Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2011

Seattle Sounders at San Jose Earthquakes - Three Questions with Quake, Rattle and Roll

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Synchronicity is a great and wonderful thing. Like when one needs to find an interviewee for three questions, and you know of a blog that is going to launch on the network, and then you find out that they are launching the very week that the Sounders face the Earthquakes.

So go welcome Quake, Rattle and Goal to SBNation.

Around the League podcast Week 3

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Around the League podcast Week 3

I believe Dave is featured this week as the Sounders correspondent. Really, if you're the type that listens to podcasts and aren't subscribing to this, I'm not sure what you are listening to..

Stats: The Role of Skill and Luck In MLS Shot Metrics

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The Role of Shots in Goal Scoring

One of the factors that distinguishes soccer from nearly every sport is the relative rarity of scoring events. This has significant implications in many different contexts, including tactical decisions, player evaluation, tournament organization, and so on. And in particular it has implications for statistical analysis of the game.

Leo Goes Green

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Leo Goes Green

Leo Gonzales gets Green Card, opens up additional international slot.

Statistics and Soccer: Moving Beyond Trivia

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With Opta now getting advanced statistics for MLS, things are hopeful, but relatively inactive at this time. Sure, we get an occasional tweet from they or MLS_Analyst with stats. Many of these though are trivia, not analysis, and certainly not predictive.

Certainly this may be due to the nature of twitter.

United States vs Paraguay Game Thread

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United States vs Paraguay Game Thread

Here's a link to the SBN StoryStream. Hahnemann's in for Timmy in goal (not for injury reasons). Agudelo and Altidore are paired up top, leaving no forwards on the bench. Game is on Fox Soccer Channel.

Seattle Sounders Will Expand Seating For Two Games This Season, Not Cascadia Cup Games

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In addition to opening the upper bowl for the Manchester United match, the Seattle Sounders just announced that they will also be opening up those sections for the New York Red Bulls (June 23) and San Jose Earthquakes (Oct. 15) matches. The Hawks Nest will be opened for the United match, but not for the Quakes and Red Bulls matches.

The Journey to the 2011 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Begins Tonight

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The Seattle Sounders are defending US Open Cup champions twice over, and in both of their winning campaigns the road to the Cup went through the Portland Timbers. Unfortunately, this season the Sounders may not have a chance to meet up with their lucky charms.

For as far back as I wanted to research (at least 5 years) the Timbers have qualified automatically for the Cup as a USL-1 - or more recently a USSF D-2 - club.

Position Battle: Four Seattle Sounders Vying For Two Midfield Spots

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Maybe we should have seen this coming, but we now have a bona fide position battle going on in the Seattle Sounders midfield. Through three games, we've seen three combinations, six different starters and eight players see time at the four standard midfield positions.

Only Osvaldo Alonso has started all three matches at the same position (ostensibly the center defensive midfielder), but it's also safe to say Steve Zakuani is the clear first-choice on the left side.

Manchester United Will Play Seattle Sounders In July 20 Friendly

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The long-rumored friendly against Manchester United has been made official. The Seattle Sounders will play the Red Devils at Qwest Field on July 20, a team release announced:

"Our fans deserve the best and we have provided a blockbuster match," Sounders majority owner Joe Roth said.

Ex-Seattle Sounder Blaise Nkufo Retires, But We All Saw This Coming Right?

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It's hard to know if this really qualifies as news at this point, but Blaise Nkufo has officially announced his retirement. This comes on the heels of reports out of Holland, where Nkufo became a legendy at FC Twente, saying similar things.

"During our relationship we have found Blaise to be both a gentleman and a great sportsman," Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said in a team release.

MLS Fantasy Lesson in March

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By so many measures I've had a decent ESPN Fantasy Season to start 2011. I'm in the 88th percentile. That's good, sure. But I've also missed a few major items.

  • Frank Yallop can't judge Defensive talent. Also read "I like Ike Opara better than his coach does." I have starter Opara in two weeks.

Major Link Soccer - My Blogpost for a Goal!

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It's Monday morning in Sounders land and once again fans of the team are filled with mixed emotions. The Seattle Sounders put up an impressive display against the Houston Dynamo on Friday, but were unlucky to come away with a 1-1 draw. The Sounders put up plenty of quality chances on goal and were unlucky in a couple of calls.

