbs of Metropolis. At Noon Pacific on ESPN2 this game has the marquee names of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, but a few of the DPs may be limited due to injury.

Real Salt Lake Vs. Sounders, MLS Cup Playoffs 2011: Highlights, Stats And Quotes

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It really doesn't get much worse than that folks. And, yet, as Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said in postgame comments, they were lucky they didn't lost 6-0. The Sounders were outplayed every bit as bad as their 3-0 scoreline suggests, and probably even worse than that.

Just going through the stats, there are signs of Real Salt Lake domination everywhere.

mad?Yes. Sad?Yes. angry?Yes. The thing is we need to believe we can do it , @soundersfc can score 3...

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mad?Yes. Sad?Yes. angry?Yes. The thing is we need to believe we can do it , @soundersfc can score 3 or more goals at home !

Fredy Montero on Twitter

He isn't taking the loss well. He isn't giving up. Neither should you. btw - Roger Levesque was on an MLS squad that was down 2 goals going into the 2nd leg and then scored 5 to advance.

Real Salt Lake Dominates Sounders 3-0 - Second Leg Wednesday

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Quite possibly the worst performance that the Seattle Sounders ever occurred in the chilly, high air of Utah as Real Salt Lake netted three goals. Only Kasey Keller prevented that scoreline from being even greater. To list all of the mistakes that were made will take some time, but sadly it will happen.

something that needs to be said

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I believe that sports should be a meritocracy, that is the only way they can have any meaning, otherwise they are subject to the same random lottery that the rest of life is.

The only way you can separate the good from the average from the bad is through repetition, through a lengthy process that separates the wheat from the chaff.

MLS Playoffs: Sounders at RSL Leg One - Gamethread

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Two leg aggregate series in the MLS Playoffs favor the team with fewer games played. This has become known around MLS media circles as the "Curse of the CCL." But Real Salt Lake shouldn't take any solace in the fact that they've played fewer games. Their First XI has played in 313 more minutes than the likely lineup put forward by the Seattle Sounders.

Two Sounders-RSL Previews For The Price Of One!

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Two Sounders-RSL Previews For The Price Of One!

What a steal!

MLS Playoffs: Sounders at Salt Lake Leg One - Tactical Breakdown

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With the red cards, penalties and an own goal in the last two matches there isn't much that can be taken from the previous two meetings between these sides. Even the issue with the 2010 contests has been addressed, as the Seattle Sounders substitution patterns have dramatically improved in 2011 over previous season.

Sounders Hosting Several Viewing Parties

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If you're like us and not going to Salt Lake for Saturday's MLS Cup wildcard game, there are plenty of places in and around Seattle that will be showing the game. Feel free to share where you're planning to watch the game, here, but in the meantime I figured it's probably a good idea to list the Sounders' official viewing parties.

Sounders' Bench Has Played Significant Role In Improvement

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The Seattle Sounders have been Major League Soccer's best team in the final 15 minutes. They have outscored their opponents 15-4 over that time, with no other team score more often nor allowing so few goals. The 11-goal difference is four better than any other team. But we already knew that, thanks to the reporting of Matt Gaschk.

Major Link Soccer - Battle of the Blands Edition

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It doesn't get any bigger than this. The Seattle Sounders are playing on the road this Saturday at one of the toughest stadiums against one of the best, most well-coached teams in the league. Forget the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls. This is the marquee match-up of the play-offs. One very good team will be eliminated at the culmination of this home-and-home series and I'm just hoping it's the other guys!

Mauro Rosales Won't Travel With Sounders To Real Salt Lake

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Mauro Rosales Won't Travel With Sounders To Real Salt Lake

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise at this point, but Mauro Rosales will not be travelling with the Sounders to Real Salt Lake for Saturday's game. According to a Tweet from Joshua Mayers, the Sounders are hoping that by staying behind and receiving treatment, he'll be closer to fitness for Wednesday's return leg.

MLS Playoffs: Sounders at Salt Lake Leg One - Projected Lineups, Statistics

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The biggest lineup news is that Mauro Rosales will not travel for the match at Real Salt Lake. That basically assures that the Seattle Sounders will have Lamar Neagle on the left and Alvaro Fernandez on the right. That move will of course shift the substitution plan a bit. Something that is already adjusted because of the higher elevation in Sandy, Utah.

Seattle v Salt Lake Infographic

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Seattle v Salt Lake Infographic

Breaking down the two teams' histories, 2011 season in just about every comparable way.

Mauro Rosales 'Very Unlikely' To Play On Saturday

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Mauro Rosales 'Very Unlikely' To Play On Saturday

Mauro Rosales was healthy enough to run at practice on Thursday and was even able to do some stuff with the ball, but coach Sigi Schmid made it pretty clear that a best-case scenario would involve his midfielder making a substitution appearance on the return leg.

If the 2011 season was graphed based on success and expectation it would look like a literary plot...

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If the 2011 season was graphed based on success and expectation it would look like a literary plot graph. These MLS Cup Playoffs are really there to determine whether events like the third straight US Open Cup, qualification for the CCL Quarterfinals and Kasey Keller's retirement game are the climax, or is there something more to this story?

Three Academy Alumni In Top 16 Freshmen

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Three Academy Alumni In Top 16 Freshmen

As Adrian made clear at the Date with SaH the team had little influence on these players. He expects things to get better as the organization gets more time with players.

Nick Palodichuk, Deandre Yedlin, Sean Okoli seem to be the early successes, but the long term Hanauer sees an regular player every couple years at best.

