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

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Friday, March 13, 2009

Connecting with Seattle Soccer Examiner

Now that GOALSeattle soccer news has moved over to Seattle Soccer Examiner, you may want to update your links and connections.

Here is our Twitter Feed: www.Twitter.com/goalseattle. It now lists news as it is posted on the Examiner page.

Here is our Examiner page link: http://www.examiner.com/x-413-Seattle-Soccer-Examiner

Here is our Seattle Soccer Examiner (RSS) news feed: http://www.examiner.com/RSS-413-Seattle-Soccer-Examiner

I can still be reached at goalseattle@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Seattle Soccer Examiner

This blog is going on hiatus! What? No-o-o-o-o-o!

However, the same content and full focus on ALL OF PUGET SOUND SOCCER will now be updated daily at the new source, my Seattle Soccer Examiner page!

Please change your bookmarks. This page will remain dormant but online for links, referrals, etc.

You can also get to the Seattle Soccer Examiner the same way you used to get to the GS blog: by clicking 'blog' on the front page of GOALSeattle.com. Please do follow me over there!

www.Examiner.com/Seattle offers me a chance to reach more fans, make a bit of cash, and for you a chance to keep getting insider news and updates about the Sounders, Wolves, Pumas, Tide, Redhawks, Huskies, Falcons, Sounders Women and Synergy.

See you over at the "X."

5-minute primers: MLS Eastern Conference 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sounders kick it at Qwest despite cold snap

It's too cold out for shirts and shorts but that didn't stop Seattle Sounders FC from training at Qwest Field on Monday. The club are back from Argentina and there are only 10 days left before the home opener against New York.

The Sounders wore long pants, jackets and gloves as they went through their drills. SoundersFC.com's Matt Gaschk reports:

(The Sounders practiced) with many new faces on the pitch and several seeing the team for the first time in over two weeks. The most notable player to don the Sounders FC kit for the first time in training camp was midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who joined the team for the first time after hip surgery in December.

While he spent the majority of the training session doing fitness work along the end lines, his presence was a welcome addition to the Seattle lineup. Though limited to non-contact work, it was imposed by the team and not by Ljungberg’s limitations.

“It feels great. There’s nothing I can’t do, so it’s all good,” Ljungberg said. “I’m so much ahead of schedule that it looks too good to be true. They’re a bit scared that if I do too much I’ll have a setback. There is no pain in anything that I do, which is great, so that’s why they want me to take it step-by-step.”

Wear your Sounders scarf on Fridays!

Every Friday from now until...um, you drop...wear your Sounders scarf to show you support Seattle!

OK, you can wear it more often than that, but especially every Friday to work, on the bus, where ever. This idea is sponsored and endorsed by the Emerald City Supporters, GoSounders.com, Prost Amerika Soccer, Sounder at Heart and the Sounders Fan Insider!

Other news today: Qwest Field will host a 2009 Gold Cup match on July 4th, and it looks like USA may be one of the clubs in town!

Sounders FC have bid to host their play-in match in the US Open Cup in April...and won! So the Sounders will host Real Salt Lake at Starfire. Details here.

Flag contest: Sounders fans already showing 'team spirit' before first kick

We have a winner, in more ways than one...

When Saarhiem was contacted as the winner, he took the GOALSeattle Sounders FC Flag contest for a new spin. "I started this project a month ago and and could not be happier with the results. But with that said, I think it would be best to give the season ticket to the guy who made the Chief Sealth flag (Joe Olson). You see I have two season tickets in the south end already and what I can gather from various message boards he has none. It would be a shame to know that flag #3 is sitting in a living room on game day and not flying proudly in section 122. I would trade down to the jersey knowing that one more die hard SSFC fan was able to stand, sing, and support our Sounders, that would be enough of a prize to me."

Read the entire story over on our Seattle Soccer Examiner page!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

MLS preview on Fox; Beckham takes his knocks

Fox Soccer Channel debuted its half-hour Major League Soccer 2009 season preview on Sunday night. The next airing will be Monday March 9 at 5:00 PM Seattle time.

Speaking of previews, Laurie at the Seattle Offside blog is starting a series of "Get to know your Sounders" quiz blogs. Check the first one out here!

Of course the league will be without gate-enhancer David Beckham until August. Several of us think he's a jerk. Prost America Soccer weighs in; Seattle Soccer Examiner slaps Becksy around.

Next Season Sports continues its profiling of Sounders FC players. This time out it is a look at speedy midfielder Sanna Nyassi.

A change of 'Heart?' No, not Beckham. Dave Clark, who also gives a sneak snip of the new fan magazine "Soccer Seattle." It will be good despite the name.

Big announcements ahead for Kitsap Pumas

The Kitsap Pumas professional soccer club is in for a big, busy spring. The club is preparing for their first-ever league match May 2nd in Spokane against the Spokane Spiders. It will inaugurate their debut season in the Premier Development League (PDL) of the United Soccer Leagues (USL). The Pumas have yet to announce any player signings, but rumblings are growing that soon we'll have some names to report on.

The Pumas are developing a connection with scouts and contacts in Great Britain. We've been told that as many as twelve player contracts may have already been issued, and that at least one local player has signed. Some of the contracts are out for players from the UK. The Pumas are high on a 20-year old Scottish midfielder who trained in the Rangers system. They also have their eye on a sturdy 21-year old English goalkeeper who went through the Wigan Athletic system. We've also heard that Kitsap have talked with a 21-year old English 'beach soccer' star. The names await the club announcement(s).

Last week Pumas' owner Robin Waite attended a Bremerton School District meeting in which he talked about his ideas for building a soccer stadium on land where East Bremerton High School once stood. The BSD gave Waite permission to study the idea more closely.

"I think what's intriguing about it is that it's a very valuable piece of property and we don't make a penny from it," board member Pat Jones told the Kitsap Sun.

