Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2013

Sounders at Real Salt Lake MLS match 4 - Gamethread

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The second and third best teams of the Sounders era will forever be tied together. The two communities faced off for the expansion that Salt Lake eventually won. Real Salt Lake would get their only major hardward on the grounds of what is now CenturyLink Field. Seattle Sounders FC would be better in overall league play, in overall CCL play and of course in the Open Cup.

MLS Saturday Gamethreads

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So this is a new thing we're trying out. There seemed to be enough demand for a hangout to watch the game. Below you'll find links to the other SB Nation pages in case you want to read up on the individual matchups or talk with the locals about the match. Speaking of which, as far as I know there has never been a problem with bothering other communities (save maybe Portland) but you know, be respectful people.

Real Salt Lake Scouting Report: Waiting for Liftoff

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Ever since the 2009 season, when Seattle entered the league and hosted the MLS Cup that Real Salt Lake won in penalties for their first and only title, there has been a sort of special relationship between the two teams. Behind the Galaxy dynasty, they stand above the rest of the pack as the only teams to accumulate more than 200 points over Seattle's first four years and make the playoffs all four seasons:

2009 - 2012
Points Games PPG Playoffs
LA Galaxy 237 128 1.

Filling the Creative Hole

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Teams are going to face choices on how to defend the speedy duo of Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson. It gets even more complex due to Steve Zakuani sitting on one flank. Sigi Schmid says the Seattle Sounders will need to react to the open space as it is given.

"Do they want to play a high line?

Major Link Soccer: Qualifiers, Sounders Licence Plates, Iraqi soccer

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After the classic game in Denver last week, the U.S. National Team continued to rebound from some particularly bad press with a draw up at Azteca. While the atmosphere didn't appear to be as wild as in past matches, it still resulted in a squad now tied for second in their group. Barring some particularly blatant corruption, it looks like the United States may be represented once again in the FIFA World Cup.

Sounders at Real Salt Lake - Enter at 0-2-1 -2 GD

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Saturday's 6 PM Pacific match features two teams that have faced off more than a dozen times already developing a strong on-field rivalry as two of the best "not LA" teams in the league. Both are in middle of reloading project and Seattle Sounders FC are looking for their first win.

Neither Seattle nor Salt Lake are at a place in the standings where they are comfortable.

Obafemi Martins practices with team for first time, should play against Salt Lake

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Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson logged significant travel miles over the past week in order to help club and country. After today's practice session it seems likely that both will be able to feature in the two matches that are causing Sigi Schmid to juggle lineups. Mario Martinez is unlikely to start on Saturday.

Sounders at Real Salt Lake - Three Questions

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Neither Seattle nor Salt Lake are at a place in the standings where they are comfortable. From 2009 to the present these two sides and Houston could all place strong claims as the second best team in MLS to the Galaxy. Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders both went through significant rebuilds.

Allocation targets starting to line up

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Like all rumors involving players in foreign leagues coming to Major League Soccer these should be taken with a salt, a lot of it. But with the quality of the league continuing to improve and none of these three being huge names there is a chance.

Today, word comes from the Dutch edition of Goal.

Canada Calls Up Three Reign Players For Friendlies

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While the Reign's US allocation has had a bit of a rough start for the franchise - with Amy Rodriguez out for the season, Megan Rapinoe in Europe until at least midseason, and Hope Solo out injured for at least the first few weeks - the Canadian contingent has quietly been rock solid. Seattle received midfielder Kaylyn Kyle and defender Emily Zurrer in their allocation and both put in significant minutes for their national team in the recent Cyprus Cup.

Sounders U23 sign three Academy Alumni

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The Sounders U23s are stocking up on talent as Sounders Academy Alumni join defenders Mark Lee, Chris Brundage, and Steve Mohn who previously signed on for the club's upcoming season and US Open Cup run. These first Academy signings are not expected to be the last.

Today's release from the U23s also indicates that Darwin Jones as a UW Husky.

Ratings for USA at Mexico provide insight into America's soccer audience

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Recently rebranded station UniMas (formerly Telefutura) grabbed huge numbers (4.8 Million average viewers) for the United States at Mexico World Cup Qualifier. ESPN put up its largest number ever (2.4 Million average viewers) for a World Cup Qualifier, essentially doubling its past record. Both of those numbers give an indication that the strength of American soccer viewership is built upon two things.

Johnson plays 35 and Martinez goes 90 in National Team duty

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The United States earned their extraordinarily rare point at Azteca with Eddie Johnson putting in 35 minutes all the way up top unlike his past matches for Jurgen Klinsmann. Midfielder Mario Martinez played the full 90 for Honduras in their road loss to Panama. The two performances may help long term recruiting for Hanauer & Co, but right now they create lineup questions for Sigi Schmid.

USA at Mexico World Cup Qualifying - Gamethread

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When they say that soccer is about tribe there are few better examples to American sports fans than the United States v Mexico rivalry. It consumes one nation and gathers both states' fans up in this homogeneous goop that ignores club ties. It is the greatest rivalry in CONCACAF. It is a border war.

Gspurning out of next CCL match, other practice notes

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Yesterday's weekly notes from Seattle Sounders FC said that Michael Gspurning earned his second yellow card (he is listed with two on official tournament site) of the current CONCACAF Champions League cycle and will miss the first leg against Santos Laguna. If you are surprised by this don't worry, most everyone is - including Sigi Schmid.

Statistics show unlucky start for Sounders

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Luck is a funny word in statistics. It does not quite mean what you think it means. It is more of a combination of randomness and 'stuff we don't know how to quantify.' In the emergence of soccer analytics 'luck' is probably a large chunk. Strong correlations are still in the discovery phase. For the Seattle Sounders and MLS luck can sway a couple of results so that a team on the table is not decent, but bad.

