Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2016

Concacaf Champions League: Liga MX vs. MLS How to Watch and Gamethread

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Four Liga MX vs MLS matchups hit their return legs in the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals. How to watch, Gamethreads and a bizarre story about stolen cell phones. Can MLS get two teams through to the Semi-Finals? Watch with us.

The Seattle Sounders play Wednesday night at 5 PM in Azteca Stadium against Club America.

CHI Franciscan Health to partner with Sounders, Mariners

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The teams and the Tacoma-based healthcare provider will enter into a multi-year partnership

CHI Franciscan Health has agreed to a multi-year partnership agreement with the Seattle Sounders, Seattle Mariners, Tacoma Stars, and Tacoma Rainiers as "official Partners in Health", Sounder at Heart has learned.

Club America getting healthy ahead of Leg 2

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Rubens Sambueza may have a dislocated shoulder, Dario Benedetto may be nursing a hamstring injury and Michael Arroyo may be coming off a leave of absence, but all could potentially be available for the second leg of Club America's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday.

Major Link Soccer: Huskies to open season against S2

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Eric Wynalda calls out Klinnsman's MLS bias, the Copa América gets more corporate, and US Soccer gets a new crest.

Seattle

The UW men announced their spring schedule with an immediate highlight: hosting S2 this Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field.

While Seattle and DC United both start their 2016 early in the Champions' League, cup-tied Lamar Neagle is itching for the MLS season to start.

Where to watch Sounders vs. Club América leg 2

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Many of you won't get this match on your TV, so here are some options for joining your fellow fans at a viewing party.

Sure, Club América is stacked with stars and comfortable at home in their storied stadium. But they also can't seem to stop the flow of red cards or goals conceded at Estadio Azteca.

Stars' playoff-clincher is even better through LevyFilms' lens

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The Tacoma Stars qualified for the playoffs on Saturday, beating the Ontario Fury 5-4. The winning goal came with less than a minute left when Mike Ramos controlled a pass off his chest and slotted it past the goalkeeper.

This LevyFilms video captures that moment wonderfully -- definitively showing that Ramos did not use his arm to control the pass as the Fury defenders were claiming -- as well as other massive moments in the game, which included a massive save by Danny Waltman and a missed penalty kick by the Fury in the game's dying seconds.

U.S. Soccer unveils new crest through virtual reality video

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U.S. Soccer officially unveiled a new crest today. The crest itself is, frankly, pretty boring. It's certainly not bad, but it's not particularly ambitious and look a lot like the logos Nike has used for various Olympic teams. It doesn't feature clip art, though, so in that sense it has to be considered an improvement.

Sounders vs. Club America, CONCACAF Champions League leg 2: Three Questions

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With the 2-2 result in leg one Seattle will need to win, or earn a draw with at least two goals scored for each side. But, as the final answer in three questions points out, Estadio Aztec is not the fortress it once was.

Club America is in the driver's seat for this 2-leg series. That is entirely of the result of their performance in the Group Stage (earning a higher seed) and nabbing two away goals from the feet of Peralta and Quintero.

hay fe: there is hope

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This post is written by someone who job shadowed Sounder at Heart recently. They are not giving up hope. Neither should you.

The Seattle Sounders are a resilient team. The trip down to Azteca will be one of the hardest tests for the squad after they gave up two critical away goals.

Major Link Soccer: Howard-Rapids happening?

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The drama may finally be over, and the Sounders have their work cut out for them at Estadio Azteca.

Seattle

You're probably not visiting Estadio Azteca Tuesday evening to see the Seattle Sounders face Club America, but check out the Trip Advisor page to see what the club (and supporters) are in for.

Getting into Club America much easier than feared

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This is the first entry in a new column by Mike Standish aiming to give a perspective on the fan experience.

Hello, and welcome to your 2016 Seattle Sounders season. One game is in the books, and there's another one coming right up, which is a perfect time to check in on a few things that are different this year.

Club America's Rubens Sambueza likely out for Sounders game

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The midfielder was taken to hospital after possibly breaking his collarbone.

There are plenty of reasons to think the Seattle Sounders have the deck stacked against them heading into Wednesday's decisive CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match against Club America. But the Sounders' task did get a little bit easier after Saturday's Liga MX results.

2015 Player Profile #15: Chad Barrett

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Now with the San Jose Earthquakes, the much traveled forward's contributions helped Seattle to a couple trophies.

If there is one thing that no one will ever doubt in Chad Barrett's career is the effort he puts on the field. As a youth player he had strong prospects, now at age 30 the forward is tied for 33rd most goals in MLS history.

Roberto Chen no longer in Sounders training camp

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Sounders center back situation is getting a little more clearer, well really just there's less of them in camp now, as Roberto Chen is no longer in camp. With Chen taking up a foreign spot on the roster and rarely playing during camp it makes sense even though the amount of effort it appeared the club had to go through to bring him in on trial made a spot seem certain.

We're hosting a viewing party for Sounders vs. Club America

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The odds are definitely stacked against the Seattle Sounders. They enter the the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Club America tied 2-2. In order to advance, they'll not only have to win, score at least three goals in a tie or outlast America in overtime or penalties, but they'll need to do it at nearly 7,500 feet.

Sounders vs. Club America, player ratings: Clint Dempsey is MOTM

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Seattle played a tough Mexican squad to a 2-2 draw in their first action of the season.

Welcome to another season of Sounders soccer! To those who aren't familiar with me, I'm Realio and after every game I re-watch the match, take notes and provide my analysis of the players' performances. Here's a reminder of the ratings scale:

Blank - player did not play enough to judge
1 - not a pro (USL/NASL/MLS) quality performance
4 - average USL starter
6 - average MLS starter
9 - MLS All Star
10 - MLS MVP-quality performance

I invite you to submit your own ratings in the Community Ratings form like this one Community Ratings - The community averages are provided next to my scores for comparison.

Birth of a Seattle Broadcasting Legend

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In choosing their third radio voice, the NASL Sounders opted for a broadcaster with no play-by-play experience. Bob Rondeau more than met that challenge and now is synonymous with University of Washington football and basketball.

He's called well over a thousand games for the Huskies and long ago became a local broadcasting institution.

Major Link Soccer: FIFA Elects New President

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Gianni Infantino simultaneously has high and low expectations set forth in front of him.

FIFA:

Former General Secretary of UEFA Gianni Infantino was elected FIFA's new president following a lengthy voting process this morning. Infantino was a front-runner leading up to today, and has made promises to further clean up FIFA's image, including an early commitment to meeting up with human rights groups.

Stars qualify for playoffs on last-minute game-winner

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Give this to the Tacoma Stars: They have a flare for the dramatic. A little less than a week after they scored the game-winner with less than 2 seconds remaining, they waited until inside a minute to score the winner in the final game of the regular season to clinch a spot in the MASL playoffs.

The heroics were delivered by Mike Ramos, again.

Joevin Jones' debut was solid yet unspectacular

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After a promising preseason Tuesday's match against Club America was in a way going to define our expectations of Joevin Jones this season. This was in all likelihood going to be the premier level of opposition that he faced this season if Club America brought a majority of their first team. In that respect, Club America did not disappoint as they pitted not just Mexican national team rightback Paul Aguilar but also Colombian national team striker Darwin Quintero directly against the youngster from Trinidad.

MLS Fantasy Soccer 2016 with Sounder at Heart

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Hello again fellow fantasy degenerates, it is time for more MLS Fantasy Soccer. MLSsoccer.com has just released its 2016 version of the official fantasy game; you can find it here: http://fantasy.mlssoccer.com/. There may be other forms of MLS fantasy soccer but let's be honest, none of them hold a candle to the official version.

