Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2011

Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC - Gamethread

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Tonight, the Seattle Sounders try to wash a bad taste. This is not the taste of poor play, but of poor circumstances. Two of their own will be out for months, and so now Seattle faces Toronto FC not just looking for 3 points, but looking for answers as to what the future holds.

Aron Winter has been trying to get a 4-2-1-3/4-2-3-1 to work, but is struggling to find the right personnel.

Mauro Rosales Not Available For Tonight's Match

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Mauro Rosales Not Available For Tonight's Match

Although he says he's fit, Mauro Rosales tweeted that he won't be in the 18 tonight as a precaution. He has been fighting a hamstring injury all week and with two starters already lost this week for the foreseeable future, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid has apparently decided to err on the side of caution.

@MLS_Analyst looks at a possible solution to the Sounders formational worries with the answer being...

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@MLS_Analyst looks at a possible solution to the Sounders formational worries with the answer being a 4-2-1-3. Though Brad Evans is the 1, he isn't a CAM.

An intriguing concept, but I think it is more likely that we will see a slower, more patient team that uses build-up rather than speed.

Prices Falling on TFC Tickets as Gametime Approaches

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Prices Falling on TFC Tickets as Gametime Approaches

Down 18% this week and you can get midfield box for under 40$ at my last check. This is just a gameday reminder of our new program. Don't expect this every match, but it is new.

You can get the 200 level corner for 19$ each right now.

We also have a reader giving his seats away.

Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC Scouting Report: A Must Win Game in April?

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"Must win game" is a phrase that hits many learned sports fans like fingernails on chalkboard. Not only is it overused, it's just patently inaccurate. There are few games that are legitimately 'must-in'. . . playoff games, cup finals, and so on. Any other loss can be overcome. In practice, it really just means 'this is a game you will deeply regret not winning'.

Seattle Sounders Vs. Toronto FC, Match Cards: Projected Lineups, Statistics

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As you can see, we have not exactly been hitting it out of the ballpark with our projected starting lineups. A lot of that is out of our control as injuries and players returning from injury have made it pretty tough. Still, we soldier on and keep giving it our best shot. This week, the Seattle Sounders host Toronto FC with two big absences: Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White.

Seattle Sounders Put Tough Week Behind Them, Look Forward To Double

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It hasn't exactly been the best week in Seattle Sounders land, and the atmosphere around this team has hardly been one of a team riding a 5-match unbeaten streak. For starters, the stench of the 1 point in three played start perhaps hasn't completely worn off; it is fair to say that the Sounders left 3 points on the pitch - a draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy and a win against the Houston Dynamo seemed the minimum that should've been accomplished given how those games played out - and last week's otherwise positive result of 3 points on the road against the Colorado Rapids, the defending Cup winners, was utterly overwhelmed by the negativity of not only the loss of Steve Zakuani, but the feeling of many that the team lacked attacking initiative despite being up a man nearly the entire match.

Major Link Soccer - Moving Forward Edition

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The hard knocks and misfortune continues for the Seattle Sounders. Steve Zakuani is still in a hospital in Colorado recovering from a broken leg and may not make it back to Seattle for the planned tribute for him on Saturday (although I'm sure he'll catch some of the love on the T.V. or internet).

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast, April 28th 2011 (Featuring Ben Rycroft of Canadian Soccer News)

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Hey guys it's another podcast! That makes two in one week! Luckily, this one is slightly less depressing than the last.

Today we'll be talking about the Sounders "win" over the Colorado Rapids, how the team will compensate for the losses of Steve Zakuani and O'Brian White and the Sounders upcoming contest against Toronto FC.

Sounder at Heart Partners With TiqIQ To Provide Gameday Tickets

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As you undoubtedly know, acquiring Seattle Sounders tickets can be a bit of a hassle if you are not a season-ticket holder. Most games are sold out at least weeks in advance and you are forced to go through the secondary market in order to acquire tickets. While Sounder at Heart's partnership with TiqIQ won't change any of that, it will make it a lot easier to find the best priced tickets in various sections by aggregating various ticket retailers' prices and connecting you with them.

Seattle Sounders Practice Report - Significant Lineup Changes In Store

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In what was primarily a closed practice with availability late in the last of drills the topics concerned Brian Mullan's 10-match suspension, O'Brian White's blood clot surgery and the likely start of Nate Jaqua with other lineup changes. Those lineup changes will continue to be the theme heading into the game against Toronto FC for while the Seattle Sounders have the injuries and centerback shuffle, the Reds had a game just Wednesday night with 7 regulars (though Tony Tchani is out for the match Saturday).

Brian Mullan Receives 10-Game Suspension, $5000 Fine For Tackle On Steve Zakuani

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Brian Mullan has received a 10-game suspension and a $5,000 fine for his tackle that broke Steve Zakuani's leg in Friday's Colorado Rapids-Seattle Sounders match. Zakuani is likely out for the season. The suspension is the longest in MLS history. Ricardo Clark was also suspended 10 games and fined $10,000 for an incident in 2007.

Seattle Sounders Forward O'Brian White Out 'Indefinitely' After Surgery

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Seattle Sounders forward and leading scorer O'Brian White underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in his leg on Thursday. He will miss Saturday's game against Toronto FC and the team release said he would be "out indefinitely."