MLS Playoffs: Sounders at Real Salt Lake Leg One - Five Questions

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In Major League Soccer's odd playoff format this is the only two leg series (tie, whatever). In order to grant the higher seed an actual advantage it hosts the second leg and a potential for overtime on its own soil. Overtime is reached if the scoreline over the two matches in the series are tied with no regard away goals.

A Crazy Idea for Better Playoffs

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So the playoffs are impending, and it hasn't escaped notice that the way it worked out this year is just plain wrong. Playoffs, however, are here to stay and especially because schedules are likely to become unbalanced. So how do we set up playoffs so that playing better is always rewarded?

In my opinion, the biggest problem with the playoff system as it stands is what this year's playoffs highlight: the possibility that superior teams will face off prematurely, thereby eliminating better teams while inferior teams skate by against equally inferior opposition.

MLS Playoffs Wild Card Round Gamethread

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The original plan was to have these two matches on the same day, but snowfall in Denver pushed the Colorado Rapids v Columbus Crew game back to tomorrow. We'll bump the thread for that one. Tonight's match should be more entertaining as preseason favorites New York Red Bulls travel down to Frisco, Texas to face off against the fading FC Dallas.

Nos Audietis, Episode 31: Mauro, Playoffs, & RSL

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The news broke yesterday that Mauro Rosales has once again had a slight MCL injury caused by a hard tackle in the Sounders 3-1 win over Chivas USA. In this week's episode we talk about his injury and what implications that has for playoff games, especially the opening two-leg round with Real Salt Lake.

Sammy Ochoa v Mike Fucito Tactical Decision - Case Study Real Salt Lake

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After Sammy Ochoa's Pemco goal against Chivas USA last week it seems like the Seattle Sounders have a bit of a battle for that second forward role. Just a week ago the case was made that their roles are different enough that the start v sub decision should be more about tactical options than one player being "better.

Video I made in response to hearing things like "soccer is boring". I know some parts are sped up...

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Video I made in response to hearing things like "soccer is boring".

I know some parts are sped up too fast, but what do you guys think?

We've read a lot of stuff about Kasey Keller in the last couple weeks, but this nearly 30-minute...

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We've read a lot of stuff about Kasey Keller in the last couple weeks, but this nearly 30-minute 1-on-1 with Arlo White via SoundersFC.com is pretty awesome.

When trailing in the 75th minute, Seattle has managed a 3-5-3 record, so they are more likely to...

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When trailing in the 75th minute, Seattle has managed a 3-5-3 record, so they are more likely to get a point out of a match they are fighting back from behind as they are to come out of it with a loss and no points at all.

That's a line from Matt Gaschk's story at SoudnersFC.

Sigi Schmid Going For Away Leg Win

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There are good road teams, and then there are great road teams. In a league so well known for its parity a common practice for teams is to tie on the road and win at home. When the Seattle Sounders travel to Sandy, Utah to take on Real Salt Lake they will defy convention and go for the win. In a two leg series it isn't necessary to win the away leg.

Mauro Rosales Injury Update: Sounders Deem MF 'Iffy' For Saturday

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The much awaited results of Mauro Rosales' MRI were reported on Tuesday and they aren't so great. Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid called Rosales' availability for Saturday's MLS Cup playoff game at Real Salt Lake "iffy" and didn't exactly sound optimistic that Rosales would even be ready for the return leg next Wednesday.

Major League Soccer TV Ratings With Positive Local/National Trends

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With surging national attendance numbers (strongly supported here in Seattle) the indication would be that at least one aspect of Major League Soccer's business model is strong. Positive signs go deeper as the rivalries in Cascadia and elsewhere help build relevance of the local teams in their markets local TV ratings are up as well.

ECS Invites You To Travel With Them To Real Salt Lake

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There are few things more fun than going on a roadtrip to watch your team play. As you may remember, I documented my experience going with ECS to Vancouver. Well, if you're looking for something to do this weekend, ECS wants to make sure you are more than welcome to join them.

From the look of it, there is no organized bus trip, but they are organizing carpools and helping people finding lodging.

Mauro Rosales Injury Update: Sounders Await Results Of MRI

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Sometime this afternoon, the Seattle Sounders should find out whether or not Mauro Rosales will be available for some or part of their Western Conference semifinal against Real Salt Lake. Their right midfielder was, of course, hurt early in Saturday's match against Chivas USA. It was his first start since spraining his MCL on Sept.

ESPN's top 10 goals

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ESPN's top 10 goals

Montero and Wahl both appear for the Sounders. Hassli comes in at #1 against.

Major Link Soccer - Squeak, Squeak Edition

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Put it in the books folks. The regular season is over and the Seattle Sounders logged an impressive 63 points over 34 games. In most seasons that would have put the Sounders in the top spot. Instead the Sounders will be the number two team in the league and will face the number three team in Real Salt Lake in a home-and-home series.

Sounders Over Goats 3-1 : Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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Sigi Schmid put out what looks to be his First XI in a game that didn't matter for the Seattle Sounders. As preparation for the MLS Cup Playoffs the match against Chivas USA was solid preparation, except for the possible injury to Mauro Rosales. On goal one Mike Fucito played the target role drawing three defenders before bouncing the ball out to James Riley who popped it up and over to Fredy Montero in a one-on-one.

Chivas USA Vs. Sounders: How Costly Was Win No. 18?

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The Seattle Sounders had two main goals when they paid Chivas USA a visit on Saturday with nothing to play for standings-wise: work Mauro Rosales back into the lineup and get out healthy. Somewhere else in the list of priorities was finally beating Chivas USA at Home Depot Center and heading into the playoffs on a roll.