Lauren Barnes named to USWNT roster for She Believes Cup

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Barnes joins Seattle Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo on the 22-player roster that will play against England, France, and Germany.

The U.S. Women's National Team announced today that Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo and defender Lauren Barnes were named to the roster for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup.

Levy interviews Tacoma Stars midfielder Joseph Cairel

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Cairel discusses his experience playing in Brazil and his relationship with his father

Joseph Cairel was one of many new faces to sign with the Tacoma Stars for the 2015/16 MASL season. Head coach/GM Darren Sawatzky took note of Cairel's work rate with Burlingame Dragons in PDL when Sawatzky's Sounders U23 side faced Cairel's side in the 2015 PDL playoffs.

2015 Player Profile #16: Cristian Roldan

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Yes, this series is still on-going. Yes, the season kind of already started. Still, Roldan was a good performer in 2015 and has the chance of being great in 2016.

In his rookie year Cristian Roldan looked like he belonged as a professional soccer player. Other teams doubted his ability to play as a defensive midfielder in MLS with size being their main concern.

Major Link Soccer: FIFA passes major reforms before presidential vote

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No more endless terms, among other changes. The vote for president is underway. Zach Scott admits he is mortal.

FIFA

Big rule changes were voted on and adopted by FIFA before voting began for a new President of FIFA this morning. Highlights: presidential term limits, replacing the executive committee, transparent salaries, at least one female representative from each confederation.

Obafemi Martins was everything he promised to be, good and bad

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That meant scoring goals, but also leaving before his contract was up.

There are nine unique chairs surrounding Obafemi Martins' dining room table, each upholstered with one of the teams he's represented during his 16-year professional soccer career. From Inter Milan to Rubin Kazan to the Seattle Sounders, they mark a journey that has literally taken him around the world.

Tacoma Stars host Ontario with playoffs on the line

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Tacoma and Ontario both need a win on Friday to get into the playoffs

The last game in the MASL regular season is a big one for both the Tacoma Stars and the Ontario Fury. After Ontario's win over Turlock on Wednesday night, there is now a 3 way tie for 2nd place in the Pacific Division between Tacoma, Ontario, and the San Diego Sockers with each team having one game left to play.

Obafemi Martins completes transfer to Shanghai Shenhua

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Nearly two weeks after the first reports, the Seattle Sounders formally announced Obafemi Martins' transfer to Shanghai Shenhua of the Chines Super League on Thursday. Martins had already bid farewell to Seattle and Sounders fans last week and started training with his new team, but this makes it officially official.

Clint Dempsey and teammates were pouring beers for Sounders fans

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Chances are you've probably had a chance to rub elbows with Seattle Sounders players at one point or another. Between charity and social events, they are probably the most accessible of any Seattle professional athletes.

Still, Wednesday night provided fans with a special opportunity as most of the team showed up to the Queen Anne Beerhall and poured drinks.

Free kick aside, Clint Dempsey showed his pragmatic side

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Dempsey's performance was mostly about his midfield play.

When certain players stand over a free kick, a buzz starts to build in the stadium. Fans whip out their camera phones in anticipation of catching something special. Photographers rush into position and start clicking wildly. The stadium collectively holds its breath as the player strides toward the ball and prepares to loose his proverbial arrow.

The best Seattle soccer jerseys are actually in Tacoma

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Their new shirts happen to be absolute fire.

The Tacoma Stars may be playing a very distant second fiddle to the Seattle Sounders when it comes to soccer awareness in the Puget Sound, but they do a lot right. Their kits, which are throwbacks to their heyday, have always been on point. But they went ahead and outdid themselves with these special beauties.

Sounders vs. Club América - Aftermatch Aftermath: In the Beginning

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The Sounders are back, the Sounders are back! Gird your loins, buy government bonds, and bury your gold!

Guess who's back, back again. Aftermatch Aftermath is back, tell your friends.

Okay yeah, so that doesn't flow. Apparently I am no lyrical maestro, not like Clint Dempsey. Is there anything that man can't do?

Major Link Soccer: Minnesota Stadium Renders

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Minnesota unveils their stadium plans in St. Paul, Dempsey rips a new one, and Blatter still doesn't understand why he isn't running FIFA.

Seattle

Just in case you haven't heard, Jordan Morris is kind of a big deal. MLSSoccer.com took the time to get to know this big deal (and his dog) a little bit better.

Clint Dempsey probably won't face punishment for ripping off patch

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So, you're free to laugh at it now.

Clint Dempsey is hardly new to CONCACAF referees, having played dozens of games with them during his time with the United States national team. But Tuesday's match was the first time he'd actually played in the CONCACAF Champions League.

As has become par for the course, Guatemalan Oscar Reyna was a bit uneven.

Sounders vs. Club América Leg One: Player ratings form

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Some great individual performances in this match punctuated a great team effort to put up two goals on one of the best sides in North America. The cohesive attack was a pleasure to see this early in the season. Unfortunately, some breakdowns at the other end leave the Sounders on the wrong end of the away-goals rule.

To advance in CONCACAF Champions League the Sounders must...

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Win

That's the easiest way. If Seattle steals a win at Azteca they move on. The number of MLS teams that have beaten a Liga MX team is tiny – FC Dallas beat UNAM Pumas in 2011 and a week later Sounders did it to Monterrey. On top of that, in the CCL era only two MLS teams have advanced against Mexican competition in the knockout rounds: Seattle over UANL Tigres and Montreal Impact getting by Pachuca last year.

Sounders vs. Club América Leg One: Highlights, Stats, quotes

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"History is there to be broken. If we looked at history and said, ‘Well that's the way it goes,' then we wouldn't need to get on the plane. We are getting on the plane, we are going there to play and a win gets us through." -Sigi Schmid

Clint Dempsey's gorgeous curling free kick and powerful back-post header weren't enough to take a lead to Mexico and the confines of Azteca, but the two goals keep the Sounders in the series with a fighting chance.

Major Link Soccer: Can world soccer change?

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Transparency, alliances, and promises all part of any presidential election, but for FIFA this election is a chance to see the light and do what is right.

World Soccer

After 25 years of corruption, can soccer in the Americas change? With the sweeping criminal charges and a financial crisis, new details show the leaders of soccer in the Americas did more damage than anyone knew.

ECS tifo: 'Sea se puede, Sounders'

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Emerald City Supporters got their tifo game off on the right foot, unveiling an impressive display for the CONCACAF Champions League match against Club America. It read "Sea, se puede, Sounders." Translated: Yes, you can.

Well done @WeAreECS pic.

Jordan Morris header barely kept out by Hugo Gonzalez

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Sounders new boy almost kicked off his Sounders career with a point-blank header that was barely kept out by Club America Hugo Gonzalez. Everyone in CenturyLink, including the Sounders players, thought that the ball was in the net but the goal-line camera shows Gonzalez barely scooping the ball off the line.

Clint Dempsey opens the scoring with a sublime free kick

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After an exciting first half full of chances on both ends, Clint Dempsey finally opens the scoring with an excellent free kick from at least 25 yards out.

Club America equalize just seconds after Dempsey goal

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The Sounders were barely finished celebrating Clint Dempsey's goal when Darwin Quintero latched onto a perfect through ball to put Club America on equal terms with Seattle.

Clint Dempsey gets his second to put the Sounders up 2-1

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After Jordan Morris earned a corner with some trickery on the touchline, Clint Dempsey towered over a Club America defender to head in Andreas Ivanschitz's corner kick and put Seattle up 2-1

Club America equalize again with a scrappy goal from Oribe Peralta

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Club America equalize with Seattle yet again after the Sounders' defense was caught sleeping and allowed Oribe Peralta to put one in at close range from a Rubens Sambueza pass. The Sounders had been allowing pressure on the outside since the go-ahead goal, and America made them pay.

