Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2012

Atlanta Silverbacks at Seattle Sounders US Open Cup Gamethread/Liveblog

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Win and move on. Lose and go home. A knockout tournament is not about which team is better, but which is better right now. Tonight's US Open Cup match between the Seattle Sounders FC and the Atlanta Silverbacks will be carried at SoundersFC.com for those unable to be at sunny Starfire in Tukwila, WA.

US vs Brazil Game Thread

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Hulk! Herculez! Neymar! uh. . Bradley!

In a minor appetizer to tonight's important match, the US is hosting Brazil on a football field. After trouncing Scotland in their last match, I'm sure the US is hoping to just hold on and maybe gut out a draw against the dangerous Brazilians. Match is on ESPN and ESPN3 online.

Crunchy Power Rankings, Week 12

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Since the last edition of the crunchy power rankings I've made some significant modifications. First, based on some work I did looking into extreme differences in strike rates between New York and Toronto, I've decided to switch from net shots in the box to net shots on goal. Based on last season's stats, they're actually equally correlated with PPG, so it's a fine substitution.

Sounders Must Find Delicate Balance With Tonight's Lineup Choice

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Over the past three seasons, Sigi Schmid has masterfully maneuvered the Seattle Sounders lineup. Many times, he's rolled out a lineup that has made more than a few of us want to rip out our hair. But more times than not, it's worked out in his favor.

His willingness to go more than 20-deep on his roster is part of why the Sounders have been able to do so well in multiple competitions.

99 years of the US Open Cup | guardian.co.uk

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99 years of the US Open Cup | guardian.co.uk

As you may have noticed, the Guardian has taken a much keener interest in American soccer lately. Graham Parker gives a great run down of the tournament as well as a solid recap of last night's craziness.

Sounders v Atlanta Silverbacks US Open Cup Match Is Force Of Will As Much As Talent Battle

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At one point the David v Goliath nature of the US Open Cup was a great story. It captured the underdog nature of the nation's Cup tournament. The all-time numbers (MLS teams advance past lower division teams 71% of time) back up that narrative. Things last night may have shifted that a bit. Tonight's Seattle Sounders v Atlanta Silverbacks game at Starfire takes on a different meaning.

Nos Audietis, Episode 55: Talking U.S. Open Cup With Ciaran O'Brien, Chris Martz, Josh Hakala

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Just in time to catch onto all the U.S. Open Cup madness we have our episode that is almost entirely devoted to that very subject. Once we dispense with the formalities of talking about the week that was, which honestly was not all that fun anyway, we go headlong into this little tournament the Seattle Sounders have won three years running.

US Open Cup Round 3 Day One Open Thread

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Tomorrow night Starfire will be a-rockin as the Seattle Sounders take on the Atlanta Silverbacks, but the 3rd round of the US Open Cup actually starts tonight with 28 of the 32 remaining teams in action. All of (US-based) MLS will be entering this round, thanks the the elimination of the weird play-in bracket for the top pro division.

Sounders Centric Power Rankings - Week 12

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The current number one at the SB Nation MLS Power Rankings isn't unanimous, but it is enough that they are placed in a tier all by themselves. Real Salt Lake has the results, but are probably not that clear cut, it's just that so many other teams are splitting the vote in the next chunk. That next chunk is five teams deep.

Lineup Juggling In Opportunity Week

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Sigi Schmid is calling a week with a US Open Cup match and a short turn around for an MLS Reserve League game "Opportunity Week." Within a game against the Atlanta Silverbacks that is a "must win" by nature of a knockout tournament and a results don't matter much Reserve match at Starfire on Friday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sounders 40th Most Valuable Brand In Soccer

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Sounders 40th Most Valuable Brand In Soccer

Brand Finance estimates that value at about 58 Million Dollars using " the ‘royalty relief' approach to perform the brand valuation. This is an intuitively simple approach that assumes a company does not own its own brand and calculates how much it would need to pay to license it from a third party.

A Successful Memorial Day Weekend Of Succer

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The Sounders draw at Chivas on Friday wasn't the result we all hoped for, but it definitely wasn't a bad outcome either. Earning a 1-1 draw on the road, especially when they had to come back from a deficit, against an improving Chivas team that has always played Seattle tough at the end of a grueling stretch of games - in the long run, I think that's a fine result.

Perspective Offered By Sounders v Silverbacks Matchup

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In 2007 the Atlanta Silverbacks and Seattle Sounders faced off in the USL-1 Final. The Sounders had won the Commissioner's Cup already (the regular season title). They also made a deep run in the US Open Cup beating the Timbers, Chivas USA and the Rapids. Seattle would eventually fall to FC Dallas in the semifinals after 120 minutes of play.

Sounders Women and US Women live thread

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The Sounders Women at the US National Women (but I repeat myself) are in action today. The more famous half of the roster is playing with their national team cohorts against China in a friendly. There's a livestream on the ussoccer.com site.

Meanwhile, the more college-oriented half of the roster is kicking off the first match of the regular season against rival Whitecaps FC in Vancouver.

Sounders Draw Chivas USA 1-1

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Without the results of the past few weeks a draw on the road to the newly revamped Chivas USA could be a positive, particularly a come-from-behind draw. In light of the slump that the Seattle Sounders FC are in, is a road draw enough? In some cases 1-1 is a positive. In others it feels like a loss.

