Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2012

Brad Evans 'Interviews' New Sounders GK Michael Gspurning On Twitter

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Anyone who reads this site and is on Twitter probably knows that Brad Evans is probably the Seattle Sounders top personality there. Not only does he interact with fans, he's also quite funny. On Monday, he decided to "interview" new roommate Michael Gspurning.

Evans solicited his followers for questions to ask his new teammate.

WPS Season Canceled

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WPS Season Canceled

Mere hours after the US Women reaffirm their dominance in the CONCACAF Olympics Qualifying tournament, WPS has announced the cancellation of their 2012 season.

This is not entirely surprising considering the well publicized struggles with the owners of MagicJack reducing the league to only 5 teams (FIFA guidelines specify a minimum of 8 teams to be considered a league).

Major Link Soccer: Honeymoon Canceled! Edmonds Gets PDL Side, Impact Still On The Look For A DP

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Lets start off Monday's edition of Major Link Soccer with a local flavor.

The North Sound SeaWolves FC have moved from their Everett home to new digs in Edmonds. The club plans to make it official this week. As you may know, the SeaWolves play in the PDL North Division. This is the same division that is home to PDL champs Kitsap Pumas and formerly the Tacoma Tide -- now Seattle Sounders FC U23 -- just to name a few.

Nos Audietis, Episode 38: The Winds Of Change

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The offseason is now kicking into gear as training camp is open and the Seattle Sounders' first cuts should be announced shortly. In this week's episode of Nos Audietis, we discuss the Sounders' new partnership with the Tacoma Tide and their subsequent rebranding as Sounders U-23. The team will play in the PDL and give Sounders Academy products an opportunity to stay close to come during the offseason.

Sounders Vs. Santos Laguna Tickets Go On Sale Today

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The Seattle Sounders have played in three U.S. Open Cup title games and three MLS Cup playoff series, but the match against Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League on March 7 may be the biggest match in franchise history. Not to be too much of a shill, but if you're enough of a fan of this team to be reading this blog, you probably should plan on being at Century Link Field that day.

United States v Canada: CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Women's Soccer Final Gamethread

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While both teams already qualified for the London 2012 Olympiad there is a certain amount of pride at play. For Canada's women this is an opportunity to declare that they deserve to be in that top tier of teams challenging for Gold or Women's World Cups. With the Great White North hosting the 2015 Women's World Cup it is matches like this and their second straight 20k+ crowd that demonstrate that they are a top nation in the women's game.

The president of the Ecuadorian football federation suggests that the tournament would feature 16...

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The president of the Ecuadorian football federation suggests that the tournament would feature 16 teams, six of whom would come from CONCACAF. "I have no doubt that the obstacles are being overcome," Luis Chiriboga is quoted as saying."

United States, Mexico Both Reportedly In Running To Host 2016 Copa America - SBNation.

Major Link Soccer: Donovan V Dempsey, Tim Ream Is A Red Bull No More, Amazing Race Anyone?

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Today at noon, or if you're on the East Coast 3 p.m., Fox Soccer will be broadcasting Everton vs Fulham in a FA cup match up. I bet you're asking yourself why I'm bringing this up here? Two of America's best players will be on display, on opposite sides of the ball. The LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan who is on loan to Everton, and Clint Dempsey - the only American to bag a hat trick in England's top flight.

Will Vancouver Whitecaps steal Sounders Academy thunder?

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Will Vancouver Whitecaps steal Sounders Academy thunder?

Topdrawersoccer looks at the leaders in the Northwest division of the USSDA 18s. Those leaders are in the actual Northwest, not the Northern California teams in the division.

Servando Carrasco Could Be Key Piece To Sounders' Midfield Puzzle

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In all the hoopla surrounding the Seattle Sounders offseason moves, there has been one player that seems to have flown under the radar more than any other: Servando Carrasco. During the midfielder's rookie season, he became better known for the person he was dating than anything he did on the field.

Steve Zakuani Says His Return Is Unlikely Before 'late May, early June'

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Steve Zakuani Says His Return Is Unlikely Before 'late May, early June'

While Steve Zakuani didn't exactly put a timeline on this potential return, he made it pretty clear during an interview on Extra Time Radio that he doesn't foresee coming back before May. That almost certainly means he'll open the season the injured list, as that would mean his roster spot would remain open and he'd have to miss at least six games.

Camp Report: Testing Endurance, Mike Seamon's Role

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The beep test is a progression of short runs where the testee is to pace themselves to turn on the beep, not faster, not slower. It tests not speed, but endurance and today a few players showed quite well. Andy Rose and David Estrada each won their heats, while Mike Seamon and Cordell Cato came in second in their rounds.

