Judging performances in soccer is a complex thing. Many fans look for different things than coaches do. There is no Sounder who that is most true for than Brad Evans. He is routinely praised by Sigi Schmid. He has earned fringe national team consideration. Last night he started for the United States in a 0-0 draw against Canada.
It is the final tuneup of the January camp for the United States National Team as they face off against Canada in a friendly. With two rosters stocked with MLS players this is an opportunity for a few of the fringe guys to make their case for World Cup Qualifying when that play resumes on February 6th down in Honduras.
What's the right terminology there? She's out for the season with pregnancy? On extended starting-a-family leave? Anyway, the team has announced that US national team forward Amy Rodriguez is with child and will be missing the entirety of the inaugural season.
@seattlereignfc forward @amyrodriguez8 is pregnant and will miss the 2013 NWSL season.
Mario Martinez has officially been named to Honduras' roster for their upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifier against the United States on Feb. 6. This is not a shocker, as Martinez has increasingly been a big part of Los Catrachos for at least a year, but it does serve as a reminder of the give-and-take involved with him.
TUKWILA - After a hard day on Monday and with travel looming, Seattle Sounders FC had a relatively low-key training session on Tuesday. The session itself didn't last longer than an hour and 15 minutes.
It began with a light jog and stretch, followed by partner passing exercises. A larger passing pattern came next, followed by some small-sided games and finishing work.
Sometimes the whims of a blogger became reality. When Jan Gunnar Solli was released by New York Red Bulls Sounder at Heart's Jeremiah put him on a short list of players that Seattle Sounders FC should pursue. It would seem that actually happened, though the timeline is unclear. A report out of Norway says that Solli is being pursued by several Norwegian clubs and the Sounders.
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As you should know, Brad Evans is currently with the United States national team as they prepare to take on Canada in a friendly on Tuesday. He talked about being called up for the third time.
The Seattle Sounders Women will face the usual Western Division foes this season, minus the Canadian teams who both dropped from the W-League. There is also a new team. The Bay Area Breeze have joined this Division for the 2013 season. They are a fully professional team, and could pose the biggest challenge for the SSW this season.
The list of trialists shrank quite a bit over the weekend as Seattle Sounders FC is down to five in camp, plus the several unsigned draft picks. Cato is still listed on the roster but his contract status is still not complete. Duran is still working on the side and Patrick Ianni is getting an MRI on the foot he injured during the vertical jump test.
The picture might not be quite as rosy as we'd all like to think after the Seattle Sounders lost their best defender and one of their best scorers, but it sure looks a lot better than it did the last time we looked. Based on a fair amount of educated guesswork and using last year's roster-rules as base, it would appear the Sounders are now about $170,000 over the 2013 salary cap of $2.
When American soccer fans talk about the Transfer Window they almost always are talking about the one in England. This has to do with the popularity of their game within the US, but it leads to some poor commentary as MLS does not follow the English window (several leagues better than MLS don't, but let's stay focused).
After training on Tuesday, Seattle Sounders FC will depart for Casa Grande, Ariz., for its first taste of double sessions in the 2013 preseason. To this point, the workload has been manageable, with one session from Monday to Saturday, a day off Sunday, and one session today and tomorrow.
Head coach Sigi Schmid doesn't believe in pushing too hard, too quickly when it comes to preseason work volume.
Welcome home, Lamar Neagle. A little less than a calendar year after trading the Federal Way native to the Montreal Impact in the Eddie Johnson trade, the Sounders have reacquired Neagle in a trade with the Montreal Impact. The Sounders sent an international roster spot to the Impact through the 2014 season in the deal.
Already heading into the season without their top defender from last year, questions are already arising around the Seattle Sounders' defenders ability to stay healthy. Center back Patrick Ianni, who was the presumed starter after the departure of Jeff Parke this past offseason, appears to be nursing an injury that at least kept him out of Saturday's post-speed test scrimmage.
Social media are atwitter with the possibility that this gallery of apparently leaked 2013 MLS kits is legitimate. It includes images for New York, Seattle, and Portland.
MLS is trying to coordinate a single 2013 kit unveiling just before the season starts, but given the realities of a merchandising supply chain and information that wants to be free, that was always unlikely.
RENTON - When media members were let into the fieldhouse at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sounders FC training, we saw exactly what we expected to see. Andy Rose and David Estrada were among the top three in the first heat of the beep test, battling with Alex Caskey for aerobic-fitness superiority.
