Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2011

Major Link Soccer - The Winter of Our Malcontents Edition

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It's a season defining couple of weeks for the Sounders. Thankfully, they managed to get the party started right by securing a spot in the elimination rounds of the CONCACAF Champions League. The 2-2 tie against Comunicaciones gives them some breathing room with a rough travel schedule to end the season.

Nos Audietis, Episode 27: Build A Bonfire

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Sorry this is coming out so late, but next week we should be on a much tighter schedule as we've signed up an engineer (@danoseattle) who we hope will help make the show better and keep us publishing a little faster. Aaaaaaannnnnnyyyyyway, we have a show and we think it's a good one.

We talk a lot about the Cascadia Cup and even have ECS Travel Director Aaron Reed (@ECSTravelMonkey) on for a rather lengthy discussion about the trip and away support in general.

Reports Would Mean First Kick Won't Be At CenturyLink Field

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Reports Would Mean First Kick Won't Be At CenturyLink Field

Assuming reports out of Toronto are true, the MLS season will start the weekend of March 10. With the Sounders already scheduled to be playing CONCACAF Champions League that week, this would mean an end to the three-year tradition of First Kick being held in Seattle.

Seattle Sounders At New England Revolution - Lineup Card And Statistics Show Depth

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Some managers in the world will tell you before a match exactly who is going to start and what shape they are going to use. Others don't have fixture congestion and so their first team minus injuries is going to get the play - say the New England Revolution. For the Seattle Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid has depth to make tactical moves (inserting Zach Scott as right back to shut down a winger) and play near split-squads as he competes in three concurrent tournaments.

RSVP For Date With Sounder at Heart

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RSVP For Date With Sounder at Heart

We are totally biting the name, hope that's OK with the Sounders and Wexley. In any case, we'd appreciate it if you tell us you intend to come.

What Would It Take To Consider The Seattle Sounders Season A Success?

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What Would It Take To Consider The Seattle Sounders Season A Success?

Hey look it's a thing I wrote. I really think you should go read it. And I'm not just saying that because I wrote it. Nope. No siree Bob.

Thursday Tactics 'n' Things - Red card! Now what?

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Uh oh, the hand is going to the back pocket, is he really...

No way!

While ejections exist in the traditional American sports, their versions have nothing quite like the impact of soccer's red card, because they all allow you to replace the ejected player. That means that despite the loss of the player, the team can still carry on with standard play.

Sounders on Campus: Week 5

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The story of this week is Yedlin, who continues to be a huge factor as a freshman on one of the top teams in the country. Sounders are also popping up on some of the best Division 2 teams in the country.

Active

#4 Akron - DeAndre Yedlin
(9/24 - 3-0 W @ Tulsa Assist), (9/28 - 3-1 W v Ohio St Goal)

As we noted last week, Yedlin has involved himself in a goal in every game the undefeated Zips have played this season other than their one scoreless draw.

U.S. Open Cup Final: Sounders Hope To Have Mauro Rosales Fit For Duty

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Mauro Rosales has joined the Seattle Sounders in New England and coach Sigi Schmid said he hopes to have his MVP candidate midfielder ready in time to play against the Chicago Fire in the U.S. Open Cup final next Tuesday. Rosales has been out since Sept. 17 with a strained MCL. He has so far missed just one MLS game, but has also missed a pair of CONCACAF Champions League matches.

Demetrius Johnson, like so many, wasn't born in Washington, but he lives here now. As much as a...

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Demetrius Johnson, like so many, wasn't born in Washington, but he lives here now. As much as a fighter lives in any specific city. That, and an XBox sponsorship means that he's sporting a Seattle Sounders top at his pre-fight press conference. Thanks Beau Dure for making me aware.

Seattle Sounders at New England Revolution - Three Questions

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Often the focus when talking about the New England Revolution the focus becomes off-field issues (stadium hunt, fan relations and Kraft's treatment of team). And it is possible that those worries have taken their toll on the team itself, for the Revs were once a standout organization in terms of wins and opportunities for titles.

U.S. Open Cup Final: With 30,000 Tickets Already Sold, Sounders Open Hawks Nest

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With 30,000 tickets already sold, the Seattle Sounders announced on Wednesday that they will open the Hawks Nest for the U.S. Open Cup final on Oct. 4. It will be the first time the Sounders will have sold tickets in that portion of the north end for a competitive match. Tickets will sell for $17.

Osvaldo Alonso - Defensive Or Box-to-Box Midfielder

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When Osvaldo Alonso signed with the Seattle Sounders back in the fall of 2008 it was coming off a season with the Charleston Battery that wasn't just impressive, but amazing. He was the team Player of Year, led the team to a US Open Cup Final appearance (after beating Seattle in the semis), USL-1 Rookie of Year, scored seven goals and assisted on seven more.

Comunicaciones Vs. Seattle Sounders, CONCACAF Champions League: Highlights, Quotes, Stats

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Make no mistake, a lot was riding on Tuesday's result. If the Seattle Sounders had failed to pull out a point, that would have meant they needed a result against Monterrey. No matter how weakened Monterrey may or may not be, there's just no way you want to go into a match with a Mexican team absolutely needing a result.

Super Tuesday. On ESPN Super Stars. On FoxSoccer Super Clubs. If you love the game, you watch the...

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Super Tuesday. On ESPN Super Stars. On FoxSoccer Super Clubs. If you love the game, you watch the game. Support American Soccer - for most of you that means being at the CLiFf

Seattle Sounders Draw CSD Comunicaciones 2-2 Advance To Knockout Rounds

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When Joe Roth announced the Seattle Sounders Football Club he said that he wanted to compete on the international stage. In just two short years they showed up on that stage, and were crushed. Now, in just their third year the advance to the CONCACAF Champions League Championship Round after a 2-2 draw against CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala.

