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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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Around the Sound of Soccer for September 1st


Our college clubs were busy over the weekend. The Washington Huskies Women raised their record to 2-0 with a 2-0 victory over Gonzaga in Spokane on Sunday. The Washington Men are headed the other direction at 0-2 after they lost a 2-1 overtime heart breaker to #10 Virginia Tech at the Nike Portland Invitational.

The Seattle University Redhawks Men edged Cleveland State 1-0 in the Cal Irvine Soccer Classic on Saturday. The Redhawks Women drew 0-0 with San Jose State in California on Sunday. On Labor Day the Redhawks Men stomped North Florida 3-0 to win the tournament.

The Seattle Pacific Falcons Women clipped San Francisco State 1-0 at Interbay on Saturday.

The Seattle Sounders are in San Jose to take on the Major League Soccer Earthquakes in a friendly on Tuesday night.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Around the Sound of Soccer for August 30th

The Washington Husky Men lost their opening match of the season last night 2-1 to Farleigh Dickinson at the Nike Portland Invitational.

The UW Women won their opener at Montana 3-0 earlier in the week.

The Seattle University Redhawks Men are in Irvine California this weekend for matches on Saturday against Cleveland State and Monday against North Florida. The Redhawks Women have already played three away matches, the latest a 1-1 draw with Sacramento State on Friday. You can follow the Redhawks Women through one of their players, Maryann Boddy, as she blogs on GOALSeattle all season long.

Seattle Pacific Falcons Men and Women kicked off with home matches this week. On Thursday the Falcon Men drew 0-0 with Cal State Monterey Bay despite outshooting them 18-3. The SPU Women drew 1-1 with Cal State San Bernadino. The Falcon Women host San Francisco State tonight at Interbay at 7:00 PM.

Federal Mirror Sports Editor Casey Olson has a nice recap of how FW-area soccer players are doing away at school.

Friday, August 29, 2008

SU reflections of a split in Utah

GOALSeattle.com welcomes Bellevue native and Seattle Prep graduate Maryann Boddy and the Seattle University Redhawks Women to our blog! Maryann will be 'guest blogging' all about the Redhawks Women for Seattle soccer fans this Fall.Our season opener came too early, 5a.m. in fact. To offset the cost of a dominant away schedule, we’ve opted for the early bird specials. As we boarded the plane bound for Ogden, Utah, everyone was dreaming (literally) of our first D1 win. Never underestimate the power of mental preparation - our visions of victory pulled us through a tight game against the Weber State Wildcats. Unaccustomed to the 5,000 foot elevation, and uncomfortable with the 85 degree heat (but fortunate to have been playing in a “cold front”), we jogged off the field at halftime in a scoreless game.

UPDATE: Redhawks draw 1:1 with Sacramento State

Already hyped up from sucking down some “energy Gu” at the break, the Wildcats’ goal 5 minutes into the second half fired us up even more. Less than two minutes later freshman Kassandra Riozzi opened SU’s D1 record books with her first goal in her first collegiate game. More important is the fact that her celebration is going down in my record books as one of the best I’ve ever seen - out of excitement I think she would have jumped on someone from the other team if Madison Collins wasn’t closer. Not long after Kara Kuttler snaked through the Wildcat defense to unselfishly gift wrap the ball to Jamie Coe’s right foot.

Our next game against the Utah State Aggies was a little more painstaking. Not even the halftime Gu could offset the temperature jump of about 10 degrees or the weary legs. Though we had more corners and more shots on goal the ball didn’t want to bounce our way. Home field advantage pulled through as the Aggies were awarded a PK for a questionable hand ball in the box. We responded by shifting to a more attacking formation, which understandably left us more vulnerable in the back. Unfortunately they were able to capitalize on the situation and lengthen their lead. However, unwilling to accept defeat we fought to the bitter end and managed to squash their goose egg with Coe’s goal in the 88th minute.

Last weekend exemplified the heart of SU soccer for me. For as long as I’ve been around, and that’s a very long time, the team’s motto has been “never quit”. Going under in such a hyped-up first game can make anyone lose confidence, and it would have been really easy to throw in the towel when that second shot hit the back of the net in the 86th minute. However, in both games we showed the true SU blue-collar fight to the end mentality. We’re proud for the way we responded to being scored on, and as disappointing as the loss was, we’re proud that we played to win. As excited as I am to be a part of this transition year, I’m glad to see that some things never change.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hanauer sheds light on coaching search goals


He's scouting players in South America right now, but the search for Sounders FC's first head coach is a topic General Manager Adrian Hanauer is willing to take time out and talk about.

I sent Hanauer a few questions via email and he responded from Colombia. It is clear the decision on this hire is one SSFC are taking their time with, and one they have set very specific qualifications for.

Hanauer's words on the head coach search:

"We are going to hire a head coach in a similar way to other hirings that we have made at Sounders FC. The head coach will be an individual of high character... someone who wants to be in Seattle and who will be very proud to live in the city and be part of the community.

We will hire a head coach who understands and embraces the MLS system, and who is willing to put in the hard work necessary to creatively put a winning side on the pitch. Given the MLS salary cap... coaching in MLS is slightly unique and requires a certain mentality."

On what the head coach will be expected to do outside of match day:

"We are also looking for a head coach who is willing to coach. Many players coming out of the university system still need a decent amount of technical and tactical support, and we want a staff that is willing and able to supply all of the support needed to allow players to continue to evolve their game.

The head coach will interact daily with the Technical Director (Chris Henderson) and myself and will be part of a team, all working together for the same goals."

On getting players before signing a head coach:

"We are trying to balance being out there looking for and signing players, while being cognizant of a head coaches' need to have a large degree of influence over the players that he wants.
But what we didn't want, was a completely blank slate when the head coach walks in the door to Sounders FC. We hope to give him a head start, and the tools (and a few players) necessary, to be successful."

Back to school for Sounders and trialists

The Seattle Sounders went back to school this week on back-to-back days. The idea was to keep fit and learn more about some guest players while at the same time giving local college clubs a chance to go up against 'the big guys.'

On Tuesday afternoon the Sounders played a scrimmage match with the Seattle University Redhawks. The venue had switched at the last minute from Championship Field on the SU campus to Starfire to give the Redhawks' grass field a chance to rest.

