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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Joe Roth on Fox News!

I'd never put a Fox News clip on this blog...unless of course it had something to do with Sounders FC. What are the chances of THAT ever happening? Oh, well, um...

Having trouble? You can also view the story on its home page.

Sounders v. GOATS USA in Cup Tuesday

Day of match reports:
Seattle Times
Seattle P-I

So which clubs will show up on Tuesday night at Starfire when the Sounders host Chivas USA? Will it be the scrappy Chivas USA with Brad Guzan in goal and story-of-the-year striker Jorge Flores playing havok up top? Will Sacha Kljestan lead a unified Goats effort? Or will the MLS side already be looking towards other more pressing league matches?

Will the Sounders be the world-beaters of the 2007 Open Cup or more like the club that has failed in two straight home league matches to take their chances and get a winning goal?

Read the club pre-match press release as post at www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com.

Read a Chivas USA 'revenge' story here.

Chivas USA will be without former Sounder striker Mike Galindo (injury). Ante Razov returned from an injury in their most-recent match against New York Red Bulls.

The videos below paint a picture of a struggling Chivas USA side who didn't bother out-bidding Seattle for this match.

If Chivas USA beat the Sounders, they have also been outbid by the Carolina Railhawks for hosting the next round if Carolina beats Kansas City.

Last year at Qwest Field the combination of Sebastien Le Toux and Roger Levesque was too much for the Chivas defense as Seattle advanced 3-1 in cup play.

This year Levesque has been injured on and off for weeks at a time. His status remains doubtful for this match.

Kick off is at 7:00 PM at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Tickets are $20 at the gate.

The match will be broadcast live over the internet for free at http://usl.playonsports.tv/.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Talking Sounders FC youth system with Darren Sawatzky

I recently exchanged emails with Seattle Sounders FC Youth Development Director Darren Sawatzky. I contacted Darren to talk more about SSFC's youth plans after his recent interview on The Seattle Soccer Show.

To better frame our conversation Darren sent along the Major League Soccer public document on their youth initiative. You can read it in the SeattleSoccerTalk.com forums.

Here is our exchange:

On a recent Seattle Soccer Show podcast you talked about how it is going in developing the Seattle Sounders FC youth soccer pyramid. You mentioned that some players are already in training. Could you tell us more about that? What age level are they? How did you pick them? Why start training so soon?

"Currently, we are holding training sessions with Sounder reserve players and a select group of local players headed to college in the fall and some who are home from college for the summer. This is a great opportunity to get a very good group of players together to train and monitor their progress. The training also gives these players a competitive place to prepare for the fall. "

There has been some talk in our youth soccer community about the relationship Seattle Sounders FC would like to have with existing youth clubs. How would you describe what the Sounders would like to do with and for these clubs?

"The Seattle Sounders FC, with the help of Washington Youth Soccer, wants to work with all youth soccer clubs in ways that make sense. There are good soccer players in every club and there are players that aspire to be professionals. Having the best players train and compete together helps in their development to become players at the highest level. Identifying these players and working to create environments that help foster their growth to get to the highest level is the goal. There are a lot of youth clubs doing an excellent job of developing players, Seattle Sounders FC wants to support these clubs."

How many youth clubs will Sounders FC eventually field? At what age levels? In which leagues?

"Major League Soccer has a youth initiative that mandates a youth system for the full MLS team. Each Major League Soccer team does the "youth system" differently. At this point, Seattle Sounders FC has not made a decision on whether to field teams in the Academy League that two Washington youth clubs have teams playing in at the U16 and U18 age groups. With Washington Youth Soccer and the Olympic Development Program, Seattle Sounders FC wishes to help the local clubs that are doing a great job developing players. As the organization develops, Seattle Sounders FC will chose leagues and competitions that make the most sense in developing players for the highest level.

There is an excellent core of coaches within the local soccer clubs, college programs, and professional and semi-professional organizations. Through the new WYS ODP programs, coaches can apply to train and coach these elite youth players. It is important to communicate a quality curriculum through different high level coaching voices to maximize the development of players."

The New York Red Bulls offer their academy training for free. Are Sounders FC planning on also do it that way?

"When you use the word "Academy", it can mean many things. For this discussion, Academy teams mean the U16 and U18 teams that play in the US Soccer Development Academy. When the decision is made as to which league or competitions the MLS Youth Teams will play in, the players will play on these teams without incurring the cost. The very best, most committed players will receive an incredible opportunity to train and play with the best every day."

Crossfire and Washington Premier currently have U-16 and U-18 club programs in the US Soccer development academy leagues. Will Sounders FC also create teams at this level, or will you work with them...or perhaps both?

"At this time, Seattle Sounders FC has not made a decision either way on playing youth teams in the US Soccer Development Academy. There will be youth teams in these age groups (U16 and U18), but each MLS team runs there youth teams differently and Seattle Sounders FC will chose the opportunity for these players that makes the most sense in the development of players for the full team. Currently, you have MLS Youth teams that play in the US Soccer Academy and you have MLS Youth teams that play in local men's leagues, travel to other countries to play professional youth teams, and there is a multitude of training regimens."

Will Sounders FC have any residency programs?

"The Seattle Sounders FC has a great ownership group and they are very passionate about the game of soccer. Residency is an effective tool for development because you have the players 24 hours a day but this would only happen if it made sense down the road."

Will Sounders FC have a USL club in the Premier Development League, similar to the Tacoma Tide?

"The Tacoma Tide FC and the Seattle Sounders FC have a great relationship. Tacoma is doing a great job with a good ownership group and they have a great head coach. Tacoma Tide FC offers a venue for the local college and developing young players to play competitive games which is needed in these age groups. The Seattle Wolves are also doing this at a different level. At this point, we are helping train these players as described above. Again, Seattle Sounders FC will make decisions based on what is best long term for producing players for the full team."

Please give us a short description of the 'development pyramid' for Sounders FC.

"The development pyramid looks like this:
MLS Full Team

MLS Reserve team

U23 Training group (Summer and Holiday training)

MLS Youth teams (U16 and U18 with possibility for others)

WYS ODP and Jr. ODP training groups and teams (male and female)

Youth Development Program (weeknight training programs to supplement youth club development-position specific as well) (male and female)

WYS/Seattle Sounders Summer camps/clinics/recreational programs (male and female)

*WYS ODP and Jr. ODP training groups will incorporate training starting in the fall 2008 after ODP coaches have been picked in late summer. These groups will be brought together one weekend a month to train with the new ODP staff. Coaches can apply by going to www.wsysa.com and submitting a resume to Dave Schumacher, State Coaching Director."