Seattle Sounders at Chivas USA - Gamethread

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Facing a team that fell well short of their goals for the season the Seattle Sounders have the opportunity to have essentially an intense scrimmage to prepare themselves for the coming MLS Cup Playoffs. It isn't that Chivas USA has been bad per se, just not mediocre enough to sneak in the playoffs.

Seattle Sounders Need To Shore Up Defense Heading Into Playoffs

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Amid all the hoopla surrounding the Seattle Sounders' best-in-the-league offense, there has been another somewhat underreported story: their defense has been pretty darn good, too. Just four teams have allowed fewer than the Sounders' 36 goals and they are on pace to have a slightly better defense than the one they had a year ago.

Breaking Down Every Scenario For Every Team

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Breaking Down Every Scenario For Every Team

If it seems like a lot is still unsettled on the final weekend of the regular season, well, that's because there is. I make an attempt to break down every possible scenario in the MLS playoff race.

Seattle Sounders FC Academy Home Opener

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Tukwila, Wash.-- Seattle Sounders FC Academy teams played their home opener against Nomads FC tonight, the first of a 2-game home stand this weekend.

The U18 team won by a score of 5-3.

Goal Scorers: Ian Lange(2), Ike Crook, Dominique Dismuke, Jimmy Oganga

The U16 team won by a score of 3-0.

World Cup Rights Won By Fox And Telemundo

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In what is a fairly stunning move Fox has won the rights to the English language broadcasts in the USA of all FIFA events from 2015-2022. This will include the signature events of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as well as the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada and the 2019 Women's World Cup which has yet to be awarded to a host nation.

Major Link Soccer - Dat MVP Edition

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It's the lull before the storm in Seattle Sounders land. The Seattle Sounders lost on Tuesday 2-1 to Monterrey, but despite the loss, the Sounders still advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. Chivas USA will be in town this weekend for the last regular season match-up. The results hardly matter for either team and the Sounders will be looking forward to the playoffs.

CONCACAF Champions League: Tough Opponent Awaits Seattle Sounders In Quarterfinals

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The full field is set for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, and while we don't know who awaits the Seattle Sounders, we know it won't be easy. The Sounders will face one of the three group winners, one of two Mexican teams or the Los Angeles Galaxy. Last year, the draw was released on Nov.

Seattle Sounders At Chivas USA - Three Questions

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The Seattle Sounders travel down to the Home Depot Center to face Chivas USA. Each team could really just consider this a 'super reserves' game. For the Sounders it will be preparation for the MLS Cup Playoffs and the ultimate goal of the 2011 team, the MLS Cup. For Robin Fraser with Chivas it will be another chance to make decisions about next year's talents.

Submit Questions/Topics For End Of Year Alliance/Team Busines Meeting

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Submit Questions/Topics For End Of Year Alliance/Team Busines Meeting

In order to have less repitition and more complete answers we are taking submissions for the end of year business meeting. The meeting is being co-planned by Council and the Front Office so hopefully it will be what you want.

Nos Audietis, Episode 30: Might Kasey Featuring Adrian Hanauer and Arlo White

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We recorded on Monday so this week's episode of Nos Audietis is pretty much about all the festivities surrounding Kasey Keller's final regular-season home game. And what a game it was. Not only did Sounder at Heart host a pretty awesome little get together, but the Seattle Sounders treated the fans to a pretty impressive comeback victory that allowed Keller's day to be a real celebration.

Sounders Vs. Monterrey, CONCACAF Champions League: Highlight, Quotes, Statistics

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The Seattle Sounders just needed a point to become just the second MLS team in the four-year history of CONCACAF Champions League to win a group. Once Fredy Montero equalized in the 42nd minute, they seemed well on their way.

But two all-too-familiar problems cropped up once again: Allowing attackers to get behind the defense and poor passing in the defensive third.

Using Forward Rotations To Achieve Tactical Dominance

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Forwards are meant to score. Sometimes it is that simple. Sure there's so much other stuff that they can do, but in the end they are the scorers. In order for top forwards to accomplish this goal they need space to receive the ball and then space enough to shoot it effectively. In these parts we've called that part of the game tactical awareness.

Seattle Sounders Fall To Monterrey 2-1

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CF Monterrey Rayados managed to pick off misplaced passes by the Seattle Sounders and nicked two goals. If that feels like a pattern for the Seattle side it is, having plagued them in their MLS match as well. The result has the Mexican side finish top of their group while the Sounders advance from the second position.

Seattle Sounders v CF Monterrey Rayados - Gamethread

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Playing for pride isn't a common thing for the Seattle Sounders, at least not because they have been so damn good that the result bears little meaning. Lose and nothing really changes. With a draw the Sounders win the group. With a win they may just knock out the reigning champs. This game has a chance to get a little negative, because Monterrey's scenario is really simple, if they get a point they advance.

Sounders on Campus: Week 8

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Bit of a break since our last update, but Sounders Academy players continue to make their mark as Freshmen across the collegiate soccer landscape. We're now at about the 2/3rds point of the season for most programs, so we're seeing teams starting to make their final push for conference and national tournaments.

SBN Power Rankings See Seattle #2

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SBN Power Rankings See Seattle #2

Here's two lines on the team "There's only one thing that matters for the Seattle Sounders now - Playoff wins. Get enough of them (how 'bout three?) and they will have had a season for the ages."

I wrote the top two. Big Time wrote about half.

CF Monterrey Rayados at Seattle Sounders - Three Questions

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The Seattle Sounders need a point to win the group. Monterrey basically needs a point to advance. Both sides will put effort forward, but while the American side has been strong if you read the preview over at MLSSoccer.com you know that Monterrey hasn't been great lately. In this edition of three questions we'll dive a little deeper into the reasons behind their struggles with FMFStateOfMind editor Eben.