The Sounders took the SU match 3-0 on goals by Sounder Kevin Forrest and two by trialist Chris Sanders. Sanders is a Federal Way native who went to the University of Portland. In his youth soccer days he was coached by Sounders' Youth Development Director Darren Sawatzky.

Sanders is a 6-3, 190-pound forward who skipped his senior year of eligibility to sign with Nurnberg FC of the German Bundesliga. Sanders spent last year with the Nurnberg reserves but apparently his second-year option with them was not picked up.

Trialist Sanna Nyassi suited up for the Sounders against UW.
(Rick Morrison)

On Wednesday night at Husky Soccer Field the Sounders nipped UW 1-0 on a 62nd-minute goal by Sebastien Le Toux. (Read UW match report) Two Seattle trialists of note in the match were Sanna Nyassi, brother of New England Revolution player Sainey Nyassi, and Junior Garcia, Yakima Reds forward who was recently named Most Valuable player in the 70-team national USL PDL.

The Sounders are on a 13-day break between league matches. They will fill the void once more next Tuesday when they travel to San Jose to take on the Major League Soccer Earthquakes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sounders FC call for Sept. 11 Supporters Meeting


This email was sent out to SSFC season ticket members...

Support = to endure bravely, to promote the interests or cause of, to uphold or defend as valid or right, to keep (something) going.

Sounders FC Supporters Group(s) = passionate groups of people with common match-day goals who provide emotional and moral support for the Sounders FC team.

Want to create the most dynamic match-day atmosphere in the league?
Want to learn more about starting or joining a supporters group?

Join us for an informative meeting on Supporter Groups. We'll go over goals and expectations, discuss stadium behavior, take Q&A and lay the groundwork for establishing the most dynamic match day atmosphere in the league.

Thursday, September 11th
West Club Lounge at Qwest Field
7:00pm
Park in the North Lot at Qwest Field for only $5 when you print this email.

Please RSVP to customerservice@mlsinseattle.com with name, number of people attending and email address. Seating is limited to the first 500. RSVP by September 8, 2008 to ensure your spot at this meeting.

Those attending will receive a complimentary ticket to the current Seattle Sounders September 13th match where you're invited to sit with the current supporters group.

Other stuff:
---The Sounders beat Seattle University yesterday afternoon at Starfire, 3-0. No report from either side on the scrimmage scorers.

---Talk is heating up over at www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com in two specific areas: Who will be Sounders FC's head coach and who will the club select in November's expansion draft.

---SoccerSeattleStyle.com has posted an interview with Sounders FC's French striker Sebastien Le Toux. He wants Brian Schmetzer to be his coach again in 2009.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Around the Sound of Soccer for August 26th

Today's exhibition match between the Seattle University Redhawks and Seattle Sounders has been moved to Starfire Sports Complex at 3:00 PM.

The Sounders play the Washington Huskies tomorrow night at Husky Soccer Field at 7:00 PM. Admission is free.

Did you miss the video of the Kasey Keller signing? KING 5 has the raw feed archived here. They also have an interview with Keller a few days later during a local golf tournament.

Did you catch the article quoting Kansas City Wizard players' praise of Qwest Field? Imagine when 25,000 fill the lower bowl.

The Sounders FC practice fields are being prepared for 2009.

Starfire's office entrance now sports the Sounders FC logo and rave green walls.

Meanwhile the Seattle Times also has a story about how Starfire Sports Complex is being 'fitted' as a home for Sounders FC of Major League Soccer next year.

The Puget Sound Business Journal has an editorial by a San Francisco author on the hazards of naming a youth soccer club.

The European Weekly's Steve MacClare catches us up on international football.

Monday, August 25, 2008

SU Women split in Utah, UW previews


The Seattle University Redhawks Women split their matches in Utah over the weekend. SU beat Weber State 2-1 and then fell at Utah State by the same score on Sunday.

Senior Maryann Boddy is blogging for GOALSeattle about the SU club, and she filed her first blog recently.

Over on Montlake the UW is refusing to look at 2008 as a 'rebuilding' season. Here's a preview.

Sounders FC should steer clear of Clavijo

Clavijo, far left, brown coat, chats with Kasey Keller last season when the Rapids played the Sounders in the US Open Cup. Seattle beat Fernando's gang 5-0.
(David Falk)

When word came out last week that Fernando Clavijo had resigned as head coach of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids my first thought was the joy that many Rapids fans must be feeling. Quickly I refocused on what is really important: making it clear that this SSFC supporter doesn't want Fernando to bring his mediocrity to Sounders FC in a similar role.

Clavijo is despised by many fans in Denver, but historically he didn't do too much better or worse than other Rapids coaches have. The stakes and expectations were raised much higher when the Rapids moved into their new stadium in Commerce City. Clavijo failed to get the Rapids to respond to the momentum of the new venue.

Now there is some small buzz that Sounders FC are going to chat with Clavijo. In and of itself this is no big deal. Fernando is a recent MLS head coach, and we are indeed in the market for our first gaffer. Talking doesn't mean hiring. In this case, at least, it should never come to that.

I guess I could see Clavijo as an assistant, perhaps bringing his league knowledge to the club. If Sounders FC hire Brian Schmetzer then this could be a possibility. Schmetzer and Clavijo are friends and it was Fernando who gave Schmetzer his first coaching gig as his assistant on the 1997 Seattle Seadogs indoor soccer club. If Clavijo is willing to work under Schmetzer then perhaps he has something to offer.

Looking over Fernando's career record as a head coach in MLS and other competitions, he has turned out clubs that hover around the .500 mark and occasionally are worth a playoff upset or two. That's it. No titles in outdoor play. No superstars unearthed. No statistics that scream ' hire me as your first head coach.'

The connections between Chris Henderson, the current USL Sounders and Clavijo are interesting ones. Clavijo has sent us Jordan Harvey, Stephen Keel and Ciaran O'Brien on loan over the last few seasons when he was at Rapids. Adrian Hanauer has a working relationship with him. Chris Henderson was a player at Colorado for many years, and still leads that club in many all time categories, but he was traded by Clavijo in 2005 to Columbus Crew. Now Henderson is Sounders FC's technical director. He'll have a major say in who becomes the head coach.