Seattle Sounders at CSD Comunicaciones CONCACAF Champions League - Gamethread

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Win and the Seattle Sounders set themselves up to win the Group. A tie ensures advancement. A loss would put way too much meaning on the final game against CF Monterrey. Tonight's game might actually be the second most important of the remaining year. It seems odd saying that, but the regular season is nearly in the playing out the string mode, so games against CSD Comunicaciones and the Chicago Fire will go a long way to defining the non-League season.

State of the MLS Run In: 4 Weeks to Go

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

Previous Week

This week saw the LA Galaxy continue to pull away from the pack at the top of the table.

Seattle Sounders Rated 6th Among MLS Academies

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One of the things to do when reviewing the release of the USSDA/USSF Academy ratings is figure out how the MLS teams rate compared to each other. The Philadelphia Union are hard to rate as their structure is unique at the Academy level. One of the ratings (Player Development) seems to favor teams on the East as they are more likely to get picked for national team games due to a proximity bias and it also rewards teams that sign players that they don't intend to play.

In case you missed it, Preston Burpo was a surprise guest during the Vancouver match. He quietly...

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In case you missed it, Preston Burpo was a surprise guest during the Vancouver match. He quietly found his way up to ECS and took a seat at the back of the section. He had a grin that stretched from ear to ear the whole time.

Seattle Sounders at CSD Comunicaciones CONCACF Champions League Preview

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Tuesday nights 7 PM Pacific game in CONCACAF Champions League action can lock up the knockout stages for the Seattle Sounders with just a draw. For CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala it is nearly a must win to force deep tie-breakers or count on Herediano causing Monterrey troubles. The Sounders own the all time series by goal differential (+1), as each team has a win at home.

I work as a an engineering project manager at Boeing on the 787 program. Today we delivered the...

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I work as a an engineering project manager at Boeing on the 787 program. Today we delivered the first 787 to All Nippon Airways of Japan. Here's a shot of the ceremony, where they handed out scarves and asked the crowd to hold them up. I asked one of the communications people who organized the event if there was any Sounders influence on the scarves and holding them up, and she said she believed that the higher-ups got the idea from the displays at the games.

Sounder at Heart Day Oct 15 Pregame Edition

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Sometimes the virtual needs to get real. Sometimes communities need to congregate. At these times, it is best to have a place to gather. A place to share space, to raise a pint and celebrate each other. We're going to tear down the digital walls and commune before the October 15th match against the San Jose Earthquakes.

SB Nation MLS MVP Tracker Updated: Dwayne De Rosario Gaining Steam

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SB Nation MLS MVP Tracker Updated: Dwayne De Rosario Gaining Steam

Mauro Rosales is still running a solid third, but I know that I've switched my support to Fredy Montero and suspect that as the season goes on he'll be the one receiving more attention. Dwayne De Rosario now has the most first-place votes, but still trails Brek Shea on overall points.

There are a bunch of ECS chants showing up in FIFA 12. Here's a version of the Seattle Sounders vs...

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There are a bunch of ECS chants showing up in FIFA 12.

Here's a version of the Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps game from this weekend uploaded by (presumable Sounders fan) RaveGreenIsTheColor. Ignore the 2-2 result.

I hear Sounders 'Til I Die at 4:00, Sky of Blue Sea of Green at 10:00, and Go Sounders Go at 13:00.

Major Link Soccer - Cutting in the Queue Edition

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The Seattle Sounders secured their first hardware of the season this weekend with a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. The highlight of the match was a sublime left-footed strike by Fredy Montero (which is a goal-of-the-week nominee). Make sure to vote as the competition is fierce this week.

Portland Timbers To Launch Academy, Already Fighting High Schools

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The Seattle Sounders relative easy access to Clark County, Washington talents (Nick Paludichuk, Mikhail Doholis) will shortly be coming to an end as the Portland Timbers will be selecting their U-16 and U-18 players come spring 2012. While some criticized that the Sounders took over a top level Academy program to springboard their launch, the Timbers are even more aggressive taking over the whole of the Oregon Olympic Development Program (though still have catchment limits on HGP signings).

Vancouver Whitecaps Vs. Seattle Sounders, Cascadia Cup: Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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As one of the lucky ones who happened to travel to Vancouver for Saturday's Cascadia Cup game, I won't pretend to have the most nuanced view of the game. Soon enough, I'll have a full recounting of my experience, but for now I'll try to let the highlights and stats do the talking for the Seattle Sounders' 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Cascadia Cup Returns To Seattle After 3 - 1 Victory Over Vancouver Whitecaps

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Any day when the Captain of the Seattle Sounders can raise a cup is a good day. When Kasey Keller can raise a Supporters Cup on the grounds of the opposition it seems even sweeter. That he was handed it by a member of the Emerald City Supporters after it was handed over from the Timbers Army increases in power.

Cascadia Cup: Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps - Gamethread

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While the Seattle Sounder no longer need to worry about making the MLS Cup Playoffs, there is still much to play for up in Vancouver. The Cascadia Cup is in doubt and that minuscule chance at the Supporters Shield needs Seattle to win out. Fortunately Seattle is playing the rather weak Vancouver Whitecaps on the final day of Empire Field.

Depth - A Three Part Story

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There's an idea floating out there that since the Seattle Sounders lost to CS Herediano that they aren't a deep team. The concept seems to put forward that a team that doesn't earn points in every competition just doesn't have the bench. Not only is this concept wrong, looking into its refutation can open eyes into how deep the team truly is.