Nos Audietis, Episode 87: Snowed under

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Let's be honest, this week was a bit of a letdown. Almost literally as soon as he arrived, Obafemi Martins was gone. Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez were away as well. Those three absences were especially felt in Saturday's loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.

That left the Sounders with an 0-2-1 record, which ties them for the worst start in franchise history.

Shalrie Joseph, Brad Evans return to training, chance at playing Saturday

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After a week with a roster depleted by injury and national team calls Sigi Schmid may get to pick an ideal XI based solely off of form and tactics when the Sounders travel to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Both Brad Evans and Shalrie Joseph returned to full training today, with Tuesday's training being major test in how healthy they will be through the week.

Michael Gspurning makes a trio of near-mythical saves at San Jose. (Animated)

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A trio of saves by the three-headed monster himself:

Don't Panic - Bring your scarf

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With two losses and a draw that felt like a loss the standings are a not a pleasant image for Seattle Sounders FC staff, players or fans. Fans may be on the edge of panic if you read MLSSoccer.com.

Two of those sides, Chicago and Seattle, are not only winless but also practically goalless, and their fans are starting to worry while their detractors (especially Seattle's) are starting to gloat.

Sounders at San Jose Earthquakes - Gamethread

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Both sides will but forward significantly weakened teams from the Ideal XIs that a coach prefers. Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid has dealt with the injuries a bit longer so his reduced team has a bit more experience than Frank Yallop's reduced San Jose Earthquakes.

The South Bay side still has decent talent though.

Sounders fall to Chris Wondolowski strike

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Seattle Sounders FC falls to 0-2-1 -2 GD after a Saturday night loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. It was one of their five shots from outside the box that Chris Wondolowski deftly slotted past Michael Gspurning, but it was the only one that will matter. Seattle would take nine shots from outside the box, only two on target and none would reach the net.

DeAndre Yedlin tells MLSSoccer.com he's going to US U-20 camp

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After a year of not getting the call, DeAndre Yedlin will again be in the United States Youth National Team system. The 19 year-old right back told MLSSoccer.com that he was invited to the April training camp.

"It'll be a pretty exciting experience, but I haven't made it yet," Yedlin told MLSsoccer.

Sounders at San Jose - Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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Relive the one goal loss to the San Jose Earthquakes via video highlights, official match statistics and quotes from coaches and players.

Tactics Analyst: Earthquakes vs. Sounders not much to look at

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Seattle Sounders FC's 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes was a classic MLS battle, but not in a good way.

Both teams played the 4-4-2 formation typical of the league, with one holding midfielder behind three more attack-minded players to complement the forwards.

Seattle's outside backs overlapped frequently, but neither initiated any real combination play.

Sounders at San Jose Earthquakes - Three Questions

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Tonight's 7:30 PM (KING/97.3/99.3) match between the San Jose Earthquakes will be an attempt by the Seattle Sounders to win in Buck Shaw in its final full season hosting soccer. While the 'Quakes dominated 2013 there is little that can be taken away from those results. Dawkins is gone and San Jose is down nearly a full XI.

United States v Costa Rica CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier - Gamethread

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Seattle Sounders FC forward Eddie Johnson is almost certain to feature in the MLS heavy lineup that Jurgen Klinsmann will put out for the United States. With the US losing the opener of The Hex it is more important than usual for the Americans to get a home win.

Video Preview


But the circumstances are a bit odd.

United States beats Costa Rica 1-0 in snow

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Clint Dempsey would score in the 16th minute, but few will remember that. The memories will be about a game played in a significant snow storm. Every stoppage in play between the United States and Costa Rica would see the grounds crew try to clear as much snow as they could. Eventually they would stop trying to clear the 'less important' lines and only focus on the penalty areas.

Sounders Women v Colorado Rush - Documentary

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The short documentary of the first match of an amazing 2012 for Puget Sound women's soccer focuses on US Women's National Team players Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux.

Highart Reel 1: Sounders Women from Highart Reel on Vimeo.

Sounders at San Jose MLS match 3

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Two sides depleted by injury, national team calls and the lack of a playoff place if the season ended today. While playoff position isn't yet important a first win is. The San Jose Earthquakes sit at 1-1-1 -1 GD while Seattle is 0-1-1 -1 GD.

For different reasons, neither the Seattle Sounders nor the San Jose Earthquakes will be fielding their first choice forward complement in this weekend's match in the Bay Area.

San Jose Scouting Report: Forward Help Wanted

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For different reasons, neither the Seattle Sounders nor the San Jose Earthquakes will be fielding their first choice forward complement in this weekend's match in the Bay Area.

For San Jose, the problem is injury. Both Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon remain unavailable for the "not-Wondolowski" role in the Earthquakes' attack after offseason surgery.

Sounders sign Philip Lund, Ashani Fairclough

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The long expected signings of Philip Lund and Ashani Fairclough was made official on Friday, the Seattle Sounders announced. Lund and Fairclough were two of the last trialists in training camp and have long seemed to have the inside tracks on earning roster spots. Lund will occupy an international roster spot, but Fairclough will not as he has permanent resident status.

Sounders catch March Madness

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Major Link Soccer: Seattle Olympics, Rescinded Red

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The biggest news of the week is that Seattle is inquiring about looking into preliminary talks with advisory groups on the idea of making a bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. An idea I am FIRMLY behind. Yes, the Olympics are extremely expensive, and rarely (see: never) recoup their costs. But the event provides an opportunity for a city to do some truly great things, and it is a badge of honor that can never be rescinded.

