By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (Aug 7, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Tuesday's edition, Tony
parallels the situations in Seattle and New Jersey. Is the big test for Seattle yet to come? "It's
a statement for ourselves," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid told the Seattle Times after his team
defeated the Galaxy 4-0 Sunday.
After a week off, the Power Rankings are back here at WVH. Only a few moves to really talk about
this week as the top four remained in the top tier. Only one club moved up a tier while the bottom
two clubs look like they could be joining the third tier here shortly.
Team Rank (Last) Record (W-L-T) Comments Top Tier (teams seen to be head and shoulders above the
rest) 1 (1) 11-4-4 37 pts.
Brian Schmetzer was Interviewed for Impact job, "ready to take next coaching step"
Brian Schmetzer apparently interviewed for the job as head coach of the Montreal Impact (which
went to Jesse Marsh), which is news to me. Not surprising given Schmetzer's history as USL coach
and current job assisting Schmid, but it would certainly be a significant step up for Brian.
Match in a sentence Jonathan Schmid's second half goal was enough to see Freiburg sneak past Hamburg and move into fifth place at the Imtech Arena. Analysis Thorsten Frink's men played in a 4-4-2 with Arjtoms Rudnevs and Son Heung-Min leading the line. Dennis Aogo and Per Ciljan Skjelbred played on the wings, while Tolgay [.
Match just over at MAGE SOLAR Stadion Bundesliga Home Team Freiburg Goals & Scorers 49â€²: Max
Kruse; Keeper Oliver Baumann Midfield Anton Putsila; Karim Guede; Jonathan Schmid; Julian Schuster;
Cedric Makiadi; Forwards Max Kruse; Defense Oliver Sorg; Immanuel HÃƒÂ¶hn; Matthias Ginter; Diagne
Fallou; Subs 79â€²: in [.
Playing at MAGE SOLAR Stadion Bundesliga Home Team Freiburg Keeper Oliver Baumann Midfield Cedric
Makiadi; Jonathan Schmid; Karim Guede; Max Kruse; Julian Schuster; Forwards Ivan Santini; Defense
Vegard Hedenstad; Matthias Ginter; Diagne Fallou; Oliver Sorg; Subs Away Team Mainz Keeper
Christian Wetklo Midfield [.
That sound you hear is the Seattle Sounders' breathing a collective sigh of relief.
Eddie Johnson's hamstring injury sustained in the first half of the Sounders' loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy this past Sunday was not as serious as first feared, and there is an outside chance he could play, according to the Seattle Times' Joshua Mayers.
The sunny day at Starfire Sports complex was most notable because of the presence of Eidur
Gudjohnsen. He's tall and a bit broad, but not unusually so when amongst MLS players. Standing next
to Eddie Johnson early in the session he looked similar though maybe not quite as fit. This may be
more of a testament to EJ's incredible build than a knock on Eidur.
As the Seattle Sounders took their long journey to Trinidad to continue their quest for the
2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League title they will be doing it in a small stadium with high
humidity, low 80s and partly cloudy weather. They are in foreign lands, nearly as far away as they
can be from Seattle as can be in competitive matches.
It's a rare feeling for Seattle Sounders FC; a pause in their near constant action of double
game weeks is combined with a rather healthy team. And while there is another player still to join
the battle for starting minutes once Mario Martinez joins the team and practices, on Saturday the
team could feel an "Ideal XI.
That was certainly not how the Seattle Sounders imagined this week going. Losing to both
Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes would have been bad enough, but doing it in the
way they did makes it almost unfathomable.
The more depressing loss was the penalty shootout on Wednesday, but the way the Sounders lost
2-1 on Saturday was just pouring salt on the wound.
San Jose is an odd team. They actually give up more goals early in the game. They and the
Sounders both score more often in the second half, but tonight with Seattle being exhausted from a
compact schedule they could push for an early goal well as fresh as they can be and sit back. This
kind of cynical tactic is rarely used by Sigi Schmid, but today it makes sense.
Sporting KC is 180 minutes away from a trophy, their first since 2004.Â Should they get by
Philadelphia on Wednesday the 11th and be 90 minutes away, those 90 minutes, potential extra time,
and penalty kicks, will take place in Kansas City.Â Today, US Soccer announced the potential
finalist hosts for the US Open Cup final.
One of the things that Sigi does a couple times a year is put out a lineup that makes little
sense to outside observers. Against the San Jose Earthquakes the biggest surprise was either the
forward pairing or a right side that was built of Cordell Cato and Brad Evans. When asked about why
the overall lineup was built he said "we decided to go with a lineup that was a little bit bigger,
a lineup that we felt could hold up to that play and on the same token, not play guys who
physically would put themselves in big jeopardy if they had to play.
The Portland Timbers are not a good MLS team right now. Sure, they have the nobility of support
(as Seattle fans we've been through that with the Seahawks, Sonics and Mariners), but the team
itself is poor. John Spencer and those above him are trying to rebuild on the fly. They recently
added Danny Mwanga and Mike Fucito to add to the offense.
