Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2016

It’s called: “Have no fear... because Nelson Valdez is on our team!”

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Nelson. Freaking. Valdez.

It had to be him. We all felt it. He felt it. He kept our hype and playoff hopes alive. Let's ride this pizza into a victory against Dallas!

MLS Watercolorist / @mlswatercolors Nelson Valdez, everyone!

I carved MLS Playoff pumpkins for FS1

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But I couldn't help myself from adding some Sounder at Heart branding.

You may see some pumpkins on the FS1 broadcasts today with various MLS playoff teams' crests carved into them. These were carved by yours truly! That's right, my fan art talents don't stop with watercolors. Here's how it all went down.

SNL’s Leslie Jones may have just fallen in love with Sounders

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What started with a fascination with soccer players quickly turned into a love for the Sounders.

You may know Leslie Jones from her work on Saturday Night Live or Ghostbusters. You may remember how she fell in love with the Summer Olympics and eventually became the game's ambassador.

Well, her latest fascination appears to be soccer, or more specifically the attractiveness of the players.

The Agenda Is Victory

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For Schmetzer; For Our Future

Susie For Schmetzer; For Our Future

Fellow Sounders, friends,

Coming to CenturyLink tonight is a sentimental journey for me, as I'm sure it has been for many of you. We look to the rafters and see banner upon banner upon banner - Trophies won by great coaches of our past.

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC, player ratings: All hail Stefan Frei

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Sounders goalkeeper made a season-high seven saves in a shutout.

Whew. That was something, huh? The Sounders' 1-0 win had everything – plenty of shots, lots of open play, crushing tackles, dramatic refereeing, and a late winner for the home team. Sporting Kansas City has always been a tough matchup for Seattle, and their style of negative soccer just tends to frustrate the Sounders attempts to play a bit more free-flowing game.

Obafemi Martins signed an insane contract with Chinese club

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Martins' one-year extension will reportedly pay him equivalent of $12-15 million.

Obafemi Martins' move to China hasn't always been smooth, but it has been undeniably lucrative and it's about to get even more so.

The former Seattle Sounders forward has reportedly signed a contract extension that will keep him at Shanghai Shenhua through 2017 and net him about $9 million.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas, Western Conference semifinals: News, injury updates, highlights, analysis

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The two-leg aggregate goal series between Supporters' Shield winning FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders starts in Seattle on Sunday October 30th at 6:30 PM on Fox Sports 1. The second leg will be in Frisco, Texas on Sunday November 6th at a time to be determined. Away goals are a tie-breaker. If both teams have scored the same number of goals both home and away Dallas would host two 15-minute extra time periods and penalties if necessary.

Román Torres a gametime decision against FC Dallas

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A tight hamstring kept the defender out of Saturday's training session

Going into Sunday's conference semifinal match against FC Dallas, the Seattle Sounders are starting to look a bit bruised up thanks to recent fixture congestion. Saturday's training session was the only full session the team could have before the match, and center back Román Torres did not participate.

A quick look at the Seattle Reign draft history

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In the 2017 NWSL draft, which takes place January 12, Laura Harvey and the rest of the Seattle Reign have 4 picks to play with: numbers 3 and 6 in the first round, 29 from the third and the dead last pick at 40.

It's a a pretty commonly accepted fact at this point that Harvey and the Reign aren't wild about the draft, although they have been more strategic in recent years.

Goal breakdown: Nelson Valdez goal exhibits a striker doing all the little things correct

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Yep, we are still talking about this goal.

Thursday's 1-0 win over Sporting KC wasn't pretty for the Seattle Sounders. They were on the back foot for the first 15 minutes as KC's 4-1-4-1 formation isolated the Sounders defensive midfield and aggressively attacked the centerbacks, creating turnovers and attacks again and again.

Scouting Report: FC Dallas Playoffs leg 1

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Without Mauro Diaz, Dallas may not have much offense left

Nelson Valdez scored at the death against KC to take the Sounders through the first round of the playoffs. The Rave Green will now host FC Dallas, Supporters' Shield winners, for the first leg of the Western conference semis. FC Dallas earned the right to not play midweek and have a rested squad to bring to Seattle.

Major Link Soccer: Toronto had previously eyed Nico Lodeiro

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Seattle's Gem had been the apple of the Red's eye, even during their pursuit of Sebastian Giovinco.

MLS:

With the treble still in play, FC Dallas must adapt their playing style to accommodate Mauro Diaz's absence. Their squad gets their first test in adaptability this Sunday, as they face the Sounders in the rubber match of a back and forth regular season series.

Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City - Aftermatch Aftermath: Life isn't fair

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In the knockout round of the playoffs, the Seattle Sounders dispatched the visiting Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in a match that was completely without controversy and sarcasm.

"Salt! Salt here! Get your Salt here," Peter Vermes and his assistant Benny Feilhaber cried over the noise of the crowd, "Finest salt in all the land.

Brian Schmetzer sees Stefan Frei as another member of Sounders’ dynasty of excellent goalkeepers

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He credits GK coach Tommy Dutra with providing consistent goalkeeping for Seattle

Thursday's win over Sporting KC wasn't pretty, but the Seattle Sounders got the win and are moving on to the conference semi-finals against FC Dallas. The stats sheet was a little disheartening—Seattle's only shot on target was Valdez's late winner—but the performance between the sticks was absolutely vital to the result.

Schmetzer denies telling Vermes that Alonso should have been sent off

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Vermes was quoted as saying that Schmetzer told him post-match that Ozzie deserved a second yellow

After Peter Vermes' Sporting Kansas City were defeated 1-0 by the Seattle Sounders on Thursday, he had a few choice words for the referee crew about their performance. But on Friday, Vermes expanded on his fury to The Kansas City Star:

"Every day in the regular season, that's a card (on Osvaldo Alonso).

Ricardo Salazar announced as referee for Sounders match

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PRO announced the referee's for the Conference Semifinals first legs on Friday.

The Seattle Sounders moved on to the Western Conference semifinals to take on FC Dallas over the next two weeks. On Friday, PRO announced who would be the main in charge for the first leg on Sunday night - it will be everyone's favorite referee Ricardo Salazar.

Nelson Valdez ensured himself a proper place in Sounders lore

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The forward deserves to be remembered as more than a DP flop.

To say the Seattle Sounders have a somewhat spotty record when it comes to Designated Player signings is probably fair. For every Obafemi Martins, there's been a Christian Tiffert. For every Fredy Montero, a Shalrie Joseph.

By any reasonable metric, Nelson Valdez probably belongs in the "flop" bin.

Sounders vs FC Dallas, MLS Playoffs Leg 1: Three Questions

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It's already time to start looking towards Sunday's opponent.

Facing FC Dallas is an interesting test for the Seattle Sounders. Dallas won the Supporters' Shield (17-8-9 +10 for 60 points) and the US Open Cup (beating New England). They could win MLS' first ever treble, but there are issues for FCD.

ECS started making tifo before playoff qualification

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It was a rather significant risk, but it paid off nicely.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

It's often easy to take big tifos for granted. Seattle Sounders fans come to big games almost expecting them and are sometimes a little disappointed when there isn't one. Despite only qualifying for the playoffs a few days earlier, ECS managed to come through on Thursday with a rather impressive display of a phoenix rising through the red line of the playoffs (picture above).

Nelson Valdez was probably offside, but so was Matt Besler

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And we're not exactly going to feel bad about it anyway.

Sporting Kansas City was feeling pretty hard done by the officials after Thursday's 1-0 loss. It's hard to blame them. Osvaldo Alonso could have easily seen a second yellow card for his tackle on Benny Feilhaber and Nelson Valdez probably was offside on his game-winning goal.

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting KC: Community player ratings form

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I have no more words, really. I'm still processing that nail-biter and reveling in Nelson Valdez' breakthrough, still smiling as I watch replays of Feilhaber's meltdown at referee Ismail Elfath, still watching Stefan Frei's saves replay in my mind's eye.

But even while all that settles in, all we can do is rate, because there's really not much time in the packed playoff schedule.

Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City: Highlights, stats and quotes

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"I cannot explain it. All the pressure. I've been feeling like a big mountain on top of me all season. Finally with the goal the mountain has gone away and that pressure has been relieved." - Nelson Valdez

Sometimes (it seems like hardly ever this season) the calls go your way. In an extremely tight game, with few clear chances, sometimes a great goalkeeping performance (7 saves) and a couple of favorable calls means you win.

Major Link Soccer: Cabrera replaces Barrett as Dynamo head coach

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Several current and former players think the former team captain deserved a longer shot at the gig. David Villa may have earned more callups to Spain. Conor Casey hangs up the boots.

Major League Soccer

The MLS Cup playoffs continue to be played off! You may already realize that the Sounders went through to the Western Conference semifinal after a late Nelson Valdez goal.