Will our U-23 team be the MLS "Reserves" side?

"No. The MLS reserve questions will be better answered by Chris Henderson, Technical Director."

Sounders let down by another draw

Andre Schmid rises in a pack of Montreal players.

Sebastien Le Toux works the ball against Montreal.
(Rick Morrison)

Rick Morrison's match photos can be viewed here!
Match photos from Jenni & David now online!

It seemed unanimous after the match last night at Starfire: players, coaches and fans felt let down by the 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact. It was the seventh draw of the year for the Sounders against only four wins and two losses.

The let down was felt more deeply because Seattle had fought and finally gone ahead 1-0 in the 80th minute only to surrender the leveler less than five minutes later.

The Sounders are getting the kinds of results in league play that a 'middle of the pack' club gets, and both coaches and players see themselves as better than that.

Still, the numbers don't lie. Seattle is having a hard time winning USL-1 matches, first on the road, and now at home where two straight matches have ended in dropped points and draws.

“It’s very disappointing, because we have no one to blame but ourselves. It was our fault that we gave up two points,” said midfielder Leighton O’Brien, whose quick free kick at the 79:04 mark led to Schmid’s goal.

“We put too much effort into the game to not come away with something,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said. “I’m not a big stats guy, but you look at the shots (15-8 for Seattle) and the tempo and all that stuff … that’s why I’m (ticked).”

The Sounders dominated the second half and then let down for the blink of an eye, and that blink was enough for the Impact to nab an away point.

In their last six league matches the Sounders have one win, one loss and four draws.

Match reports:
The Seattle Pitch
Seattle Sounders
Seattle Times

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Seattle Soccer Show gets its own forum...right here!

The new "Seattle Soccer Show" now has its own forum area in the GOALSeattle.com forums (www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com).

"Being offered our own topic on Seattle's most popular soccer message board as a way to promote the Seattle Soccer Show is an honor and an awesome step to us becoming a significant part of the Seattle Soccer Community," said Mati Bishop, co-host of the weekly Seattle Soccer Show hosted on-demand and online by 950KJR.com.

Bishop, who also is the color commentator for the Seattle Sounders, and his co-host Matt Gaschk, who covers the Sounders for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and produces Mitch in the Morning at 950 KJR, are just four episodes into their new venture, but have all ready received praise from Seattle's soccer die hards.

"The response that we've gotten from nearly everyone we've spoken to about the show has been really positive," said Bishop. "Soccer fans who have listened to the show have approached me to thank me for doing this and prominent members of the soccer community who I have approached about being guests on the show have been really excited about coming in and talking soccer with us for an hour."

The show has managed to generate and address just a bit of controversy in its short existence too.

"Apparently Darren Sawatzky (Director of the Sounders FC Youth Development Program) got some fallout from the youth soccer community when he outlined the designs for the Sounders FC youth development program on the show," Bishop said. "The way that I see it, our job is not just to talk about soccer, but also to get other people talking more soccer as well. If there is a little controversy from time to time, that's good for the show and good for the soccer community."

New episodes of the Seattle Soccer Show are available every Friday for free, on-demand, download. Links to new episodes as well as daily news and features from the world of Seattle soccer can be found at SeattleSoccerShow.com.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Soccer is Seattle's Hot Ticket

I blogged this today over at the Seattle Examiner site.

Good reading today from Seattle and Vancouver BC about fans turning out in pubs for the Euros.

Can local 'Lightning Strike' provide players for MLS?

I recently emailed some questions to Lowell Sandoval of CrushN! Sports after seeing the website for the new "Lightning Strike FC" soccer club and its professed goal of finding, developing and moving players towards MLS (Major League Soccer).

Here's the Q & A:

What are the long term goals for the CRUSHN! Hispanic All-Stars club?

The CRUSHN! Sports Hispanic All-Stars have now transitioned into the CRUSHN! Sports
Lightning Strike MLS Development Team. The Lightning Strike FC focuses on recruiting, training and exposing talented players that are international, national and local.

Our club in turn provides a centralized forum for talented players and MLS franchises to meet. This forum is also valuable to professional teams that are international or reside in the USL-1 Division.

Will it have exclusively Hispanic players?

No. We are seeking a great blend of international, national and local talent. Our hopes are that many nationalities will be introduced to MLS franchises from our Lightning Strike FC.

What unique things do you see the club adding to the Puget Sound soccer community?

The Lightning Strike FC brings a “Rocky” style emphasis while delivering an international flavor of play locally. This is accomplished by a great new challenger going up against known champions. The Lightning Strike FC seeks out, discovers and brings together top tier players.

Do you hope to have official working relationships with local pro or semi-pro clubs?

The Pro and Semi Pro clubs need to keep things in an open forum setting, not really showing
special attention to any specific Academy or club. This encourages community support and
development for Soccer in our region. Based on this, the pro and semi pro teams will most likely
maintain an informal relationship structure. Each will be aware of each other, meet and
showcase talent and state needs.

Why did you / CRUSHN! Sports decide to get involved in this venture?

Our executives have been soccer fans since we were youngsters. There are many energizing examples that are helping move soccer to the next level in the United States.
Some of the easy ones to note are the U.S.A. Women’s Soccer Team, U.S.A. Men’s Soccer Team,
David Beckham joining the LA Galaxy and now the anticipation of the Seattle Sounders FC.
CRUSHN! Sports loves our 2007 and 2008 Seattle Sounders, and wanted to show our
appreciation for their dedication toward supporting our children with the Sounders Soccer Camps and amazing pro matches.

How many matches do you hope to schedule / play each year?

We plan to showcase a mix of national and international matches.

When is your next match?

We have a scrimmage on July 10th with Seattle University.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Schmetzer constructs a winning coaching career

Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer is getting more attention these days with the looming search for a Sounders FC Major League Soccer head coach. Brian is Seattle soccer through and through, having played for the NASL Sounders, FC Seattle and coaching the current club to three finals appearances and two championships.

The 2008 Seattle Sounders USL-1 season has presented its own challenges to the gaffer. He's had to juggle and encourage a smaller roster that has battled injuries all season long.

Schmetzer is featured in two recent internet articles. www.Sounders FC.com has 10 Questions with Brian Schmetzer and 10 More Questions with Brian Schmetzer.