Sounders head to Mexico City with CCL quarterfinal at 2-2

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Seattle had two excellent goals canceled out by Club America, who have the away goal advantage

For much of the first half of this CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg, both the Seattle Sounders and Club America produced solid chances without doing much with them. But the excitement came to a head in the final minutes as Clint Dempsey scored with an exquisite free kick that was immediately canceled out by Darwin Quintero's 45th minute equalizer just before halftime.

Seattle Sounders vs. Club America: Photos

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View this gallery here.

Players happy with how new FieldTurf is playing, for now

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At a quick glance, one might be fooled into thinking the Seattle Sounders finally convinced First & Goal to install grass at CenturyLink Field. The lush, green surface looked absolutely spectacular on Monday.

Upon closer inspection, it was of course just the new FieldTurf product. But it was soft to the touch, stood up nicely and the consensus seemed to be that it played as true as it ever had.

Sounders vs. Club America: All you need to know in one graphic

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This is the first-ever meeting between the Seattle Sounders and Club America, historically Mexico's best team and the defending CONCACAF Champions League winners. The Sounders are playing their first competitive match of the season, while Club America has gone 4-1-2 and currently sits fourth in the Liga MX table.

Major Link Soccer: Detroit City FC stadium renovation inspires city

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Who wants to wait all the way until November to see a presidential election? FIFA InDecision 2016 comes this Friday.

Seattle

The Albuquerque Journal has a nice piece that follows Oniel Fisher from his beginnings in Jamaica to a successful college career. A story of constant drive and growth, Fisher seems truly appreciative of his chance in Seattle.

Locker room seemingly unfazed by Obafemi Martins' departure

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While admitting the timing is hardly ideal, Sounders seem happy enough to move on.

On the field, there's no question that Obafemi Martins will be missed to some degree. He was the Seattle Sounders' leading scorer over the past two years and arguably the most talented player in MLS, striking fear into defenders whenever he had the ball anywhere near the goal.

Nos Audietis, Episode 210: Live at the Tacoma Stars

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We tried something a little different this week, heading over to the ShoWare Center in Kent to do a live show before the Tacoma Stars game. Unfortunately, we were a bit harder to find that normal, but there were still about 20 or so people who made it over. In any case, we were treated to a pretty spectacular match that featured lots of loud music, dancing mascots and scoring.

Details of Obafemi Martins' contract with Shanghai Shenhua

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Obafemi Martins is about to get paid. The former Seattle Sounders forward will apparently net $6.6 million for the 2016 season with Shanghai Shenhua, according to a series of tweets from the Washington Post's Steven Goff.

(1/2) Obafemi Martins' move from @SoundersFC to Shanghai Shenua now in FIFA's transfer monitoring system.

CONCACAF Champions League: Sounders confident but wary about Club América

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Both captain Brad Evans and head coach Sigi Schmid admit that a clean sheet is absolutely vital on Tuesday

For Seattle Sounders FC captain Brad Evans, Tuesday's CCL match against Club América is huge for both the Sounders and MLS as a whole. Evans told reporters at the Sounders' season-opening Media Day that Club América, like many Liga MX teams, is steeped in history and tradition both domestically and in continental competition.

Sounders roster update: Nate Sturgis officially returns

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Damion Lowe, Roberto Chen and Obafemi Martins all remain somewhat in limbo.

If there was one position the Seattle Sounders needed to address this offseason, it was their depth at center mid. After Monday's signing of 11-year MLS veteran Nathan Sturgis, the Sounders have certainly done that.

S2 wants players that can play in MLS in "2, 3 years"

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With just four players on roster, S2's focus is on bridging gap between Academy and the first team.

Seattle Sounders FC's USL side held its final open tryouts over the weekend. Before Saturday's session featuring four goalkeepers and sixty outfield players Coach Ezra Hendrickson told Sounder at Heart that the goal is that an S2 player will be with the first team in two to three years.

Roger Lih-Ves-keys guide to the Sounders Roster

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Hi guys, we have a lot of new and returning faces to the team lately. If you always wondered how to spell or pronounce a player's name, this is the article for you! As a bonus, I attempted to give some background including area of origin and some facts you might not be aware of about YOUR favorite Sounders players.

Major Link Soccer: "Garber's war on authenticity"

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Minnesota got their name stolen by Atlanta United, and it doesn't really make sense to them or anyone else.

Seattle

Keep an eye out for Gonzalo Pineda this week after he comes back to the Emerald City to cover the CONCACAF Champions League.

Ya vamos a Seattle para la cobertura del @SoundersFC vs.

Copa America 2016 Draw: USA, Seattle get nightmare draws

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CenturyLink Field will host Haiti-Peru and Argentina-Bolivia.

The Copa America Centenario draw went about as bad as it could for the United States and CenturyLink Field. The United States ended up with the teams with the highest FIFA rankings in each of the other three pots, and Seattle was left without a marquee matchup in either group stage game and is unlikely to get one of the tournament's most attractive teams in the quarterfinal match it hosts on June 16.

You've gotta see the Tacoma Stars' buzzer-beating winner

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Mike Ramos keeps the Stars' season alive by scoring with 1.9 seconds remaining.

ICYMI or just want to relive it. Here's our boy Mike Ramos scoring the game winning goal last night @TacomaStarsSC pic.twitter.com/pUTWM7XJgS

— Randy McNair (@Ranthemanmcnair) February 22, 2016

With their season hanging by a thread, the Tacoma Stars were in desperate need of a miracle.

USWNT v. Canada: Live streaming and how to watch Olympic qualifying on TV

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Their ticket to Rio has already been booked. This match is for the top CONCACAF seed in the Olympics. But mostly, it's for pride.

The U.S. Women's National Team have already secured their ticket to Rio after defeating Trinidad & Tobago 5-0 on Friday evening, thanks in large part to an Alex Morgan hattrick.

CONCACAF Champions League: Reasons for despair

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Mexico continues to dominate MLS in CCL, and it isn't really close.

Yes, the Seattle Sounders beat UANL Tigres. There's a reason that felt so amazing: Because it was. It was the first time that a Major League Soccer side beat a Liga MX side in the knockout rounds, and MLS teams have only done so twice in fourteen tries.

Sounders Training: Photos

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View this gallery here.

Practice round up: Roster taking shape, preparations for Club America

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After returning from Southern California the Seattle Sounders focus is on Club America and the shift to their version of the 4-3-3. This means that while most teams focused on roster decisions at this point of preseason Sigi Schmid and his assistants are concentrating on the XI and 18 for a near must-win on Tuesday.

Reports of Osvaldo Alonso's demise have been greatly exaggerated

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Should we be getting to know a kinder, gentler Ozzie Alonso?

I went back and re-watched all 191 published minutes that I could find of Ozzie this preseason and I feel like I can draw a few honest conclusions after grading him in a few ways:

Fitness

I heard that Osvaldo Alonso came in to camp out of shape.

VIDEO: Answering your Obafemi Martins questions

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This is a weekly feature we've been doing on Facebook for the last few weeks. We usually record these on Friday around 1 p.m. If you'd like to participate, justlike our Facebook page and you'll be notified whenever we go live.

Sounders Kit Unveiling: Photos

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View this gallery here.

Major Link Soccer: Early positives from Free Agency

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It might not be a perfect system to some, but the Players Union has been pleased with its inaugural results.