This Roman Torres video is guaranteed to make you smile

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And it's in a Seattle Target store, which somehow makes it seem more fun.

There are surely more important things you can watch mere hours before the Seattle Sounders face Sporting KC in the MLS Playoffs, but none will make you smile quite as widely as this video of Roman Torres in a Seattle Target store.

Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City, MLS Cup Playoffs: Game time, TV schedule and live stream for knockout round

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FOX Sports 1 and UniMas are both covering the match starting at 7 PM. Kickoff will be closer to 7:25 PM. Arrive early. Stay loud. There could be Extra Time and kicks from the spot.

It's been a long time since Brian Schmetzer beat a KC MLS team. It was 2008, in the US Open Cup, when the Seattle Sounders advanced on penalties (6-5 in 7 rounds) due to Zach Scott.

Sounders vs. Sporting KC, lineups: Same as it always was

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Both Sounders and Sporting reuse lineups from Decision Day.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That seems to be the philosophy of both Brian Schmetzer and Peter Vermes as the respective head coaches of the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City will be using starting lineups identical to the ones that got them wins on Decision Day.

Nelson Valdez scores first goal in a year in 88th minute against KC

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In a remarkable sequence of events, Nelson Valdez latched onto a Joevin Jones cross in the 88th minute and powerfully headed it into the back of the net. This was his first goal in MLS play in nearly a year, when he scored against LA in the 2015 knockout round.

Sounders vs. Sporting KC recap: Nelson Valdez to the rescue

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Valdez scores his first MLS goal in almost exactly one year.

Nelson Valdez picked quite a time to score his first MLS goal of 2016. The much-criticized forward scored a glancing header off a Joevin Jones cross in the 88th minute to lift the Seattle Sounders to a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Playoffs Knockout Round on Thursday.

Nelson Valdez’s emotional goal celebration was THE BEST

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I'm not crying, you're crying. OK we're both crying.

Throughout the year, Nelson Valdez's teammates and coaches have stood behind him. Proclaiming that it was just a matter of time until he scored. But with each successive game, the pressure only seemed to build.

The release came on Thursday in a massive moment.

Benny Feilhaber gave the saltiest interview ever

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The Sporting KC midfielder goes full sarcasm.

Benny Feilhaber was clearly not very happy during Sporting KC's 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, at one point picking up a yellow card for going after referee Ismail Elfath and then going after him again at the final whistle.

By the time reporters got to the locker room, though, he had calmed down.

Scouting Report: Sporting Kansas City

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The Sounders face a very familiar foe in this year's knockout round match

After their Decision Day victory of Real Salt Lake, the Seattle Sounders face Sporting Kansas City in their first match of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs. This is a knockout round, which means there is no second leg, and the winner progresses to the conference semi-finals.

Presumptive Head Coach Brian Schmetzer addressing the fans

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In a speech to the Sounders and to the fans throughout the world.

Tonight, after thirty-four hard-fought contests, our second season begins.

Ten months have passed since we first stood together on the fields of Starfire in Tukwila, Washington. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard.

Major Link Soccer: Toronto FC Finally Won a Playoff Match

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LA's victory over Real Salt Lake means that the winner of Seattle-KC will play FC Dallas in the next round.

Seattle

The Sounders will face Sporting Kansas City tonight in their first playoff match of the season. For coverage of that match, click pretty much any other link on the Sounder At Heart front page.

Lodeiro prepared “to leave it all out there for the club” in playoffs

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No stranger to big games, the Uruguayan is more than ready for his first MLS Cup playoff match

The Seattle Sounders' signing of Uruguayan midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro in July was one of the catalysts of the team's remarkable turnaround. Their 4th place finish and playoff qualification seemed quite impossible, but the arrival of Lodeiro changed everything.

MLS Playoff preview: Every Western Conference team has a fatal flaw

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Yes, that includes the Sounders, but the field is also ripe for an upstart.

One of the longtime explanations for the Seattle Sounders' repeated inability to advance to the MLS Cup final has been the strength of the competition. The West has been the power conference in MLS over the past decade-plus, producing 9 of 11 champions.

MLS Playoffs Day 1. How to Watch, TV and Streaming Listings

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A streak will end today, neither Toronto FC or the Philadelphia Union have ever won an MLS Playoff game. That and the LA Galaxy host Real Salt Lake. Three Big Storylines, TV and Streaming Listing and From a Sounders Point of View. Here is your Sounder at Heart MLS Playoffs Day 1 Gamethread

(author's note: This space has been home to a weekly MLS preview and open thread throughout the regular season, let's stick with that format as we head into the playoffs.

Tyrone Mears fined by MLS Disciplinary Committee

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The Englishman was lucky to avoid a one game ban in the incident with Joao Plata.

Seattle Sounders right back Tyrone Mears learned on Wednesday that he has been fined by the MLS Disciplinary Committee. He was fined for violating the league's policy regarding hands to the face/head/neck of an opponent.

WhoScored.com crowns Osvaldo Alonso best midfielder in 2016

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Only Sebastian Giovinco had a higher season-long rating.

We know the season just ended and the playoffs are around the corner, literally. Some websites are putting together their regular season awards and the Seattle Sounders have one player already named to a Best XI.

Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso has been named to WhoScored.

Seattle Sounders vs Sporting Kansas City: Three Questions

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FoxSports 1 and UniMás are simulcasting the 7 PM Thursday the 27th match. It is also on both English and Spanish radio in Seattle.

Seattle Sounders FC start their eighth straight MLS Cup Playoffs with a match against Sporting KC. On a cool, wet Thursday night at 7 PM they take the field looking to do what Sporting has done - win an MLS Cup.

Nos Audietis, Episode 234: Playoffs?!?!

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Richard Farley helps us make some sense of this crazy season.

At one point in this week's show we were asked "what one word would you use to describe this season?" Our best answer: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

It has been a wild season, and it's going to continue for at least one more game. The Seattle Sounders have gone to depths they've never before experienced and managed to come out of it in reasonably good shape as they'll be hosting a Knockout Round game.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Player ratings

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With their backs against the wall, Seattle came out firing at home against RSL, scoring an early goal from some inspired connections in the attack. Although they almost immediately gave up a tying goal, Seattle remained on the front foot and eventually scored a second, which was enough to win the game 2-1.

Major Link Soccer: Playoffs are Here

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MLS knock out round begins tonight, Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro are up for end of year awards, Happy 16th Birthday to my son Vincenzo be safe on the roads, and Goals of the Week.

Major League Soccer

The MLS playoffs kick off tonight with Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union in the east, and LA Galaxy vs.

Seattle Sounders vs Sporting KC, MLS Cup Playoffs: News, injury updates, highlights, analysis

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FoxSports 1 and UniMas are both carrying the match between two of MLS better defensive teams.The Seattle Sounders enter the play-in round as one of the hottest teams in the league. Sporting KC qualified for the playoffs, but just have three wins since August 1st. First kick is shortly after 7 PM. Your voice should be gone by 9.

Lagerwey: I have enjoyed working with Brian and we prefer to keep him in place

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Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey held a Facebook Live chat on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Seattle Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey held a Facebook live chat. He was asked various questions throughout the 12 minute chat but I have highlighted a few for you here.

When he was asked what are the factor that will go into the decision about the head coaching position and Brian Schmetzer, Lagerwey had this to say.

Sounders face long odds to win first MLS Cup

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ESPN's SPI favors Sounders over Sporting KC, but at just 7 percent to win it all.

If you didn't know by now, the Seattle Sounders are set to host a knockout round match in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs against Sporting Kansas City on Thursday at CenturyLink Field. According to ESPN's Paul Carr, the Sounders are the more favored, with a 65% chance of winning and eliminating Sporting Kansas City.

Jordan Morris will be the Rookie of the Year, as he should be

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Only Keegan Rosenberry is close, but being best defender on a bad defense isn't a great look.

Comparing a goal-scoring forward to rarely attacking right back is a fool's errand, but it is the errand that any of Major League Soccer's awards voters must complete. The candidates for Rookie of the Year are limited to a player on their first professional contract—essentially Homegrown Players and recent draftees.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Community player ratings form

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A little banged up, missing a DP, against some pretty long odds, the Sounders have made their way to the playoffs, and even earned a home knockout match. But this last match made things a little more nervy than they needed to be, thanks to an immediate tying goal early on gave RSL hope.

So how did the individual players fare in this one?

Using magic to predict the MLS Cup Playoffs

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Forget about those other 34 games. These are the only ones that matter. Whoever wins will be etched into history forever.

Another season, another MLS Cup Playoffs appearance for the Seattle Sounders. This time around though, this appearance in the playoffs was practically a gimme. We knew we'd make it this whole time.