Seattle Sounders Qualify For MLS Cup Playoffs Thanks To Seb Le Toux

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Yep, the 1-1 draw in Kansas City tonight was very, very good to the Seattle Sounders. According to the notes in today's preview the result was enough to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.

If Sporting KC and Philadelphia play to a tie on Friday, Sounders FC will be assured of a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

See, Ben Massey Can Totally Be Positive When He Wants To Be

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See, Ben Massey Can Totally Be Positive When He Wants To Be

Basically in response to someone here who accused 86 Forever of being too negative, he actually points out some not so bad, and even good, things about the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps Scouting Report: Closing Down the Empire

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Almost two months ago, I wrote about the fact that the Sounders were one of only two teams in the league (along with FC Dallas) who were still in the running for all five potential trophies. Remarkably - despite a grueling schedule both in the league and in cup play - Seattle outlasted Dallas and still remains in the running for every one of those cups (though their claim on the Supporters Shield is pretty tenuous as the Los Angeles Galaxy pull away in that race).

Cascadia Cup: Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps - Projected Lineups, Statistics

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While most of the attention has been on the loss of Mauro Rosales due to the MCL tear, this round of the Cascadia Cup is likely to be missing to other wide players for the Seattle Sounders. The Vancouver Whitecaps will be without a key central defender as well. Estimating who Tom Soehn will start where has driven Massey insane as well, so their side is more of an estimate than typical.

Wigan Athletic Blog Joins SBN

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Wigan Athletic Blog Joins SBN

And while it may not be Jeremiah's brief dream, it is still one of the smallest clubs in the Premier League getting a blog on SB Nation's growing soccer realm.

Go say hello to the Pie Eaters.

Major Link Soccer - Things I Love Edition

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At the end of a stressful work week spent on the road I like to take a moment to go over the things that I love about Seattle. I love living in city where the people are friendly and even the view from the C-Link parking lot can take your breath away. I love that no matter where I am in the city I'm about five minutes away from a good local coffee shop.

Cascadia Cup: Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps - Three Questions

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While any of the three teams could win the Cascadia Cup in the next two Saturdays in MLS play, the Seattle Sounders are in the driver's seat. With a win over the Vancouver Whitecaps they not only qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, they also get their first trophy. Or more appropriately, their fans get their first trophy as this is a Supporters Cup.

Nos Audietis, Episode 26: Mauro Nooooooooooooooo

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We've got a lot to talk about this time out; the Sounders waxing of DC United, the loss of Mauro Rosales, the loss to CS Herediano, Seattle's final Cascadia Cup match of the season this Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps and the future of Nate Jaqua and Pat Noonan are all discussed at length.

Practice Report: Injury Update, Cascadia Cup And Lamar Neagle

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On a muggy, warm and cloudy day in Tukwila the main interest at practice was Mr Alan Hinton. With the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps he, Brian Schmetzer and Roger Levesque represent the history across generations and represent the history of this rivalry that is represented by the Cascadia Cup.

Mauro Rosales And Seattle Sounders Close To Extension

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Today, during a live chat with ESPNDesportes.com Mauro Rosales indicated that he and the Seattle Sounders are close to an agreement on an extension. It is important to note that the following quote came via Google Translate and is therefore without the nuance that a live translator may offer.

matias (Newell's)

mauro two questions: you have plans to return to Newell's Old Boys?

Date With The Pain Machine

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@Pain_Machine's giving away two pairs of tickets to the Open Cup Final (10/4 7pm), and there are two ways to win. Read on for details...

Contest the First: Sparkles, The Man, The Legend

The first pair of tickets will be awarded to whomever tweets the best example of how Jeff "Sparkles" Parke is intensitive.

Thursday Tactics and Things: Forwards, QB's, and single points of failure

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It is a pretty common theme, at least in the American soccer press, that a team is only as good as the talismanic superstar forward it may or may not have. With regards to the national team, we have heard quite a bit about how the key to the USMNT becoming a global power is that they need a "Lionel Messi" (a notion that is utterly preposterous, quite frankly).

I'm on the Alliance Council - Stop Voting For Me!

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I'm on the Alliance Council - Stop Voting For Me!

Now ECS with 5, GFC with 1, you with 1. There's another non-affiliated who is about to get on Council any moment.

If you still have a vote I know of no one who deserves support more than Rachel Malloy. She was a major organizational force behind the 2009 Supporters Summit and in her current role as Secretary she does a fine job.

Sounders on Campus: Week 4

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Most teams begin their transition into conference play this week and the alma maters of the Sounders Academy players are doing well overall.

Active

#4 Akron - DeAndre Yedlin
(9/16 - 1-1 D v New Mexico), (9/18 - 1-0 W v Cal Poly)

On Friday the Zips played another Top 25 team in a game broadcast nationally on Fox Soccer Channel.

Seattle Sounders Vs. CS Herediano, CONCACAF Champions League: Highlights, Quotes, Statistics

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What else can we say about Tuesday night's gut punch? Clearly, Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid's hands were somewhat tied with his lineup options from the midfield forward. Alvaro Fernandez was on a yellow-card suspension. Mauro Rosales is out. Brad Evans and Erik Friberg are nursing injuries.

Yes, More 'A Date With A Sounder'

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On the heels of Tuesday's frustrating loss, we figured it might be a good idea to lighten the mood. And just in time, the Sounders have released another round of "Date With A Sounder" videos. In this batch, we have Mauro Rosales, Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle, Servando Carrasco, Taylor Graham and Mike Seamon.