Seattle Sounders at Chivas USA - Gamethread

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May's packed schedule is nearly up for the Seattle Sounders with their last MLS match of the crowded schedule. For some players this will mean a rest. For others, due to injuries, they will be pressed into more duty than one could expect. On top of a likely start at CDM for either Andy Rose or Servando Carrasco there could also be a change in the backline.

Chivas USA Scouting Report: Finishing Strong

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Seattle's run of games over the last 4 weeks has been epic. Since a two week break in April, at the end of the day the team will have played 8 games in 29 days. Seven games played just in the month of May. That run started off well with home wins against the Los Angeles Galaxy and Philadelphia Union, but since then the team has sputtered.

Sounders Women Face Whitecaps To Start Season

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This Sunday, at 4:00, in Coquitlam, the Sounders Women will kick their season off against their neighbors to the North. The rivalry between these two teams is not unlike the men's sides. There is certainly no love lost between these teams. Especially since Sydney Leroux signed with the Sounders, rather than her "home" team.

Sounders Offense Isn't Broken, Just Needs Shining

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How hard do we try to fit the Sounders offensive woes into our preconceived narrative? Fans of teams like Barcelona and Brazil see the Rave Green as too direct. Fans of Fucito, Nyassi and other speedsters see a lack of that now. There still isn't a traditional target man, as Eddie Johnson drifts wide and prefers the ball at his feet unless he's banging in a cross.

Seattle Sounders at Chivas USA - Three Questions

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Chivas USA is no longer a bad team. Though, that may not matter, they were one of the ones that had Seattle's number for most of the MLS era. Saturday's 7:30 PM game should be entertaining. Both sides are defense first teams with offensive players who are inconsistent, yet able to take over any game against any team.

Osvaldo Alonso Suspended Two Matches for Two-Footed Tackle

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Referring to Abbott's earlier post, Osvaldo Alonso is one player who's never been afraid to talk about opponents' mothers, at least metaphorically. Even when the rest of the team seems listless and passive, he brings his hard bite to defensive midfield, game in and game out. But likely in large part due to the frustrations building in a bad home loss to the Columbus Crew, Alonso bit too hard and went in for a dangerous, ill-advised tackle on Cole Grossman on a 50/50 ball and though he was left on the field at the time, today the league has suspended him for two games, strongly implying that it should have been a red card.

Su Madre

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Part of Gordon R. Dickson's Childe Cycle is the story Lost Dorsai. It involves a young military musician from a warrior caste who has chosen not to kill. During the climax of the story he is part of a small force besieged by a much larger army. The larger force comes from a Hidalgo culture.

Seattle Sounders Salary Data Released

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The MLS Players Union has once again released their league-wide salary data. I always feel a little awkward about this. How many other people have their salaries posted publicly? But hey, it's the union releasing it, so here we go.

The direct link to the PDF is here. You can see a list of the top earners here.

I know it's grainy, but, what we have here is an image of an unnamed Seattle Sounders fan at SpaceX...

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I know it's grainy, but, what we have here is an image of an unnamed Seattle Sounders fan at SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California. This image was taken right after SpaceX's Dragon Capsule was grappled by the International Space Satation's robotic Canada Arm. This was the first time a private company had ever sent a capsule to the ISS.

Soccer On TV In America

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Soccer's ratings on TV in the United States are an odd thing. The best teams play at poor times for high ratings, though the Champions League final did pull in 2 Million viewers. MLS struggles and only pops over the 1 Million viewers mark for the MLS Cup Final. Mexican league and playoff matches draw strong numbers (2.

Sounders Vs. Crew: Highlights, Stats and Quotes

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In a season that seemed to be shaping up almost perfectly, the Seattle Sounders have suddenly made a habit of dropping points. They've now gone three straight without a win and while they are still in fine position, it's not nearly as good as it was a couple weeks ago.

The loss to the Columbus Crew is easily the most frustrating of the bunch.

Sounders Fall To Crew 2-Nil

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It's officially a slump. A frustrating, often playing better, but still slumpy stretch. In a match where Seattle Sounders FC dominated the chances created and entertained the crowd it was the Columbus Crew that seized opportunity. The Crew's two opportunities were completed. Small defensive mistakes opened that door and Columbus shut that door with authority.

Seattle Sounders v Columbus Crew - Gamethread

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Some teams are defined by a key player or two, others by a system that lasts between coaches, in the Columbus Crew there is a team that was once a system/player team, but is now defined by its coach. No player sticks our as an anchor, particularly with their injuries. Robert Warzycha takes a little bit of tactics from his time with Sigi Schmid and supplements those with an attitude that is pure Crew - hard working team on a budget.

Seattle Sounders v Columbus Crew - Some Pregame Stuffs

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A couple weeks ago we started dropping in some of the gamethread tidbits that you miss on home games because you are in the stadium. This is all the below the fold stuff, with some useful links (although less this week, as I failed to get three questions out in a timely fashion). It includes the matchups, statistics and tactics that are likely to influence who wins or loses the match.

The Spectacle of Changing the Guard

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Bumped to get it out of the gameday clutter.

