Sounders Insider

Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene

Archives: April 2009


Sigi Schmid on Blanco the butterfly

One thing Sounders fans can look forward to on Saturday is their first look at Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

Blanco is the Fire’s designated player, brought in at a cost of almost $3 million — more than twice what the Sounders are paying Freddie Ljungberg.

And Sounders coach Sigi Schmid makes Blanco sound worth every penny, offering this brilliant description after Thursday training at Starfire.

"He’s a butterfly,” Schmid said. “He floats around the field. He finds different spaces, different places. He doesn’t go anywhere real fast. But he gets to all parts of the

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Fire forward wins MLS player of month for April

Chicago forward Brian McBride today was named MLS player of the month for April.

McBride scored four goals in four games in helping the Fire to a 1-0-3 record.(And yes, he got my vote. No. 2 on my ballot was Casey Conner of Colorado, who had four goals in April, including a hat trick in the Rapids’ 3-2 win at LA.)

McBride’s selection means that the players of the month for the first two months of this MLS season will share the Toyota Field pitch Saturday as Seattle meets Chicago, because Sounders forward Fredy Montero won the

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Ljungberg expected back this afternoon

The Sounders have concluded their Thursday training … all except for midfielder Freddie Ljungberg.

Ljungberg missed training again today, but is expected back this afternoon after taking a few days off to attend to his grandmother’s funeral in Sweden. Coach Sigi Schmid said that Ljungberg will train when he reports in today, then will train with the team Friday morning and fly out with them Friday afternoon when they leave for Chicago.

Otherwise, Schmid also said all the other expected players should be ready to go too, even those who played extensively in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup win

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Fire loses to Club America, Sounders up next

The Chicago Fire lost an international friendly to Club America tonight, 2-1.

Next up for the Fire will be Seattle Sounders FC, which visits at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Sounders had today off, but will return to practice Thursday.

I’ll have updates and their first look ahead to the Fire once practice ends.


Sounders-Fire pairs 2 of top 3 teams in MLS?

That’s the take from this week’s MSL power rankings, which put the Chicago Fire as the No. 2 team in the league, and the Sounders at No. 3.

Here’s what they have to say about the Fire:

Over the final 12 minutes of their 2-2 draw with Kansas City two weeks ago and the first 85 minutes of their draw with Columbus on Saturday, the Fire could not have looked more out of sync on both ends of the pitch. Then, in a five-minute period, they erased all their troubles. Still, the Fire defense is not playing at

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MLS All-Stars will face Everton FC

MLS announced this morning that the league all-stars will be Everton FC in the annual all-star game at 6:30 p.m. July 29 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, home of Real Salt Lake.

Everton is a historic side from the English Premier League and a current FA Cup finalist.

The game will be shown on ESPN2.

Obviously, there are several Sounders who could be in contention for all-star honors.

The MLS stars are 5-0 since the game’s format was switched to feature a international club team as the featured opponent.

Here’s the info

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US Open Cup: Sounders 4, Salt Lake 1 (updated)

Sounders win 4-1. (Here’s my game story.) They will advance to meet the Colorado Rapids sometime (and somewhere) next month, with the winner advancing to the U.S. Open Cup round of 16.

After the game, coach Sigi Schmid was very happy with his depth. Naturally Sebastien Le Toux (two goals, two assists) got much of the attention. But Roger Levesque had three assists. And Schmid also said good things about Stephen King and Patrick Ianni and Sanna Nyassi.

He also said that the few guys who played Saturday against San Jose and a lot again tonight (mostly meaning James Riley and Steve Zakuani)will get some light days of training and will be available on Saturday at Chicago.

And speaking of training, of all the things that Schmid said about depth tonight — and that’s a key issue in the story I wrote for tomorrow — here’s what I found to be maybe the most interesting thing he said on the topic:

“The reason you want to have depth more than any other reason is you want to have good practices. The deeper you are, the more competitive practices are, and the more competitive practices are the better you’re going to be in games. If you just had 11 really good players and the other guys weren’t very much then you wouldn’t be a very good team. So it shows that we have that depth and that’s something I’ve very pleased with. It’s a long season and you need everybody.”

Meanwhile, here’s the take from a none-too-happy RSL coach Jason Kreis:

"Obviously, we are extremely disappointed with the result and the match. Tonight’s performance is a big letdown after Saturday’s win (a 6-0 victory over New England) back home.

"It’s important for everyone to remember that it is still a young season, we have several games left to accomplish our goals. Tonight we played a lot of guys that hadn’t had extensive minutes in their previous opportunities, and to be honest, tonight they didn’t make the most of this opportunity.

"So now we have to wipe this one from our mind as soon as possible – it’s over, and it is what it is … We have another game Saturday in Colorado, its a big rivalry, and it’ll be a fantastic opportunity to get back on track."

The stats:

Scoring Summary:
SEA — Sebastien Le Toux (penalty kick) 24
SEA — Sanna Nyassi (Sebastien Le Toux, Roger Levesque) 26
RSL — Will Johnson (unassisted) 32
SEA — Stephen King (Sebastien Le Toux, Roger Levesque) 53
SEA — Sebastien Le Toux (Roger Levesque) 55

Real Salt Lake — Chris Seitz, Tony Beltran, David Horst, Jamison Olave (Nat Borchers 46), Robbie Russell, Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman (Jean Alexandre 66), Andy Williams, Will Johnson (Raphael Cox 71), Robbie Findley, Luis Miguel Escalada (Yura Movsisyan 57).

Substitutes Not Used: Tino Nunez, Kyle Reynish, Chris Wingert.

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Andy Williams 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Will Johnson 2); FOULS: 14 (Kyle Beckerman 3, Tony Beltran 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4 (Andy Williams 2); SAVES: 4 (Chris Seitz 4)

Seattle Sounders — Chris Eylander, James Riley, Taylor Graham, Tyson Wahl, Zach Scott, Sanna Nyassi (Evan Brown 72), Stephen King, Patrick Ianni, Steve Zakuani (Jarrod Smith 65), Roger Levesque, Sebastien Le Toux.

Substitutes Not Used: Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Nate Jaqua, Kasey Keller, Fredy Montero.

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Sebastien Le Toux 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (3 tied with 2); FOULS: 12 (Patrick Ianni 3, James Riley 3); OFFSIDES: 2 (Sebastien Le Toux 1, Roger Levesque 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Sebastien Le Toux 4); SAVES: 2 (Chris Eylander 2)

Misconduct Summary:
SEA — Patrick Ianni (caution; Reckless Tackle) 19
RSL — Jamison Olave (caution; Handball) 41
SEA — Sanna Nyassi (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 71

Referee: Landis Wiley
Referee’s Assistants: -Mike Rottersman; Josh Wilkens
4th Official: Soo Hui Um
Attendance: 3,890
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Cloudy-and-53-degrees

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No local TV or radio … follow game here

With no local TV or radio carrying tonight’s Sounders-Real Salt Lake game, and with no more tickets available, I’m going to try fill a little bit of the void by increasing my normal in-game blogging.

I’m going to try to keep more of a running blog going with highlights as they happen. I hope that will help some of you to keep up with the game on a pretty-much real-time basis. And, as always, I also hope you’ll hop in with your own comments.

Meanwhile, since you’re going to be online anyway, you could also click over

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