Waite's idea "is definitely worth exploring, especially for free."

Waite later appeared in the Kitsap Sun to clarify the use of the land further: “The soccer stadium would be the driving force behind the complex,” he wrote. “There would still be room for an arena especially if there was shared parking.”

Kitsap will be revealing their chosen 'club crest' in the next few weeks, too. Fans were invited to submit crest / logo ideas to the club website in a recent contest. (See a few submitted designs here). The 'crest' is an important part of club tradition in the world of soccer. It becomes the 'coat of arms' clubs go to battle with. The Pumas' crest will use the official club colors of blue, gold, black and white.

The Pumas have already chosen their 2009 uniform provider and style. The 'kits' will be made by Puma, of course, and the shirt will be white with blue hoops. The graphic above gives a representation with possible combinations.

For more on the Pumas visit www.KitsapSoccerClub.com

Sounders FC Match Highlights Spring Slate For Washinton Huskies Men's Soccer

SEATTLE - (courtesy of GoHuskies.com) Washington men's soccer kicked off its 2009 spring season this week, an exhibition slate that is highlighted by two home matches at Husky Soccer Field and a tilt with Seattle Sounders FC at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila on April 21.

The Huskies began the spring campaign on Friday, March 6, hosting the University of British Columbia at Husky Soccer Field. (Result not yet reported)

Washington will then play the bulk of its schedule in April, starting with a trip to Portland to face the rival Pilots on Saturday, April 4, at 2 p.m. at Merlo Field. UW will return to Montlake to host Seattle University at Husky Soccer Field on Friday, April 10, at 6 p.m.

UW will battle Seattle's new Major League Soccer side on Tuesday, April 21 at the Starfire Sports Complex. The match will start at 10 a.m.

The Huskies will wrap their spring schedule traveling to Spokane to face Gonzaga on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m., before facing Seattle Pacific at Interbay Stadium on Friday, May 1, at 7 p.m.

Washington is coming off a 2008 season during which it posted an 8-8-2 overall record and finished in a tie for fourth in the Pac-10 standings with a 3-5-2 league record.

See the complete 2009 Washington Men's Soccer Spring Schedule

Photo: UW's rising star at forward, Brent Richards. (Rick Morrison, GOALSeattle.com)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Washington Governor Gregoire: "I have Sounders FC season tickets"

Prost Amerika Soccer talks with Washington State Governer Chris Gregoire in an interview published this week. Gregoire is a fan of soccer.

"By bringing the world’s most watched sport here, we are putting Seattle and Washington in the spotlight for the world to see what we all already know. The great state of Washington offers an array of unique attractions and natural beauty. Our hope is that those who come from out of town to see a MLS game will return over and over again, and spend money here to stimulate the economy. My husband, Mike and I have season tickets."

Read the entire interview, covering a range of topics, here.

More news: MLS Cup and QFC

The build up to kick off 2009 continues and so does the tidal wave of soccer news.

Over on our Seattle Soccer Examiner Page we've got details on Seattle's soon-to-be official awarding to host Major League Soccer's Final at Qwest this November.

In the GOALSeattle Forums we've posted an ad from grocery chain QFC. They will be the 'official grocer' of the Sounders, and they've got a $5 t-shirt deal and Sounders player appearances going on. The QFC ad starts WEDNESDAY MARCH 11th.

Want to know how much the Sounders players make? See here. Dave Clark from Sounder at Heart looks at the numbers.

A poll on MLS-Daily.com has some good results for Sounders fans. Prost Amerika has the scoop.

GoSounders.com has the news of the Sounders' Spanish-language radio broadcasts.

"Sounders Fan Insider" posts virtual tour of Xbox Pitch

Drool, drool...and counting the hours and days...

Greg Roth was inside Qwest Field Friday and through the Sounders Fan Insider's eyes and lens we get a sneak peek at "Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field."

See ten photos at Seattle Soccer Examiner.

The entire gallery is here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photos: Sounders arrive at SeaTac after Argentina trip; Video: Freddie Ljungberg

Sounders FC have arrived...back in Seattle after a trip to train in Argentina. A smattering of fans were on hand at SeaTac Airport to greet the players, who will now spend the next 12 days getting ready for the home opener at Qwest Field March 19 against New York.

See more photos in our slide show. (Photos courtesy of Greg Roth)

Freddie Ljungberg also is back in the Emerald City:

First season tickets arriving

A fan got his season tickets today!

Lucky for us he also posted in the GOALSeattle forums with several photos of the blessed package!

Be sure to login to the forums and give a shout when you get yours!

See the thread and more photos here! See Gregro's Facebook photos!

Time to VOTE in the flag contest!

The GOALSeattle flag contest is entering its final weekend as the four finalists are now done and their flags are being put up to a public vote on the GS forums!

The winning flag / maker gets a full 2009 south end season ticket! The Sounders have added to the prize winnings, too! The club will give a jersey to the second-place winner and a signed Kasey Keller soccer ball to the third place finisher!

Two judges will decide the winner. If they can't agree then the public vote will break the tie.

Register in the forums here and then go to the voting thread and cast your vote by Sunday March 8th!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

KISW: The scarfage continues...

I am not sure what to say about this video. What do you think? Like they always say..."You've got a face for radio!" Watch for the middle finger and a Sounders FC scarf coming out of a guy's fly. Hey, it's a Seattle 'rock' station.

Sounders have Seattle 'by the neck,' and other news

It has been a crazy day in the Emerald City with the Wexley 'viral' add campaign doing just what it is supposed to do. We've got more on the scarves that ate Seattle here.

We've got scoop today about some of the match day activities the club are planning for fans.

There is a bit of actual soccer news today, too. Fans in the GS forums reported it first: Jarrod Smith has been put on the injured list by Seattle. Jarrod who?

