Sounder at Heart Archives for January 2018

Roman Torres ‘very close’ to extension

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Niko Moreno reporting that the new deal would keep Torres in Seattle until at least 2020.

Roman Torres is reportedly "very close" to signing a contract extension with the Seattle Sounders, according to a report by Seattle-based journalist Niko Moreno. The extension would apparently keep the 31-year-old in Rave Green for at least a couple more years.

A look at S2’s full 2018 schedule

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S2 will play 17 matches at Cheney Stadium in their inaugural season in Tacoma

We may not yet know exactly who will be playing them, but we now know when and where Sounders 2 (Tacoma) will play their 34 Games in 2018. We already knew the first match at Cheney Stadium will be March 16 against Timbers 2 but the City of Tacoma can now plan for their 16 other chances to show their support for their new team.

MLS Draft 2018: Sounders add center back depth with second-round pick

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Markus Fjortoft is a giant defender out of Duke.

With the second to last pick of the second round, the Seattle Sounders added Duke University product Markus Fjortoft. The Norwegian came up through Bærum SK's youth program. His father was a Norwegian international who played professionally in England, Germany, Austria and Norway.

Catching up with the Reign down under

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Eight Seattle Reign FC players are on loan in Australia; let's check in on how their seasons are going

The W-League season in Australia is entering its home stretch, with teams jockeying for position in their final few games and fighting for one of the four playoff spots before next month's Grand Final.

Sounders pick Alex Roldan in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

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From Cristian's brother and roommate to his teammate.

Alex Roldan is now the second Roldan with the Sounders. Seattle officially took Roldan-the-younger at pick 22. He projects to be a CM or a RB with the Sounders. Roldan plays similar to his brother in that he's a smart player with good passing ability and positioning.

MLS Draft: How to watch the live stream

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Sounders pick 22 and 45 on Friday the 18th of January.

Los Angeles FC continue their inaugural season roster build with the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. They get the first selection from among the more than 200 prospects eligible this year. There are several players with Washington ties, including a potential Sounders HGP — Paul Christensen.

Who the experts think Sounders will pick in the 2018 MLS Draft

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To put it bluntly, there isn't a ton of consensus.

It's been almost a month since MLS last held a draft, so it is high time for another one. The MLS SuperDraft, or the draft to end all drafts, is Friday at 8 a.m. The Sounders have the 22nd and 45th picks in the draft with rounds three and four happening on Sunday.

Seattle Reign acquire Yael Averbuch, depth on NWSL Draft Day

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It was expected to be a quiet day for Seattle Reign FC in the NWSL Draft, but instead of announcing one pick in the last round, the club ended up with three new players.

Before the draft started, the first Vlatko Andonovski - Laura Harvey trade was announced. Reign FC acquired defender Yael Averbuch and the 25th overall pick in the draft in exchange for midfielder Diana Matheson.

Garth Lagerwey must either double-down on winning now or continue the rebuild

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This transfer window could be a turning point.

In 2016 the Seattle Sounders won MLS Cup. Oddly enough, this was probably during a major rebuild. Not only did the core roster dramatically change from the start of ‘16 to the start of ‘17, so did the ancillary parts of the roster. President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey took a roster with many post-peak players and dropped it down to just a few, and all of those are core to success.

Major Link Soccer: Theo Walcott moves to Everton

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Also: Kasey Keller gets a cake, Eric Wynalda talks himself into trouble, and everything's great in Qatar. Really. Seriously.


Who are the best friends in MLS? Yes, it is our very own bromance. Nikolic, Martinez, Roldan, Morris, and Besler win #MLSSoshies |

ICYMI, the City of Seattle wants to host World Cup games.

Jorstian Mordan win #MLSsoshie for ‘best duo’

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A well deserved award for Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan.

Jorstian Mordan is "officially" recognized as the best duo in MLS, and by "officially" we mean that they won a Twitter poll by

Time to vote on #MLSSoshies Subcategory #2: BFFs!

NWSL Draft: Seattle Reign FC roster needs

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Seattle currently has just one fourth-round pick. Which position should they prioritize?

The NWSL Draft is just one day away, and if the activities leading up to the event are any indication, this could be a wild few hours. Allie Long is now a part of the Reign FC midfield, while Seattle fans are mourning the loss of Katie Johnson and Rebekah Stott.