Fan site www.SoccerSeattleStyle.com has a lengthy interview with Schmetzer divided into parts one and two.

Schmetzer prepares his starting line-up for the USOC match v. Hollywood United.
(David Falk)

"I am an old guy and I am old school and I know that nothing in life is guaranteed. I certainly would love to have the job of coaching the Sounders FC in their inaugural season. Again, however, I am smart enough to know that nothing in life guaranteed. I certainly would love to have the new coaching job and I think I could do it. I know a number of MLS head coaches like Preki, Fernando, and Sigi Schmidt. I’ve talked with Sigi Schmidt numerous times in my coaching career. I have met with him and talked about coaching soccer. We have sat at home and talked with each other over coffee and I got a lot of good coaching advice."

---Schmetzer in his Soccer Seattle Style interview.

Wolves still alive for 'the treble'

Matt Hulen is helping Seattle Wolves FC stay in the PCSL race.
(Photo from indoor season by Barbie Hull)

from the Seattle Wolves FC

Over the coming weeks the Seattle Wolves FC will compete in several exciting matches with important league standing implications. The Wolves are currently competing in three league competitions: the Pacific Coast Soccer League (semi-professional), the Starfire Premier Soccer League (SPSL) Premier Division (amateur) and the SPSL First Division (amateur). In all three leagues, the Wolves are in the hunt for the title of league champion. Below are the club's upcoming matches in the PCSL.

Pacific Coast Soccer League – Semi-Professional: With Sunday's draw, Khalsa Sporting Club of Coquitlam, BC was allowed to jump into 3rd place. The Wolves are currently in 4th place with 8 matches to play. This weekend the Wolves travel to Coquitlam and Victoria, British Columbia to face the 3rd and 2nd place teams, respectively.

June 28, 2:30pm @ Khalsa Sporting Club – Coquitlam, BC

June 29, 2:30pm @ Victoria United – Victoria, BC

July 5, 7:00pm v. Khalsa Sporting Club – Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila, WA

July 6, 2:00pm @ Vancouver Thunderbirds – Vancouver, BC

Three leagues, three titles?

With all three league titles on the line in the coming weeks, the Seattle Wolves will be battling for something not very commonly thought of in United States Soccer – the Treble! – albeit an untraditional treble. If the Seattle Wolves can win the Pacific Coat Soccer League, SPSL Premier and First Division crowns all in the same season, it would be quite the accomplishment.

When asked for comment, Wolves' players and staff had this to say:

"Usually trebles are reserved for teams competing in three prestigious competitions at the same time, but there are few opportunities to do this in American soccer. The fact that the Seattle Wolves FC sits in good position to play for three championships this season, is quite exciting." – Clay Walton-House

Clay has 2 goal and 2 assists in 7 matches played within the PCSL this season. His lone goal was a very important one, as it put the Wolves ahead in Surrey this past weekend.

"The club has been busy this Spring/Summer. We've had several league and cup schedules ongoing at the same time, in addition to playing a challenging friendly schedule. Every time the Wolves take the field, we aim to win. Taking each match one at a time, that is what has allowed us to get into this position." – Donald Bressler.

Donald has cemented himself as an important part of the Wolves' PCSL defensive line. With impressive performances versus the PSSA Rapids and in Surrey, Bressler will no doubt factor into the results at Khalsa and Victoria this weekend.

"Both of our SPSL squads have demonstrated themselves as offensive threats and defensive walls. The old saying goes 'If you don't score, you can't win'. We have added 'Even if you score once or twice, you won't score enough to beat us'." – Ryan Oxford

The SPSL Premier squad has scored 33 goals, and given up 6, in 7 matches. The SPSL 1st division squad has scored 22 goals, and given up 6, in 6 matches. These represent the best goal differentials in the divisions by 13 and 5 goals, respectively. Ryan has 3 goals and 4 assists in 6 matches for the SPSL Premier side.

"We have a lot of work to do! True, we are sitting in a position where we could win all three, but it will be extremely difficult. The SPSL sides have 3 must win matches, and the PCSL squad is currently 6 points off clip. We can make up some valuable ground this weekend. We proved we can play with the best last weekend. Let's see how the boys respond this weekend. It's tough to win on the road! Especially in Victoria." – Andrew Opatkiewicz, General Manager

It's true the Wolves have a lot of work ahead of them, the SPSL Premier side must defeat FK Pacific and the SPSL First division side must win its upcoming matches to make up ground with FC Porto. As for the PCSL side, coach Alex Weaver put it best when he said "The next two weeks will answer a lot of questions. Most importantly it will answer if we have what it takes to compete for a championship at this level. After the final whistle blows in Victoria on Sunday, I think we will know."

To keep up with all Seattle Wolves scores, fixtures and stories, visit SeattleWolvesFC.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sounders Women Gallery Posted

Rick Morrison caught some photos of the Sounders Women playing against the Palisades Blues at Starfire on June 24th in W-League action.

You can view the gallery by going to the first page here.

Here's a brief match recap.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Way For Hollywood

Andre Schmid jumps with HUFC.
(Rick Morrison)

The Seattle Sounders easily crushed Hollywood United 6-0 at Starfire Sports Complex on June 24th in US Open Cup action.

Seattle now advances to host Major League Soccer side Chivas USA on July 1st at the same venue.

It was over as it was beginning, with the Sounders leading 1-0 after a couple minutes on a header by Zach Scott. By the time the damage was complete Josh Gardner had made it 2-0 and Sebastien Le Toux had run off the next four goals: 3-4-5-6.

All that was left was to wonder how in the world Portland could have lost to these guys, and ponder what might happen next Tuesday when Chivas USA comes to Starfire.

Match Reports:
Seattle Sounders
Seattle Times
Seattle P-I
The Seattle Pitch
Chuckarelei Photos

Sounders FC already training youth players

The basic structure of the Seattle Sounders FC player development pyramid is in place and youth talent is already being trained by the fledgling Major League Soccer club.

This information and much more can be heard on the June 19 Seattle Soccer Show audio webcast.
Sounders FC Youth Director Darren Sawatzky talks about the system and what is planned and what is already underway.

In order to meet MLS standards and keep players eligible to eventually be on a Sounders U-23 MLS reserves squad the players must get 100 training hours per year, starting now. So a number of players have already been selected for this training from ODP's (Olympic Development Programs) and local academy clubs.