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast, March 28th 2011

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Welcome to the second (publicly available, but more on that later) edition of Nos Audietis, the Sounder At Heart podcast starring the inimitable Jeremiah Oshan and myself. Today we talk about the Seattle Sounders 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo, the midfield logjam, Nate Jaqua vs. O'Brian White and more.

Strength of Confeds Based on Distribution in FIFA Rankings

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Strength of Confeds Based on Distribution in FIFA Rankings

SoccerMetrics looks at the strength of Confederations in a graphical form. The post also looks at how an "Americas" Confederation would standout (most balanced in world).

Notable - CONCACAF still better than Asia. Still with less slots for World Cup.

USA 1:1 Argentina; half-time changes net surprising result

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USA lineup and tactics:

Bob Bradley chose a 4-5-1/4-3-3 shape with a trio of central midfielders and attacking outside mids/wingers to support a lone center forward. The back 4 consisted of Jonathan Spector on the right, Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit in the middle, and Carlos Bocanegra on the left.

Reserves Pound Gonzaga 7-Nil

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Reserves Pound Gonzaga 7-Nil

Frustrations released?

I feel a little bad for the college kids. That Reserve team had a lot of talent on it.
Notables - Alvaro was only player with Goal and Assist. Graham injured his hand. Only 1 player on roster didn't appear in either game, so team is nearly healthy.

SSFC v Dynamo: how many times can you say "goals win games"?!

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Lineup, Tactics:

There were some changes in the lineup, which isn't in and of itself surprising, but as a whole the changes may have caught some off guard. Most notably, health concerns kept James Riley out of the lineup, and Zach Scott came in at right back. Jhon Kennedey Hurtado was given the night off and Patrick Ianni filled in next to Jeff Parke, returning to the CB pairing from the second half of '10.

G2S Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Relief Effort

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Gorilla FC is hosting an event to raise money for the American Red Cross Japan relief effort this Saturday TODAY, March 26th. You are all invited to have fun and help support the American Red Cross! The event will be held at Garage Billiards where you can register a team to take part the bowling tournament.

Seattle Sounders Vs. Houston Dynamo: Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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We started this feature with the idea that it would be a chance to have a less emotional reaction to the game. A way to just be presented with the facts and make a more measured assessment.

What I didn't count on was actually being more emotional about a game the next day than I was at the time.

MLS Match Day Open Thread

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We get the opportunity to see Portland Timbers at Toronto FC on FSN so, here's an opportunity to talk about that game, and other games through the rest of the League.

Here's the SBN Soccer preview of the game and here is the gamethread from StumptownFooty

Seattle Sounders Deserved More Than A Tie, But It's Hard To Complain At This Point

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You're unlikely to see a MLS team dominate as much as the Seattle Sounders did on Friday and come away with less to show for it. The Sounders fired off a team-record 26 shots, eight of them on target. Fredy Montero, O'Brian White and Steve Zakuani accounted for 18 of those shots, by themselves three times as many shots as the entire Houston Dynamo team managed.

Ratings from Section 109

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Haven't seen any replays yet, so this is all from my perspective around the 50-yard line. Using my patented three plusses to three minuses system, since I'm kind of sick of the silly 5 to 9 by halves system.

Bonus Facts
  • Sounders season to date: 1 Goal / 17 Shots on Goal (5.9%)
  • Opponents to date: 3 Goals / 6 Shots on Goal (50%)
  • Rest of the league: 25 Goals / 83 Shots on Goal (30%)
Starters
  • O'Brian White ++ : Everyone who complains about him after this week because he hasn't scored (and there will be many people, especially in the national media) is an idiot.

Seattle Sounders v Houston Dynamo - Gamethead

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The two sides have faced 6 times in League and Playoffs with a 2-2-2 record. Seattle has a win in US Open Cup play as well. While it is fun to hate on the opposition this is one of those teams with so many Sounders connections that the hate is muted, though desire for victory is not. Cam Weaver played at Skagit Valley CC, Seattle U and with the USL Sounders.

Cascadia Cup Ticketing Flap May Be Much Ado About Very Little

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This has been a bit of a wild week for anyone who holds away support near and dear to their heart. It started with news that the Vancouver Whitecaps had turned over their away-ticket allotment to a travel agency. Then rumors surfaced that those tickets were being considerably marked up, and that many people who wanted those tickets would also be forced to purchase full travel packages.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Match Card, Projected Starting Lineups

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The early indications are that the Seattle Sounders are at least getting close to full health. Steve Zakuani is talking about this being the start of his season, Nate Jaqua is apparently going to make his gameday roster debut and Brad Evans looks to have made it through a week of practice unscathed.