Cristian Roldan can relate to Jonathan Gonzalez’s tough choice

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Sounders midfielder shares his thought process on choosing to represent the United States.

Few players can relate to the situation facing Jonathan Gonzalez during the past few months better than Cristian Roldan. Like Gonzalez, Roldan was not only eligible to play for multiple countries but was actually being recruited by them.

Major Link Soccer: Goodbye Ronaldinho

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Also: Fredy Montero leaves MLS again, and is a Premier League transfer in the cards for Christian Pulisic?


The Sounders' move to sign Handwalla Bwana to a Homegrown Player contract is one of the top 5 MLS acquisitions of the last week. Read why.

Sounders Academy product Trey Muse has decided to return to Indiana University for his sophomore year instead of going pro, where the Sounders were interested and could have signed him as a Homegrown Player.

Sounders select Alex Roldan in Mock MLS Draft

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With just the 22nd and 45th pick, don't expect Seattle to add someone who can help the First Team.

A disadvantage to making MLS Cup is that the Seattle Sounders will draft second to last in each round of the upcoming MLS Superdraft. A disadvantage to expansion is that the Sounders' second round pick is lower than where they drafted Mike Fucito in the 4th round back in 2009.

Nouhou’s return delayed by lost passport

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Left back is reportedly stuck in Cameroon while he gets his travel documents sorted out.

Even though Seattle Sounders preseason training camp doesn't officially open for about another week, players have already been gathering at Starfire Sports Complex for unofficial sessions. One player who hasn't been there is Nouhou, who is expected to compete for the starting left back position this year.

Seattle Sounders vs. 2017: End-of-season player ratings, #15-#11

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In the third installment, we make our way to the edge of the best 11.

Cruising into the third group of five players, we begin to see a cross-section of guys who ended up with vastly different roles by the end of the year than was expected in preseason. Injury, strong play, and variability in performance contributed deeply to these rankings.

Major Link Soccer: Kyle Beckerman is back with RSL

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The Captain of Rio Tinto is returning for the 2018 season after exploring free agency.


The newest Reign FC member, Allie Long, came from our rivals to the south. Long was a big part of the Thorns, and Stumptown Footy put together a tribute for the new Reign midfielder. Once a Thorn: A Brief Tribute to Allie Long - Stumptown Footy

"Once A Sounder, Always A Sounder" should probably apply to coaching staff too, as the Colorado Rapids hired Chad Kolarcik, a former Sounders coach.

Stars Overcome Three-Game Weekend; Gain Ground

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Stars go 1-1 on the road, and then cruise at home vs Turlock

The Tacoma Stars survived a congested weekend, playing three games in four days and winning two.

A big 8-6 win was picked up over the Ontario Fury on Thursday, effectively tying them for second in the race for a playoff spot.

Sounders should ignore the Justin Meram sweepstakes

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The Crew midfielder is available for a significant price, but Seattle should probably spend their TAM to extend their championship window.

A couple Columbus Crew SC players are likely to go on the move. Ola Kamara seems destined for the LA Galaxy and a massive raise, while Justin Meram is looking to contend for trophies outside of Ohio.

Major Link Soccer: Atlanta United are betting big on Ezequiel Barco

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Also: Beckham FC inches closer to launching, Cyle Larin is flying the coop, and MLS is crashing the e-sports party


Sunday marked the 154th anniversary of Seattle becoming incorporated.


Los Angeles FC is reportedly fielding multiple offers for the #1 overall SuperDraft pick.

January Q&A

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Let's talk about beer, pizza and soccer

I'm doing monthly Q&A/AMA during the offseason. It will fall on a weekend when I don't have plans, which means this weekend in January, because well, I'm bored.

November's Q&A is here.

December's Q&A is here.

Preki joins Sounders coaching staff

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This marks a return to the Puget Sound, where Preki got his start in America.

Arguably the most decorated player to have ever spent time playing in the Pacific Northwest has formally joined the Seattle Sounders coaching staff. On Friday it was announced that Pedrag Radosavljevič, better known as "Preki", would become the newest assistant to Brian Schmetzer.

Major Link Soccer: Bayern Munich midfield prospect to switch from Germany to U.S.

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Timothy Tillman could have a promising future in red, white and blue. Also, Raheem Sterling is the poster boy for xG.