These players will start to compete under the Seattle MLS youth banner later this year when the logistics of leagues are confirmed. The likely league destination is a regional USSF Academy League.

Here's the Seattle Sounders FC "Pyramid"

Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)
U-23 MLS Reserves
(Co-Op with local elite academies)
WSYSA Co-Op with ODP
Elite training and Development
Summer Programs and all-access training

SPU grad Osborn will coach, manage pro Wenatchee Fire

Today's Wenatchee World has a feature about Seattle Pacific University graduate Mike Osborn's new dual role as head coach and general manager of the new PASL Pro Wenatchee Fire indoor soccer club.

"We'd like to have half the guys on the roster from the Greater Wenatchee Area," Osborn said. "We have professional caliber players here in the valley."

The other half of the professional team will be filled with players from the Northwest and points beyond. In fact, four players from Cameroon, Africa, contacted Osborn through the Internet to express interest in playing for the professional team.

"They found me," Osborn joked. "It appears that they're very high-caliber players. A couple tried out for DC United (of Major League Soccer)."

Monday, June 23, 2008

USL Sounders ink Costa Rican Rodriguez

Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez are now Seattleites.
(Jenni Conner)

(Sounders press release) The Seattle Sounders signed former Costa Rican national player, Michael Rodriguez, for the remainder of the 2008 season, the team announced today.

A native of Cacao, Costa Rica, Rodriguez spent most of his career since 2001 at Costa Rican league giant, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. While at Alajuelense, Rodriguez won three Costan Rican league titles as well as the 2004 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.

Rodriguez also has three caps for the Costa Rican national team and was on the roster for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

“Anytime you can add someone who has World Cup experience to a USL-1 team, that is a bonus,” said Coach Schmetzer. “I expect Michael to have an immediate impact and he has shown he’s capable of adjusting to the American style of soccer.”

On April 21, 2004, Rodriguez scored an extra time winner in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup to defeat Monterrey and advance to the finals. Adajuelense went on to beat fellow Costa Rican side, Deportiva Saprissa, 5-1 to win the competition.

The Sounders are in action tomorrow night against Hollywood United, 8:00 pm at Starfire in second round action of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. With a win, the Sounders will advance to face Chivas USA at Starfire on July 1st, in quarterfinal play.

A 'Bloody' Sensation

Rick Morrison catches the photo of Hugo's elbow to Nunes.

Jenni Conner snaps the well-bloodied jersey as Nunes leaves the pitch.

Blood and rubber pellets as photographed by Rick Morrison.

The GOALSeattle.com photos of a bloodied Leo Inacio Nunes are causing comment in the internet soccer world.

How could so much blood get on a jersey?

Some joked that he looked like he was shot rather than elbowed.

The dramatic photos had others saying that they are proof soccer isn't the polite non-contact sport some believe it to be.

We don't have any update on Nunes' condition, but he was subbed out after 35 minutes in last weekend's 0-0 draw between the Sounders and Miami FC.

Seattle's Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar was yellow-carded for the elbow that caused the bloody mess.

SSFC Wallpapers

www.GOALSeattle.com is your home source for Seattle Sounders FC wallpapers.

Here is our latest effort: Sounders FC's first player wallpaper!

Download Le Toux SSSFC wallpaper by size: 1600 1024 800

Thanks to Rick Morrison for the photo of Sebastien Le Toux.

You can browse our ever-growing archive of Sounders FC Major League Soccer wallpapers in this index.

Have you donated to GS yet?

Hollywood United at Sounders Tuesday in Open Cup

The Seattle Sounders host Hollywood United Tuesday night June 24th at Starfire in the latest round of the US Open Cup. The do-or-die match will send a winner on to face MLS club Chivas USA in the next round.

Here's an extensive article from www.USOpenCup.com

Here's a look at HUFC from www.SoccerSeattleStyle.com

Here's a preview from www.SeattleSounders.net

Press Release from the Sounders

Hollywood United on YouTube.

Defending USL-1 Champions "Portland Timbers?" Funniest. Slip. Of. Tongue. Ever.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rick Morrison Sounders Photos Slide Show

We've put together our first slide show of some of the photos Rick Morrison has shared with www.GOALSeattle.com in the last few months.

You can view it here.

Rick also has pages of photos on our site in larger sizes. Those galleries start here.

View all of our photo archives here.

Tide fall 2-1 in Salem; Division race tightens

Tacoma Tide FC lost to previously winless Cascade Surge 2-1 on June 21st in Salem Oregon. Match details are not yet available.

Tacoma's record is now 8-3-1. Cascade get their first league win and are 1-5-4.

In Yakima the Reds were busy rebounding with a 5-1 win over Spokane. Yakima is now 6-3-1 on the season, with two matches in hand to try and catch Tacoma at the top.

The Tide have four league matches left stretched out over the next month:
  • at Vancouver June 28
  • at Abottsford June 29
  • at Cascade July 12
  • Yakima July 19
They will likely need to win at least two of those matches to finish first or second and qualify for the playoffs. The competition for the top two spots will be fierce. Yakima, Vancouver and Abottsford appear to be the Tide's main challengers.

Vancouver and Abottsford have each played only seven matches. Yakima have played ten. With so many matches 'in hand' over Tacoma, it's anyone's guess as to how this will all play out. I've linked to the schedules here so you can ponder who has the 'easiest' road to the playoffs: Yakima, Vancouver or Abottsford?

Yakima's 6 matches remaining are divided evenly with three home and three away. The Reds host Cascade today and then after that all of their remaining matches are against the other contenders.

Vancouver is at Abottsford today and then they have a three-match homestand against Tacoma, Yakima and Cascade. The Whitecaps' last five matches are on the road.

Abottsford are at the start of a six match homestand that includes two matches with Vancouver, and games against Yakima, Tacoma and Cascade. The Mariners started the stand with a 1-0 victory over Ogden last night. Abbey ends their season with four straight road matches.

Standings after June 21st matches:
  1. Tacoma Tide (25 points after 12 matches) 8-3-1
  2. Yakima Reds (19 points after 10 matches) 6-3-1
  3. Vancouver Whitecaps (16 points after 7 matches) 5-1-1
  4. Abottsford Mariners (13 points after 7 matches) 4-2-1
  5. BYU Cougars (13 points after 9 matches) 4-4-1
  6. Ogden Outlaws (11 points after 11 matches) 3-6-2
  7. Spokane Spiders (7 points after 12 matches) 2-9-1
  8. Cascade Surge (7 points after 10 matches) 1-5-4

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tide energize enough to beat Spokane 3-1

It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't a full match's worth of effort by any stretch, but Tacoma Tide did manage enough energy over about 20 minutes at the start of the second half to pull out a 3-1 victory over the visiting Spokane Spiders June 20th at Curtis High School.