Here's hoping that Sounders FC can separate 'the man' from 'his record.' It could be that Clavijo is a great guy. It could be that he has been a friend to the current USL Sounders over the last few years. It could be that Chris Henderson respects him despite being traded away from his longtime club. It could be that Fernando and Brian Schmetzer remain great pals.

Look beyond all that. Look at his coaching record. Nothing on it would indicate any form of excellence in the short or long term.

Sounders FC can do better than Clavijo for a head coach.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

7th Heaven: Last goal wins it for Sounders, 4-3

Ciaran O'Brien battles for the ball. The Federal Way native had two assists for Seattle.

In a wild offensive match the Seattle Sounders edged the Carolina Railhawks 4-3 Sunday night at Starfire.

The big win nudged along Seattle's playoff spot hopes and provided much entertainment for the 2,008 fans on hand (smallest home league crowd of the season.)

It was 2-2 at halftime after the Sounders had taken the lead 1-0 on a header by Josh Gardner off of a looping cross from Ciaran O'Brien. Carolina rallied with two breakaway scores by Hamed Diallo to take over 2-1. Before the half was over Seattle drew level on a goal by by Roger Levesque on a header off of a corner kick from Ciaran O'Brien.

In the second half Carolina took their second and final lead 3-2 in the 49th minute when Diallo completed a hat trick with his third goal.

The Sounders rebounded off the second header from Josh Gardner in the 63rd and a scramble goal by Le Toux just two minutes later in the 65th.

Josh Gardner & co. celebrate the goal that tied it up 3-3.
(Rick Morrison)

The seventh goal of the night was the winner and the Sounders locked up a much-needed victory to get their momentum back.

The early portions of the match featured up and down the pitch wide open play from both sides. The Sounders had numerous near misses which in turn were countered by long runs from the Railhawks. Both of Carolina's first half tallies came on long runs down the right side after Seattle attacks had been thwarted.

The evening was dampened by rain of various amounts and intensity. Most of the match was played in a mist with occasional showers.

The Sounders are now 9-8-9 on the season with 36 standings points. The tight table sees the Sounders now tied for 3rd with Charleston, who have a match in hand.

The goal spree broke a long scoreless stretch for the Sounders offense.

Roger Levesque scored his first goal since coming back from a long injury spell.
(Rick Morrison)

Match Reports
The Seattle Pitch
ProstAmerika.com
Seattle Sounders
Seattle Soccer Show Player Ratings
Seattle Times
Joe Armand Match Photos


Around the Sound of Soccer for August 24th

Local newspapers have come through this Sunday morning with plenty of soccer coverage from around the Puget Sound.

Leading off is the Seattle Times, which has two Sounders FC stories. The first is a nice tip of the hat to Qwest Field by the Kansas City Wizards. The second is a confirmation and update on Sounders FC construction plans at Starfire Sports Complex.

Up north the Bellingham Herald does the four-spot with college club previews. The Herald takes a look at the Western Viking Men , Women and the Whatcom CC Orca Men and Women.

The Sounders play the Carolina Railhawks tonight at 7:00 PM at Starfire as they try to regain momentum and make the playoffs.

The Seattle University Redhawk Women are still in Utah. Today they play at Utah State hoping to win their second straight match to start the season.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gary Wright talks Sounders FC

Sounders FC VP of Operations Gary Wright is the special guest on this week's Seattle Soccer Show episode.

Wright talks about the team effort of Seahawks staff to lift Sounders FC to the highest possible levels and Seattle as a soccer town.

Listen here.

Huskies top Redhawks 2-0

from GoHuskies.com:
SEATTLE - Washington used goals from freshman Dylan Tucker-Gangnes and redshirt-freshman Jamie Finch to shutout Seattle University, 2-0, in a men's soccer exhibition contest at Husky Soccer Field, Friday evening.

After a scoreless first-half, the Huskies put up both of their goals in the second period, the first by Tucker-Gangnes (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) in the 54th minute and the second by Finch (Bothell, Wash.) in the 86th minute.

The contest is the first of two exhibitions the Huskies will play before their official season opener versus Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the Nike Portland Invitational, Aug. 29.

It was a pair of true freshmen making their Husky debuts who teamed up to net the first UW goal, as freshman Casey McCool (Bend, Ore.) served a cross from the right side of the box which was headed by Tucker-Gangnes into the net past Redhawk goalkeeper Emerson DeOliveira.

Just over 30 minutes later, the Huskies sealed the win when junior midfielder Taylor Cochran (Snohomish, Wash.) dished the ball to Finch on the left wing who then nailed a shot across the box into the goal.

Sophomore Stephen Fung (Honolulu, Hawaii) and junior Rylan Hawkins (Shoreline, Wash.) shared time in goal to combine for the shutout. Fung tallied three saves, all in the first half. The contest marked the fall debut for Hawkins, who after starting the first four games last season missed the rest of the year due to injury.
UW freshman Brent Richards (Camas, Wash.) led the Huskies on the attack with four shots, all in the first half. Senior midfielder Raphael Cox (Tacoma, Wash.) added three shots.

The Huskies will next host the Seattle Sounders in their final exhibition tune-up on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m. Admission to the match is free.

Men's Soccer Exhibition
Washington 2, Seattle U. 0
Husky Soccer Field; Seattle, Wash.

Scoring - 1, UW, Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (Casey McCool), 53:47. 2, UW, Jamie Finch (Taylor Cochran), 85:06.
Shots - UW 16, SU 6
Corners - UW 5, SU 1
Saves - UW 3 (Stephen Fung 3, Rylan Hawkins 0), SU 6 (Jordan Jennings 4, Emerson DeOliveira 2).
Fouls - UW 11, SU 12
Offsides - UW 1, SU 3
Attendance - 586

Friday, August 22, 2008

Redhawk Women ready for the challenge

GOALSeattle.com welcomes Bellevue native and Seattle Prep graduate Maryann Boddy and the Seattle University Redhawks Women to our blog! Maryann will be 'guest blogging' all about the Redhawks Women for Seattle soccer fans this Fall.

