David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sounders FC reveal ticket packages

Seattle Sounders FC have announced their ticket seating and pricing for their inaugural 2009 Major League Soccer campaign.

Details can be found right here.

The fan website built especially for ticket holders has been discovered here.

A 3-D Sounders FC / Qwest Field web page can be viewed here.

Check out the various views using this Qwest Field lower bowl panorama photo.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Surf Dude and Mr. Woo!

Photo courtesy of www.TacomaFC.com

"Surf Dude & Mr. Woo!"
Sound like a super hero duo? You can read the story at TacomaFC.com.

Brazil v. Canada May 31st at Qwest

The next question is...will he be coming?

The rumored international friendly has been confirmed by Canadian press and Fox Soccer Channel who both ran the same brief announcement yesterday.

Tickets will go on sale shortly and will likely be hot commodities with Brazilian admirers shuffling with our friends across the border to fill Qwest Field.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adrian's Postcard from Buenos Aires

Sounders FC owner / GM Adrian Hanauer writes about his recent scouting trip for SoundersFC.com

"You just look for the right opportunities and at the same time, you look for players such as a Designated Player. There may be players who can help us win a championship early on, who can make us a very good team out of the gate. So we were able to go to those games and look at players thinking about that as well.

At some of the games, the fans’ passion is unbelievable. Last Saturday night we went to see Boca Juniors host Newell’s Old Boys and on Sunday evening Tigre hosted Estudiantes. I have to say that those games rate as the 1st and 2nd-best atmosphere for sporting events in my life. The Boca game at the La Bombonera was spine-tingling, hair-raising. Fifty-seven thousand fans packed into the stadium, the passion and the constant singing and beating of drums.

Soccer in Argentina is so far and away the biggest sport. If you had all of the passion of the NBA, Major League Baseball and NFL wrapped into one game at home every two weeks, we would have that kind of passion as well. Those stadiums are filled, it’s tough to get a ticket and Estudiantes had a lot of fans there as well. I’m hopeful we can build that kind of passion over time here in Seattle."

Who would pay Henry's transfer fee?

If only Photoshop ruled the soccer world.

That's the question raised by Greg Daurio in this 90:00 soccer story.

He doesn't argue that Joe Roth or Paul Allen couldn't easily afford the fee, just that in the past MLS has been the receiver of fees paid for players the league sells off. If it works both ways, then...

"MLS controls all player contracts. Up until recently, the league kept the vast majority of transfer fees received when players left (and they still get a percentage of that money), so it stands to reason that the league also pays the transfer fees for players coming into the league. Keep this in mind as well. David Beckham arrived on a free transfer from Real Madrid last year because his contract had run out.

Juan Pablo Angel also was a free transfer because Aston Villa had agreed to let him out of the remainder of his contract. The league doesn’t exactly have a history of paying extraordinary transfer fees for players, and with it’s slow and steady approach to it’s financial decisions, it seems unlikely that the league would shell out the tens of millions of dollars that Barcelona would most likely command for Henry."

Realistic expectations for the 2008 Sounders

Sebastien Le Toux is already a "marked man" for the 2008 Sounders.
Jenni Conner www.GOALSeattle.com photo.

by David Falk

We've seen two away matches, and so far the Seattle Sounders have no wins and only one goal.

This is a typical start for the recent Sounders. It's been more than 5 years since Seattle won one of its opening two matches. In that time, between 2004 and 2008, the Sounders are 0 wins, 4 draws and 6 losses in their initial pair.

In that time the Sounders have also gone to 3 finals, winning 2 championships. Once they also recovered from a slow start to finish top of the table (2007).

I guess we should have expected another crawling out of the gate. Perhaps the return of all 11 starters gave some hope that 2008 would be different. Not so far. A 1-1 draw at middling Charleston was followed up with a 2-0 defeat at contenders Portland.

Where does that leave the Sounders? What are the realistic expectations we can have for our 2008 club?

Expect to see rookie players in tight situations late in matches. This season is about seeing what some younger players can bring. Sounders FC are watching to see who deserves a spot in MLS, and who has enough of an 'upside' to warrant another year. Already we've seen Andre Schmid (2nd year), Jason Cascio and John Fishbaugher (rookies) subbed in late during crucial periods of tight matches.

Expect a slow start. Two matches down, and another this Friday in Atlanta before the Sounders come home for three. I don't think we'll see the horrible 1 win in 8 matches to start that we had last year, but we may not see a homestand sweep in May, either.

Expect more players over the season. Right now French trialists are with the club, and rumors even have some recent cuban defectors headed our way for trials. Greg Howes may be back now that Milwaukee are out of the MISL playoffs. Adam West should be back in camp shortly. The roster will be in flux all season. So will the line-ups, no doubt.

Expect a desire to win, but more obstacles. The Sounders want to win. Period. However it will be much harder to do so in the USL-1 in 2008. Seattle's schedule is back-loaded with 7 home matches to end the campaign. Before that it is 15 out of 23 on the road. This for a defending champ that is also being 'promoted' to MLS in 2009. The rest of the league will see a Seattle match as their biggest of the season. Not just Portland. Not just Vancouver. Seattle will find every team is up for them. Gone are the patsies in California. This year the league is better, tighter. So far the Sounders have 'stood still' without adding any proven talent to keep pace.

The 2008 Sounders will very likely make the playoffs. That is really their main goal. Qualify and see if they can get hot at the right time. Adrian Hanauer has already stated that finishing top of the table is not a major goal. He will instruct coach Brian Schmetzer that seeing talent for MLS is more important that winning at all costs.

So far that is exactly what we've seen. Slow start. A look at young talent. A roster that has 'stood still' while many of the other contenders have added firepower.