The Seattle Sounders Reserve team is coached by Ezra Hendrickson. He has 16 years of pro soccer and a few of those were in the lower divisions playing in Des Moines, New Orleans and Charleston. He will not face any of those teams (two are no longer pro sides), but in his role as the Reserves Coach he will face off against Orlando City in a home and home.
Perhaps everyone has already seen Eden Hazard of Chelsea kicking a defenseless ball boy, but if not, click on for the video. Frankly, I don't really blame Hazard for doing what he had to do to get the ball in a tied league match. Still, this incident combined with John Terry's issues from last year have me rethinking my "fandom" of the storied London club.
While the Seattle Sounders will not be participating in the most dramatic aspects of the MLS-USL Pro partnership, their currently limited involvement is coming into more focus. For the 2013 season, that means the Sounders Reserves will play Orlando City SC in a home-and-home. Those games will count in the standings of both the MLS Reserve League and the USL Pro.
Traditionally the only players that get any statistical love are attackers, who can tally goals and assists. But thanks to the wealth of Opta stats being produced for MLS, defenders can begin to get their due. We're still a long way from getting objective information about subtle (but critical) factors like defensive positioning, but at least we can keep track of events around the ball, like tackles and fouls.
First off, my bad. There hasn't been a depth chart in some time. Things happened, but by the end of the season things were rather clear. Now, with the many losses in the offseason and a plethora of trialists, rookies and virtual rookies the chart is merely a rough guide to see how the team needs to take shape during the next few weeks.
It looking more and more like a full cut of the upcoming Seattle Sounders documentary will be ready in time for the start of the 2013 season. In an email, "American Football" filmmaker Scott Levy said he's hoping to have it ready for screenings sometime in February.
Levy also notified me of a new cut of video available on his website to subscribers.
Today was the first day of 11 v 11 action. While not all of the veterans played all of the minutes, all of the trialists and rookies did. When players were pulled out of the game they did fitness work on the side. Some of the notable moments were Babayele Sodade's speed/size combination and a nifty header.
The Seattle Reign will play their home games at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila and season-tickets will go on sale Thursday at 9 a.m. and can be purchased through their website. There are four packages available for the 13-game home schedule (which includes two exhibitions) and will start at $195.
Major League Soccer and USL PRO announced today that in 2013 they will begin a multi-year partnership regarding the MLS Reserve League and the development of players to compete at the highest levels. This first year is a step, but only a step. It will involve the creation of a handful of affiliate teams and some inter-league games between non-affiliated MLS teams and non-affiliated USL Pro teams that will count in the standings for both sides.
Today CONCACAF announced the host cities for the 2013 Gold Cup. Seattle and CenturyLink Field will host for the third time in the last nine years. Our southern neighbors in Portland for the first time. CONCACAF follows the FIFA rules and allows artificial surfaces to host matches as long as they meet certain standards.
Major League Soccer clubs picked up Ben Fisk, Machael David and Anthony Arena in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft after they went unselected in the SuperDraft. Fisk and David were also at the MLS Combine earlier this month.
In the first round, the Houston Dynamo selected Arena with the 18th overall pick.
For the first time since the flap over the Cascadia Cup trademark first began, the supporters and league officials seem to have made at least some movement toward a resolution. Supporters groups from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver had a conference call with MLS officials on Tuesday, deeming it "productive and respectful.
The MLS Supplemental Draft is a bit of a crapshoot, but every year a handful of useful players get picked and every now and then real starts emerge. Last year, for instance, the Seattle Sounders swung a deal for Andy Rose, who ended up being their most effective rookie in 2012.
This year, the Sounders are hoping Will Bates (F, Virginia), Kevin Durr (M, Air Force), Kevin Olali (M, South Florida), LeBogang Meloto (M, Lindsey Wilson) or Jennings Rex (M/F Charlotte) could have a similar impact.
You're in for quite a treat today as we managed to actually record everything we intended to. Turns out, it was well worth it. We discuss Fredy Montero's loan being finalized, the opening of Sounders training camp and the many trialists and that's before we bring on our experts.
Top Drawer Soccer's Travis Clark (@travismclark) joins us to give us a bit of a lowdown on the Sounders' newest players.