Massive Report - For Columbus Crew Fans

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Massive Report - For Columbus Crew Fans

Now joining SB Nation's dominence of the MLS team specific blogosphere is a Columbus Crew site so large it could only be called "Massive Report." This means that every team returning in MLS for 2012 is represented. Of course there are plans for a Montreal Impact blog and it is only a matter of time before all 19 teams are live.

What we would like to do is to in the longer-term to have a residency academy, bring in some...

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What we would like to do is to in the longer-term to have a residency academy, bring in some players from the local area and foreign players into that academy,'' Soler told the Post. "We would like to bring him and give him education, both school education and soccer education and build the project from there.

Right Back Depth Filled By Utility Men

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One of the issues with depth charts and roster math is how to place players who can fill many roles. With Adam Johansson in Qatar for the opening of training camp, Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid gets to test a bunch of different options at the right back role. One thing quickly clear when asked was who the leader in that role is:

Obviously Zach Scott is somebody who can play there.

Panama Vs. United States: Live Gamethread

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The United States is running out of chances to find some solid form before World Cup qualifying starts in summer. Tonight, they take on a Panamanian team they really should beat and they will be returning to the 4-4-2 that Jurgen Klinsmann has seemed so intent on doing away with. Chris Wondolowski will start alongside Teal Bunbury at forward.

Sounders, Tacoma Tide Announce PDL Partnership

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The Seattle Sounders have added a PDL team to their youth development program, partnering with the Tacoma Tide and rebranding the team as Sounders FC U-23. The team will be coached by current Sounders academy director Darren Sawatzky and play somewhere in Pierce County, although a permanent home has not yet been determined.

US vs. Mexico (Women's Soccer)

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The next US women's international game is set to start in the next few minutes, and it's not a friendly. The team is playing for it's right to play in win the London Olympics. The concacaf playoffs for that opportunity have been anything but competitive, but this game looks to be promising.

Do Sounders Need More Creativity From Central Midfield?

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One of the most hotly debated roster topics this off season has been whether the Seattle Sounders need to upgrade or add tactical depth to the roster at the more attack-oriented central midfield position. The discussion has often gotten bogged down in traditional soccer semantics. Many of us have expressed our desire for a more creative player by suggesting that perhaps the team needs to find a CAM.

Fitness And Freshness Key To Success Against Santos Laguna

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When Sigi Schmid said Saturday, "there are a couple guys I'm concerned about a little bit that I don't think came back as fit as I would have liked," some alarm bells went off in with in the Seattle Sounders fanbase. The question asked concerned how the team needed to change training in light of the CONCACAF Champions League series against Santos Laguna that starts a week and a half prior to League play.

2012 Cascadia Cup Format: All Games Will Count Equally

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Despite the unbalanced nature of the 2012 Cascadia Cup, the three biggest supporters groups of the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps elected to have each game count equally toward the trophy.

Various options had been discussed, such as counting just one home game for each team or weighting road results differently, but there was apparently near universal support to make the competition's rules as straight forward as possible.

Darwin Jones Trialing With Sounders, Jamael Cox With Rangers Show Different Paths To Professionalism

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In our recaps of Seattle Sounders FC's Academy Alumni the focus was primarily on the players within the NCAA system. Players like Sean Okoli (second leading scorer on the U18s in 2010/11), Deandre Yedlin and Nick Palodichuk are following typical American collegiate paths. Yedlin and Okoli even got picked for the recent United States U-20 path.

Camp Day 3: Cato And Banton Play, Ianni Talks Possession

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Cold air, but sunny skies down at Starfire for the last split session training on the schedule. Session One, the younger players, saw 10v10 action. They needed a warm body to fill out the full 20, instead assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson (now on twitter) played as a left back in their three back set.

Major Link Soccer: Bob Bradley's Big Egyptian Adventure, Life For US Players In Mexico, Deuce Scores A Treble

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Grant Wahl did a very interesting story about US players that are playing south of the border: DeMarcus Beasley, Herculez Gomez and Marcus Vidal. We hear all the time about US players abroad, but not quite like this. Beasley has had to pay off Puebla P.D. just so they wouldn't confiscate his drivers license, or the time when the Mexican Government seized the home stadium of the team he's been playing for.

Steve Zakuani sat down with SoundersFC.com and discussed his comeback. It's pretty similar to the...

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Steve Zakuani sat down with SoundersFC.com and discussed his comeback. It's pretty similar to the stuff I reported on Sunday, but always good to see it coming from the man himself.

Muslimovic was joined at the Rangers training HQ today by American youngster Jamael Cox, who will...

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Muslimovic was joined at the Rangers training HQ today by American youngster Jamael Cox, who will spend a week training McCoist's men. Cox, a 19-year-old midfielder currently plays for Seattle Sounders, whose MLS season has ended

Rangers in talks with Bosnian targetman Zlatan Muslimovic as midfielder Jamael Cox arrives on trial - The Daily Record

Great find by @GoSounders.