Another CCL Game, Another Shot At History

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Another CCL Game, Another Shot At History

This look ahead at the CCL match was written for MLSsoccercom. Expect an unconventional lineup that will go out for the win.

Sounders Academy GK Christensen Helps US U-17s Draw Mexico

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Sounders Academy GK Christensen Helps US U-17s Draw Mexico

Seattle Sounders U-16 Keeper Paul Christensen is in Spain with the US U-17 National Team for the AGS Cup, and this weekend was their first match. Christensen played the whole match in goal and made 2 saves as the US drew Mexico 1-1.

Kasey Keller To Ring Of Honor - Not So Fast

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This may seem blasphemous on its surface. I mean, who doesn't love Kasey Keller? Who doesn't think he isn't the greatest American keeper, and maybe best U.S. player of all time? He is a legend, an American Legend. He is one of the greatest keepers in his MLS play (playing time caveat). Tens of thousands showed up to see him off, enough to make it the 4th largest soccer crowd in the world.

Major Link Soccer - A Worthy Send-off Edition

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The Sounders had a pretty amazing come from behind victory this weekend against the lowly San Jose Earthquakes. More important than the 2-1 scoreline was the the righteousness of the send-off of team captain and USMNT legend Kasey Keller. The C-link was rocking with over 64,000 fans and you could hear them every time Keller made a save.

Ticket Giveaway Contest: Give Your Pitch On Why CCL Is Important

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Sounder at Heart has five pairs of tickets to give away to Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Monterrey. The Seattle Sounders have already secured advancement to the quarterfinals, but will win the group if they can get a point. If they win, the Sounders could potentially knock Monterrey out of the tournament.

Mauro Rosales Hopes To Be Fully Fit By Playoffs

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Mauro Rosales Hopes To Be Fully Fit By Playoffs

Mauro Rosales said he was in a little bit of pain after Saturday's game in which he provided an assist on the equalizer, but says he hopes to be fully fit by the playoffs. He also said he's hoping to play 90 minutes next week against Chivas USA, although I apparently left that out of this story.

About That Heritage Cup

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One of the mostly overlooked storylines of last night's comeback victory over the San Jose Earthquakes was that the Seattle Sounders won the 2011 Heritage Cup - their second consecutive win in the three-year history of that trophy. That would be the third piece of hardware for the Sounders this season after the 2011 Cascadia Cup and the 2011 US Open Cup.

Seattle Sounders 2 : San Jose Earthquakes 1 - Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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Kasey Keller's night was nearly perfect. He is ending his club career in a fashion where anyone would be happy for him to still be playing. From saves of snap headers, to a sequence that is reminsent of that epic match against Brazil he was as good as he's even been in MLS. Opportune finishing by Sammy Ochoa tied the game and started the climax of an amazing night of soccer and spectacle.

tifo to the North of you tifo to the South of you Now you can see them both.

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tifo to the North of you
tifo to the South of you

Now you can see them both.

Seattle Sounders Send 64,000 Home Happy With Comeback Win Against San Jose Earthquakes

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Note: Dave's asked me to fill in on the recap since everyone else is at the match. Here goes nothing...

Well then. For eighty minutes, the Sounders were flat in front of a record crowd at CenturyLink Field, allowing the visiting San Jose Earthquakes to grab a 1-0 first half lead and never really looking like recovering.

Seattle Sounders v San Jose Earthquakes - Gamethread

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Saturday night's game will be one of those where in a decade there will be twice as many people in the stadium as CenturyLink Field actually fits. Celebrating an American Legend in wearing a Seattle Sounders kit will do that. Much less significant is the contest for the Golden Boot featuring Fredy Montero and Chris Wondolowski, the MVP runs of any of three Sounders (Montero, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales) and the least significant trophy Seattle can capture in a year the Heritage Cup.

Seattle Sounders v San Jose Earthquakes - Projected Lineups, Statistics

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Now that a result isn't necessary tonight, the lineup is a lot more in question. What we know is that Kasey Keller will start on a day celebrating he and the fans. We also know that Jeff Parke is out and Mauro Rosales will be in the 18. Considering that the Seattle Sounders really like winning in front of home crowds the thought here is that Sigi Schmid will be starting a close to Ideal XI, but that Rosales only gets a second half run.

Sounders May Have Already Found Kasey Keller's Replacement: Michael Gspurning?

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The Seattle Sounders will be paying homage to Kasey Keller on Saturday, and it appears plans are already in the works to find his longterm replacement. A report out of Austria (h/t @CoulterChris) suggests the Sounders are in talks with Michael Gspurning, a 30-year-old goalkeeper currently playing in Greece who has three caps with the Austria national team.

Crowd Of 62,000-Plus May Be Just The Beginning

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Crowd Of 62,000-Plus May Be Just The Beginning

Talked to Adrian Hanauer for a story I did at MLSSoccer.com and he admits that even he is amazed at how quickly the Sounders' popularity has grown. He says he can see a day in the not-so-distant future when the team is regularly drawing crowds like Saturday's to CenturyLink Field.

Friday Night MLS Game Thread

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The Seattle Sounders are busy assembling 63,000 or so close friends of Kasey Keller for a little sending off party, but there are games of significant consequence elsewhere in the league tonight. The match between the Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo (on ROOT sports) has huge implications for the bottom of the playoff race, as these are the two teams on the edge of the top 10.

Why Kasey Keller is important to me

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Why Kasey Keller is important to me

This is ostensibly a preview of the Earthquakes game but I wrote 1,500 words about Kasey Keller instead.