Tacome Tide FC have now gone 17 straight matches (including 15 league matches and two friendlies) without a defeat at home dating back to 2006.

It was 0-0 at halftime with Tacoma committing numerous turnovers in the midfield and not clicking up front. Spencer Schomaker was out with a hip pull, and will also miss Saturday's match in Salem against Cascade Surge. The Tide were also without head coach Fran O'Brien and GM Mike Jennings. Whatever the reason, TFC came out apathetic and unorganized.

Beau Macaluso barely misses a first-half header.

Fans got free yellow Tide shirts.

TFC's second goal is stuck in the net.

Tide celebrate Machael David's match-winner.
(David Falk)

Match photo gallery NOW ONLINE!

Rory Agu brought the yellow-clad fans to their feet seconds after the second-half kick off when he blasted down the left sideline and rocketed a shot into the left corner to put TFC up 1-0.

Just a few minutes later a nifty flick in front of goal by midfielder Machael David made it 2-0.

The same stretch of improved play netted Tacoma's third goal on a low-ball roller struck by Raphael Cox after a clearance that began with a much-contested free kick award. Beau Macaluso had been tripped outside the box on the right side. Spokane's keeper and coach were complaining loudly about 'the cheating diver' (looked like a hack on his leg to me). Before you know it Cox gave them something more tangible to complain about. 3-0 to the Tide.

The match was a midfield muddle for much of the rest. There was drama when Tacoma surrendered their first goal in over 500 minutes of play, and even more when TFC's Taylor Mueller was red-carded late on and Spokane were awarded a penalty kick.

Back-up goalkeeper Max Walker had been put in a few minutes earlier (on this his 21st birthday). Max rose to the occasion and dove perfectly to his right, outstretched enough to stop the pk shot and preserve Tacoma's 3-1 scoreline.

Tacoma are now 8-2-1 on the season with 25 points and remain in first place in the PDL Northwest Division. Spokane falls to 2-8-1.

The Tide travel to Salem Saturday night to play the Cascade Surge at 7:35 PM.

Sounders draw 0-0 with Miami at Starfire

Seattle's #13 John Fishbaugher controls against Miami FC.
(Rick Morrison photo)

Partial report from www.SeattleSounders.net:

TUKWILA -- Sooner or later, some team is going to get a ball into the Miami FC net.

On Friday night, the Seattle Sounders were not that team.

Generating more shots -- and more dangerous ones -- didn’t get the job done for the Sounders. Seattle did get a point out of the deal, however, by playing to a 0-0 tie against the Blues in front of 2,145 fans at Starfire Sports Complex.

The Blues put their sixth straight shutout into the books -- which included a 0-0 tie against the Sounders on June 1 at Miami -- ran their scoreless streak to 590 minutes, dating back to the second half of a 3-1 loss at Minnesota on May 24.

Miami's Avery John battles with Seattle's Roger Levesque.
(Rick Morrison photo)

“We were just a little rusty tonight,” said forward Josh Gardner, who had by far Seattle‘s best chance -- a header that slammed off the post at the 82:20 mark. “We had our chances, we just didn’t put one away. Give Miami credit -- they’re doing something correct.”

The point for the tie lifted Seattle (4-2-6, 18 points) into a third-place tie with Portland in the United Soccer Leagues first Division standings. Miami is 3-6-6 with 15 points.

“They’re a decent team. I saw that when we were down in Miami,” said Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer, whose team will take on Hollywood United in a second-round U.S. Open Cup game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Starfire. “I had a conversation today with (general manager) Adrian (Hanauer) and the coaching staff and the players, and I said, ‘Don’t be surprised about this team.’ "

Match Reports:

Sounders host Miami tonight

From the Sounders:
(Seattle, Wa)- The Seattle Sounders (4-2-5) return to league play hosting the Miami FC Blues (3-6-5) Friday, June 20. Kickoff at Starfire is set for 7:00pm.

With one-third of the season complete, the Sounders are in fourth place in the USL-1 with 17 points and only five points behind the league-leading Vancouver Whitecaps. Considering obstacles, such as; player shortages due to injuries and seven of the 11 matches having been played on the road, Seattle is in good position in the race to retain the Commissioner’s Cup.

Seattle will be well rested coming into Friday night's game. The Sounders last match came in an international friendly eight days ago against Italian club Juventus Primavera. In that match, Seattle tallied three goals in a shutout win, while only playing two of their regular starters.

Next up is Miami, a team the Sounders played in the final match of their hectic three-game road trip just a few weeks ago. Seattle’s third in five days, the match ended in a nil-nil draw and was proof of this Sounders team’s mental toughness.

Says Coach Brian Schmetzer: “We were dead tired and Miami’s not a bad team at home. We were able to match them and their effort and eke out a point. That was a telltale sign that this team is very strong mentally.”

To find the goal this time around, Seattle will have to break through a Blues defense that has five consecutive shutouts, and has not allowed a single goal in 495 minutes of play. The Sounders attack led by striker Sebastien Le Toux has a formidable task ahead, but is up for the challenge. Le Toux scored twice in last week’s friendly. He ranks third in USL-1 with five goals and 11 points, and was selected to the USL-1 Team of the Week for the
second time after scoring once and impacting all three goals in the Sounders 3-1 win over Minnesota on June 5.

Seattle will have the option to play former number one pick in the 2005 MLS Superdraft, midfielder Nik Besagno, who was acquired on loan from Real Salt Lake. Besagno is scheduled to be with the Sounders through Sept. 9.

About Miami

The Blues’ 495 minutes-and-counting of shutout defense along with the one-two punch of Brazilian midfielder Leo Inácio, the club’s latest signing, and forward Alex Afonso presents a challenging assignment for Seattle. Inácio and Afonso have combined for a total of five goals between them in the club's last two matches.

Afonso also won USL-1 Team of the Week honors for the third time this season with his efforts in the 2-0 win this past Saturday against the Carolina Railhawks (3-3-4).

Miami is 2-0-3 in their last five league matches, and earned a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first round win, 4-2, over the Bradenton Academics.