One Mystery Trialist Identified - Andrew Vanzie

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Dave's Note: bumped to frontpage for trialist discussion.

One of the unfamiliar faces at Sounders Training belongs to one of the newest Reggae Boyz. The articles linked below claim that 21-year-old center midfielder Andrew Vanzie of Jamaican top-side Portmore United FC (currently 5 points clear at the top of the table) left last Tuesday for a four-week trial with Seattle Sounders FC.

Sounders' Steve Zakuani Says Only Goal Is To Play Again

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We all have our ghosts. For Steve Zakuani, that ghost is memories of his former self.

As the Seattle Sounders midfielder continues his recovery from a horrific leg injury that cost him the final six months of the 2011 season, the progress he has made is obvious. On Friday, Zakuani was able to participate in full training for the first time since that April 22 tackle broke his right leg.

Meet Brett Haney Of Sounders U16s - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

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Meet Brett Haney Of Sounders U16s - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

Haney is the youngest player on the U16s and travels every week from Coeur d'Alene to Tukwila to train with the Academy. That's 314 miles one way in order to be an Academy player for the Seattle Sounders.

United States v Venezuela: Friendly Gamethread

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The January friendlies are usually for the hardest of die hards. Being held outside of a FIFA sanctioned window means that player pool is reduced for both sides, and tonight's game isn't against the highest profile of opponents. Venezuela is decent, currently ranked 31st and slightly ahead of the United States by ESPN's Soccer Power Index.

Getting To Know Christian Sivebaek, The Newest Addition To Sounders Midfield

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Let's get this out of the way right at the beginning: Christian Sivebaek sees himself as a wide midfielder. During our relatively brief conversation, the 6-foot-3, soon-to-be 24-year-old made that point abundantly clear. Sivebaek said he could play on the right or on the left, but indicated he's never played as a central midfielder and left little doubt that he felt his skills were being wasted as a right back.

Training Camp Day Two: Banton Arrives, Levesque Everywhere

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The storm is over, but the need to dig my car out meant I missed session one. If you want a report on that group you will have to go to the Seattle Times or The News Tribune as they were the only print media there today. Most notably was the arrival of Supplemental Draft pick Jason Banton. Banton was still on a London schedule so he did not participate fully.

Sounders launch Season Ticket Holder cards to optionally replace paper tickets

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Sounders launch Season Ticket Holder cards to optionally replace paper tickets

The Sounders are launching season ticket holder cards to replace paper tickets. For their initial launch, you must opt-in by January 26th. A number of questions are answered in their FAQ, but many still remain...

Training Camp Opens: Fitness, Ball Work and Games Start 2012 Off

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Everyone loves to know the trialists, so let's start off with the fact that Jonathan Prieto and Alex Caskey make their return to Seattle Sounders FC. Joining them are Academy Alumni Darwin Jones and two keepers in Andrew Weber (formerly of the San Jose Earthquakes) and Tyrel Lacey. The first session consisted of the draftees (except for Banton and Feighner who aren't in town yet) and a handful of returning players.

Major Link Soccer: Training Camps Getting Underway, DC Having A Rough Go At Finding A New Home

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Don't forget today is the last day to pre-order the 2012 edition of the Sounder At Heart official Scarf. There's one problem, today is the last day you can pre-order the scarfs. Time is up at Noon, which is a half hour from now.

With training camps starting to fire up across Major League Soccer, that means more news is going to start rolling in and that means the official return of Major Link Soccer.

The top 10 U.S. players under 21 - Federal Way's Kelyn Rowe No. 9

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The top 10 U.S. players under 21 - Federal Way's Kelyn Rowe No. 9

Jeffrey Carlisle, ESPN's non-insane person who writes about MLS, ranks Federal Way's Kelyn Rowe as the ninth best American prospect younger than 21. It's a list heavy on players currently plying their trade in Europe.

Sounders Practice Canceled; Santos Update And Live Q&A

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With the ice storm following the snow storm Seattle Sounders FC canceled today's practice. It was to be the formal opening to training camp, even though most players have participated in voluntary workouts for some time. They've been doing that not just because of the roster competition, but because game one this year is in the CONCACAF Champions League against Santos Laguna.

Arsenal-Manchester United Live on Fox - NYTimes.com

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Arsenal-Manchester United Live on Fox - NYTimes.com

Sunday morning will be the first time that an EPL match is shown live on network US television. It is part of the lead-up to the Fox's NFC Championship coverage, includes a 30 minute pregame and features two of the largest fanbases in the world.

This midseason league match is a big test about how big club soccer can be.