Seattle Sounders v Houston Dynamo - Three Questions

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Part Dark Cloud, part powered by Naranja Zach Woosley writes about the Houston Dynamo over at Dynamo Theory. The Houston side troubled Seattle in '09, and are only challenged by the Los Angeles Galaxy for team most often in opposition of Seattle. The Traffic Cones take on the Safety Vests tonight, so what should we know?

Major Link Soccer - Destroy Houston Edition

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Happy Friday everyone. The Seattle Sounders are back in action today at the stadium formerly know as Qwest field as they attempt to stop an early slide to the 2011 season. The Houston Dynamo are not the same side that defeated the Sounders in the 2009 playoffs. The Dynamo are in a rebuilding year having brought in new players to replace those lost to contracts overseas.

Seattle Sounders Notes: Injury Updates, Blaise Nkufo Retiring, Groupon News

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It was a bit of wild day in Soundersland today, with a host of stories of various levels of importance breaking. Most of that stuff is clearly off-the-field. Rather than throw together a bunch of short posts, I figured it would be better to lump them all into a single post of Seattle Sounders notes.

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo - March 25: Scouting Report

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The Seattle Sounders' challenging stretch to open the season continues tomorrow at Qwest Field. The bad news is that by the end of the game Seattle will have played three games while nearly every other team in the league will have played one. The good news is that this week's opponent is the first that isn't a likely MLS Cup contender.

Dave Clark on It’s Called Football

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Dave Clark on It's Called Football

Interview starts at 22:10.

Additionally http://www.canadiansoccernews.com is a great website for anything concerning Canadian soccer. In the past they've discussed things ranging from Canada starting its own Div 2 to how the Canadian Football Association has doomed their national team to mediocrity, but no longer.

Robbie Rogers Wants Out of Columbus - Why Seattle Makes Sense

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According to Steven Goff (Washington Post) Robbie Rogers wants to leave the Columbus Crew and has submitted a list of preferred teams. Figuring out that list of teams while impossible to be fully accurate there are some assumptions that could be made.

  • Los Angeles Galaxy - He's California guy in his youth, and they are a pretty good team.

Nate Jaqua, Brad Evans, Steve Zakuani All Train With Sounders

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Nate Jaqua, Steve Zakuani and Brad Evans all fully participated in training with the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday, improving chances that the trio could be ready to return to action on Friday. As is usually the case, players nearing a return to the lineup train hard early in the week to see how they react.

F O'Brian White (off 73) -- I know some people are getting frustrated with the big Jamaican, but on...

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F O'Brian White (off 73) -- I know some people are getting frustrated with the big Jamaican, but on Saturday he really took one for the team. All that space that Montero got to enjoy in front of the centerbacks was due to White pressing the defense as high as he could (very noticeable on Fredy's knuckling shot from distance in the 27th minute).

The Search for a DP: Why Not Japan?

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Editor's note: Just a reminder that if we are always on the lookout for quality fanposts. Great look at possible targets.

Why has the MLS not penetrated the Japanese market? This is one of the biggest questions that I have had about the league, mostly because we have all seen how Japanese baseball players have affected the MLB.

SBNation Power Rankings - Sounders Falling from 9 to 0 Tier One Votes

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SBNation Power Rankings - Sounders Falling from 9 to 0 Tier One Votes

Two voters you read gave our opinions on why Seattle falls.

Aaron - While I don't think there's enough new information this early in the season to alter my opinion of most teams in the league, an exception has to be made for Seattle and Vancouver; the Sounders were already at the periphery of Supporters' Shield contenders before the season and the loss of a key player like Blaise Nkufo and zero points from their first two games makes that look a tall order.

The "Quick Lads" - how wing play may be the answer for the Sounders

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As Jonathan Wilson points out:

"Football used to be an easy game. The big lads played at centre-half and centre-forward, the hard lads played at full-back, the bright lads played at inside forward, the hard lads who were a bit bright and the bright lads who were a bit hard played at wing-half, and the little, quick lads played on the wing.

Depth Chart - 3XI Right in this moment, here in this instant

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Blaise Nkufo is gone. And again, like in 2010, the spine is broken. All four players out due to health are in the spine, and specifically the attacking side of it. Yet, Seattle is one of the leaders in shots on goal. Coach Sigi Schmid has used different shapes, and very different starting lineups as he has tried to compensate for the minor injury to Steve Zakuani.