White was enjoying a solid season and had come on strong in recent weeks.

Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC - Three Questions

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In order to first preview Saturday's match, it should first be noted that Toronto FC won their first match int the Voyageur's Cup (the Canadian Championship) over minnow FC Edmonton. They should be a bit tired, and may be bouncing from Toronto to Edmonton to Toronto to Seattle in five days, regardless they will have the extra 90 minutes on a few player's legs.

CONCACAF Coeffecients

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CONCACAF Coeffecients

These are not official, instead CONCACAF determines berths based on what leagues they feel will make them most money. Top 9 are from Mexico. #11 are the Dynamo, RSL at 16. Sounders at 22.

CCL 2nd Leg Final Gamethread - Real Salt Lake 2: Monterrey 2

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The pleasures of aggregate scoring and away goals mean that in tonight's most important match in MLS history, Real Salt Lake is slightly ahead in this match already. But they are going against Monterrey, and the Rayados are pretty good as Sounders fans know quite well. Some would say that the Mexican side should come away winners.

Stats: MLS Offensive Rates at Different Scorelines

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Last week local soccer stats blogger Zach Slaton wrote an article on some work he did that showed that single-game shot differential in the EPL is actually negatively correlated with match outcomes. Given the work we've done here related to evaluating teams based on shot differential, this is obviously of some interest.

Because despite what some people seem to think, what it would be so easy to think, Brian Mullan is...

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Because despite what some people seem to think, what it would be so easy to think, Brian Mullan is almost certainly not a monster. Make no mistake, his actions were reprehensible. Such play has no place in this or any league and he must be punished accordingly. But this desire to demonize, to paint Mullan in the worst possible light, isn't at all productive.

SB Nation MLS Power Rankings for Week 6

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This week's SBNation.com/soccer MLS Power Rankings are out, and a majority of writers have left the Seattle Sounders in Tier Two, as they were last week. Considering the record and the perceived strengths of the team this is not a large surprise. The Colorado Rapids dropping from Tier One has nothing to do with Brian Mullan, and everything to do with the team not winning.

Brian Mullen Shaken Over Tackle, Steve Zakuani Injury

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When Brian Mullan first made his statements about having done such a tackle many times before it was a "non-apology apology" that seemed disingenuous. Seattle Sounders fans were quick to criticize not just Mullan, but Sigi Schmid for his statements supporting his former player. Today though we learn that Mullan is distraught over the tackle of Steve Zakuani and its resulting double fracture.

Steve Zakuani's Open Letter To Seattle Sounders Fans

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Steve Zakuani has been inundated with well wishes and rather than answer every message, he's decided to issue this letter through his foundation, Kingdom Hope:

Dear Friends of Kingdom Hope and the Sounders FC Community:

As you all know, during our match this past Friday against the Colorado Rapids, I was unfortunately on the receiving end of a mistimed tackle and had my right tibia and fibula broken as a result.

Steve Zakuani Tribute: No. 11 Placards Being Handed Out By Seattle Sounders

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The Seattle Sounders will hand out No. 11 placards prior to Saturday's game against Toronto FC and are asking fans to hold them up at the 11:00 mark as a tribute to Steve Zakuani, who had his leg broken by a Brian Mullan tackle during Friday's game. The idea for the tribute seems to have risen organically as Sounders fans started pushing the plan on Twitter, which eventually got the ear of part owner Drew Carey.

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast, Steve Zakuani Reaction Edition (Featuring Arlo White And Kevin McCauley)

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Steve Zakuani's injury is quite possibly one of the single biggest events in Seattle Sounders history. Instead of trying to address a story of such magnitude as part of a regular podcast, we thought a special edition dedicated entirely to the Zakuani situation was in order. Jeremiah and I are joined by Dave Clark and Kevin McCauley.

Seattle Sounders Trying To Move On From Steve Zakuani's Injury

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There was simply no denying that Seattle Sounders practice was a little different from normal on Monday. The most obvious difference was the absence of Steve Zakuani, always one of the more vocal players on the training pitch. But James Riley, the man who reporters always seem to go to when they are trying assess the mood of the team, admitted that practice was different in more subtle ways too.

Major Link Soccer - Sad Day for MLS Edition

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It's a pretty sad day all around. The weather here in the Sound is rainy and gloomy which matches my mood on this Monday morning. I'm sure I'm not the only soccer fan of the same mindset as it was a brutal weekend for fans of the beautiful game. The league has lost two of its most dynamic, creative players to severe injuries.

Steve Zakuani Injury Forces Lineup Shift

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Friday evenings double fracture to Steve Zakuani's leg left the Sounders community with a huge loss. His presence is defined as much on the field as off, and as in most major injuries the first priority must be on the injured man, not the team. The 1-0 win felt much more like a loss, but as the loss of Nkufo, this is now a fact.

Overwhelmed by msgs of support/encouragement. Can't change the past, but I'm gonna control my...

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Overwhelmed by msgs of support/encouragement. Can't change the past, but I'm gonna control my future by remaining positive! One love!