Sounders Organizational Update: Academy, Women, Reserves

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Last weekend Sounders Nation was understandably focused on the first Cascadia match of the season, but the Sounders were actually involved in five other matches over the weekend - our first Reserve League match (also against Portland) and four Academy games.

Academies

The Academy season is back to full action after the light winter schedule.

Sounders v Chivas USA moved to September 4th

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Major League Soccer's quest to win the CONCACAF Champions League will get a tiny boost as the organization moved two matches to aid the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy as they prepare for Santos Laguna and Monterrey respectively. Seattle's match against Chivas USA moved from April 7th to Wednesday September 4th at 7 PM.

Eriq Zavaleta training at forward, rooting for Indiana

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Eriq Zavaleta made the 18 for the first match of the year, but at that time he was mainly practicing as a defender. Recently that has shifted to being a forward, including his play with the Sounders Reserves. With Seattle's big name forwards away on national team duty this may be Zavaleta's best chance in the early season to get First Team time.

World Cup Qualifying: Seattle will host USA vs. Panama on June 11

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Seattle will host the United States' World Cup qualifier against Panama on June 11, it was finally announced on Thursday. The United States has not played a qualifier in Seattle since Oct. 20, 1976 when they beat Canada 2-0 at the Kingdome, according to Seattle soccer historian Frank MacDonald. That marked the first time any World Cup qualifier had ever been played indoors.

2013 Allocation Ranking Left Back opportunities for Sounders

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MLS player acquisition rules can be quirky. One of those is Allocation Ranking (sometimes called Allocation Order). Seattle used Allocation Ranking, or a trade directly after the use of Allocation, to acquire Kasey Keller (#1), Sammy Ochoa (traded for #3), Eddie Johnson (traded for after Montreal used #1) and Marcus Hahnemann (traded for after Toronto used #3).

Tony Meola: Michael Gspurning was outstanding last year; started strong again

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SEATTLE - U.S. legend Tony Meola was in town to do some promotional work for Allstate, an MLS sponsor. While he was around, he obliged me with a lengthy interview on all things national team-, goalkeeping- and Seattle-related.

Read the bulk of the interview at American Soccer Now, but here are a couple of tidbits that make more sense for our audience.

Fantasy MLS: Deshorn Brown to the Rescue

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So how are you guys making it through the international absences?

I didn't have it as bad as most people. I took a minus-4 with three transfers -- bringing in Colorado's Deshorn Brown ($5.7), SKC's Uri ($6.7) and FC Dallas' David Ferreira ($9.1). I'll be playing an awkward 4-3-3 with no room for injuries, but at least I'll field an XI.

Steve Zakuani assists and Eddie Johnson give us the first Boom Boom of 2013 (Animated)

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See Zak fly. Fly Zak,fly. See Zak cross. Cross Zak, cross!

See Boom Boom score. Score Boom Boom, score!

Adam Johansson, Sounders to part ways

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Seattle Sounders FC will be parting ways with right back and Swedish National Teamer Adam Johansson so that he can get first team minutes and continue his career. The move will open up cap space as well as relieve some playing time congestion in the midfield. Just prior to the end of practice Liviu Bird tweeted the following;

Source says Adam Johansson hasn't been at Sounders FC training for a week.

Levy Films' latest has over eight minutes of film the March 16th Cascadia Cup match

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031613_Timbers (fcp1) from LEVYfilms on Vimeo.

Nos Audietis, Episode 86: Featuring Adrian Hanauer

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We promised it would happen eventually and we came through: Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer joined us on the show this week. Through some technical difficulties, he shed some light on the acquisition of Obafemi Martins as well as a host of other subjects. We also tried to get to the root of what makes "House Hunters: International" so darn popular, as well as agreeing that the new host of "Property Virgins" doesn't quite do it for us.

Crunchy Power Rankings: Week 4

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If you followed the site last year, you'll know that I occasionally publish my own power rankings based on Opta statistics. Power ranking standards tend to be (intentionally) poorly defined, so the ranker has some creative freedom in deciding what exactly it means from one team to be ranked higher than another.

Sounders Academy is young, but playing for a long future

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DeAndre Yedlin is having a great start to the season. His contributions both on defense and offense prove that he is ready now. It is tempting to look ahead to the next contributor from the young Academy. Maybe that's Jordan Morris who just appeared in both a Sounders U18 (scored a goal) match and the Sounders Reserve game on Sunday.

Eddie Johnson called to United States World Cup Qualifying

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Jurgen Klinsmann's latest United States roster eatures only one Seattle Sounders FC player. Eddie Johnson again gets the call to represent the nation. At this point it should be considered a certainty that he is on the squad. Johnson is third all-time with 10 career goals in qualifying.

The US roster has five players without World Cup Qualifying CAPS and sixteen with ten or less.

Sounders blaze new trail in acquiring Obafemi Martins

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When Seattle finally officially announced that Obafemi Martins would be joining the team, and in just a few hours with an airport media scrum, it ended a long saga. Over a period of many months, the Sounders pursued a deal with Levante and the player. In the end things were certainly not amicable, as Levante did everything they could to stop or at least delay losing the Nigerian national teamer.

Sounders v Timbers Reserves - Gamethread

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One of the most appealing aspects surrounding a reserve team is that it offers immediate response to a poor result. While nothing that happens on Sunday can fix the stoppage time goal that equalized Saturdays match. By no means will the Sounders be obvious favorites, with many key pieces of their depth chart having seen action this week.