CS Herediano Nudges Past Seattle Sounders 1-0

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When CS Herediano beat the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday night it was not because they dominated play. It was because the team in Electricity acted more like a car battery that was low on charge and couldn't push the starter over. There were only a handful of opportunities for either side and the Costa Rican team's keeper had a brilliant save or two that took a game from a possible draw to a 1-nil win.

Seattle Sounders v CS Herediano - Gamethread

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As Group D of the CONCACAF Champions League settles in it has become quite clear that the Seattle Sounders learned quite a bit from last year's dreary international journey. They travel differently, stopping in Dallas on the way south now. They play differently, taking advantage of different defensive styles of Latin ball.

With A Couple Wins This Week, Sounders Can Greatly Lessen Impact Of Mauro Rosales' Injury

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There's no two ways about it: Mauro Rosales' injury sucks. Whether it's two or four weeks or somewhere in between, every game the Seattle Sounders have to play without their MVP candidate they are a worse team. It's no coincidence that the Sounders have gone 12-3-6 in games Rosales has started and just 2-3-3 in their other matches.

State of the MLS Run In: 5 Weeks To Go

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

Previous Week

The Portland Timbers have been quietly climbing up the playoff probability standings over the last few weeks, thanks to their own good run and the collapse of the teams around them.

Academy Splits, Pre-Academy Keeper Called To US Residency

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While the U-18s and U-16s were playing their first matches on the road down in California over the weekend, both splitting, the biggest news concerning Seattle Sounders youth players would be the call-up of Paul Christensen to the US U-17 Fall Residency. Why haven't you heard of Christensen yet? Because he is part of the pre-Academy though eligible to play for the U-16s he's still young for that level.

Rosales' MCL slightly torn, 2-4 weeks

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Rosales' MCL slightly torn, 2-4 weeks

Could be worse I guess, but the fact that it happened at all is disgusting, and this means he's probably out of the LHUSOC Final.

Mauro Rosales Out 2-4 Weeks With Small MCL Tear

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Monday Afternoon Mauro Rosales underwent an MRI to see just how bad the injury to his knee is. He and the Seattle Sounders were told that it is a small tear of his right medial collateral ligament. The Sounders report that the expected recovery is 2-4 weeks, but longer is certainly possible.

Two missed weeks means he's out for games against the Vancouver Whitecaps and New England Revolution in league play.

Hope Solo and Steve Nash preview the Cascadia Cup match on FIFA12. Nash tells Solo that all she...

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Hope Solo and Steve Nash preview the Cascadia Cup match on FIFA12. Nash tells Solo that all she does is stand around in front of the goal. Solo asks Nash how is Sociology degree is doing.

Since the game tries to be accurate Seattle wins.

Practice Report: Injuries, Recovery And Planning To Win

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With a game against CS Herediano that can nearly lock-up entry into the knockout round of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday and a Saturday game against the Vancouver Whitecaps that can assure the MLS Cup Playoffs things were generally upbeat at Starfire for the Seattle Sounders. There are still individual players who are carrying injuries and others recovering from injuries/fitness that will change how Sigi Schmid manages his gameday lineups.

Major Link Soccer - It Is What It Is

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The Seattle Sounders came away with another victory and carrying another injury. The 3-0 victory was a bit more than the numbers suggest, but Sagarin sees Seattle as strong against an average team at home so it wasn't unexpected. Seattle and Real Salt Lake are also the two teams with 7 wins against top 8 teams in MLS.

Champions League Without Mauro Rosales

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Mauro Rosales won't be getting an MRI until Monday, so how long he won't be in the lineup is still up in the air. But what we do know is that he will not be playing Tuesday night against CS Herediano. Doing a bit of research though, he was unlikely to start anyway. He had only started in one of the previous CONCACAF Champions League matches.

Seattle Sounders 3 : DC United 0 - Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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One of the best things about a highlight package after a 3-nil win is that the rare down moments don't exist. The beauty of the Seattle Sounders attack is featured. The passing, off-ball movement and penchant to threaten the keeper in Saturday's game was the team working at near perfection. Mauro Rosales and Fredy Montero were able to pick apart the DC United defense.

Seattle Sounders Vs. DC United: Mauro Rosales Injury Spoils Feel-Good Victory

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Score three goals and shut out a likely playoff team and you should feel pretty good. Unfortunately for the Seattle Sounders, their 3-0 win over DC United was just about ruined when Mauro Rosales went down with an injury late. After the game, it was revealed Rosales sprained MCL and that he would at least miss Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Herediano.

Seattle Sounders v DC United - Gamethread

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DC United has a diverse attack. With goal scoring and assist men on the wings, at forward and with the player who may be the most similar in play to Fredy Montero with Dwayne De Rosario in that space between the forwards and midfield. The Seattle Sounders don't see this necessarily as something that has to change their defensive posture.

Seattle Sounders vs DC United Scouting Report: The Bones Which Thou Hast Broken May Rejoice

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Tomorrow's game has a lot on the line for both teams. The Seattle Sounders are comfortably in the playoffs but want to fend off FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake in the race for the second spot in the West (the Supporters Shield now being out of reach barring a historical collapse by the LA Galaxy). DC United is at 10th or 11th in the table - depending on whether or not you're reading this after the Portland Timbers result - but given their games in hand should be slotted in around 9th or 10th.

Seattle Sounders v DC United - Interactive Lineup Card, Statistics

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Neither the Seattle Sounders nor DC United will be going into the Saturday 6PM match will have their preferred XI. DC lost DP Branko Boscovic early in the year and Chris Pontius just last week. For the Sounders Sigi Schmid isn't used to picking his first choice. With significant injuries marring most of the year, intermittent injuries popping up and the packed schedule the lineup shifts are so frequent they aren't surprising.