NextSeasonSports.com has a look at how Qwest could become the Sounders' 12th Man.

Two Whitman College boys (Walla Walla) are off to England to explore the 'beautiful game.'

Happy scarfing!

Wexley Sounderfies Seattle!

We've got the scoop over on our Examiner page. Wexley School For Girls are going to let Seattle know what's up today with a giant Sounders scarf on the Tullys building near I-5, among other coolness. See also: ScarfSeattle.com

Fans are talking about the 'viral marketing effort' in the GS forums.

The Sounders lost 1-0 to River Plate today in Argentina. Quick! Get on that plane.

Speaking of planes, if this is your bag, the club are encouraging fans to meet the Sounders at the airport tomorrow.

Did you miss the behind the scenes blog about the Wexley Sounders billboards? Check it out here. Hmm...one of those ardent scarf-wavers sure looks a lot like...me!

ESPN / Ives posts a season preview of the Sounders here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Seattle: sleeping 'soccer giant' reawakens

Visit GOALSeattle.com's extensive soccer museum for much more on all three 'versions' of the Sounders.

Professional soccer is on the rise in Seattle with the imminent debut of Sounders FC in Major League Soccer. 32,400 fans will pack the lower bowl of Qwest Field on March 19 as Seattle hosts New York Red Bulls in the city's first-ever MLS match. The club have capped season ticket sales at 22,000. For those of us who have passionately followed all three incarnations of the "Sounders," March 19 will feel like a brand new beginning with serious deja vu undercurrents.
Seattle, the 'sleeping giant' of soccer in the Northwest, has reawakened. Here's a look back at Sounders attendances in which we'll also be visiting with some local soccer writers and Sounders fans who are following the new club with their own internet presences. Read the entire article at my Seattle Soccer Examiner Page!

Behind the scenes of the USA- Mexico rivalry

Go behind the scenes of the United States - Mexico soccer rivalry in this video feature leading up to and including the night of February 11, 2009 when the two faced off in Columbus Ohio in a World Cup qualifying match.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sounders crush second-division Argentine side 5-0

Sounders FC scored a 5-0 victory today in their Argentina tour over second division club Tristán Suárez. Here's the report from SoundersFC.com:

Erupting for three goals within a 10-minute span, the Seattle Sounders FC extended its preseason unbeaten string to five matches with a 5-0 defeat of Tristán Suárez in La Plata, Argentina, on Tuesday.

Sebastien Le Toux factored in three goals before scoring one of his own in the dying minutes. Michael Fucito, Fredy Montero, Brad Evans and Zach Scott also scored for Seattle against the second division opponents from Buenos Aires.

Seattle has won two and tied once during its stay in Argentina. During the unbeaten run it is 4-0-1 and it is 7-1-1 overall.

The training game was split into three 30-minute periods, with many of the projected starters comprising a unit which played the final hour. Fucito, starting up front, opened the scoring in the 25th minute. He intercepted a ball just inside the halfway line, fed Roger Levesque and took the return pass to beat the onrushing keeper from 18 yards.

After Fucito’s goal late in the first period put Seattle on top, Le Toux assisted on two quick strikes to begin the second stanza. In the 33rd minute he cut the ball back for a clinical 10-yard finish by Montero, his 10th goal of the preseason. Five minutes later, Le Toux found Evans open at the top of the box for a drive into the right corner for 3-0.

Corner kicks set-up the final two Sounders FC goals. In the 43rd minute a Le Toux corner was weakly punched by the Tristán Suárez keeper. Patrick Ianni headed it back into Scott, whose header found the net from a sharp angle to the left. Le Toux flashed near post to nod home Montero’s corner from short range shortly before the final whistle. It was the first goal of the preseason for Le Toux.

None of the three Seattle keepers was seriously tested by the Tristán Suárez attack.

Sounders FC completes the tour on Thursday morning at 9:30 A.M. local (3:30 A.M. PT) at River Plate, before heading for home later that night.

Scoring Summary
SEA-Fucito (Levesque) 25’
SEA-Montero (Le Toux, Jaqua) 33’
SEA-Evans (Le Toux, Nyassi) 38’
SEA-Scott (Ianni) 43’
SEA-Le Toux (Montero) 89’

Seattle Sounders FC Lineups (4-4-2)
First 30-Minute Period: Chris Eylander; Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Evan Brown; Jared Karkas, Nathan Sturgis, Stephen King, Ely Allen; Michael Fucito, Roger Levesque

Second 30-Minute Period: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni, James Riley; Sebastien Le Toux, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero

Third 30-Minute Period: Evan Bush; Tyson Wahl, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni, James Riley; Sebastien Le Toux, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero

Notes: Although Tristan Suarez is based in Buenos Aires, where Sounders FC is staying, the game was played an hour away due to the lack of available fields…After Monday’s game was canceled, the only available practice site was an artificial turf surface in downtown Buenos Aires…Evan Bush made his debut in goal, playing the final 30 minutes, but he was not required to make a save. ..A total of 11 players played 60 minutes.

Photo credit: Forward Michael Fucito in action in Argentina. (SoundersFC.com)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Exclusive 'tarp' photos; Alaska Airlines feature

I literally can't seem to step away from my GOALSeattle blog chair today without coming back to more Sounders FC news!

Greg Roth has a collection of great photos of what the Qwest Field tarps are looking like, on Facebook.

Alaska Airlines Magazine has featured a photo from GOALSeattle photographer Rick Morrison in their March 2009 in-flight magazine. Rick was kind enough to scan it for us, and you can see the entire spread here.

Jack Bell may have called Joe Roth "Joe Smith," but other than that his feature today on the Sounders and Sebastien Le Toux is good reading.

Not much to report on 'roster compliance' day, except that the Sounders are...compliant.