Every day in London, tourists flock to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. From the outside, the event creates a certain pomp and spectacle. Yet, for most guard shifts it represents the only real event and the only complex series of actions the soldiers perform.

Sounders On Another Collision Course With Timbers In U.S. Open Cup

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There's still the pesky matter of the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers winning their third-round games, but the Cascadia Cup rivals are set to play one another in the U.S. Open Cup for the fourth time since 2007 assuming they both advance. Also for a third time in four years, the Sounders would be paying a visit to Jeld-Wen Field.

Columbus Crew Scouting Report: Merry Crewmas

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When certain teams appear on the upcoming schedule, you feel a sense of - if not dread, then at least caution. There are teams that seem to always play Seattle tough and create an anxious, frustrating game. Perhaps for you that's the Los Angeles Galaxy or Real Salt Lake. Or even a team not as recently dominant, but who can still stymie the Sounders, like the San Jose Earthquakes.

So, The Sounders 'Bought' A U.S. Open Cup Game...

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. I know a lot of people had really hoped that this year's U.S. Open Cup was going to be different. No more bidding to host games before the semifinals. MLS teams being forced to travel to lower-division stadiums. You know, just like England's FA Cup.

Sounders Will Host Atlanta Silverbacks In U.S. Open Cup

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After much speculation, it has now been announced that the Seattle Sounders will host the NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Silverbacks had won the right to host the match in a coin-flip, but apparently agreed to sell those rights to the Sounders after beating the NPSL's Georgia Revolution 1-0 in the second round.

Open Cup Round Two Open Thread

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This round the second and third tiers of the US Soccer pyramid enter the fray as NASL and USL Pro begin play. We're pretty much out of local teams until MLS joins in the next round, as the Kitsap Pumas were eliminated in the last round by Eric Wynalda's Cal FC and the Portland Timbers U23s were similarly upset by USASA's PSA Elite last week.

Sounders Centric Power Rankings: Comparing Diverse Opinions

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Oftentimes there comes a group think in various power rankings. In the SB Nation MLS Power Rankings we try to combat this by having a diverse group vote and on balance the rankings are what you'd think they should be. But if you look around MLS at power rankings a bunch, you'll find diverse opinions about some teams, mostly about Seattle.

Details for Open Cup third round still TBD | The Seattle Times

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Details for Open Cup third round still TBD | The Seattle Times

As most of you should know by now, the Seattle Sounders are not only waiting to see who they play in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup, but what side of the country it will be played on. Or at least that's what we thought. From the sound of it, there's a possibility the Sounders could essentially purchase the rights to host the game against the Atlanta Silverbacks if they were to advance past the Georgia Revolution.

Struggles in May My Fault?

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Remember those conversations back in late April about how packed the schedule was? Nine games in 32 days it was to be a proving ground. Sure, the Seattle Sounders are 4-1-1 +5 two-thirds of the way through that stretch, but come on, are we really going to ignore the 0-1-1 -1 in the last two? The team is struggling right now.

Stats: Shot Rates and the Outliers in New York and Toronto

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Last week I started work on our crunchy power rankings and I noted that the biggest difference from what you'll see in a typical power rankings at this point in the season is that I had Toronto FC being an average team, rather than the hapless, impotent basement team that they are in the standings and pretty much every other list of teams in order of not-terribleness.

Fredy Montero Is, Once Again, Up For Goal Of The Week

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Fredy Montero Is, Once Again, Up For Goal Of The Week

There are legitimately two deserving Goal of the Week candidates this week, but we're biased. Let's make sure Fredy Montero adds to his collection.

A League of Roleplayers

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Perhaps you have heard of the popular, free to play, online game called League of Legends. Perhaps not. Maybe you have played its progenitor Defense of the Ancients; maybe not. Or you might be acquainted with Storm of the Imperial Sanctum, though, if you said no to the above, probably not. Whether you have or haven't, hopefully you will enjoy the interesting parallels we might draw between these Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games and our beloved sport of soccer.

"They are a good team. But, really, players on this team [Seattle], they think they are better than...

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"They are a good team. But, really, players on this team [Seattle], they think they are better than everybody and, personally, I think they have a couple of good guys, but nothing special.

Davide Chiumiento was unimpressed by the Sounders' worst performance of the season

Nos Audietis, Episode 53: Brad Evans Pays Us A Visit

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The reason we ask most of our guests to come on is because we think they'll be good. Occasionally, they exceed our high expectations. And then others just kinda blow us away. Brad Evans falls into that last category.

Maybe it won't come off as good to you as it did to us, but we absolutely had a great time hanging out with Brad (is it cool if we call him that?

Whitecaps Vs. Sounders: Highlights, Stats and Quotes

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There are a few ways you can look at the Seattle Sounders' 2-2 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. Either you can be satisfied that, despite playing their worst game of the season, they pulled out a point on the road against a Cascadia Cup opponent. Or you can focus on the reality that the defense looked downright awful at times and that the team with a week of rest looked much less energetic than the one who was playing its seventh match in 23 days.

Quick Recap: Sounders Come Back Twice to Earn a Point in Vancouver

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Once again, this afternoon Fredy Montero demonstrated that for however good he is in the run of league play (and he's very good) he brings out something special in Cup competitions. We've seen it in the CONCACAF Champions League, we've seen it in the US Open Cup, and now we've seen it two years in a row versus the Vancouver Whitecaps in Cascadia Cup play.

Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps - Gamethread for Cascadia Cup Round One

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Today's match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders isn't about a trophy (though it will influence the Cascadia Cup). It would be easy to say it is about rivalry, as the competition between these cities within soccer goes back nearly 40 years and 125 games. Instead though, it is about standings.

2012 UEFA Champions League Final: Bayern, Chelsea Both Considering Makeshift Lineups - SBNation.com

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2012 UEFA Champions League Final: Bayern, Chelsea Both Considering Makeshift Lineups - SBNation.com

If you're able to watch the Champions League on Fox today here's a place to chat amongst the neutrals of SaH. Of course www.WeAintGotNoHistory is the place for Chelsea fans and www.BavarianFootballWorks.

Whitecaps vs. Sounders: 3 Questions With 86 Forever

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As we like to do, we reached out to our Vancouver Whitecaps blogger Benjamin Massey of 86 Forever. Here are our questions and his answers:

1 - Prior to the season many observers thought that the Whitecaps would be defined by their offense. It's been OK, but not great. What will it take to get better?

Vancouver Whitecaps Scouting Report: Cascadia MLS Year (Le)Two

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Last year, first MLS edition of the Cascadia Cup worked out quite nicely for the Seattle Sounders. Two early home draws - thanks consecutively to a late Futty Danso goal for the Portland Timbers in the pissing rain and an incredible stoppage-time goal of the year candidate for the Vancouver Whitecaps from Eric Hassli - created early drama.

Sounders U23s Head To Kitsap To Kick Off Ruffneck Cup

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Most of the attention this weekend will be aimed at the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps as they kick off the 2012 Cascadia Cup. But their little brothers will be kicking off their own regional rivalry the same day (7 p.m.) when the Sounders U23 visit the Kitsap Pumas. It will be the first match of the new four-sided rivalry known as the Ruffneck Cup.

Now Healthy, Sounders May Have Best Attacking Four In MLS

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Now Healthy, Sounders May Have Best Attacking Four In MLS

This should be a very interesting week for the boys in Rave Green as their attacking core is finally looking healthy.

Sounders Women to be Broadcast on 1150AM

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The Sounders Women will be broadcast live on KKNW AM1150! The final seven matches of the season, and four "Sounders Women Weekly" shows will be broadcast live. Did you hear that? It's yet another exciting step that the Sounders Women are taking to get their team into the big time. Okay, let's not put the cart before the horse, but still it's cool.

Agudelo Traded to Chivas USA for Heath Pierce

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Agudelo Traded to Chivas USA for Heath Pierce

And just like that NJED become a viably decent team across the board

History Makes Cascadia Cup Unique in American Soccer - Sounder At Heart

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History Makes Cascadia Cup Unique in American Soccer - Sounder At Heart

This post from last year is a snapshot of the Cascadia rivalry, from pre-Cascadia Cup to present. While that rivalry is probably more well known for the Timbers-Sounders side of things, the Vancouver-Seattle contests are more numerous.

On "fake turf" in Seattle, 2012 edition

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Message from editor: The grass v turf debate was sparked again. This take sums up positions I've stated many times, so rather than write more, I'll just frontpage this. Also, I have a computer again, so regular posting will return shortly. - Dave

Dear national soccer writer,

Thanks for weighing in with your opinion on the state of the pitch at Century Link Field.

Sounders prove MLS can put fans in the seats

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Sounders prove MLS can put fans in the seats

Like all fans, we like to be praised. Well, there's no shortage of that in this feature about the culture surrounding the Seattle Sounders in the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Sounders Could Start Defense Of US Open Cup In Atlanta

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The 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is larger and removes the blind bidding process. The chance that an MLS side would go on the road increased after changes to the bidding structure. The Seattle Sounders possible matchup for their entry in round three could see travel to face the Atlanta Silverbacks or hosting the Georigia Revolution of the NPSL at Starfire.

College stars gear up for PDL action | College Soccer News

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College stars gear up for PDL action | College Soccer News

Three Sounders Academy players are listed among the top college players heading to the PDL this season. Sean Okoli, Deandre Yedlin and Nick Palodichuk are all on the Sounders U23 roster.

Sounders #awaysupport

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EDITOR'S NOTE: It's a slow week and this seems not to be getting the attention it deserves. Discuss. - Jeremiah

I had my first experience in supporting the Sounders away from home on May 28th, 2011 in Salt Lake City Sandy, UT. My experiences as an away supporter are best summed up with my tweets from the trip:

Tweet 1:

Arrived in SLC yesterday.

Nos Audietis - Sounders Podcast - Episode 52: Cascadia Cometh

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As we approach the very first Cascadia Rivalry match of the 2012 season, things are just beginning to heat up, quite literally. Nikola Tesla Studio was quite the sauna, but as always we fought through the tortuous heat and possibly went a little bit insane by the end to bring you our usual quality programming.

Sounders' Offense 'Struggling' Only In Relative Sense

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There's no reason to pretend otherwise, the Seattle Sounders are not playing their best. If not for a defense that has so far been playing out of its mind, who knows where the Sounders would be.