If preseason is any indication of what these next three months hold, then women’s soccer has great things in store. These last few weeks have been trying, but telling. For our first practice as a Division I team we headed to the track to run the dreaded cooper. In years past those who didn’t finish the seven lap run in twelve minutes always outnumbered those who did. At the end of last spring season we were challenged by the coaching staff to dedicate ourselves to training and preparing ourselves for the most difficult season any of us will ever experience. Having competed closely with the University of Washington, University of Oregon and Oregon State University, we were all hungry to prove ourselves as dynamic D1 athletes. For the first year in my career (and I’ve had five), a group of us met nearly every weekday at 7 a.m. to run at Championship Field. Our training packet, put together by goalkeeper coach Aron Hyde, was the most grueling regimen any of us had ever done. But as we cruised across the finish line at the track, it was apparent we had put in the work. Three girls passed for the first time, nearly all the inexperienced freshman passed, and in total, twice as many people finished the race under twelve minutes than those who didn’t!

UPDATE: Seattle U Women win their opener 2-1 at Weber State

We couldn’t have started the season on a better note; clearly everyone was feeling fit and ready to compete. The next nine days flew by in a blur of fitness tests, ice baths, naps, practices, team dinners, catching a few Olympic events, and passing out in bed. We pushed ourselves, we pushed each other, and when we couldn’t push anymore, our coaches gave us the extra shove. And though our muscles throbbed, our joints ached and our bodies felt fatigued, we all kept in remarkably good health. Much of this we all attribute to our new assistant coach Rich’s dynamic warm-up. A mix of running and agility stretching has proven very helpful in preparing our bodies for training and protecting them from injury. This is definitely just the beginning to a new and improved SU women’s soccer team.

All of us are aware of the significance of this first D1 season. We need to prove to the school, the NCAA, our coaches and ourselves that we are D1 athletes. Julie has put together a great schedule and the task won’t be easy. 15 of 20 games will be on the road, all against unfamiliar opponents. We’ll travel 15,000 miles by air and spend countless hours in airports, rental car offices, and minivans. We’ll miss our beds, our families, our classes, and our kitchens. Without the hope of a postseason, we’re playing for nothing but pride and the future of SU athletics. But for us, especially the seniors, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. We love this game, we enjoy the responsibility on our shoulders, and the adversity only adds fuel to the fire. There’s no doubt about it, we’re playing D1 this year, and we’re playing to win.

Follow the Redhawks' season at GoSeattleU.com.

Huskies host Redhawks tonight at UW

Trevor Klein /UW Daily photo.

The University of Washington Huskies Men's soccer club hosts the Seattle University Redhawks in a crosstown match tonight at 7:00 PM at Husky Soccer Field. Follow the match live via this gametracker page.

The two clubs met this spring in a taste of what could become a great intercity Division One rivalry.

Match preview from UW
Seattle University Men's Webpage

The Redhawks are in a transitional season and without a conference as they make the jump to NCAA Division One. Seattle U have only a few home matches, including a friendly against the Sounders next Tuesday at 3:00 PM at Championship Field on the SU campus.

The Huskies were recently tabbed to finish fourth in the 6-team "Pac-10." They also had their 2008 recruiting class voted the 32nd-best in the country.

Many Tacoma Tide players are set to play, including Jordan Jennings in goal for Seattle University and Beau Macaluso at forward for the UW.

Both the Huskies and Redhawks will play the Seattle Sounders next week in exhibition friendlies. Seattle University hosts the Sounders at Championship Field next Tuesday August 26 at 3:00 PM. The next night (Wednesday the 27th) the Huskies host the Sounders at 7:00 PM at Husky Soccer Field.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Soggy, scoreless...but improving

Zach Scott jumps the huddle in the rain.
(Rick Morrison)


The Seattle Sounders were looking for favorable bounces last night at Starfire in their Cascadia Cup duel with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

On the defensive side the Sounders got plenty of them, including avoiding an embarrassing own-goal in stoppage time that would have sunk the club. Well, that was less a 'favorable bounce' and more a 'great stabbing save' by Chris Eylander that rescued Zach Scott from the wrong side of the score sheet.

The rest of the night the Whitecaps had the better chances to score while the Sounders had the better possession. Still, things are not 'clicking' like they should and can up front for Seattle. No favorable bounces either.

The weather was not really a factor in the match. These two clubs seem to love to play to 0-0 draws. They have done it numerous times in their 34-year history of derbies. Oh, it did rain, and in the second half the rain came down in sheets as both clubs tried to mount attacks and avoid mistakes.

Kevin Forrest looks surprised and the Vancouver defender just can't look.
(Rick Morrison)

The stalemate means that the winner of the September 20th match between the two sides at Starfire will take the Cascadia Cup. Sounders supporters can hope that Portland knocks Vancouver off this Friday, too. If they do then Seattle would need only a draw to take the Cup in September.

The Sounders played better in this match than they did against Puerto Rico in that 3-0 loss on August 15th. Brian Schmetzer listed three forwards to start the match: Kenji Treschuk, Sebastien Le Toux and Kevin Forrest. Treschuck appeared to drift back into midfield before the first half was over.

Seattle hosts Carolina Railhawks Sunday night August 24th at Starfire as the 7-match final homestand approaches the half-done mark.

The Sounders will look at that match as a must-win for the playoffs and for getting their form even closer to where they'd like it to be for this late in the campaign.

Match Report Links:
Cascadia Cup Standings
The Seattle Pitch
ProstAmerika.com
Seattle Sounders
Vancouver Whitecaps
Seattle Times
Seattle P-I
Seattle Soccer Show Player Ratings

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wolves and Redhawks go scoreless in friendly

From www.SeattleWolvesFC.com

In another heated battle between two of the area’s best football clubs, Seattle University and the Seattle Wolves FC ended their Monday evening friendly match in a 0-0 draw, the same result as when the two teams faced each other in the Spring.

The late kick-off didn’t stop Seattle U parents and supporters from making the trek down to Starfire, and they saw a great match too. From the first whistle, tackles flew as both sides felt they had something to prove. The Wolves fresh off their Kennedy Cup Championship over the weekend, made several changes to their cup roster, including welcoming midfielder Matt Hulen (SU alum) back to the line-up, and an entirely new starting back four. The Wolves defensive four played well throughout the 90 minute match. Brian Lubeck (formerly of PLU) got his first cap in Wolves’ kit, and played very well at center back with veteran Donald Bressler. Brandon Sprague was also back from a foot injury, making his first start in nearly a month and a half.

Seattle Wolves free kick. Photos by Andrew Peterson.