Practice Report: Evans & Alonso Healthy, Bryan Meredith Joins Team

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Day before game practices tend to have very limited access to players. The team also does not let the media watch but the last 15 minutes or so. Although if you are a legendary player or coach from the original NASL you get to watch. This all makes sense. The number one focus of any team should be winning games.

Major Link Soccer - Just Bust a Move Edition

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The Seattle Sounders are sitting pretty good going into the weekend. The Sounders put in a yeoman's performance after traveling down to Costa Rica. They remain perfect in the CONCACAF Champions League with their 2-1 win over Herediano. This weekend D.C. United arrive in Seattle looking to bolster their record in the less than competitive Eastern Conference.

Nos Audietis, Episode 25: CCL, RSL And The End-Of-Season Run-In

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A pretty disappointing Saturday afternoon gave way to a pretty wonderful Tuesday evening, and though the Sounders loss to Real Salt Lake most likely put Seattle's Supporters Shield chances well out of reach a nice win against Herediano in the CONCACAF Champions League has them in excellent shape. So, not the best week we've ever had but far from the worst, and with a bit more of an idea as to where things stand the Sounders can now approach the home stretch with a bit more of a singular focus.

Charlie Davies' apartment walls are covered with Sounders FC banners, scarves and flags — all with...

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Charlie Davies' apartment walls are covered with Sounders FC banners, scarves and flags — all with deep significance to the 25-year-old forward.

"You'd almost think I played for the Seattle Sounders because of all the memorabilia I have," he said, joking, in a phone interview.

Seattle Sounders v DC United - Three Questions

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If the Seattle Sounders have an East Coast rival it would be DC United. The origins are from the strong words that the two front offices made leading up to the 2009 US Open Cup Final. The interaction between the two blogs on the network have been nearly as vicious as the games on the pitch. Although the crew at Black and Red United have never stomped on my stomach.

Sounders Wooing Season-Ticket Renewals With Clever Marketing

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If you're a Seattle Sounders season-ticket holder, you've probably already seen this video: Roger Levesque asking you to renew your season tickets. It's basically a continuation of the "Date With a Sounder" ad campaign that they ran earlier this year (and, inadvertently spawned @Pain_Machine).

CONCACAF Champions League, Herediano Vs. Seattle Sounders: Highlights, Quotes, Stats

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Not exactly the prettiest performance from just about any angle, but Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League group stage win over Herediano was exactly the kind of game the Seattle Sounders couldn't win last year. In fact, this game unfolded very much like the loss at Marathon a year ago, but with dramatically different results.

CONCACAF Champions League, Herediano Vs. Seattle Sounders: 9 Points

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Nine points. Through three matches of CONCACAF Champions League group stage play, the Seattle Sounders remain perfect after beating Herediano in Costa Rica 2-1. Just think about that for a second.

When CCL play started, we knew the Sounders would have two of their first three matches in Mexico and Costa Rica.

Seattle Sounders At CS Herediano - Gamethread

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The CONCACAF Champions League does not have the fame of its European counter-part. Part of that is because at this time the CCL has a single significant league. The Seattle Sounders could help rewrite that second sentence with a win in Wednesday night's match in Costa Rica against CS Herediano. Nine points in just three matches with two of the remaining at home changes the way Sigi Schmid can manage his roster for the rest of Group D and MLS Regular Season play.

Fullbacks Vs. Wingbacks: What They Mean For The Attack

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If you want to waste time and frustrate yourself, start a conversation/debate about soccer-football positions, what you call them, what that means, and what that implies about their roles.

This is probably why there is so little intelligent discussion about these things in the English-speaking world, if for no other reason than the fact that the very people who are purported to have invented the game long ago decided that tactics talk was somehow inherently cynical and have always seemingly been a half-step behind the rest of the world (and explains the rather off-putting nationalism that takes over the English sporting press any time a major international tournament rolls around).

stuffing the ballot

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stuffing the ballot

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Knowing the Unknowable CS Herediano

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CS Herediano is one of those strong teams with a poor recent history. They have 21 titles down in Costa Rica, but their last was from the 1992/3 season. Entering this edition of the CONCACAF Champions League by finishing 2nd Leo Gonzalez former club has a case of dualistic forms. In CCL play they haven't won in three matches, with their only points coming from the Preliminary Round drubbing (10-2 aggregate) against Alpha United of Guyana.

A Day With Sporting Kansas City

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A Day With Sporting Kansas City

I went to KC last weekend for a wedding and here is the post I wrote summarizing the experience. Short story: LiveStrong is awesome.

State of the MLS Run In: 6 Weeks To Go

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

Previous Week

MLS play got back into the full swing of things last week after the international break, and it was a week that had a dramatic impact on the state of the league.

Seattle Sounders To Use Unconventional Lineup Against CS Herediano

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Normally about now, we'd put together a fancy lineup card for you, but not this week. Guessing Sigi Schmid's lineup against CS Herediano of Costa Rica is difficult. The lineup for Herediano nearly impossible. When the Seattle Sounders beat CF Monterrey it was the least conventional set of XI we have seen him use.

When Sigi says there is new fight in CS Herediano is this what he means? H/T to Dirty Tackle.

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When Sigi says there is new fight in CS Herediano is this what he means?

H/T to Dirty Tackle.

MLS Player Salaries: Sounders Added Players, Trimmed Payroll

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As they usually do twice a year, the MLS Players Union released salary data. As you'll see, there were a few surprises when it came to the Seattle Sounders.