Steve Zakuani via his Twitter

Continue to give encouragement if you tweet with #11 or #ForZakuani he is @SteveZakuani11

Jason Kreis reacts to horrific injury

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Jason Kreis reacts to horrific injury

Kreis had not yet seen the replay (but had heard a lot about it) when he made this statement:

"I would like to see the players take some accountability within themselves," he said. "I know it's done over in England where the players union will have sanctions and look very, very harshly among themselves, because they've got to treat each other with the proper amount of respect and the proper amount of professionalism.

Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids - Highlight, Stats (Opta and WPA)

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The Seattle Sounders did come away from a 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids, though it still feels like a loss due to the Brian Mullan tackle on Steve Zakuani. We're not going to show the full package of highlights because I don't want to see that play again. And in effort to look at just the game there will be no quotes, just the dry hard facts as relates to the match.

Takahito Soma - Leftback of the Future?

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The other day news came out that Takahito Soma will be leaving club Energie Cottbus this summer to come to Major League Soccer. The Japanese left back is quoted as saying

"I have had an offer from an MLS club and want to move in the summer," Soma was quoted as saying Thursday in the online edition of Lausitzer Rundschau.

Drew Carey, Seattle Sounders Part Owner, Hints At Steve Zakuani Tribute

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What started as a grassroots idea for a Steve Zakuani tribute has apparently reached the ears of ownership. Drew Carey, one of the team's minority owners, recently made this comment on twitter:

#11 cards for next #Sounders game in honor of Zakuani and his broken leg have been requested.

Some Friendly Advice to Brian Mullan

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Dear Brian Mullan,

I'm here to give you some advice even though you don't know me. I'm just a regular Seattle Sounders fan who happened to be watching the game yesterday. Right now you're probably a bit skeptical of any advice. Especially considering the firestorm of negative reactions your reckless challenge has provoked among the Sounders faithful.

Seattle Sounders State Steve Zakuani's Surgery Successful

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From their Press Release

Seattle Sounders FC winger Steve Zakuani underwent successful surgery late Friday night to repair a fractured right tibia and fibula.

Zakuani will remain at Rose Medical Center in Denver for several days before returning to Seattle.

Zakuani was injured in the third minute of Friday night's match against the Colorado Rapids.

Zakuani

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Anyone following the game against Colorado knows by now that Steve Zakuani suffered a terrible injury tonight. It was pretty clear at the time that his leg was broken and that's been confirmed by the Sounders training staff. He'll undergo surgery tonight.

Priority 1 is helping Steve as a person.

Colorado Rapids Vs. Seattle Sounders: Steve Zakuani's Horrific Injury Renders Result Almost Meaningless

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Steve Zakuani is going to miss next week's game after suffering an absolutely horrific break of his fibula and tibia following a stupid and reckless tackle by Brian Mullan. Zakuani is going to miss the match after that. In all likelihood, he's going to miss a bunch more after that too. Right now, it seems callous to even talk about the result, a not-entirely-insignificant 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.

Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids - Gamethread

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Tonight Seattle gets to test itself versus the reigning MLS Cup holders. A test which they have generally been successful in the past (6 points in 4 played with no losses), but tonight they face a team that does not often lose at home, so Sigi's goal of 4 points during this road trip will be tough.

Major Link Soccer

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Happy Friday everyone. It's a good one for Sounders fans as the team is playing this evening against the Colorado Rapids. The Sounders will be fighting the altitude as much as the reigning MLS champions. Unfortunately, the Sounders midfielders will also be battling Pablo Mastroeni whom will be available for the Rapids.

Colorado Rapids Vs. Seattle Sounders, Match Card: Projected Lineups, Stats

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Maybe it's nothing more than wishful thinking, but the Sounder at Heart crew thinks this could be the week Alvaro Fernandez reclaims his starting spot, taking the right midfielder spot in our projected lineup when the Seattle Sounders visit the Colorado Rapids tonight. There doesn't seem to be any reason for Sigi to rush Fredy Montero back, and with the game being played at altitude, bringing him on as a late sub would make a lot of sense.

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast (Featuring Servando Carrasco)

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Just in time for your Friday afternoon, which hopefully involves little more than surreptitiously playing Jumpers for Goalposts, making your viewing plans for this evening's game and staring wistfully out the window, it's a podcast! Today Jeremiah and I talk about last weekend's Union game, this evening's Rapids game, Dave stops by to answer some reader questions and Jeremiah has an interview with Sounders rookie Servando Carrasco.

Colorado Rapids vs Seattle Sounders Scouting Report: We Win Trophies

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It can't be questioned that the Colorado Rapids are the defending MLS Cup champions. It says so right there on their jerseys and Wikipedia agrees. But the merits of the team that won it are a subject of some debate.

There are those who point to the forward pairing of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings and argue convincingly that it's the best pair in the league.

Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids - Three Questions with Burgundy Wave

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As the Seattle Sounders travel later today to Commerce City, CO to take on the Colorado Rapids this has been set-up as a battle between the annually good and the suddenly Cup Champions. The Rapids did not just sit on their hands during the off-season, but traded a few players away, acquired several Seattle players through various mechanisms and even added a fringe EPL player in Caleb Folan.