Major League Soccer

The story of Real Salt Lake fans reaction to Abdoulie Mansally's trade is a reminder to all that some MLS players have just as much a personal impact in their communities as they have an athletic impact on the field.

USWNT v. Trinidad & Tobago: Lineups, TV, how to watch Olympic qualifying semifinals

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The U.S. could earn a birth to Rio tonight with a win in their Olympic qualifying semifinal match.

After winning Group A in the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship with three wins and a +16 goal differential, the U.S. Women's National Team takes on Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) tonight in the all-important semifinal match.

CenturyLink Field will be first to have FieldTurf's latest product

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CenturyLink Field has a new playing surface just in time for Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Club America. As it has always been, FieldTurf has again supplied the surface, this time with what is being billed as their latest and greatest product, "Revolution 360."

While there are numerous stadiums around the world that use FieldTurf products -- including Gillette Stadium and Providence Park in MLS -- CenturyLink will apparently be the first stadium to use this version.

Sounders vs. Club America: News, updates, lineup info

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In their fourth run at CONCACAF Champions League glory, Seattle begins the knockout rounds against a Mexican powerhouse.

Club América is the best club in CONCACAF. It's a bold statement sure, but there isn't a club in this part of the world that is as big or as formidable as América.

CONCACAF Champions League: A reason to hope

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When the Seattle Sounders FC take on dominant Club America they will do so with their best CCL squad ever.

When Sigi Schmid last took the Seattle Sounders to the CONCACAF Champions League Knockout Rounds he did so with a squad that featured several rotational players rather than starters. They went 1-1-2 with a zero goal differential (4 for, 4 against), beating UANL Tigres and getting edged by Santos Laguna.

Major Link Soccer: Yaya Touré the next big MLS buy?

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The midfielder could even keep the same kits if he went to NYCFC. Tim Howard might not be far behind. The Timbers commemorate the luckiest PK in their history with a concession stand.

Seattle

In case you missed the story, the Seattle Reign schedule is out and available for you to plan your life around.

Obafemi Martins looks pretty excited to join Shanghai Shenhua, you guys

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Obafemi Martins will spend the next season playing for Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League. The decision it is made and presumably there's no real going back, even if the Seattle Sounders have pointedly not confirmed the move. But this photo of Martins holding his new uniform makes it look like he just might be having some second thoughts.

Sigi Schmid still can't confirm Martins departure or trialist signings

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But he was pleased with the Oba-less team that beat LA 4-0

Despite the numerous reports to the contrary (and Martins' goodbye tweet), Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said today that a deal to send Obafemi Martins to China's Shanghai Shenhua still hasn't been finalized. Schmid therefore couldn't comment on the deal's effect on the squad, as well as any possibility of a player being brought in to take Martins' Designated Player slot on the roster.

2015 Player Profile #17: Gonzalo Pineda Reyes

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Goodbye Gonzo, thanks for all the fish.

We enter a section of the player profile series that features players that were great Seattle Sounders for a time, but that time is now gone. Gonzalo Pineda came as a reclamation project. He became a wonderful player, maybe the best #8 the team has seen, but 2015 was not good to him.

Seattle Reign release 2016 schedule: No more excuses

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The Seattle Reign's 2016 schedule just dropped and it would appear they heeded the loudest complaints from years past. Most notably, the Reign will not play any home games on weekdays or on the same weekend day as Sounders home matches. The schedule was also crafted to avoid playing on FIFA dates, including the entire Summer Olympics.

Did losing Obafemi Martins make the Sounders a better team?

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Obafemi Martins is gone but Sigi Schmid's tactical reshuffling may have made the Sounders a better team

With the loss of Obafemi Martins, the main theme of the Seattle Sounders off-season was called into question. From utilizing a three-man frontline in their previous preseason matches to varying degrees of success, it was possible that the loss of their best striker and reduction in depth would make the three-man front line untenable.

There's already a China-themed Oba shirt

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Someone has already created a China-themed Obafemi Martins shirt and started selling it. The shirt bears a striking resemblance to Martins' own line of "Flip Man" shirts, although this appears to be somewhat of a knockoff.

Obafemi Martins bids farewell to Seattle

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An official announcement has not yet been made, but that hasn't stopped Obafemi Martins from making his own. The Nigerian striker released this statement on Twitter, making it clear that he enjoyed his time with the Seattle Sounders but leaving no doubt that it is over.

Thanks to all who made these last three years an amazing experience.

Watch Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy, preseason 2016: Time, schedule and live stream

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This is your Sounder at Heart first gamethread; it is your home for live analysis of gameday action.

Recap: Oba-less Sounders water-ski past Galaxy 4-0

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Jordan Morris and Andreas Invanschitz make big marks in a convincing win over the star-studded Galaxy roster.

In the first meeting of the two teams since the Sounders eliminated the Galaxy from the playoffs, Seattle showed that the post-Martins era might turn out alright. They overcame a slow start and comically bad field conditions to hand the team of veteran Eurostars a 4-goal thumping.

Major Link Soccer - Who Is Going To China Next?

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The Copa America Centenario draw is set, the Sounders wrap up their preseason matches, Oba arrives in China, and Zlatan gets two for one on kit exchanges.

Seattle

The Sounders had a pretty good performance yesterday in their 4-0 drubbing of the LA GAlaxy. We have our recap up of this final preseason friendly.

With an open DP spot the Sounder at Heart staff shares some dream signings

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We polled our staff on who they'd like to see fill Martins' vacated Designated Player spot

In a similar vein to what Sounder at Heart did last year when the new rules concerning Targeted Allocation Money and Designated Players were announced, we decided to poll our staff again on who they would like to see fill the DP roster spot left open by Obafemi Martins' departure to China.

Reign Season Opener Revealed - April 17 vs Sky Blue

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Seattle will kick off their defense of the NWSL Shield on April 17th at home.

Though the full 2016 season schedule has yet to be released, today we at least learned the date and opponent of the Reign's first match, which will be at home on April 17 at 4pm versus Sky Blue FC.

This will be the third consecutive season that Seattle will kick off their season at home, where they've never lost a match since moving to Memorial Stadium before the 2014 season.

Graphic: Get to know the details of the new kits

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Most people will likely look at the Seattle Sounders new primary and alternate kits and have an immediate reaction and that will be it. So far, voters on the Sounder at Heart poll are reasonably split between loving them and having some reservations.

For others, they like to dig a little deeper into what each element represents and adidas has you covered:

First 500 new kit buyers get a Stefan Frei-designed t-shirt

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Friday's 6 p.m. event at the CenturyLink Pro Shop will be the first chance for fans to buy the just-unveiled 2016 Sounders kits. The first 500 who do will get a pretty sweet gift along with their fresh gear: a custom adidas t-shirt designed by none other than the Sounders starting keeper and resident artist, Stefan Frei.

Stand as one - Good for MLS, but misses

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All sports are local, but this ad campaign isn't.

Sounders reveal 2016 kits: Blue is the new black

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Third kit uses two shades of blue, while the primary has blue shorts and sleeves.

Users of the new Seattle Sounders FC app can dive into the video section to see a 66-second reveal of the new kits. The full ceremonial reveal is on Friday night at the CenturyLink Field ProShop. The main takeaway: Blue is back.

Obafemi Martins arrives in China

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There has yet to be an official announcement but if anyone was still in denial about Obafemi Martins' transfer to the Chinese Super League, his joining of Shanghai Shenhua's preseason training should probably put that to rest.

Obafemi Martins arrived Shanghai Shenhua's training camp in South Korea.

Major Link Soccer: Preseason ends with Seattle vs. LA

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The Seattle Sounders will finish up their preseason tonight with a friendly against their favorite foe the LA Galaxy.