Play the MLS Bracket Challenge with Sounder at Heart

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SounderatHeart's Playoff Dancing League has started, join us and make your picks

The 2016 MLS Playoffs are almost underway, and there are a few more things you need to do to get prepared. First, stay hydrated. This is good practice in general, but with the tension and excitement of the playoffs (not to mention the drinking and the eating), you'll want to be in top shape.

Sounders to play in 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup

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The Sounders will join Charleston Battery, Columbus Crew and Atlanta United in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

We know the Seattle Sounders will spend at least some of their 2017 preseason in Tucson. We've now learned the team will also head East to take part in the 2017 Carolina Challenge Cup.

Let's count the sweet moves in the buildup to Flaco's goal

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NBD, just your average backheel-to-cross-to-backheel tap-in

It's now almost 48 hours since Alvaro Fernandez scored his first goal since rejoining the Seattle Sounders, and I can't stop thinking about that gorgeous buildup. Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer called it "probably the best team goal we scored this year", and that still feels like an understatement.

Schmetzer praises Ozzie Alonso’s form and fitness

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The Sounders coach said that "everything has come together" for the veteran midfielder.

Even though the Seattle Sounders are favored to win their first playoff match of 2016 against Sporting Kansas City, it's definitely not a sure thing. Sporting won both matchups between the sides during the regular season, including the 3-0 drubbing that will forever be known as the tipping point of Sigi Schmid's tenure with the club.

Making the playoffs is just business as usual

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Just because everyone wrote them off a few months ago didn't mean the Sounders were about to break tradition and celebrate their equivalent of paying bills on time.

Over the last couple months, raucous postgame celebrations have become sort of the Seattle Sounders' thing. Led mostly by resident DJ Roman Torres, victories are often followed by blaring music and even dancing.

PRO announces referee assignment for Sounders match

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Ismail Elfath will be the man in charge for the match against Sporting Kansas City.

We know who the Seattle Sounders are taking on in the Knockout Round of the MLS Playoffs. We also know who will be the man in charge of the game: Ismail Elfath. He will be joined by Peter Manikowski (AR1), Corey Parker (AR2) and Ricardo Salazar (4th).

Sounders lead MLS in attendance, again

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The Sounders failed to break their own attendance record, but still led MLS to another one.

Once again, your Seattle Sounders finish the season at the top of the table in regards to overall attendance. The Sounders averaged 42,636 per game across 17 home matches this season. Though it's a slight drop compared to last year where the average was 44,247 for the season.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake: Highlights, stats and quotes

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"We needed to win that game because the last two results we had weren't wins and we needed to get into the playoffs on our own, so [that] we didn't have to rely on anybody else, because we take responsibility for our actions" -Brian Schmetzer

The Seattle Sounders made the right decision on #DecisionDay, holding on to defeat Real Salt Lake 2-1 at home.

Major Link Soccer: Decision Day Fallout

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The dust has settled, the comeback is complete, and now we need to figure out where the heck we go from here

Seattle

Now that the comeback is complete, FourFourTwo is free to talk about the Seattle Sounders' turnaround under Brian Schmetzer, and the goals that lie ahead.

Seattle University's men's soccer program won their 14th straight home match in a 3-0 shutout of University of Texas RGV.

How to watch or attend every MLS Cup Playoff game

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Sounders vs. Sporting KC one of four play-in games.

After an exciting #DecisionDay, MLS released the Audi 2016 MLS Playoffs schedule. It does look like the schedule should only affect one potential Sounders game. If all goes the Sounders way, and they end up in the Conference finals (knock on wood), and Seattle is the lower seed, the game would have to be changed due to a Seahawks game on the same day.

Brian Schmetzer’s postgame speech: ‘We’re not finished yet’

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This is only the beginning of the journey.

The mood in the Seattle Sounders' locker room was not one of celebration or even relief. Rather, it looked like a team that had accomplished the first step of what they hope is a longer journey.

After giving Zach Scott one more congratulation, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer immediately turned the focus to what's next: getting ready for Thursday's Knockout Round playoff game against Sporting Kansas City.

Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake, recap: PLAYOFFS!

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Sounders will host Sporting Kansas City in first round after beating RSL.

A season that saw the Seattle Sounders 10 points out of playoff position at one point will end with their eighth straight season and at least one home game. Alvaro Fernandez and Cristian Roldan each scored first-half goals as the Sounders topped Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Sunday.

Cristian Roldan scores to make it 2-1 Sounders

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Decision Day is already living up to the hype in Seattle, thanks to the third goal of the match courtesy of Cristian Roldan. After Roman Torres' powerful header was blocked at close range by Nick Rimando, Roldan pounced on the follow-up to tap it in for the Sounders' go-ahead goal.

ECS honors Zach Scott with one final tifo

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This is the third time during the MLS era that Scott has been the subject of a tifo.

Zach Scott will be hanging up the boots after 15 seasons with the Seattle Sounders. The veteran center back was honored in a pregame ceremony that included his receiving of a golden scarf as well as a wonderful tifo by ECS.

Mulholland ties it up for RSL minutes after Flaco goal

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Just minutes after Flaco's opening goal for Seattle, Real Salt Lake charged down the field and took advantage of some defensive miscues from the Sounders that allowed Luke Mulholland to deflect his shot past Stefan Frei and into the net to make it 1-1.

Flaco opens the scoring for Seattle

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The Sounders kicked things off in style against RSL with an excellent team goal that included backheel passes from both Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris, with Alvaro "Flaco" Fernandez putting the ball in the back of the net in the 3rd minute.

Ozzie returns to the starting XI for Decision Day

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Even though it's no surprise, Osvaldo Alonso's return to the Sounders' starting XI for the final match of the regular season is absolutely crucial. His red card against the Houston Dynamo meant that he served a one match suspension against FC Dallas last weekend. Other than Alonso, the rest of the starting lineup is the same as it was in Dallas.

It's called "How to be Mr. Sounder!"

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and no one does it better

We're #HYPE for the end of the season, but its bittersweet to see Zach Scott playing his last home regular season match as a Sounder. But he's our Mr. Sounder, our #ZSMM, and he always will be.

MLS Watercolorist / @mlswatercolors

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Game time, TV schedule and live stream for MLS match thirty-four

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ESPN starts coverage at 1 PM. Kickoff will be closer to 1:25 PM. Arrive early. Stay loud.

In front of an amped crowd of 50,000 or so, the Seattle Sounders will attempt to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs - again. This Sunday's 1 PM kickoff will mark the third straight match Seattle could ensure qualification for the postseason.

For Schmetzer, For Our Future

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I come to you today asking you for a simple thing - a loud thing.

Susie Rantz

Friends,

I come to you today asking you for a simple thing - a loud thing. I come today asking you to sing, asking you to clap, asking you to scream as you've never screamed. I come asking you to stand for a Full 90.

Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: Three Questions

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Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives, but only one is on good form heading towards the second season.

There are paths to the playoffs that do not involve a win for Seattle Sounders or for Real Salt Lake. Both teams would much rather not have to worry about the scoreboard in the Vancouver-Portland and KC-San Jose matches.

Breaking down Sounders’ playoff scenarios

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A win really simplifies things.

Here we are again. For the third time in as many games, the Seattle Sounders can punch their postseason tickets by winning. This time it's Real Salt Lake standing in the Sounders' way.

It's not literally a win-or-go-home match for the Sounders, but it may as well be.

Major Link Soccer: NASL isn't shocked by a club exodus

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NASL Commissioner isn't exactly surprised that there's an exodus of clubs, shouldn't that scare them?

American Soccer

If you thought the new CONCACAF format would eliminate US-Mexico matches, think again. President Montagliani would like that to never end.

Lauren Holiday was an incredible player especially at the World Cup for USWNT, since soccer the new mom underwent brain surgery and was successful there too.

Zach Scott says that Sunday’s celebrations are “a bit bizarre”

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Mr. Sounder doesn't know why everyone is making it such a big deal.

The moment has finally come for Seattle Sounders legend Zach Scott, who is retiring at the end of the season after 14 years with the club, both in USL and MLS. The organization has big things planned for Scott's final regular season home match on Sunday, but the man they call Mr.

Schmetzer identifies midfield battle as crucial to victory against RSL

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The Sounders coach stressed that it's not just about Alonso versus Beckerman, but rather how the entire midfield matches up

As the Sounders find themselves in a similar position to last season—facing Real Salt Lake on the final matchday needing to win—head coach Brian Schmetzer is confident in his team's chances.

Decision Day 2016 Mini-Hype Trailer

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"There are two types of beings in the universe - those that dance and those that do not."

These playoffs won't make themselves.

Sounders vs Real Salt Lake: News, injury updates, highlights, analysis

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On Sunday the 23rd of October the Seattle Sounders can make history. They can be one of only three MLS clubs to make the MLS Cup Playoffs in eight straight seasons (Galaxy have done it twice, Revolution once). Their opponent is one of the few that can claim the level of success that Seattle's had from 2009 to the present - Real Salt Lake.