Real Salt Lake v Monterrey in CCL - Gamethread

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With all of #MLS4RSL tonight why not throw up a thread for those watching on TV (Foxsoccer) or online (www.concacaf.com). A neutral look at the match can be read at SBN-soccer or of course you can read a Real Salt Lake view of things at RSL Soapbox.

While no MLS team has ever won in Mexico the Seattle Sounders and RSL have something in common.

Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids - Life at Elevation

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This is a mile high club that you hope to not be a part of, but one where often you just hope to survive. Elevation (because they are still on ground) is something for which all Denver based teams take advantage. And like the other football, the Colorado Rapids preach their Mile High with pride. There is a reason why the Rapids and Real Salt Lake are listed in the top 6 hardest stadiums to get a win by players, and for Colorado it has nothing to do with the crowd.

Seattle Sounders Assistant Coach Ezra Hendrickson Talks Defense

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While the offense gets the glory, it is the defense that carries the load. One bad play on defense is a goal. One great play is standard operating procedure. So defenses in MLS don't get much attention, except when there is a three-way battle for starts, fullbacks that both have experience as wide midfielders and a young Generation Addidas talent still learning the role.

The Goat Parada - A Chivas USA blog

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The Goat Parada - A Chivas USA blog

As the rest of the world waits for the Benny Feilhaber announement we have one of our own.

Chivas USA now has a blog on SBN. 2 left.

Watch Out for Your Shutouts on ESPN FC Manager

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Dave Clark set-up a group for ESPN FC Manager for Sounder-at-Heart readers and it was tempting enough for me to try my hand at fantasy sports for the first time. A number of teams that I have players on had double games for the week which made for an excellent opportunity to recoup some points I lost at the start of the season.

Benny Feilhaber Situation Points Out Advantage of Allocation System

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There are plenty of reasons to not like the Allocation system. It is inherently an anti-capitalistic way of talent dispersal and forced parity. What is often ignored, are some of the advantages of the system. Take today's Benny Feilhaber saga where one of 18 teams has a shot at getting the dynamic attacking midfielder.

Redhook Brewery Now Official Craft Beer for Seattle Sounders

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Local, legacy craft brewery Redhook has partnered with the Seattle Sounders as the official craft brewery. This according to a press release at www.BrewClick.com. The extent of the relationship will still be discovered, but with Redhook celebrating their 30th anniversary it is a strong sign for the team and the brewery to have a partnership.

Development Academy News and Standings Update

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The Seattle Sounders' U-18 and U-16 Academy players have occasionally been showing up here and there in scrimmages in the last couple of months, but other than that Academy news has pretty much gone dark. When the teams last took the field in an official capacity - in late February - both had a commanding lead in their respective Northwest Divisions, but to some degree that was a quirk of the scheduling.

Major Link Soccer

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Good morning fellow readers at Sounder-at-Heart. Last week was action packed with 11 MLS games with many of them played under less than ideal conditions. This included the Seattle Sounders game against the Philadelphia Union. The Sounders managed to fight back from a 1-0 deficit to claim an important point on the road in a sloppy, rain-drenched affair.

Sounders: lingering thoughts from the Union match

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I was away for the weekend so instead of my usual breakdown I am just offering up this quick post of some of the things I have been thinking about since the match on Saturday afternoon.

The anti-Brad Evans sentiment has become excruciatingly tiresome to me...

If I've said it before and I'll say it again, Evans' role as a mostly deep-lying CM who can help out Osvaldo Alonso and pick his spots going forward would be valued by every team in the League, and attacking mids will take up wide roles in Sigi Schmid's system.

Dreams of starting 3-5-2 are Unfounded

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With Sigi Schmid's quotes to the media post-game yesterday about the planned possibility of a shift to the 3-5-2 late in game with specific intent; speculation is mounting around the internet, be it from writers (Prost Soccer) or commenters (New Tribune) at various other sites. It is interesting speculation, but there are a few reasons it couldn't work long term.

Philadelphia Union Vs. Seattle Sounders: Highlights, Opta-Enhanced Statistics, Quotes

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For the first time this year, I had a chance to watch this game purely as a fan. So, I wasn't really watching it with my analyst hat on, but I did feel like this was the kind of game I expected the Seattle Sounders to play. Facing a Philadelphia Union team we largely expected to come out very defensive, Sigi basically kept it simple early and threw the kitchen sink out there after about the 70th minute, something his quotes clearly back up.

Seattle Sounders Draw Philadelphia 1-1 - Quick Recap

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It was an ugly game. A game in torrential downpour and wind, where neither team played at their best. The Philadelphia Union took advantage of a free kick, and Carlos Ruiz put it on goal. Kasey Keller was moving the other way and still got his fingers on the ball, but not enough. Ruiz will still be hated by the Seattle faithful.

Seattle Sounders at Philadelphia Union - Gamethread

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Seattle is undefeated in their past 3, and they look to continue their solid run on the road. While Seattle has generally been the better team (except on scoreboard), they face their anti-thesis a team that just looks to bunker and counter even at home. The Philadelphia Union have had merely 35% possession in their games to this point.