Next Season Sports is doing a very nice job of previewing the Sounders. The latest is a look at the Seattle defense and Kasey Keller.

Sounders FC Sells Out Home Opener; team to cap season ticket memberships at 22,000

RENTON, Wash. (Club press release) Single game tickets for the Seattle Sounders FC inaugural home opener on March 19 sold out this morning. Sounders FC will kick off the 2009 Major League Soccer season at Qwest Field versus the New York Red Bulls with more fans than originally planned.

Due to the anticipation and tremendous enthusiasm from soccer fans, the seating configuration for the March 19 home opener has been expanded to 32,400. Sounders FC will also cap season tickets at 22,000. The team recently surpassed 20,000 season tickets, the largest season ticket base in Major League Soccer.

“When we started this process 15 months ago, our goal was to successfully bring the world’s game to the people of Seattle,” said Sounders FC Owner Joe Roth. “Because of this region’s passion and the overwhelming support for the Sounders FC, we wanted even more fans to experience our historic opening match in March.”

The seating configuration for regular season matches will be increased to 27,700 seats, making it one of the larger venues in Major League Soccer.

“This community once again showed why Seattle has the best fans in the country,” said Vulcan Sports and Entertainment CEO Tod Leiweke. “The demand for tickets has exceeded our expectations, and the seating expansion to 27,700 will allow more fans to join us without jeopardizing the intimacy of the stadium.”

Season tickets will be capped to accommodate group, partial season and single game ticket sales. Season tickets consist of 18 home matches, including the March 19 home opener and July 18 match versus English Premier League power, Chelsea FC.

Single game tickets for all other home matches are available at www.SoundersFC.com or by calling 877-MLS-GOAL.

Photo courtest of mmpeterson44, www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com

Tickets on sale today at 10:00 AM; Sounders rained out in Argentina

Individual match tickets for all 2009 Sounders FC MLS home dates go on sale today at 10:00 AM via Ticketmaster and the club website. By the end of the day several matches are expected to sell out. Act now or watch from your couch this summer.

The Monday training match between the Sounders and Velez Sarsfield has been cancelled due to heavy rain. SoundersFC.com has details.

Soccer America gets our attention this morning with this headline: Sounders Mania - Back to the Northwest.

The MLS Soccer Examiner predicts Sounders FC will be a playoff club. I am quoted at the end of the article, though I haven't officially made my own predictions yet.

MLS Seattle: The Beautiful Game in the Emerald City has two posts you need to read. The first is a comparison of last year's expansion San Jose Earthquakes with this year's Sounders. The second is the first in a series of previews of the other clubs in MLS, starting with the 2009 LA Galaxy.

My Examiner.com feature, wondering aloud about what Seattle's ticket holders will bring to the efforts to establish Qwest Field as a 'intimate soccer venue,' is a big hit. Thanks for all the reads. Miss it? You can read it here.

WeAreECS.com's forums recently featured the photo in this post. The billboard is near Ballard. Watch for other such works of art in the coming weeks. Emerald City Supporters posed for photos for the club adverts.

GoSounders.com brings to our attention that Steven Goff of the Washington Post still insists Seattle have the inside track on hosting MLS Cup 2009.

Too much of a good thing?
Goal.com's Kyle McCarthy says Sounders FC's 21,000 (yes, that's the update) season ticket sales might be unrealistically raising expectations for the expansion clubs that follow...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trialists on view in Sounders' 1-1 training draw

Sounders FC drew 1:1 in Argentina Saturday with a makeshift roster of trialists against CED Rosario, a collect of Argentine football free agents. The Sounders released the notes and quotes below.

“It was good to see Michael Fucito on the field because he hadn’t been able to join us since we drafted him because of an injury," commented heach coach Sigi Schmid. "So it was nice for him to get his feet wet. It was a good situation. We had a trialist out there in Diego Ferrerya, who is a local player from here in Argentina we wanted to look at. And then we had Ely Allen, who has been released from the L.A. Galaxy. So we want to give Ely, a Washington guy, a good look while we’re here.”

Colombian center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado also saw his first Seattle action.

“We forced ourselves to do a lot of defending in the first half that we didn’t need to do," concluded Schmid. "You live and learn and the guys learned a valuable experience in the game today. And for us as coaches it was valuable because we see who steps in those situations and who doesn’t.”

Seattle meets Velez Sarsfield in the third game of its Argentine tour on Monday morning.

Scoring Summary

SEA-Ferrerya (Montero, King) 43’

CED-#11 (no names provided; penalty kick) 53’

Sounders FC Lineup (4-4-2): Chris Eylander; Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Evan Brown; Michael Fucito (Diego Ferrerya 36’), Stephen King, Ryan Caugherty, Roger Levesque; Jeff Clark, Fredy Montero (Ely Allen 54’).

Notes: Joining the team on Saturday was Ely Allen, a former University of Washington midfielder waived earlier in the week by the L.A. Galaxy. Allen arrived about four hours prior to kickoff following an overnight flight from Los Angeles, and he relieved Montero for the final 16 minutes. He played in 12 games, starting 11,and scored one goal for the Galaxy as a rookie last season. He is a Kent native and graduate of Kentridge High School…Seattle’s opening night opponent, the New York Red Bulls, are also training and playing in Buenos Aires. Both teams will attend Sunday’s Argentine first division game between Boca Juniors and Huracan…The final game in the tour is now confirmed. Sounders FC will visit River Plate on Thursday at 3:30 A.M. PT. The flight home is later that night.

Photo Credit: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado made his Seattle debut. (SoundersFC.com)

Qwest Field: In search of a soccer identity

On March 19 a national TV audience on ESPN 2 will peek in on Sounders FC's debut when Seattle hosts the New York Red Bulls at 6:00 PM local time at Qwest Field.