Today's Seattle Times: Sounders glad to have local guy Besagno for a while
Maple Valley native joins Sounders

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wolves edge northern state rivals

Starfire Sports, Tukwila WA – June 18, 2008, 7:30pm

The Pacific Coast Soccer League newcomer Seattle Wolves FC, 4-2-2 4th place, hosted their Washington state rivals, the PSSA Rapids, 5-2-1 3rd place, from Bellingham on Wednesday evening at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

The two teams faced off in Bellingham in their first match on the PCSL season, May 10th, drawing 3-3, in an entertaining match, which saw 3 lead changes and renewed the rivalry between these two teams that was begun in the 2007-2008 Premier Arena Soccer League season.

The Wolves knew going into Wednesday's match that it would be a very important one to secure maximum points from, as they have 3 matches with 1st and 2nd place Surrey United and Victoria United upcoming.

The first 15 minutes of the match was a back-and-forth affair, with both sides struggling to gain a grip on the match. Fairly open, the match saw several early scoring chances on both sides of the ball, but it wasn't until the 33rd minute that the scoreless draw would be broken. A forward run by Wolves' right back, Brandon Sprague (#8), produced a lofted ball in the box which evaded clearance and met forward, Mark Williams (#12), at the back post. Williams headed the ball past PSSA goal keeper, Mike Lockwood, and into the far-post side netting for his team-leading fourth goal of the season, and the Wolves took the lead going into half-time.

Going into the second half, the Wolves substituted 18 year old, Kohl Schoening (#14), for veteran Wolves' player, Clay Walton-House (#21), and pushed Ian Walsh (#15) upfront to run the point. The substitution proved valuable, as seemingly every ball served forward in the air was won by the powerful Walsh, who controlled the tempo of the match upfront, and held possession for the Wolves in the second half.

In the 86th minute, assisted by Walsh, Wolves' winger, Thiago Silva (#22), made a penetrating run into the right side of the penalty box and slotted home his second goal of the season, and the Wolves' second goal of the match.

That goal would prove to be the game winner, as a 90th minute goal by the Rapids Rob Schaper drew them within one. The match ended 2-1 in favor of the Wolves, pushing them into 3rd place in the PCSL Premier standings, 2 points in front of PSSA, but 4 points behind 2nd place, Victoria United, and 10 points behind league-leaders, Surrey United, who have played 2 more matches than the Wolves.

The Wolves face the potent offense of 1st place Surrey United this Sunday at the Cloverdale Athletic Park in Surrey, BC. Kick-off is a 2:30pm.

Wednesday night the Wolves left the Starfire grounds with their heads high, as they won an intense contest with impressive defense and two nice goals. Seattle coach, Alex Weaver, commented on the Wolves' performance thus far in the PCSL season, saying "I'm pleased to see the work that we are doing in training paying off in important games. The players are very receptive and deserve a lot of credit for learning my system of play. However, we have a massive test against some very good teams coming up. Surrey and Victoria United are setting the standard in the division so we need to continue to be mentally strong as we did tonight in order to compete. I think we are a little way off those two teams currently but I would like to think we will give it a good go up there in the next week. The game against Surrey will be a great test for my players, before another huge weekend against Khalsa and Victoria United next week."

For more information on the Seattle Wolves Football club Pacific Coast Soccer League squad and other Wolves competitions, news and scores, visit SeattleWolvesFC.com . To listen to a broadcast of the PCSL match versus the PSSA Rapids, visit SeattleSoccerShow.com .

Real Men Wear Rave Green

Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer will wear "Rave Green" home kits in 2009. It's a color that stands out, and only real men (or the women who cheer for them) are allowed to wear it!

The www.GOALSeattle.com online store at CafePress has added two "Real Men Wear Rave Green" items: a bright green shirt and a beer stein.

Be real. Be rave. Be Seattle.

Taylor Graham plays for now and next year

Taylor Graham has been a solid force for the Sounders in central defense on both their 2005 and 2007 championship seasons. However, his time in Major League Soccer has fallen short of the same success. In stints with Kansas City and New York the tall, thin Stanford graduate has been mainly a reserve in Kansas City, or at worst, considered a 'failure' by fans in NYC. In today's Seattle P-I Graham talks about the possibility of getting one more chance in MLS with Seattle in 2009.

Graham (right) eyes MLS in 2009 with Seattle.
(Jenni Conner, GOALSeattle.com)

Matthew Gaschk visits with Taylor Graham in today's P-I:

"My goal and everyone else's goal is to play MLS next year," Graham said. "(But) if you focus on the end result of the MLS, you'll miss all the little steps necessary in the next three months, and those are the steps that are important."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More from our local heroes

All eyes on Eylander.

The club websites at www.SoundersFC.com and www.SeattleSounders.net are stepping up with news and interviews from our local soccer heroes.

Adrian Hanauer has more from his world travels:

"The relationships with the people at Paris FC are valuable ones that I want to continue. We went to the Paris FC game that night not so much to see players, but to exchange ideas. We talked about their club, what’s going on in Ligue 1, Ligue 2, The National, and their differences. We talked about the quality of play and how player exchanges might work. For me, if I can learn one tiny kernel everywhere I go, then it’s worth it.

In my mind, putting a team together is a lot more art than science. Part of it is just being out there and building these types of relationships."

Brian Schmetzer talks about coaching the 2008 Sounders:

"There’s already the target because we’re defending champion of the USL First Division. Teams do want to measure up to us. Fans may think it’s just this group of players moving up, saying, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re MLS? We’re almost as good or better than them.’ They don’t understand the makeup of the [2009 MLS] team has yet to be decided. It will certainly have a lot of new and good professionals on the team."

Chris Eylander discusses life in front of the Sounders goal:

"Kasey Keller was big time for me growing up. I watched him play, and also had the chance to train with him. When I was young there was a group of goalkeepers training together: Tom Dutra (current Sounder goalkeeper coach), Matt Olson, Jeremy Proud, and a few others. They were older than me, so it was a privilege to be able to train with them. Kasey trained a couple times with these guys as well, and it was a great experience to go out there and see how it’s done."

Around the Sound of Soccer

A few notes from the (Puget) Sound of Soccer:

*Seattle Sounders FC Technical Director Chris Henderson gets some ink from one of his former MLS club's hometown newspapers (Kansas City).

*The Arizona Sahuaros, who recently lost in overtime to the Sounders in the US Open Cup, are back on track and will be coming to Seattle in August for the USASA Nationals at Starfire.