Sounders Roster Competition And Musical Chairs

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Thursday morning marks the beginning of training camp for the Seattle Sounders. Training camp is the MLS version of musical chairs. While the music is playing every one at the party gets to play. But once the music stops, some of these men are going to find themselves without a seat. The current roster of 28 players will be augmented in camp by 7 draftees and a collection of trialists.

Cordell Cato Officially Signs With Seattle Sounders

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Long rumored Trinidad & Tobago U-20 national and Port of Spain Defence Force FC player Cordell Cato is no longer rumor, nor trialist, but has in fact signed with Seattle Sounders FC. Cato continues the expansion of Seattle's international roster slots, forcing even more competition.

"Cordell provides us speed and versatility as he can play on the flank and up front," said Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach via press release.

Sebastien Le Toux Apparently Heading To Bolton

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Sebastien Le Toux Apparently Heading To Bolton

Oh, how Seba has grown up. It seems like just the other day he was a relatively unknown player making a name for himself with the Sounders in the USL. Now, he's apparently heading to Bolton to play in the EPL. It's really a remarkable rise and, unfortunately, a reminder of easily the biggest personnel mistake the Sounders have made since coming to MLS.

Nos Audietis Episode 37: Is There A Draft In Here?

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The snow is here and is there a better way to spend an hour or so of your snow day other than listening to Nos Audietis? We think not.

In this highly educational episode, Aaron teaches us about "Ragnarock", the Norse Apocalypse and how it applies and translates to our own "Snowgnarock".

Ever Alvarado, Gutierrez Harlinton To Trial With Seattle Sounders

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Reports this morning out of Honduras were that two Real Espana players would be on trial with MLS teams. This evening Goal.com's Spanish language MLS subsite reported those two players are Ever Alvarado and Gutierrez Harlinton who will be with the Seattle Sounders. Alvarado, as previously noted, is a young left back who Diez.

Pro Women's Soccer in Seattle and Beyond

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While MLS has in the last few years reached a level of stability that will hopefully give us a break from our perennial worrying about "the future of the game", the women's pro game is still struggling for survival in this country. The Women's National Team is currently preparing for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament this month and the roster is officially listed as:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (out of contract), Hope Solo (out of contract)

DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Atlanta Beat), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Atlanta Beat), Heather Mitts (out of contract), Kelley O'Hara (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (out of contract), Becky Sauerbrunn (Sky Blue FC)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (out of contract), Tobin Heath (out of contract), Lori Lindsey (Western New York Flash), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Heather O'Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (out of contract), Amy Rodriguez (out of contract)

FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (out of contract), Sydney Leroux (Atlanta beat), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Abby Wambach (out of contract)

That's 10 players out of 20 who don't currently have a club team, which is remarkable for a country that has dominated the sport internationally for decades.

Supplemental Draft Sees Seattle Sounders With Four Rough Diamonds

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There is an excitement offered to watching a rough diamond polished, in tracking and follow their progress. When Seattle Sounders FC picked Tim Pontius, Jason Banton, Abdul Aman and Wes Feighner four more potential diamonds were picked. One of these may make the squad ala Mike Fucito and Josh Ford.

MLS Supplemental Draft Live Thread

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Major League Soccer's Supplemental Draft is not televised, but only streamed. The teams have retreated from Kansas City to their hometowns as many already opened training camps. This draft is held via conference call and can be followed via MLSSoccer.com's live stream.

For the real draftniks there are a few known players left.

"We’re having some conversations about that," Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said today....

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"We're having some conversations about that," Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said today. "... We've had discussions about ways in which we might be able to partner together on our academy kids that go off to school."

Tacoma Tide could become Sounders-U23 | Sounders Insider - The News Tribune

It reads like the Sounders/Tide partnership would be an amatuer team, rather than a pro-PDL side like Kitsap.

Downingtown's Jeff Parke Long Road To USMNT Call | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/16/2012

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Downingtown's Jeff Parke Long Road To USMNT Call | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/16/2012

From a best defender of the first decade of 21st century with New York, to suspension and unable to get a job to Seattle Sounder regular Parke is no on the verge of his dream

Remember The Trialist

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Last season a small tweetmeme of #TheTrialist started after Seattle Sounders FC reported non-drafted, non-contracted players as "trialist" in their reports of pre-season scrimmages. There were occasions when "Trialist 1" passed to "Trialist 4." Due to Major League Soccer's various player acquisition methods this was done to reduce the chances of said player being claimed prior to Seattle claiming the player as their own.

Mrisho Ngassa will be training with #Sounders this pre-season. Word from Tanzania is that his...

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Mrisho Ngassa will be training with #Sounders this pre-season. Word from Tanzania is that his future post-training is still unknown.

via Dave Clark's twitter

His Azam coach is holding him out of most games to prevent an injury holding his Sounders' opportunity back.