TUKWILA, Wash. - It's a little less crowded at Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper training these days than it was at the end of the 2012 season. Of the five men at the position on last year's roster, Josh Ford is one of three who survived the contract-renewing period to be back at Starfire on the first day of 2013 preseason.
Early in training isn't about two-a-days for Sigi Schmid. In fact on day one there was little outdoor fitness or drills, instead it was mostly a day to see two mini-games with the returning players in one game and the rookies and invitees/trialists in the other. Later the veterans did some running and other work on the side while all the invitees/trialists played a near full field 11 v 11.
Most of these players will probably be gone with a week or two, but the Seattle Sounders brought in their biggest group yet to the early days of training camp. No fewer than 14 non-roster players are currently with the Sounders, among them several notable former MLS players and a handful of players with international experience.
From day one Fredy Montero was special. That game, when no one had an idea if this Seattle Sounders MLS thing was really going to work, there were signals that he could do the amazing. The lasting image of day is the unbridled joy of the crowd, sparked by a Colombian. It was the 12thth minute, the start of something special and a moment remembered in song.
Fredy Montero will spend 2013 with Millonarios, the Colombian league champions, on loan for the year from Seattle Sounders FC the team announced via press release Monday morning. A new twist to the long saga emerged as the team announced it reached a multi-year contract extension with Montero as well.
The biggest question facing Seattle Sounders FC is simple. It has been known for some time even if it is not yet official, but a year (or more) without Fredy Montero will require attention. This is not the only question facing the team as training camp opens and four members of the Sounder at Heart team join other media in descending on Starfire for the first time in 2013.
I'm not really ready for a battle, mainly because I'm pretty sure that it's a complete waste of my time. What I really want is to have a "grown up" discussion, although even though I will be the first to admit that this is virtually impossible given the intrinsically passionate nature of the discussion to be had.
No, the Seattle Sounders still haven't formally announced that Fredy Montero has joined Millonarios on loan, but a pair of Tweets today make it clear that an official announcement is imminent. Montero, himself, tweeted out a message that implied that the formal announcement will be made on Monday and a Colombian journalist sent out a photo of Montero wearing a Millonarios jersey.
The MLS college player draft enters the speed round next Tuesday. The league will hold its annual Supplemental Draft via a conference call. Essentially Rounds 3-6 of the annual college draft, the Supplemental Draft lacks the pomp and circumstance of the two round Super Draft. No cameras. No waiting for interviews with baited breath.
Trialists are hit-and-miss, mainly miss. Do you remember Akeem Adams, Mrisho Ngassa, Ever Alvarado, Cillian Sheridan and the dozen of dozen others? But those hits, that finding of gemstones amongst the granite. The list of players who will be at Starfire and/or Arizona is starting to grow.
Philip Lund - Attacking Mid, FC Fyn, 23
Recently confirmed by Adrian Hanauer that he will be in camp.
I'm not going to act as if I know a ton about either of the guys the Seattle Sounders drafted. On paper, it sure looks like they have a couple of potential gems in Eriq Zavaleta and Dylan Remick, but I'd be lying if I acted as if I had more than a passing knowledge of either. The good news is that there are a lot of people out there who pay a lot closer attention to the college game than I do, and generally speaking those people really like the Sounders' draft.
In the pre-Draft statements Chris Henderson thought that the draft went about five deep in difference makers. Eriq Zavaleta was one of those that Seattle Sounders FC considered in that top five, but trading up was too costly. Seattle acquired him anyway as other teams differing draft order pushed Zavaleta down to a place where the Sounders could afford his acquisition.
In one of the steals of the NWSL college draft, Seattle Reign FC drafted midfielder Christine Nairn in the first round. One of the top prospects, she slipped to the No. 7 pick, and Seattle snatched up the Penn State midfielder.
Nairn has two caps with the full U.S. national team, both in friendlies against Canada in 2009.
First, some assorted draft links. Find out where Eriq Zavaleta was mocked to in SI's mock draft. Considering the connection between Zavaleta and Sigi Schmid, perhaps this pick should have been expected. In he end, the players being picked are young athletes, and there are no sure things. Seattle-native and former first-overall pick Nik Besagno is a testament.
Draft day saw the Seattle Sounders pick a player who could see significant time at centerback in 2013 and was in the top four on their team draft board, but it cost them Allocation Money. Considering how tight the team is to the cap does that mean that they are done searching for new talent? The answer given in Thursday's conference call with local reporters was a long version of "No" surrounded by a lot of answers about Eriq Zavaleta and Dylan Remick and finding new players.