Seattle Sounders at Philadelphia Union - Three Questions with Brotherly Game

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As the Seattle Sounders have been enjoying Philadelphia and about to be in wonderful Chester, Scott Kessler of www.BrotherlyGame.com and I talked about what you must know about the Union.

Dave Clark: Nowak is getting the results right now, but is the defense and a lucky shot technique sustainable?

Chicago had a rough swing through Cascadia. Making a road trip of it probably seemed like a good...

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Chicago had a rough swing through Cascadia. Making a road trip of it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

MLSsoccer.com BETA (now with Opta)

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MLSsoccer.com BETA (now with Opta)

Project Ramos represents the continuing evolution of MLSsoccer.com with improvements in many areas, including:

1) Improved homepage navigation, with direct links to our most popular content sections at the bottom of every page and new content sections so that you can see all articles in a particular series on one page.

Benny Feilhaber to MLS is Great Next Step - Just a Dozen More Nats Needed

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With the news that Benny Feilhaber is coming to MLS, likely with Chivas USA, this seems an appropriate time to remind everyone that there are a dozen or more national team selectees in leagues of lower quality than MLS, or playing irregularly. It is time to bring 'em back home.

The names are well-known.

Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Scouting Report: Damn Lies and Statistics

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There are a surprising number of threads that connect the Seattle Sounders to the Philadelphia Union. Superficially, there's Sebastien Le Toux on the field, as he tries to build on the tremendous offensive season he had last year immediately after being left off of Seattle's protected list. And will we ever hear the end of that?

Philadelphia Union Vs. Seattle Sounders, Match Card: Projected Lineups, Formations, Statistics

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We know that Fredy Montero traveled with the team, but it's still unclear if he's going to be deemed fit enough to even play, let alone start. We're operating under the assumption that the best-case scenario involves him sitting on the bench when the Seattle Sounders visit the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

Carrasco Suspended and Fined

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Carrasco Suspended and Fined

"Servando Carrasco has been suspended for one game and fined $500 for a reckless challenge on Chicago Fire forward Patrick Nyarko in a game last Saturday."

Personally I think it is a fair decision. That was a pretty nasty tackle by the rookie midfielder and I thought he was lucky not to have been shown a red card.

Major Link Soccer - Fear the Horstache Edition

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Thank goodness it's Friday. The Seattle Sounders are on the east coast this weekend to play a much improved Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Last year the Union had one of the most inconsistent defenses in the league. Things have changed this year as Piotr Nowak reworked the defense. The Union now look like a classic Nowak team with tough stifling defense and inconsistent offense.

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast, April 14th 2011 (Featuring Steve Zakuani And Scott Kessler Of The Brotherly Game)

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It's that time again, time for a podcast! A Sounders podcast! About Seattle Sounders FC! And this one has Steve Zakuani!

I'll be honest, the audio quality on this one is spotty. Jeremiah and I recorded in the same room and while I think it made things slightly more entertaining it also created some challlenges that we were not necessarily anticipating.

Portland Timbers v Chicago Fire - Gamethread

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We don't plan to host gamethreads for every Portland Timbers match, but when they face their "ally" in the Chicago Fire for the opening of The Glass House I figure why now?

ESPN2 has the action on the TV, but let's be honest. Who wins isn't what's most important.

I want to see authentic non-sponsored small money football* with a passionate group of supporters that includes everyone**, and doesn't raise themselves above everyone else***.

Closer Look, Seattle Sounders Vs. Fire: Stellar Play Makes For Brewing Target Forward Battle

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Not sure how long I can keep this up, but I am going to attempt to do one of these "closer look" pieces as often as possible. Like last week, I wanted to focus on some of the offensive players, only this time I only looked at the guys we're still wondering about in terms of who should be starting.

Alvaro Fernandez And Designated Players As Sunk Costs

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This is a story about Alvaro Fernandez, and Branko Boskovic in a curious way, but it could be a tale of crock-pots, lawnmowers, desktop computers, Flip video, or beer - pretty much anything. It is a tale of sunk costs and guaranteed money.

It is Jim McIlvaine, and Milton Bradley and Ken Griffey Jr 2.

Fredy Montero Still Questionable For Philadelphia Union-Seattle Sounders Match

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Fredy Montero did, indeed, take part in Tuesday's Seattle Sounders intrasquad softball game, but he was wearing a rather large cast. As such, it's not surprising to hear Sigi Schmid say Montero's participation in Saturday's match against the Philadelphia Union is not yet assured.

"Obviously he has got to feel comfortable with the cast on.

Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer Elaborates On Exploration Of Installing Grass At Qwest Field

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Thanks to Joshua Mayers' reporting, we know the possibility of installing grass at Qwest Field is formally being explored. To get a little more information about the situation, I talked to Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer.

First, a little background. The current FieldTurf was installed before the 2009 soccer season.

Stats: MLS 2010 Team Offensive Rates

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In previous editions, we looked at the correlation between first half and second half rate stats for MLS players last season and then added strike rate to the list of stats.

Next I want to take a look at team rates. I went through the work of generating and comparing the first and second half rates, as I did with players, but it was quickly obvious that the number of data points was just too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.