Eric Wynalda's NSCCA Seminar

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Eric Wynalda's NSCCA Seminar

A full transcript isn't out yet, but this Storify of tweets by Philly.com writer Tannenwald captures the essence of Wynalda. That essence shows a certain affinity for pro/rel, split schedules, incentivized contracts and professional training.

Depth Chart: 3 XIs - We Do It Like This

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With roster competition and depth chart talk occupying the pre-training camp conversation online, we thought it would be good to give a visual after the most recent additions to the team (Christian Sivebaek, Andrew Duran and Babayele Sodade) being highly unknown we're not going to guess at their flexibility.

CONCACAF Champions League Changes Similar To MLS Structual Changes

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The changes to the CONCACAF Champions League may have slipped by some due to all the MLS SuperDraft news. The new format breaks into four positives and three negatives. Travel for most clubs will be reduced, for the clubs in the Preliminary Round that advance it can drop by about 10,000 miles through the elimination of two cross-continental trips (there was a scenario last year where Seattle could travel 4700 miles one way in the Group Stage).

MLS Draft 2012: Maybe Sounders' Pick Of Andrew Duran Wasn't So Crazy Afterall

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To the outside observer, the 2012 MLS SuperDraft seemed to be breaking almost perfectly for the Seattle Sounders. Despite holding the No. 15 pick in the first round, three Generation Adidas players were available to them when their turn finally came around.

Forward Dom Dwyer, who many seemed to think was high on the Sounders' list, was one of those players.

2012 Draft Continues Defensive Makeover, Finds Cover At Forward

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With neither of Seattle Sounders FC's MLS SuperDraft picks being from Generation Adidas nor pre-signed seniors or internationals the two players are going to have to fight to make the tight roster. A roster than may get even tighter before they report as General Manager Adrian Hanauer said during today's conference call there are "other deals that are possibly pending or getting close.

The four-year-old competition will remain a 24-club tournament, but instead of an initial knockout...

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The four-year-old competition will remain a 24-club tournament, but instead of an initial knockout phase of 16 teams, all qualifiers will proceed to a main stage of eight, three-team groups, from which only the winners will advance to the quarterfinals.

The knockout, or Championship Round, will not be altered.

Babayele Sodade Sounders Second Round Draft Pick

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In the second round of the MLS SuperDraft the Seattle Sounders went for an athletic goal scoring forward in UAB's Babayele Sodade. Standing 6'3 and 195 Sodade's test for the vertical at the Combine went higher than they were prepared to measure. A dual citizen of the USA and Canada he trained with the Canadian Olympic team in 2010 and is competing for a roster spot while they attempt to qualify for London 2012.

Andrew Duran Newest Sounder With 15th Pick In Draft

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With the 15th pick in the MLS SuperDraft Seattle Sounders FC went with Creighton University's Andrew Duran. Duran a versatile defender played at the Combine as a rightback, centerback and right midfield. The senior player was rated as a top 10 defender by Maureci.

Duran is one of three Creighton players at the MLS Combine.

2012 MLS Draft - Live Thread

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MLS teams gather in Kansas City to draft from their selection of college seniors, Generation Adidas players and a few pre-signed internationals. You can watch live on ESPN2/3 or MLSSoccer.com at 9 AM or just follow along here. MLSSoccer.com's final mock draft (their third) has Puget Sound native Kelyn Rowe going as high as third or as low as 14th.

Five MLS matches on NBCSN this summer will be proceeded by the Olympics, which the network hopes...

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Five MLS matches on NBCSN this summer will be proceeded by the Olympics, which the network hopes will attract scores of new American soccer viewers.

After securing MLS rights, NBC looks to take soccer in America to the next level - Goal.com

Other things include shoulder programming, on site pre/half/post for every game, and cross promotion from other NBC networks.

New Sounder At Heart Scarves Now Ready For Pre-Order

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UPDATE: There were 230 orders placed during the pre-order phase. Thanks to everyone who placed an order. We Will still have about 100 left to sell, but they are now $20. Thanks for the support. Details should be finalized soon on the March 14 away-viewing party.

NOTE: As a point of clarification, the pre-order price of $15 is good until Jan.

Brad Evans Comes Home For USMNT Camp, Matches - SB Nation Arizona

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Brad Evans Comes Home For USMNT Camp, Matches - SB Nation Arizona

Did you know that former Seattle Times Sounders reporter Jose Romero works for SB Nation Arizona? He caught up with Brad Evans about his return home but in Red, White and Blue. Romero is on the hunt to see if Brad's going to be a right back or center mid with the team.

'Prospective': Final Thoughts on the 2012 Player Combine

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Dave's note: Abbott will be joining the Sounder at Heart crew with a nearly weekly column. His FanPosts opened our eyes to the idea of adding someone with a different voice who could provide regular columns about roster construction, lineup management and other stuff.