Sounders' first-ever Homegrown Player talks a little about himself and what he can bring to MLS.
The fight over the Cascadia Cup trademark doesn't seem to be heading toward a peaceful end anytime soon. Commissioner Don Garber told reporters that the league still intends to go through with its trademark application, despite the fact that the Northwest supporters groups have banded together to file for it themselves.
It's certainly not the blockbuster deal we've been waiting for, but the Seattle Sounders will have at least one interesting international with them when they open training camp next week. Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer confirmed Danish reports that Danish midfielder Philip Lund would be competing for a spot on the team.
The Portland Timbers weren't even supposed to have a pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. They traded away both natural selections in December, but Caleb Porter really wanted to get in on the action in Indianapolis on Thursday.
"We wanted to do something today," he told Monica Gonzalez on the live stream.
Despite his playing college soccer on the opposite coast, Seattle Sounders FC selected left-footed left back Dylan Remick with its second and final pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. A player for Brown University, Remick gets up and down the line all game long, putting in crosses from the left flank.
Seattle Sounders FC needed a forward and a center back, and it got both in the same 2013 MLS SuperDraft pick. Indiana University's Eriq Zavaleta starred for the champion Hoosiers in the 2012 College Cup and assisted the winning goal in their 1-0 win over Georgetown in the final.
Zavaleta, 20, scored 18 goals in 24 games his sophomore year.
MLS SuperDraft 2013 is the day that in many ways launches the season for many teams, and certainly for the 38 players drafted today. The Seattle Sounders pick 16th and 35th, spots that are more suited for depth in general and in this draft more likely to be defensive players.
One thing that will not happen today is that there will not be a league wide kit/jersey reveal as had long been rumored.
With the Seattle Sounders picks buried low (winning games will do that to a team) they will have to react to what the teams ahead of them do. You should also prepare for more trades. One is already in the books this morning.
MLS SuperDraft 2013 is the day that in many ways launches the season for many teams, and certainly for the 38 players drafted today.
Megan Rapinoe's heart may be in Portland, but Seattle Reign owner Bill Predmore says he's not remotely worried about the midfielder's future with his NWSL team. At the same time, Predmore said he understood her comments and fully supported her desire to play in Europe until the NWSL is near the middle of its season.
Yes, the Seattle Sounders are still quiet. They are not the leakiest of organizations, but those that are (hello Toronto FC) are leaking rumors. Of course Merritt Paulson just tweets directly what he's working on completing this week. It is another very active day in MLS with the trades and signings again shifting power in the two conferences.
There's a growing consensus among mock drafters that the Seattle Sounders are laser-focused on drafting a defender. Specifically, they think they'll be looking long and hard at the various center backs. All three of the mock drafters at MLSsoccer.com, Soccer by Ives and WV Hooligan have the Sounders picking a center back.
The Seattle Sounders Women announced on Tuesday that University of Washington head coach Lesle Gallimore would join the club as its new technical director.
"The Sounders organization provides and has provided a lot of positive influence in the Seattle soccer community, and Iâ€™m honored to be even a small part of that positive influence and growth," Gallimore said in a club press release.
Just going to come right out and say it: This week's episode is not our strongest effort. We had planned to make the Q&A at the end into a Google Hangout, but some "technical difficulties" (we forgot to record it) made that totally wasted effort. Being the professionals you know we are, we let that affect the first segment of the show.
The biggest qualifier in a mock draft is that these are best guesses about how a team will pick. With the Seattle Sounders FC having such a low draft pick, again, and demonstrating a willingness to develop players rather than pick for need the SB Nation MLS Mock Draft saw Eric Hurtado and Machael David fall to slots where the Sounders could conceivably pick them in real life.
No Seattle Sounders player puts in more minutes than Osvaldo Alonso, but that isn't why he's valuable. His talent is strong enough that he has twice trained in England (Everton, West Ham). He also knows about his nickname, but doesn't really care.
|#1 - Osvaldo Alonso (Nickname: Honey Badger) |
|National Affiliation ||Cuba, USA?|
Talking to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, Megan Rapinoe left no doubt about which NWSL team she hoped to be playing for and, unsurprisingly, it wasn't the Seattle Reign. The good news is that her disappointment doesn't seem to be strong enough to keep her from suiting up, saying that she "definitely" plans to play.
