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Seattle Soccer Examiner
Thursday, July 31, 2008
On the same day that Major League Soccer set the deadline for applying for a 2011 expansion franchise at October 15, 2008 the Portland Timbers announced they will file for one of the two spots to be awarded for early next decade.
Merritt Paulson and the Timbers join St. Louis Soccer United and Vancouver Whitecaps as the other groups to make their intentions official.
Read short statements here and here.
St. Louis has an approved stadium plan but has yet to announce a final owner to put their bid 'over the top.' Vancouver have a temporary stadium plan in a renovated BC Place and big pocket owners in software mogul Greg Kerfoot, former Yahoo! President Jeff Mallet, and NBA star Steve Nash.
Merritt Paulson is the sole announced figure in Portland so far. Plans must now be put on the fast track to release further details as soon as possible. Portland's bid is expected to contain a request for public funds to remodel PGE Park.
Paulson has been lining up political support for his public financing requests behind the scenes for the last several months.
The Rose City is notorious as 'anti-public funding' when it comes to private corporations such as professional sports clubs.
Supporters of bringing MLS to PDX have designed their own website: www.MLStoPDX.com
"It's great to be back home and be able to play some games," said O'Brien, 20, who has trained with the Sounders since he was 14. "I know how they play, I've watched them over the years and I'm a huge fan. That makes a difference. I'm passionate about the Sounders. Coming here is perfect. It's what I need."
"It's cool," Forrest said of sporting the same kit as his father. "He doesn't really talk about his career, but he's got some of the posters laying around."
But Forrest and O'Brien were not brought to the Sounders as mere family favors. They both fill glaring needs for a target forward to combine with MLS-bound Sebastien Le Toux and, with Leighton O'Brien's injury, a creative midfielder.
Read the entire article here.
Read a blog feature about Kevin Forrest from The Beautiful Game in the Emerald City.
A 2007 feature from the Seattle Times on Forrest overcoming injuries.
Forrest and one-time Sounder Matt Fischer in SI photo feature.
UW Daily: Injury cuts Kevin's college career short
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – While the semifinal between Pali and Washington features numerous players with a W-League Championship on their resume, the other semifinal between the FC Indiana Lionesses and Seattle Sounders features far more who may be frustrated from years of coming so close. Between the two clubs, 15 players have made a total of 30 trips to the W-League final four without a championship.
While FC Indiana may be new to the W-League and have won championships in their previous league, the club brought in several standout players to bolster their squad for the increased competition in the form of three veteran stars from the Ottawa Fury and one from the Chicago Gaels.
Eleven players on the Seattle roster have experienced at least one trip to the semifinals with seven having also played on the squad both years, including the top four leading scorers Chalise Baysa, Dani Bridges, Michelle French and Kelli Smith. Fifth-year Sounder Erin Gamble is the lone player from the 2003 squad, having returned for the final three games of the season this year after a two-year absence, helping guide the team to its two highest scoring matches of the campaign.
The goal that got the Sounders to the Final Four:
Read the entire Seattle- FC Indiana preview here.
Read about the other semifinal here.
More on the Sounders Women...
EL PASO - Former UTEP soccer goalkeeper Jessica Salvi was recently named US W-League's Player of the Week for making seven stops in a 1-0 playoff win between her Seattle team and preseason favorite Vancouver.
The efforts against Vancouver, a team which features several members of the Canadian National Team, led the Sounders into the W-League's Final Four. Seattle will now battle perennial power FC Indiana in a showdown that has a distinct UTEP flavor to it.
W-League playoff links:
Media Kit (PDF)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
From the Wolves:
In their first home match in PCSL history, back on May 17th, with many players in Arizona competing in USASA Nationals, the Wolves hosted defending PCSL champions, Victoria United, losing 0-3. In a match which was much closer than the score line, the Wolves walked away looking forward to facing United in Victoria later in the season.
Unfortunately, the result remained the same when they did. Two early goals gave Victoria a lead which they would hold on to. The Wolves fell 4-2, capping off a disappointing road trip, which knocked them out of qualifying positions for both the Challenge Cup and J.F. Kennedy Cup (temporarily).
Victoria United has proven to be the class of the Pacific Coast Soccer League. Their Men's Premier side has won the PCSL Premier the last two seasons, and United also took home the Challenge Cup in 2007. Both their Men's Reserve side and Women's Premier side, the Victoria Stars, reached the 2008 Challenge Cup finals as well.
The Wolves, satisfied by their 10-4-4, 3rd place, record in their first PCSL season, were hungry to make their mark on the PCSL by showing that they could compete with the best, even though they were the newcomers. In both their season meetings, United had taken a 2-3 goal lead going into the half, and the Wolves were determined to keep this match much closer.
Like clockwork, United struck first, in the 15th minute. A disorganized Wolves' midfield lost their marks in the box, and a low, driven cross met the foot of United's Captain, who hammered it home for the 1-0 lead. United wouldn't strike again in the first half, and in the 42nd minute, Wolves' forward, Clay Walton-House, out hustled the Victoria back line, leveling the score going into half-time.
Saturday's victory celebration was not repeated in the Final on Sunday.
Both sides had their opportunities on goal in the second half, but neither converted until the 75th minute. Poor 1 v. 1 defending by the Wolves defensive back four allowed a United striker a clear shot on goal within the 18-yard box. The opportunity was converted, and United took the 2-1 lead into the final 15 minutes. Pushing for the equalizer, United's goal keeper came up with key saves. United would score again shortly before the final whistle, sweeping the League Table and Cup for the second year in a row.
A quiet Seattle locker room post-match was filled with players wanting to remember this feeling for future reference. Seattle now has the week off after competing in 2 league matches and 5 cup matches within the last 10 days. The club looks to revitalize itself before travelling to Bellingham on the 16th of August to compete in the J.F. Kennedy Cup.
For the Wolves complete schedule, visit SeattleWolvesFC.com .