Sounders Have Commissioned Study on Viability of Permanent Grass Pitch

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Sounders Have Commissioned Study on Viability of Permanent Grass Pitch

Very interesting article by Joshua Mayers at the Times. Looks like the Sounders will be playing on either grass or a new field turf surface before too long. A grass pitch would be fantastic if they can find a way to drain it adequately.

Seattle Sounders Softball Game Features Highlight-Reel Plays, Hilarity

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Seeing the Seattle Mariners' struggles recently, the Seattle Sounders decided to change it up today, dropping this whole soccer thing and picking up bats and gloves. It turns out, many of those lovable faces we see on the pitch can actually play a little softball, including members of the walking wounded.

Four Seattle Sounders on MLS Team of Week

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Remember those times when we were insisting that the Seattle Sounders were unlucky to have such a poor record? Remember when we thought they had depth, and talent. Winning seems to ended a lot of that talk.

Not that it should have, but more intriguingly; the numbers of Sounders players on the MLS Team of Week might.

Sounders Depth Chart - 3XIs Feels So Good Edition

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Winning is fun isn't it? But with healthy being less of a concern, a few reserve games and scrimmages under the belt and five games into the season we have some insight into usage patterns by Sigi Schmid. Now with several Sounders returning to health, others in a solid form, and one plummeting down the depth chart things are different than they were during the last depth chart.

Arlo White on ExtraTime Radio

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Editor's note: Wow, he transcribed the whole thing! Definitely worth reading.

Arlo White was on the April 11, 2011 episode of ExtraTime Radio (MP3). You can hear him 37 minutes in the podcast. I wasn't planning on transcribing the whole 15 minutes, but I'm horrible at paraphrasing. So here's a non-exact transcript.

MLS Power Rankings, Week 4: There's A Lot Of Mediocrity

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The SB Nation soccer editors put out our weekly MLS power rankings and you can read all about that over at .com. The Los Angeles Galaxy have moved back into the top tier, the New York Red Bulls have fallen back into Tier 2 and there was some movement within the tiers. But, I'm not really interested in rehashing that column.

Seattle Sounders Academy Product DeAndre Yedlin Called Into U.S. U-18 Camp

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With about a dozen Seattle Sounders Academy players earning scholarships to Division I college programs around the country, we've known for some time that there's a fair amount of talent in the youth ranks. Now, we have yet another sign. DeAndre Yedlin, who will be attending reigning national champion Akron in the fall, has been called into next week's United States U-18 training camp in Portland.

Major Link Soccer - Enjoying the Big W

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It was a relief this weekend to finally see the Seattle Sounders close out a good game with three points. The Fire played well throughout the match, but quality won through for the first time this season. O'Brian White scored a brilliant header and incidentally continued the reverse-curse of Toronto FC players regaining their form once leaving the snake-bitten club.

SSFC 2:1 Chicago Fire... #winning

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Lineups/tactics.

The lineup was unchanged from last weekend, but for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado returning and sending Patrick Ianni to the bench. 4-3-3 was hinted at, but the formation was also the same as last week, with Mauro Rosales in the 2nd striker/playmaker role. Early returns indicate that #10 is the player that Freddie Ljungberg was supposed to be: a pedigreed play-maker useful as both a withdrawn forward or right wing/mid.

Early Topics In League Are Quite Familiar

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This young season saw a celebration of the league's founding, but the topics are typical.

  • There is parity, well except for Real Salt Lake. Sure, other teams have points, but they aren't manhandling their opponent's like Kreis' team is. With 3.00 PPM and +2GD per GAME, they are the class of the league.

Seattle Sounders Vs. Chicago Fire: Highlights, Quotes, Statistics

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Small confession: I did not watch Saturday's 2-1 Seattle Sounders victory over the Chicago Fire. I was setting up my wife's surprise birthday party and used the game as plausible cover. So, my impressions are are based on what I heard on the radio and saw in highlights.

First off, it should be said that listening to a Sounders game on the radio is really a very enjoyable experience.

Chicago Fire Game Reactions

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Just some quick notes from my perspective at the half line. Gorgeous day for a game there.

  • We can put to bed the O'Brian White question for a while - At this point even the doubters have to admit that he's a target forward that's worth starting. He has a different game than Jaqua but he wins as many balls as anyone we've played in that position over the years.

Seattle Sounders v Chicago Fire - Gamethread

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The best expansion team in the history of the league on the pitch, and the best off the pitch. The Chicago Fire and Seattle Sounders will always be linked through that. Well, that and the fact that Portland fans came up in support of Chicago in 2009.

Weather for this Saturday day game seems good for the time of year, and it should be a great time for Seattle to put up goals and declare the early season string of unluck done and gone.

Seattle Sounders v Chicago Fire - Three Questions with HotTimeInOldTown

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Chicago's team has changed quite a bit in the years when the Seattle Sounders are an MLS team. The Fire lost players like Brian McBride and Freddie Ljungberg, and are now a quite young team with an experienced coach in Carlos de los Cabos. Tweed over at Hot Time In Old Town exchange questions previewing this week's game.