Tactics Analyst: Defensive errors, early-season rust doom Cascadia Cup opener to boring draw

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SEATTLE - Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers could not make their skill match the fans' enthusiasm for Saturday's 2013 Cascadia Cup opening match. A defensive lapse on each side, one early and one very late, punctuated a 1-1 tie mired in disconnected passing and rusty execution.

The formations were typical of what the Sounders and Timbers have displayed in recent history.

Sounders vs. Timbers: Highlights, stats, quotes, photos

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Sounders FC vs. Timbers Gallery

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View this gallery here.

Sounders fall to Timbers 1-1

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In a match that will last in Seattle Sounders fans memories more for the first appearance of Obafemi Martins than the result, the result was a mere draw against Portland Timbers squad that used constant pressure and a barrage of offense to press Seattle despite being on the road. Steve Zakuani created a great opportunity in the 13th minute that Eddie Johnson slid into the goal, but the 1-nil lead would not hold the Timbers back and Rodney Wallace completed their comeback with a 91st minute game winner tying goal.

Sounders v Timbers Cascadia Cup Round One - Gamethread

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Passion will be bouncing through the stadium from section to section from stands to field. Seattle Sounders FC v Soccer Village USA is enough to get anyone excited for the game. It is still early to judge how good either team is, but on paper the Schakal are much better than the past two seasons, that may or may not mean that they are better than Seattle now.

Know Your History 2013 with Graphic

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For many of us it is easy to forget the eras prior to MLS. But the soccer history we have here in Cascadia is part of why this Cascadia Cup thing is special and will remain special. It is why the Supporters Groups are fighting to maintain the trademark.

It is also full of success for the Seattle Sounders.

Obafemi Martins meets Seattle media

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Scouting Report: Putting One Finger on the Cup

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It will be a tough task to wade through the layers of drama leading into this weekend's Cascadia Cup opener against the Timbers and get into the tactics.

Go on, pick a storyline.. It'll kick off the first season in the 10 year history of the Cup that Seattle will try to win it back after losing it to the Timbers.

Sounders FC Cascadia Cup Hype Video

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Sounders face Santos Laguna - April 2nd Leg One, April 9th Leg Two

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Tickets will be sold for the home leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal on Monday March 18th at 10 AM. Seattle Sounders FC host leg one on April 2nd at 7 PM and travel to Torreon, Mexico for leg two on April 9th. Leg two kicks off at 5 PM.

Tickets to the match will go on sale Monday, March 18 at 10 a.

Sounders officially sign Obafemi Martins as third Designated Player

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It's officially official: The Seattle Sounders have signed Obafemi Martins as their third Designated Player on Friday. Assuming his flight arrives on time, he'll be in Seattle this evening and be eligible to play on Saturday against the Portland Timbers.

"This move is consistent with our promise to the fans," Majority Owner Joe Roth said in a team release.

Obafemi Martins should be eligible to play vs. Timbers, Sounders coach says

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Assuming there are no unforeseen delays, Obafemi Martins is expected to be eligible to play against the Portland Timbers on Saturday.

Sigi from training: "@oba_martins should be eligible [to play against Portland] tomorrow."

- Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) March 15, 2013

Martins jumped on a plane Friday and is expected to join the team later today.

Early season playing time helps Andy Rose prepare for Portland

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When Brad Evans went down with an injury early in the UANL Tigres match Andy Rose had to enter the field with little warm-up and little mental preparation. If he was a planned sub he would likely come on in the 60th minute or later, not the 27th. Rose played over 1800 minutes last year, but with added depth in the midfield this season there was a chance he would see less time.

Obafemi Martins tweets he is on his way to Seattle

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There is still no official announcement by Seattle Sounders FC, but Obafemi Martins continues to tweet his journey to become a Sounder. This time the news is that he is on his way.

On ma way to seattle...see u guys soon...

- OBAMARTINS (@oba_martins) March 15, 2013

At last update he was completing paperwork in Spain, but it seems that he will be in Seattle quite shortly.

Major Link Soccer: Rivalry Week

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So, you guys probably haven't heard, but it's rivalry week. And there's no rivalry week like Cascadia week. That sentence doesn't really make sense. And neither does the animosity of the Portland-Seattle relationship! But we participate anyway. Good times.

First, before anything else, listen to a certain Sounder at Heart contributer on the air at KJR.

Sounders Women sign Three Huskies and a Canadian Keeper

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National team action has kept the Reign a little more in the news, but the Sounders Women are making moves as well. Two months after adding Washington coach Lesle Gallimore as Technical Director, the team has signed three Huskies. Attacking midfielder Lindsay Elston led Washington in goals in 2012 and was named team MVP.

MLS Fantasy: The Portland Timbers question

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For the past few years, it hasn't been too tempting to own anyone from that hippie enclave a couple hours to the south. Or the backwater town up north, for that matter. As the Portland and Vancouver franchises fought through their expansion years, you could count the number of fantasy-worthy players on one hand and still--like the scoreboard operators in either city--have a couple of digits to spare.

Sounders v Timbers Cascadia Cup Round One - rivalry beyond soccer, but mainly soccer

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We know many of the tales regarding the rivalry. While it isn't the match on NBC it is still a featured TV game this weekend on NBC Sports. There is a reason why this rivalry resonates not just here, but is recognizable around the country. Because in every corner of the country they have something similar.

Sounders v Timbers Cascadia Cup Round One - It Begins

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From prematch build up, to your second screen, to the post match victory a one stop shop for all things Seattle Sounders v Portland Timbers.

Cascadia Cup week or, if the team is in the Champions League, Cascadia Cup three days is here again. It is a time were the small differences between Wesen and Sounder become a little more obvious.