Major Link Soccer: UEFA open to a Champions League final in New York

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The European governing body is talking about opening up the bidding process for hosting rights. Meanwhile, an American is charged in the ongoing FIFA corruption case.

FIFA/World

The Department of Justice continues its prosecution of fraud and racketeering conspiracy charges related to bribes paid to FIFA and other groups to secure marketing rights for major tournaments.

Sounders will preseason in Tucson, again

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Even as the 2016 season marches on, Seattle Sounders FC are making plans to begin their 2017 campaign. They will once again head down to Tucson for a portion of their 2017 preseason to take part in the Desert Friendlies as one of seven MLS clubs participating, along with Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City, San Jose Earthquakes, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, and a final team to be announced later.

Sounders encourage fans to arrive early for Fan Appreciation Day

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Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the match against Real Salt Lake.

Seattle Sounders FC take on Real Salt Lake in a critical match this Sunday on "Decision Day", and they are encouraging fans to arrive early for Fan Appreciation Day festivities. There will be an array of activities occurring before kickoff and during the match, both in and out of the stadium.

Osvaldo Alonso’s suspension will not be extended

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There was some talk that the Disciplinary Committee could add games to his suspension, but Alonso says that he's available against Real Salt Lake

After a tussle with Houston Dynamo's Will Bruin last week, Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was sent off for violent conduct. Alonso served the automatic punishment for such an offense, a one-match ban, against FC Dallas last Sunday.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas: Player Ratings

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After predicting a road win in Dallas, I looked pretty smart for almost 80 minutes. Unfortunately, a combination of poor play, missing players, and some suspect refereeing combined to see the mighty Sounders drop points in a game that they led, a first for the Schmetzer era. A resilient Dallas team that demonstrated, in the second half, why they are in the driver's seat for the Supporters shield, earned the 1-2 final score.

USA v. Switzerland: Lineups, schedule, how to watch

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Seattle Reign FC's Merritt Mathias got her first call-up, and could feature in the 18.

After an early exit in the 2016 Olympics, the U.S. Women's National Team is looking to rebuild — and a number of fresh faces should make their debut tonight when the U.S. face Switzerland in an international friendly.

S2 hoping to discover talent in North Carolina

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S2 will be holding their first open tryout of the offseason from November 17-19 in North Carolina.

S2 announced on Wednesday that they will be holding an open tryout in North Carolina from November 17-19 with their official youth partner Twin City Youth Soccer Association. This will be held in addition to clinics and coaching workshops.

Major Link Soccer - Timbers Exit CCL

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The Timbers are out along with Sporting Kansas City, the US Women defeated Switzerland, and more talk of hemispheric tournaments.

CCL

The Portland Timbers stumbled out of the CONCACAF Champions League with a 1-1 draw at home vs. Cosa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa.

Sporting Kansas City was already mathematically eliminated from the CCL tournament, but a side comprising mostly of their reserves still pulled off a 3-1 victory over Central FC in their final appearance.

Nos Audietis, Episode 233: Interview with a Twitter vampire

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Jason Greenwood has become notorious for transforming into soccer journalists, just for laughs.

Last time we recorded we were talking about the Seattle Sounders needing a win to secure their spot in the playoffs. Two matches later, they still need the same thing.

This isn't an ideal position for the Sounders to find themselves in, but considering the situation a couple months ago it's definitely progress.

Even Simon Borg agrees: Gomez’s goal should have counted

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This won't come as a huge surprise.

This is unlikely to make anyone feel remotely better about Herculez Gomez's waved off goal from Sunday, but we can now take some level in solace in the knowledge that even Simon Borg thinks the goal should have stood.

Whether or not the goal would have ultimately changed the outcome of the game is, of course, still very much open for debate as it was quite early in the match.

Reign Waive Cruz, Extend Eleven Contracts

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Seattle's roster remains largely intact (for now) as they waive a reserve defender onto the NWSL Re-Entry Wire.

The first big roster movement of the NWSL offseason came today, as teams announced the players they'd make available for the Re-Entry Wire (a.k.a. waivers). The announcements also included full details of which players were still under contract, which had options exercised, which were allocated, and which were out of contract but offered new deals.

You can definitely afford Zach Scott testimonial tickets

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Tickets run from $10.20 to $50

Zach Scott, marker of men, King of Our Land, Soccer Lord of Maui, is retiring. Whether his final match as a Sounder is Sunday against Real Salt Lake, as a sub in the loss to Dallas, or maybe in the playoffs, there will be one final time to see Zach Scott play soccer.

Major Link Soccer: Playoffs are Calling

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Seattle sits in a familiar position going into the last game of the season, changes in the US Mexico rivalry, World Cup expansion, and Goals of the Week.

Seattle

It feels like deja-vu for the Seattle Sounders as they head into the last game of the season against Real Salt Lake needing a win to make the playoffs.

Zach Scott will be immortalized with a bobblehead

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Let's not get too wrapped up in how accurate it is.

There are those who believe Zach Scott should eventually be immortalized with a statue outside of CenturyLink Field. While that may never come to pass, he will have the next best thing: a bobblehead. The first 20,000 people to come through the turnstiles for Sunday's season finale will receive one.

Sounders Academy midfielder called to US Youth Team

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Azriel Gonzalez will join the US U16s at the Val-de-Marne Tournament in France

One Seattle Sounders Academy player is among the 20 boys called to the United States U16 Boys National Team for the upcoming tournament. At Val-de-Marne the US will face England, Russia and France. Azriel Gonzalez is currently with the Sounders U16s where he's started four times in the young USSDA season.

Schmetzer: “I would consider it a failure if we don’t win the MLS Cup.”

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The playoffs are just a means to an end for the Sounders coach.

After twice failing to secure their place in the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs in the last week, the Seattle Sounders kicked off a week of hard work to prepare for the final day of the season on Sunday against Real Salt Lake. Head coach Brian Schmetzer said he "would have liked to be in a slightly more advantageous position, but it is what it is.

Laura Harvey Signs Contract Extension

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Reign FC head coach & general manager stays for four more years.

Seattle Reign FC's offseason news keeps on rolling as today the team announced that head coach and general manager Laura Harvey signed a four-year contract extension. The deal will keep Harvey in total control of the club through the 2020 season.

Sounders vs. Dallas - Aftermatch Aftermath: The Geiger Effect

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If MLS referees were in charge of other aspects of your daily life, you'd probably be dead.

On Sunday, the Seattle Sounders traveled to Texas to play the FC Dallas of Frisco, and in doing so they lost in agonizing fashion. It was a loss where the Sounders were once winning. It was a loss where questionable refereeing dominated the post-game headlines.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas: Community player ratings form

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Are you sick of rating yet? Of course not. The voice of the people must be heard, and it's good to get as much voting practice in as possible before a major election in November.

So, consider the double-edged sword of Tyrone Mears, who both drew the free kick that Nico Lodeiro scored on and committed the foul that led to a Dallas set piece goal.

Major Link Soccer: EPL viewership way down in 2016

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Like the NFL, fewer people are watching the big-time sports this year.

MLS

Brian Schmetzer may not be the best-dressed coach in MLS but he surely tries harder than Sigi. Go vote in MLSsoccer's bracket, at least to make sure Caleb "Smugface" Porter doesn't win.

The Vancouver Whitecaps were a trendy dark-horse MLS Cup candidate headed into the year but the team seems far from competing for silverware outside of Canada.

Loss to FC Dallas still stings a day later

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But Sounders still have No. 4 playoff spot well within reach.

A day later, the loss still stings a bit. Despite going into the FC Dallas road match knowing that a loss was the most predictable outcome, and the knowledge that the Seattle Sounders very much control their own fate regardless, blowing a late lead never feels good.

Alexi Lalas goes in depth with Sigi Schmid

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Not a ton of new revelations, but we do get a bit more detail on Schmid's view of his dismissal.

Say what you will about Alexi Lalas and his personality, the way he calls a game, or his success as a GM in the league, when he talks to people about the game one on one, he's usually quite good.

80s nostalgia and brief nudity? What else could you want in a Tacoma Stars promo

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Yes, that's Elliot Fauske singing "What a feelin', keep believin'" while in the shower.

The Tacoma Stars reject your notions of modern fun. They refuse to acknowledge that they are a suburban team, embracing their roots in the City of Destiny. Most of all, the Tacoma Stars want to remind you of simpler times, fun times, good times.

Players and fans will miss Kim Little

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Surprise, a lot of people love the former MVP

Reign FC fans had a not-so-kind start to their Monday (ban Mondays?) with the news of midfielder Kim Little being transferred to Arsenal Ladies. On Reign FC's Twitter account, their tweet of the announcement included the hashtag #ThanksKim and it's no surprise there's a lot of congratulations and well wishes albeit mixed with sadness.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas: Highlights, stats, and quotes

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"The team is determined. The coaching staff is determined. We want to make sure we push ourselves over the line in a positive way." -Brian Schmetzer

Sunday's 2-1 loss in Frisco, Texas was disappointing on many levels, but the Sounders also showed they are very capable of getting a results away from home against one of the top teams in the West.