Monday, July 28, 2008
We exchanged emails with Sounders FC General Manager Adrian Hanauer today to get a better idea about what the next few months might bring in terms of players for the current USL or next year's MLS Sounders.
Are you satisfied with how the USL-1 club is being used for MLS development so far?
"I am never satisfied and always striving for better. But, there are some restrictions to how far we can go in "stacking" the USL roster, for purposes of moving players to MLS. We still hope to do a few things prior to the USL roster freeze (August 27)... some that may benefit the 2009 MLS team, and some to help out the 2008 USL team."
What about the 4-month gap between the end of USL-1 season and start of MLS training camp in January 2009: is that a period to sign players? What will signed players be doing (Le Toux) to stay in shape?
"Most of our players will be under contract and playing until October 31st this year. We decided to extend the contracts and pay the additional salaries in order to have less gap between the end of the USL season, and the beginning of the MLS season. In the 75 days between the two seasons... we will design fitness programs for each player who we want in 2009 training camp."
How important will the upcoming college season be in your roster plans?
"Very. The college season, and the draft that follows will be critically important to getting a few good young players. Additionally, we are spending a lot of time analyzing the current MLS season and trying to figure out which players might be left unprotected in the expansion draft."
Do you consider the January window the 'big one' for SSFC's first roster?
How do you see the 2009 roster 'balancing out' between college graduates, imports, locals and MLS vets? Will our roster (18-man) be mostly young and looking toward the future, or mostly experienced and looking for instant success?
"We have a very good strategy in place for building our roster in a way that we think will be successful. But it also doesn't help us much, to have all of our competitors knowing what we are trying to do. So, unfortunately, I am going to have to take a pass on this question."
Starfire Sports Complex will once again host the United States Adult Soccer Association National Cup Finals in 2008.
The Tournament kicks of August 7th.
This pdf file page reveals the match-ups and shows that Forza, featuring Michelle French, are the lone Washington State club.
You can see how the finalists got to Seattle here.
Here are video highlights from last year's Finals at Starfire...
Eddie was there for the 1977 NASL Sounders as a 17-year old American rookie when Seattle lost the famous 2-1 Soccer Bowl dubbed as "Pele's Last Match."
He was there when FC Seattle arose from the ashes of the fallen North American Soccer League. Eddie even scored a goal against the Cosmos and for FC Seattle in 1984.
He was there in 1987 when the amateur Seattle Mitre Eagles made it all the way to the Final of the US Open Cup.
Check out some of Seattle's soccer past through the eyes of Eddie Krueger.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sunday? Not so much.
Tacoma Tide FC fell 4-1 to Vancouver Whitecaps Residency to miss out on a spot in the national final four.
Seattle Wolves FC fell 3-1 to Victoria United in the PCSL Final.
Still, great showings by both clubs this year and certainly much to build on going forward.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Saturday July 26 was a day for winners!
The Seattle Sounders beat the Charleston Battery 1-0 on a second-half goal from Sebastien Le Toux.
Read reports from the Sounders, Seattle Times, ProstAmerika and The Seattle Pitch.
The Sounders Women beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 in the playoffs to advance to the W-League Final Four.
A spectacular bicycle kick from Sounders top scorer Chalise Baysa on minute 67 was the difference.
The Tacoma Tide beat the Fresno Fuego 3-0 in Fresno to advance to the Western Conference Final Sunday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency. Goals from Daniel Scott (Zach's brother), Spencer Schomaker and Chase Tangney led TFC. The Tide and 'Caps split matches in the regular season. Read our GOALTacoma.com report.
In Surrey, British Columbia, Seattle Wolves FC stunned Surrey United by taking them 3-2 in penalty kicks and moving into the Challenge Cup Final today. The Wolves will face top of the table Victoria United in the league final.
I like Saturdays.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tacoma Tide FC forward Spencer Schomaker (Syracuse University) has had a great week. He scored three goals and added two assists to lead the Tide to their first-ever division title in their 6-2 win over Yakima on July 19th.
The feat earned Schomaker the PDL "Player of the Week" nationally.
Below Spencer is interviewed on Northwest Sports Tonight.
Perhaps Sounders FC will only have to wait 2 seasons for a regional rival. It might be their biggest historic rival of all, too.
Today the Vancouver Whitecaps made months of speculation crystal clear when they released a statement declaring their pursuit of a Major League Soccer franchise for the 2011 season. The Whitecaps are scheduled to move into a remodeled BC Place that same year.
Officially on board in the ownership group is NBA star Steve Nash. “I am really excited to be a part of the Whitecaps organization and play a role in our application to join Major League Soccer," said Nash. "This new partnership is a great fit for me. My passion for soccer and commitment to the community is well aligned with the Whitecaps vision.”
Major League Soccer announced the next round of expansion for 2011 would include two new clubs. The top candidates at this time appear to be Vancouver, Montreal, St. Louis and Portland, in that order.
The Portland Timbers are expected to launch their own MLS drive in the coming weeks.
The victory was the MLS side's fourth in a row over international competition and improved their record to a perfect 5-0 overall since the MLS vs. the World format was first adopted in 2003. It also gives MLS a hat trick against London-based teams, as the All-Stars defeated Fulham and Chelsea in 2005 and 2006.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
(St. Paul, MN) – The Sounders (5-6-8) lost the lead in the 78th minute in Minnesota Thursday night and fell behind minutes later in losing 2-1 to the Thunder.
A superb goal from Youssouf Kante in the 43rd minute was offset by goals from defender Brian Kallman and forward Melvin Tarley within three minutes of each other.
The Sounders now return home from a giant match-up Saturday night at Starfire with the league-leading Charleston Battery in a preview of next month’s U.S. Open Cup semi-final match to be played in Charleston, SC on August 12. Tickets for Saturday’s match at Starfire are still available at www.ticketmaster.com. Kick-off is set for 8:00 pm (PT).