Sounders v Timbers Cascadia Cup Round One - Three Questions

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Cascadia Cup week or, if the team is in the Champions League, Cascadia Cup three days is here again. It is a time were the small differences between Wesen and Sounder become a little more obvious. These Bauerschweine can be a little timid at times, but come this week they rise up, a bit and play better.

Santos Laguna beats Houston Dynamo, advances to face Sounders

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In a refrain too familiar to Seattle Sounders fans Santos Laguna dominated their home leg in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. The Houston Dynamo held a one goal advantage after their home leg, but questionable defense in the first half undid their attempt to join the Sounders in the semifinals.

Analytical Notes from victory over Tigres

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Diving deep into the numbers behind such a unique match would be unlikely to be productive. Instead this is a "notebook" post with a couple of intriguing things from Seattle Sounders 3-1 victory in leg two.

  • Osvaldo Alonso is learning new things. We already knew he was quite important, mainly due to his absence, but this year he is doing even more.

MLSSoccer.com's TIFO Showdown Video

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Mexico v Canada & Panama v Martinique at CenturyLink Field on July 11th Gold Cup date

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Today US Soccer and CONCACAF announced the schedule and host cities for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The regional championship returns to Seattle as CenturyLink Field will host Panama v Martinique and Mexico v Canada in the second match of Group A on July 11th. With British Columbia residents rarely seeing their nation's men's team plenty of border crossers should supplement the strong Canadian expat community in the greater Puget Sound, but it will almost certainly feel like a road game for them.

Obafemi Martins says he plans to get Visa in Spain, then sign Sounders contract

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Looks like we'll have to wait just a little longer before Obafemi Martins is officially introduced to Seattle Sounders fans. The now former Levante striker told the BBC that he's decided to get his Visa in Spain before making the trip to the United States, at which point he plans to officially sign his Seattle Sounders contract.

Sounders advance 3-2 aggregate past Tigres - Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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The Now, the Veteran, and the Return of the Boom Boom. (Animated)

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The night started with the Seattle Sounders FC needing 2 goals to move past Tigres and ended with the team coming up with three huge goals to become the first MLS side to defeat a Mexican squad in a two-leg matchup. DeAndre Yedlin started off the comeback, followed by a tremendous volley by Djimi Traore, and capped off by the Return of the Boom Boom - Eddie Johnson.

Sounders v Tigres CCL Quarterfinal Leg Two - Gamethread

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This Tuesday night match between UANL Tigres and Seattle Sounders FC does not have the glamour of a friendly, nor the rivalry of Cascadia. Instead it is a test of Seattle against the best in the region. Only about 20,000 people will be in the stands, though it will probably be the third or fourth most attended CONCACAF Champions League game of the round.

Sounders Make History - Just Celebrate

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It was a nearly impossible result after going down a goal, but the Seattle Sounders just beat UANL Tigres 3-1 in the second leg and advanced in the CONCACAF Champions League.

These our your heroes. These are your goal scorers. These are MLS' heroes.

DeAndre Yedlin
Djimi Traore
Eddie Johnson

and the twelve others that played as well - Gspurning, Hurtado, Gonzalez, Rosales, Alonso, Evans, Zakuani, Ochoa, Rose, Martinez, Burch.

Quick Recap: Sounders Bury Tough History to Make History

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Video: Traore strikes from distance

Rivalry Week to challenge your DVR space

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Precipice of history - climb higher or fall down

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There's that whole Obafemi thing that will continue to develop. There's that Cascadia Cup match against the Wesen to the South that will generate interest for diehards and generalists both near and far. The weekend features Academy games and a Reserve match at Starfire Sunday.

But first up is a little match that could be as historic as any.

Assistant Coach Hendrickson full quote sheet

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Earlier today SoundersFC.com published my story with Assistant Coach Ezra Hendrickson talking about the how the number of chances allowed and goal conversion in the first two matches of the year came in different circumstances. One is a loss in league play and needs to just be put behind them, whereas the other was a loss that sets the team up for something special.

Nos Audietis, Episode 85: You're welcome

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As you should all know by now, there's no better way to insure that Sounders news happens than for us to record a podcast. Obviously, this was recorded on Sunday, so you're welcome. We talked about Obafemi Martins like it wasn't a done deal and, lo and behold, it sure appears to be done now. Feel free to only listen to that part for entertainment purposes.

Adrian Hanauer & Sigi Schmid talk about potential, not finalized Obafemi Martins move

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Both Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer and Coach Sigi Schmid talked briefly about the potential Designated Player signing of former Levante player Obafemi Martins when practice at Starfire wrapped up today. While neither was willing to confirm the deal, their words make the deal seem quite close to being done.

Obafemi Martins says he's signed with Seattle Sounders

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Obafemi Martins has confirmed over Twitter that he is leaving Levante and signing with the Seattle Sounders. This comes on the heels of Levante announcing that Martins had paid his exit fee and been released by the team. The last piece of the puzzle is for the Sounders to confirm the move themselves.

Obafemi Martins transfer saga: Spanish media say Sounders will pay exit fee

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The Obafemi Martins-transfer saga may be finally nearing a conclusion. A few days after the Nigerian striker came down with a mysterious stomach ailment, Spanish-based media are now reporting that the Seattle Sounders are expected to pay the nearly $4 million exit clause. There's no confirmation as to that happening, yet, but the reports suggest Martins is preparing to join the the Sounders immediately.

Report: Tigres travel squad is reserves, youth players

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ExtadioMX.com is reporting some changes to the roster brought up from Monterrey by UANL Tigres as they take on Sounders FC in leg two of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals series.