As much as we have been anticipating the new club we've also been anticipating that first home match as a way of beginning to see what kind of crowd our ticket holders will be. In the end it is up to us to make Qwest Field a 'soccer stadium.' In the end it will be the fans who will be remembered and critiqued as much as the players.

So, to paraphrase the famous chant, "Who are WE?"

We've been building to this day for years. So has Qwest Field. Originally designed and sold as a "Football / Soccer" stadium, Qwest Field will finally enter the national sports spotlight in its true 'soccer' form. There will be european-styled 'box net' goals. There will be soccer-specific lines on a pristine green Field Turf pitch. There will be nearly as many Sounders FC banners and flags on the concourse as there are Seahawks ones. There will be 27,000 fans in the stands.

Those 27,000 fans were assured this last week when the home opener sold out before tickets could even go on sale to the general public. In-house the Sounders offered extra tickets to season 'members,' who grabbed up that offering for family and friends. Sounders ticket sales have been creating buzz in recent days.

21,000 and counting full season members will enter Qwest Field on March 19 using a specially-designed club scarf with their ticket attached to it. They will be encouraged to hold those scarves high for the TV cameras as a declaration of the arrival of Sounders FC and of Qwest Field as an 'intimate soccer facility.'

Right now the upper deck seats at Qwest are being covered with giant tarps. One side will be rave green with soccer player outlines, the other side blue.

Below in the lower deck where the fans will hold sway, only one section promises a growing identity in advance.

The Emerald City Supporters have grown their numbers to over 400 and will stand in the south end with their other general admission brothers and sisters. This is the end expected to generate the most noise, color and passion.

In generally the same area and looking for a cohesive working arrangement with supporters will be the Sound Wave, Sounders FC's marching band.

Opposite to them in the north (that's where I'll be) fans will hang out almost over the goal on the cool 'porch' seats beneath the Hawk's nest. They'll have the closest look at the Sounders defense and also the opposing goalkeeper.

Along the sidelines are the largest number of fans, nearly 20,000 strong. No one is sure yet how this largest segment of Sounders fandom will react on match days. Will some stand? Will there be flags? Color? Will they join in with the ECS on chants?

Opening night March 19 should be a sea of rave green and scarves. Qwest Field should look its very best. The talk should all be of Seattle, soccer and our new club.

The very next day Major League Soccer followers from around the country will start having their say: Are Seattle's crowds going to put Qwest Field on the world soccer map?

Will Qwest Field and the public address announcer(s) strike just the right chord of giving information but letting the fans create the atmosphere? If they do, are the fans going to unite and do so?

Qwest Field is in search of its own identity as a true soccer venue. Seattle's soccer fans will be the deciding factor on whether that search eventually ends in success.

Talk about Sounders match day in our special forum for this topic.

Wolves update: George and Dragon Meet-up March 5th

(Tukwila, WA) – The Seattle Wolves FC today announced the addition of Alexander Caulfield to the SWFC Front Office. Caulfield will fill the role of Director of Public Relations, and has already made his presence felt in the front office, initiating exciting marketing and PR initiatives.

Currently a graduate student at Seattle University working on a Masters degree in Sports Administration, Caulfield has worked in the ticketing departments at the University of Washington and the New York Yankees, and has a strong experiential background in public relations and marketing.

When asked for comment, Wolves’ General Manager, Andrew Opatkiewicz said, “It is my firm belief that Alex’s involvement with the Wolves will benefit the club in many ways. Alex is a very motivated, personable and well educated guy, and I think he will fit in very well in the office.”

Caulfield said of joining the Seattle Wolves, “When my program director alerted me to the possibility of working with the Seattle Wolves FC, I became immediately interested. I had been following the club for some time, and was excited at the prospect to be a part of a true football club.”

For the complete Alex Caulfield headline, visit SeattleWolvesFC.com.

(Tukwila, WA) - The Seattle Wolves FC today made final preparations for their 2009 Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) schedule. The Wolves will open their season at home against Khalsa Sporting Cub on Saturday May 2nd at 8:00pm inside the the Starfire Sports Stadium.

The Wolves’ full PCSL season schedule is available on SeattleWolvesFC.com. Season tickets are now on sale for only $49, and provide entry into all Seattle Wolves FC PCSL and USL Premier Development League (PDL) home matches (18 league matches). Individual match tickets are only $4, or $3 when purchasing 10 or more. In addition, the Wolves will be offering a $300 "Train with the Wolves Package", which includes an hour and a half training session with a Seattle Wolves FC player and match tickets for your team. For more information, or to reserve your SWFC PCSL/PDL tickets, contact tickets.seattlewolvesfc@gmail.com.

Want to own part of a real football club? The Seattle Wolves FC is also offering fans of the world’s game the opportunity to join the voting SWFC Membership Council. This isn’t a fan club. This is an exclusive council of football enthusiasts who want to play a part in the growth of the Seattle Wolves FC. In 2009, the Seattle Wolves FC will offer Membership Council seats for only $75 annually. Membership includes life-time quarterly voting rights on important decisions within the club, season tickets to all SWFC home matches and free SWFC apparel. Lock in this once in a lifetime opportunity today by emailing council.seattlewolvesfc@gmail.com.

Next Thursday, March 5th, Seattle Wolves FC Players, Staff and Fans will gather at the George and Dragon Pub in Fremont to kick-off an exciting 2009 for the Wolves.

The event is the club’s first social gathering since late 2008 when Tim Merrit, Alyssa Emmons and Ian Chursky showed off their football knowledge in defeating 13 other groups in Alex Weaver’s Football Quiz.

This Thursday’s theme is a bit different. Wolves’ player, Paul Hughes is organizing a FIFA/Winning Eleven video game tournament to be played on the big screens at the George and Dragon.

The festivities will begin around 7:00pm. If you are interested in joining the tournament, please email seattlewolvesfc@gmail.com soon.