Seattle came in off a disappointing 3-1 loss a week ago at Starfire to the Rochester Rhinos. The loss was their first ever in the USL regular season at Starfire and dropped the Sounders into a fifth place position in the USL-1 table.
The last place Thunder’s last win came two months ago to the day in a 3-1 victory over Miami FC; since that time they had lost six of ten league games including a 3-1 loss to the Sounders at Starfire on June 7. In the wake of their recent struggles, third year coach Amos Magee stepped down on Tuesday and was replaced by Assistant Coach Donny Gramenz.
With that in mind, the Sounders looked to jump on the Thunder early and nearly did in the 15th minute when Jason Cascio had a close range header go just high over the crossbar off a delivery from Leighton O’Brien on the right.
Seattle controlled most of the run of play in the first half. Cascio, making his third start of the season up front and first since June 1, was active in creating scoring opportunities taking three shots in the opening half.
But it was midfielder Youssouf Kante who put the Sounders on the board in spectacular fashion in the 43rd minute. Kante received a deflection on the left side of the midfield, took a couple touches and fired from 25 yards; the shot hit the far post and deflected in giving Seattle the 1-0 advantage. It was Kante’s first career goal as a Sounder.
Seattle went into the half looking firmly in control and with the lead.
Minnesota came out a different side in the second half and immediately put pressure on the Seattle backline.
Stephen deRoux created an open shot just outside the 18 yard box in the 50th minute that was saved well by Chris Eylander.
The game began to tighten up with 20 minutes to go. Neither side created clear chances and the game appeared to be sailing towards a Sounders victory, but in the 78th minute, the Thunder created a corner and on the ensuing kick, Ryan Kallman rose to meet Luchi Gonzalez’s delivery and head it into the back of the net.
Three minutes later Minnesota took advantage of the momentum swing and Melvin Tarley hammered in another goal to grab the 2-1 advantage over a stunned Sounders side.
In the game’s dying minutes, after the Sounders whipped in a flurry of balls desperately searching for the equalizer, Andre Schmid rose and headed the ball over to a waiting Sebastien Le Toux who scored, but the play was ruled offsides.
The loss leaves the Sounders in fifth place but with sixth place Portland playing later in the evening.
Sounders 1, Thunder 2
Sea – Eylander; Sakuda, Jackson (Merl 58), Scott, Rodriguez; Treschuk (Besagno 45), Kante (Fishbaugher 84), Gardner, O’Brien; Cascio (Schmid 69), Le Toux.
Min – Platter; Greenfield, Arango, Kallman, Altman (Friedland 45); Weiler (O’Brien 66), Bass, Sanchez (Marcina 74), deRoux; Tarley (Moojen 85), Gonzalez.
Sea – Kante 43
Min – Kallman (Gonzalez) 78
Min – Tarley (deRoux) 81
Shots: Sea – 9, Min – 8.
Saves: Sea (Eylander) – 4, Min (Platter) – 2.
Fouls: Sea – 10, Min – 10.
Offsides: Sea – 3, Min – 9.
Corners: Sea – 3, Min – 8.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tacoma plays Friday night at 7:30 in Fresno against the Fresno Fuego in the opening match of the regional PDL playoffs. The winner of that match advances to the regional final on Sunday.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Raw video feed from yesterday's press conference is now online.
Former Seattle Sonics announcer Kevin Calabro was revealed as the first-ever voice of Sounders FC on July 21st in a press conference at Qwest Field.
A day later the news is starting to sink in for soccer fans around the northwest.
My initial take? Calabro is an entertainer who has a lot to offer us in 2009. My initial concern? Kevin isn't a 'soccer guy,' so we'll need that knowledge and nuance to come from whomever sits beside him in the booth.
I don't need an English accent and muliple 'futbol' references. Sounders FC are an American team, after all. However, Calabro is now challenged to bring the sport we love back to us with wit, energy and above all accuracy.
Our 'American announcer' detectors will be on high alert to see how he manages to make us forget his NBA days and embrace his new soccer agenda.
"Flying pies in the boot room?" Let's hope not.
A thread at SeattleSoccerTalk.com has been started by fans to give KC help with his new gig.
Read a press conference report from ProstAmerika.com.
Reaction from around the internet:
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC certainly already has some ‘mainstream’ names involved in their day-to-day affairs; owners of the MLS 2009 expansion franchise include a movie mogul (Joe Roth, the majority owner), a Microsoft mogul (its co-founder Paul Allen), and a well-known TV personality now seen daily (comedian and ‘Price Is Right’ host Drew Carey). For local sports fans in the Emerald City, another familiar name was added to the list on Monday… ---MVN.com
Kevin Calabro had an option to stay with the Sonics Thunder for the upcoming NBA season, but declined it when the abrupt move to Oklahoma City became apparent.
So Kevin Calabro becomes the first NBA talent to officially turn down Oklahoma City. And for soccer no less. Get ready for MLS littered with 70s soul references! I couldn’t be more thrilled. ---HotdogandFriends.com
When Kevin Calabro raised his trusted voice Monday, he spoke of hope. His golden tongue, formerly used to broadcast Sonics games, turned his new soccer venture into a fantasy, a chance to "embark" on a journey with "the world's game." Calabro made moving on — c-ya, NBA; greetings, Major League Soccer — feel more like a chic opportunity than a drab fallback. ---Jerry Brewer, Seattle Times
Seattle's preparations for a spectacular launch in 2009 took another step forward with the announcement of a multi-year local TV deal, nearly nine months before it plays an official league match. ---Soccer America
Monday, July 21, 2008
From Sounders FC:
Renton, Wash. - The Seattle Sounders FC and BELO have reached a multi-year television partnership to broadcast Sounders FC games on KONG-6/16 and KING-5, the team announced today.
"Everyone at KING5 the Home Team is very excited to begin this special partnership with another great home team - the Sounders FC," said BELO president and general manger Ray Heacox. "The incredible support from the community in welcoming Major League Soccer in Seattle is proof that this will become the most successful launch for MLS. We look forward to many winning years together."