Of course, where they are is pretty awesome. At 22 points through 10 matches, they are basically on pace for 75 points.

Relegation: Why College Football Needs To Embrace Cannibalism

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Relegation: Why College Football Needs To Embrace Cannibalism

Will promotion-relegation ever come to MLS? Who knows. But in a lot of ways it would make even more sense if it came to college football. SB Nation explores the glorious possibilities.

Required reading for Sounder nation!

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Required reading for Sounder nation!

An excellent write up on how the Germans do it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees this as compelling a reason as any to pull for Bayern Munich this Saturday

You need to read this if you are any kind of American sports fan. I would imagine our "big league" franchise owners would rather this sort of information be suppressed from their "customers" ;-)

Crunchy Power Rankings

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One topic that we've covered for years here on Sounder at Heart is the outsized impact of luck on the result of a single game of soccer. In our series on parity in the 2010 offseason we pointed out that in terms of game parity - that is, the likelihood that a worse team will beat a better team due to luck - soccer is rivaled among major sports only by baseball.

Sounders Vs. Real Salt Lake: Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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There's really not a whole lot to say after a game like last night's. The Seattle Sounders, of course, lost to Real Salt Lake 1-0 on a bit of an unlucky goal by Fabian Espindola. It's tough to say the Sounders deserved more, but they weren't really outplayed either. RSL basically got one chance and did a lot with it.

Quick Recap: Fatigue Finally Takes Its Toll in 1-0 Loss to RSL

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There were hints in the last match at FC Dallas that the team was starting to feel the effects of its run of 2 games a week for weeks on end. The first half of that match was as bad as we've seen the team in some time, but the memory of that was wiped away by Fredy Montero's impact as a halftime sub.

Seattle Sounders v Real Salt Lake - Gamethread

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There are a few reasons I look forward to seeing Real Salt Lake. They play a generally enjoyable game is first, but the rest are little different. It took them five years to get to be as good as Seattle was in 2009. Salt Lake barely edged out Seattle for the expansion team back then, and sometimes I wonder what would have been different.

Osvaldo Alonso Listed As 'Questionable' Vs. Real Salt Lake

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Osvaldo Alonso is listed as "questionable" with a left adductor strain on the Seattle Sounders' most recent injury report, according to a team spokesperson. No further clarification was given on the injury, but that would most likely explain why he did not travel with the Sounders for Wednesday's match against FC Dallas.

Real Salt Lake Scouting Report: So We Meet Again

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The Seattle Sounders are very rarely embarrassed in a match. Sure, they occasionally lose. Every team loses games (though you might have forgotten that during the current run of wins). But it's not often that after a match the team and fans know that the team wasn't good enough to compete that day.

Sounders U23s Open With 2-1 Win Over Whitecaps

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The U23 version of the Cascadia Cup got off to a nice start as the Sounders U23s beat their Vancouver Whitecaps counterparts 2-1 on Friday. Sounders Academy products Darwin Jones and Troy Peterson hooked up on the first goal, while UCLA product Fernando Monge finished off the scoring with a 51st minute tally.

Sounders Getting Close To Full Strength

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Who knows if we'll ever see a fully fit Seattle Sounders team, but Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake will be the closest they've been since the season opener. Of the outfield players not on the disabled list, only Patrick Ianni is still dealing with significant health issues. His back apparently acted up on the flight to Dallas and he's now undergoing an MRI to determine the injury's seriousness.

Seattle Sounders v Real Salt Lake - Three Questions

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Maybe the most intriguing question that will be answered by this match is "which team is better?" Though that answer will only have meaning in weekly power rankings a match between the Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake has potential to be among the best soccer in MLS. These are two up-tempo teams that like to play with the ball at their feet.

Touting "economically viable, sustainable model," USL set to debut women’s pro league

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Touting "economically viable, sustainable model," USL set to debut women's pro league

Charles Boehm reports for The Soccer Wire that the USL is set to put together a professional women's league, the "W-PRO" (homepage with a little animation).

This is obviously fantastic news for us Sounders fans, as Seattle has become home to seemingly half the U.

Bryan Meredith Has Come Impressively Far, Impressively Fast

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Bryan Meredith has not allowed a goal in 225 minutes of MLS play. Let that sink in. A 22-year-old goalkeeper, who was cut last year, as recently as six months ago was commuting across Puget Sound to play for the fourth-division Kitsap Pumas and entered this year still fighting for a roster spot, has now posted back-to-back shutouts for the Seattle Sounders.

Zach Scott Suspended One Game, Will Miss Real Salt Lake

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For a second straight game, the Seattle Sounders will be down one defender because of a suspension. This time, it was Zach Scott drawing the attention of the MLS Disciplinary Committee for his 74th minute tackle of Fabian Castillo. Scott definitely tackled Castillo from behind and does follow through with a scissor-ing motion.

Second Annual Sounder At Heart US Open Cup Pickem

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Last season loyal reader bmvaughn rode the brief but memorable Cinderella run of the Richmond Kickers and some other quality lower division teams to an early points lead, but he couldn't overcome the fact that the (understandably) most picked team among contestants went on to win the Cup for the third season in a row and so the title went to site writer Dizzo.

The good folks over at SBN Studios -- who's making all kinds of cool YouTube videos -- sat down...