Sounders Will Have Mauro Rosales Available, But Not Jeff Parke Vs. Earthquakes

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Mauro Rosales could make his long-awaited return to the field on Saturday when the Seattle Sounders take on the San Jose Earthquakes. Coach Sigi Schmid announced on Friday that Rosales would at least be in the gameday 18. But it wasn't all good news as he also noted that defender Jeff Parke has not yet been cleared after suffering a concussion last week.

Major Link Soccer - Rocking the C-Link Edition

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It will be a bitter-sweet moment at Quest field this Saturday. Over 60,000 people will be packed into Quest field to watch a legend take the field for the last time at home against the struggling San Jose Earthquakes. A shutout by Kasey Keller will secure the Sounders the number 2 spot in the playoffs.

Kasey Keller - Your American Legend

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There are probably better ways to write this tale. Maybe just that one picture is enough. Or maybe this line from Goalkeeping Coach Tom Dutra says it better.

There's nobody like Kasey.

One of the greatest blessings I've had as a Seattle Sounders fan, and that's really the only way I can write about Kasey Keller, is that one of my heroes in sport plays in front of me almost every day.

Seattle Sounders v San Jose Earthquakes - Three Questions

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While much concerning this game will be about spectacle (Kasey Keller, Fan Appreciation) there is also the little game of soccer. The San Jose Earthquakes enter Saturday's game already eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs. A dire stretch from June 17th to the present saw them win only two matches - one against the Fire and the other against the Revolution.

Josh Ford On Waiting And Starting

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Like many in the Seattle Sounders media I'm working on a post about Kasey Keller's time here. One of those I talked to was someone who just got his first 90 minutes at keeper this week for the team. While talking to Josh Ford we also chatted about his year and having to wait for his opportunities.

How Hot Is Steve Nicol's Seat? The History of Last Place Managers in MLS

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Here's a little non-Sounders content that piqued my curiosity. Thanks to two consecutive wins by the Vancouver Whitecaps, for the first time in a very long time they're no longer at the bottom of the MLS table. Instead they've leapfrogged the New England Revolution, who are suffering what is probably the worst season in their occasionally proud history.

Fredy Montero Named TheCup.US Player of US Open Cup 2011

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Fredy Montero joins Nate Jaqua (10), Kasey Keller (09) and Pat Noonan (07, with Revolution) as current Seattle Sounders who earned the Player of the Tournament award from TheCup.US and North American Soccer Reporters. Montero helped the Sounders to their historical third straight US Open Cups by hitting game winners in the quarters, the semis and the Final.

Nos Audietis Episode 29: Looking Ahead To Kasey’s Last Dance

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Kind of a weird week in Seattle Sounders-land. The loss to the Philadelphia Union was definitely disappointing, but it's hard to get too worked up about it. The Sounders, just like us, are still kinda basking in the glow of another piece of silverware.

We spend more time talking about how the rest of the season is shaping up and looking ahead to Saturday's "Date with Sounder at Heart", which also happens to be Kasey Keller's final regular-season home game.

How did Ochoa look Monday night

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How did Ochoa look Monday night

Really good around the penalty area. Quite active, maybe with a few poor first touches, but overall strong with one particular shot that stunned me.

Oh, and the story is up at MLSsoccer.com

"Date With Sounder at Heart": Now With Free Tickets

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"Date With Sounder at Heart": Now With Free Tickets

Just in case you weren't convinced before, we can now share that in addition to some specials guests, Saturday's "Date With Sounder at Heart" in the basement of Temple Billiards will also include some free tickets to give away for next Tuesday's CCL finale against Monterrey.

Practice Report: Kasey Keller, Injury Update and James Riley's Ever Changing Partner

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At today's practice the number one topic was Kasey Keller. Nearly every interview of every player mentioned him it's almost as if there's a game of bigger importance than a typical regular season match this Saturday. The club is going to give the fans a massive amount of schwag, including a pretty kick ass captain's armband which the assembled media got to see today.

Never Manage Alone - SB Nation's Fantasy Soccer Blog

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Never Manage Alone - SB Nation's Fantasy Soccer Blog

Their current focus is on EPL Fantasy, but have some coverage of MLS and World Cup Fantasy in the past. Go say hey.

Youth and the American Soccer Player Pool

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If you're the sort of person who likes to discuss the history and future of the US National Team, you know you're never far from a discussion about the quality of the US player pool. Specifically, people want to understand - and argue about - why the leading economy in the world (at least for now) with the fourth largest population doesn't have a more successful international soccer pedigree.

Sounders Reserves Player Review

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Since not many were able to go to the Seattle Sounders Reserves win over the San Jose Earthquakes I thought to expand a bit on the live blog and collate some comments made there and other thoughts I had on the lesser seen players. Now, since Sigi Schmid uses a lot of player rotation there were two subsets of players - the seen and unseen.

State of the MLS Run In: 2 Weeks to Go

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As the regular season winds down I'm going to be posting a weekly summary of the some of the data and predictions we're generating, which should give you some context going into each week of games.

Previous Week

We're in the calm before the storm as the mostly-observed FIFA international break meant that there were only 3 games played since our last update.

United States v Ecuador Friendly - Gamethread

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The Jurgen Klinsmann Era is still fresh and new. He's earned his first win, but the soccer fans in the United States want to see more than a win against a CONCACAF middle team and a draw against the best from our region. Tuesday night's game against Ecuador provides a fairly strong test (21st by SPI).