Seattle Sounders / Chicago Fire Scouting Report: Let's Try 11 on 11

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The Chicago Fire have flown pretty far under the radar thus far this season. One reason is that they don't have a clearly compelling storyline to draw national interest. Hovering in a division with the glitzy high priced New York Red Bulls, the quickly dismantled Columbus Crew, the slowly dismantling Toronto FC, the road warrior Sporting Kansas City, the Charlie Davies-led DC United, and a handful of other interesting hooks for MLS fans and national media to hang their narratives on, Chicago is just trying to quietly improve.

A graph that looks at the relationship between a Univeristy producting talent, and the MLS Coach...

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A graph that looks at the relationship between a Univeristy producting talent, and the MLS Coach finding and using it.

Go to OnFooty and read the key for more info.

Great work Sarah.

Major Link Soccer

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Good morning everyone. The Sounders are back home this weekend for a game against the Chicago Fire. The Fire are in a quasi-rebuilding mode this year with plenty of new players on the pitch. They've had a good run so far with the help of some red cards against their opponents. It's a winnable game for the Seattle Sounders.

Seattle Sounders Vs. Chicago Fire, Reference Card: Projected Lineups, Statistics

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The first thing our astute readers will probably notice is that we don't have the Chicago Fire in a 3-5-2 formation. For all the hype around that formation, and I'll admit that I spent a fair amount of time talking to people this week about it, they haven't really played with three backs all that much this season.

Mobile Apps Encapsulate Timbers v Sounders Rivalry

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The Seattle Sounders released a mobile app that initially seems redundant with the MLS app. Except for a few notable differences. It works. It has live gameday audio for league and non-league matches for the Senior team. It has fans interacting. It works. The app is being polished prior to development on other platforms, but it is expected to be out during this season on at least one other smart phone OS (either Android or Windows Mobile).

Fredy Montero Looks Unlikely To Play For Seattle Sounders Vs. Chicago Fire

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Training was closed to reporters Thursday, so we're left to guess about Fredy Montero's availability for Saturday's game against the Chicago Fire. From coach Sigi Schmid's comments, though, I wouldn't expect to see the Seattle Sounders Designated Player suit up.

"The chance of him playing on Saturday is unlikely at this stage because there is still some swelling in there," Schmid said.

Nos Audietis: The Sounder At Heart Podcast, April 7th 2011 (Featuring An Interview With Brad Evans)

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Welcome to another episode of Nos Audietis. Today Jeremiah has an interview with Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans and we take a look back at last weekend's San Jose Earthquakes game and a look ahead to this weekend's match against the Chicago Fire. Shockingly we also talk about Alvaro Fernandez, specifically whether or not a literally dead Erik Friberg would be more likely to get minutes.

Brad Evans Vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Probably Not As Bad Or As Good As You Thought

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Perhaps no Seattle Sounders player is more polarizing than Brad Evans. Sure, there are those that differ in their opinions on lots of players, but with Evans it's almost always "love him" or "hate him." Maybe it's because he's neither a purely offensive or defensive player. Maybe it's because his coach obviously likes him a lot.

Full Wednesday of Soccer

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Though the Sounders are off until the weekend, there's a lot going on in the US soccer world this evening.

  • Four MLS teams are vying tonight for US Open Cup spots. The Philadelphia Union and DC United square off to earn the right to face New England in the next round of qualification. Both teams brought their starters, showing a rapid rise in respect for the Cup (though Colorado didn't get the memo).

Stats: Dropping Shots on Goal Out of the Picture

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Last week I took a look at correlations between first half and second half rates of various statistics for MLS players to help explore the question of whether the rates were primarily driven by player skill or other factors. The upshot was that shot rate is pretty well correlated, but both accuracy (shots on goal / shots) and conversion (goals / shots on goal) were all over the place, indicating that factors other than player skill (which we'll call 'randomness') dominate those rates.

Another Week of Dave Clark on Around the League

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Another Week of Dave Clark on Around the League

Jeremiah and I are taking shifts as their Seattle guys, so we can't help but recommend it. Oddly, I'm more down on Seattle than the hosts.

Tonight we are all Salt Lake fans?

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Since CONCACAF redesigned the Champions Cup into the Champions League MLS sides have struggled. Except for one, and with even a poor performance tonight they could still advance to the CCL final. They face former Sounders opponent Saprissa, down in Costa Rica, but start with a two goal advantage and no away goals against.

Chris Henderson Confirms Seattle Sounders Are Looking For A Forward

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Chris Henderson confirmed what just about everyone who follows the Seattle Sounders has been thinking ever since Blaise Nkufo suddenly left the team: They are in the market for a forward. The Sounders technical director talked to reporters at training today (quotes come via Don Ruiz at the Tacoma News Tribune).

Street Soccer for Social Change

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Hello everyone, my name is Denny and I am a Sounders fan who blogs over at the Seattle Offside. I would like to share with all of you a special group in our community that is doing incredible things.

Follow the jump and prepare to do some good!

First, watch this video.

Fredy Montero To Be Re-Assessed On Wednesday; Mauro Rosales Reflects On First Seattle Sounders Start

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Fredy Montero has not yet been cleared to play in Saturday's game against the Chicago Fire, but Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said the team will no more after their Designated Player visits the surgeon on Wednesday. Montero hurt his wrist during training prior to the New York Red Bulls match and had surgery to repair the injury last week.