The Brad Agoos-led SU side brought a large roster (26 players), and substituted often, which may have affected their play, but was vital to seeing almost everyone play in preparation for their first season back in NCAA Division 1 soccer. Familiar faces of Ian Walsh, Mutanda Kwesele, Sean Rawson, Sean Morris, and Derek Rogalsky (DNP) were on hand for the Redhawks side.
The match was a fairly open affair during the first 15 minutes, with the Redhawks trying to outrun the older Wolves’ side. “They came at us hard from the first whistle. It is obvious that this team is
aggressive, motivated, and looking forward to their season.” – Clay Walton-House, Wolves’ forward.


The Wolves calmed the pace of the game by dominating aerial play and possession in the back, and midfielders Willie Cardenas, Matt Hulen and Pedro Batres held the ball effectively for much of the match. For most of the first half the Wolves struggled to convert any possession into quality offensive opportunities. SU had a few early, but the threesome of Bressler, Lubeck and GK, Chris Natale (SU alum) proved to be up to the task.

A tense half-time speech by Wolves’ captain, Matt Hulen, urged his forwards to maintain possession, and Solomon Gold and Patrick Davidson reacted immediately putting pressure on the SU goal in the second half. Several attempts right in front of the SU net were smothered by a Redhawk defensive line that was determined not to go down a goal. And, when Mutanda Kwesele missed one of SU’s best chances on net in the second half, players from both sides began to realize that this match was destined to end, just as their first meeting in the Spring, a scoreless deadlock.

In the end, players embraced, congratulating each other on their great efforts, and wishing each other well with their upcoming seasons. SU next faces the University of Washington in an exhibition match this Friday (8/22) at 7:00pm (Husky Field – University of Washington campus). Wolves coach, Ryan Dortch, addressed the team after the match, saying “That’s a good result. Yeah, we wanted to win. We always want to win, but I was pleased with your defensive performance.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Can Sounders keep the Cascadia Cup?

Emerald City Supporters hoist the 2007 Cascadia Cup after the Sounders won it at home over Portland at Qwest Field.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Seattle Sounders
Wednesday August 20, 7:00 PM Starfire

The Cascadia derby cup between Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers is a sought-after trophy by supporters and players of the three clubs.

The Sounders have won it two years in a row after the Whitecaps took home the cup in its first two years of existence.

The 2008 trophy comes down to one of the two previous winners as Seattle and Vancouver remain alive for the cup.

The Sounders need a win and a draw in their final two matches with Vancouver to insure a three-peat. Seattle host Vancouver Wednesday night August 20 at Starfire and then again Saturday night September 20th also at Starfire.

Last year the Sounders won the league Commissioner's Cup, the Cascadia Cup and then the USL Championship Cup. This year only the Cascadia and playoff cup appear possible.

The Whitecaps have a strong chance to win all three cups the Sounders did a year ago.

The Cascadia Cup will undergo significant changes after this season. Supporters of all three clubs will decide if it will become the derby cup for matches between Vancouver and Portland alone, or between Vancouver, Portland and Kitsap (if a club comes in there), or if it will simply go dormant until all three current traditional rivals are in MLS. (Some hold out hope that a tournament in pre-season may reunite the clubs before then.)

The Cup is special because it was started by supporters of all three clubs and is really a shared moment between supporters groups and their players.

Can the Sounders run off into the Major League Soccer landscape winners of the final derby cup they are likely to battle for in the next few years?

The next step against Vancouver looms ahead.

Sounders pre-match report
ProstAmerika match preview
SeattleSoccerTalk.com match thread



Roger Levesque delivers the 2007 Cup to the ECS.

It ain't easy bein' so European


Or something like that.

Three articles have hit the interweb thingy today that draw comparisons between Sounders FC and European football clubs.

Well, two of them do, and a third talks about our first European player, who in fact wants to be an American player.

Make up your mind, everybody!

Seth Kolloen, Seattle P-I:

WE IN SEATTLE are about to experience something new in North American sports. No, not an attack on a pitcher by his starting infield, though Carlos Silva is doing his best to make that a reality. I mean the "promotion" of the Sounders to Major League Soccer.

Promotion -- when a team advances to a better league by dint of good performance -- is standard in European sports leagues. In Europe, countries have several leagues for each sport -- a top league for the best teams, and several (sometimes very many) lesser leagues. Every year, the best teams move up to the league above, and the worst move down.

Steve MacClare, European Weekly:

Something unusual happened this week in Seattle. 90 people gathered in a pub to watch soccer. That’s not unusual in itself. A scattering of ex patriot pubs will be able to claim this feat many Saturday mornings between September and May. When the USA national side play in the World Cup numbers soar into the hundreds. What was unusual was that the throng who packed the Atlantic Crossing pub weren’t there to watch Chelsea, England or even the USA. They were there to watch the Seattle Sounders. And not even the Seattle Sounders FC that the mainstream press deigns to cover when an MLS related press release is unleashed. They were there to shout, cajole and yell at a TV screen hooked up to a laptop showing our current USL Sounders do battle in Charleston.

And there was hardly a European accent to be heard as the die hard (and many new) members of the Emerald City Supporters (ECS) club were joined by front office staff of the Seattle Seahawks, Sounders Meet Up group members, a few of the increasing core of soccer media in Seattle and some pub regulars who remained there to see what the fuss was about.

John Naito, Seattle P-I:

Le Toux has embraced his new life with enthusiasm.

He has a sweet, if not guileless, view of America -- its embrace of individuality and its inclusiveness, the antithesis of the patrician society he left behind.

Whidbey Island is home, near his girlfriend and her parents, and he shares his house in Langley with Mikael Kerleau-Idrissi, his longtime personal trainer, and Mikael's wife, Eman.

He has developed a fondness for Asian cuisine and acquired a driver's license. He and his housemates recently established a training center in Langley, the French Soccer Academy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wolves take home the 2008 Kennedy Cup

(Seattle, WA)— The Seattle Wolves Football Club finally added some hardware to their Summer 2008 trophy cabinet.

Thanks to a second-half surge, the Wolves defeated Surrey United of British Columbia, Canada 5 – 2 in the 2008 John F. Kennedy Cup final. The Kennedy Cup, the only sporting award to which the late US President ever lent his name, dates back to 1960, and originally served as the championship for the top men's amateur teams from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. After a 20-year hiatus, the Cup was resurrected in 1989 and re-commissioned as the championship for the top teams from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon.