Jurgen Klinsman Thinks MLS Players Don't Play Enough, Ignores Facts

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I'm certain that Jurgen Klinsmann is a smart soccer coach. He's trying to build something that will probably take about 8 years or so to come to fruition with the United States National Team. It involves many layers, not just the current senior team, but a couple Olympics teams, many U20/U17 teams, MLS, the lower divisions, college, Academies, and youth teams.

Alonso, Montero Both Finalists For US Open Cup Player Of Tournament

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Alonso, Montero Both Finalists For US Open Cup Player Of Tournament

Joining them are David Bulow and Ronnie Pascale of the Richmond Kickers. Bryan Meredith didn't make the cut, but DID receive votes.

A Sonnet about Starfire

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So when I was dicking around with a project I'm working on involving writing sonnets, I started writing one to memorialize the importance of Starfire Sports Complex, with the knowledge that due to possible changes in the US Open Cup we may not be able to get as many home matches in next year's cup.

Sounders Reserves v San Jose Earthquakes Live Blog

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The MLS Reserve League is petering to a close. Tonight's match against the San Jose Earthquakes doesn't mean anything in any standings (Seattle has already won the MLS Western Reserve Division), but it does give Sigi Schmid an opportunity to see a few of his players on the deep bench. The Seattle Sounders have 6 available outfield players who have played in 4 or fewer MLS matches.

Sounders Attendance Is Really Something To Behold

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That the Seattle Sounders will set another MLS attendance record is not really news. In fact, they already have the single-season MLS attendance record. In the game against DC United, the Sounders broke their old record, which they set in 2010 when they broke the record they set in 2009. Sense a pattern?

I asked U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati about Seattle and Portland over the weekend, and he...

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I asked U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati about Seattle and Portland over the weekend, and he pointed out that the artificial turf fields in both cities present some issues. "We haven't played any qualifiers in quite some time on surfaces where we have to lay down sod, so that makes it a little bit tricky," Gulati said.

Major Link Soccer - Crazy Stadiums Edition

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The Seattle Sounders lost 2-0 this weekend to the Philadelphia Union while missing their three most creative offensive players. The Sounders played a game the average MLS team would be proud of. However, without Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez, the Sounders needed to out work the Union to secure the victory.

Without Three Best Technical Players Seattle Fails To Create

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Sigi Schmid's side lacked its best three technical and creative force in the game Saturday night. Forced to use the natural central midfielders (Brad Evans and Erik Friberg) at the same time and deploying Pat Noonan as a withdrawn man the Seattle Sounders did not threaten the Philadelphia Union goal as they typically do.

Seattle Sounders 0 : Philadelphia Union 2 - Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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There's been a lot of talk about how much weaker the Eastern Conference is than the Western Conference. Saturday night's game was a bitter reminder that all it takes is one or two breaks to go a team's way and they can win. That's kind of what soccer is at it's core. In this case an attempted shielding of the ball was disrupted with an quick foot inserted and became an assist as Freddy Adu scored.

Sounders' Loss To Union Means Supporters' Shield Hopes Officially Over

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Winning the Supporters' Shield has been a longshot for quite some time now, but there seemed to be sliver of hope after the Los Angeles Galaxy lost on Tuesday. Well, we can officially stop worrying about it after the Seattle Sounders' 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. The Sounders can now finish with no more than 63 points, one fewer than the Galaxy's current total.

Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union - Gamethread

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The Philadelphia Union's good-to-bad defensive fluctuations have forced them to become an Eastern Conference contender after an early season when they seemed to dominated the weaker side of the bracket. With Faryd Mondragon maybe making a return the Seattle Sounders will get to discover if it was his lack of experience or one of the most baffling trades in MLS this season that is the fault for their weaknesses defensively.

Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union - Projected Lineups, Statistics

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Sigi Schmid is going to have to find offense from different spots with Fredy Montero out due to his last Yellow. Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez both have injury issues that could see them with spot time, but it would be surprising if either start. Unlike the last injury wave (Herediano here) there are more healthy options in the midfield.

Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union - Three Questions

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An odd thing happened with the Philadelphia Union at the beginning of the season, people forgot how new the team was. People stopped talking about them as an expansion team, and instead just as a team with some inconsistency, youth and capable of challenging for first in the East with no "expansion" caveat.

Who's on the Pitch when Goals are Scored?

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Editor's note: We will probably have a slightly more exhaustive look at these numbers, but in the meantime this is a good overview. - Jeremiah

There was a lively discussion when malcontentjake asked Do Forwards Need to Score? At the end of the article, he concluded that:

Montero is still proving able to draw the attention of defenders and sort of soak up defensive pressure to create space for his teammates.

Osvaldo Alonso Wins TheCup.US Player Of Round For US Open Cup Final

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The Player of the Round (and still to be announced Player of Tournament) is voted on by mostly the same group that votes for MLS' Player of Week/Month awards. Today TheCup.US announced that Seattle Sounders defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was the Player of the Round for the US Open Cup Final.

Alonso was challenged for the award by teammates Fredy Montero and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.

Dave on with Dick Fain of KJR talking Open Cup

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Dave on with Dick Fain of KJR talking Open Cup

Starts about 15 minutes in or so. Open Cup, Supporters Shield and likely Playoff scenario are the topics.

Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Scouting Report: Keep the Train Rolling

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Sigi Schmid may do as much to earn his paycheck in the next couple of weeks of relatively unimportant games as he did during the Seattle Sounders' hectic run of critical league games, cup finals, and CCL group stage matches. The task during that difficult (and almost perfect) autumn run was to keep up the winning while rotating through a deep roster to keep everyone as healthy and fit as possible.