Major Link Soccer

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The weekend featured a familiar story for Sounders fans as the team lost 1-0 in New York to the Red Bulls. The offense generated good chances, but failed to put any away. The Red Bulls took advantage of the counter and eventually put in a winning goal. The Sounders return Friday to play the Houston Dynamo in the friendly confines of Quest.

New York Red Bulls Vs. Seattle Sounders: Highlights, Quotes And Stats

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We're going to try something new at Sounder at Heart. In the past, we've posted the full post-game quote sheets and stats in the game recap. We understand that can be a bit bothersome and while some of you appreciate the info, others just find it a nuisance to skip through. Instead, we've decided to have a day-after match post where we put full highlights, the quote sheets and the stats.

Seattle Sounders All Competitions Schedule 2011

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With the recent release of the MLS Reserve League schedule it was time to put in your hands a schedule that shows all competitions in which the Sounders Senior, Reserve and Academy teams are participating this year. This sheet points out the 56 non-Academy games on the schedule with one more to be added for certain (Big Time Friendly).

Goals Win Games; yes, it IS that simple...

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There's a lot that I could say as I go over my notes (mental and physical) from the first two matches of the Sounders 2011 season. There are numerous angles I could take, focusing on personnel and formations, suggesting that certain players may not be fitting in in certain places, looking at substitution patterns, looking at matchups and styles.

Seattle Sounders Fall to Red Bull New York 1-nil - Quick Recap

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It was another game where a supposedly deep starting lineup was forced into two adjustments. O'Brian White continues to fill in for Blaise Nkufo both spatially, and in his hold up play, but missed a few opportunities to score. The larger adjustment was made when Coach Sigi Schmid was forced by lingering injury pulling Steve Zakuani from the lineup.

Seattle Sounders at New York Red Bulls - Gamethread

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The weather expects to be clear and dry in Harrison, New Jersey with temps in the upper 40s as East Coast DP (aka Red Bulls) open their season at home, and hopefully to a near sell-out crowd. Seattle still needs to figure out their wave of injuries and defection of Nkufo. This likely means they play a more technical than speed game with the fast players available being even more limited than normal.

Arlo's call available in 60 countries

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Arlo's call available in 60 countries

The 58 listed there, but also the USA and Canada as today the MLS Direct Kick package is Free!

That's 60 countries to watch the Sounders v Red Bulls legally. We grow.

Seattle Sounders at New York Red Bulls - Three Questions with Once a Metro

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Let's take a look at the team that reinvented itself as much as any over the last eight months. Hans Backe didn't bring in the two famous DPs, but he did add a ton of lesser names to the New York Red Bulls roster. This year they start with a roster ready to compete on opening day, something that hasn't been true in the past, and so Red Bull New York is starting to look like a functional organization.

Mauro Rosales Signing Adds to the Midfield

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Mauro Rosales

After some paperwork delays, Argentine international midfielder Mauro Rosales has been officially signed by the club. He trained with the team for the last few weeks of the preseason and seems to bring a lot of talent for a non-DP contract. He's a fast, skilled midfielder who can play either on the wing or in the middle.

New York Red Bulls Vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Card, Projected Starting Line-ups

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We're fully expecting the Sounders to go with the same starting lineup that they did against the LA Galaxy. Steve Zakuani was the big question mark in that one, and he seems to be OK enough to play. If he can't go, maybe the recently signed Mauro Rosales gets his first start of his MLS career. We can safely assume O'Brian White will get another start, as there is not clear alternative at this point.

Sounders Reserves Schedule Released

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The resurrected MLS Reserve League begins play this weekend as the Columbus and DC United reserve teams face off. It's a ten game schedule and the Sounders will be playing their five home games at Starfire. Also notable is the fact that the league is divided into regional divisions to control travel costs.

Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls - March 19: Scouting Report

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The Seattle Sounders move on to part two of a very challenging opening to the 2011 season tomorrow versus the New York Red Bulls. If you order the schedule chronologically, the Sounders played or are playing in games one, four, and eleven, with a cross-country trip between each game. And the first two of the three are versus consensus MLS Cup contenders.