Most notably, you'll notice that they managed to add two players -- Sammy Ochoa and Amadou Sanyang -- while also trimming their payroll.

Sounders on Campus: Week 3

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We've reached week 2 of the college soccer season and despite their all being freshmen, some of our Sounders Academy players are already making an impact on the college game. Last week's edition had a little intro to each player for those who didn't watch the Academy season, so refer back to that if you aren't sure who some of the players are.

Taylor Twellman Says Shutting Terry Boss Down For Year "Absolutely, Without Doubt The Right Move"

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If there is one voice in American soccer concerning concussions, it is Taylor Twellman. It is a voice that he understands grates on players and fans at times, but one that he will not stop using. He is currently moving from his personal Twitter and media crusade to raise awareness to the creation of a clearinghouse website for concussion related information, data and resources at ThinkTaylor.

LA Galaxy Have Chance To Be Special

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LA Galaxy Have Chance To Be Special

If it seems like the Sounders just can't do quite enough to catch the LA Galaxy, maybe we shouldn't feel so bad. The Galaxy are putting together a season that may very well be the most impressive of the post-2001 era. But don't worry, regular-season excellence rarely translates to post-season dominance.

Seattle Sounders Place Mike Seamon On Injured List

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Remember the injury woes of the early season? It would seem they are crawling back into the management of the Seattle Sounders as Mike Seamon now joins the injured list. Terry Boss and Steve Zakuani are also on the list. O'Brian White could still be added which would put the list at its maximum number of four.

Bryan Meredith Signs With Seattle Sounders

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There were rumors of this last week. Today the signing becomes official though as the Seattle Sounders have added Bryan Meredith to their roster. The rookie goalkeeper had an extraordinary year with the Kitsap Pumas and it seems his eternal battle with Josh Ford will continue.

Their training camp battle went to the final moments and I would not be surprised to see either one as the 2nd keeper for any given game.

Major Link Soccer - Reality Bites Edition

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Reality came crashing in this weekend. The amazing August run by the Seattle Sounders ended with a 2-1 home loss to Real Salt Lake. All the Sounders luck looked spent as Kasey Keller made a 1 in a 1,000 error and the normally steady Mauro Rosales missed a penalty kick wide. The Sounders website has match highlights and photos.

Sports Business Journal Reporting MLS To Sell 25% Stake In SUM

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Daniel Kaplan and John Ourand have joined together in a story to report that Major League Soccer is exploring selling a significant share in Soccer United Marketing. The 25% share is possibly being sold to Providence Equity Partners for between 125 and 150 Million dollars. It turns out big investment firms like to make money, and it seems that MLS through SUM is doing just that right now.

New York Red Bull To Make Aggressive Fall Marketing Push

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New York Red Bull To Make Aggressive Fall Marketing Push

They are now expecting to average over 20k on the year, currently at only 18.8k for 2nd best of MLS 1.0. MLS 2.0 teams are still 800+ average gate better than 1.0 (including new KC stadium). All Garber teams at +5121.

Also, there is a note that the MLS on NBC deal could be worth 20M$, and that could move the salary cap needle.

Real Salt Lake 2 : Seattle Sounders 1 - Highlights, Statistics, Quotes

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There was a lot not to like about the game Saturday afternoon. Not just because of the loss to a Western Conference rival, but because there were opportunities for much more than happened. Real Salt Lake takes that win and now has a better chance at the Supporters Shield than the Seattle Sounders, and even moves into 2nd by PPM, although barely.

Seattle Sounders Vs. Real Salt Lake: Amazing Ride Comes To Abrupt Halt

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As good as the Seattle Sounders have been playing lately, a result like Saturday's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake really seemed to come as quite a shock to the system. I'm sitting here in the pressbox, overlooking an empty stadium, and am actually having a hard time processing what exactly what happened here.

Seattle Sounders v Real Salt Lake - Gamethread

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For Real Salt Lake the trip to Seattle will always remind them of their greatest win in history. Luckily for Seattle Sounders fans, it had nothing to do with the team in Rave Green. Besides that neutral pitch win, RSL has struggled with things Seattle with the Sounders earning 8 points in 5 previous meetings.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake Scouting Report: How the West Is Won

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I feel like I've written 'this is the Sounders hardest X game left this season' a lot in the last few weeks, where X is 'road' or 'home' or 'group stage' or whatever. It's a sign that the difficulty of the Seattle regular season peaked in a brutal July and August stretch that featured two games against a dangerous FC Dallas, a match in Monterrey, and matchups with the Colorado Rapids, the LA Galaxy, and a Cascadia derby match at Jeld-Wen field.

Terry Boss Out For Season: Weighing The Sounders' Options

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In what may be considered pretty close to a worst-case scenario, the Seattle Sounders announced that backup goalkeeper Terry Boss was placed on the Disabled LIst, meaning he'll miss the rest of the season. Boss suffered a concussion while playing for the Puerto Rico national team last Friday. It was his second concussion in the past six week, as he suffered a similar injury against Manchester United in the July friendly.

Seattle Sounders v Real Salt Lake - Interactive Match Card, Projected Lineups

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Here is our most recent attempt at the Match Day Quick Reference Card (now powered by Tableau). I'm still working through how to list both last name and number without taking up too much space. I understand that this is our most requested tweak. I have slightly increased the size of the player dots, and changed the team data.

Seattle Sounders Poised To Break U.S. Open Cup Attendance Record, Again

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There are no official numbers yet, but it sure seems like the Seattle Sounders are poised to break the U.S. Open Cup finals attendance record that they just set a year ago. What we know for sure is that about 11,000 tickets were sold during the presale when season-ticket holders were limiting to buying their seats.