Seattle

The Seattle Sounders will wrap up preseason with a closed door friendly against the LA Galaxy in Carson, CA. The game will be streamed live starting at 7 p.

Sounders will receive $2 million transfer fee for Obafemi Martins

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Obafemi Martins' is already on a plane bound for Shanghai Shenua and his move could be announced as soon as Thursday, according to a report by Grant Wahl. The same report also suggests the move will be completed for just a $2 million transfer fee.

Although that's about $1 million less than had been previously reported, the net result may be the same for the Sounders.

2016 Sounders kits: Teasers, leaks and news

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We've gathered everything we know about the Sounders' new look for 2016.

In 2016 the Seattle Sounders will be getting new primary kits, new third kits and new training gear. The Olympic Whites, unfortunately, will remain with the team. Footy Headlines has the leak of the new training gear.

Seattle's city seal featured in 2016 Sounders kits

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You'll have to wait another day before seeing the Seattle Sounders full new kits, but to help get people interested in their new app the team has continued to release teasers. Today was a virtual treasure trove in that regard, as this video gives us all sorts of insight into various details:

The two most notable details are actually shared on the team's website as well:

Yes, that's the Seattle city seal featuring Chief Sealth.

Sounders' 2016 kits to be revealed Wednesday via new app

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The team also announces a player meet-and-greet event after the Club America match.

The 2016 Seattle Sounders primary and alternate kits will be unveiled on the club's new mobile app Wednesday, and they go on sale two days later at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop, the club has announced. The team will also be hosting a large 2016 Kickoff event in Queen Anne after the Club America match where fans will have a chance to meet players and coaches.

Obafemi Martins’ transfer only awaits Chinese visa

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The lone holdup for the sale of Obafemi Martins to Shanghai Shenhua is a Chinese entry visa, according to a report circulating through Nigerian media. Tribune Online Nigeria is likely the originator of the story, but a few sites have reprinted it in full.

A source close to the former Inter Milan player disclosed: "Martins is only waiting for his visa to fly out to China.

Major Link Soccer: CONCACAF lawyers issue dire warning

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Oh no, not CONCACAF...

Seattle

Posters by the People is back, people.

MLS

Prior to the reports on the sale of Obafemi Martins, MLS fans had counted themselves lucky to avoid any casualties to the cash-flush Chinese Super League in the latest transfer window. Now we have to wonder what the implications are of two leagues with antithetical growth philosophies competing for the same players.

Join Nos Audietis for a live recording at a Tacoma Stars game

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In our constant effort to keep our show fresh, we'll be doing our first live show from outside the Seattle city limits and you're invited. The next episode of Nos Audietis is being recorded and live streamed (thanks Bootstrapper) at the Tacoma Stars game on Saturday. The show will start shortly after doors open around 5 p.

Live Q&A - Ask us anything

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Many of the Sounder at Heart staff don't have work today, so ask us questions. This is not fancy video. It's just in comments.

Happy Presidents Day!

This means many, but not all people have the day off of work. I'm going to take the opportunity to answer your questions. Other members of the Sounder at Heart team are also able to answer too.

Darwin Jones scores two to lead Sounders past UCLA in preseason match

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A preseason game that was first on the schedule, then taken off was ultimately played on Sunday when the Seattle Sounders beat UCLA 5-1 in a 105-minute match that opened with a 45-minute period and was followed by two 30-minute ones.

Among the highlights were Jordan Morris scoring his first goal since signing with the Sounders, two more from preseason standout Darwin Jones and a goal apiece from Andreas Ivanschitz and Aaron Kovar.

Major Link Soccer: Getting to know the Chinese Super League

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Return of the blue links, and Dutch soccer becomes a better place for single straight male fans.

Seattle

Not ready to say goodbye to Obafemi Martins just yet? Our friends at The Goat Parade just published a Beginner's Guide to the Chinese Super League. May I recommend supporting Shaolin FC?

Garth Lagerwey confirms Chinese interest in Martins, no deal yet

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Obafemi Martins is not at training camp in California with the Sounders

Seattle Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey has confirmed that Obafemi Martins is not with the club at training camp in Walnut, California, and that there is interest in the Nigerian forward from a Chinese club. "It could take a while to have that resolved," Lagerwey said in an interview with new club radio announcer Matt Johnson, "and there's really nothing we can add at this point.

Roman Torres injury updates: Center back likely out 6-9 months

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Torres will need surgery to repair his torn ACL.

Just when the team thought it was over the injury bug, new issues and a particularly dangerous opponent have started a second round of missed minutes. Seattle Sounders FC can expect the return of their coach this weekend, but that dream of an ideal starting roster may now be an impossible one.

Román Torres continues to make progress on recovery

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There's no indication that Román Torres is ahead of schedule on recovery from his torn left ACL, but by all appearances he's at least progressing at a good clip. Torres has traveled with the team to both Tucson, Ariz. and Southern California and the latest step forward was his first training session with cleats.

Sounders players, fans know how to do Valentine's Day right

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Some of our favorite Sounders-related #soccergrams on this day of love.

So, this Valentine's Day didn't start the way Sounders fans would have liked. But that doesn't mean we should let the whole day go down the drain, right? Right.

The folks on the MLS digital team brought back #SoccerGrams this year, which are €"Valentine's Day cards inspired by MLS clubs, players, and coaches.

Obafemi Martins leaves Sounders for China

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Seattle now has a Designated Player spot open.

With the season starting in just nine days Seattle Sounders FC will be without Obafemi Martins. Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League bought Martins from Seattle according to BBC Sport.

Nigeria striker Obafemi Martins has joined Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in a multi-million dollar deal, BBC Sport can reveal.

Shanghai Shenhua buys Obafemi Martins from Seattle Sounders

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The Designated Player leaves Seattle as one of their best signings of all time. He scored 43 goals in 84 all competitions matches. He now joins Tim Cahill and Demba Ba in the Chinese Super League.

Less than two weeks before the Seattle Sounders face Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, their seeming logjam at forward may get a little less impacted.

Finding the Sea of Green in a desert

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You know Jose for gifs and Twitter snark, but the Desert Friendlies (where Sounders FC went 0-3) are his chance to be a Sounder in-stadium, in-person.

Fandom is a funny thing. We all have different paths in our lives that led us to our favorite sports teams. A majority of people are fans of teams from their own hometown or nearest major city.

ESPN: Obafemi Martins' transfer close to complete, but not yet done

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This will likely come as little consolation, but ESPN has pumped the brakes ever so slightly on a BCC report that Obafemi Martins move was already completed.

"With Oba, it's not done until it's done," a source told ESPN.

At the same, it's not entirely clear what the final hurdle may be.

Why Obafemi Martins' transfer is unlikely to yield allocation money

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Shanghai Shenhua is rumored to have paid about $3 million for Martins, well short of what the Sounders would have needed to get allocation money. Allow us to explain.

Losing a player like Obafemi Martins is a tough pill to swallow almost no matter the circumstances. The Nigerian international scored 40 goals and had 23 assists in a little less than three full seasons in Seattle.

Why Keith Costigan was a good, maybe great, hire

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I don't know will I like Costigan, but this hire makes sense and could truly be great.

I know this is an opinion that is toxic to take BUT hear me out, the hire of Keith Costigan is actually a great hire for the club. I am unsure how he will be on TV, he might be perfect or horrible as an announcer but this higher is quite smart.

Major Link Soccer: Ticket cost protests continue

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Supporters of competing teams are uniting to fight unjust costs together.


The World:

Arsenal and Leicester supporters are uniting in another protest of ticket costs this weekend.