The George and Dragon Pub is located at 206 North 36th Street, Seattle WA 98103 in the Fremont neighborhood.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Video and quotes from Argentina today

We've got more from Seattle's 3-1 training win today in Argentina. Nate Jaqua scored the first Sounders goal and talked about the match afterwards.

“We started a little slow obviously and we weren’t playing quite that well. I think the heat got to us a little bit. But we were able to kind of come back in the second half and put some good things together and score three goals and able get the win.”

Fredy Montero arrived at the field a few minutes after the opening kickoff, along with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Steve Zakuani, who had visited the U.S. Embassy to complete the necessary paperwork for the team’s return to the U.S. next week. “The game was good, it was very useful for what we are looking for. It gives us confidence and we get to know each other with every game we play. It will serve to reach the start of the season in the right shape.” Montero scored the winner and the third Sounders goal. “It was very beautiful, the first goal. I kicked it from far away, and the second one was a very good play by Alonso.”

Sounders FC faces CED, a collection of local free agents on Saturday, February 28 at 4 P.M. local (10 A.M. PT) in the second of five training games during the tour, which concludes on March 5.

Photo Credit: Fredy Montero (#17) celebrates a goal against Estudiantes reserves. Sebastien Le Toux awaits the high five.

Pumas eye land for new stadium; join forces with 'The Soccer Dude'

The Kitsap Sun reports today that Kitsap Pumas are interested in leasing land where East Bremerton High School once stood.

(Robin) Waite (Pumas owner) said he expects the Pumas to outgrow Bremerton Memorial Stadium. “I expect our team to go from where it is now all the way to Division I.”

School board President Cynthia Galloway said she favored the idea of a public-private partnership that resulted in income.

School board member Louis Mitchell called it “intriguing” and added that the district would need to make sure it could enter into a development-type relationship. Jones added that the district was prevented by state law from developing the valuable old Manette school site.

In other Pumas club news the Kitsap outfit recently announced another business partnership.

Bremerton, Wash. – The Kitsap Soccer Club has finalized what club officials are calling “a major sponsorship agreement” with The Soccer Dude – a local firm based in Port Orchard, Washington.

The Soccer Dude has patented and manufactures player development tools for soccer players of all ages including its Speed and Agility Ladder Stencils, Soccer Dude Target Nets, along with other products. The agreement contains the added bonus that at every 2009 Pumas home match, The Soccer Dude will distribute 50 tickets to the next home match FREE to folks attending that current match.

“This is the best way we could think of to grow the game right here at home,” said Soccer Dude inventor and founder Scott Morgan. “Speed Ladder training develops the A-B-C’s of player technique – agility, balance and coordination. Plus, with our products the players train safer – there is no tripping on ropes or straps.”

The stencils can be used on virtually any surface – from dirt to grass - and the kits come in different sizes and skill patterns to fit virtually every training application.

“This is among the most innovative packages - for one of the most innovative soccer training products - we’ve written. We’re pleased to have Scott on board with us from the very beginning,” said club owner Robin Waite. “This is truly someone putting their money where their mouth is for the betterment of the game.”

The agreement includes direct tie-ins during club matches, camps, clinics and youth activities along with other community outreach programs.

For more information regarding The Soccer Dude, please call 360- 265-7892 or send e-mail to Scott at TheSoccerDudes@live.com. / WWW.SOCCER-DUDES.com.

To become an official team partner, to purchase tickets or for further questions, please contact Ben Pecora, Executive Director, at 360-377-6008 at the Pumas offices. www.KitsapSoccerClub.com

Montero scores twice as Sounders win in Argentina, 3-1

Fredy Montero ignited the attack in the second half, scoring twice in a 4-minute span as Sounders FC came from behind to open its Argentina preseason tour with a 3-1 win over Estudiantes de La Plata on Friday afternoon.

Nate Jaqua pulled the visitors level in the second minute following halftime of the 70-minute match. Estudiantes, using a mixture of first team reserves and youth players, had staked a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

Montero, who came on at the break, put Seattle in front, 2-1, in the 54th minute and made it 3-1 in the 58th.

Sounders FC faces CED, a collection of local free agents on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm local.

Scoring Summary
EST-Germano 20’
SEA-Jaqua (Nyassi) 46’
SEA-Montero (Jaqua) 54’
SEA-Montero (Alonso) 58’

Seattle Sounders FC Lineup (4-4-2): Kasey Keller; Nathan Sturgis, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni, James Riley; Sebastien Le Toux, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Sanna Nyassi; Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque (Fredy Montero 36).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spanish-speaking Sounders unite in Argentina

Fredy Montero, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Osvaldo Alonso practiced together for the first time today in Argentina. (SoundersFC.com photo)

Read a story about Fredy in Argentina from Matt Gaschk.

Sounders FC have completed their second day of training in Argentina. The club send out the following recap.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, the new Seattle Sounders FC central defender, arrived at the hotel during the team breakfast on Thursday. He smiled and circulated around the room for handshakes with his new coaches and teammates. Hurtado received a hug from his friend, Fredy Montero, who has known him for five years. The two played together at Deportivo Cali last year. Hurtado took an overnight flight from Bogota to Buenos Aires after departing Cali earlier Wednesday.

Hurtado was issued his gear and less than two hours later joined the rest of the team for a 90-minute training session, which began at 11 A.M. local time under clear skies and ended with temperatures pushing into the low 80s (Fahrenheit). The practice included extended drills with the attacking players working on crosses and finishing while defensive personnel focused on keeping possession and building out of the back.

Sounders FC will play its first training game on Friday morning (11 A.M. local, 5 A.M. PT) at Estudiantes de La Plata.

General manager Adrian Hanauer arrived at the hotel just as the team was served lunch.