Seattle Reign FC acquired U.S. international midfielder Allie Long form the Portland Thorns yesterday in a somewhat complex trade that also sent Rebekah Stott and Katie Johnson to Sky Blue FC.

Sounders sign Homegrown Player once likened to Darlington Nagbe

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Handwalla Bwana is coming off an eight-goal, six-assist season for the Huskies.

A quiet offseason finally got a bit of life on Thursday when the Seattle Sounders announced the signing of Homegrown Player Handwalla Bwana. The midfielder is coming off a pair of seasons at the University of Washington in which he totaled 12 goals and 13 assists over about 2,500 minutes.

Sounders participating in new eMLS esports league

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19 of the league's 23 teams will join the new EA FIFA competitive league in 2018.

Teasing the final at PAX East in Boston on April 5-8, MLS released a micro video about its new esports endeavor: eMLS. The league will feature 19 of their teams, including the Seattle Sounders, as the best FIFA 18 players compete for a chance to become world champions.

You’ve just been promoted to GM for the Seattle Sounders

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In the middle of the offseason, Sounders GM has asked you, yes you, for help with his signings. What do you suggest?

Let's face it: we're full on in the middle of the offseason, the transfer season, the silly season and the Seattle Sounders haven't made a move (except for signing Waylon Francis and Handwalla Bwana).

Major Link Soccer: Ola Kamara is nearing a move to... the Colorado Rapids?

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Also: Pappa arrested (again), Dzemaili leaving (already), and Kyle Martino hits a nerve (acerbically)


Since he is a former Sounder, I feel obligated to put this unfortunate situation in this section: Marco Pappa was once again arrested for domestic violence. The former Sounder was apparently stopped on his way to Asia where he was supposed to join a new team.

Hope Solo to be honored for reaching 200 caps

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US Soccer will make amends with Solo for at least one more event

It looks like the United States Women's National Team isn't quiet done with Hope Solo just yet.

Grant Wahl broke the news today that Solo will be honored for reaching 200 caps during the USWNT friendly against Denmark later this month.

Stars Close in on Playoff Spot

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A strong second half saw the Tacoma Stars move one win back of Ontario

The Tacoma Stars took on the Ontario Fury on January 5th at Showare Arena. Both teams came in fighting for the second playoff spot in the Pacific Division, trailing the undefeated San Diego Sockers.

Prior to the match, the Stars made a big move, bringing in Nick Perera from the Syracuse Silver Knights via trade for future considerations.

Reign acquire U.S. international Allie Long

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Rebekah Stott and Katie Johnson go to New Jersey as part of a three-team swap.

In a blockbuster deal, Seattle Reign FC announced today that they have acquired US international midfielder Allie Long from the Portland Thorns FC, as part of a three-team trade that involved Seattle sending New Zealand international defender Rebekah Stott and Mexican international forward Katie Johnson to Sky Blue FC.

Osvaldo Alonso ‘still the man’, Steve Zakuani says

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Sounders announcer clearly of the opinion Alonso still has much to offer the team.

If there's one thing that the loss to Toronto FC laid bare, it's that the Seattle Sounders have room for improvement. Just how much they need was probably overstated in that game — somehow every Sounders midfielder seemed to have their worst game of the season at the same time — but there was clearly something missing.

Seattle Sounders vs. 2017: End-of-season player ratings, #20-#16

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Our series continues with some players whose inconsistency brought their season ratings surprisingly low.

Hi there. After a move of residence, I am back with the second set of five cumulative ratings for the Seattle Sounders in 2017. This is a very interesting grouping. Unlike the bottom five, who were very clearly low performers and guys with few minutes, this group includes some very big names who underperformed last season.

Major Link Soccer: Sound Wave Needs You

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Also: Roman Torres sure looks happy


The MLS Cup final loss may have taken a bit of the strut out of our step, but with the new season approaching just remember: The Sounders still have the best overall record in MLS since 2009 (good for an average of 1.62 points per game over that span of time).

There’s an additional 2019 CONCACAF Champions League spot up for grabs

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Rules clarification means New York City FC has not clinched a berth, as previously reported.

There will be an additional open spot for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League, it was announced on Monday. Despite a seemingly official announcement back in December that said New York City FC had qualified by virtue of finishing with the most points among U.