Some Leicester supporters have more than local bragging rights riding on their club's final finish.

Obafemi Martins being pursued by Chinese Super League teams, ESPN says

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Less than two weeks before the Seattle Sounders face Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, their seeming logjam at forward may get a little less impacted. Obafemi Martins is the latest player to attract the interest of the Chinese Super League's spending spree, according to an ESPN report that cites "multiple sources.

Major Link Soccer: David Beckham courts the Qataris

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The big money enters the fray in Miami. Brad Evans is doing Brad Evans things. Did St. Louis invent soccer?

Seattle

Brad Evans is being peak Brad Evans right now. The reigning club Humanitarian of the Year is teaming up with his wife and Seattle Humane to support Putts for Pets and help raise funds for a Humane facility in Bellevue.

Trying to understand the frustration around Sounders new announcers

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If you were to create the perfect local play-by-play announcer in a lab, they'd probably look a lot like this: A fan at heart, but not an overt homer; Local, but worldly; Experienced, but still ready to learn. Of course, they'd have the pipes, the vocabulary and the personality, too.

And truth be told, the Seattle Sounders hit a lot of those marks when they announced Ross Fletcher's replacement on Wednesday.

This app did a surprisingly good job matching dog breeds with Reign players

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View this gallery here.

Mark Cuban's new Futsal League will include a Seattle franchise

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Seattle's love of the beautiful game has apparently earned us a franchise in a new league, scheduled to launch next year.

You'll be forgiven if you've never heard of futsal, since the indoor soccer variant doesn't have much presence in the United States. But billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and a host of foreign soccer powerhouses are looking to change that in a big way, and Seattle is part of their plans.

Why replacing Ross Fletcher feels wrong

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Disappointment in Ross Fletcher's replacement is more about the front office being out of touch than who is replacing him

I don't like this decision. I probably never will. The reason I don't like it has almost nothing to do with Keith Costigan. I'd like to go through each major reason in detail:

Losing Ross Fletcher:

I think the biggest factor in this goes back to the decision to let Ross Fletcher go.

Five things we learned from single-game tickets going on sale

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It was pretty easy to miss, what with all the attention being paid to the Seattle Sounders' new announcers, but single-game tickets also went on sale Wednesday. Usually, this is a pretty unremarkable event. This year, though, there were a handful of interesting bits.

1. Welcome to dynamic pricing

In years past, tickets cost what they cost no matter what and it didn't really matter who the Sounders were playing.

MLS All Star Game features Arsenal

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The July 28th event will take place at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.

Former Seattle Sounders Designated Player Freddie Ljungberg was on hand when MLS and Arsenal announced that the famed English team would be featured in All Star Game festivities this year. The July 28th match will be the Gunners first visit to the US in the MLS era.

Major Link Soccer: That Columbus Crew kit though

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Unimaginable horrors can be found in this lucky jersey reject

Seattle

Lamar Neagle has made his way over to wrong Washington where he will be pressured to take the place of fan favorite Chris Pontius. Is he up to the task?

MLS

MLS has scheduled a press conference at 12pm today to announce something about the 2016 all-star game in San Jose.

USWNT v. Costa Rica: How to watch Olympic qualifying match

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The Road to Rio starts today, as the U.S. Women's National Team takes on Costa Rica in its first CONCACAF Olympic qualifier match. The match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT, and will only be available via a stream on NBC Sports Live Extra. However, no authentication (e.g., a cable subscription) is required to stream the match.

Megan Rapinoe named Seattle Female Sports Star of the Year

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The award was announced at the 2016 MTR Western Sports Star of the Year hosted by the Seattle Sports Commission

Megan Rapinoe was named Female Sports Star of the Year by the Seattle Sports Commission at tonight's 2016 MTR Western Sports Star of the Year banquet.

Rapinoe was up against Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm), Mary Lou Mulflur (UW Women's Golf Coach), Kelsey Plum (UW Women's Basketball), Lianna Sybeldon (UW Women's Volleyball), and Kamilah Williamson, a Special Olympics Swimmer.

Three things about Seattle's 2-1 defeat to Celaya FC

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It was a rough start, but there were hopeful signs.

One player comes out of the most recent loss in Arizona perfectly suited for Seattle Sounders new 4-3-3, plus Jordan Morris played his first Sounders game as a pro.

Joevin Jones

In his postgame presser, Sigi said that Joevin (like most of the team) struggled the first 20 minutes before buckling down and playing some good soccer.

Reign Open Tryouts: Prospects Play, Laura Harvey Chats

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Seattle opens the 2016 preseason with an open call for local players to come try and impress the coaches, and we take five minutes with the head coach to get her thoughts on the offseason.

The Seattle Reign conducted open tryouts last weekend and 35 players participated, hoping against all odds to make one of the deepest rosters in the league.

Sounders unveil Ross Fletcher's replacements

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One of the biggest off-the-field, offseason questions now has an answer as the Seattle Sounders formally unveiled their new play-by-play announcers on Wednesday. Matt Johnson will handle the radio duties, while Keith Costigan will be the lead voice on TV, with Kasey Keller remaining as the analyst.

Nos Audietis, Episode 209: New announcers and USWNT labor strife

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One of the biggest fans of the podcast Richard Farley is back on the show to help break down the latest USWNT legal issues as well to share his lesser known and most likely 28 percent incorrect knowledge of Chinese Super League soccer.

Richard Farley joins Jeremiah and Aaron to discuss the current USWNT legal battle as well as talking about a new segment idea.

Sounders as family

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No slight to my family, but the Sounders were what I needed, when I needed it.

When talking about the decision to sign Jordan Morris, controlling owner Adrian Hanauer said that it was a matter of family. It was not a pure soccer decision. That resonated with me. Adrian has made similar decisions, particularly with the retention of Taylor Graham, Roger Levesque and Steve Zakuani in formal non-soccer roles.

Major Link Soccer: Road to Gold starts today

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The USWNT kick off 2016 Olympic qualifying tonight in Frisco, Texas against Costa Rica.

U.S. Soccer

The USWNT kickoff their 2016 Olympic qualifier tonight against Costa Rica with a new look. Nine members from the 2015 World Cup winning team have departed and some new faces are primed to fill in.

Watch Seattle Sounders vs. Celaya FC, preseason 2016: Time, schedule and live stream

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At this time Celaya FC is Seattle's only Mexican opponent. This second division team will probably only send a few of its starters. The Sounders have some experience playing teams from south of the border, but it's been several months and they only get in a couple games a year.

This match is all about getting ready for Club America, a match that is just two weeks out.

CenturyLink Field's new turf is now installed

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With about two weeks left until the Seattle Sounders play their first competitive match of the year, it appears as though CenturyLink Field's new FieldTurf has been installed. There are likely still finishing touches to be made, but this photo appears to show a glistening new turf that's just about ready to use.

Looking for clues in the Sounders' jersey teaser

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There's still no firm date for when the Seattle Sounders will release their 2016 kits, but they've at least released a teaser photo that provides some clues as to what it will look like.

Coming soon. pic.twitter.com/VvIY8u30Jb

— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) February 10, 2016

The most obvious element in this black-and-white photo is the tag "Sea of Green / Sky of Blue.

Sounders v Celaya, preseason recap: Another 2-1 loss

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Sounders fall 2-1 to Celaya after two goals in the first 16 minutes and a Valdez header in the 54th. Ivanschitz looked strong but the other two thirds of the midfield trio, not so much.

Another game in Arizona and another loss for the Rave Green. Sounders fell 2-1 to Mexican Side Celaya after giving up two goals in the first 16 minutes.