The story of Eddie Johnson is long. It is told in many places. It is also a story of character development in the literary sense. He rose, he fell, he rose again to greater heights. Is he at the climax? Maybe not, but this is the best Eddie Johnson ever.
|#2 - Eddie Johnson (Nickname: GAM) |
|National Affiliation ||USA ||Age ||28 |
|Years Pro ||12 ||Years Sounder ||1 |
|Position ||Forward ||Role ||Target Forward, Left Wing?|
Replacing a legend isn't easy. However, Michael Gspurning acquitted himself well in his first season taking over from Kasey Keller.
|#3 - Michael Gspurning (Nickname: Cerberus) |
|National Affiliation ||Austria ||Age ||31 |
|Years Pro ||13 ||Years Sounder ||1 |
|Position ||Goalkeeper ||Role ||Typical Goofy Keeper |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||GA ||GAA ||Saves |
|25 ||25 ||2205 ||19 ||0.|
Friday's long-awaited announcement of national team player allocations to NWSL teams certainly produced some drama. Any Seattle fan who thought that regional connections would be a factor was given a rude surprise when last year's Sounders Women were dispersed to the four winds, with superstar Alex Morgan sent to Portland, Vancouverite Sydney Leroux off to Boston, and Veronica Perez - who seemed like a lock for the Reign as a UW alum and the only allocated player to play all season for the Sounders Women - to Western New York.
While most of the scuttle about Montero is about his pending (not really pending just still not quite final) loan to Millonarios let's took a look at how Fredy Montero played in 2012.
|#4 - Fredy Montero (Nickname: Golden God) |
|National Affiliation ||Colombia ||Age ||25 |
|Years Pro ||8 ||Years Sounder ||4 |
|Position ||Forward ||Role || Trequartista |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||G ||A ||PP90 |
|37 ||32 ||2936 ||13 ||9 ||1.|
Ever since the announcement that Seattle would have a team in the new NWSL, there seemed to be an assumption that Alex Morgan and several of her former Sounders Women teammates would be playing here.
As we all know by now, that's not exactly what happened. While the Seattle Reign ended up with two former Sounders Women, they weren't the two that most fans were pining for.
It emerged on Twitter this afternoon that the Seattle Sounders are targeting Luciano Vietto, with at least one person reporting that the deal has already been closed. Credit to Tim Duggan (@exSlacker) as apparently the first Sounders fan to find these reports. The first report comes from Juan Cocciolo, co-Producer of La Ultima Palabra (The Last Word) on Fox Sports:
Finalmente, Luciano Vietto de #racing cerrÃ³ con el Seattle Sounders de la MLS - Juan Cocciolo (@JuanCoccolo) January 10, 2013
Translated: "Finally, Luciano Vietto of Racing closes with Seattle Sounders of MLS.
It might not be the exact team they wanted, but the Seattle Reign can't be too upset after getting Meagan Rapinoe and Hope Solo in the inaugural NWSL Allocation on Friday. Both players suited up for the Sounders Women and were among the key components of the United States Olympic gold-medal winners in 2012.
On any short list of potential HomeGrown Player signings by Seattle Sounders FC DeAndre Yedlin was at the top. The fleet right back was a standout at Akron, with the Sounders U23s, with the Sounders Academy and at O'Dea High School as well. He is the Sounders first ever signing from their Academy and will compete to be depth at right back.
From obscure Trialist to fan favorite Mauro Rosales trusted the organization to pay him when they could and they certainly are. The fifth DP in Seattle Sounders history is fifth in the community rankings after a second straight year leading the club in assists.
|#5 - Mauro Rosales (Nickname: #TheTrialist) |
|National Affiliation ||Argentina ||Age ||31 |
|Years Pro ||14 ||Years Sounder ||2 |
|Position ||Attacking Midfielder ||Role ||Right Wing, Forward |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||G ||A ||PP90 |
|29 ||26 ||2129 ||3 ||13 ||0.|
The season is approaching at warp speed, with the MLS Superdraft less than a week away. But if you haven't been following the top prospects, don't fret; Soccer by Ives has you covered. The draft has become devalued with the level of talent coming through transfer in the modern MLS era, but some would argue that teams aren't using it properly.