U.S. Open Cup Changes Official: Sounders Open Play On May 29

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U.S. Open Cup Changes Official: Sounders Open Play On May 29

The long-rumored changes to the U.S. Open Cup format are now official. The biggest changes have to do with all 32 pro teams gaining entry into the main draw, bringing the total field to 64 teams. MLS teams will start play in the third round on May 29.

Seattle Sounders Make Christian Sivebaek Signing Official

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The Seattle Sounders continued their active offseason on Wednesday, officially announcing the signing of 23-year-old fullback/midfielder Christian Sivebaek. The move has been rumored since late December, and the player himself had even confirmed the deal.

"Christian is a player that we have been following for quite some time," Sounders technical director Chris Henderson said in a team release.

2012 MLS Draft: Schmid, Henderson Provide Pre-Draft Thoughts

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The brain trust for Seattle Sounders FC's on field product went to Bradenton, Florida for the MLS Combine. Yesterday, the club provided a conference call with Coach Sigi Schmid and Technical Director Chris Henderson. Like many outside observers they see a deeper draft class than usual, but with top level talent stable in quantity and quality.

Ross Fletcher calls Derby County 2007 EPL promotion winning goal

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Ross Fletcher calls Derby County 2007 EPL promotion winning goal

Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller Form Two Man Booth For Sounders Broadcasts

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The hunt for Arlo White's replacement ends with Kasey Keller announced as the analyst and Ross Fletcher (formerly of BBC Sport) hired as the new voice of Seattle Sounders FC. Oddly enough Fletcher lived just minutes away from White in the East Midlands. The transition back to a two-man booth will be smoothed by the presence of a man that Fletcher simply calls a "hero.

Major Link Soccer: 2012 Combine Comes To A Close, SuperDraft On The Horizon

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And so comes to an end the 2012 Major League Soccer Combine.

Now comes the draft, which is only two days away. Who will the winners be? I don't think there will be any clear winners as drafts are a gamble to begin with at least as far as I'm concerned.

Over at ESPN LA Scott French brings us up to speed on UC Irvine midfielder Miguel Ibarra.

We'll have more shortly on Ross Fletcher, the new voice of Sounders FC. But in the meantime you...

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We'll have more shortly on Ross Fletcher, the new voice of Sounders FC. But in the meantime you can enjoy a reel of him calling some soccer (and basketball).

At 10-year Anniversary Of Dark MLS Days - Daily Soccer Fix

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At 10-year Anniversary Of Dark MLS Days - Daily Soccer Fix

This recap of the days when MLS was the very precipice of failure is a must read. Just 10 years ago MLS was paying to be on TV (that actually ended in 2002), contracted 2 teams, had only 1 soccer stadium and couldn't dream of DPs nor averaging more than 17,000 fans per game.

2012 MLS Draft: History Suggests Sounders Won't Find Scorer With Their Picks

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The MLS SuperDraft is a bit of crapshoot, almost no matter where you are picking. If you happened to catch my article at SB Nation Soccer (link here), I tried to illustrate just how much of a crapshoot the draft really is. The later you get in the draft, predictably, the more of a crapshoot it becomes.

Catching Up With Kasey Keller - Joshua Mayers

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Catching Up With Kasey Keller - Joshua Mayers

Curious what Kasey Keller has been up to this offseason? Well, Joshua Mayers let's us know. Sounds like Keller is definitely enjoying his first real offseason of his adult life.

MLS Schedule Details Matter

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Spend too much time examining the MLS scheduling format and the philosophies therein, and one will inevitably fall down a logical rabbit hole - though, to be fair, this doesn't differ significantly from other "major-league" North American sports.

MLS version 3.0, or 2.1, or whatever we are up to, has become all about "local rivalries", or so it seems.

And don’t bet on the draft becoming any less super, as this year’s two-round format may not be...

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And don't bet on the draft becoming any less super, as this year's two-round format may not be etched in stone, according to the Commissioner.

"I hope to expand it in the years to come," he said, "as opposed to any alternative."

Garber Talks Draft with MLS Insider

That quote says to me that the number of internationals will increase in future years.

Major Link Soccer: Draft Day Looms, Ethan Finlay Bags A Treble

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There are only four days left until the 2012 MLS SuperDraft gets underway. It will be televised on ESPN 2 and 3 at 9a or Noon if you happen to be on the East Coast. The next few days will be crucial for draft hopefuls as it's a time when their stock can rise or take a trip to the garbage pit.

In a interesting turn the Guardian over in the UK, decided to let the supporter groups for all 19 MLS sides do the heavy lifting when it comes to this years SuperDraft.

George John Apparently Going On Loan To West Ham

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George John Apparently Going On Loan To West Ham

Local boy George John will apparently be going out on loan to West Ham. It's not yet being called a full transfer, but it sounds like it could turn into one.