Nelson Valdez turned down Chinese payday to remain in Seattle

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Perhaps the biggest story of this transfer season has been the influence of the Chinese Super League, now flush with cash after a $1 billion TV deal and only allowed to have four foreigners on their roster. Fredy Montero is among a litany of relatively young European-based players who have accepted well over-market-rate salaries and transfers to make the move.

2015 Player Profile #18: Leonardo González Arce

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Midseason in 2009 Leo joined a squad that didn't have an identity at left back. Over the next five years he changed that, until health reduced his playing time.

Rank: 19 | Age: 28 | Starts: 28 | Appearances: 36 for 2506 minutes | Bench: 10 | Goals: 7 | Assists: 2
all comps, 1st team

Offense:

Now mostly a stay-at-home left back it was of course the year that Leo scored.

leo

Watch Aaron Kovar and Chad Marshall play a little 1-on-1 basketball

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There's a whole list of things that players aren't supposed to do according the newly released MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement. Although it doesn't explicitly list "playing basketball barefooted or in sandals", it probably should.

Still, it was pretty cool to see Aaron Kovar (listed at 5-foot-10) and Chad Marshall (listed at 6-foot-4) going after one another on the pickup courts in Tucson, Ariz.

Verifiable proof that Jordan Morris has a left foot

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A lot of words have been said about Jordan Morris, most of them overwhelmingly positive. But if there's one consistent critique of his game, it's that he's very right footed. He's so right-footed, that he'll often choose to hit a shot or a pass with the outside of his foot and curl it rather than hitting a much simpler ball his left.

Major Link Soccer: Double PASS and US Soccer partnership

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The Belgian consulting firm lists among its clients the Bundesliga, the English Premier League, the J-League as well as the German, Belgian and Hungarian federations.

Seattle

For the first time in history, Seattle is 10th in the nation in population density, overtaking Baltimore with nearly a 10% increase in density since the 2010 census.

Confident Jordan Morris joins Sounders camp

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As Captain America's understudy, the Winter Soldier simply looked like one of the guys in his first club practice since turning pro.

Over the course of two years, the "legend" of Jordan Morris has grown bloated and unwieldy. Seattle's newest Sounder joined training as a member of the first team for the first time Monday, accompanied by the biggest media presence of the preseason.

With Super Bowl over, Seattle pro sports resets - Sounders on the clock

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Denver won the Super Bowl and the Seattle pro sports scene gathers. wondering when will it be us again.

This Super Bowl was a bit odd for Seattle sports fans. It didn't feature the Seattle Seahawks, and we've gotten a bit used to being there. Plus, there was the presence of the winners, the Denver Broncos, a former AFC rival and the Carolina Panthers, one of the rare NFC teams that can claim to be near the 'Hawks level within the conference.

Major Link Soccer: MLS testing replay

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And there's a surprising amount of soccer-Super Bowl Commercial overlap.

MLS

Reports indicate that MLS will be testing replay technology this year, with implementation in the USL potentially for Major League implementation in 2017.

The USL is coming to San Antonio, and their new crest is obviously inspired by another Texas professional team.

Let's savor Darwin Jones' goal a little longer

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Darwin Jones is off to a great start this preseason, flashing some form that suggests his second year will be a marked improvement over his first. And while you never want to read too much into preseason performances, his goal against the Portland Timbers on Saturday is worth another look.

Running at his old college teammate Taylor Peay -- who it should be said was playing pretty well down the stretch last year -- Jones had his way.

Sounders will split radio, TV play-by-play duties

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This will be the first time in the Sounders' MLS history that they'll have a dedicated radio voice.

There will be at least two new announcers joining the Seattle Sounders broadcast team this year as the decision has been made to split play-by-play duties between TV and radio, Sounder at Heart has learned through sources familiar with the Seattle radio scene.

Sounders vs. Timbers, preseason: The three biggest takeaways

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The preseason is for practice, but the two games played so far don't speak to a high quality of repetition. In two full games against Cascadia competition, the Seattle Sounders have yet to score a first-half goal without even a plurality of good shots from the presumptive first-team starters.

Watch Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers, preseason 2016: Time, schedule and live stream

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This standard 90-minute game should see Sigi run his 1st XI for 45 minutes, while Porter puts his own ideal XI out for sixty.

Brad Evans just doing his part to make sure Jordan Morris' ego stays in check

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When Jordan Morris was signed with much fanfare, one of the reasons the Seattle Sounders said they weren't worried about it all going to the 21-year-old's head was that he was naturally humble. And if that wasn't enough, Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey joked, Morris' brother would be there to slap him back to earth.

Sounders vs. Portland Timbers, preseason recap: Another second half brace in loss

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Jack McInerney scored a second half brace to power the Timbers to a preseason win.

Though Darwin Jones opened the scoring in the match, the Seattle Sounders again fell due to a second half brace. The Portland Timbers got the win due to newly acquired Jack McInerney. Both goals he scored were not on Tyler Miller, who now sits with four goals given up in just two halves of play.

A First & Lasting Impression | Original Voice of Sounders Blazed a Broadcasting Path

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Bob Robertson, the original voice of the original Sounders, blazed a path in American soccer broadcasting.

Whereas the next announcer will follow in some formidable footprints, for the original voice of the Sounders there simply was no trail. Bob Robertson blazed it himself.

"Up until (1974), as far as we knew, no one had broadcast soccer in America on a full-time basis," remembers Robertson.

Major Link Soccer: Expansion to the Midwest

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Don Garber has affirmed that the league is making a concentrated push to the Gateway of the West.

MLS

Don Garber says that MLS is full steam ahead towards expanding to St. Louis.

While acknowledging a bit of bragging rights, Caleb Porter says the MLS Cup doesn't change how they view their Cascadia rivalry.

USMNT vs. Canada 2016: Time, TV schedule and online streaming

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The USMNT finishes January camp with a friendly against our bitter rivals to the north, Canada. Brad Evans has returned to the Sounders but newly signed HGP Jordan Morris should feature. Three Big Storylines, TV and Streaming Listings and From a Sounders Point of View. Here is your USMNT Gamethread

Three Big Storylines:
  1. Jordan Morris came on in the 75th minute against Iceland on Sunday.

USMNT waits until late to secure a win against Canada

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USA wins 1-0, with Jozy Altidore scoring the game's lone goal in the 89th minute.

In a fairly tepid friendly, in which the United States Men's National Team had numerous chances against Canada but failed to capitalize on them until late on, Seattle Sounders' homegrown player Jordan Morris started and played nearly the entire match in Carson, California.

2016 U.S. Open Cup schedule released; MLS teams enter on June 15

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15 MLS teams will play third round match winners, while the final two will play each other

U.S. Soccer released the full schedule for the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup today, including the date that MLS clubs will enter the competition. After the third round of the competition on June 1, the winners of those 15 matches will be joined by the 17 MLS clubs in the fourth round on June 15.

Sergio Mota among three trialists cut by Sounders

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Brazilian midfielder will be best remembered for his two-footed kick to the groin of an opponent.

The list of trialists got a little shorter on Friday as the Seattle Sounders announced they'd cut ties with Sergio Mota, Anthony Wallace and Ben Speas. Mota spent last year with S2, while Wallace was a left back with the New York Red Bulls and Speas was a midfielder with the Columbus Crew.

Major Link Soccer: US Soccer sues the USWNT players union

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Things are getting testier in the world of US women's soccer. DC United is calling out Orlando for their tampering. Is San Francisco's new NASL team an elaborate joke?

Seattle

You may have missed the Sounders' first preseason match in Arizona on Wednesday, and I can say for sure that if you weren't there in person, the best you got was a rather subpar cell phone feed.