*Tacoma Tide FC beat a team of Military players from McChord AFB and Fort Lewis 7-1 last night in the City of Destiny. A bit more, with two photos, here.

*John Fishbaugher is featured in the Redmond Reporter. The First-year Sounder is coming right along and the article does a nice job of detailing where his strengths have come from.

*The Tukwila Blog catches us up on the big All Nations Cup event the city is hosting down at Starfire.

*Have you been on the GOALSeattle.com forums lately? You'd notice the fans who are campaigning for spots on the Sounders Membership Council. Check it out.

*The Seattle University Redhawks Men have released their 2008 schedule. In the transition to Division One the Redhawks will play all but four college matches away from home. They do host the Sounders on August 19th.

*Youth soccer continues its boom in the area. West Seattle Blog reports what's happening there.

*Meanwhile at a Seattle City Council meeting the strong soccer family presence was made known again as the urgency for more fields grows throughout the Sound.

*Soccer is a big part of our lives around here, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Rangers, not Glasgow Rangers.
Celtic, not Glasgow Celtic.
Sounders FC, not Seattle Sounders FC?

Are we headed towards identifying our new MLS club more by the name than the city?

Some fans expressed a liking for the 'sound' of that this spring during all of the name-the-club hullabaloo.

Now the next generation of club script has appeared on www.SoundersFC.com.

Either this is the trend, or a webmaster decided to "shrink" Seattle to make the text fit.

What do you think?

Monday, June 16, 2008

USA coasts in World Cup qualifier

The United States beat Barbados 8-0 on Sunday in Carson, California, to get off to a solid start in their long march to qualify for the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa.

“It’s good to get the whole thing underway," said US head coach Bob Bradley. "We spent a lot of time thinking about just getting off on the right foot, and a goal early like that certainly is getting off on the right foot. From there, it’s just an exercise of staying sharp, trying to play the right ball, the right timing, and finish off some of plays so we could have a margin. We were able to do that, so in those ways it was a definite success.”

Visit the US team website at www.USSoccer.com

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Take a breath, Sounders fans

Kenji Treschuk looks like a 2009 Sounders FC player.
(Jenni Conner)

The Seattle Sounders don't play a match again until Friday June 20th when they host Miami FC. We are in the middle of a 8-day rest period for the club. Time to take a deep breath, Sounders fans, and look back at how the season has gone so far.

Still alive in the US Open Cup race? Check.
Still alive in the Cascadia Cup race? Check.
Still alive for the Commissioner's Cup? Check.
On-pace to make the playoffs? Check.

The Sounders are just a bit more than 1/3 through their 2008 (and final) USL-1 season. The club's raw numbers look like this:

Record: W-4 L-2 D-5
Home: W-2 L-0 D-2
Away: W-2 L-2 D-3
Goals: For-15 Against-10
Home: For-8 Against-4
Away: For-7 Against-6
Goals Against Average: .909
Goals For Average: 1.36
Place: 4th (17 points)

The Sounders and their fans have got to be pleased with where things stand when you considered the club have played 7 of 11 league matches away.

After a slow start the Sounders have rebounded more quickly than they have from their traditional slow starts in previous seasons.

The team rebound is directly connected to the same step up in performance by striker Sebastien Le Toux. Le Toux began slowly but since then has moved up to third in the league in goals with five.

(See league stats table here.)

However, if I were voting for a team Most Valubale Player after 11 matches and an Open Cup win I'd have to say that Chris Eylander, Josh Gardner and Kenji Treschuk would be on the final list with Le Toux.

In fact, I'd give it to midfielder Treschuk, who not only has two goals (one of them drawing a match in stoppage time in Charleston, the other winning a USOC match at Arizona in extra time) but has kept the Sounders' middle together and made up for defensive challenges due to multiple club injuries or absences. Treschuk's hard as nails play and timely offensive input has put him high up the list of current Sounders who seem destined for Major League Soccer in 2009.

What's next?

When the Sounders return to play on Friday they will jump right back in to the schedule congestion that seems at times to rival the congestion on I-5. June 20th Miami, June 24th Hollywood United, June 28th Montreal, July 1st possible USOC match, July away matches on the 3rd, 5th, 11th, 13th...with a possible USOC match at Qwest Field July 8th.

Looking at the various cup races, the Sounders are hopeful of continuing on in the US Open Cup by beating Hollywood United June 24th at Starfire. If they can then they'd next face Chivas USA July 1st at Starfire.

In the Cascadia Cup race Seattle is 2 points behind the Vancouver Whitecaps (6-4). The Sounders have three cup matches left to play: at Portland August 7 and home to Vancouver August 20 and September 20. If Seattle wins both home matches over the Whitecaps they will retain the Cascadia Cup (a possible goal differential tie-breaker could be necessary). Other scenarios apply, but the local derby cup remains in the Sounders' control.

In the race to retain the Commissioner's Cup and place top of the USL-1 table the Sounders are doing pretty well. With a schedule back-loaded with home matches, including seven straight to end the season, Seattle is poised to make a run.

Despite the annual slow start and the injury bug, and all the focus away from the current club and on the future MLS side, this group of Sounders are pretty much right where they want to be when it comes to results.

The addition of a few new faces in the next month or so could really boost efforts for more hardware in Seattle's final USL-1 campaign.

Tide beat BYU 1-0, get sweet sweep in Utah

Spencer Schomaker (seen here at a recent home match) scored the winner in TFC's big victory at BYU on June 14th.
(David Falk)

Spencer Schomaker's goal off an assist from Machael David in the 35th minute was enough for the Tacoma Tide to beat the BYU Cougars 1-0 June 14th in Provo Utah.

The night before TFC had beaten the Ogden Outlaws by the same 1-0 scoreline.

The Tide's lone score came in the 35th minute when Machael David found Spencer Schomaker all alone streaking down the center of the field.

"Mike just played a great ball," Schomaker said. "I didn't do much."

After that, Schomaker said it was hang-on time.

"You're pretty much fighting for your life," he said. "(The Cougars) had all the momentum."

---Deseret News

Now in their third season, Tacoma set all kinds of club 'firsts' in the sweet sweep of the Utah clubs:

*first win in Ogden
*first win in Provo
*first-ever back-to back road wins on the same weekend

The two wins push the Tide higher in the Northwest Division table. Tacoma now stands at the top with a 7-2-1 record and 22 points.