Monday MLS Breakdown: Application Of Home Grown Player Rule - Goal.com

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Monday MLS Breakdown: Application Of Home Grown Player Rule - Goal.com

The most complete look at the current state of the HGP rule and the exceptions to the rule that have been granting. Yes, Brent Richards was an exception, but there have been a few others.

There's also a nugget that now seems to incentivize a club operating an amateur PDL team in order to main their connections to former U18 players who are then at colleges.

2012 MOCK MLS SuperDraft: Sounders Grab Dwyer, Finch

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Today the SB Nation MLS blog network conducted a mock version of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. The advantage to doing this is that team bloggers should know their own teams better than a national writer. The disadvantage is that most of us don't follow the national collegiate scene in ways that a real experts like Maureci, Clark and Eskilson can.

2012 MLS SuperDraft: Combine Day 1 In The Books, MLS Shifting Money Away From Generation Adidas

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Before we get to the news I thought I'd take a second to introduce myself. I'm Timm and I'm sure you've seen me around the in the comments - and I now have the privilege to be one of the contributors to Sounder At Heart. I'm a ECS member and a supporter that is behind enemy lines. Yes, I live in Oregon though I'm about 45 minutes to the south of said city.

This is a pretty awesome collection of, from best I can tell, is what this group considered the...

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This is a pretty awesome collection of, from best I can tell, is what this group considered the best Tifo from around the world this year. ECS's Decades of Dominance was one of two MLS entries to make the cut, as a Red Bulls Tifo was also in here. The MLS stuff is around the 4:00 mark. (h/t @bestsoccershow)

Toronto FC Might Be Looking To Trade No. 4 Pick; Would Sounders Be Interested?

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Toronto FC Might Be Looking To Trade No. 4 Pick; Would Sounders Be Interested?

It's tough to say how much stock to put in this kind of rumor, but Canadian Soccer News is apparently hearing that Toronto FC wants to trade out of the No. 4 spot. They have limited cap space and are looking mainly for allocation.

If there's one thing MLS does it's promote a relatively minor event in awesome ways.

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MLS Superdraft Promo from Rick Riley on Vimeo.

If there's one thing MLS does it's promote a relatively minor event in awesome ways.

Open Future Friday - Jet packs and Draft picks

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With all the MLS SuperDraft chatter that this the next Taylor Twellman and that player being the next Steve Ralston it helps me think about hopeful visions of the future. In sports the Draft, the Minors and Academies give eternal hope that any player can become the next big thing.

MLSsoccer.com 2012 Mock SuperDraft

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MLSsoccer.com 2012 Mock SuperDraft

Kelyn Rowe goes 2, 4 & 5. Sounders are seen picking Casey Townsend (Maryland) by two while the other sees GA player Sam Garza out of UCSB. In the second round there is more variety with one going off board with Washington Husky Jacob Hustedt getting the nod. The other pickers go with UCLA players Andy Rose and Eder Arreola.

Kasey Keller Will Reportedly Take Color Commentator Job With Sounders

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This really shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but the Seattle Sounders are close to hiring Kasey Keller to be their color commentator for the 2012 MLS season, according to Joshua Mayers. A color commentator spot seemed to be Keller's most likely role with the team ever since he retired and made it clear that he he hoped to remain with the Sounders in some capacity.

2012 MLS Strength of Schedule: The Unbalancing Act

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For the last two MLS seasons 'strength of schedule' wasn't really a meaningful concept. With a perfectly balanced schedule, the only differences in schedule strength came from the fact that teams didn't have to play themselves (good for Seattle, bad for Vancouver). But now that the new era of unbalanced scheduling has arrived, it's worth looking to see who's facing tougher competition and who's getting off light.

2012 MLS Schedule: Sounders Get First Week Bye, Will Visit Portland, Vancouver Twice

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Let's start with the good news about the 2012 MLS schedule: Despite earlier announcements that Seattle Sounders FC would be playing on March 10, the league office has thought better of it and gave them the weekend off. In fact, the Sounders and Toronto FC will get the weekend off in order to focus on their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals matches on March 7 and 14.

And that's NBC Sports with MLS as much a part of their product as anything.

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And that's NBC Sports with MLS as much a part of their product as anything.

2011 Soccer Tools: Forwards Score Goals

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Quite simply forwards need to score. Obviously one guy is. But for Seattle Sounders FC he did not have a regular partner up top. This has led some to think that this means that they need a new player. Still returning forwards scored 13 goals in all competitions adding 10 assists as well. Of course that Montero guy was the star of the bunch with his 17 and 11.

Brad Evans Has Been Called Into U.S. National Team Camp

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What started as a rumor on the ECS message board can now be confirmed: Brad Evans has been called into the United States national team camp as they prepare for games against Venezuela and Panama later this month. The source was of the confidential variety, but I can assure you that it's highly reliable and is someone who is in position to know.