Major Link Soccer - Busted Brackets Edition

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I hope everyone is having as an exciting sports week as I am. Both the MLS season and the Seattle Sounders kicked off on Tuesday in a wet, rainy battle between two favorites in the West. The Sounders would go on to lose 1-0 to the Galaxy in an evenly matched affair. The results of the match were somewhat overshadowed by the surprising news that Blaise Nkufo and the Sounders would be parting ways.

Open Designated Player Slot Opens Options to Entire World of Players

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The loss of Blaise Nkufo has a minor benefit. It allows us to dream of greater things, to partake in the fantasy of "rosterbation." Considering the current window closing on 15 April, and that most leagues are in season dreaming of a Free is pointless. Difference makers aren't Free at this time. Difference makers are under contract, but hopefully a short one so the fee would be lower.

Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer: Adding Another DP Soon 'Not Out Of The Question'

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No one can fault the Seattle Sounders for being shy when it comes to signing Designated Players. In just their third year of MLS existence, they have already signed four DPs, more than any other team.

That two of them have ended in rather spectacular fashion, most recently Blaise Nkufo's departure being announced just hours before First Kick, you could be excused for thinking the Sounders may be getting a little gun shy.

Why Blaise Nkufo Left

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Why Blaise Nkufo Left

not only is this a good article, but I also want to give a bump to SportsPressNW, a good site founded by Art Thiel and Steve Rudman of the old Seattle P.I. (R.I.P).
http://sportspressnw.com/about-us/

Seeing this photo by Erika Schultz of the Seattle Times seriously made my day. Saw at least three...

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Seeing this photo by Erika Schultz of the Seattle Times seriously made my day. Saw at least three Sounder at Heart scarves during march to the match. Too bad the Sounders had to go ahead and ruin it.

Eighty Six Forever Wants Blaise Nkufo in Blue & White

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Eighty Six Forever Wants Blaise Nkufo in Blue & White

He doesn't think they will do it, but that they should.

Blaise Nkufo, Sounders Part Ways: At Least It Ended Quickly

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Rather than toiling in some kind of purgatory, potentially training separately from the team while trying to find a more suitable place to play, Blaise Nkufo is simply gone. In start contrast to the Freddie Ljungber situation of a year ago, this one was over before most of us even knew it had begun.

MLS First Kick, Recap: Seattle Sounders Lose To LA Galaxy 1-0

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This was supposed to be a celebration. A national audience was supposed to be greeted to a game between two of MLS's highest-profile teams, featuring six Designated Players. The Seattle Sounders were surely planning to send their fans home happy, just as they had in each of the two previous First Kicks they had hosted.

Sounders, Blaise Nkufo Sever Ties, Effective Immediately

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Blaise Nkufo and the Seattle Sounders have severed ties, effective immediately. A team release has confirmed the rumors that have been swirling around for several hours.

"This move improves our flexibility with regard to the salary cap," Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said in the release.

Unlike the situation with Freddie Ljungberg last year, this will not be a situation where the player is left in a virtual purgatory.

MLS First Kick 2011: Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - Gamethread

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Opening day of the 2011 MLS season is finally upon us. ESPN will be showing the Los Angeles Galaxy come visit the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field. The journey for MLS Cup, US Open Cup, Supporters Shield and CCL glory starts today, at 6:30 PM on ESPN.

While the biggest news of the day is a report that Blaise Nkufo and the team are parting ways, there is also this little thing about the team needing a win to start their season.

Blaise Nkufo Apparently Out Of Seattle Sounders' Starting Lineup

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UPDATE: Apparently, the Sounders are confirming that Blaise Nkufo will not be in the starting lineup, but are denying that it was tied to an incident in training. We'll give you updates whenever we get them.

We're still trying to track down some more information, but Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times is reporting that Blaise Nkufo will not be the starting lineup tonight for what is being called "disciplinary reasons.

MLS First Kick: Our Best Guess At Tonight's Starting Lineups For Seattle Sounders-LA Galaxy

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NOTE: In case you're new to the site, and judging from our traffic numbers during the off-season there are quite a few of you who are, one of the things we really enjoyed doing last year was something we called Match Day Quick Reference Cards. What you see above is the one for tonight's MLS First Kick match between the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy, which is mainly used to give our starting lineup projections.

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast

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This is the first in what we hope will become a regular series of Sounder At Heart podcasts. We hope you enjoy it and because it's the first we've made available for public consumption we would love to hear any feedback, criticism or suggestions you might have for us in the future.