Seattle Sounders v Real Salt Lake - Three Questions

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Fortune favors the Seattle Sounders as they have the opportunity to put themselves ahead of Real Salt Lake on the first tie breaker with even just a tie. In the last meeting Seattle ended the Utah side's home unbeaten streak, which should be good news when facing a team that is poor on the road (12 points in 11 matches).

Nos Audietis, Episode 24: Alexi Lalas, Real Salt Lake, We're So Good It's Unbelievable, Etc.

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My apologies for the delay; for whatever reason, this episode of Nos Audietis seemed bound and determined to make my life difficult. But it's ready now, and hopefully you'll find that it was worth the wait.

On today's show we talk about how amazingly awesome this team has been for the past month, how things look at the back end of the roster, and take a look ahead to the Real Salt Lake game tomorrow afternoon.

Major Link Soccer - Holden On

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The Seattle Sounders are back in action this weekend after a well deserved break. They take on Real Salt Lake team that looks like its coming back into form and ready to make a late run into the playoffs. RSL needs three points here in Seattle to catch FC Dallas and avoid a wildcard play-in game. The Sounders need a win to keep themselves in the hunt for the Supporter's Shield.

Thursday Tactics 'n' Things - Set Pieces

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Today's TTnT is brought to you by the letters R, S, L, C, and K and by the numbers 2 and 3.

RSL, of course, is Real Salt Lake, who have the most Euro-poser name in the league, at least until Garber announces the introduction of Bayern Milwaukee. CK stands for corner kick, and two is the number of goals that RSL scored off corners in their last game, played at home against the Philadelphia Union.

Husky Men Enter National Rankings

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Some more involved coverage of both the Huskies men's and women's soccer teams is on the to-do list here at the Heart, but in the meantime I thought it was worth highlighting the fact that the men's team has entered the NSCAA national rankings at #23 after starting the season 2-0-1. The last time the Huskies were ranked was a brief period in October last season when the Huskies were also ranked #23rd after a big win over Portland.

Monterrey midfielder Jesus Zavala said Seattle's victory over the defending champion was an...

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Monterrey midfielder Jesus Zavala said Seattle's victory over the defending champion was an oportunity to realize that things have changed in the región.

"Before when you thought of CONCACAF, you only thought of Mexico and its clubs, but now you have the Americans, the Panamanians and other countries," he said.

Bratislav Ristic Latest Seattle Sounders Trialist

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If you are an MLS player and cut during the season the chances are very strong that the Seattle Sounders will ask you to come to Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Washington on trial. The latest trialist is former Chicago Fire utility man Bratislav Ristic. Released in late July, Ristic was a spot performer at RB, LB, RM, CDM and LM.

Eventually, I found Sounder at Heart and my love for the domestic game went to an entirely...

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Eventually, I found Sounder at Heart and my love for the domestic game went to an entirely different level. I found a community that wanted to dig deeper into the game, but didn't want to skimp on the passion. We found a team that embraced our curiosity.

Jeremiah explains "Why American Soccer?

Mauro Rosales No Longer Dark Horse For MVP

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It was only two weeks ago that we at Sounder at Heart were calling Mauro Rosales a "dark horse" for Major League Soccer's MVP. With the Seattle Sounders being one of the clearly best teams in MLS the chances are pretty good that a player would get recognition, and since Fredy Montero and Kasey Keller are mere mortals in their numbers those who don't watch every single game may not find an easy pick.

Bobby Rhine's Passing Shocks, Saddens Ezra Hendrickson

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When it was discovered today that Bobby Rhine passed unexpectedly of a heart attack, it hit the greater MLS community fairly hard. Rhine had played 10 years with Dallas and just recently entered the broadcasting field as a rapidly rising star. Fans in Dallas are holding a memorial this evening. His family is asking for donations made in his name to the FC Dallas foundation.

State of the MLS Run In: 7 Weeks To Go

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

Previous Week

A very light week this time as the international break was actually observed by MLS and left only two games on the docket.

United States At Belgium: International Friendly - Gamethread

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In a game on big ESPN (hooray midday schedules) at 11:30 AM Pacific, the United States faces Belgium. This second international friendly of September will have a slightly different cast of characters, with Clint Dempsey and Kyle Beckerman being the notable players joining, while Landon Donovan stays behind.

Sounders GK Terry Boss Returns To Seattle, May Have Another Concussion

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Seattle Sounders backup goalkeeper Terry Boss is back with the team a little earlier than expected after he may have suffered a concussion while playing in a World Cup qualifying match with the Puerto Rico national team on Friday. The Sounders have only said that he is currently being evaluated. Boss was expected to be with Puerto Rico until after Tuesday's game against Canada.

Wes Knight On Trial With Seattle Sounders

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Wes Knight is on his way to trial with the Seattle Sounders over the next few days. Joshua Mayers confirmed a tweet that indicated Knight would be headed to Seattle for a several day look. The 25 on Tuesday right back/right mid played with the Vancouver Whitecaps in both the USL (was a finalist for Rookie of Year in 2009) and in MLS.

Practice Report: Returning, Schmid On Bradley, Mauro Rosales Catalyst And Contender

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The Seattle Sounders returned to practice for the first time since their US Open Cup Semifinal win over FC Dallas. Extraordinary weather welcomed them back to the packed Starfire Sports Complex (Labor Day Youth Cup, as well as Sounders pre-Academy game three). The primary concern of practice were 9 a side scrimmages of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd team with the one not playing doing finishing drills on the far field.

It's a sad, sad day when the Pirate King of Seattle goes all corporate on us. Is Mr. Levesque...