The Seattle Wolves have had a difficult time in Cup championships this summer, dropping final matches to FK Pacific in the Starfire Premier Soccer League (SPSL), and Victoria United in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL). Out of four cup championships the club has played for, the Wolves have now captured two—the other coming from winning the title in the First Division of the SPSL.

The Seattle Wolves reached Sunday's Kennedy Cup final by besting the International Portland Selects 2 – 1 in the semi-final on Saturday. Goals from defender, Daniel Scott and Brazilian forward, Thiago Silva led the Wolves to a tightly contested victory over the Oregonian representatives.

For the complete article, visit SeattleWolvesFC.com .

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Joe Roth will have final say in SSFC's big moves

Joe Roth carefully considers the major moves for Sounders FC.
(Jenni Conner)

When Seattle was awarded Major League Soccer's 15th franchise for 2009 it was clear that Joe Roth had added a final piece to the puzzle in garnering league approval.

When Seattle MLS presented its now-notorious list of possible club names it was Joe Roth who reopened the voting that eventually allowed "Sounders FC" to become the name.

When Sounders FC announced a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with X-box and Microsoft Roth took the podium and declared "One of the things that is so helpful for me is that I came to this opportunity with no knowledge, so you can make impossibly high standards." He went on to say his approach for Sounders FC is just that: ask first for the impossibly high and see if it is possible.

As the club approaches the next big moves, which seem to be hiring a head coach and signing a designated player, I am keeping Roth's stated approach in mind.

I've been told that Roth is the final say-so guy in the organization and since he is the majority owner that isn't hard to believe. The big stuff not only crosses Joe's desk, but waits for his investigation and approval before happening.

This isn't necessarily good news for the 2008 Seattle Sounders players and coaches. Roth will look first for an international soccer star as "DP," and an experienced, well-connected internationally-known head coach. He won't be the least bit impressed with the current season the USL-1 Sounders are having. He'll set the bar high above that.

The MLS salary cap will bring Roth down to earth a bit, I'd guess, as will his conversations with GM Adrian Hanauer. Together Sounders FC supporters can only hope that the 'blend' of shooting for the stars and making big impressions, while at the same time understanding the local Seattle soccer world, will mesh and provide the best for the club.

Brian Schmetzer does not fit in the 'impossibly high standards' category (except perhaps in terms of all current Seattle-area coaches). The USL Sounders head coach is qualified, but doesn't have MLS coaching experience and is not a known name internationally. Still, you'd think that Schmetzer would be a great candidate for somewhere on the coaching staff for the strengths he can bring: local connections, understanding of US soccer, winning resume.

The current Sounders roster may have been genuinely unsettled at the signing of Kasey Keller this week. It was Roth again aiming high, and again getting what he wanted. Who is the most-decorated goalkeeper in American history? Who would establish that position in the history of the club as of the highest order and professionalism? Who would be the absolute best choice under the given salary conditions and considering local soccer history? Keller, of course, and Roth got him.

Sounders FC. X-box. Keller. Three moves approved by Joe Roth.

Using Roth's impossibly high standards routine, it may be time to watch Europe for our first coach and the entire globe for our first designated player.

Talk about this blog entry here.
Talk about the search for a Sounders FC head coach here.

Distracted? Tired? Unfocused? Sounders begin last-ever homestand with a whimper

Nik Besagno jumps against the Islanders.
(Rick Morrison)

See photos from the match by Rick Morrison here.

The Seattle Sounders lost 3-0 at home last....Hey, look! The Premiership is kicking off! Aren't those the new SSFC MLS scarves? Gee the Emerald City Supporters are sure sounding good these days. I wonder if Kasey Keller is...

Guess I'll try again.

The Seattle Sounders lost 3-0 at home last night to the Puerto Rico Islanders in a match that found them looking distracted, tired, unorganized and disinterested.

Checking the records over at the Seattle Pitch, the last time a club called Seattle Sounders lost by three goals at home in regular season league play was August 20, 2001 when the Milwaukee Rampage thumped Seattle 5-2 at Memorial Stadium.

Alas, almost seven years later to the day, it happened again. The spin doctors are busy, but really this let down performance has several key elements, and they are recurring 2008 themes.


The all-out chase for the US Open Cup crown has left this club very little time to adjust emotionally for the fact that they have already recently won everything else they have left to play for. It's now 'play out the string, try not to get injured, and see if we can make ourselves feel good by repeating as league playoff champions.'

I am going to give this group of guys and the coaching staff a few more matches into this final, last-ever homestand to make a call on their mental outlooks.

After the first match of the seven-game swan song, the only thing to say is that we are a tired, unfocused, uncertain club. We've got six more matches to get it right and leave the best possible impression in the minds of the Sounders FC staff who will build our club for 2009.

Match Reports
The Seattle Pitch
ProstAmerika.com
Seattle Times
Seattle P-I
Seattle Sounders
Seattle Soccer Show Player Ratings

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kasey comes home


In a press conference and on-pitch meeting with Puget Sound soccer kids Kasey Keller began life after Europe and as a Seattle Sounders FC Major League Soccer goalkeeper.

It was a sunny, hot afternoon that saw Keller speak to media and then address soccer clubs and fans, sharing his excitement and relief at finally coming 'home.'

Along the way Keller dropped hints that his time with Sounders FC will be a long one if he has his way. Two years on the pitch and then he hopes to help the club from the front office or the coach's bench.



Keller also made it clear that signing with Seattle was not about the money, but about a chance he couldn't pass up. His kids will finally have the same school for a length of time. His family will finally be back home. The soccer journey of a lifetime is coming to a close in his own backyard.

And just beginning.

Keller's own words today...
"Adrian and I have talked for a long time. At different times is it ever going to happen? Is it not going to happen? And I'm so excited that it has. To bring my family home and to be back in the Northwest, especially on days like this, because we all know that in December we're not going to get many of this, so take advantage of it while it's good. But the key thing, and what I want to emphasize, is that I'm coming home to play. I'm coming home to help the Sounders win, to help the Sounders establish themselves as one of the top franchises in the country, if not really the benchmark for what soccer is going to become in this country.

