Sounders Insider

Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene

Archives: April 2009


Sounders-RSL: Who wins? Who wants to?

The Sounders and Real Salt Lake meet tonight in a play-in game for the U.S. Open Cup (7 p.m., Starfire, sold out, no local broadcast). Or is it just that a bunch of reserves in Sounders and RSL kits?

I love US Open Cup — the whole idea of opening the tournament to all levels of the sport is just one of the great things about soccer. However, the US Open Cup is no FA Cup. Especially for MLS teams, who have little to gain lots to lose.

So — as longtime fans of the USL Sounders know

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Nominees for MLS player of the month?

I’m due to submit some suggestions to the North American Soccer Reporters tomorrow for MLS player of the month for April.

If any of you would like to offer any suggestions over the next 24 hours I’ll be happy to add your input to the mix.


Quick look at SSFC-RSL Open Cup play-in game

My story in the Tuesday paper concentrates on how the U.S. Open Cup looks from an MLS point of view after all these years of seeing it mostly from a USL point of view.

Meanwhile a quick preview of some of the basics:



7 p.m. Tuesday, Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila.

U.S. Open Cup play-in game.

TV: None. Radio: None.

Head-to-head: The Sounders beat RSL, 2-0, in the second game of the MLS regular season. The Sounders will visit Salt Lake on Aug. 8.

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Morales wins MLS player of the week (and I don’t)

Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales has been selected MLS player of the week for his role in RSL’s 6-0 weekend mauling of New England. Morales assisted the first two goals that started the rout.

(The reason I say I didn’t win is because this was my first week as a MLS Player of the Week voter. The honor comes through a media organization called the North American Soccer Reporters, of which I am now a member.

(We are allowed to cast two votes. My first went to Chris Pontius who assisted the tying goal and scored

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Open Cup mystery game on tap Tuesday night

The practiced at Starfire Sports Stadium this morning for their U.S. Open Cup play-in game there at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Real Salt Lake.

The game is sold out.

However, what the 4,000 or so fans will watch is anybody’s guess. Coach Sigi Schmid has said that he’s going to mix regulars with reserves, and he didn’t add much to that this morning.

“Obviously, we’re looking at some guys took some knocks,” he said. “We want to make sure that guys are ready who are playing tomorrow. So it’ll be a mix of some guys who

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Ljungberg bound for Sweden after death in family

The Sounders returned to practice this morning at Starfire Sports Complex. However, star midfielder Freddie Ljungber was not there, returning to Sweden instead after the death of his grandmother.

Ljungberg is expected to rejoin the team on Thursday. That means he will miss the U.S. Open Cup game Tuesday at Starfire, but should be back with his teammates before they leave Friday for their Saturday date in Chicago against the unbeaten Fire.

It seems unlikely that Ljungberg would have played in the Open Cup game anyway. Coach Sigi Schmid says he likes the Cup competition and wants his

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Postgame discussion: Sounders 2, Quakes 0

Sounders win, 2-0. (Here’s my game story.) Seattle moves to 4-2 on the season, and those 12 points keep them four points behind West-leading Chivas USA, who also won tonight.

Naturally, the Sounders were happy to end the two-game losing streak, and coach Sigi Schmid seemed pleased with the new-look lineup — especially

"It’s nice to get back on the wining track," he said. "I thought our team played very well at times. We moved the ball around, and I thought we created a number of opportunities in the first half. Steve Zakuani gave us a good boost starting on the left side. He was running at people and he was creating problems for people early on. … I though defensively we came up with plays when we had to. … And obviously, what can you say about Keller?"

Keller is 389 minutes into his MLS career and he hasn’t given up a goal yet. As the closing minutes played out Saturday, he passed Ronald Waterreus’ previous record of 375 scoreless minutes to start a season.

I asked him after if the record means anything to him.

"No. I just like the fact that we’re winning home games, and I stayed on the pitch this time, which was nice," he said, referring to his return from a red-card suspension. "(The record is) nice for the team, it’s nice for the club. I think we’ve been solid defensively, so it’s nice to have those little credits. But it’s not something for me, it’s something for the whole team."

Keller ended the night with five saves, four of those coming in the second half.

Looking ahead, Schmid said he would probably field a team mixed of regulars and reserves Tuesday for the US Open Cup play-in game against Real Salt Lake at Starfire. The Sounders return to league play next Saturday at Chicago, where the Fire is the only unbeaten team left in MLS.

Scoring Summary:
SEA — Steve Zakuani 2 (Tyrone Marshall 1, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 1) 42
SEA — Brad Evans 2 (Nate Jaqua 2, Steve Zakuani 2) 50

San Jose Earthquakes – Joe Cannon, Chris Leitch, Nick Garcia, Kelly Gray, Eric Denton,
Arturo Alvarez, Ramiro Corrales (Simon Elliott 46), Shea Salinas (Quincy Amarikwa 65), Bobby
Convey, Pablo Campos (Cam Weaver 77), Ryan Johnson.

Substitutes Not Used: Brandon McDonald, Jamil Roberts, Davide Somma, Andrew Weber.

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Ryan Johnson 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Ryan Johnson 4); FOULS: 13
(Quincy Amarikwa 4, Pablo Campos 4); OFFSIDES: 2 (Pablo Campos 1, Ryan Johnson 1);
CORNER KICKS: 4 (Arturo Alvarez 4); SAVES: 1 (Joe Cannon 1)

Seattle Sounders FC -Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall,
Nathan Sturgis, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Freddie Ljungberg (Roger Levesque 87), Steve
Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 67), Nate Jaqua, Fredy Montero (Sanna Nyassi 80).

Substitutes Not Used: Chris Eylander, Patrick Ianni, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (4 tied with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 8 (Osvaldo
Alonso 2); OFFSIDES: 2 (Nate Jaqua 1, Steve Zakuani 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Fredy Montero 4); SAVES: 5 (Kasey Keller 5)

Misconduct Summary:
SJ — Bobby Convey (caution; Reckless Foul) 4
SEA — Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Tackle) 30
SJ — Nick Garcia (caution; Reckless Tackle) 41

Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: -Rob Fereday; Hector Vergara
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Attendance: 28,838
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-52-degrees

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Saturday comes: Quakes at Sounders, 7:30 p.m.

The San Jose Earthquakes meet Sounders FC at 7:30 p.m. at Qwest Field. The game also will be shown live on KING 5.

Here’s my game preview from today’s paper, dealing mostly with the renewal of this historic rivalry. Here’s Quakes coverage from the Mercury News of Silicon Valley. (And here’s a link the the MLS site for scores and info on other games around the league.)

Here’s the injury list:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: FW Jarrod Smith (quadriceps strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Taylor Graham (left sesamoid fracture); MF Stephen King (L groin strain); MF Peter Vagenas (knee surgery); PROBABLE: DF Tyrone Marshall (R calf strain); MF Osvaldo Alonso (L quadriceps contusion) … SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: DF Jason Hernandez (L calf strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Kelly Gray (L calf strain); MF Shea Salinas (R hip strain); DF Ryan Cochrane (L ankle sprain); MF Darren Huckerby (R quadriceps strain)

And below are some itmes for those actually attending the game in person:

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