Three things we learned from Sounders' preseason loss to Whitecaps

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The Seattle Sounders lost their preseason opener to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday, falling 2-1 before beating FC Tucson 1-0 in a 45-minute game afterward. As promised, the Sounders used a 4-3-3 throughout. Here's what we learned:

About the 4-3-3

The 4-3-3 looked functionally the same in all three periods.

What MLS fans will most care about in new CBA

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We went through the 84-page CBA and tried to make sense of it for the average fan.

It was almost a year ago that a MLS work stoppage was avoided when the players' union and league hammered out a Collective Bargaining Agreement. While many of the big-picture details were released around the time, it was only today that the MLS Players Union made the full CBA publicly available.

National signing day: Sounders send largest contingent ever to DI schools

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At least 15 players have committed to play for top soccer schools.

National Letter of Intent Day was Wednesday, and that meant a new class of Sounders Academy graduates committed to growing their game (and getting an education) at schools across the country. This year 15 players committed to play at Division I schools, the largest group in the Academy's six-year history.

Major Link Soccer - US Soccer Files Suit

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The Sounders open their preseason, the Whitecaps bring on Blas Perez, and the US Women are sued by US Soccer.

Seattle

The Sounders had their first preseason match yesterday which was unfortunately only broadcast via Periscope. If you missed it or couldn't stand to watch the video quality, we have a recap up.

Sounders preseason recap: Seattle falls to Whitecaps, beat FC Tucson

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Seattle Sounders started the 2016 preseason with a chippy contested affair with the Vancouver Whitecaps that (as it always does) came down to quality in front of goal. While both sides' starters were held scoreless in the first half, the Whitecaps scored two to Darwin Jones' one in the second half.

Watch Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, preseason 2016: Time, schedule and live stream

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The broadcast out of Tucson starts at 4 PM Pacific. They are expected to play 3 45-minutes halves.

Happy National Girls & Women in Sports Day

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Let's celebrate in the best way possible ... with GIFS of awesome women athletes!

Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a national observance that began in 1987 as a way to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. Research shows that when girls participate in sports, they develop the leadership skills they need to excel in school, at home, and in their communities.

Major Link Soccer: Seattle Sounders kick off the Desert Diamond Cup

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The Seattle Sounders kick off the 2016 Desert Diamond Cup today against their old foe the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Seattle

The Seattle Sounders kickoff the 2016 Desert Diamond Cup tonight at 4pm against Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps.

In January local youth club Seattle United partnered with the Seattle Reign FC to form an elite level female soccer academy for girls between 13-18.

Sounders attacking band is a tactician's wet dream

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Between three Designated Players, a former Austrian international, and the newest USMNT striker, the Sounders have an embarrassment of riches up front

The Sounders are in for a shift this year. From Sigi Schmid and the coaching staff to Garth Lagerway and the front office, they've primed the team and the narrative for a shift away from the familiar stylings of the 4-4-2 the entire offseason.

Olympic qualifying won't interfere with Sounders schedule

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The United States hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics will be determined at Dallas' Toyota Stadium on March 29, it was announced on Tuesday. This is the second of a two-legged playoff against Colombia, with the first leg being played on March 25.

Although the United States also has a World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on March 29, it is expected that Jordan Morris will participate in the match against Colombia.

Jamie Vardy scored an absolutely bonkers volley

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Jamie Vardy and Leicester City are having an absolute dream season, and there might not be a better illustration of both things than Tuesday's game against Liverpool. With the match tied 0-0, Vardy hit an absolutely stunning volley from about 22 yards out. The former non-league let a long pass fly over his shoulder and then just smashed his shot into the upper 90.

Get to know Club América: the best club in CONCACAF

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There's just three weeks before the Seattle Sounders take on Club América in CONCACAF Champions League action.

Club América is the best club in CONCACAF. It's a bold statement sure, but there isn't a club in this part of the world that is as big or as formidable as América. They are the standing CONCACAF Champions' League title holder, having come back from what the Mexican press deemed an embarrassing tie at home against the Montreal Impact and conceding a goal early in the return leg in Stade Olympique to thrash Montreal 5-3.

Brad Evans returns to Sounders after leaving USMNT match early

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First the good news: Brad Evans is joining Seattle Sounders training camp almost a week ahead of schedule as the team prepares for a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Club America on Feb. 23. That leaves Jordan Morris -- still on national team duty -- as the only player missing from preseason camp.

Major Link Soccer: Revs sign Kouassi, spurn Jones

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Despite China, MLS looks to be adding four players from three different European first divisions.

Seattle

Jordan Morris is raising money for type 1 diabetes, a disease he was diagnosed with at age 9, and will be speaking at JDRF's Annual Gala on February 27.

The Denver Post has the latest on Marco Pappa's stabbing - details remain murky with both parties telling shifting stories.

Why MLS betting odds don't make a ton of sense

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The betting houses are being very conservative.

As anyone who's a fan of MLS and betting will tell you, finding someone to legally take your action can be tough. Most Nevada casinos don't offer betting lines and the outlets that do so online aren't particularly enticing. Case in point, Bodog released their MLS Cup futures on Monday and fans all over the league are left scratching their heads.

Tacoma Stars go heavy on nostalgia, fun

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They sold me the whole seat, but I only needed the edge.

Roberto Chen arrives at Sounders training camp, club confirms

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Although there's no signing to report, the Seattle Sounders did confirm that Panamanian center back Roberto Chen joined the club for preseason training in Tucson, Ariz. on Monday. Chen left La Liga club Malaga last week and Panamanian media has been reporting that he was close to signing a deal with the Sounders ever since.

Argentina coach says Lionel Messi will be playing in Copa America 2016

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In case you were waiting to commit a rather significant amount of money to buying the three-match pass to the CenturyLink Field Copa America games until there was confirmation that Lionel Messi would be playing, that time has apparently arrived. Argentina's coach Gerardo Martino told a radio station that Messi would be skipping the 2016 Summer Olympics -- where he could have competed as an overage player -- in order to focus on the Copa America and World Cup qualifying.

Sounders U18 and U16 teams combine for 22 goals on Sunday

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Santa Cruz Breakers had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at Starfire Sports.

There is no better way to understand the Seattle Sounders Academy than watching games. But, sometimes raw statistics stand up and shout "RECOGNIZE!" and we must. Sunday's games by the U18s and U16s need to be recognized, even if only from staring at the box scores.

Seattle Pair Power Melbourne City To Perfect Season

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A win in the W-League Grand Final caps a dream season for the Reign's two international stars.

Reign loanees Jess Fishlock and Kim Little put in superstar performances for Melbourne City this weekend, leading them to victory in the W-League Grand Final. The win not only won a championship, it completed a remarkable season in which the expansion side won every one of their matches and won the regular season title by 10 points over defending champions Canberra.

Fredy Montero is latest player to transfer from Europe to China

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It would appear as though Fredy Montero's game-winner on Saturday was a bit of a parting gift for Sporting CP. Reports out of Portugal and Colombia are independently claiming Montero has been transferred to Chinese club Tianjin Teda, a team that narrowly avoided relegation last season. The Chinese Super League's campaign roughly mirrors MLS, starting in March and ending in November.

Major Link Soccer: Real Madrid sets new kit record

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Adidas gave Real Madrid 1.4 Billion (with a capital B) reasons to stick with them for their jersey-wearing needs.

Seattle

I'll be in Arizona covering Sounders Spring Training starting Wednesday! Let me know what you'd like me to cover (within reason please; If no one has found the video of Victor Mansaray sitting on Zach Scott's shoulders with a trenchcoat on to get past a bouncer, it's probably lost to time.