Expect that to not be enough to win another title in 2008 unless we get some seasoned help along the way.

Fans speculate, create kit ideas

We've got the colors...but the new Seattle Sounders FC Major League Soccer kit is still likely months away. Who knows if it will even use "Rave Green" or "Sounders Blue." That isn't stopping fans over on Big Soccer from posting their own designs.

See them all in this thread.

Mr. Woo wows'em at Tacoma Dome

Soccerpalooza happened last weekend at the Tacoma Dome. The youth soccer event featured the prowess of "Mr. Woo."

7 goals in LA derby

Forget defense, how about 7 goals between LA Galaxy and Chivas USA last weekend...

"Get over it!" T-shirts go online

The words "Get over it," written and then pulled from a Seattle MLS article on the club website, were aimed at fans who wanted the name "Seattle Sounders" to live on, but would need to 'get over it' when it wasn't included on the ballot as an option.


Now get something to really remember it by here.

Wolves draw with Seattle U in pre-season match

Our weekly Seattle Wolves FC Update

article by Liviu Bird

Saturday at Championship Field, Seattle Wolves Football Club and Seattle University played a friendly, which ended in a 0-0 draw. Seattle U had already played a match that day, against Seattle Pacific, whom they defeated. With the Wolves losing to SPU last weekend, this match looked to be a tougher test for the new PCSL club.

The Wolves got through the SU defense several times, with Vinicius Oliveira, Steve Spencer, and Matt Hulen all coming close to scoring. On the other side, the Wolves defenders were tested several times but proved to be up to the task. Goalkeeper Brian Gullikson's best save of the day was an effort from an SU forward inside the six yard box that Gullikson threw himself in front of to stop in the closing minutes of the match.

This was not a bad result for either team. SU will be happy that they managed to go undefeated twice in the same day, and the Wolves will be happy that their performance improved considerably in a week. However, the trouble for SWFC continues to be the lack of finishing, which will surely be addressed this week when new Technical Director, Alex Weaver, takes up his post.

The PCSL season is less than 2 weeks away, and with the arrival of Technical Director, Alex Weaver, the Wolves will announce their pre-season 25-man roster by the end of the week. This roster will be subject to change during the season depending on player performance and injuries.

The Wolves will receive several players from the University of Washington, Seattle U and Seattle Pacific University to round out their Summer Player Pool. Beginning this week, some of these players will be out of their collegiate Spring seasons, and available to begin training with the Wolves.

"Obviously this is a less than ideal situation for the club", commented Wolves Reserve Team Head Coach, Ryan Dortch, when asked how the continual flux of new players into the system will affect the Wolves performance on the field. He continued, "In an ideal world, we would have had all of our Summer players from the beginning, and would have more than 2 weeks to gel the college players with the players that have been in the club for longer. But this is just one of the challenges the club faces in developing the best talent in the area, many of which are playing soccer at school. It will be a long, exciting and intense Summer season, and the boys will have plenty of time to gel."

The pipeline works both ways. Wolves M/D Enis Isufi is one player who has already benefitted by the relationship that the Wolves are building with local colleges. Isufi intends to attend and play soccer at Seattle Pacific University in the fall. Last Saturday's match gave SPU head coach Mark Collings the chance to see Enis in a match, playing against some of his best current talent.

On May 10th, the Wolves will travel to Whatcom Community College in Bellingham to play their first PCSL match versus the PSSA Rapids. And, on Saturday May 17th, the Wolves will host Victoria United at the Starfire Stadium in Tukwila (7:00pm) in their home opener. Visit SeattleWolvesFC.com for ticket information, and the Wolves entire Summer schedule.

This weekend, the Wolves will continue to prepare for PCSL and USASA action as they take on the Seattle Americans in SPSL Premier action, 9pm, Starfire Stadium, Saturday May 3rd.

The Americans are one of the best amateur teams in the area, and have beaten the Wolves' SPSL Premier squad the last two times the teams met. This should be an entertaining match, and a chance to see some of the Wolves new PCSL and USASA faces.

On Sunday, May 4th, 7:00pm, the Wolves' SPSL 1st division squad will take on SPSL new-comers, U-District United. After 2 weeks off from SPSL action, the Wolves' Reserves have rested injuries and will look to improve upon the 3-2 defeat that the team suffered at the hands of FC Porto the last time they took the field. Although U-District is somewhat of an unknown entity, the Wolves will need to improve their defensive shape, and tenacity in the box, in order to be satisfied with their result.

For complete Wolves' SPSL, PCSL and USASA schedules, visit SeattleWolvesFC.com.

Kara's Adventures in Sounderland

Kara takes photos, blogs and travels with the 2008 Seattle Sounders!

Anyway, at our Tacoma stop, I noticed a group of cars on the far side of the parking lot, and it turned out to be the ECS, following us down to the Rose City. Slightly creepy, but admirably devoted. They gave us the signature salute as we exited the lot and got back on the freeway. Before leaving PGE, a Timber Militant (sufficiently hammered) likewise gave us a send-off. He crashed onto the bus and started to sing one of their chants, which I can’t reprint to maintain my PG rating, but essentially involved a motif of burning the Sounders on a pyre and many manifestations of the “F word”. The funny thing was, it took us a bit to figure out was going on, so we were all just sitting there politely listen to him. But Leighton O’Brien (our fiery captain), finally snapped to and began to ask that the man depart with a few manifestations of his own.

Blog be gone

So, the previous GOALSeattle blog was disabled for some reason by some outside source. New beginnings are awesome!

Sorry that your archive-ability has been lessened. You can still visit the Museum for flashbacks.

Get gear and support this blog at the same time!