Major League Soccer is negotiating to sign Herber Mejia "Junior" Flores, the U.S. under-17 national...

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Major League Soccer is negotiating to sign Herber Mejia "Junior" Flores, the U.S. under-17 national team star who had a breakout performance at a youth international tournament in November and December.

According to Washington Post

The 15-year-old would be a Generation Adidas player making 33/100 if signed.

Prince Tagoe Released By Bursapor?

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Headlines with question marks are always funny, but in this case due to the nature of automated translation and the global nature of football there is little certainty. Indications are that forward Prince Tagoe is no longer with his club. We're talking about a Ghana national team player played in Germany and Serbia during the last season, was heavily connected to the Seattle Sounders at the summer window in 2011, eventually moved to Bursaspor in Turkey.

2011 Soccer Tools Review: Wingers

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A former trialist, a former Uruguay World Cup national team player and a Generation Adidas #1 pick headline the strongest positional set of Seattle Sounder FC. Sigi uses these men to be the playmakers on the outside, each in their own way. Two are used to chase long balls, only one is a traditional crosser and all tuck into take shots.

2012 MLS Schedule: Might Sounders Receive Same Treatment As Toronto FC?

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The ever diligent folks at Canadian Soccer News managed to get their hands on a leaked copy of Toronto FC's schedule. While that is all fine and good, there's a nice little nugget in there even if you only care about the Seattle Sounders' 2012 schedule: TFC will not be playing on First Kick weekend.

Marc Burch Signs With Seattle Sounders

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Marc Burch, formerly of D.C. United, negotiated new terms with the Seattle Sounders. Burch will compete with Leo Gonzalez for starting time at left back, but per today's release Coach Sigi Schmid sees him adding needed depth.

"We are happy to have Marc signed," said Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach.

2011 Soccer Tools Review: Central Midfield Engine

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Sigi Schmid refers to his central midfielders as the engine room. Whether these players are glamorous playmakers, defensive stalwarts or a box-to-box man who gets ignored or pilloried by fans these are players who make or break seasons. For Seattle Sounders FC the center includes a player who many will claim is their best, the Honey Badger.

Sounders Academy Alumni Called Into US U-20 January Camp

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The Seattle Sounders Academy shows early promise as two Alumni were selected to the United States National Team's U-20 Camp in January. Forward Sean Okoli, currently with Wake Forrest, and rightback Deandre Yedlin, of Akron, will both get to prove themselves to coach Tab Ramos. While the Sounders have a very tight roster for 2012 it is clear that they hold some cards from within their own Academy.

Nos Audietis Episode 36: Sounders So Far Enjoying The Silly Season

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Happy New Year! We hope all of you had a great holiday season and are getting even more excited for the 2012 Sounders Season.

The "Silly Season" is now in full swing and the end of 2011 was just heating up with all kinds of rumors and new signings for the Sounders and we think that's just the beginning.

Their third use of MLS in various promos. If you had doubts that they get it, are they...

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Their third use of MLS in various promos. If you had doubts that they get it, are they still there?

MLS Playoffs & Competition Format - What Could Be

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I'm not gonna lie, my motivation is that I have spent much of the day watching the last day of the professional tackle-football season and watching playoff scenarios and seedings fall into place. It all gets me thinking about how the MLS is going to work going forward.

Yeah, okay, that's a reach, but bear with me.

Transfer Rumor: Mrisho Ngassa Could Be Available On Free

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The Cordell Cato v Mrisho Ngassa "battle" may not exist at all. Word out of Mrisho Ngassa's Tanzanian club (Azam FC) is that they will release him to Seattle Sounders FC on a free. After purchasing him for a national record 40 thousand dollars this would be a huge move for a club in a relatively poor footballing region.

Kasey Keller Wins MLS Moment of Year

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Kasey Keller Wins MLS Moment of Year

His final regular season game (also Date with Sounder at Heart Day) won nearly 50% of the vote. The TA singing the national anthem came in at 31% and the Galaxy winning MLS Cup at 19%. There's clearly some rounding.

He's big. He's tall. He's a ____ wall.

Ghosts of Sounders Past - Where Are They Now?

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The MLS incarnation of the Seattle Sounders is a very young franchise with only three seasons under its belt. That combined with the relative lack of player movement in the single-entity MLS means that there really aren't that many ex-Sounders. But I thought it'd be nice to take a look back at some Sounders of yore and see what they're up to now.

MLS Submits Bid For Samuel Eto'o

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MLS Submits Bid For Samuel Eto'o

It would easily be the largest transfer fee ever paid, even if only about half of what Eto'o's current team wants. The National is not a news organization with which I am familiar, but the rolling David Beckham deal is the current news and MLS & Didier Drogba have been linked before.