Every home and away Sounders FC match will be broadcast live on KONG-6/16 or KING-5, except those broadcast nationally. Each broadcast will feature an exclusive pregame show and a postgame wrap-up. BELO will also produce a weekly show.
"The Sounders FC adds two broadcast icons to our family today," said Vulcan Sports & Entertainment CEO Tod Leiweke. "This partnership teams one of the most recognizable voices in sports with the number-one rated station in Western Washington."
Former "Voice of the Sonics," Kevin Calabro, will serve as club's play-by-play announcer for all Sounders FC matches. Calabro spent 21 seasons with the Sonics where he was part of several regional Emmy Award-winning broadcasts.
"I'm thrilled to be part of Sounders FC soccer in a city that I know will embrace it," said Calabro. "Seattle is blessed to have devoted ownership as well and I know people will be excited about the possibilities."
During his career, Calabro has also been a play-by-play contributor for TNT, TBS and ESPN Radio broadcasts of the NBA. During the summer of 2000, he was selected by The Westwood One Radio Network to be the voice of the United States Men's 2000 Olympic Basketball Team. He was named "Sportscaster of the Year" for the state of Washington in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association of America.
Calabro began his professional-basketball broadcast career as one of the youngest play-by-play announcers in NBA history when he was hired at age 26 by the Kansas City Kings during the 1983-84 season. While in the Midwest, he worked at SportsTime, a regional cable outlet, and also took on the role of play-by-play announcer for the University of Missouri football and basketball teams. Calabro started his career at WIBC radio in Indianapolis where he did play-by-play for minor league hockey. During that time, Calabro also called basketball and football games for Purdue University.
He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of Anthony, Nick, Lauren and Joe.
The fight and much of the spark is missing from the 2008 Seattle Sounders soccer club of the USL-1.
The season-long 'experiment' that is keeping this team alive can only get mixed reviews at this point.
If the idea was to 'discover' new MLS talent through running the squad another year, have we found such players?
If the idea was to keep our current players motivated and in shape, have we been doing that?
If the idea was to defend our league crown, has that been enough to drive the squad on match nights?
Right now it would be hard to defend a 'yes' answer to any of those positions.
The Sounders are a thread-bare squad and the talent we've seen added for an MLS look can be counted on one hand: Youssouf Kante, Michael Rodriguez, and if you are feeling generous, Nik Besagno, who still belongs to RSL.
If 2008 isn't really about 'discovering' MLS talent via the USL-1 campaign, then let's move on to the next possible reason for fielding a side this year. Are the boys motivated and in shape?
Tough call on the motivation part. Mostly it seems like these guys love to play, but it is clear that they are 'up' for the MLS US Open Cup matches, and have been 'down' for league matches for almost two months now.
In shape? Or is that injured and healing? Of course there is no way the Sounders could have held on to this roster without fielding a team, and of course that team needs to run the race of actually playing the matches...but along the way this year we've seen injuries to Roger Levesque, Taylor Graham, Danny Jackson, Leighton O'Brien, Josh Gardner...and a host of other guys, too.
Perhaps it is about defending our title, and the pride that comes with that?
That's the one we have yet to answer. Perhaps this very ideal will carry our boys through the final stretch of seven home matches at Starfire and on to repeated glory.
As we approach August it sure looks like everyone around the club could use a boost of some sort. Will it be via making the Open Cup Final?
Will it be with roster moves before the transfer window closes?
'MLS training camp' is starting to drag. Something's gotta give.
Talk about it at SeattleSoccerTalk.com
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Middle: Celebration after the goal.
Bottom: Celebration after Ruben Orozco makes it 3-1 Tacoma.
GOALTacoma photo gallery by David Falk
GOALTacoma photo gallery by Jenni Conner
Tacoma Tide FC scored 3-1 advantages over the Yakima Reds in both halves and crushed their cross-state rivals 6-2 at Curtis High School on July 19th.
In Utah the Ogden Outlaws upset the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency 1-0. TFC and Vancouver finished the season tied with identical 11-4-1 records and 34 standings points. The PDL standings tiebreaker rules list the first tie breaker as head-to-head points. Since Tacoma and Vancouver split their two matches this year (5-5 goals for and against) the next tie breaker was overall league goals for and against. The Tide win the Northwest Division crown, their first ever, by virtue of scoring 46 goals and giving up only 23 (+23) to Vancouver's 34-14 (+20).
It was a nervous initial eleven minutes for the Tide. Tacoma knew a draw or a victory would put them in the 2008 PDL playoffs. The Yakima Reds knew only a win over the Tide would put them in.
The Reds dominated the early part of the match and went up 1-0 on a goal by Garcia in the 11th after a hit post rebound gave him the ball for the tap-in.
The Tide seemed unsettled until the 16th when Dennis Sanchez flicked a ball into the Reds' box that was knocked in by Spencer Schomaker. Only two minutes later Schomaker headed the Tide into a permanent lead when he perfectly placed a ball off of a throw in from Tucker Maxwell. The Tide were rolling from then on out and had numerous chances on goal the rest of the first half.
The third goal, eventually the match winner, was scored by Ruben Orozco in the 31st. His blast into the far corner of the goal came off an assist from Schomaker.
Tacoma's 3-1 halftime lead gave them a bit of a cushion to play with. The second half looked to have far fewer fireworks until the 70th minute when Rafael Cox scored on an assist from Chase Tangney. By that time the Reds were playing with 10 men after Al Valencia was ejected for being the last defender behind the ball and tripping Tacoma's Rory Agu. Technically the lead official had the rule book in his favor, though the call seemed harsh.
There were still three goals left to tally and they all came in the 80th minute or later. Yakima drew to within 4-2 on Garcia's second score. Then Rory Agu (82nd, assist to Schomaker) and Schomaker (90th, assist to Brayton Knapp) completed the rout.
