Sounders Insider

Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene

Archives: Oct. 2012

Oct.
31st

No indication Sounders would blow up roster over another playoff failure against Real Salt Lake

Neither Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer nor coach Sigi Schmid indicated today that the Real Salt Lake series represents any kind of last chance for the current roster core to succeed in the playoffs.

As most every Sounders fan knows, for all the club’s achievements, it has never won a playoff series: being eliminated by Houston in 2009, Los Angeles in 2010, and Real Salt Lake in 2011.

So Hanauer and Schmid were asked today if a fourth straight first-round elimination might cause major roster turnover before their fifth MLS season.

Hanauer: “We will for sure try to improve out team – MLS Cup or non-playoff win. I think that you have to factor it in. But I don’t want to tie myself. We might play the best playoff series ever and lose, or we might play mediocre through the playoffs and win an MLS Cup. I want to make sure I’m balancing the result with the quality. Certainly, if these playoffs don’t go well for us, we will take that into account and try to figure out what’s going to change that in the future.”

Schmid: “Everything affects everything. What happens in this playoff series affects it, what Read more »

Oct.
31st

GM Hanauer looks back at “a very solid year”


Hanauer

I got a few minutes with Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer after the club’s training session today.

I’ll have more from that interview later, but here is his response to my opening question, which was simply a request for an overview of Sounders season four … so far.

“I thought it was a very solid year,” he said. “We got off to a great, great start, had a difficult period in the middle there – certainly when Michael (Gspurning) went down we dropped some points there. Got to an Open Cup final that we think we did enough to win. Qualified for CONCACAF quarterfinals extremely efficiently and effectively. Even on the last day with a couple of better bounces we (could have ended) up with the third-best record in the league. We would have liked to have won the Supporters Shield, but third-best record wouldn’t have been bad. I think we’re probably maybe the best seventh-place team there is. I guess we’ll get to prove that in this playoff series.

“Obviously, off the field Read more »

Oct.
31st

Sounders’ ticket sales to 30,500; no major EJ update

The Sounders are off the training pitch for another day.

Eddie Johnson did not train with the team, and coach Sigi Schmid indicated OK progress and a continuing day-by-day assessment of the injury. The club also clarified that the injury — which initially was referred to as a hamstring — is actually an adductor strain.

The club also reported 30,500 tickets sold for the playoff opener Friday against Real Salt Lake. The current seating configuration seats about 35,000 in the lower bowl, and there are no present plans to expand that.

Oct.
31st

Playoffs begin today: Dynamo at Fire, 6 p.m.

The MLS postseason begins tonight with the Houston Dynamo visiting the Chicago Fire for the single-elimination knockout match, which I think is a useful addition to the league’s playoff configuration.

First kick is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific time, and the game will be shown on ESPN2.

Here’s a preview from MLSsoccer.com.

And before the playoffs begin, here are 10 full-bracket predictions from the editors of the MLS site — including what strikes me as some pretty high thoughts of the Sounders’ chances.

Oct.
30th

RSL series “not about payback, it’s about advancing”

We’ve covered the Eddie Johnson situation in a post below, but that wasn’t all that was covered in the Sounders’ media session today.

Here’s more from coach Sigi Schmid:

On playing RSL again in the playoffs: “Well, when you’re in the same conference and you’re both good teams, you’re going to meet each other in the playoffs. It’s the second year in a row. We want it to be different result at the end of the day, for sure. For us, eventually if you want to win a championship you have to beat everybody along the way or hope that

Read more »

Oct.
30th

Johnson hamstring “not as bad as we thought;” Ochoa, Estrada, Zakuani, Rosales could fill in

Sounders forward Eddie Johnson didn’t train today, and he wasn’t made available to the media. However, coach Sigi Schmid said the hamstring injury wasn’t as bad as feared. He didn’t sound optimistic about Johnson playing Friday in the playoff opener against Real Salt Lake. However, he didn’t rule it out. And he said Johnson seems sure to be available for the second leg Nov. 8 at Salt Lake.

“It’s a slight tweak,” Schmid said. “It’s not as bad as we thought. We wanted to go easy with him today, and then we’ll see where he’s at tomorrow. But it’s slight.

Read more »

Oct.
30th

Sounders begin work looking ahead to RSL

The Sounders will return to training later on this rainy morning, and we should have news from that — perhaps especially an update on the condition of forward Eddie Johnson.

For now, these notes from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC will begin its run towards the 2012 MLS Cup on Friday night with the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals against Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

The match will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network, regionally on ROOT Spots and locally on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action. The match can also be heard live on 97.3 KIRO FM and in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM.

Thirty-four weeks of regular season play culminates on Friday night with the first of two Western Conference Semifinal matches against Real Salt Lake. The away leg of the series is on Thursday, November 8 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT.
Read more »

Oct.
29th

Sounders announce Friday broadcast information

This just in from the club:

The Seattle Sounders FC announced today that their Western Conference Semifinal match versus Real Salt Lake on Friday, November 2 will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), regionally on ROOT Sports and locally on KONG 6/16. The pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m. PT and kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

The match will be carried live exclusively on KONG 6/16 in the Seattle area and ROOT Sports in Eastern Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. NBCSN will air the Emmy® Award winning Sounders FC broadcast featuring Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller across the remainder of the country.

The match can also be heard live on 97.3 KIRO FM Read more »