Nelson Valdez

Seattle Sounders

2017 MLS season preview and predictions

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Photo credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The MLS offseason is drawing to a close, with opening day in Portland less than two weeks away.

After an exciting 2016 season, MLS sees two new teams join the league for 2017 with Atlanta United and Minnesota United making their debuts.

Here is a preview of the season to come as well as predictions on where the teams will finish in their respective conferences:

MLS WESTERN CONFERENCE

1.

2017 MLS season preview and predictions

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Photo credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The MLS offseason is drawing to a close, with opening day in Portland less than two weeks away.

After an exciting 2016 season, MLS sees two new teams join the league for 2017 with Atlanta United and Minnesota United making their debuts.

Here is a preview of the season to come as well as predictions on where the teams will finish in their respective conferences:

MLS WESTERN CONFERENCE

1.

¡¡¡SOUNDERS CAMPEONES!!!

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• De estar casi eliminados en agosto a la cima de la MLS en diciembre • Sin goles en 120 minutos, la final de la Copa MLS se decidió en tiros a penal • Stefan FREI le quitó un gol a Jozy ALTIDORE en el minuto 108 (video) • Román TORRES en el partido de su vida hizo el penal de la victoria (video) Hace .

LOS MOMENTOS QUE MARCARON EL CAMINO A LA FINAL DE LA COPA MLS

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Hablar sobre los Sounders FC en el mes de diciembre fue, hasta el año pasado, un justo ritual de resignación por otra temporada fallida y de esperanza por una nueva temporada. Hoy en la noche, casi a mitad de diciembre, bajo un intenso frío en el BMO Field de Toronto, la Furia Verde estará jugando su primer final de Copa MLS frente al equipo de .

Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids, leg 2: Highlights, stats and quotes

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"My first answer to that is we're not finished yet. My second answer is that I'm very proud of this franchise. The fans deserve that – they deserve it." -Brian Schmetzer

That was amazing.

The Seattle Sounders have won the Western Conference final and are moving on to MLS Cup for the first time.

Morris, Valdez, Lodeiro combine for 'unbelievable' attacking performance against FC Dallas

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Photo by Steven Bisig/USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't the attack many foresaw at the beginning of the year, but the three-man unit leading the Seattle Sounders on Sunday looked downright frightening.

For years, the Sounders relied on a two-pronged attack of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.

FC Dallas destruido en ocho minutos

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En solo ocho minutos dentro del segundo tiempo los Seattle Sounders destruyeron al campeón de la temporada regular de la MLS (Supporter´s Shield), el FC Dallas con par de anotaciones del Nicolás LOREIDO y otra de Nelson VALDEZ quién se encargó de abrir el marcador al minuto 50 con su segundo gol de la temporada.

Dominant second half propels Sounders past FC Dallas in conference semifinals

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Photo by Steven Bisig/USA Today Sports

SEATTLE No Dempsey. No Ivanschitz. No Torres. No problem.

Hosting FC Dallas in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday night, the surging Seattle Sounders topped FC Dallas 3-0 in front of 37,073 at CenturyLink Field. Nelson Valdez scored for the second time in two matches.

Valdez, su primer gol fue para eliminar a Kansas City

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Todo cambia. Sí, en el fútbol todo cambia cuando menos lo esperas. Si no, preguntenle a Nelson VALDEZ como su gol al minuto 88 ha catapultado en el 1-0 de los Seattle Sounders sobre el Sporting Kansas City, suficiente para clasificar a las semifinales de la Conferencia Oeste contra el FC Dallas. En un partido intenso y complicado que se destinaba a tiempo extra, VALDEZ .

Chad Marshall, Nelson Valdez questionable for Saturday's match against Colorado

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Marshall left Wednesday's training session early with unspecified injury, did not train on Thursday

Heading into Saturday's home match against the Colorado Rapids, the Seattle Sounders hope to earn a much different result than that of Week 7's 3-1 loss in Colorado. Head coach Sigi Schmid recognized the threat that the Rapids present to the Sounders: "I think it'll be a good game, obviously Colorado is on top of the table in the West.

Copa America 2016: Nelson Valdez named to Paraguay's final roster

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As expected, Nelson Haedo Valdez has been named to Paraguay's final 23-man roster for the Copa America Centenario. The announcement was made on Monday.

⚪️ Ellos son los 23 #Albirrojos que defenderán nuestros colores en la @CA2016 #VamosParaguay pic.

Nelson Valdez still out of Sounders starting lineup vs. Earthquakes

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There weren't too many big surprises when the Seattle Sounders announced their starting lineup for Saturday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes, save for possibly one. Although Nelson Valdez had been training in full most of the week, he'll be coming off the bench for a third straight week.

Here's your #Sounders Starting XI, presented by our friends at @Delta!

Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez potentially out as team travels to Colorado

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Dempsey didn't train outside and Valdez went inside after feeling some tightness in his leg

The positive feeling that was hanging over Starfire in Tukwila on Thursday after Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid happily noted having an almost entirely healthy squad changed drastically on Friday.

Nelson Valdez available against Philadelphia, Friberg a possibility

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He's not guaranteed to start, but it's highly likely that Nelson Valdez will be in the 18

Despite having been injured and unavailable for last weekend's trip to Houston, Seattle Sounders forward Nelson Haedo Valdez was back in training on Friday and according to Sigi Schmid, is available for Saturday's home match against Philadelphia Union.

Jordan Morris replaces Nelson Valdez in starting lineup

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Without Nelson Haedo Valdez the Seattle Sounders will turn to Jordan Morris as the starter at center forward. The rest of the attack is similar to the win over the Impact. Andreas Ivanschitz and Aaron Kovar are the wingers with Clint Dempsey back as a goal-scoring center mid.

The rest of the midfield and defense is as expected with Joevin Jones again starting after getting a bit of rest in the win.

Nelson Valdez could travel to Houston, unlikely to start

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It's highly likely we'll see Jordan Morris start up top, but it's possible that Valdez could make the bench

On Thursday, head coach Sigi Schmid said that Seattle Sounders forward Nelson Haedo Valdez had a minor problem in training this week, but that it wasn't a long term concern. He implied that his status for the away match at Houston this weekend was doubtful, but Valdez was seen doing some light training on Friday.

We fixed the Sounders formational problems, you’re welcome

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The lack of offense is a bit worrying. There are two DPs, a high priced HGP and a fancy creator all up top, and yet the Seattle Sounders are a rather poor side by actual and expected goals through three MLS games. None of these players are in the spot where they would be best. Ryan and Dave talked through a few ideas and eventually settled on the solution.

Mark Geiger inventa penales para vencer a Sounders

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Lo menos que los Sounders de Seattle necesitaban hoy era la complicidad del árbitro Mark GEIGER para atascarse en el fondo de la Conferencia Oeste y toda la MLS, con la tercer derrota consecutiva al perder 1 2 contra los Vancouver Whitecaps ante 40,012 personas en el CenturyLink Field. En lo que tiene que ser una de las peores actuaciones arbitrales en la historia reciente de la liga, GEIGER concedió dos penales inexistentes al club canadiense para que estos lograran su primer victoria de la temporada y sus primeros tres puntos para la Copa Cascadia.

Mark Geiger inventa penales para vencer a Sounders

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Lo menos que los Sounders de Seattle necesitaban hoy era la complicidad del árbitro Mark GEIGER para atascarse en el fondo de la Conferencia Oeste y toda la MLS, con la tercer derrota consecutiva al perder 1 2 contra los Vancouver Whitecaps ante 40,012 personas en el CenturyLink Field. En lo que tiene que ser una de las peores actuaciones arbitrales en la historia reciente de la liga, GEIGER concedió dos penales inexistentes al club canadiense para que estos lograran su primer victoria de la temporada y sus primeros tres puntos para la Copa Cascadia.

Jordan Morris

Indetenibles. Los Sounders se coronan en el Oeste para jugar por primera vez una final de Copa MLS

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Finalmente. Después de intentarlo por ocho temporadas consecutivas, los Seattle Sounders FC jugarán una final de Copa MLS tras superar al Colorado Rapids 0 1 en el partido de vuelta de la final de la Conferencia Oeste. Jordan MORRIS necesitó solo dos toques a un balón que habilitó Nelson VALDEZ desde fuera del área y vencer la salida infructuosa del arquero Zac MacMATH.

Jordan Morris earns a USMNT call to play Mexico

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US-Mexico face off on November 11th, Jordan will be the lone Sounder on the roster this time.

MLS is giving clubs a week off between the conference semis and conference finals with FIFA holding World Cup qualifiers. Jordan Morris will join the list of players representing their national teams as non-US internationals Joevin Jones, Roman Torres, Nelson Valdez, Oniel Fisher, Damion Lowe and Nicholas Lodeiro received call-ups already.

Sounders vs. Chicago Fire: LevyFilms’ highlights

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

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

Getting the most from the current roster

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This Ideal XI strengthens the squad without adding another player.

Hey guys, I know we are right in the middle of Copa/OpenCup excitement, but I have taken a look at how ratings compare to expectations over the first two-fifths of the season.

The Team:

As a team, Sounders' average overall score is 5.

USA Copa America Roster 2016: Jordan Morris, Brad Evans left off

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Clint Dempsey is Sounders' only representative on USMNT.