Through Adrian, and through Joe Roth, Tod Leiweke, the Seahawks, and that whole organization, there is no reason why this won't be the benchmark of soccer in the U.S. Not only from the first year, but the many, many years to come and I'm very, very excited about that part and coming home and being a part of that.

Really that's the main reason I came back at this stage. I had offers to continue playing in the Premier League and possibly going back to some of the other countries that I've been to. I had a lot of fun, and it's been a great journey. But the biggest part of a new franchise, and to be a part of everything that I feel that this team is going to stand for is just to good of an opportunity to pass up.

I hope to be a part of this franchise... I would love to be what (Franz) Beckenbauer has become to Bayern Munich for example. I would love to work my way up and to really be a part of Sounders FC for life."


Keller talks with the Seattle Soccer Show.

View our photo gallery.

Reports:
King 5 TV
The Olympian
Sounders FC
Seattle Times
TNT Indirect Kick
Portland Tribune
Seattle P-I
Associated Press
Football365.com
SoccerAmerica
Real93.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Keller buzz grows as Thursday announcement nears

Keller with Carey at Qwest Field in May 2008. (David Falk, GOALSeattle.com)

Kasey Keller will become a Sounder at a Thursday press conference according to the Seattle P-I and growing buzz around the internet.

Other links...

Tacoma News Tribune:
Keller finally coming home
The Olympian: Soccer legend comes to Seattle
Seattle Times: Sounders to sign Keller
Kitsap Sun: Brilliant carreer will finish at home
The Olympian: 2-year deal
Seattle Times: Waiting for league approval
Goal.com: Keller set to sign with Seattle on Thursday
Portland Tribune: MLS Sounders plan to land Keller



Talk about Keller coming to Sounders FC at SeattleSoccerTalk.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sounders Open Cup dreams fade in Penalty Kicks

Photo courtesy of Charleston Battery.

In a dramatic but not overly well-played semifinal match the Charleston Battery beat the Seattle Sounders 4-3 in penalty kicks after the clubs drew 1-1 through 120 minutes.

Seattle had a great chance to take a 2-1 lead in the first overtime when Kevin Forrest hit the corner where the goal post meets the crossbar. The rebound was put back on goal but cleared away by the Battery defense.

In penalty kicks it went 1-1-0-1-1 for Charleston and 1-0-1-1-0 for Seattle.

Other match reports will give you the other details, so I thought I'd just pass along some impressions from watching the match on internet video:

* Sounders players and fans can hold their heads high. Great effort by our guys tonight and in the cup run all summer long.

* Charleston were fair winners. I don't think either team really distinguished itself over the other.

* Kevin Forrest played very well for the Sounders and caused trouble for the Battery back line.

* Danny Jackson was my Seattle "Man of the Match" for his back line work.

* The match was a 'let down' from an entertainment standpoint. Neither team managed very many 'flashy' plays or bits of 'magic.' It was played very conservatively.

* Sebastien Le Toux missed his PK try, just as he did against Kansas City in the last round.

* The Sounders didn't score a goal. It was a Charleston own goal that gave Seattle a short 1-0 lead in the first half.

* Even more than the loss to FC Dallas in the Cup semis last year, this elimination has a feel of finality to it. For a club that had based its season on this result, it will be a mighty struggle to regain interest in the final seven home matches and the playoffs in the USL.

* I certainly go away from this wishing Charleston well in the Final at DC United. The Battery were class and here's hoping they take the cup.

The Seattle Pitch: Sounders fall in Cup semis
Seattle Sounders:
Open Cup run ends
Charleston Battery:
Battery in Cup Final after shootout
USOpenCup.com: Battery edge Sounders to reach USOC Final
Google Search: News results
DC over New England 3-1

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sounders FC to announce another player Thursday


UPDATE: P-I says its Keller

The emails are in the pipeline to season ticket members:

SOUNDERS FC PLAYER ANNOUNCEMENT!

You're invited to join Seattle Sounders FC in a special player announcement on Thursday, August 14th at Qwest Field. Gates will open at 2:00 PM.

You won't want to miss this historic event as the Sounders FC adds another to their 2009 roster.

Fans attending can park in the north lot of Qwest Field, and enter the stadium through the NW VIP gate where they will be directed to the field.

Attention youth players - you're encouraged to wear your team uniform! There will be an informal clinic led by members of the Sounders FC staff.

Join Sounders FC at Qwest Field on August 14th for this event - it is one that will certainly be remembered.

The speculation has begun in the SeattleSoccerTalk.com forums!

US Open Cup: Sounders play for a spot in the Final

News updates...(see other links below)

Match Day
USOpenCup.com:
Semifinal Previews
Seattle P-I: Sounders at Battery
Charleston.net: Bringing it home
WashingtonTimes.com: United has little time to dwell on defeat
USLsoccer.com: Scenarios set


ProstAmerika.com:
Sounders' biggest game ever?

Tuesday night at 4:30 PM (PDT) the Seattle Sounders will be in Charleston, South Carolina, to face the Battery in one semifinal of the 2008 United States Open Cup. DC United and New England Revolution will face off in the other semifinal match.

There are quite a few articles about the final four match ups. Here are some links to check out. (We'll be updating this post as more previews and news comes online leading up to kick off Tuesday night).

Local Watching Party: ECS and Atlantic Crossing host get-together
SeattleSounders.net: Match Preview Release
ESPN Soccer Net: USL Presence adds spice to Open Cup
Soccer365.com: Battery sets sights on Final
MLSnet.com: Open Cup Final place at stake for DC, Revs
SeattleSoccerTalk.com: Fans talk about Sounders strategies
SeattleSounders.net: If Sounders win, they'll host Final
USOpenCup.com: Full coverage of the Cup
USLlive.com: Watch the match live on the internet
Goal.com: DC-Revs preview

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Forza wins a national title for Washington

Forza Over 30 Women's Club won the USASA National Cup today at Starfire Sports Complex with a 3-0 victory over the United German Hungarians from Eastern Pennsylvania.

We'll have more in this post as it becomes available.

Sounders spend Sunday looking at Tuesday

from www.SeattleSounders.net
(Blaine, Minnesota) – The Seattle Sounders fell to the Minnesota Thunder 3-1 Sunday evening in the final match before the U.S. Open Cup semifinal against the Charleston Battery.