Entre los elementos que se trasladaron a territorio estadunidense destacan Manuel Viniegra, Elías Hernández, José Rivas, Jonathan Bornstein y Alan Pulido, además del juvenil Jorge Espericueta.

Brad Evans: 'I don’t think it would matter' if a teammate were gay

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TUKWILA - Playing collegiate and (very shortly) professional soccer exposed me to a number of different team environments and cultures. The one constant throughout was every locker room was a safe place.

Players often see the game as an escape from real life, and stepping into that room with the 30 other guys on the team never failed to put a smile on my face.

Injury Reports indicate lineup choices will be about strategy not new bodies

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Both Don Ruiz and Joshua Mayers relayed the injury status of the Sounders. The simple version is that the same players who were available Wednesday are still available while Estrada and/or Zakuani could be available. There may be changes though as Seattle Sounders FC needs to be more aggressive in leg two.

Passive Offside will always create controversy

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If you think that the goal against Seattle by UANL Tigres was offside you could be right. But you would only be right if you are talking about that creature called "passive offside." This is the case where a player affects play without touching the ball.

Sigi Schmid made an impassioned case that the goal against Seattle Sounders FC in the CONCACAF Champions League match was one of those cases.

Seattle Reign's Hope Solo will miss 3-4 months after wrist surgery

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The first-year Seattle Reign will have to make do without goalkeeper Hope Solo, who will be out 3-4 months while she recovers from left wrist surgery. That means Solo will miss at least the first half of the season, but is expected to be back in time to make a push for the inaugural NWSL playoffs.

Sounders return to Starfire: Regen, Finishing Drills, Chat with Alonso

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Today's practice in a sunny but chilly Tukwila, Washington saw the Seattle Sounders split the squad a bit. The XI from the match with Tigres stretched and jogged while the rest of the squad did a small sided quick passing game and finishing drills. Several trialists (non-roster invitees) are still in camp.

Sounders defense didn't entirely break, but it bent way too much vs. Tigres

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Leading up to the Seattle Sounders' trip to Monterrey, Sigi Schmid openly talked about the need to avoid disaster. Of course, winning was ideal and securing a tie would have been very nice, but the goal was to head back to Seattle with out digging themselves a horrible hole the way they had done in playoff series each of the past two years.

Major Link Soccer: Enemy Analysis, Taking notice of Yedlin

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DeAndre Yedlin was a MLS darling after his performance in week one, drawing rave reviews for his pace and tackling (if not for his crossing). We're talking Rookie of the Week from Soccer By Ives, and a member of the Starting XI at MLSsoccer.com. It's hard not to take notice of the hair.

His performance wasn't enough to avoid a surprising week one loss to a team that might make some noise in the Eastern Conference.

MLS Fantasy: Meet Some New Features

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A pleasant surprise awaited when I logged into my fantasy team Monday morning. Although I had started an injured player (TFC's Luis Silva), the game had automatically subbed in my #1 reserve, Jeff Parke. What's amazing about this is that Luis Silva (middie) and Jeff Parke (defense) play different positions!

Babayele Sodade waived by Seattle Sounders

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After tweeting some time ago that he was looking for a new team today the Seattle Sounders issued a formal announcement that forward Babayele Sodade was waived. Sodade never played a minute in a First Team match and spent nearly all of the 2012 on the Injured List.

Sodade raised eyebrows when he out jumped the vertical test at the 2012 combine.

Tigres 1: Sounders 0 - Highlights, Stats, Quotes

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Sounders v Tigres CCL Quarters Leg One - Gamethread

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Some matches Seattle goes in as overwhelming favorites (Most Open Cup, CCL Group stage, Reserve League). During the regular season at worst they are evenly matched with their MLS competitors. A couple times a year Sounders FC are dramatic underdogs. Even then, Sigi Schmid rarely plays cynically. Tonight against UANL Tigres in CONCACAF Champions League action expect a cynical lineup that emphasizes the bunker & counter with one forward with speed to chase and the other with a magical foot.

Tigres beat Sounders 1-nil

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This is not a win. It is not a hopeful result. It is probably a barely deserved result as UANL Tigres outplayed Seattle even accounting for tactical difference. It is merely a pause in play. Despite a goal that many Sounders fans will consider unfair, when a team outplays another at that rate a goal, usually more will happen.

2013 MLS Reserve League Schedule: Sounders open and close vs. Timbers

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The Seattle Sounders will open their Reserve League schedule at home against the Portland Timbers on March 17, the team announced on Wednesday. Their schedule will consist of 12 games, which is two more than they played each of the past two seasons. Those additional games will be home-and-home against Orlando City SC.

Anatomy of a Goal: How Sounders got caught chasing the ball

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Which Plan B do you want?

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With little news in the Obafemi Martins saga, besides club posturing, Adrian Hanauer recently indicated that the deal is close to the finish line, but not yet complete. "If we can't [complete the deal] we'll go to Plan B. But with rumors circling the Seattle Sounders for months it is hard to tell if Martins was actually Plan A anyway.

100th US Open Cup features more teams, more prize money, no buying of hosting rights

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The biggest takeaways from the announcement by the United States Soccer Federation is that for the 100th US Open Cup they are making things bigger. There are more teams competing since the modern era started ('95 to present). There is more prize money. There is more randomness to hosting as all hosts will be determined by coin flip.

Mario Martinez called to Honduran National Team per his twitter

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Per Mario Martinez' twitter account he again makes the full Honduran National Team squad for their next round of World Cup Qualifying. The next two matches are on a FIFA date that does conflict with a Seattle Sounders match and could limit his availability on the date just after he returns.