Seattle got pretty lucky with the Copa America final rosters. Jordan Morris and Brad Evans were both left off the United States' roster that was announced on Saturday. Clint Dempsey headlines a striker quartet that lost Jozy Altidore from contention last week and includes fellow MLS forwards Chris Wondolowski and Gyasi Zardes.

Jordan Morris, Nelson Valdez starting to figure out their roles in Sounders' 4-3-3

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The Sounders' new tactical configuration has been fraught with inconsistency this season. This was a team that dominated the LA Galaxy in preseason followed by two solid performances against Club America, after which they've decided to do a faceplant, losing their first three MLS matches. Most of those issues come down the reshuffled offensive configuration.

Joevin Jones

How Sounders players fared during the international break, so far

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Of the six Sounders away on international duty, only Joevin Jones and Damion Lowe saw the field and that's just fine.

MLS has taken a two-week break during the MLS Cup Playoffs for 2018 World Cup Qualifying. The Seattle Sounders have six players away with their respective national teams at the moment — Joevin Jones, Trinidad and Tobago, Román Torres, Panama, Nicolás Lodeiro, Uruguay, Nelson Valdez, Paraguay and Damion Lowe and Oniel Fisher, Jamaica.

Joevin Jones, Nelson Valdez have been Sounders’ playoff stars

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Valdez scored his first two goals in a year this past week, and Jones has had a hand in all four Seattle playoff goals.

For Seattle Sounders FC, praise is in high supply for players like Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris, who both made the shortlists for the Newcomer of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards, respectively.

Sigi Schmid

Tyrone Mears is season’s latest redemption story

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His play on Sunday is a huge reason Sounders are moving forward

The postseason is virtually built for redemptions stories. Whether it be for teams or players, they have a chance to turn a season's worth of struggles on their head and make everyone forget it ever happened.

The Seattle Sounders seem to be taking this to an extreme.

Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls: Highlights, stats and quotes

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"We've got to score goals. It's a matter of continuing to go to the practice ground, continue to work on our finishing, but a lot of it is just the confidence of the players." -Sigi Schmid

In a match full of golden chances for the Seattle Sounders, their opponents were the ones who made their shots count.

Andreas Ivanschitz's role change highlights tactical tinkering in Sounders' win over Montreal

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Even after Sigi Schmid highlighted that the Sounders clash against the Montreal Impact might feature some changes to their new tactical makeup, it was unsurprising to see how little changed for the Seattle Sounders. While their first half was much of the same-old same-old we've seen the first three games, some small changes paid huge dividends in the second half.

Andreas Ivanschitz

Nelson Valdez was key to Sounders’ strong finish

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Striker's energy and willing defensive play allowed the Sounders to put Galaxy away.

Sunday against the LA Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders rode high to a thrilling 4-2 win over their rivals to the south (south south). For the first two-thirds of the match, the Sounders rolled with their trademark 4-2-3-1, featuring Nicolas Lodeiro as a false 10.

Sounders vs. Revolution, starting lineups: Morris spells Dempsey

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Morris will be the Sounder closest to goal in today's formation

With Clint Dempsey away with the US Men's National Team, the task of leading the Seattle Sounders attack falls to the forward trio of Herculez Gomez, Jordan Morris and Aaron Kovar.

The only unit that comes into this match entirely healthy is the midfield, but what a midfield it is: Andreas Ivanschitz, Osvaldo Alonso and Erik Friberg are three names that can make some beautiful music together.

The Rest

Major Link Soccer: Bruce Talks Soccer

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Bruce Arena shared his opinion, Sounders won't sign a DP anytime soon, and Goals of the Week.

Seattle

Don't expect any huge moves from the Seattle Sounders this winter. With Nelson Valdez now back in his native Paraguay, the MLS Cup champions have one Designated Player spot available and won't use it just yet.

Union bits, Academy results, Conference semifinals results, more

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News and such.

Nelson Valdez ensured himself a proper place in Sounders lore

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

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

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

Nelson Valdez’s emotional goal celebration was THE BEST

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

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

The release came on Thursday in a massive moment.

Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls: Community player ratings form

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Rate the players in the 2-0 loss at Red Bull Arena

We saw another new lineup with changed spots for Andreas Ivanschitz and Joevin Jones. The Seattle Sounders gave the Red Bulls a run for their money, but ultimately failed to turn any of their 15 shots into goals. As always, it's time to rate the individual performances that made up the loss.

This Week In Sounders Gifs: Three > Zero

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The Seattle Sounders FC defeated Montreal Impact 1-0 and what better way to revisit the match than through animated gifs.

"Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three.

Oalex Anderson turns on the style but fails to finish

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Oalex Anderson, who came on for Nelson Valdez earlier in the second half, showed off his technical skill and speed by beating two defenders to open up acres of space in the final third. Unfortunately, Anderson ignored his wide open teammates and continued his run into the box, where an Impact defender snatched the ball away and ended the amazing run.