Sounders Insider

Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene

Archives: Nov. 2009

Nov.
24th

Two Sounders coaches heading to Europe

The Sounders have announced that two members of their coaching staff will go overseas soon to observe techniques used by European clubs.

Fitness coach David Tenney will travel to Holland from Nov. 30 through Dec. 9, visiting with peers for Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven, and SC Heerenveen.

Goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra will be a guest of VfB Stuttgart and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim of the German Bundesliga from Dec. 4-16.

Nov.
24th

Sounders dominate executive awards

This just in from the Sounders:

The 2009 MLS Club Executive Award Winners were announced prior to the MLS Cup in Seattle last Sunday, and the Sounders FC was presented a total of eight individual and group awards by Commissioner Don Garber.

Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year: Gary Wright, Seattle Sounders FC
Community Relations Department of the Year presented by MLS W.O.R.K.S: Seattle Sounders FC
Operations Director of the Year: Bart Wiley, Seattle Sounders FC
Concessionaire/Merchandiser of the Year: Sue Harris, Seattle Sounders FC
Ticketing Executive of the Year: Chuck Arnold, Seattle Sounders FC

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Nov.
23rd

Sigi Schmid released from hospital

Here’s the news release from the club:

Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid was released from Bellevue’s Overlake Hospital on Monday. Schmid was hospitalized for four nights after being diagnosed with pneumonia. He had been admitted last Thursday night after experiencing difficulty breathing.

“I’d like to thank all of the friends and fans for their good wishes,” said Schmid. “I’m feeling much better and I plan to spend the holiday with family and be back in the office next week.”

Nov.
23rd

Riley, Le Toux unprotected by Sounders

PhillycrestmlsseaThe list is reprinted below.

On first glance, it seems to be a pretty typical starting lineup … with the notable exception of defender (and union rep) James Riley, who started 27 games. The Sounders decided to protect Patrick Ianni (10 starts) instead.

Riley must be used to this drill, as he went to San Jose in their expansion draft and then came to Seattle in the Sounders’ expansion draft.

Also unprotected — but less surprising — are former USL Sounders and fan favorites Sebastien Le Toux and Roget Levesque. Others who started games for the Sounders but are now available to Philly are Steven King, Sana Nyassi, Zach Scott, Nathan Sturgia and Peter Vagenas.

Here’s the protected list.

Seattle Sounders FC
Alonso, Osvaldo
Evans, Brad
Gonzalez, Leo
Hurtado, Jhon Kennedy
Ianni, Patrick
Jaqua, Nate
Keller, Kasey
Ljungberg, Freddie
Marshall, Tyrone
Montero, Fredy
Zakuani, Steve

This means the other players on the Sounders roster is available to the Philadelphia Union in the expansion draft on Wednesday. However, no more than one player can be taken.

Taking a quick look at the rest of the league, I thought it was interesting that the Houston Dynamo decided to protect reserve goalkeeper Tally Hall of Gig Harbor.

Here’s the MLS list of all protected players from all teams:

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Nov.
23rd

MLS’ 2010 season starts today

With the final whistle of MLS Cup last night came an unofficial beginning to the 2010 Major League Soccer season.

The first order of business comes today, when the 15 existing MLS teams must submit their lists of 11 players each who will be protected in the Philadelphia Union expansion draft on Wednesday.

However, looming over all other off-season issues is the renegotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement with the players. The current CBA expires on Jan. 21.

Commissioner Don Garber has said he is optimistic, while acknowledging that the agreement will be difficult.

Sounders FC player

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Nov.
22nd

MLS Cup might not return for a while … unless

Impressed as Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber was with the host city of MLS Cup 2009, he said Sunday that it is unlikely the game will return to Seattle anytime soon.

That is, unless Sounders FC plays its way into the host’s position.

Garber said Real Salt Lake’s penalty kicks win over Los Angeles at Qwest Field may have marked the final time that the MLS title game is played at a neutral site. The issue may not be decided for a couple of months, but Garber said the time may have come for the final game to be

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Nov.
22nd

Real Salt Lake wins MLS Cup on PKs

RSLIt took seven frames of penalty kicks, but Real Salt Lake — the No. 8 seed — is the MLS Cup champion.

The crowd of 46,011 was fourth-largest in MLS Cup history.

This was the first trophy won by the club that was formed in the expansion of 2005. And it came after a losing regular season (11-12-7) in which RSL won only twice away from home.

Yet in the playoffs, Real advanced with road wins at Columbus and Chicago (also on PKs). And then they clinched the championship on a neutral pitch when defender Robbie Russell scored in the seventh round of PKs.

“What we saw this year at certain points in the season, in certain games, we saw what we were capable of,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said. “We saw when we played our best soccer we were one of the best teams in the league. So now it’s nice to say we are the best team in the league.”

The two-time champion Galaxy entered the playoffs as the Western Conference’s top seed. In the final, L.A. scored first in regulation, and didn’t fall behind in penalty kicks until the game’s dramatic highpoint: MLS most valuable player Landon Donovan taking what might be his final kick in MLS and shanking it high over the crossbar.

“The penalty kick I hit like any penalty kick,” Donovan said. “I made sure (Rimando) was going the other way, and I closed my body — I just put it in the air. You know, it’s probably due to tired legs and not concentrating in that moment.”

Until then, Donovan had scored on 19 of 21 PKs in his nine-season MLS career. And since both of his previous misses came on saves, this represented the first time that he failed to put a penalty kick on goal.

“If it came down to penalty kicks we were confident going back from last week (when) we handled business in Chicago,” said RSL keeper Nick Rimando, who was voted most valuable player of MLS Cup. “But I really think we could have won this in regulation, we were that good in the second half.”

That seemed to be the consensus: LA controlled the first half, RSL the second half and added time.

Other reactions:

David Beckham: “I wouldn’t say that it is tougher to lose on penalties. It’s Russian roulette. It’s not a nice way to go out, but it’s the way it is in soccer.”

RLS midfielder Clint Mathis: “As a team, we are young and still growing. … We’re young and have a lot of promise and a lot of talent, and we all buy into the system that coach wants us to buy into. In two years, we took a team on the doormat and became champions.”

And a nice capper from Galaxy coach Bruce Arena: “I played here and lived here during the ‘70s, and professional soccer never should have left Seattle,” he said. “I think the Pacific Northwest is a fabulous geographic area for professional soccer. … I’m happy it’s back. They really embraced the season and the team, and it’s a fantastic story for MLS.”

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