Jason Cascio’s first career goal was offset by two Ricardo Sanchez goals and a goal from Thunder forward Melvin Tarley.

Seattle now travels to Charleston for the Tuesday night match to determine who moves on to the final; with a win, the Sounders will host the U.S. Open Cup final at Qwest Field. Kick-off in Charleston is set for 4:30 pm; catch all the action live on USLlive.com.

The loss snapped the Sounders three game win streak in league play but the team remain in sole possession of fourth place in the USL-1 standings as the season starts to enter into its final month. The top seven teams in the league make the USL-1 playoffs.

Seattle rested many starters and brought out a lineup full of young talent on Sunday. Regular starters Sebastien Le Toux, Kevin Sakuda, Danny Jackson, Chris Eylander, Youssouf Kante, and Zach Scott all sat as Nik Besagno, Ciaran O’Brien, Kevin Forrest, Jason Cascio, Andre Schmid, and John Fishbaugher featured in their place.

An open and action packed first half saw two goals scored and three goals called back.

#14 Jason Cascio scored his first pro goal as Seattle fell 3-1 in Minnesota.

Seattle opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Forrest, making his first start on the season, came running down the left side and sent the ball across the field perfectly to Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar who passed in the Andre Schmid who heeled it over to Jason Cascio who buried the open shot. The goal was Cascio’s first professional goal.

Alen Marcina answered a minute later but the goal was ruled offsides.

The game was up and down for the rest of the half. Ciaran O’Brien, getting his third start after being loaned to the Sounders from the Colorado Rapids on July 28, conducted the action in midfield well and the Sounders looked certain to score again on many occasions.

In the 20th minute O’Brien did score off a set piece from Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar but the goal was called back due to a foul from O’Brien.

The Thunder didn’t stay silent for long and Melvin Tarley grabbed the equalizer in the 26th minute. The goal started when Tarley got free on the right side of the 18 yard box and fired the ball in. Dragavon did well to save the effort but the ball deflected right to Tarley who steady himself and passed the ball into the back of the net.

Marcina had his second goal called back in the 43rd minute on another offsides call and the sides went into the half tied at one goal a piece.

The Sounders subbed in a few first team regulars at the restart but failed to gain any momentum and when the Thunder grabbed the lead in the 55th minute, Seattle was never able to recover.

Ricardo Sanchez put the game out of reach in the 76th minute in one of the best goals of the year. A foul by Kevin Forrest set up a free kick from 40 yards for the left footed Sanchez who stepped up to the kick and bent the effort into the top left corner.

See also: ProstAmerika.com match report

All eyes on Viking sophomore striker Bardsley


by Ryan Piersol, www.SnoValleyStar.com

When Gibson Bardsley takes the soccer field as a Western Washington sophomore next month, he’ll do it wearing the same jersey as the rest of his teammates.

No red X on the back. No circle with a dot in the middle. No flashing lights.

Still, Bardsley will know better - there’s a target on his back.

“I was a little bit lucky this last season, because people didn’t know about me,” the Mount Si product said. “It’ll be a lot different this year.”

It will be so much different because of the freshman season Bardsley is following, a freshman season in which he was voted the team’s best offensive player and was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.

Read the rest here.

Forza (WA) goes for national title this morning

The United States Adult Soccer Association National Cup 2008 Finals are happening this weekend at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA.

The State of Washington is represented in the Women's Over 30 bracket by Forza, who yesterday hammered Houston Challengers 7-nil to advance to the Final today against Eastern Pennsylvania's United German Hungarians. The match kicks off at the early hour of 9:00 AM!

The U-23 finals will be broadcast over the internet today.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Coffin colors get a question mark


It's been fun looking at some of the fan photos from the August 7 Timbers-Sounders match in Portland. (Didn't you hear? 1-0 to the Sounders.)

Looks like it was a wild night in the stands.

(Seattle fans publicly have mainly posted just photos of the match itself.) Edit: here are a few.

One question has come up over and again in my mind, though. Why would you paint a coffin your own team's colors? Isn't the imagery there a bit off some how? After all, a coffin is designed to be buried.

Seattle supporters who traveled to the match held up a "Tonight you have become irrelevant" banner teasing PDX's stay at the lower level.

That's what I call burying the hatchet.

MLS "Extra Time" Looks at Transfer Window Moves

Major League Soccer Extra Time takes a look at the transfer window and buzz about players coming and going before the August 15 deadline.

Youth Focus: Titles in Federal Way, More fun in North Kitsap

Local community newspapers continue to churn out good stories about soccer around Puget Sound.

Today we highlight the two national titles won by Federal Way United girls, and the new approach North Kitsap Soccer Club is taking with the youngest of the young.

U.S. National Cup Finals: 2 Federal Way girls soccer teams take top prize

The Federal Way United Soccer Association captured its first — and second — national soccer titles last week.

A pair of local girls soccer teams triumphed at the United States National Cup finals in Virginia Beach, Va. on Tuesday. The FWU Reign ‘93 Purple won the under-14 Super Group championship and the Reign ‘94 Purple won the title in the under-13 Super Group. The Federal Way United soccer club was only one of two clubs at the tournament to field more than one
national champion.

The US National Cup is a prestigious and highly competitive national tournament, sponsored by US Club Soccer. The tournament started with nine regional qualifying tournaments in early July, involving 1,400 boys and girls teams from across the country.

Read it all at PNWLocalNews.com

North Kitsap Soccer Club kicks in a new program

POULSBO — The North Kitsap Soccer Club’s youngest shooters will soon be playing on a new field: equality.

NKSC coaching director Chris May said in reviewing the club’s programming, too much time was being spent perfecting the skills of the older players and not enough focus was on the needs of the little ones.

In the past the young-uns would compete against one another on teams, which looked similar to a confused, yet enthusiastic, school of fish darting to and fro. They played on bumpy and sloped fields at Port Gamble. Not all of the athletes were taught at the same skill level, as the coaches are all parent volunteers and not all are proficient in soccer’s rules and skills.

The results: Several kids who didn’t have much fun, the playing field wasn’t equal and the competition was too intense.

“It wasn’t very much fun and they weren’t learning,” May said. “Kids are way too young at that age to play soccer on a competitive level. Trying to have 5-year-olds compete is crazy.”

Read it all at PNWLocalNews.com

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