Sigi Schmid and several members of his coaching and support staff will attend Thursday night’s Copa Libertadores group stage game between Estudiantes de La Plata and Bolivia’s Universitario. On Sunday, the entire team will go to the La Bombonera, home of Boca Juniors, to see an Argentine first division game against Huracan. Schmid is also interested in attending training sessions held by the various Buenos Aires first division teams during the next week.

The Word from Coach Schmid

“It’s gone alright. The second day is always the toughest day. The first day you’re sort of like a zombie and you just keep going, keep moving and you sort of don’t realize what you’re doing. The second day is where fatigue hits you a little bit and the time change will hit you. But the team’s done well.

“We play in a league where you go through three-hour time changes. It’s not six hours like this, but you have to adjust to it. There’s certainly a physiological adjustment, but also part of it is psychological, and in our league it’s important to deal with time changes and not let it slow you down psychologically.”

“Watching games here is a learning experience and it’s also fun. The learning experience comes from the fact that you always see more live than you do on TV. So much of the game is played without the ball and on TV all you really see is the ball. When you go to a game live, you see how high they push the line of defense, where they establish their line of defense, how the players move away from the ball, how they set-up space on the far side of the field. You see all those things by watching the game live. And I love soccer, so I love going to soccer games. You feel the atmosphere in the stadium. This will be my first Copa Libertadores game and my first game at Estudiantes. That’s the fan aspect of it: now I can say I’ve done that.”

Tacoma Tide, Kitsap Pumas, Seattle Wolves season tickets on sale

In the last few days both Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas have sent out releases regarding sales of season tickets for their 2009 PDL (Premier Development League) campaigns. Seattle Wolves FC have released information about their combination PDL and PCSL (Pacific Coast Soccer League) club season tickets, which will give you 18 matches.

Tacoma Tide FC play in a great neighborhood in University Place, Tacoma. Curtis High School stadium is a very nice venue to take in a match. It faces the sunset over the Narrows, so bring your sunglasses.
Tacoma's season tickets are general admission and cost $70 for adults (10 matches) and $30 for students. The Tide also give you a *free* TFC yellow and blue scarf with each season ticket purchase. Club website details.

Kitsap Pumas are already setting themselves up as a 'throwback' to the days of pristine grass soccer pitches, hooped jerseys and village pride. The Pumas will be playing about 10 minutes away from the Seattle-Bremerton ferry landing in Bremerton.

The Pumas have priced season tickets at $90, $75 and $45 for the season, with options for reserved covered grandstand and family endline general admission. Club website details.

Seattle Wolves will have clubs in both the PCSL and PDL. In the recently announced club statement the Wolves are providing a real bargain for Tukwila-area soccer lovers. Both the PCSL and PDL seasons are included in a $49 season pass that will allow you to see all of both clubs' 2009 home matches at Starfire Sports Stadium (18 matches!). Club website details.

All of our local neighborhood clubs supply soccer in your own back yard at a price that allows family and friends to pile in the car and have a fun night out on the cheap. Purchasing season tickets is a great way to support soccer in your neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sounders line up Argentine schedule

The Sounders have released notes from the club's first day in Argentina:

Soon after arriving in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders FC set a tentative schedule of training games while in Argentina .

Seattle will play up to five 70-minute matches, beginning Friday morning (11 A.M. local, 5 A.M. PT) at Estudiantes La Plata. On Saturday (10 A.M. PT) the opposition is CED, a squad comprised of local-based free agents.

Action resumes Monday at Vélez Sarsfield (4:30 A.M. PT) with a visit to Argentinos Juniors on Tuesday (4:30 A.M. PT). The final fixture will be either Wednesday or Thursday against River Plate. The Argentine clubs are expected to field a mixture of starters and reserves.

The Sounders FC travel party arrived midday Wednesday in Buenos Aires following a 10-hour overnight flight from Dallas/Fort Worth. Late in the afternoon, head coach Sigi Schmid conducted a 70-minute training session with temperatures in the mid-80s at the Argentinos Juniors youth academy grounds.

Argentine legend and current national team coach Diego Maradona is a product of the Argentinos Juniors youth system and played his first five professional seasons for the club’s first division team.

Joining practice for the first time were Michael Fucito, the fourth-round MLS SuperDraft pick out of Harvard, and invitee Evan Bush, a goalkeeper from the University of Akron. Fucito met the team in Seattle last week after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained last fall. Third-round choice Jared Karkas took part in drills for the first time since a hamstring strain sidelined him three weeks ago.

Central defender Taylor Graham (foot) was held out of practice and is not expected to play in any of the training games. Forward Steve Zakuani (ankle) did not participate in the tri-squad 7v7v7 possession games.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, the newly-signed Colombian defender, arrives Thursday in Buenos Aires.

The Sounders FC opens the MLS season on March 19, hosting the New York Red Bulls at the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. More than 20,000 season tickets have been sold and single-game tickets go on sale on Monday, March 2.

Players present for the first day of training in Argentina:

Goalkeepers (3): Evan Bush, Chris Eylander, Kasey Keller

Defenders: Evan Brown, Taylor Graham, Patrick Ianni, Jared Karkas, Tyrone Marshall, James Riley, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgis, Tyson Wahl

Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Sebastien Le Toux, Stephen King, Sanna Nyassi, Michael Fucito, Ryan Caugherty

Forwards: Jeff Clark, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani

Photo Credit: Top, Sebastien Le Toux exits the bus at the training grounds. Middle, Chris Eylander greets kids at Sounders FC's Argentina practice field. (SoundersFC.com)

Off to Argentina & other news

Sounders FC are in Argentina this week to go up against foreign competition as they build towards their March 19 debut. The club posted a video of the guys getting on the bus to the airport yesterday.

Gary Washburn has a Argentina preview with some clear-headed comments from coach Sigi Schmid.