Chad Marshall expected to be fine for RSL

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Sounders center back forced out of game in 63rd minute with ankle injury.

Almost as frustrating as the Seattle Sounders' 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on Sunday was that the final 30 or so minutes were played without center back Chad Marshall, who left in the 63rd minute with an apparent ankle injury.

World’s top women’s player moving back to Arsenal

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Kim Little will leave Seattle Reign after three highly successful seasons.

All good things must come to an end. Seattle Reign FC fans are feeling this in full force today, as the club announced midfielder Kim Little will be returning to Arsenal Ladies FC of the FA Women's Super League (FAWSL) in England on a multi-year contract.

Major League Standings: Matchday 33

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Sounders can still host a playoff game with a win against RSL, but a win this week would've been nicer.

Well that was fun, ten games in one day. Two time slots, five matches in each as the season winds down. Matchday 33 packed a punch, but the Sounders failed to capitalize on the opportunity to clinch a spot—and a home game—in the playoffs.

ESPN picks up Real Salt Lake at Seattle Sounders Decision Day match

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ESPN2 will do a whiparound show checking into every match of the day.

The final match of 2016 means everything for Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake. The winner advances to the MLS Cup Playoffs and the loser could very well be done. Both teams are stocked with talent. Seattle is a great soccer environment, particularly with a full stadium match.

Major Link Soccer: Diaz done for the season

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Also, the first and second draft picks for the Expansion draft and MLS SuperDraft have been established.

Seattle

Despite a short distance between them, Seattle and Vancouver don't have many tangible links. That may change after the leaders of Washington and British Columbia came together to create the "Cascadia Innovation Corridor.

Sounders at FC Dallas 2016, recap: Carlos Ruiz ruins everything

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Seattle fails to qualify for playoffs as Dallas wins 2-1.

Qualification for the MLS Cup Playoffs will wait another week as FC Dallas beat Seattle Sounders FC 2-1. Schmetzer's men gave up a one-goal lead at half losing on a set-piece goal and a brilliant goal by Guatemalan vampire Carlos Ruiz.

Nicolas Lodeiro puts Sounders up in 41st minute

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Tyrone Mears won't earn the assist, but he's the reason the shot happened.

After an interchange between Nicolas Lodeiro and Tyrone Mears the right back drove in at a dangerous angle. Carlos Gruezo earned a yellow taking Mears down. That set-up Lodeiro to do what Lodeiro do, and he did it so well.

Sigi Schmid: Schmetzer deserves to be Sounders head coach

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Sigi had some kind words for his successor in Seattle while in the ESPN studio

Former Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid is in the studio for ESPN for today's MLS matches, and he had some kind words for his successor and former assistant:

"Brian Schmetzer deserves the job.

Sounders at FC Dallas, lineup: Alavro Fernandez and Erik Friberg inserted

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Torres takes the captain's armband.

With a few key starters out head coach Brian Schmetzer looks to Erik Friberg to defend in the midfield partnership with Cristian Roldan. The wide attackers are Herculez Gomez and Alvaro Fernandez, already back from his hamstring injury. Joevin Jones is back to his regular starting role.

Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas: Game time, TV schedule and live stream for MLS match thirty-three

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JOEtv and Univision-Seattle have the 2 PM broadcast. Watch with us.

Without the services of Alonso, Dempsey, Ivanschitz and Remick the Seattle Sounders head to Frisco, Texas for a key match. If they win they advance to the MLS Cup Playoffs. If they lose they will need help, or to win at home next Sunday.

MLS Weekend, How to Watch MLS in Week 33. TV and Streaming Listings

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It's the penultimate weekend in MLS. Two blocks of five games being played simultaneously with the Supporters' Shield, Golden Boot and playoffs on the line. Three Big Storylines, National TV and Streaming Listings and From a Sounders Point of View. Here is your Sounder at Heart Week 33 Gamethread

Three Big Storylines:
  1. MLS has changed the schedule for the last two weeks of the season for this year.

Seattle Sounders vs. FC Dallas: News, injury updates, highlights, analysis

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With a win Seattle (13-13-5) advances to playoffs for their eighth straight year. With a win FC Dallas (16-8-8) keeps their hopes of the Supporters' Shield alive. JOEtv and Univision-Seattle are broadcasting the 2 PM match.

The hamstring (also known as the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles if you want to sound fancy) is notorious for its variability in how injuries affect players.

Sounders playoff scenarios: Still lots of possibilities

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Fourth is still very much in reach as long as Sounders can get one more win.

In some kind of weird, twisted way it makes sense that the Seattle Sounders seem insistent on making playoff qualification more complicated than it needed to be.

The common thinking for at least a couple months has been if they could figure out a way to steal a few points on the road that they'd be fine as long as they won at home.

Sounders vs. Dynamo, ratings: Stefan Frei stands out

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Goalkeeper was biggest reason Sounders salvaged at least a point.

For the first time the Brian Schmetzer Orchestra failed to get a result that many of us had penciled in as 3 points. With Morris and Lodeiro back from international duty and a fairly healthy team the midweek home match against bottom dwelling Houston had win written all over it leading up to the game.

Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas: Three Questions

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JOEtv and Univision-Seattle are broadcasting the 2 PM game on Sunday the 16th of October.

Both teams have a lot to play for in the final two weeks of the regular season. FC Dallas can still win the Supporters' Shield. They just need the Rapids to drop points and to catch Colorado. Seattle Sounders can clinch the playoffs with a win or if the Portland Timbers do not win against the Rapids.

Major Link Soccer: Canadian league forming

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The prospective league would play at one tier below MLS, keeping the current slate of Canadian MLS teams in place.

MLS/NWSL:

With LAFC's impending expansion, it may seem that California is filling up it's MLS quota with three teams, but in actuality, there is more than enough room for future teams in the golden state.

Sounders among global giants in fantasy kit collection

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Give the designs this: They definitely qualify as fantasy.

Fantasy kit designs are definitely a mixed bag. When they at least have some sort of theme, they can be interesting. But done merely has a creative outlet? Very much a "your mileage may very" situation.

That brings us to the crop of designs done by someone going by settpace on Instagram.

Several S2 prospects could make MLS leap next year

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These six were all signed to USL contracts in 2016.

One of the promises of Sounders 2 was bringing players into the first team. A few players have earned their way from USL to MLS. They've done so as draftees (Tony Alfaro), Homegrown Players (Aaron Kovar) and international discoveries (Oalex Anderson).

Nos Audietis, Episode 232: An interview with Pete Fewing

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With the short week, we weren't able to do a full episode. We did however get a chance to talk to Seattle U men's soccer coach and Sounders broadcast analyst Pete Fewing. We figured now would be as good a time as any to share that interview.

If you don't know, Fewing is a Seattle soccer original.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Community player ratings form

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A draw wasn't enough to secure a playoff spot, but it does continue an impressive unbeaten streak and adds to the pile of points the Seattle Sounders have amassed at the end of the regular season. How do you rate the players' individual performances in this one?

We saw the best and the worst of Ozzie Alonso in this match.

Major Link Soccer: Top clubs of northern Europe consider new 'Atlantic League'

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Perennial champions from smaller leagues say changes to the Champions League will cut them out. The Rapids are in the driver's seat for the Supporters' Shield. Chelsea and Nike are under new contract through 2032.

Europe/England/FIFA

Top clubs from Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium are discussing a potential new league made of the top teams from each of those country's domestic competitions, according to the director of FC Copenhagen.

Sounders Academy alum launches rocket for UCLA

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Seyi Adekoya also picked up an assist in win.

If you've been paying any kind of attention to Sounders Academy alums in college, you're probably aware of Seyi Adekoya. The UCLA junior scored 12 goals last year and is generally considered one of the better MLS prospects in college right now.

Well, this year has not been quite the statistical explosion of last year, but he scored an absolute golazo in Thursday's 4-3 win over Cal Berkley.

Andreas Ivanschitz could miss rest of season

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Sounders midfielder suffers knee sprain, already ruled out for Dallas game and "doubtful" for Real Salt Lake.

Seattle Sounders midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz was forced to come off early in Wednesday's match against the Houston Dynamo, for what has been identified as a head coach Brian Schmetzer deemed a "slight knee sprain.

When is Alvaro Fernandez coming back?

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A discussion about hamstrings and injuries effecting the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles.

The hamstring (also known as the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscles if you want to sound fancy) is notorious for its variability in how injuries affect players.

The two sides of Osvaldo Alonso

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We love him for the player he is, but he also drives us crazy.