The Yakima Reds continue to fade as they lost their 3rd straight one-goal road match 2-1 at Ogden. The Reds remain in second place with 16 points.

Vancouver Whitecaps Residency are in third place with 12 points after only five matches played.

Match reports:
Tacoma Tide FC
Deseret News

Saturday, June 14, 2008

All Nations Cup kicks on...

Mexico v. Austria (Masters Division)

Ireland v. Japan (Masters Division)

USA v. Peru (Masters Division)
The All Nations Cup continues this weekend at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

We've got a fans-eye-view from guest blogger Bratilla Jr on how some of the Masters Division matches (players 35 years or older) went this weekend:

I went and saw the US vs Bosnia game. US was kinda flat and unorganized. Maybe because they have thrown together the team to participate in the ANC according to one of the players. Bosnia really didn't look much better but had better handling of the ball.

While watching the game, one of my daughter's coaches was there talking with Sam, an Ireland player. (Coach Kyle was supposed to tryout for the team this year but had some kind of injury that prevented him from doing so.) Anyway, he introduce my daughter and I to him. What a great guy! And a big old smile!

Sam used to coach up in Bothell ( Martha Lake) and was actually supposed to play for one of the teams that didn't make the ANC cut (prelims?), so off to Ireland he goes.

Daughter and I go back up today to watch the Ireland-Japan game and the US vs Peru.
Ireland looked OK, but kept taking body shots ( or maybe those were dives?) from Japan. Ball was controlled by both teams just about 50 -50 until late in the game Ireland takes more control and hits the back of the net. Ireland wins 1-0

USA goal against Peru.

The US game vs Peru was good to watch. US had better communication today and looked like they had been playing for more than the weekend! #6 for the US team is a GU18 Harbor Coach . At the half US was up 2-0....... but we had to leave! I couldn't tell you what the rest of the game was like!***

As a side note, I guess in the Brazil game there was a fight ( which I missed because I was near field 4 and the game was on 2! ) which took about 5 security officers to handle!

Here are the latest results from this weekend!

***Note: USA beat Peru 4-0.

Bratilla Jr. has some video below and more on this youtube page.

Tide win first-ever match in Utah

Chase Tangney (yellow) helped TFC make history in Ogden last night.
(David Falk)

It took three years and five matches but Tacoma Tide FC have secured their first-ever win in the state of Utah after a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Ogden over the Outlaws.

The first road victory of 2008 moves Tacoma ahead of the pack and alone in first place in the PDL NW Division with 19 points and a 6-2-1 record. Yakima Reds lost 2-1 last night in BYU to fall to second place.

The Tide boarded their plane at Sea Tac Airport earlier in the day and then made their way to Ogden for the encounter. Earlier this season Tacoma had won a one-sided 5-0 gunfight at home over the Ogden outfit and were riding a 5-match unbeaten string built from their home dominance.

The match-winner came in the 63rd minute from forward Chase Tangney. Tangney continues his red-hot scoring pace after netting two against Vancouver last week. He now has the match-winning goals in two straight Tacoma matches.

The Outlaw Nation Blog has this report and promises photos later.

Tacoma out shot the home team 13-7 and earned more corner kicks 4-1. Daniel Scott, Machael David and Tucker Maxwell received yellow cards for TFC. The Outlaws' defender Alexander Bernier was ejected with a red card in the 88th minute.

Tacoma goes for more road points tonight as they move south to Provo to face the BYU Cougars. TFC have yet to ever earn a point at the Cougars' home den.

Seattle Soccer Show Episode 2

Seattle Soccer Show Episode 2
Featuring Seattle Wolves FC Technical Director Alex Weaver and the Music of Common Market
The Seattle Soccer Show released its second episode today.

Click here to listen.

Seattle Wolves Technical Director Alex Weaver was in studio to talk about the Wolves season to date and what prompted him to leave Manchester United Soccer Schools in South Africa to return to the Seattle Wolves.

Also in this episode:
  • Seattle Sounders
  • Tacoma Tide
  • Sounders Women
  • Euro 2008

The Seattle Soccer Show is a weekly online audio program distributed by 950kjr.com and hosted by Matt Gaschk and Mati Bishop.

Click here to visit SeattleSoccerShow.com
Join the Seattle Soccer Show at Spitfire in BellTown on June 29th for the Euro 2008 Championship match. There will be drink specials, prizes, special guests and more.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Le Toux Profiled

The Seattle Offside Blog has published a profile of the first Sounder FC player, Sebastien Le Toux.

Any guesses as to when they'll need to do another profile?

I'd say within a month.

I'd also say the name they'll need to add is Michael Rodriguez.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sounders teach Juve's kids a 3-0 lesson

Craig Tomlinson gets a Juve foot greeting.
(Rick Morrison photo)

The Sounders used a mish-mash line-up of starters and guests to easily defeat the young guns from Juventus Primavera 3-0 at Starfire. Goals came from Le Toux (2) and Tomlinson.

Most memorable appearance of the night? The sun.

It was a fun night to be out at Starfire watching some soccer, but little was learned about how good the Juventus youth players might be. I suppose we learned something about a few trialists that got match time for Seattle.

Costa Rican defender Michael Rodriguez is back in Seattle, and it appears just a matter of paperwork before he is announced as the next Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) player. Rodriguez played well wherever he was moved on the pitch last night. He has a genuine ease on the ball.

Kenny Cunningham was up top for the Sounders. He had flashy moments and could easily have scored late on if not for a brilliant save by Juve's Carlo Pinsoclio. Cunningham relied on playing too close to offside for my liking. Is he fast, or does he just lazily lurk hoping for the right call? Last night I'd say it was the latter.

Sebastien Le Toux converted a penalty kick (see video) after an iffy foul call. Le Toux then chipped the keeper a few minutes later and it was all but over.

In goal for the Sounders Frenchman Romain Salin was a compelling, stern-eyed competitor. Near the end of the first half Juve had a great scoring chance denied when Salin went horizontal to stab a ball off the line. The clearance rose high in the air and was redirected on goal. With Salin not yet to his feet Kenji Treschuk headed the ball off the line. A final header sailed over the bar.

Nik Besagno played well for the Sounders in his home debut. The Maple Valley product is trying to restart his career out of the shadows of the curse of being a number one draft choice at age 16.

Read these reports:
The Seattle Pitch
Seattle Sounders
Eric's post from USLlive broadcast
Seattle Times
Seattle P-I

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