MLS Regional Standings - How Does Cascadia Stack Up?

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The Cascadia region is getting a lot of deserved attention for the passion of its fans and the strength of its natural (as opposed to league-manufactured) rivalries. But how are the teams stacking up against other regions in MLS? Let's find out.

Most of the regions are pretty natural. The goal is to keep them around 3 teams (going to 2 or 4 if necessary).

MLS Fantasy Lessons - Week of Injuries

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With ESPN's Fantasy League having the odd rules of "roster set by Tuesday" there were several last-minute injuries that hurt people in MLS Fantasy Soccer this week. Locally the best example was Fredy Montero. Nationally the example was Charlie Davies going from likely starter (and goal scorer) to on the bench over the weekend.

Major Link Soccer - Trying to Feel Positive About Ties Edition

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The Sounders played on the road this week against the San Jose Earthquakes. It was a tight game between the two sides this weekend and a 2-2 draw on the road is a positive result for the Seattle Sounders. The team has played some tough teams to start the year, but will need to get some wins soon if they want to stay competitive in the brutal Western Conference.

San Jose 2-2 SSFC: Sounders can't go a full 90 and should gladly accept draw

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Lineups/Tactics:

Sigi Schmid went with a familiar defense of Leo Gonzalez on the left, Patrick Ianni and Jeff Parke in the middle, and James Riley on the right. Gonzo was very active and looked like the left back revelation he once was back when he was added to the squad in August of '09, and something we saw with decreasing frequency last year.

Sounders Reserves Top Earthquakes Reserves on Tetteh Goal

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Sounders win! Sounders win! Sure, it was in the Reserve League, but there are standings kept so it counts. Most notable of course will be the Michael Tetteh goal late, at least to those browsing the story, but more important to the future for real League play is who plays, and where.

Would anyone accept a season with a Heritage Cup and Reserve League title?

San Jose Earthquakes Vs. Seattle Sounders: Highlights, Quotes And Stats

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Unfortunately there is not as much insight to be gleaned from the highlights as you'd expect in a nearly 12-minute clip. The editors seemed much more intent on creating a package that showcased the announcers and their understandably homer-ish announcing than giving us an idea of how the match played out.

Seattle Sounders Draw San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 - Quick Recap

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A diminished Seattle side saw Sigi Schmid start Mauro Rosales in place of the injured Fredy Montero. By most measures the results from the switch were good. Rosales created early pressure both offensively and defensively. He sprung quickly through the defensive line of San Jose to threaten and eventually lead to the first goal.

Seattle Sounders at San Jose Earthquakes - Gamethread

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This is the first battle for a kind of Supporters Cup of the year, with the least known, and significant of trophies for which Seattle is competing this year being on the line. The Seattle Sounders currently hold the trophy based. More important than this trophy though would be the contest between two of the teams challenging for recognition as title and Western Conference contenders in the Sounders and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Is The Heritage Cup Becoming Irrelevant? Or Was It Ever Relevant?

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Is The Heritage Cup Becoming Irrelevant? Or Was It Ever Relevant?

Quake, Rattle and Goal takes a look at the Heritage Cup, which is designed to celebrate teams that draw their lineage from the NASL. The Earthquakes won it in Year 1, the Sounders won it in Year 2 and in Year 3 we need to ask if it matters at all?

Should Seattle Have Pushed Hard to Acquire De Rosario From Toronto FC?

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Whether Seattle was one of the teams that Toronto was talking to or not, we do know now what the price for Dwayne De Rosario was. The amazing talent, probably the only one who could challenge Landon Donovan for best in MLS over a significant period of time, was dealt for Toni Tchani, Danleigh Borman and next year's first round pick.

Dwayne De Rosario Traded To New York Red Bulls

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Dwayne De Rosario Traded To New York Red Bulls

I know you're asking yourself, "How is this possible?" As your resident MLS rules expert, I can only say, "I don't know." Maybe the Red Bulls are making DeRo a DP and paying down his cap hit with allocation money, but that's just speculation.

San Jose Earthquakes Vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Card, Projected Lineups

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With the injury to Fredy Montero and news that he would not be traveling, that forced us into some creative thinking for our projected starting lineup for Saturday's game against the San Jose Earthquakes. We decided to go with O'Brian White and Nate Jaqua up top, with Erik Friberg reprising his role as a right mid.

Seattle Sounders / San Jose Earthquakes Scouting Report: What a Wondoful World

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As we prepare for game four in a season that is supposed to be the Seattle Sounders' coming out party as legitimate MLS Cup contenders, the team has yet to get the results to justify that hope. We've discussed and argued the disparity between the Rave Green's impressive play on the field and the lack of results it's produced ad nauseum, but the time will eventually approach when the results matter more than the play.

Major Link Soccer - Missing Najar Edition

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The Seattle Sounders are on the road this weekend in San Jose to face the Earthquakes. The Sounders need to secure three points to get their season back on track especially against a rival in the West for that vital third playoff spot. Dave Clark has three questions up for the game and come back to SAH later today for a match preview and line-up card.