Whatever MLS's intentions may be in attempting to trademark "Cascadia Cup," the supporters groups who jointly own the physical trophy are not waiting to find out. They have banded together to form the Cascadia Cup Council and have already filed their own application for the trademark in the United States and plan to do so in Canada, Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army and the Southsiders announced in a release on Thursday.
League says they are planning to meet with teams and supporters to discuss the application, while supporters groups create Cascadia Cup Council and file their own trademark.
UPDATE: Emerald City Supporters, Timbers Army and the Southsiders have jointly applied for the "Cascadia Cup" trademark in the United States.
MLS acknowledged that they have filed an application to trademark the term "Cascadia Cup," but said they were doing so in an effort to "protect the brand from exploitation by parties unaffiliated with the League and its supporters." Here's the statement in full:
"With the interests of the MLS clubs in the Pacific Northwest and our fans in mind, Major League Soccer, applied for a trademark to the name â€˜Cascadia Cup.
Mike Ryan was the first coach of the United States Women's National Team. He was the primary actor in founding the University of Washington's soccer program. Ryan also contributed immensely to the area's youth and high school programs. On November 20th of 2012 he passed away at the age of 77.
In the Seattle Times story after his passing there were statements from Alan Hinton, Sunil Gulati and Seattle Pacific coach Cliff McCrath.
It is a move that seems like it may never happen, but today a major step occurred when the Seattle Sounders FC released an statement about Fredy Montero being loaned to Millonarios for 2013.
"We are finalizing the loan of Fredy Montero to Millonarios of Colombia for the 2013 MLS season.
The Seattle Sounders portion of Jeff Parke's career started later than Hanauer and Schmid wanted it to, but in the end he was one of the two best Expansion Draft picks of the team.
|#6 - Jeff Parke (Nickname: Sparkles) |
|National Affiliation ||USA ||Age ||30 |
|Years Pro ||9 ||Years Sounder ||3 |
|Position ||Defender ||Role ||Center Back |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||G ||A ||PP90 |
|34 ||33 ||2928 ||0 ||1 ||0.|
Among the 55 players who will be allocated to NWSL teams are six former Sounders Women players, including all 18 women who played for the United States in the 2012 Summer Olympics and 13 from Canada's bronze-medal winning team. Which NWSL teams they'll play for will be announced on Jan. 11. That process will be conducted in the coming days and will take into consideration player and team preference, as well as recommendations from an expert panel.
It turns out Osvaldo Alonso really was at West Ham United on one-week training stint. The Sounders now say that he's back in Seattle and that they expect him to be ready for the start of training camp on Jan. 21.
Considering almost all the Sounders-related news over the past few days has been of the outgoing variety, this should come as a rather massive relief.
Saying that Seattle "will always be in my heart and my second home" Fredy Montero posted his goodbye to the Seattle Sounders faithful just prior to 11 AM on this busy Wednesday. His note thanks the organization, the coaches, the players, but most of all the fans for his time in Seattle. He also says he expects to be back in the area one day.
The rumors of Joan Verdu joining the Seattle Sounders on transfer started during the Summer 2012 window, but nothing came of them. Verdu was unwilling to come visit the city and no formal offer was given to the player or the agent. Now in Winter 2013 things are changing. Espanyol is in danger of relegation, can't afford to keep Verdu even if they avoid the drop and still Verdu wants to stay to help his club.
In an illustration of just how hard it is to attract younger talent from Europe to MLS, it appears that the Seattle Sounders recently had their bid rejected for Valencia forward Nelson Valdez (h/t Chazz4444). The 29-year-old Paraguay international had recently transferred from Russian club Rubin Kazan for a fee somewhere in the realm of $4 million, and apparently is choosing to pursue his dream of winning a European title.
Brad Evans started his time with the Seattle Sounders as a right mid, since then he has played everywhere but goalie and left back. This year was the year that he went from being merely role flexible to becoming a beloved, high-quality utility knife. His 2012 is bookended with United States National Team calls.
The new season will start with two home matches. First Kick will feature the Montreal Impact visiting Seattle for the first time in the two clubs' MLS life and the next home game is March 16th against the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field. That is the first of the four home Cascadia Cup matches for the Seattle Sounders FC.
It's one of those days that requires a little bit extra. Here is your bit of extra as news comes in outside of the Sound.