It is no secret that Osvaldo Alonso plays on the edge. He had done a better job of controlling himself recently, but he's never been one to back from a challenge. That's what we love him. That's what has prompted us to give him nicknames like "El Corazon" or "Honey Badger.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Highlights, stats and quotes

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"The conversation in the locker room was determined. We are going to go to Dallas and try to get a result. We won't give up – things happen. We control certain things we need to work on and we've got training tomorrow." - Brian Schmetzer

Though Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris returned for the Wednesday night game against the Houston Dynamo, injuries, suspensions and callups still left the lineup a little thin for Seattle Sounders FC.

Sigi Schmid to join ESPN as studio analyst

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Schmid will be in the studio the next two weekends, but is still looking for a coaching job.

After his "mutual parting of ways" with the Sounders in July, former head coach Sigi Schmid has laid fairly low as he searches for the next step in his career. It seems he found that next step, even if it's a short-term one: as an in-studio analyst, first for ESPN's MLS coverage this weekend, and then for the league's streaming coverage of the last day of the regular season.

Major Link Soccer: Mix Accepts Abby's Challenge

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And now the LA Galaxy are planting women's soccer roots

Seattle

It's no secret that Lodeiro had an immediate impact when he joined the Sounders. ESPN has quotes from Garth Lagerway discussing the science and the art of rapidly integrating players into your team.

Despite last night's result, Brian Schmetzer's tenure as interim coach has been overwhelming successful.

It’s called: “Cyclones only make Seattle sunshine stronger!”

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and more hugs, please

So there's a storm coming. So what? The Sounders are here for soccer and hugs and the rest is just details.

Good MLS Watercolors / @MLSwatercolors

Naho Kawasumi loaned to INAC Kobe

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She is expected to return to Seattle Reign FC in 2017.

While other players may be looking for loan spells in Australia and abroad to keep in shape during the excruciatingly long NWSL offseason, Seattle Reign FC's Naho Kawasumi will be keeping busy in Japan this fall. Seattle Reign FC confirmed today that Naho was loaned out to INAC Kobe for the remainder of the Nadeshiko League season.

Seattle Sounders vs Houston Dynamo: Game time, TV schedule and live stream for MLS match thirty-two

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JOEtv and ROOT Sports (outside of Seattle) have the 7:30 PM broadcast. Watch with us.

If the Seattle Sounders win their Wednesday night (7:30 PM, JOEtv/ROOT) match against the Houston Dynamo they will qualify for their eighth straight playoff appearance. That would tie New England for the second longest MLS Playoff streak all time (LA is 1st with 10) and tie the LA Galaxy for the longest active streak at eight years.

Sounders vs. Dynamo, lineups: Tony Alfaro gets first MLS start

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Rookie had come off bench five times.

Tony Alfaro will receive his first-ever MLS start, as the Seattle Sounders top four options at left back were all unavailable for Wednesday's game against the Houston Dynamo.

Alfaro had played five times previously, including back-to-back games on May 28 and June 1 in which he was a first-half injury replacement, but he's never played left back in MLS.

Alonso sees red against Houston

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Osvaldo Alonso, captain for the night in place of Brad Evans, was sent off against the Houston Dynamo in the 64th minute after a scuffle with Will Bruin. Replays showed that both players were taking swipes at each other, but the referee judged Alonso's actions as worthy of a red card and sending off.

Sounders vs. Dynamo Recap: Scoreless tie not enough to clinch playoff spot

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Sounders play final 26 minutes down a man after Osvaldo Alonso is red carded.

With a chance to secure a playoff berth with a win, the Seattle Sounders couldn't figure out how to find the back of the net.

Despite 15 shots, including seven on frame, the Sounders couldn't beat the Dynamo's Joe Willis and were forced to settle for a 0-0 tie on Wednesday.

Sounders left back Dylan Remick unavailable due to concussion

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With both Remick and Joevin Jones unavailable, Tony Alfaro could start

Due to Joevin Jones being on international duty on Tuesday, Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer knew he'd need to find a replacement for the match against the Houston Dynamo. The assumption was that Dylan Remick, who has been the backup for Jones most of the season, would be in the starting XI.

Major Link Soccer: Win and You're In

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Brian Schmetzer is driving his team straight to the playoffs. With a win against Houston the Sounders will clinch a playoff spot and maintain their 100% post season appearance record.

Seattle

In this particular instance Jordan Morris is "OK" with the club before country stance, especially when the club can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

Sounders health update: Andreas Ivanschitz at full strength

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Schmetzer didn't say who would be replacing Joevin Jones, but whoever it is "I have 100% confidence in"

Even though the Seattle Sounders head into Wednesday's match against the Houston Dynamo with a chance to clinch the playoffs, head coach Brian Schmetzer doesn't care to look at it in any particular context other than it's a match the Sounders are playing to win—just like any other.

USA vs. New Zealand, 2016 live stream: Kickoff time, TV Schedule and how to watch online

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The USMNT host New Zealand in the final game before playing Mexico in The Hex. Plus all the other Sounders in action across the FIFA date as Caribbean Cup Qualifying wraps up. This is your Sounder at Heart preview, gamethread and how to watch.

(author's note: With no MLS games last weekend the weekly MLS gamethread took the week off.

Sounders vs Houston Dynamo: News, injury updates, highlights, analysis

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The match between two teams unwilling to name good coaches their head coach will be on JOEtv (10/22/110) in the Seattle market and ROOT Sports in the rest of their coverage area. It is another 7:30 PM Wednesday game, so the crowd will be a bit less boisterous than is typical in Seattle. The Sounders enter the match 9-5-1 +9 at home (13-13-5 +1 overall).

Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Scouting Report

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The offense runs through Mauro Manotas. He's less than average when not facing Portland in Houston.

In each of the last two matchups (both on the road) Houston held a one-goal lead until late in the match, when the Seattle Sounders managed a pair of tying stoppage-time goals. Now, the Worst in the West will visit the Emerald City, eliminated from playoff contention and with an interim coach at the helm.

Seattle Sounders vs. Houston Dynamo: Three Questions

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Brian Schmetzer's Sounders can qualify for the playoffs with a win.

In what's been marathon ending with a steep climb the Seattle Sounders can finally see the finish line. The MLS Cup Playoffs are in sight. One more win is all it takes. Wednesday night (7:30 PM Pacific, JOEtv/ROOT Sports) against the Houston Dynamo the Sounders can qualify for another marathon - the second season.

Major Link Soccer: Klinnsman denies vying for US job

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The USMNT gets one last chance to tinker before World Cup Qualifying begins in November. It's also a day when you can watch from 2 AM (you missed that one) to 7:30 PM.

Seattle

Standing and singing for two hours requires a decent meal - we are blessed that CenturyLink is so close to Pioneer Square.

Nicolas Lodeiro’s return makes lineup decisions a little easier

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But head coach Brian Schmetzer hopes that Uruguayan ends his trend of yellow-card accumulation

With just three matches to go in the regular MLS season, the Seattle Sounders are one win away from clinching a spot in the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs. Of those three matches, the first is likely the easiest—in two days, they play last-place and already playoff-eliminated Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field.

Jordan Morris pleased with early return to Seattle Sounders

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"I wanted to come back and help the Sounders," he says.

Seattle felt a collective sigh of relief last weekend, as news broke that both Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro would be returning to the Sounders from international duty early and in time to play in Wednesday's crucial match against Houston.

Watch all 40 of Clint Dempsey’s Sounders goals

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It's a good reminder that Dempsey has been quite productive since signing in 2013.

We know we won't see anymore Clint Dempsey goals this year. Heck, it's at least a possibility that we'll not see anymore ever. But it's worth remembering that he's been pretty darn productive during his somewhat limited time here.

Major Link Soccer: FIFA charged with human rights violations

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Turns out bringing in migrant workers and confiscating their passports so they can't leave isn't entirely ethical.

Today is Columbus/Indigenous People's Day, and without any local pro sports teams in action yesterday (and certainly nothing else noteworthy over the weekend) I wish all of you who have the day off a peaceful, unproductive day off.

NWSL Championship: streaming, TV, schedule, and how to watch

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The Washington Spirit face the Western NY Flash in the NWSL finals, which airs on FS1 at 2 PM.

The NWSL season comes to a close today, as the Washington Spirit take on the Western New York Flash in the NWSL championship match. The final — hosted at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston — kicks off at 2:00 p.

Nicolas Lodeiro follows the Way of the Winding Path

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He is one with water, flowing downhill finding open space.

Walking to the contested field I thought of the stories of this great one. He is a new, a visitor to our land. There are legends, but now we can see with our eyes. Where others use their strength and their power this Nicolas Lodeiro is cunning, crafty, slippery.

Jordan Morris released by USMNT, likely available against Houston

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Morris was one of nine US internationals released prior to New Zealand friendly

The Washington Post's Steven Goff reported on Saturday that Jurgen Klinsmann was making some changes to the USMNT lineup for Tuesday's friendly against New Zealand, including the release of Jordan Morris to return to the Seattle Sounders.

