Sounders Insider

Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene

Archives: April 2008


Sounders keeper makes USL team of week

Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Chris Eylander was placed on the USL first division team of the week after his performance in the team’s season-opening draw at Charleston.

Here is the release from the Sounders:

Seattle Sounders goalkeeper, Chris Eylander, was honored with USL first division team of the week honors for saving nine shots including a penalty kick in the team’s 1-1 draw in Charleston.

Eylander, who led the league in saves last year with 109, started off the 2008 season with a dominating performance turning back the Charleston attack with an array of spectacular saves.

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Feinstein on soccer

Over the years we have resigned ourselves to the hostility our game seems to inspire in many of America’s most prominent sports journalists. It seems like that’s fading away to some extent – with the web and all, it just doesn’t matter much what those guys think.

Gratefully, you don’t see stuff like this too often anymore.

At any rate, one of those bigtime guys, John Feinstein of the Washington Post, gets it right in a column today. To wit:

My sense as an outsider is that most soccer people now take the attitude that if

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Do you really, really want Keller in goal?

Seattle P-I had a quick interview Monday with Kasey Keller on the prospects of his returning home to play with the Sounders in their inaugural MLS season.

On the surface this would seem a natural fit: native son goalkeeper returns home to play with the local side at the end of a long and distinguished career for clubs and country.

But there are issues. Reading between the lines in the P-I story, it appears that Kasey ain’t gonna come cheap. And as we’ve said before, it just doesn’t make any sense to use the Sounders’ one

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“Moneyball” and soccer

I suspect many Mariners supporters aren’t necessarily fans of the work of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. The A’s, after all, have made the playoffs in five of the last eight seasons in the Mariners’ division while spending considerably less on the team payroll.

Beane’s approach to building a team on a tight budget was chronicled in the book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”.

An article in today’s Guardian describes how Beane would approach assembling a soccer team using his Moneyball principles. He is a part owner of the MLS team in San Jose and a supporter of Tottenham of the EPL.

Over the past five years Beane has developed an emotional attachment of his own, to Spurs. He watches English football on cable TV whenever he can, is an avid listener of the Guardian’s weekly football podcast and has also forged some close friendships with leading figures in the English game, including Spurs’ chief executive, Damien Comolli. He has also started working with Professor Bill Gerrard from Leeds Business School with a view to developing a system for evaluating football players based on statistics gathered during games. “Big teams like Manchester United can get the best players because they have got the resources but most clubs can’t do business the Manchester United way and expect to survive, never mind compete. The trick is to find a way to compete, using metrics [statistics] and finding areas that have been neglected,” he said.

According to the article, here are some of the “metrics” that can be applied to soccer and used with a Beane-like approach:

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USL Sounders open on road today

The USL division-one Sounders don’t open at home for a couple of weeks, but they start their regular season in Charleston this week and then jump to the Northwest for a game at Portland next week.

Here’s a preview from, a very good minor-league sports site.

(It also shows the Charleston crest, which I have mentioned before as my favorite in U.S. soccer.)

By the way, we’ll have a Sounders season preview in the paper later, in advance of their home opener.


Final: Mexico 1, China 0

Here’s our coverage from the Thursday paper.

Cesar Villaluz’s goal in the 14th minute stood up the rest of the way.

Villaluz was named the player of the match.

The score doesn’t accurately reflect Mexico’s donimation.

By the end, a few dozen paper airplanes littered the field, but most of the fans in green remained standing and chanting to the end.

The crowd of 56,416 was the fourth largest in Seattle soccer history and the third largest soccer crowd at Qwest Field, behind Man U.-Celtic and Madrid-DC United.


56,416 at Qwest tonight

Unfortunately, they’re seeing a pretty dreary game … one of those 1-0 routs, with China seeming pretty helpless and Mexico missing a lot of chances.

Judging from the number of paper airplanes coming off the upper deck, I get the impression the fans are restless.