Now, with two vital matches approaching, Sigi Schmid and the Seattle Sounders roster are stuck
between the proverbial petrified tree and a hard place (namely the unstable San Andreas Fault).
With only a day separating the Cascadia Cup from the Open Cup, Sigi will be forced to weigh the
ability and fitness of the side he trots out with the skill of the teams they will face and the
importance of the games they will play.
Saturday night the Sounders embarrassed themselves. Forget the referee, the crowd, the Montreal
Impact. Intensity and focus matter in professional sports and the Sounders did not take the field
in Montreal ready to play. There were moments of precision and brilliance from the Sounders. Eddie
Johnson's goal was the result of beautiful interplay.
The Seattle Sounders will be forced to play without their leading scorer for at least the next
couple of months.
According to the Seattle Times, David Estrada will miss the next 8-to-12 weeks with a broken
foot, one that was suffered in training on Tuesday. Estrada's five goals are tops for a team
focused on reclaiming its top form in league play while maintaining its run toward an unprecedented
fourth straight U.
Massive match: Cal FC coach Eric Wynalda greets fellow Southern California resident Sigi Schmid of
the Sounders before tonight's Seattle-Cal FC U.S. Open Cup game (AP Photo). *Ventura County-based
Cal FC held off the Seattle Sounders for the first 45 minutes then caved as the hosts scored five
It's fun to talk about narratives and storylines, but most of the time those don't have to do
with the actual game being played. In the case of Cal FC at Seattle Sounders no matter how many
fans travel to support Eric Wynalda's team (hello TA and SS?) the game will be determined by the
performance on the pitch of Starfire at 7 PM Pacific.
Coming off a chunk of their schedule that saw them play nine matches in 31 days, it was hardly
surprising to show up at Seattle Sounders training camp on Thursday and find that they weren't
doing soccer activities. I was shocked to see them playing dodgeball though.
I only got there in time to catch the final, but I was pretty impressed with what I saw.
While the majority of MLS sides were struggling in the US Open Cup the Seattle Sounders were
collecting goals from four different players. Sammy Ochoa finished his brace in the the 66th minute
to put Seattle up 5-1 over the Atlanta Silverbacks. Starfire and the Open Cup continue to be a
place of Sounders victories.
Over the past three seasons, Sigi Schmid has masterfully maneuvered the Seattle Sounders lineup.
Many times, he's rolled out a lineup that has made more than a few of us want to rip out our hair.
But more times than not, it's worked out in his favor.
His willingness to go more than 20-deep on his roster is part of why the Sounders have been able
to do so well in multiple competitions.
At one point the David v Goliath nature of the US Open Cup was a great story. It captured the
underdog nature of the nation's Cup tournament. The all-time numbers (MLS teams advance past lower
division teams 71% of time) back up that narrative. Things last night may have shifted that a bit.
Tonight's Seattle Sounders v Atlanta Silverbacks game at Starfire takes on a different meaning.
Without the results of the past few weeks a draw on the road to the newly revamped Chivas USA
could be a positive, particularly a come-from-behind draw. In light of the slump that the Seattle
Sounders FC are in, is a road draw enough? In some cases 1-1 is a positive. In others it feels like
For Seattle Sounders signing Sigi Schmid was clearly one of the most important parts of their
success as an expansion franchise, as was picking Brad Evans from the Columbus roster in the
Sounders expansion draft. As much as Sounders have been a model for MLS 2.0, Columbus Crew were a
model franchise for the beginning of MLS.
While the LA Galaxy didn't send their big names, in some ways that complicates the approach to
the game. As Sigi Schmid pointed out in post game comments, the Seattle Sounders don't know what
Sean Franklin as a midfielder is, or how Adam Cristman plays, or who is Brian Gaul. Now Seattle
knows. They know that the lineup that the Galaxy put forward is beatable.
Wednesday's 6PM US Open Cup Final is just another lineup challenge for Sigi Schmid in a year
that has seen the Seattle Sounders play on short rest several times already. But this is the first
time in 2012 when those choices literally have a Cup on the line. The Sunday night lineup was not
weakened in order to rest anyone.
Normally when getting three questions the answers I submit seem like things our readers already
know. But yesterday, one of the questions was about David Estrada, his injury and how his loss
would affect the starting lineup. And that gets kind of intriguing, because while Estrada isn't a
"starter" he starts a lot and is nearly assured to get minutes in which he doesn't.
Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero are both scoring now. They each have an assist in 2012. What
they don't have yet is that partnership, the very partnership that was the reason for the trade. A
partnership is about more than each scoring. Several of Montero's "other forwards" did that. A
partnership is what Nate Jaqua and Fredy had in 2009 when their interplay showed potency and
Just because we needed to relive it a little more, it would appear the boys over at
MLSsoccer.com agree with Sigi Schmid (and everyone else here) that neither goal from Saturday's
game should have stood up. Greg Lalas reviews both and comes out with the clear belief that the
referees blew both calls.
"When somebody kicks you, your first reaction is to kick them back at some point. It's easy to
say you shouldn't do that, but sometimes it's hard when you're in the emotion of the game to not do
that. It's something that we as a team need to get better at and not allow teams to take it out of