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The good folks over at SBN Studios -- who's making all kinds of cool YouTube videos -- sat down with Christine Rampone about her and her USWNT teammates' preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

No Surprise, Osvaldo Alonso Is Statistically Best DM in MLS

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No Surprise, Osvaldo Alonso Is Statistically Best DM in MLS

We've known this for quite some time, but Andrew Wiebe of MLSsoccer.com actually dipped into his magic Opta-stats bag and discovered Osvaldo Alonso really is the best defensive midfielder in the league by almost any metric. In fact, it's not even close.

Sounders Just Damn Good Right Now

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One of the caveats placed on the Seattle Sounders 2012 performance is that brutal performance against Santos Laguna. Whenever the strength of the current defense a common refrain is "except for that 6-1 down in Mexico" (or a variant). Except it isn't true. If you include all competitions for all MLS teams (OK, it's basically the Canadian sides, LA and Seattle so far), the Sounders have the third best goals against average with a 0.

Sounders 2 - Dallas 0 | Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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Did the first half happen? Only about one-third of the highlight package of last night's Seattle Sounders 2-0 win are from that first 45 minutes. It includes "highlights" like FC Dallas player Fabian Castillo sprinting by Zach Scott and slamming the ball into the side net. There's Mauro Rosales getting two opportunities on goal from short range and somehow not finishing.

Sounders Win 2-0 Over Dallas - So Good It's ...

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Both sides fielded reduced sides. Both sides waited until the second half to deploy their best offensive player. One side waited too long. FC Dallas and Schellas Hyndman didn't give Brek Shea the opportunity to get marked out of the game until they were already down two goals - two Fredy Montero goals, both nominally on crosses.

Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas - Gamethread

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Deep in the heart of Texas is a little stadium with no name where FC Dallas plays some soccer. On most nights they have one of the strongest starting XIs in MLS. This night that won't be true. Instead, they will have a hodge-podge team heavy with players who are of Olympics age. The Seattle Sounders FC may rest a few players, but what they won't do is put out a lineup where the goal is a 0-0 or 1-1 draw.

Montero-Johnson Forward Partnership About To Break Out?

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Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero are both scoring now. They each have an assist in 2012. What they don't have yet is that partnership, the very partnership that was the reason for the trade. A partnership is about more than each scoring. Several of Montero's "other forwards" did that. A partnership is what Nate Jaqua and Fredy had in 2009 when their interplay showed potency and baffled defenses.

Flying Under the Radar and Building Infrastructure

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Since I last wrote about our intrepid team, they have played three games in short succession; all wins. The Sounder's congested May schedule is helping the team play catch up with the rest of the league in terms of games played. By this Saturday's game against Real Salt Lake, the Sounders will have played as many games as Sporting Kansas City.

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas Scouting Report: The Day the Toros Saw Red

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The Seattle Sounders have deservedly risen to the top most of the power rankings floating around the MLS media world after winning 3 games in 8 days, but with that honor comes the significant caveat that 6 of their 8 games (and all but one of their wins) have come at home. And their two road games were at D.

Until a decent U-23 league exists we should follow and expand upon the Seattle Sounders model. The...

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Until a decent U-23 league exists we should follow and expand upon the Seattle Sounders model. The Sounders take pride in placing their U-18 graduates in good NCAA programs. MLS rules allow a certain amount of leeway in retaining these players' rights provided they spent at least year training with the Residency[1].

Leo Gonzalez Suspended For Stomping On Sheanon Williams

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It can hardly be deemed a surprise that Leo Gonzalez has been fined and suspended for Wednesday's match against FC Dallas. His two-footed stomp of Sheanon Williams was, at the very least, reckless and he may even be looking escape with only a one-game suspension. At the time, no foul was called on the play.

May Sounders Academy Update

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We're overdue in taking a look at how the Seattle Sounders youth are faring in the Academy. Last season was Seattle's first in the USSDA League and, surprising to no one, both the U18 and U16 teams were very competitive from day one. Both teams won the Northwest Division and made the Academy playoffs, with the U16s advancing to Finals Week and eventually finishing 5th in the country out of 78 teams.

Who's Backing Up Brad Evans: The Alex Caskey Vs. Andy Rose Debate

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Brad Evans is the starting central midfielder on this team. It seems we as a community have finally come to peace with that. He's not the No. 10 that some still dream of, but there at least seems to be a collective realization that as this team is currently constructed, there are no better options.

Sounders Women Sign Kelli Smith

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Kelli Smith (Smitty to her teammates), is no stranger to the Sounders Women. She has played for them for a span of seven years. She started while still a standout player at the University of Washington. While stook 2011 off, to concentrate on coaching her club teams, the draw of the top quality team made it too hard to refuse coming back for a final year.

Sounders' Levesque named May Humanitarian of the Month | MLSsoccer.com

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Sounders' Levesque named May Humanitarian of the Month | MLSsoccer.com

Roger Levesque isn't just a fan favorite because of his goal celebrations. He's also an active participant in Seattle's soccer community.

Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas - Three Questions

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At one point the path to Western Conference victory was assumed to include FC Dallas. Their slow start puts the Toros in 6th, but their struggles are deeper than the 12 points in 10 played indicate. Similar to the Seattle Sounders, Dallas lost a player to injury last year. David Ferriera is still out after his ankle injury last year.