Schomaker ended up leading the Tide with the hat trick and two assists.
The nerves had turned to adrenalin, and the adrenalin had turned into the Tide's 18th straight match at home without a loss dating back to 2006.
500 fans celebrated the win with the club in the bright Tacoma evening sun. Afterwards hugs and applause greeted the guys as they left the pitch and later came out for autographs.
TFC will travel to Fresno this Friday to play the Fuego for the second straight year in the first match of the playoffs. Read why that ticks this Tide fan off here.
Tacoma Tide FC
USL stats page
When the Yakima Reds take the pitch with the Tide tonight at Curtis High School they'll be facing a must-win situation if they hope to make the playoffs. If the Reds can win they'll knock Tacoma out by virtue of a season sweep of the Tide.
If Tacoma can draw or win, the boys in yellow will not only stretch their home undefeated string, but they'll make the playoffs and Yakima will be out.
Match previews in the Tacoma News Tribune and Tacoma Weekly.
This year Yakima has rebounded with a fine campaign and with some very big road wins. The Reds recently went up to BC and pulled off a sweep of Vancouver and Abbotsford.
Something's gotta give tonight. Will it be the Tide's long (18 matches and counting) home unbeaten streak, or will it be Yakima's chance to return to the playoffs?
The rivalry grows.
1. Vancouver Whitecaps Residency (34 points, 11-3-1)
2. Tacoma Tide FC (31 points, 10-4-1)
3. Yakima Reds (28 points, 9-5-1)
Vancouver at Ogden tonight
Yakima at Tacoma tonight
Coming to watch the Tide:
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, all general admission
Stadium food available
Directions to Curtis High School
GOALSeattle.com Photo Gallery by Jenni Conner
The Sounders lost 3-1 last night at Starfire to the Rochester Rhinos.
At least I think they did. You see, I am already in the process of forgetting the club's most listless performance on the season. Soon enough I'll erase from my memory the awkward play of the make-shift back line. I'll file away the midfield's inability to string passes together. Gone will be the sight of a lone Sebastien Le Toux at striker trying to make it work up top with absolutely no success.
Before this clunker of a performance fades from my brain cells forever, I guess I'll use this blog to capture the frustrations of the evening.
With Taylor Graham nursing an injury the back line looked more than beatable, and they were. With Roger Levesque still out, the front was missing an attacker so Brian Schmetzer decided at a home match to simply not play another one. A 4-5-1 line-up was used not by the away side looking for a point, but rather the defending league champions apparently trying to hang on in a venue they had never before lost a regular season match.
Need I say that it didn't work?
It was also surprising that the players came out so listless and unfocused. One might have thought that after their only real rest of the month they'd be re-energized. Not last night.
So we ended up with a match in which Seattle's lone highlight was a nifty goal by Leighton O'Brien that leveled things before the 20 minute mark. We ended up with a match in which former Sounder Andrew Gregor scored the winner before halftime. We ended up with our first-ever regular season loss at Starfire. We ended up with late game offensive subs (Cascio, Schmid) who created chances and should have seen time sooner.
We ended up with a dud.
By Sunday I'll bet I couldn't even tell you the score.
Match Reports (you seriously want to read more?) :
The Seattle Pitch
Friday, July 18, 2008
The past week or so on www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com we've had some spirited discussions in regards to the ticket sales in the South end of Qwest Field and the overall role the Members Association might play in the match day experience.
I talked with Bart Wiley of Sounders FC to see what he envisions for the unique association and for the South end where standing supporters will be.
Fans are giving feedback here.
1. From the club perspective, what are a few of the goals, hopes and dreams for the SSFC Membership Association?
To create the most vibrant, energetic match-day atmosphere in Major League Soccer.
To actively engage ownership and the front office, and, through a collaborated effort, listen, plan, advise, and implement. This will happen through Council, the Advisory Board and continued outreach through e-newsletters and voting.
To continue to grow the Association and educate Members on the importance of being an active member – whether through Council, support at matches, or voicing opinion through the voting process.
2. What is your role in this adventure?
To listen, ask questions, listen some more, and then work with Members to accomplish goals.
Drew Carey is the Chairman – I support him and the Members Association as Executive Director.
3. This seems like Drew Carey's 'baby,' but how much will he actually be involved?
This is Drew’s ‘baby’ – he will play an active role in many ways – general advice moving forward, serving as host at the annual meeting, and by attending Member events throughout the year – as his schedule allows.
He is passionate about this group and will continue to play a huge role in the overall direction.
4. Speaking of Drew Carey projects, there has been much talk by fans about the Sounders FC Marching Band. Will the band fall under the direction of the Membership Association, or just how will the two interact?
Like the Members Association, the band was Drew’s idea.
The band exists on it’s own but will be fully integrated into the match-day environment and community events. It will also support the Members Association / Supporters groups on match-day.
5. Do you already have a general idea of how you hope the atmosphere is at matches in 2009? What are you envisioning? How will the MA be involved in making decisions about match-day atmosphere?
We want the atmosphere on match-day to be unrivaled – we want the atmosphere to be intoxicating – we want the atmosphere to spurn on the players – we want the atmosphere to be a huge home field advantage for our side.
We envision Supporters groups taking the lead in providing atmosphere - constant energy through song / chants, flag waving, continual music either from the band or ethnically diverse musical groups…and other elements as they are approved by Qwest Field.
The MA will be actively involved – there will soon be a Supporters Group meeting.
6. When is the first all-members meeting, and what is topic number one on the agenda?
7. When some soccer fans here the term 'supporters' they might think of the kind of fans who stand, sing, chant and wave flags. Is the MA a way to get all fans together and talking about SSFC issues? What challenges do you think bringing so many different types of fans together might present?
There will be challenges but education will be the key.
Each Member may not be an active match-day Supporter, but they will certainly support the club.