The topics for discussion today include the Steve Zakuani and Brad Evans injuries, a discussion of the relative merits of Evans and Erik Friberg, The Sounders First Kick 2011 opponent the LA Galaxy and which teams we think might have the potential to surprise us over the course of the season.

MLS First Kick 2011, Seattle Sounders Vs. LA Galaxy: What Are You Wearing?

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What are you wearing -- one of the most possibly provocative questions that can be asked on the internet. But we're not interested in the state of your undergarments, thanks. No, we want to know what you're sporting on the day that Seattle demands "Scarves Up!" What Sounders gear are you rocking for First Kick?

MLS First Kick 2011: Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - It begins

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It begins tonight. A third season in Rave Green, a third season on the premier national tv partner, a third season searching for a greater trophy. Tonight, Hollywood and Madison Avenue and Bristol all come to Seattle. Tonight, under floodlights 36,000 stand proudly.

It begins with Arlo White, and Adrian Healey calling the action.

Our new baby Alexa swaddled in the best scarf ever. 3 days old at the time of this picture....

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Our new baby Alexa swaddled in the best scarf ever. 3 days old at the time of this picture. Also notice the Sounders themed cap our friend specially knitted for her.

Miguel Montano, Josh Ford Sign With Seattle Sounders Ahead Of 2011 First Kick

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Imagine my surprise this morning when a press release popped into my inbox announcing the signings of two Seattle Sounders. Josh Ford and Miguel Montano are now both under contract for the coming year after signing contracts with Seattle on Monday, making official what we've thought for the last week or so.

MLS First Kick 2011: Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - Scouting Report

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The Galaxy's biological clock is ticking. Last season the Los Angeles Galaxy were already considered old - a collection of mostly veterans at the skill positions who relied more on experience and tactical discipline than speed or fitness to win games. It's a good formula, and the Galaxy showed it by dominating at times and finishing the season with the Supporters' Shield before bowing out in the semifinals.

Sounders 2011 tactical preview part 2: the "+" attack

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In part 1 I outlined how Osvaldo Alsonso fits in as the 5th defensive player, despite nominally being a midfielder, and how he and the 4 defenders essentially form a "W" shape to the back 5.

Soccer is of course a holistic game, and parsing players into either "attackers" or "defenders" can be quixotic.

MLS Power Rankings: A Final Preconceived Look At The Season

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The various SB Nation soccer editors have been dutifully running our preseason MLS power rankings about every other week for the last six weeks or so. In that time, we've seen some minor changes, but nothing particularly significant. We've seen FC Dallas fall out of the first tier and the Houston Dynamo fall out of the second tier.

Major Link Soccer - Anticipation Edition

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We're only one day away from first kick and the excitement is building. The Sounders face a tough start to the season facing both the LA Galaxy and the New York Redbulls in the same week. The prognosis is good on our three injured players. Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani both trained on Saturday and could be ready for either game this week.

MLS First Kick 2011: Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - Three Questions with Blez

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With opening day for the league so close, with a game that matters, I'm excited to be on a network where we are so close to having the full league covered in ways that no one else does, nor can. But we do not have a Los Angeles Galaxy blog, yet. What we do have is a founder of the whole dang network who goes to Galaxy games.

But there's also an element of snobbery, I think we'll all admit it, and I'll even admit that I...

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But there's also an element of snobbery, I think we'll all admit it, and I'll even admit that I quite often fall into that trap myself. This isn't just a Whitecaps problem. If the subject comes up with almost any group of North American soccer supporters, you'll see the same attitudes.

Join Sounder at Heart MLS Fantasy Game on ESPN

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There are only two days until games that matter so join the greatest group in ESPN Fantasy MLS (you should also be able to find that by searching for Sounder at Heart Readers) land and compete against the readers of this very community. Jeremiah is a seasoned fantasy vet, while I've given up on the past-time for nearly a decade so we both had different tactics in assembling our salary cap rosters for this game.

Sounders Injury Update: Steve Zakuani, Brad Evans Train, Could Potentially Play

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Steve Zakuani and Brad Evans both trained with the team today, and Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid seemed to indicate that both could potentially be ready to play on Tuesday. Of the two, Evans seems to be more likely to be fully fit.

"Obviously they did some work today so now the thing is how they feel tomorrow," Schmid said after practice on Saturday.