Nos Audietis, Episode 51: Featuring Arlo White, Brian Dunseth

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It was a crazy week for those of us on the Nos Audietis team. On the field, we were overjoyed to see the Seattle Sounders win both of their games in relatively convincing fashion. But we were also a bit bummed to learn that Adam "MCA" Yauch had lost his long fight with cancer. To help salve those wounds, we used a ton of Beastie Boys music and brought in some pretty heavy hitting guests on this week's show.

Seattle it is, and we couldn’t be more proud. Montero, Alonso, Rosales, and the league’s biggest...

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Seattle it is, and we couldn't be more proud. Montero, Alonso, Rosales, and the league's biggest fan base? This isn't a desperation pick. This is destiny.
And if we're wrong – if you show us up, Seattle – there are 18 other teams more than willing to carry this flag. We'll change this up as needed (accuracy is our prime value).

Fredy Montero Deserves Goal of the Week, Let's Do Our Part

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Fredy Montero Deserves Goal of the Week, Let's Do Our Part

Goal of the Week voting has begun. As a general practice, we don't really campaign, but we're making an exception this week. Fredy Montero really deserves it for his 35-yard face-melter. Let's do our part.

The Emerald City: An Embarrassment of Riches

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Right now, The Emerald City is more than rich in Rave Green baubles. Jeremiah said it well: "There really isn't much reason to complain when your team is pulling out results and playing basically every three days." The Sounders have a pair of shutout victories to show for last week's games, having won the two games prior as well.

MLS club agrees to local development deal | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com

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MLS club agrees to local development deal | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com

New England reaches an affiliation agreement with a club in the Rochester-Syracuse area of Western/Central New York. The Union have an agreement with an Academy in North Jersey, while the Fire have one in Louisiana.

Sounders Vs. Union: Photos, Highlights, Stats

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There really isn't much reason to complain when your team is pulling out results and playing basically every three days. The Seattle Sounders did that again on Saturday, beating the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on Saturday.

In this case, though, the scoreline wasn't really indicative of the play, anyway.

Seattle Sounders Overwhelm Union in Narrow 1-0 Win

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As they say, 'they could have scored 5', but they didn't. They scored one on a technically perfect shot from Mauro Rosales thanks to a perfect pass from Fredy Montero. Other than that, young Alex Caskey had two great looking curlers from the left side, one of which went just wide and one saved by Zach MacMath.

Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union - Gamethread

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A team already weak on crosses will be without one of their fullbacks as Gabriel Farfan serves his final day of suspension. That same team will be without its coach as Peter Nowak also serves a suspension. This weakened Philadelphia Union side already struggles and their Saturday national TV match on NBCSN will be made more difficult by the poor decisions made two weeks ago.

Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union - Pre Match Data

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Continuing last week's home match tradition (twice is a TRADITION), we present a mini version of the data that will be in the gamethread. As the gamethread goes up 90 minutes prior to the match many who are going to the game never see this. This week's keys to the game (tactics) are both a tribute to the Beastie Boys and a path to victory for the Seattle Sounders over the Philadelphia Union.

Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Scouting Report: For Me to Doop On!

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The Philadelphia Union followed a pretty typical expansion team trajectory. In their first season, they had a lot of talent but were really bad, because nobody knew how to play together. Then in their second season they gelled as a team and made the playoffs with a Goal Differential as good as Real Salt Lake's.

Sounders Women Beat UW 3-1 To Finish Perfect Preseason

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The starting lineup that the Seattle Sounders Women sent out onto the wet Starfire pitch this evening was the one that we all dreamed about when the preseason flurry of world class signings came to an end. In goal, Hope Solo. At forward, Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux. In the midfield Keelin Winter, Megan Rapinoe, and Veronica Perez.

Sounders Women vs UW Huskies Game Thread & Live Blog

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Tonight the Sounders Women play their final preseason game and once again the US National Team players who've been bringing attention and excitement to the team for the last few months will be suiting up in Rave Green.

In fact it might be the first game that all of those players are available.

Bryan Meredith Will Make First Career MLS Start Vs. Union

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As you've probably heard by now, Bryan Meredith is going to start for the Seattle Sounders on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union. Michael Gspurning has what the team has only called a "right hip injury" and is going to be out for 2-3 weeks.

Chances are, most of you have not seen much of Meredith.

Sounders Have Been Best MLS Team Over Past 34 Games

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Sounders Have Been Best MLS Team Over Past 34 Games

If it seems like the Seattle Sounders have been playing pretty well for a nice, long stretch, that's because they have been. In fact, over the past 34 regular-season matches, they've won 21 games, registered 70 points and posted a +26 goal-difference.

Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union - Three Questions

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One of the major story lines of this match is the fact that Peter Nowak will not be coaching. This is the final game of his suspension for entering the field of play after Gabriel Farfan's red card tackle in the Union's match against Chivas USA. The Seattle Sounders may be missing keeper Michael Gspurning, more on that will come out today, but are as healthy and fresh as can be for their Saturday midday game against the Philadelphia Union.