Major Link Soccer: Ozzie Alonso speaks on the US-Cuba Friendly

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That and fourteen other stories, to include Megan Rapinoe explain why she takes a knee, as well as what she will do beyond that.

Seattle Soccer:

Yesterday's friendly versus Cuba was a watershed moment for the Soccer community across CONCACAF, and not many have as good a perspective on it as Ozzie Alonso, who spoke to FourFourTwo about the immense opportunities this will create for Cuban Soccer.

Nicolas Lodeiro will be back for Houston game, Sounders confirm

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Houston Dynamo will need to prepare for a match with Uruguayan Nico Lodeiro on the field.

Due to yellow card accumulation in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying Uruguay is releasing Nicolas Lodeiro back to Seattle Sounders FC. The club confirmed that they worked with the Uruguayan National Team to confirm Nico's availability.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Player ratings

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Watch out MLS! The Seattle Sounders have won four in a row to charge up the standings and present a solid argument for top team in the league. After a hard-fought 2-1 win in Vancouver it is apparent we are a resilient club. Missing Dempsey, Lodeiro, Ivanschitz, and losing Fernandez early were only speed bumps as once again Seattle overcame a deficit and persevered to grind out a positive result.

USMNT vs. Cuba International Friendly: Time, TV schedule and live stream

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Jordan Morris and the US men's national team heads to Cuba for a historic international friendly. This is your Sounder at Heart preview, gamethread and how to watch.

The last time the USMNT played in Cuba was 2008. Newly appointed Swansea City manager Bob Bradley was the coach and Clint Dempsey scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in World Cup Qualifying.

Sounders won’t appeal Evans red card

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GM Garth Lagerwey said the available evidence isn't enough to show that the referee made a "serious and obvious error"

Now that the organization has had a few days to analyze and evaluate the situation, Seattle Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey told reporters on Thursday the club does not intend to appeal the red card shown to Brad Evans in Sunday night's win against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Uruguay crushes Venezuela 3-0 in World Cup Qualifying

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Nicolas Lodeiro scores and earns a yellow that could see him back with Seattle Sounders for their October 12th match against Houston Dynamo.

For Uruguay the story is another win in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying. Facing a Venezuela squad that they should be expected to beat at home, they took care of business.

Roger Levsque’s “Scuba Diver” celebration is in FIFA 17

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It was apparently discovered by accident by a Reddit user.

It was way back in 2011 when Roger Levesque scored a goal against the New York Red Bulls, ran over to the ad boards at the endline, plugged his nose and took a plunge over. Seattle Sounders fans surely remember it well, and it did gain a degree of fame.

Uruguay vs. Venezuela, livestream: Time, TV schedule and how to watch World Cup qualifying online

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Seattle Sounders star Nicolas Lodeiro should power Uruguay to an easy win on beIN Sports.

Nicolas Lodeiro and the star-studded Uruguay squad host Venezuela in match day nine of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. Currently 1st (5-2-1 +11) La Celeste should make quick work of bottom feeding, and mostly home based, Venezuela (0-6-2 -12).

The tale of the Cursed Whites

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Leave it to captain Brad Evans to snap the curse with a bold sacrifice.

The Sounders tempted fate last year. While they've built their brand on eschewing traditional colors, they went with an all-white kit as their secondary. At first glance, it had a classy, almost retro feel. I was willing to be won over.

Chad Marshall wins MLS Player of Month in September

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The Sounders defender edged David Villa and is first defender to win award since August of 2009.

Leading a month where the Seattle Sounders defense gave up only three goals (one of those from the spot) Chad Marshall's September was strong. He also scored a goal as the club went 3-0-1 +4 surging into the playoff picture again.

Merritt Mathias called up to U.S. National Team for October friendlies

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Jill Ellis brought in 11 uncapped players for two matches against Switzerland.

Following the team's early exit from the 2016 Olympics Games, U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis is making good on her promise of testing out new talent — bringing in 11 uncapped players for the next two matches against Switzerland on Oct.

Nos Audietis, Episode 231: Piling up wins and talking to Sean Okoli

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Every time we record, it seems like there's more good news. We could definitely get used to this. The latest bit is a string of positive results that has seen the Seattle Sounders win three times in nine days, part of a four-game winning streak and a run of seven wins in 10 matches.

Crazy as it seems, we're talking about a team that's currently one win away from clinching a playoff spot.

Major Link Soccer - Lamar Neagle is Player of the Week

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Seattle

Garth Lagerway is expected to make a decision today on whether or not they will file an appeal for Brad Evan's rare red card.

MLS

Last week, Lamar Neagle tied his career high of nine goals and has been rewarded by being named MLS player of the week.

Atlanta United has announced that they will play at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium to start their first season rather than starting out with a 3-month road trip as they wait for the Mercedes-Benz Stadium to be completed.

Major Link Soccer: Seattle is the Hottest team in MLS

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The Sounders continue to rise in the power rankings, the USMNT will play in Cuba Friday, and Goals of the Week

Seattle

Chad Marshall and Ozzie Alonso were named to the MLS Team of the Week. After a 1-0 win at home and a big 2-1 win on the road over Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC, defender Marshall and midfielder Alonso were both named to the list.

Lauren Barnes voted NWSL Defender of the Year

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She's the first player other than Becky Sauerbrunn to win the award.

The NWSL announced today that Seattle Reign FC's Lauren Barnes was voted by fans, club officials, players, and the media as the 2016 NWSL Defender of the Year. This is the first time somebody not named Becky Sauerbrunn has won the award.

Jurgen Klinsmann sees "so much upside" in Jordan Morris

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USMNT manager also expects to have Clint Dempsey back for January camp.

With all the deserved hype surrounding Cristian Pulisic these days, it's almost tempting to forget that at this time last year most of that praise was being heaped upon Jordan Morris' potential.

It's not that Morris' play given much cause to lessen expectations, but he does seem to have been surpassed as the United States Soccer Savior.

Sounders could have Morris and Lodeiro back for Houston game

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Brian Schmetzer "expects" Morris to be back, but said that Lodeiro just a "possibility"

Even though they've been on an absolute tear in recent weeks with their four-match winning streak, the Seattle Sounders probably need the extra time off that the upcoming bye weekend provides more than some.

Blas Pérez suspended one match, fined for kicking Herculez Gomez

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Notorious for his dark arts on the pitch, Pérez will miss the Whitecaps' next match against San Jose

The MLS Disciplinary Committee announced on Wednesday that Vancouver Whitecaps striker Blas Pérez has been suspended for one match and issued an undisclosed fine for violent conduct against Seattle Sounders forward Herculez Gomez in the 78th minute of their match on Sunday.

Aftermatch Aftermath: From Famished to Favored

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The final match of the Sigi Schmid era was a 3-0 loss in the heat of a Kansas City summer that had the Sounders' playoff hopes dissolving like the contents of a Heisenberg drum. It was the third multi-goal loss of the WEEK and was ultimately the final dagger in Sigi's contract. Despite a 5-0 win over FC Dallas the previous week, that July may have been the lowest point in Seattle's MLS existence.

Jordan Morris competes in real-life version of FIFA 17 Skill Games

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Confirming what we already knew, Jordan Morris is pretty good at shooting a soccer ball

Seattle Sounders' Jordan Morris participated in a promo for EA Sports' FIFA 17 by competing with Real Salt Lake's Jordan Allen in a real-life version of the Skill Games feature.

The game was split into three drills: Chip Shot, Multi-Target, and Tire Shot.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Community player ratings form

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Remember when all we had to rate was losses? Frustrating, stupid losses. That time will come again, but for now, lets "enjoy this" as Coach Schmetzer directs his players to do after a good performance.

Despite a makeshift lineup being made more makeshift by the knocks to Andreas Ivanschitz and Alvaro Fernandez before and during the match, respectively, and despite going down a goal midway through the first half, this Sounders squad kept pushing and pushing until the victory was theirs.

Brian Schmetzer returns Sounders to Road Warrior roots

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With the season winding down there is a chance that Seattle finishes in the top 20% in MLS away from home for the sixth time in eight years.

Over the first few years of Sigi Schmid's reign as Seattle Sounders coach, the team was dominant on the road. It was one of the rare MLS teams that played a similar style away from home as it did in their local confines.

Major Link Soccer: Bob Bradley named Swansea manager

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Much like MLS expansion, it's hard to know where World Cup expansion would stop. We have an official number with Gianni Infantino's new proposal: 48.

Seattle

Here's NBCSports' snapshot of the Cascadia clash this past Sunday, in case you wanted to compare 100 words summaries.

The UW-Stanford game won the ratings day on Friday, managing to beat out four different Fox News journo-tainment programs.