Vegalta Sendai Supporters : We Are All Brothers And Sisters

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Sendai, as many of you likely know, was devastated by the massive earthquake that struck just off the shore of Japan on Thursday evening/Friday morning. I'm not entirely sure how to describe the feeling these videos elicit from me; sometimes we are confronted with emotions that aren't especially cut and dried.

MLS First Kick 2011: Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - Battle of Keepers

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On opening day of the season at least one MLS Cup contender doesn't yet know who will be their starting keeper. Sigi Schmid and Bruce Arena though have a great advantage in that not only do they know who their keeper is going to be, they also have two of the better ones in the league.

While Donovan Ricketts has frustrated fans at Qwest Field with fake injuries, time wasting and his reluctance to take goal kicks.

Open Flavor Fridays - MLS First Kick Celebration Edition

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Once again talking beer, wine, food and maybe other beverages. Others will talk coffee - I can't as it is my full time job.

Let's get a few things out of the way. If you are not of legal consumption age in your place of residence do not drink alcohol. Do not drink in excess, unless you are around people you know in a private place.

Major Link Soccer

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This week was one of mixed emotions for Sounders fans. The team took to the field against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday in the last preseason game and won 3-1. The offense put up the numbers many Sounders fans, and Sigi Schimd, were looking for. Unfortunately, both Steve Zakuani and Brad Evans were taken out of the game for injuries.

Sounders 2011 Tactical preview part 1: the "W" defense.

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As I have previously written, 3-defender systems have an odd place in contemporary football, often considered obsolete, they nonetheless have the tendency to pop up again and see success with certain teams.. The key to understanding 3-at the back systems is that they are actually 5-defender systems, as in all but the rarest of cases the system utilizes wingbacks, who are evolved from fullbacks and are best described as wide midfielders with responsibility to cover the defensive wings - as compared to most wide midfielders who are usually primarily attacking players.

MLS Players Vote Qwest Most Difficult Place to Play

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MLS Players Vote Qwest Most Difficult Place to Play

But you knew that, right?

Seattle Sounders' Depth Will Likely Be Tested Early

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One day after injuries forced the Seattle Sounder to remove two of their presumed starters from their final preseason game, it looks like the team's depth will be tested early. On the positive side, coach Sigi Schmid said Brad Evans was feeling much better and might even be able to play on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Seattle Sounders Technical Director Chris Henderson on Constructing a Roster to Compete for Multiple Trophies

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If you followed the Sounders v Portland Timbers Cascadia Summit game at SoundersFC.com at half time you heard Chris Henderson talk about how a team that wants to compete for the Supporters Shield needs every point it can get. Saturday, after practice Henderson and I talked about competing for multiple trophies and how he helps build a roster to do so.

Sounders Academy v Vancouver Residency Cascadia Summit

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Not going to do pure play-by-play here but just give my thoughts as things develop. The Vancouver Whitecpas are repected around North American soccer for their ability to develop talent. The Sounders have started much more recently, but brought in some of the best that Seattle has to offer.

Sean Okoli, Cox, Peterson, Herman all on the pitch for Seattle.

Preseason Gamethread: Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps in Cascadia Summit

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The final match of the Cascadia Summit gives fans an opportunity to see the depth of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders teams as the starters for both teams went earlier in the weekend. Seattle's Second XI features more speed on offense and less on defense.

For Vancouver the lineup will be several of their USSF D2 players will be on the pitch in Jay Nolly, Wes Knight and Nizar Khalfan.

(Who isn't signed that's still here?) "Well players that are unsigned right now are the two college...

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(Who isn't signed that's still here?) "Well players that are unsigned right now are the two college goalkeepers that are in camp. Rosales, who has been here with us. Miguel Montano doesn't have a contract right now."

Adrian Hanauer shed some light on Miguel Montano's situation.

Mike Fucito injury matters more than lack of finishing as a team

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In this game, there are things that are bigger than games. There are various communities - supporters groups, your neighbors in your season ticket section, the other media, the readers here, and sometimes there are those few players that you get to know.

Many of the Seattle Sounders players are known in communities.

Bent Musket joins SBN covering New England Revolution

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Bent Musket joins SBN covering New England Revolution

SBN's MLS growth continues as the Bent Musket will cover the other team with NFL/MLS ties. Go say hello.

Major Link Soccer

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Good Monday morning to everyone. The big news this weekend for the Sounders was the Cascadia Summit. The highlights of the event where claimed by the supporters whom came out from all three cities to support their teams with passion and class. The front offices of both teams should be encouraged for when the games for the Cascadia Cup begin.