Two Canadian MLS clubs have new coaches as Toronto picked up Ryan Nelson and Montreal chooses "Swiss Volcano" Marco SchÃ¤llibaum (name copied and pasted from MLSsoccer.
Mario Martinez has officially been called up to the Honduras national team for a series of upcoming matches, including their World Cup qualifier against the United States on Feb. 6. Martinez could play as many as four additional games for Honduras in the Copa Centroamericana, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The most recent report of out Colombia is that Fredy Montero is still a Seattle Sounders player, but will be loaned to Millonarios for 2013 with an option to buy. The report claims that Montero will join Millos on January 10th to train for the league season and the Copa Libertadores.
Sounders FC have yet to make an official statement on the long rumored deal.
When Christian Tiffert signed the hopes were for a blend of Brad Evans and Brad Davis. That did not quite happen. Instead, the player the Seattle Sounders got is more difficult to quantify. He is good, shows signs of being great, but needs more time before an accurate judgement of his MLS career can be made.
This is not about fury, or about just rewards for supporting club soccer in good numbers. For the United States to make this decision it needs to be about one thing first and foremost - winning the game. This is why Columbus will host Mexico - dos e cero is a powerful thing. This is why Salt Lake or Denver will likely be a lead-in match prior to away at Azteca - because high elevation is also a powerful thing.
It was going to take a special kind of goalkeeper to replace Kasey Keller. Lucky for the Sounders, that's exactly what they found in Austrian Michael Gspurning.
SEATTLE: His name is Michael Gspurning, not Kasey Keller, and he has worked hard to imprint the distinction.
At the end of his first Major League Soccer season, the Seattle Sounders goalkeeper no longer toils in the shadow of one of the best goalkeepers in U.
If you were to graph Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's career arc with the Seattle Sounders it would be a big U. The one time finalist for Defender of the Year and MLS All-Star may just be on his way back to that level.
|#9 - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Nickname: El Presidente) |
|National Affiliation ||Colombia ||Age ||28 |
|Years Pro ||9 ||Years Sounder ||4 |
|Position ||Defender ||Role ||Centerback |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||G ||A ||PP90 |
|26 ||24 ||2151 ||0 ||1 ||0.|
Remember when I said the Wilmer Crisanto was 99 percent sure to be joining the Seattle Sounders? Well, it's good I gave myself that 1 percent of wiggle room. The latest reports are that the seemingly impending transfer has hit a snag and that he may not be joining the team after all.
"They're stuck, but still waiting for an answer, we're still talking, now it all depends on the changes arising in Seattle with players leaving the team," Victoria Vice President Victor Kawas is quoted as saying.
All indications are that Seattle is being seriously considered to host the United States' qualifier on either June 11 or June 18.
Ask anyone with any knowledge of the situation about why the United States seemingly avoids playing in Seattle at almost all costs and you're likely to get one of several answers:
- It's the artificial turf, dummy: This is the most common quip and one that is an undeniable reality.
We've known for more than a month that Seattle was in the running to host a World Cup qualifier, but now it looks like there could actually be two World Cup qualifiers held in the Pacific Northwest, against Panama (June 11) and Honduras (June 18).
Hearing USSF aiming to play June 11 and 18 WC qualifiers in PacNW (Portland & Seattle).
Both Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson have been called into the United States national team's January training camp, it was announced on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, the camp will be made up primarily of MLS players, with all but four of the 25 playing in the domestic league. The camp immediately precedes a friendly against Canada on Jan.
At this point, Fredy Montero's loan to Millonarios is all but a foregone conclusion. All indications are that an official announcement could come as soon as next week. The exact terms of the deal are still a bit of a mystery, but we can assume that Montero won't be playing for the Sounders in 2013 (although he could be back after that).
Joshua Mayers exchanged some emails with Fredy Montero's agent that indicate the deal is in its final stages. He also found a Colombian story that corroborates the idea here at Sounder at Heart that the loan is a kind of staged 6/6/buy agreement.
The longer quote that Mayers provides is well worth your read, because it somewhat contradicts other statements from the agent about whether Fredy was leaving Seattle for good, or if he'd like to play here again some day.