Major Link Soccer: Jonathan Gonzalez may trade the USMNT for Mexico

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If you loved Diagon Alley in Seattle, you'll love the next project. If he can get the permits, here's Diagon Alley creator's next project – My Ballard.


Not sure how they got it done, but I am a bit jealous. FC Dallas blocks US Soccer call-ups amid CONCACAF Champions League prep.

Two Sounders called into USMNT’s January camp

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Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris could be with USMNT from Jan. 10-28.

As expected, Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris have been called into the United States men's national team January camp, which will start on Wednesday and conclude with a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 28.

Major Link Soccer: Hope Solo calls out U.S. Soccer Leaderhsip

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In a podcast interview, the goalkeeper/USSF presidential candidate detailed the threats Sunil Gulati and others made towards USWNT players requesting higher wages


The December Sounders Alliance meeting focused on voting for the 2018 executive staff.

Ten Sounders academy players have been called into United States Youth National Team January camps.

How to unlock the full potential of Nicolas Lodeiro

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What's a free eight? Quite possibly the best position for Nicolas Lodeiro.

While trying not to do anything over Christmas break, I came across a Twitter discussion that began with this tweet from Michael Caley.

We really need a word for that tweener CM/AM playmaker position that Silva, KDB, Coutinho and Eriksen play.

Sounders reconnected to Panamanian attacking talent

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Ismael Diaz rumored to be a Seattle target, again.

After being linked to the Seattle Sounders last summer, Ismael Diaz signed with Real Deportivo Fabril of the Spanish third division. As he did in the lower division in Portugal, Diaz is tearing it up in Spain, and now he is again linked with a move to the Sounders.

Relive the good times with all 64 Sounders goals from 2017

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You probably forgot about some of these bangers.

You know that feeling of ecstatic joy and relief when the the back of the net bulges from a Seattle Sounders strike? That sense of victory, the wonderment of experiencing incredible skill (or maybe luck)? I can't think of a reason not to mainline that glorious feeling for 14 minutes and 25 seconds, and that's just what you'll get with this compilation video of every single goal from 2017.

Wee Willie: The First Name We Heard

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Ode to the late Willie Penman, scorer of Sounders' first home goal.

So many pieces fell precisely into place, it's not surprising that the Sounders' very first season came to be known as Camelot. A huge opening night turnout, the immediate and steadfast bonding between enthusiastic new fans and deeply appreciative and earnest players.

Open Flavor Friday: Flu Season

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Our Friday off-topic biopic explores the journey of one man's desire to never be sick ever and his failures along the way.

The holidays came and went. New Years resolutions are happening, so stick to it. But in the midst of all this, it's also flu season, and I have a confession to make: I'm sick.

A Photographer’s Story: The Six-Percent Challenge

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Shooting a Tacoma Stars game on low battery life gives one of our photographers a fresh perspective on the community aspects of the team

My name is Max Aquino, one of the photographers for Sounder at Heart. Over this upcoming season, I will be writing a series of articles covering a variety of soccer photography topics, such as game day preparation, photo technique, favorite photos from the game, stories from the sideline, and anything else that you guys may find interesting.

These three stretches will define Sounders’ 2018 season

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There's a lot to like about the schedule, but this is where the Sounders will make or break their season.

By most reasonable accounts, there's not a ton to complain about in the Seattle Sounders' 2018 MLS schedule. They only play as many as three straight games on the road once, and only play back-to-back games away from home two other times; most of their "hot-weather" games are played during cooler parts of the year; and their home schedule is full of Saturday dates.

Seattle Sounders vs. 2017: End-of-season player ratings, #25-#21

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Over the coming weeks, we'll be looking at each player's cumulative rating. Today, the first five.

Although the season ultimately ended on a sour note, the 2017 Sounders had a good run, and back-to-back finals is incredible for a franchise that hadn't so much as won a conference championship a year and a half ago.

Major Link Soccer: Meram, Kamara look for the exit in Columbus

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The US could lose Jonathan Gonzalez to Mexico. The USL is waiting on Division II status. The Tukwila police have been chasing a pig for days.


The Tukwila police department have been in pursuit of an escaped pig named Monty for several days. According to their Facebook updates on the dramatic chase, Monty is "ungodly fast" and a police representative went on the radio this morning to discuss the case.

Sounders Academy well represented at U.S. Soccer YNT Summit

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First of its kind camp includes five young Sounders.