Gracias Dios por una nueva convocatoria a la H.

Sounders-Tigres scouting report: Forcing turnovers a must for Seattle

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Nos Audietis, Episode 84: Talking Tigres and Transfers

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We had hoped to bring you an exciting episode where we got the inside scoop on what was going on behind-the-scenes with the Obafemi Martins transfer. Unfortunately, the deal remained in limbo at recording and we decided it was better to wait on that until it comes to a conclusion.

In the meantime, Aaron and I spoke at length about the positives and negatives to come out of the loss to the Montreal Impact.

Sounders v UANL Tigres CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals - Three Questions

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It is not just power rankings that show Seattle Sounders FC as underdogs. The betting odds are overwhelming. UANL Tigres is having an amazing season, though they do have three draws at home in their last three. FoxSoccer will show this match as part of their Clash of Giants two week promotion. Most of their matchups consist of two giants, but in this one Seattle plays the minnow.

Sounders v UANL Tigres CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals

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Previews, scouting reports, gamethreads and recaps - all in one place.

UANL Tigres is in fine form ahead of the Wednesday night 2012-13 CONCACAF Champoins League match, but have a recent injury to their leading scorer and have not used a wide variety of lineups according to Seattle Sounders FC Coach Sigi Schmid.

Sigi Schmid scouts UANL Tigres

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UANL Tigres is in fine form ahead of the Wednesday night 2012-13 CONCACAF Champoins League match, but have a recent injury to their leading scorer and have not used a wide variety of lineups according to Seattle Sounders FC Coach Sigi Schmid. "Missing Villa hurts them, but there are so many pieces that understand each other that it's probably not as difficult for them to just replace that one piece," Schmid said during a conference call today of the eight goal scorer.

Montreal center backs make major impact in win over Sounders

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SEATTLE - Forgive the Montreal Impact defenders for not being flustered at the sight and sound of nearly 40,000 fans in the stands. The Seattle Sounders FC support at CenturyLink Field may be spectacular by MLS standards, but it's nothing World Cup-winner Alessandro Nesta isn't used to.

"In Italy, every game, it's like that," Nesta said after his Impact pulled out a 1-0 win on Saturday.

Academy Teams Go Undefeated In San Diego

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If the emergence of DeAndre Yedlin to the senior team brings some increased attention to the Academy, any new observers will discover a pair of teams playing excellent soccer. Combined, the U16s and U18s haven't lost in their last 11 matches - a run stretching back to December 3rd, when the U18s lost to Shattuck-Saint Mary's at the Winter Development Academy.

Obafemi Martins transfer: International intrigue builds

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Another day has passed and Obafemi Martins' potential transfer to the Seattle Sounders doesn't seem to be any closer resolution than it was on Friday, at least according to reports out of Spain that say no effort was made to complete the payment on Monday. That should not be taken as the Sounders stepping away from negotiations, though, as Martins has apparently reiterated his desire to move to MLS and may have even pulled himself out of training.

David Estrada talks about Hope Place and meaning of facing Liga MX clubs

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With our viewing party for the Seattle Sounders v UANL Tigres CONCACAF Champions League match later this week Sounder at Heart spoke with David Estrada about Hope Place, our charity partner for the event, and his unique perspective on CCL games in Mexico.

SaH: How did you discover Hope Place?

Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson do not like the goal posts. (Animated)

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Sounders FC's Brad Evans with an excellent one-time drive at goal that just misses:

After a great cross by Leo Gonzalez and a great touch by Alex Caskey, Eddie Johnson just about levels the match at 1-1:

Sounders v Impact MLS Match 1 - Gamethread

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Seattle Sounders FC embarks on chapter five, book three now. The prologue is over. At 7:30 PM the Montreal Impact face Sounders FC in front of 40,000 or so of the faithful. Match day one starts without two of last year's Designated Players, a defensive stalwart and some of the depth players of year's past.

Seattle falls 1-nil to Montreal behind Arnaud goal

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A fair result may be nil-nil. Fair results don't count for one amazing play. Davy Arnaud had one of those. Seattle Sounders FC had none. Montreal set themselves in a defensive posture, created a goal behind brilliant play and held onto win. There was a slight issue with marking on the winning play, but it is one of those moments that requires the tip of the cap.

Sounders FC vs. Impact: Photos

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View this gallery here.

Sounders vs. Impact: Highlights, quotes, stats and photos

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Tactics Analyst: Sounders miss Alonso in loss to Impact

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SEATTLE - The goal that sank Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 against the Montreal Impact came against the run of play, but it was far from unexpected. The Sounders failed to impose its defensive presence in the middle of the field, leaving it susceptible to counter-attacks all game.

New season, new formation

Sounders FC's much-anticipated formation change came on Saturday, with the team trotting out in a 4-2-3-1.

Sounders v Impact - Open Source Player Ratings

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With this first ever foray into match day player ratings the focus will be on just five players. One that keeps it a bit simpler from the data gathering perspective. Two, it is a smaller form. And it is new, a test does not need the full 14 players that took the pitch. Some ratings systems also include the coach, but for now we will ignore that.

Sounders, Christian Tiffert part ways

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Just hours before the start of the season, the Seattle Sounders have announced that they will "part ways" with Designated Player Christian Tiffert. The move has been anticipated for several weeks, as the German midfielder had not been training with the team, and it clears the way for the Sounders to sign another Designated Player.

Obafemi Martins seems to indicate move to Sounders still on, Levante disagrees

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Depending on how you choose to interpret the information leaking out of Spain, it's either just a matter of time before Obafemi Martins joins the Seattle Sounders or the deal is completely dead. The onus seems to be entirely with the Sounders at this point, as they've reportedly come to personal terms with Martins and only need to decide if they are willing to pay his approximately $4 million exit fee plus about $800,000 in VAT.