Major Link Soccer - 3eattle Sounders Edition

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Success! The Seattle Sounders defeated the Chicago Fire 2-0 to win the U.S. Open Cup for a third straight year. I admit I had my moments of doubt. Their defense almost seemed prescient in their ability to intercept passes and shots. Luckily, Fredy Montero scored the go-ahead goal just when I was mentally preparing for a grueling overtime.

RSL Crushed by Caps - Sounders Virtually Lock 2nd in West

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Editor's note: Moving this to the front page because this is pretty significant news and there's no reason for me to repeat it. - Jeremiah

Real Salt Lake went down a man to a very questionable (in my opinion, bad) "intentional handball in the box" call by official Chris Penso.

Nos Audietis, Episode 28: We Just Won The U.S. Open Cup

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There are few things as glorious in the podcasting world than celebrating victory, and that's just what we do in this week's episode of Nos Audietis. Three-straight U.S. Open Cups baby, there ain't nothing to apologize for.

This is also our first episode with our new engineer, loyal Sounder at Heart reader Dano_Seattle.

Sounders coaches pleased with David Estrada's progress

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Sounders coaches pleased with David Estrada's progress

Here's something I wrote for MLSSoccer.com. Dave and I are going to be filling in on the Sounders beat while Andrew Winner is in Iceland or some other fancy vacation spot.

Seattle Sounders Goal Dangerous Every Game

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In soccer, offense comes down to creating opportunities, taking chances and converting those into goals. There are times when a great keeper, the post or some defenders can get in the way of those goals, but it does not minimize the offense. There has been the question of a third DP, a "consistent" scorer, but against the Chicago Fire the Seattle Sounders showed that goal danger doesn't need a big name.

When the Seattle Storm were bounced from their playoff run Dick Fain was able to come to the US...

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When the Seattle Storm were bounced from their playoff run Dick Fain was able to come to the US Open Cup Final. We went to Fuel, did the March and celebrated joyfully with 35,000 of our closest friends. This is his less than 4 minute video of the day, it includes Fain being lucky enough to have captured the Alonso goal at the end.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Just had to move this to the front. Great camera work and spectacular editing. The...

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Just had to move this to the front. Great camera work and spectacular editing.

The Goal.

Sounders May Not Want To Talk Treble, But Why Shouldn't We?

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The word "treble" does not get mentioned very often in U.S. soccer circles. It's a term that gets thrown around a bit in European soccer, especially with Porto (2010-11) and Inter Milan (2009-10) accomplishing the feat in recent seasons, but it's something no MLS team has ever accomplished and is therefore relegated to the fringes.

State of the MLS Run In: 3 Weeks to Go

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As the regular season winds down I'm going to be posting a weekly summary of the some of the data and predictions we're generating, which should give you some context going into each week of games.

Previous Week

This one comes a day late thanks to the focus on the US Open Cup final yesterday, but the upside of that is that the game between the New York Red Bulls and the Los Angeles Galaxy last night will factor into the results.

US Open Cup Bidding Process & MLS Qualification Changing For 2012

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US Open Cup Bidding Process & MLS Qualification Changing For 2012

Greater transparency and participation will be better for the whole tournament. From the linked article

The source said U.S. Soccer is "tired of getting beat up" over the current system.

Great work by Brian Straus on the future of the tournament.

Who Should Be US Open Cup Player Of Tournament?

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One of the fun things about the Seattle Sounders and this winning the US Open Cup for three straight years is that it is almost certain that a Sounder will also be the 4th straight Player of the Tournament. The award is handed out by TheCup.US through voting by the North American Soccer Reports (a kind of guild or association of some the soccer writers in the US and Canada).

Seattle Sounders Win Third Straight US Open Cup - Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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There's a little problem with our format here of providing a quick recap and then a post that is just the data, an attempt to remove the emotion and review the game based on that alone. When a team makes history the emotion is a major part of it. The rush from the glory of victory is still there.

'MLS Fans Should Be Thanking Seattle' - That's The Ginge Speaking, Not Me

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'MLS Fans Should Be Thanking Seattle' - That's The Ginge Speaking, Not Me

You wanna know why winning a third straight U.S. Open Cup matters? Because it's that much harder to ignore. Zach Woosley over at Dynamo Theory has never been confused for a Sounders fan, but today he wrote what is probably on a lot of people's minds: There are no excuses for sandbagging other tournaments.

US Open Cup Final: Sounders Three-Peat, 'Nuff Said

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Three straight U.S. Open Cups. Just let that sink in. The Seattle Sounders, a three-year-old MLS franchise, have now won more Open Cup titles than all but seven clubs in the tournament's 98-year-history after dispatching the Chicago Fire 2-0 on Tuesday in front of a record crowd of 35,615.

The Sounders are now just one of four teams to ever win three straight, but the first since Greek Americans AA, who managed the feat from 1967-69.

US Open Cup Final - Sounders v Fire - Gamethread

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It is easy to get the sense that Tuesday night's US Open Cup Final is an important match for the Seattle Sounders. If you follow their various social media platforms you've been flooded with tweets, Facebook posts, contests, videos and more. On the radio they started purchasing advertising weeks ago.

US Open Cup Final: Seattle v Chicago - Scouting Report And Tactical Breakdown

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Previewing this match it is clear that the Chicago Fire are a different team than they were during the last meeting. Both teams certainly have injury concerns to key players, but the facet of the game that will be most effected is different. One can consider that there are four portions of any game, in ways these are what determined the old three band nomenclature of formations.

US Open Cup Final Is A Day Reserved For Sounders Faithful

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As you walk into CenturyLink Field tonight take a moment to look around. No, there won't be 50,000 people there like many of us had hoped, but there should be at least 35,000. Another U.S. Open Cup attendance record is guaranteed to fall and the Seattle Sounders will have once again raised the bar.