When Leo Gonzalez got here he had speed, deft short passing that would spring Zakuani and was an alright defender. That's changed as he's aged and for the past two seasons due to injury and tactics he split time with the other left back while dabbling at some left mid and even centerback..
|#10 - Leo Gonzalez |
|National Affiliation ||Costa Rica ||Age ||32 |
|Years Pro ||13 ||Years Sounder ||4 |
|Position ||Defender ||Role ||Left Back, Left Mid, Centerback |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||G ||A ||PP90 |
|19 ||15 ||1377 ||0 ||0 ||0.|
Although Seattle Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer would not comment specifically on Fredy Montero's reported loan to Colombian club Millonarios, he did tell Sounder at Heart on Friday that any loss of a Designated Player would only be done if the corresponding roster spot was opened up.
Hanauer also reiterated that the Sounders are willing to make drastic roster changes if they believe those moves will help them compete for MLS Cup this year.
In no particular order, except for the first one which was the first one and the last one which is still emerging, here are the memes, catchphrases and twitter hashtags of Sounder at Heart.
Enemy's Goal is Down | Sigi's Game (first use: Dave) - In my first ever looks at the tactics of Sigi Schmid I borrowed heavily from Ender's Game.
Seattle Sounders FC will always have a Swede on the team. This time with hair and no love for tacos. Still, he's a national teamer playing in "Southern Bulgaria" with long commutes. He still gets the call, no matter what Sounders fans think of his ability.
|#11 - Adam Johansson |
|National Affiliation ||Sweden ||Age ||29 |
|Years Pro ||11 ||Years Sounder ||1 |
|Position ||Defender ||Role ||Right Back |
|MLS (+Playoff) Stats |
|Apps ||Starts ||Mins ||G ||A ||PP90 |
|25 ||25 ||2177 ||0 ||2 ||0.|
I think it is fair to say that the governing body of soccer, FIFA, has seen better days. More popular days. Without the scandals, and politics, and controversies. FIFA, as a game is popular. FIFA is a video game is popular. But FIFA as the organization branch of the world's game.... not so much. They aren't winning any additional fans in the states with recent comments from FIFA president Sepp Blatter suggesting that the United States has "no strong soccer league".
On the surface, the idea of losing Fredy Montero seems pretty close to intolerable for any green-blooded Seattle Sounders fan. Since arriving in 2009, he's been their most consistent offensive threat and one of the most talented players in MLS. His departure will surely leave a huge hole, at least in the short term and based on the players that are currently here.
Colombian sources continue to develop the story that Fredy Montero is to be loaned from the Seattle Sounders FC to Millonarios. Latest update includes an option to buy and significant financial incentives for Seattle to agree, as well as an agreement from MLS to the deal.
Not quite sure what to make of this rumor, but apparently Colombian club Millonarios is trying to work out a deal for Fredy Montero.
Today at FutbolRed.com they have a source claiming that MLS agreed to terms with Millonarios (Spanish) for a six-month loan of Fredy Montero with an option to buy set at 4.5 Million dollars. The deal as reported seems to meet financial thresholds that would open a Designated Player slot and add Allocation Money to the Sounders coffers.
At this time a year ago, there was reasonable discussion about whether or not David Estrada was going to be back with the Seattle Sounders. Now, he was judged to have had the 12th best season among the Sounders. That's a pretty major step forward, and if not for an injury that cost him more than a third of his season, he probably would have been even higher.
Hopefully you didn't think we were kidding when we said we were probably going to take some time off during the offseason. Admittedly, we didn't think we'd take a whole month off, but we did and hopefully you didn't go too crazy waiting for us.
The reason for the delay was that we were waiting for something legitimately newsworthy to happen.
Ten years with the Seattle Sounders in two different leagues now the one-time MLS trialist became a regular in the lineup starting two playoff games, all five Open Cup matches, three CONCACAF Champions League games and appearing in more than half of the regular season. Not many players have the best year of their career at 32 - Zach Scott is not many players, he is the Marker of Men.
As we all know, Seattle is as good a place as any to watch a soccer match. Just about any bar in town is at least willing to put a match on if they are requested to do so. Still, there's not really one directory that will tell you where soccer fans aren't only tolerated but actually welcomed.
Wrong Side of the Pond is trying to make such a directory.
Let's welcome the New Year in by reminding you of the pretty neat 2012 that just happened. Here are the stories that were the most read of the past year. Not all are specifically about Seattle Sounders FC, as at least one rumor post made the Top 10.
- Not too surprising was that the most read post of the year happened before the last season even started when Eddie Johnson was acquired for SaH favorites Lamar Neagle and Mike Fucito.