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It's a sad, sad day when the Pirate King of Seattle goes all corporate on us. Is Mr. Levesque planning to go in for a job interview with new USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann? Does he have a new girlfriend who forced him to clean up? Has he, gasp!, decided that the bearded look is just passe? Anyone have any theories they'd like to share?

Major Link Soccer - Goku Edition

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It's been a slow weekend in MLS with most of the league, including the Seattle Sounders, on break. In Sounders news there's a new interview with Chris Henderson on the Sounders website that covers the state of the team as it nears the playoffs. There's also some video highlights from James Riley's successful 7-a-side tournament.

Super Fancy Passing Chart

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Super Fancy Passing Chart

You know why I love writing for SB Nation? Because of stuff like this from our friends at We Ain't Got No History. Graham basically constructed this fancy passing chart that shows where people were passing and how successful they were. I'd love to say we'll have something similar here, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Nos Audietis' Greatest Hits: Interviews And Comedy Bits

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This is going to be a very slow weekend, so pardon the recycled material, but I realize not everyone who is a regular on this site listens to our podcast, Nos Audietis. Honestly, I don't blame you. It's usually at least an hour long and not everyone can afford to devote that kind of time every week.

This video is pretty impressive if for no other reason than I'm reminded how each goal call has its...

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This video is pretty impressive if for no other reason than I'm reminded how each goal call has its own signature. Some announcers keep notes on possible future goal calls, but it really does seem that every one of Arlo's is unique. Their own little snowflake. Although, it would be cool if Arlo did have a notebook of, say, 200 goal calls that he just cycles through.

United States v Costa Rica Friendly - Gamethread

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ESPN has the game at 8PM Pacific Time as long as the tennis match ends when it is supposed to do so. Today's friendly result doesn't matter but for the United States it is round two of the Jurgen Klinsmen experiment as he continues to test out new players in the field, particularly looking for a forward that can have a break out performance and become the future.

Sounders Offensive Production By Role

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There's been a ton written lately about the Seattle Sounders FC offense lately. A look at goal scoring from forwards, due to the lack of scoring by Fredy Montero lately, and the look at the shift of Montero back to more of a trequartista. Both really look at the lack of the "other" forward scoring, as much as they do Montero, but in different ways.

Sounders on Campus: Week 1 of the College Season

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This summer we saw the first crop of Seattle Sounders Academy players moving on to the college game. According to the (current) MLS rules, Seattle retains the ability to sign those players as Home Grown Players if both parties agree instead of having to watch them go through the draft when they choose to begin their pro careers.

Jeremiah Makes Case For Mauro Rosales As MVP

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Jeremiah Makes Case For Mauro Rosales As MVP

Also with an intriguing story about an agent pitching the player in a men's room. For me though this is the quote that should be able to sway more players to come to MLS;

"I pushed all the benefits of playing here: excellent training facilities, a safe atmosphere for players and their families, paychecks that don't bounce, etc.

Steve Zakuani Changing National Team Affiliations?

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Arsenal.com, the official website covering all things Gunners, has a long form interview with their former prodigy, Mr. Steve Zakuani. First noted by @joshuamayers on twitter, Zakuani addresses his national team affiliation as well as growing up within the Arsenal Academy. Considering the attention given lately to the idea of playing his as a forward here's his quote regarding where he played;

I was there for five years and loved every minute.

Alliance Council Minutes And Notes Update

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The Alliance Council met prior to the match against the Columbus Crew. An update is now posted over at the SoundersFC.com Alliance Council Blog (which will be getting frontpage attention soon). The main issues resolved around voting changes, work on the Constitution/ByLaws/Charter (which will be public for voting in Sept) and the End of Year Meeting.

Major Link Soccer - There Will Be Blood Edition

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The Open Cup three-peat © is now firmly in the sight of the Seattle Sounders. Their 1-0 win against FC Dallas was a grind-it-out brutal affair in loud and packed Starfire Stadium. It was an atmosphere able to intimidate even the most battle tested of opponents. Although I would remind Schellas Hyndman that there are much more hostile crowds in the wide world of football.

US Open Cup Pickem Update: Down to 2

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I didn't get one of these out between the quarterfinals and the semifinals. Sorry about that. But here are the results after this week's semifinal matchups. Even though there's only one match remaining, the contest hasn't yet been decided.

Despite being the favorite through much of the tournament thanks to his canny picks of lower division teams, bmvaughn is now tied for the lead with our own writer Dizzo who (like many of the contestants) picked the Sounders and profited from Seattle's tremendous home advantage in the tournament.

Quantifying Just How Good Sounders' Recent Form Has Been

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Quantifying Just How Good Sounders' Recent Form Has Been

If it seems like the Seattle Sounders have been on a ridiculously good run lately, well, that's because they have. Aaron puts it in pretty easy to understand terms by breaking the season into two halves. Really good read.

September Schedule Is Calm Before Storm For Sounders

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For the Seattle Sounders the month of September starts with a long rest, at least during a three season competition. Considering the way that the schedule gets so crowed with MLS, US Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League and finally the MLS Cup Playoffs in October this chance at rest combined with a home heavy schedule gives the Sounders a chance to go into the fury of a stretch as strong as they ever have.

Thursday Tactics 'n' Things: Do Forwards Need to Score?

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[author' note: this was written on Monday, and with the busy schedule around here I didn't have a chance to run it until now. The context of this has changed a bit after last night, but not too much to require massive editing. I post it as originally writen]

Saturday evening, as the sun sank lower towards the horizon and the elation of a comprehensive 6-2 win begun to turn to contemplation, a strange thought crossed my mind.