Fredy Montero named MLS Humanitarian for March

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The league announced today that Seattle Sounders' Fredy Montero was named MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Month in March for his work in the offseason raising money to help the flood victims in his native Colombia. Not honored, but equally deserving, are all of you who donated.

He's the second consecutive Sounder to win the award after James Riley won it in October for his efforts against breast cancer.

Seattle Makes MLSSoccer.com with best TIFO displays during their coverage of supporters...

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Seattle Makes MLSSoccer.com with best TIFO displays during their coverage of supporters week.

This was a combined effort of the Supporters Groups, the Alliance Council and about 30,000 fans. Good on you all.

Arlo White in the Elite 8

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Arlo White pulled the big upset in the 2nd round of the Brock and Salk's Media Bracket. Our favorite announcer defeated co-host Mike Salk to move to the elite 8 in the bracket challenge. He now faces Rick Rizzs of the Mariners Radio Network.

The Bock and Salk show is one of the more prominent on 710 ESPN radio.

Sounders Exhaust Season-Ticket Waiting List

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It was first reported earlier today, but I've independently confirmed that the Seattle Sounders have apparently exhausted their once-robust season-ticket waiting list. As a Sounders official put it to me in an email, "We were able to help everyone on the list and by time we open the season we will be right where we were last year.

Three at the back: Is there a future for "true" three defender systems?

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As I mentioned in my "Formations" post many weeks ago, the 3-5-2 is a complex species with many breeds, and every time it is deemed "extinct" it has the habit of popping back up again. What is notable is that 3-defender systems are usually used to provide a spare man at the back for teams that want to bottle up their opponents and defensively stifle the game.

Clarifying Miguel Montano's Contract Situation

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Today we learned that the Seattle Sounders have chosen not to purchase Miguel Montano's contract from Argentinian side Quilmes. Although it has been pointed out that he is still essentially on trial with the Sounders and could still make the roster, I thought it would be worthwhile to get some some more clarification.

As I was getting ready to meet with members of the Alliance Council last night these came by the...

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As I was getting ready to meet with members of the Alliance Council last night these came by the lobby.

Kasey Keller's Sounders Tenure Approaching His Longest With Any Club

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There's a tradition in American sports to fret and argue over which team a player's legacy is most correctly attached to. Even in the era of free agency, in which players migrate from coast to coast with some regularity, a player will engineer a symbolic trade back to a favored team for one day to finish a career there or agonize in the decision over which cap or jersey to wear into a Hall of Fame.

This picture, I'm almost certain, depicts the coolest person in South Dakota. I have not done a...

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This picture, I'm almost certain, depicts the coolest person in South Dakota. I have not done a thorough investigation of that, but I dare anyone to prove me wrong. (Quick note, that's reader JWAY, in case you were wondering.)

Do you want to be the coolest person wherever you live? Well, this just may be your chance.

Seattle Sounders Vs. Colorado Rapids, Preseason GameThread: This One Doesn't Count Either

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First Kick is just a few days away. That game will feature the defending Supporters' Shield winners, the LA Galaxy, and will be showed live on ESPN. It should be an exciting game, packed with pomp, circumstance and actual meaning.

In the meantime, we'll have to settle for one more preseason game as the Seattle Sounders take on the Colorado Rapids in what is being billed as the second annual Community Shield.

Quick Recap: Seattle Sounders End Preseason On Winning Note

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Not quite sure how to feel about this one. There were some obviously positive signs, namely Fredy Montero absolutely dominating the middle stretch of the game. Our newest Designated Player got the scoring started by assisting on a Jhon Kennedy Hurtado goal and the scored two of his own. It was exactly the kind of game we were hoping to see after a relatively lackluster preseason.

Anyone getting weird messages about viruses?

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Anyone getting weird messages about viruses?

If you are please click on the headline and follow the instructions on the connected post. We've only received one report of this happening here, so hoping our site was mostly spared. But SB Nation techies are aware of the issue and are trying to get to the bottom of it.

MLS Cup Contenders and Past-Peak Players

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Peak performance is more readily understood in other sports. In baseball it has nudged younger recently, but still it is probably a 3 year window from 26-29. In basketball peak is probably a year younger at 25-28. For soccer there have only been rough estimates, more a guideline than a formal study.