The first ever U.S. Soccer Men's Youth National Team Summit Camp is currently being held in Lakewood Ranch Florida, with 153 players representing the rosters for the U.S. U-16, U-17, U-18, U-19 and U-20 Youth National Teams. The Sounders academy has five players at the camp.

2017 Season Hype Video Retrospective

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We can probably agree that the 2017 Seattle Sounders season did not have that Hollywood ending we desired even though YNYA Studios tried to hype it up as best as we could. While we cannot go back and rewrite the script on the season, we can certainly look fondly back and relive our hype.

#4 - "Champions Must Rise"

Hype Occasion: Sounders vs Whitecaps Western Conference Semifinals (leg two)

Hype Description: "Champions must rise in order to defend their Cup.

Sounders 2018 schedule: There will be one fewer Cascadia Cup match

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Early byes, more Saturday home games, no games during international breaks highlight this year's slate.

Major League Soccer released the full game schedule for the 2018 season Thursday, and the times and opponents for the Seattle Sounders' 34 regular-season matches are finally available to drop into your calendar over the next 10 months.

Sounders using tuition incentive as development tool

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Their direct-to-USL signings out of the Academy won't have to ignore their eduction.

Down in the USL with Sounders FC 2, Sam Rogers had a rather remarkable year. He committed to Villanova, broke into the squad as a regular centerback after transitioning from defensive midfield, signed a pro contract and graduated from Ballard High School.

Major Link Soccer: Benny Feilhaber traded to LAFC

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MLS schedule revealed today and some US Soccer news as well.


The FULL 2018 MLS schedule will be revealed today at 10:30 am.

Sporting Kansas City trades Benny Feilhaber to LAFC. Why couldn't they have sent him to an Eastern Conference team?

Orlando City SC have locked up Dom Dwyer for the next three years after signing him to an extension on Wednesday.

Megan Rapinoe called up for U.S. January camp

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Rapinoe and Rachel Corsie will represent their countries in January friendlies

Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe is coming off her most productive NWSL season, where she scored 12 goals in 18 matches and was a finalist for the NWSL MVP Award. She will start the 2018 season on a strong note, as Rapinoe was one of 26 players selected by Jill Ellis for the U.

Brad Evans shares thoughts on ‘nuclear buttons’ in the locker room

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The longtime Sounder has never seemed too concerned about weighing in on off-field matters.

Brad Evans has never been one to shy away from controversy, and at times has even stepped into the political arena. He did it again on Tuesday.

I've seen a lot of nuclear buttons in the locker room and the ones with the biggest buttons never said so.

Major Link Soccer: MLS transfer news kicks into high gear

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Also: Vacation Pics and New Kit Inspiration


With all of the roster moves around MLS in the last few days, it has felt quiet (too quiet) here in Seattle. But we have a couple of Sounders news items to report...

Stefan Frei has been enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation in Mexico.

Major Link Soccer: Morgan Brian is going to Lyon

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The USWNT star is trading the NWSL for Olympique Lyon


February is the target for getting the marketing launched. Pieces falling into place for Seattle's NHL expansion franchise bid -

The Experts Name Seattle's Top Dining Neighborhoods for 2017 - Eater Seattle


The Seattle native is trying to start his time off right with the Rapids.

Soccer in Puget Sound: It’s Rarely a Holiday

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Tales of battling winter elements to play on Christmas and New Year's.

If your idea of a perfect winter holiday is to while away the hours watching live top-class soccer, you best not live near Seattle.

Among native Puget Sounders, perhaps only octogenarians can speak of such an experience in their lifetime.

Community Player Ranker 2017

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We're asking you which player had the greatest influence on Seattle's year.

One of our favorite community projects is The Rankinator. The project asks you which player most contributed to the Seattle Sounders 2017 season. As a reminder the club finished 2nd in the West, 7th in the Shield race, won the Western Conference trophy in making it to their second straight MLS Cup.

Major Link Soccer: Transfer Season is Upon Us

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New York City FC get their next DP at midnight, while Sebastian Giovinco once again gets linked back to Italy


The Sounders 2017 season ended on a rather unfortunate note, but there are many great things to appreciate in the coming year.

Now that it is 2018, take a look back at the best Washington Youth Soccer coaches, administrators, and volunteers of 2017.