Supporters may not be Members (they may not have season tickets or they may not purchase a $125 stand-alone membership) but they play an active role in providing atmosphere on match-days.
This challenge will continually be addressed as we move forward.
8. The South End of Qwest Field is where standing supporters will be located. It is also an area where plenty of seats still remain to be sold. Will SSFC be working with current supporters groups such as the ECS to market those seats to a rowdier type of soccer fan?
9. You've been a club spokesman for the USL Seattle Sounders when it comes to communicating with supporters groups. What differences do you think there will be in your new role with the SSFC MA? How hard is it to tell fans "No" when they are passionate about something?
I’ll play a more active role with Sounders FC supporters. I’ll engage more often, listen more often, and ask questions more often.
Also this week, Matt talks to Fox Sports senior soccer writer Jamie Trecker about Superliga and learns his expectations for Sounders FC in 2009.
Thanks for Listening!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It is do or die for Tacoma Tide FC and the Yakima Reds on Saturday July 19th down in Tacoma. With the Sounders playing at home the night before, and a sunny Saturday in the forecast, this is your last chance to see the future stars at TFC as they fight for a playoff spot.
Who will represent the State of Washington in the PDL (USL) playoffs?
See the excitement for half-price courtesy of GOALTacoma.com
Here's a nice feature from PNWLocalNews.com.
A write-up on Liga Latina de Washington.
Liga Latina de Washington was started two years ago by Jauregui. Before that the Puyallup realtor had sponsored a team in a league in Puyallup. Fed up by the disorganization of his former league and the constant schedule changes, Jauregui said he was encouraged to start a new league catering to the area’s large Hispanic population.
“They would change the times the night before a game,” he says. “So a couple of other teams said that if I started a league they would come with.”
Soon Liga Latina was off and running. This season the league boasts 19 teams, playing a 12-week schedule with three post-season games, all at local Sumner School District fields with the championship game played at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The Wolves swept a home and home series with Peace Arch SC of White Rock, BC, this weekend, defeating PASC 5-1 on the road Saturday, and then 4-2 at home on Sunday. Saturday's performance was one of the "most impressively played matches by a Wolves' team since [Alex Weaver] joined the club last year", said the Wolves head coach and technical director. "On Saturday the boys completely controlled the pace of the match, and capitalized on great opportunities going forward." Ian Walsh, nursing a groin injury, played with his heart on Saturday, leading the team with 2 goals. Matt Hulen, Mark Williams and Corey Sinser also netted goals in the 5-1 victory.
On Sunday, with Walsh on the bench, Thiago Silva stepped up with two goals of his own. Ryan Oxford and Willie Cardenas also scored, and the Wolves secured the valuable 3rd position in the PCSL Premier league table going into the final weekend of play.
The top 4 teams from PCSL Premier League action win berths into the Sheila Anderson Memorial Challenge Cup, to be held at the Cloverdale Athletic Park in Surrey, BC, the weekend of July 26-27.
With these wins the Wolves also qualify for the J.F. Kennedy Cup, to be held at the Northwest Soccer Complex in Bellingham, WA the weekend of August 16-17. The Kennedy Cup will feature the PCSL Premier League winner (currently Victoria United), the Oregon Premier League Winner, International Portland Select, fellow WSSA representative and host, Puget Sound Soccer Academy, and the Wolves.
Currently in 3rd place in the PCSL league standings, the Wolves will host the 4th place Vancouver Thunderbirds on Saturday night (July 19, 7:00pm, Starfire Stadium) and 2nd place Surrey United on Sunday night (July 20, 7:00pm, Starfire Stadium) in the last two home matches of their inaugural PCSL season. Both matches are expected to be hotly contested battles, with cup qualifying implications on the line.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
It wasn't pretty, but does it matter?
The Seattle Sounders will gladly take their hard-fought 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact on Sunday July 13th in the French Canadian city.
Put to rest are at least two long streaks:
1. First league win in 35 days.
2. A goal finally scored after 393 minutes without one.
It was Sebastien Le Toux getting on the close end of a cross from Leighton O'Brien and tucking it home in the 73rd minute that stood up for the Sounders.
Before and after it was all Montreal. The Impact dominated long stretches of the match and Seattle keeper Chris Eylander and the back line played valiantly to keep them out.
It was Seattle's 6th match in 13 days.
The Sounders are now 5-4-8 in league play with 23 points. They jump up to third in the table with the win.
Seattle now gets a short breather of four days before taking on the Rochester Rhinos Friday July 18th at Starfire Sports Complex.
USL stats page
Impact looks to the heavens for relief
(Photo from home match v. Cascade in May by Jenni Conner)
Tacoma Tide FC won a wild 4-3 match July 12th in Salem Oregon over the Cascade Surge.
The victory gives TFC a 10-win campaign for the second season in a row in the 16-match PDL Northwest summer league.
With the result the Tide move back into a tie for first place in the division. The Vancouver Whitecaps Residency were shocked 3-0 in Spokane by the last-place Spiders on the same night. In Yakima the Reds kept pace with a 4-1 victory over the Abottsford Mariners.
A playoff entry, and perhaps the division title as well, will be decided July 19th at Curtis High School in Tacoma when Yakima Reds visit the Tide at 7:00 PM. It is a must-result match for Tacoma. A win or a draw sends the Tide to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. A loss would put Yakima in the playoffs and eliminate TFC.
Vancouver Whitecaps (31 points after 14 matches) 10-3-1.
Tacoma Tide (31 points after 15 matches) 10-4-1
Yakima Reds (28 points after 14 matches) 9-5-1
BYU Cougars (23 points after 14 matches) 7-5-2
Abottsford Mariners (17 points after 14 matches) 5-7-2
Ogden Outlaws (14 points after 14 matches) 4-8-2
Spokane Spiders (11 points after 15 matches) 3-10-2
Cascade Surge (11 points after 15 matches) 2-8-5
July 18 at BYU
July 19 at Ogden
July 19 Yakima
July 19 at Tacoma
The Tide traveled to Salem on July 12th and took on a recently rejuvenated Cascade Surge. The match was a back and forth affair that saw Tacoma fall behind 1-0 in the very first minute. The Tide went on a scoring spree before the half was over with goals by Chase Tangney (14th minute), and a brace by Spencer Schomaker (18th, 36th).