It’s called: “Our Boys Stomping (and Dancing) All Over that Red Line”

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Down, line! Down! Bad line!

Four wins in a row. Four dance parties in a row. These Sounders are working hard to make that pesky red line a distant memory. As Brian Schmetzer would say, "now we dance."

Good MLS Watercolors/ @MLSwatercolors

Brian Schmetzer is rendering talk of curses obsolete

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Sounders win first ever league game while wearing horrendous white kits.

There were so many things working against the Seattle Sounders before they took the field on Sunday. It wasn't just that Clint Dempsey was out, or that Nicolas Lodeiro went and got himself suspended for the match.

They were also playing their third game in nine days — including two on the road that took them the length of the West Coast.

Brad Evans hopes to see red card rescinded

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The Sounders captain said that he was responding to David Edgar fouling him in the box, says "there's nothing there."

Only a few minutes after earning and converting what turned out to be the winning goal, Seattle Sounders captain Brad Evans was sent off against the Vancouver Whitecaps for what referee Ricardo Salazar deemed an attempted headbutt on center back David Edgar.

We made a downloadable Jordan Morris FIFA 17 cover

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EA didn't make these available this year, so we went ahead and made one ourselves.

In the past two version of EA Sports' FIFA games, they've made customizable covers that you could add yourself. There was no option for those this year.

But we're an enterprising lot and figured Sounders fans would appreciate a cover they could call their own, especially since the official game left us off.

Roman Torres perfectly happy to dance to a capella music

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Four straight wins have the Sounders' locker room feeling like a very happy place.

It would appear that the full-blown dance party we've been greeted by in recent weeks was put on hiatus after the Seattle Sounders' fourth straight win, but we did get a new twist: Roman Torres dancing to "Sounders win away.

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Highlights, stats and quotes

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"I've been pretty consistent with the story of, I've given them ownership of the team. That is something that they believe in. I've gotten traction with that." -Brian Schmetzer

This Seattle Sounders team has managed as dramatic and crazy a turnaround as fans could have hoped since July. And this win — on the road, without Clint Dempsey, without Nicolas Lodeiro, on short rest, after giving up the first goal — has really put an exclamation point on an amazing run.

Stars new road kit is equal parts greatness, historic tribute

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The icons (State Route 509 Bridge, Mount Rainier, the Tacoma Dome, Narrows Bridge, and Union Station) of the City of Destiny adorn the latest Stars kit.

Yes, the Tacoma Stars play at Kent's ShoWare Center. No, the Tacoma Stars are not turning their backs on their history. Their road kit is all about that history and the city of Tacoma.

Major League Standings: Sounders can take 3rd

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The West continues to let the Sounders have a chance at a home playoff with plenty of sides helping Seattle out

Sounders won again, this time in a gritty game that you don't have to feel dirty about winning. It was Seattle's fourth win in a row, fifth straight result and they did it north of the border to officially eliminate Vancouver from the playoffs.

Major Link Soccer: NWSL Final set, SJ Ultras walk out

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Reportedly intimidated by police, San Jose's superfans are taking issue with an unnamed member of the Earthquakes' staff.

Seattle

It was a memorable weekend across the city for local sports teams.

Good: Missing most of their starting offense and playing a team that needed to win to stay alive, the Seattle Sounders managed to win in hostile territory to nearly cement their playoff hopes.

Sounders Lineup: Lodeiro’s replacement is Erik Friberg

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Erik Friberg and Herc Gomez slot in for Lodeiro and an injured Andreas Ivanschitz

Nicolas Lodeiro's replacement has been named and it is.....Erik Friberg. Seattle Sounders are rolling out a 4-1-4-1 with Cristian Roldan and Erik Friberg in the middle. Though it'll likely play as a 4-2-3-1 with Roldan partnered with Alonso and Friberg playing the advanced role.

Morales converts penalty to put Whitecaps up 1-0

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Just when it looked like the Sounders were finding their feet in Vancouver, Oniel Fisher was judged to have brought Alphonso Davies down in the box, resulting in a penalty for the Whitecaps. Pedro Morales scored the penalty to put the Whitecaps up 1-0 in the 25th minute.

Ozzie scores in the 39th to make it 1-1 in Vancouver

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As the Sounders found themselves with a solid spell of possession near the end of the first half, Joevin Jones picked up the ball and charged down the left flank, where he curved a cross into the center of the box. A late run by Osvaldo Alonso saw the captain fire the shot into the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1.

Pedro Morales sent off for elbow to Cristian Roldan's face

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The Sounders may have gotten a break courtesy of referee Ricardo Salazar, who issued a red card to Vancouver's Pedro Morales in the 54th minute for an elbow to the face of Cristian Roldan.

Sounders go up 2-1 after Evans scores penalty kick

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In what is probably the wildest match of the season, the Sounders finally found a second goal in Vancouver after referee Ricardo Salazar awarded his second penalty of the match after a Brad Evans cross hit the hand of Whitecaps defender Jordan Harvey. Evans scored the ensuing PK to make it 2-1 Seattle in the 81st.

Brad Evans sent off in the 84th minute

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Just minutes after scoring the penalty to put his team in front, Sounders captain Brad Evans was sent off by referee Ricardo Salazar in the 84th minute for an apparent headbutt attempt.

Sounders vs. Whitecaps 2016, Recap: Seattle win defined by penalties and cards

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Sounders eliminated Vancouver from the MLS Cup Playoffs with 2-1 win. Seattle now in 5th.

Brian Schmetzer's Rave Green Army is on quite a roll. The Seattle Sounders won their third straight and for the seventh time in their past 10, topping the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 on Sunday. The run of form has allowed the Sounders to move up from ninth to fifth, and just one point behind fourth-place Real Salt Lake.

Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps: Game time, TV schedule and live stream for MLS match thirty-one

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FoxSports 1 has the 5 PM broadcast.

As the season comes to a close the Vancouver Whitecaps could be eliminated by the Seattle Sounders. On their side the Sounders could put themselves into a stronger playoff position taking over fifth with a chance over their next three games to earn a home game in the second season.

Jordan Morris called up for two U.S. friendlies

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Nico Lodeiro will also play two World Cup Qualifiers for Uruguay.

Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris was called up to the U.S. Men's National Team for two friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand, which take place during an MLS international break. The 23-man roster — which includes former Sounder DeAndre Yedlin — will begin gathering in Miami today, which means Morris will likely travel to meet the team after the Sounders face the Vancouver Whitecaps on the road.

It’s called “Brian Schmetzer’s Rave Green Army!”

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and he's driving us straight to the playoffs

Today, we travel North. Are you hype? I'm hype. GET. HYPE.

Good MLS Watercolors/ @MLSwatercolors

Seattle Sounders at Vancouver Whitecaps: Previews, updates, highlights, analysis

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After results went Seattle's way on Saturday the Sounders can now jump into 5th with a win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. The 'Caps are only 5-4-6 at home. Seattle is 3-8-4 on the road. FoxSports1 starts their broadcast at 5 PM. It is also national in Canada on TSN2. If there is a blowout in the Sounders favor they could have a shot at the Cascadia Cup, but the focus is on playoff seeding by stealing a win without Nicolas Lodeiro or Clint Dempsey.

Sounders vs. Chicago Fire: LevyFilms’ highlights

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Soccer is a game of inches. This is hardly news. But one of the things that LevyFilms' highlights often bring out is just how true this is. The Seattle Sounders had no shortage of half-chances in their 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire. They did wonderfully to create those.

But that final touch just eluded them on so many instances, whether it was Jordan Morris nearly scoring from a tight angle or Nelson Valdez almost getting his first goal of the season.

Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire: Player ratings

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Right now the Seattle Sounders are playing good soccer and getting results on the back of multi-faceted play. This match featured strong defense and a set piece goal, and the 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire means that for the first time all year the good guys are above the red line. Although at times it wasn't pretty and there were some nervy moments, this team did what good teams do — grind out necessary points when under pressure.

Obafemi Martins adds a 10th chair to his ever-growing collection

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You knew it was only a matter of time until Obafemi Martins made an addition to his impressive chair collection. That time has come.

More to my collection ❤️❤️❤️

A photo posted by Obafemi Martins (@obagoal) on Sep 30, 2016 at 8:44pm PDT

This is the 10th chair in Martins' very growing collection, with each one documenting a team he's played for during his professional career.

With Nicolas Lodeiro out against Vancouver, his replacement will set tone

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Head coach Brian Schmetzer has nine players he could insert as the central attacking midfielder. His decision will determine the style of play in Sunday's match.

Due to Nicolas Lodeiro's fifth yellow card in just ten games, Clint Dempsey's heart condition forcing him out for the rest of 2016, three potential midfielders coming off of injury, short rest, and Garth Lagerwey's statement that he wants a more system driven organization, guessing the lineup that will face the Vancouver Whitecaps is as difficult as can be.