New CenturyLink Field Turf Receives 2-Star FIFA Rating

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The new turf at CenturyLink Field has passed FIFA's test, receiving a two-star, professional-grad rating. This is hardly a surprise, as the turf was also two-star rated in 2009 and most, if not all, the artificial turfs in MLS are also two-star rated.

"The new turf field is a big plus for us from the standpoint that it's going to play much truer to grass.

My Favorite Fredy Montero Goals

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Fredy Montero has scored a lot of goals for the Seattle Sounders. According to his Wikipedia page 44 in his just over 3 seasons in Seattle, and that sounds about right. But for me last night's 35 yard bomb into Bill Gaudette's top right corner stands above them all. Not only was the shot by itself stunning for its power, distance, and accuracy, but taken in context it meant a lot more.

Sounders Women v UW Women - What To Know

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With two Sounders FC games this week, it would be easy to forget that the Sounders Women have a sold out game on Friday. Let's not, though, shall we? This is the final exhibition game before the start of the season. The opponent is none other than the UW Huskies. So far in their Spring season, the Huskies are 1-1-1, two of those games being against Seattle University.

Sounders Vs. LA Galaxy: Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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Zach Scott said it best when asked about the relevancy of the Seattle Sounders 2-0 win over a weakened LA Galaxy team on Wednesday: "That's their problem. I don't care."

Pretty much perfect, if you ask me.

The Sounders have struggled against the Galaxy almost whoever they put out there, at least in MLS play.

Seattle Sounders Down LA Galaxy 2-Nil

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While the LA Galaxy didn't send their big names, in some ways that complicates the approach to the game. As Sigi Schmid pointed out in post game comments, the Seattle Sounders don't know what Sean Franklin as a midfielder is, or how Adam Cristman plays, or who is Brian Gaul. Now Seattle knows. They know that the lineup that the Galaxy put forward is beatable.

You've probably seen this by now, and we'll have the full highlights up in the morning, but in the...

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You've probably seen this by now, and we'll have the full highlights up in the morning, but in the meantime take a chance to savor the majesty of this Fredy Montero bomb.

Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - Gamethread

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Even including results in non-MLS competition Seattle's record against the LA Galaxy is not good enough for Sounders fans. There is no other team that can clearly be argued as better than the one here. Both have three major trophies in the past three years, but LA's are more significant. They are roughly equal in CCL play.

Sounders v Galaxy PreMatch Data

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In the upcoming gamethread will be a bunch of data that we put out about player matchups, tactical keys to the game and statistics. Sometimes for home games these get missed by our readers with tickets to the game. So for today we're going to test a little presentation of that so that you can get read to watch the Seattle Sounders host the LA Galaxy.

MLS Apologizes For Simon Borg's Comments

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MLS Apologizes For Simon Borg's Comments

It would appear MLS heard the complaints and understood their genesis. Simon Borg's comments were not offensive because of what he said, as much as because of who he is. Whether or not he is literally a spokesperson for the league, he is seen as such. The league appears to recognize this by the wording of their statement and the fact they suspended him for seven days.

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy Scouting Report: The Case of the Missing Eurostars

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Last season we remarked that the LA Galaxy were very much a team built to win in the short term. They had one of the oldest rosters in the league and the key players on the team did not look like they were planning on sticking around. Landon Donovan had proven himself in short stints in Europe and gave off the clear impression that he'd like to move his career to the EPL while he was still young enough to put some years into it.

But lately, I've been feeling more and more cast out about being a woman who follows MLS. The...

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But lately, I've been feeling more and more cast out about being a woman who follows MLS. The latest incident came Monday, when Simon Borg, who is a writer and editor on the league website and co-hosts two podcasts, said on Extra Time Radio (you can fast-forward to the last 5 minutes of the show) that women who were super-fans (to be distinguished from "casual fans") were not appealing to potential male partners.

2012 US Open Cup Bracket | TheCup.us

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2012 US Open Cup Bracket | TheCup.us

The 1st & 2nd Rounds of the US Open Cup are set (except for the small issue with the Western region amateur sides). Over in Bremerton the Kitsap Pumas will host in round one, but have a cross country trip for Round Two to face the Wilmington Hammerheads of USLPro.

Sounders Face Massive Balancing Act In Coming Weeks

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There's a rather big game coming up tomorrow. The Seattle Sounders wil, of course, be hosting the LA Galaxy in a midweek affair that won't get the attention it probably deserves. The unfortunate reality is that this rather huge game, at least from a psyche standpoint, is smack dab in the middle of the busiest part of the Sounders' MLS schedule.

Sounders Centric Power Rankings - Week 8

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Week eight's results solidified rankings at the top. There was very little substantial movement among Seattle Sounders FC's rivals, except for the Portland Timbers who feel nearly a full point. Cleary solidifying their spot amongst the favorites in MLS according to SB Nation's rankers is Sporting Kansas City.

Eddie Johnson Fined By Disciplinary Committee

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Post match behavior by Seattle Sounders forward Eddie Johnson earned a fine from the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee. His "inappropriate gesture" towards Chicago Fire fans earned the punishment from the league's five man anonymous group.

Johnson released a statement through the Sounders media relations staff

"I sincerely apologize to the Chicago fans, my teammates, MLS, and the Sounders' supporters for my actions and poor judgment I used on Saturday.