Where in the world is Freddie Ljungberg? Spain! Fans have the good news about Freddie's rehabilitation in the GS forums.

Of cash and broken bones: The Columbus Dispatch reveals how much the Sounders had to cough up to pry Sigi Schmid loose from the clutches of the Crew. Sounders center back Taylor Graham is on crutches in Argentina.

Harvard athlete Michael Fucito joins Sounders training and gets a trip out of the deal, too. Here's a feature on Fucito in The Harvard Crimson.

The buzz continues to grow over the Sounders season ticket sales. In the Seattle Times Steve Kelley writes about how "Seattle embraces Sounders FC."

Jose Romero asked Adrian Hanauer to clear up any lingering doubts about how the SuperSearch player cut was handled.

The GOALSeattle forums at www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com now have over 700 registered users. We also set a new record for people online at the same time this week: 115.

Major League Soccer Talk gives us the news that Sounders FC will start at the very beginning for the 2009 US Open Cup qualification.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Classy 'Captain' Danny Jackson thanks Seattle fans

Danny Jackson, who captained the Seattle Sounders for most of the last six seasons, issues a thank you to Seattle fans in an article posted today over at Prost Amerika Soccer: “I wanted to take the opportunity to thank the entire base of Seattle Sounders supporters for their support over the past six years. It has been a wonderful experience, both on and off the field, and I will treasure those memories for many years to come. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to represent and captain such a storied club, fortunate to have played with so many good players and good friends, and lucky to have been involved in such a stable environment.”

You can read the rest of what Danny has to say here.

Thanks, Danny, for being a model Sounder and helping us win so many big matches, cups and league titles! Even though you were cut from the Sounders FC roster in a hard-fought training camp, you'll never be cut from the hearts and memories of Sounders fans.

(Photo by Jenni Conner)

What Sounders fans are talking about right now...

The forums at www.SeattleSoccerTalk.com are busy with posts about the Sounders' upcoming first season in Major League Soccer.

Here are some hot topics in the forums right now:

Season ticket members can purchase individual match tickets to 2009 home games before they go on sale to the public, and many fans are stocking up while they've got the chance.

The Sounders are off to Argentina, but before they left it was announced that third goalkeeper Ben Dragavon would be going to Austin for a tryout with the new USL-1 Aztex.

How will the Sounders do in 2009? A poll has been posted in the forums and fans are voting right now.

Will Qwest Field's Field Turf have any real effect on matches this year? Fans are voting and commenting in this thread.

Seattle Soccer Talk: The teams that matter to us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Smaller local clubs stay clear of Sounders' wake

One thing we know about the sport of elite-level soccer in Puget Sound in 2009: there's going to be plenty of it to watch.The huge majority of those watching will be doing so because of interest in Seattle Sounders FC.The Sounders have sold 20,000 season tickets and it looks like a good bet that nearly all matches will sell out before or on match nights.

This is in effect a tsunami of interest in pro soccer, and how far the waves reach is unknown. Our three fourth division sides, Tacoma Tide FC, Kitsap Pumas, and Seattle Wolves FC, are of course hoping that the high water interest in Sounders FC will spill over to their neighborhoods. Just in case, the three clubs have tried their very best to not schedule their home matches on the same night the Sounders are home at Qwest. Some of it is that the guys who run these sides are genuinely Sounders fans, and some of it is simply the fact they don't want to be selling tickets up against the Sounders juggernaut.

When the Premier Development League schedules for Tacoma, Seattle and Kitsap were released they showed only three local home matches (out of 24) in conflict. Tacoma Tide FC have since reduced that number to 2 after they moved a match with Seattle Wolves to Tuesday June 23 in Tacoma to avoid a Sounders home match. Now the dubious two left are Seattle Wolves hosting Kitsap May 30 while the Sounders are at home against Columbus Crew, and Tacoma Tide FC hosting the Spokane Spiders at 3:00 PM in the afternoon on Sunday June 28th while the Sounders are hosting the Colorado Rapids two hours earlier at Qwest.

So there you have it, soccer lovers. Our three smaller clubs have 22 home matches that don't fall on Sounders home days.

Make your plans to catch one of these clubs in action. We've got the master Puget Sound home schedule right here.

Photo Credit:
Seattle Wolves FC celebrate a goal against Sounders Super Search players. (Jenni Conner)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sounders top Whitecaps 4-0 at empty Qwest

Nate Jaqua scored two in the first half and Fredy Montero matched him with a brace in the second half as Sounders FC shut-out the 2008 United Soccer League defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday in a pre-season match at Qwest Field.

Prost Amerika Soccer says:
It was an eerie atmosphere as an empty stadium bore witness to Sounders FC’s first ever game at their home, but the visit of the Vancouver Whitecaps provided some familiarity. If this had been any Sounders fans first glimpse of the side, he may well have known the Caps side better, as a few of them were veterans of past Cascadia Cup derbies. Players such as Lyle Martin, Randy Edwini-Bonsu, Jay Nolly and Ethan Gage have already represented Vancouver in matches against Seattle. Read the full report here.

Whitecaps employees at the match say: Final thoughts: the ‘Caps were outclassed today. I can’t really sugarcoat it. Seattle is going to be a surprisingly strong expansion team I believe. They take on Toronto FC in April and I think they could give them a run for their money in a battle of recent expansion squads. If Le Toux and Nayassi can continue to own the flanks and if Jaqua can continue to demonstrate his finish, they will score some goals. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see Ljungberg as he’s currently injured (hey Seattle, get used to hearing that one!). And I don’t know if I can properly rate Seattle’s defenders, although Keller was solid as a rock, as always. Read entire blog here.

Photo credit: Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero (with the ball) scored twice each for Seattle in the club's 4-0 win over Vancouver. SoundersFC.com

More match reports: Seattle Times Vancouver Whitecaps Sounders FC

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