More hype videos! This one basically recaps the Sounder' road to their third US Open Cup final.

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More hype videos! This one basically recaps the Sounder' road to their third US Open Cup final.

US Open Cup Final: Seattle Sounders v Chicago Fire - Projected Lineups, Statistics

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The most intriguing thing is that both teams number 10s are gameday decisions. Neither Seattle Sounders winger Mauro Rosales nor center attacking mid Sebastian Grazzini of the Chicago Fire played in their last match due to injuries. Both though are on a path that could have them making a return to the starting XI for the Cup Final.

I know you are all a bundle of nerves anyway, so how about a little extra adrenaline just to make...

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I know you are all a bundle of nerves anyway, so how about a little extra adrenaline just to make sure that you don't get a single ounce of sleep tonight. The U.S. Open Cup Final is going to be unbelievably awesome.

"It’s our game plan to go up early and calm it down and hopefully we can stick to the game plan,"...

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"It's our game plan to go up early and calm it down and hopefully we can stick to the game plan," he said on Monday. "You always got to tune [the fans] out. It's really a hard place to play. You have the fans screaming that you can't hear your own teammates ask for the ball. An early goal would calm them down and silence them a little bit.

Former USL Sounder Presto Burpo Accepts Coaching Job With Montreal Impact

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Former USL Sounder Presto Burpo Accepts Coaching Job With Montreal Impact

Preston Burpo, who spent nine seasons with the USL Seattle Sounders, will be the goalkeeper's coach for the Montreal Impact during their inaugural MLS season. After leaving the Sounders in 2006, he played for four different MLS teams before ending his career with the New England Revolution when a collision with Dane Richards snapped his leg.

Major Link Soccer - Buy a Ticket Edition

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It's a big week for the Seattle Sounders. We have our shot at one bringing back the US Open Cup trophy on Tuesday in front of the largest soccer crowd the tournament has ever seen. This isn't a fly-by-night operation dressing up a friendly to draw fans. It's a history soaked tournament that's been running continuously in the U.

US Open Cup: Sounders Face Vastly Improved Fire

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You remember the Chicago Fire, right? Lots of ties. No offense to speak of. Mired in another lost season. Well, put all of that out of your mind, because the team standing in the Seattle Sounders' way of a third-straight U.S. Open Cup title is a lot different from that one.

Unless you follow the blow-by-blow of the Major League Soccer season, you could be excused for not realizing just how good the Fire have been playing over the course of the last couple months.

Miguel Montano Invited to MLS Montreal Impact Trial

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As the Montral Impact transition from not very good NASL side to expansion MLS team they have invited 25 players to trial and attempt to be on their inaugural roster. Miguel Montano, who the Seattle Sounders had loaned to the Impact, will be staying with them for their trial camp. There are a few other players familar to those that follow the Sounders.

US Open Cup Final: Seattle Sounders v Chicago Fire - Three Questions

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The two MLS sides with the strongest historical connections to the US Open Cup meet Tuesday night. Both Chicago and Seattle played non-ideal XIs in their weekend matches to prepare for their opportunity to lift the Cup. For the Chicago Fire this is their chance to reawaken the team, to renew their history and claw back into the discussion as a solid team with a bright future.

Simon Kuper, Sigi Schmid and Arlo White

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Simon Kuper, Sigi Schmid and Arlo White

Yeah, that's a kick ass night at Town Hall. Tickets are only 5$ for the 11 October evening event.

US Open Cup Connects To Seattle Sounders Uniquely

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With an expected attendance right about even with MLS league play of 35,000 for the US Open Cup Final against the Chicago Fire on Tuesday night, it is apparent that Seattle and the team have a connection to this tournament that most teams in MLS do not have. It isn't just about the ticket sales, but in the types of lineups that Sigi Schmid has field in the MLS era.

Seattle Sounders 2 : New England Revolution 1 - Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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Soccer is a game of goals. Not necessarily pretty goals, not amazing feats of beating strong defense, just goals. Saturday night as the Seattle Sounders beat the New England Revolution 2:1 the goals made were all off of defensive errors. Diego Fagundez was unmarked on a corner leaving him with just Kasey Keller to beat.

Game Recap: Montero Ensures Sounders Remain Undefeated in Reserve League Play

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Ha ha ha. There's no better way to put a skip in your step than to throw a bunch of second- and third-stringers into an away match and get a win anyway. We mostly got tonight's reserve heavy Sounders starting 11 right, but were off on some of the details. Roger Levesque was in the game, but as a right back.

Seatte Sounders at New England Revolution - Gamethread

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In MLS the Seattle Sounders have yet to have a game in league play that didn't matter. Only the tail end of last year's CCL is at all similar. During that run the Sounders were able to get valuable playing time for Mike Fucito, Tyson Wahl, Alvaro Fernandez, and Zach Scott - players who weren't keys to the 2010 season, but have become so for MLS 2011.

Seattle Sounders v New England Revolution Scouting Report: Anticlimax

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Today's game against the New England Revolution probably the least important game for the Seattle Sounders in any competition this season. How's THAT for a scintillating preview?

Even the last match of the CCL group stage against Monterrey has something on the line, with the possibility of winning the group (and thus presumably earning an easier first matchup in the bracket) and perhaps even eliminating the defending champions from the competition entirely.

NASL Commissioner David Downs In New York Times On D2 Soccer In USA

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NASL Commissioner David Downs In New York Times On D2 Soccer In USA

Touches on business issues, pro/rel and his failed bid for a future World Cup in the United States.