Tacoma's 3-1 halftime lead slipped away when the Surge jumped back with goals in the 55th and 66th minutes. It was left up to Rory Agu, Tacoma native, to put the Tide back on top for good and he did so with an 81st minute tally.
Tacoma outshot the Surge 11-6, had more corners 6-3 and forced more saves 7-3.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Vancouver Whitecaps Residency are off and running towards the Northwest Division title after they invaded Yakima on July 11th and torched the Reds 4-1. The victory hurt the Tide's slim chances of finishing in first place but dramatically helped their chances of finishing second and making the playoffs. Yakima and Tacoma are now on equal footing as far as matches left to play (2) but the Tide have more standings points, 28-25.
If Tacoma wins or draws tonight in Salem against the Cascade Surge, and the Reds lose at home to Abottsford, then the Tide would clinch the final playoff spot. A second scenario that could work: A Tide win and a Yakima draw would put TFC four points up with only three points left to grab. Anything else and next Saturday's Yakima-Tide match at Curtis High School will determine who enters the playoffs with Vancouver.
The BYU Cougars sit in 4th place and need to win out along with having the exact right scenario from Tacoma and Yakima: A Yakima loss to Abbey tonight and a win over Tacoma next week, along with a Tide loss tonight. If that all somehow happened, BYU would have 29 points and TFC and Yakima would end the season with 28 each and out of the playoffs.
- Vancouver Whitecaps (31 points after 13 matches) 10-2-1
- Tacoma Tide (28 points after 14 matches) 9-4-1
- Yakima Reds (25 points after 14 matches) 8-5-1
- BYU Cougars (20 points after 13 matches) 6-5-2
- Abottsford Mariners (17 points after 13 matches) 5-6-2
- Ogden Outlaws (14 points after 13 matches) 4-7-2
- Cascade Surge (11 points after 12 matches) 2-7-5
- Spokane Spiders (7 points after 13 matches) 2-10-2
July 12 at Spokane
July 18 at BYU
July 19 at Ogden
July 12 at Cascade
July 19 Yakima
July 12 Abottsford
July 19 at Tacoma
July 12 at Ogden
July 18 Vancouver
July 19 Abottsford
Friday, July 11, 2008
It's just not coming any easier in league play for the Sounders. The negative numbers all point to a side that is treading water as the mid-season mark passes.
The latest negative numbers:
1-0 Seattle falls at Rochester.
34 days and counting since last league victory.
321 minutes since last goal (or 201 if you don't count the Open Cup).
July 11th's away loss to the Rochester Rhinos was a choppy affair where the Seattle midfield was disrupted and never gained any cohesion. Up front Sebastien Le Toux was active as usual, but also gave away the ball or was double-marked and unable to find an outlet.
Coach Schmetzer took Andre Schmid out at halftime and put in Michael Rodriguez. The Sounders responded with improved possession and a series of scoring chances. Once the Rhinos adjusted Schmetzer brought in Jason Cascio at forward and eventually Kante and Merl.
Cascio had a few moments in the mix, but the ball rarely found him on the attack. Jason was called for a foul on the goalkeeper in the late going that stalled a possible attempt.
The Sounders are now 4-4-8 on the USL-1 season and are slowly losing ground as they look ahead to the big glut of home matches that will be their make-or-break push for playoffs.
Until then it seems like fans will have to temper these growing number of days without a league win with the knowledge that seven clubs make the playoffs and Seattle will ride it out at home in August while some of the other contenders are mainly on the road.
The Open Cup is the only place the Sounders are having any success right now.
The Sounders play in Montreal on Sunday.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
USL-1 match stats page
Short shorts for a Rhinos defender
The time has come for Brian Schmetzer to make a tough but important decision.
It is time to start Jason Cascio up front and bench struggling striker Andre Schmid.
As it now stands, Schmid is giving us the effort, but in the process has shown his biggest weaknesses as well: inconsistent finishing, inability to combine well with Sebastien Le Toux, problems going straight at defenders and maintaining possession.
Jason brings to the Sounders what Schmid can't.
Cascio has a low center of gravity, a flowing attack ability, is hard to knock off the ball and has an accurate, powerful shot.
Schmid should be better in the air than he actually is with his height. He's been given ample opportunity to shine with the unfortunate long-lasting injuries to Roger Levesque (out at least another 5-8 weeks as of this blog).
I've seen some growth in Schmid's game, and there is no doubt that he is a physical specimen. How far does that take you when you can seem to only score the 'johnny on the spot' type of goals (Montreal match) and not create enough of your own chances or finish 'sitters?' (Portland, Kansas City).
I've watched Jason for several years be the leading scorer at Seattle University. We have all seen how his late-match appearances have given opposing defenses something different to look at than what Schmid brings.
I am suggesting we flip their roles: start Cascio and sub in Schmid at 75 minutes or so if Jason isn't producing.
This would give our opponents a bit more to handle. Right now Schmid and Le Toux are playing the same style, but at different skill levels. It's a 'herky-jerky' game of take off and run that is also a challenge for opponents. When you've got both of your strikers doing it, though, it just doesn't work. Better then to let Le Toux be himself, progress and all, and have a partner up top with a more fluid motion and complementary skill sets.
Now that he appears to be healthy again, Jason Cascio should get a shot at starting.
* * *
The Sounders are in Rochester tonight on Fox Soccer Channel at 5:00 PM.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
A bright new Seattle Sounders FC flag is flying at the north entrance of Qwest Field next to a Seahawks one. Previously two 'Hawks flags flew, but with the stadium share going full-bore SSFC now has claimed one of the poles for the new crest and colors.