Noyola To Join Reign For Full 2013 Season

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The Seattle Reign have had to deal with a lot of challenges in their first year of existence. Star players Megan Rapinoe and Teresa Noyola are in Europe until mid-season. Amy Rodriguez is out for the entire season. Hope Solo has an injury that could have her out at the beginning of the season. The hits just keep coming.

Sounders' decision on Christian Tiffert due today

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Decision day has finally come for the Seattle Sounders to decide whether or not they will buy out Designated Player Christian Tiffert. The Sounders surely hoped to have Tiffert's replacement locked up by now, but complications in Spain have pushed that back until at least Monday. There's little reason to believe the Sounders will suddenly reverse course and keep Tiffert, though, as he hasn't even been training with the team for nearly three weeks.

Sounders v Impact - Referee, Injuries, Suspensions and TV

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At 7:30 PM on Saturday night Silviu Petrescu will blow the whistle to start the first match of the 2013 Seattle Sounders FC campaign. He will be joined by SAR (bench): Darren Clark; JAR (opposite): Kevin Duliba; and 4th: Alejandro Mariscal. Petrescu's MLS record is MLS Career: 58 games; FC/gm: 27.

Cordell Cato rights traded for 4th round Supplemental Draft pick in 2014

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In a trade the netted Seattle Sounders FC another draft pick in 2014 Cordell Cato is joining the San Jose Earthquakes. The young Trinidad & Tobago forward is now with a rival. This minor move nets the club a low draft pick.

Cato has been in camp and playing with the Earthquakes since the midpoint of preseason.

Final preseason Depth Chart shows needs, holes, opportunities

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After the Veracruz match it became apparent that Mauro Rosales is the likely 2nd Forward barring other additions is the goal of Sigi Schmid. Unfortunately that Ideal XI will not exist for some time. There are injuries, tweaks, fitness and suspensions.

  • Suspensions - Marc Burch out due to anti-gay slur.

Don Garber seems to indicate league is willing to drop Cascadia Cup trademark

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Almost two months after the dispute over who owns the rights to the Cascadia Cup trademark first went public, MLS Commissioner Don Garber appears to be ready to cede victory to supporters.

Don Garber has just confirmed to me that League would be happy with a resolution where fans own trademark to Cascadia Cup.

Want Prizes? We have prizes! Join Sounder at Heart and/or SB Nation Soccer Fantasy MLS League

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Because the first thing you want to know from the rules is the prizes let's just get that out of the way now.

The winners of each league on team blogs will receive a $100 MLS Gear gift certificate and the second and third-place winners will receive a 2014 subscriptions to MLS Live (a $59.

Scouting Report: Bienvenue à la Saison

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At nearly the exact moment that Seattle allayed many fears about their reconstructed lineup by earning the 2013 Desert Diamond Cup with a win over Real Salt Lake, 2000 miles to the east the Montreal Impact defeated the Columbus Crew to win the 2013 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. You can argue about whether a 4-year-old tournament deserves to be called a classic, but regardless the Impact are its champions.

Reign Swap Draft Pick For Winters in 1st Ever NWSL Trade

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Another former member of the Sounders Women will be joining the Seattle Reign. Midfielder Keelin Winters is the latest addition after the Reign swapped a first-round pick in the 2014 NWSL draft and "future considerations." Those "future considerations" are rumored to be the rights to forward Amy Rodriguez, who will miss this season as she gives birth to her first child.

Obafemi Martins transfer reportedly on hold until at least Monday

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The Obafemi Martins-transfer saga looks like it will drag on for at least a few more days, as the latest reports suggest nothing will be finalized until Monday at the earliest. Nothing from the Seattle Sounders' end suggests they are preparing to walk away, but it does appear as though Levante is doing everything in their power to drag this out as long as they can.

National Teamers Could Help Hot Start

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A quad of Sounders players starter their preseasons early. They had duty with national teams. The USA, Sweden and Honduras used Eddie Johnson, Brad Evans, Adam Johansson and Mario Martinez to help their goals and causes in the current qualifying cycle These players got the honor of wearing the shirt of their nation, but they also help their own journeys to be better soccer players.

Sounders Give Back at Seattle Union Gospel Mission’s Hope Place

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As we look forward to Saturday's opening of the 2013 campaign, we all have our own unique reasons for supporting the Sounders: perhaps you were a supporter of the Sounders back in the USL days, or maybe you only started following the team closely following their back-to-back-to-back US Open Cup titles in 2009-2011.

Major Link Soccer: First Kick, Final Roster Tweaks

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I won't blame anyone for not caring about the links below. After all, in ~24 hours most of us will have the opportunity to see our beloved team play in person. That is an excellent thing. More excellent than season premieres of Archer and Psych combined. It has only been three months, but even with the excellent Seahawks season, it feels like three YEARS.

Two wake-ups from a Sounders Rave

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DeAndre Yedlin and Marcus Hahnemann are both home grown, though only one is per the rule. For Scott this has become home. They are from three different generations. They get ready for the season in different ways.

They are all Sounders and on Saturday night they join in your Sounders Rave.

Lyndsey Patterson Joins Seattle Reign FC

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The Seattle Reign have signed their first Discovery Player, pending league approval.Lyndsey Patterson is joining her hometown team for their inaugural season. Lyndsey is a native of Puyallup, WA, and played for the Seattle Sounders Women for five seasons. She has 10 goals in 33 appearances for them.