I've made one of the photos I took of the flag into a desktop wallpaper that you can download. Pick your size.
1600 x 1200
1024 x 768
800 x 600
Here are the two flags flying side by side.
UPDATE: By request I've uploaded wallpaper versions of the photo of the two team's flags...
Seahawks & Sounders FC:
1600 x 1200
1024 x 768
800 x 600
As The Seattle Pitch's Ron Stickney points out, the Sounders have four league wins so far in 2008, and already they've got the same number in the Open Cup.
Here's to two more and claiming the Cup for the first time!
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The Seattle Sounders edged the Kansas City Wizards 6-5 on penalty kicks after a scoreless regulation and overtime period to advance to the semifinals of the United States Open Cup for the second consecutive year.
Along the way there were breakaways blown, crossbars thunked, near misses, cautious play, timely saves.
Chris Eylander saves Kansas City's 7th pk attempt.
(Rick Morrison photos)
Fans are talking about the match and posting photos at SeattleSoccerTalk.com
New England Revolution and DC United will play for the other Final spot.
In penalty kicks the Sounders walked a razor edge between staying alive and being defeated. The only Seattle player to not convert his try was striker Sebastien Le Toux, who repeated his misfortune of striking the crossbar in the run of play with a try that hit the top bar in the shoot out.
Le Toux's miss had followed a save by Chris Eylander on the previous KC shot from MLS veteran Jimmy Conrad. From then it was goal for goal, with tense moments when Seattle was down 4-3 and faced elimination unless Leighton O'Brien could convert. He did so with ease.
In extra kicks the Sounders needed a sure foot from tiny midfielder Youssouf Kante. He came through. Then Seattle got its break when Chris Eylander saved the Wizards' 7th try from Tyson Wahl. Up stepped Zach Scott, already the 'Man of the Match' by some accounts. The longtime Sounders defender blasted the ball into the back of the net and Seattle's loud support went crazy as the boys jumped in a group huddle on the Qwest Field floor.
GOALSeattle Photo Galleries:
The Seattle Pitch
Tacoma News Tribune
Kansas City Wizards
1. Yippee! Better chance to win and advance!
2. I feel cheated. If I pay $20 I want to see their best.
3. If we win they can claim they didn't try.
4. If we lose, they can claim even their reserves are better.
Which ever way us fans might take it, the fact remains the USL Seattle Sounders will return to Qwest Field tonight for an important match. Seattle can't control the moves the opponent might make to get here (or not), but they can control how they approach the match: passion, intensity, and desire to win and advance. How about this one, too: a chance to make up for their last match at Qwest, a completely unsatisfying 0-0 draw in May against Portscum.
The Sounders are focusing this part of their year around the Open Cup. Josh Gardner and Leighton O'Brien didn't make the recent road swing back east where the Sounders drew one and lost one. Kevin Sakuda did go, but his consecutive starts string was ended in Charleston.
On Northwest Sports Tonight last night coach Brian Schmetzer made the game plan clear: go as far as we can in the US Open Cup, and rely on players getting healthy and a big year-end home stand to make the USL playoffs and take momentum towards defending the crown.
The Wizards do have plenty of fight in them. They could have rolled over after going down 2-0 to Carolina in the last round. Instead they clawed back to 2-2, and then scored two penalty kicks in overtime to eliminate the Railhawks.
The Wizards reserves lost 3-2 to Columbus reserves on Sunday. The MLS club drew Dallas 1-1 last Friday and hosts New York Red Bulls Thursday and Atlas/Mexico Friday.
In the last round against Carolina Kansas City started Eric Kronberg, Jonathan Leathers, Aaron Hohlbein, Tyson Wahl, Matt Marquess, Chance Myers , Kerry Zavagnin , Ryan McMahen , Roger Espinoza, Carlos Marinelli, and Ryan Pore. In their most recent league match none of those players were starters as the Wizards drew 1-1 in Dallas.
Referee: Vehar, Jeremy D
AR1: Rottersman, Mike
AR2: Hosking, Jeff
Fourth: Groce, Scott
Kansas City Wizards
Down the Byline
KC's split squad rationale
Sunday, July 6, 2008
What else should an SSFC fan do on July 4th weekend?
Oh, that. Good call.
Me? I am starting what I'll name the "Rave Green Loft Project." The epicenter of the GOALSeattle.com Blog is getting a make-over. We are going from brown and orange (!) to "Landscape Garden" with "Monterey Blue" accents. Those colors are very close to Rave Green and the new Sounders blue (so says the light at Wal-Mart.)
So here are a couple of before photos along with a first-coat Rave Green photo.
Watch the blog as my computer / website office changes over to colors that support Seattle Sounders FC!
I've already got a few items framed (like team photos, etc) that were downstairs in our TV room. Now I am moving it all up to the loft.
If you've got a similar project going on, send photos to share here: email@example.com.
(Hey! What's our cat 'Hatchet' doing in there!)
UPDATE Sunday night 7/6:
I framed one of those SSFC Crest posters that have been floating around, and put it on the main Rave Green wall:
The rest of that wall will have two other posters: one from the DC-Real Madrid match I found in my sports closet, and one from this year's Brazil-Canada match.
I think I'll put the USL-1 Champions Sounders team posters on the wall over my computer...
The other posters are framed, and I found some cool 'bins' to put my GS camera and other gear in. (See bright green and blue 'tubs' on dresser).
Next up is finishing the painting on the wall by the computer and the window, and finding some kind of border for where the paint ends...
Update 7/7, afternoon:
The computer wall is done! Border chosen and applied, 2007 team photo framed and hung, new SSFC pennant up, cork on wall for calendar and notes.
See 'before' photo at very top. Here's the 'after' photo:
Next up: finish the window wall, and the entire project!
Here are the final photos of the finished product. GOALSeattle is in the (rave) green.