Seattle Sounders FC and the Puget Sound soccer scene
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Sounders starters Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans were called in to join the U.S. national team for its final two World Cup qualifying matches. The call likely means the pair will miss the Sounders’ home match Wednesday against Vancouver and road match next Sunday at Portland.
Here is some of Johnson’s reaction:
“Whenever you get a chance to wear the U.S. jersey it’s an honor and a privilege and it’s something you don’t want to take for granted,” he said. “Myself and Brad Evans, it’s tough to leave our team here because at the startof the season we set goals as a team, and winning the Supporters Shield I’d be lying if I said that any franchise doesn’t set as one of their goals, and we’re in a race for it, and it’s a tough time to leave. But like I said previous times before when I’ve had to leave, if we’re going to leave we have to go get the job done on the national team. We’ve got two more World Cup qualifying games, and we want to win the group. That’s why Klinsmann called in a strong group, and I’ve very confident my teammates here back in Seattle that they can get the job done in the two games that we miss. We’ve got Clint coming back from injury, Oba’s there, Steve Zakuani is still pushing for his fitness and stuff. So we’ve got a strong team.We’re going to miss the Portland game, though. Those are the games we look forward to every year. But I know when I leave I’ve got to make sure if I’m leaving it’s going to be for a good cause. It’s one thing to get called into the national team, but if you’re going and you take it for granted and you’re not going to get anything out of it, you might as well not even go. I’m very blessed and very fortunate to have this opportunity again, and I’m going to make the most of it.”
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Sounders leading scorer Eddie Johnson and starting midfielder Brad Evans apparently will miss the Vancouver and Portland matches coming up over the next week after being called today to the U.S. national team. Designated player Clint Dempsey, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury, was not called.
Here’s the news from U.S. Soccer:
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in 20 players to begin preparations for the final matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycle. The U.S. closes out the Hexagonal with a home match against Jamaica on Oct. 11 in Kansas City, before completing the campaign on the road against Panama on Oct. 15 in Panama City.
The team will begin gathering Oct. 6 in Kansas City in advance of Friday’s match. Kickoff at sold-out Sporting Park is set for 5:30 p.m. CT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN, WatchESPN and UniMas. Four days later, the U.S. closes out the final round when it faces Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez (8:30 p.m. CT, beIN Sport). Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
Currently ranked No. 13 in FIFA’s world rankings, the United States holds a one point lead over Costa Rica at the top of the group and has the chance to finish in first place in CONCACAF qualifying for the third-consecutive cycle. The matches have huge implications for the rest of the participants, as only two of the three automatic berths from CONCACAF have already been determined. Honduras sits in third place on 11 points, while Mexico and Panama are even with eight points in the fourth position.
“We want to finish qualifying on a high note and prove a point in our region,” said Klinsmann. “We don’t view these games as the end of World Cup qualifying. For us, it’s the start of preparations for the World Cup, and therefore we have to continue to raise the bar. We have had such amazing support from our fans throughout the last two years, and we owe it to them to put our best foot forward.”
Jurgen Klinsmann Q & A
The U.S. will hold a public training session Oct. 9 at Sporting Park. The event is free and open to the public.
In front of a raucous capacity crowd of 24,584 on Sept.10 at Columbus Crew Stadium, the U.S. MNT defeated Mexico 2-0 to earn its berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. With the win, the U.S. set a new record for victories in a calendar year with 14, improving to 14-3-2 in 2013 and topping the previous record of 13 wins set in 2005 and 2009.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION –
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (6): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
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Alan Hinton (left) and Jimmy Gabriel (right) will serve as coaches
Tacoma, WA. – On Friday, October 25th, the Tacoma Soccer Center will host the 2nd Annual, “Northwest Soccer Legends Night,” for fans to retrigger fond memories of the top talent that graced the pitch in the Puget Sound. The night’s feature event will be an indoor match at 7:30pm, where two teams made up of past pros, will compete against each other. The two sides will be captained and coached by men who are both local
Riding a club record five-straight wins, the league-leading Seattle Sounders FC visits two-time defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy on Saturday night on NBC Sports Network. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Saturday’s match will be nationally televised on NBCSN with John Strong and Kyle Martino on the call. The match will also be available on 97.3 FM with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can be heard in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Sounders FC (15-8-4, 49 points) overtook the top spot in the race for the 2013 Supporters’ Shield with a decisive victory over conference rival Real Salt Lake last Friday. Obafemi Martins scored a goal and an assist to earn Player of the Week honors, Lamar Neagle scored in his third straight game and Michael Gspurning recorded his fourth shutout in the past five outings.
Seattle sits first overall for the first time since March 23, 2012. After spending 17 weeks outside of the playoff picture, Sounders FC catapulted to the top spot, taking 24 of the past 27 possible points. The No. 1 ranking is the highest position Seattle has held this late in a season, and the club is just the third team in league history to erase a 15-point deficit to gain first overall.
The Rave Green now shifts its focus to the Western Conference clash on Saturday night in Los Angeles. Already holders of the longest winning streak of the season at five games, Seattle could set the club record with a win against the Galaxy. A victory on Saturday would also mark the most road wins (6) in MLS this season.
The LA Galaxy (13-10-5, 44 points) sit fourth in the West after a 2-2 road draw against D.C. United on Saturday. The Galaxy attack is led by Robbie Keane, who has six goals and two assists in the past four games, and Landon Donovan, who is two goals from matching Jeff Cunningham’s league record of 134 career goals.
Los Angeles hosts Isidro Metapan on Wednesday night in CONCACAF Champions League play. The Galaxy currently sit second in Group 8 but has played just one game, winning 2-0 against Cartagines last month. Read more »
The United States defeated Mexico 2-0 tonight in a World Cup-qualifying match in Columbus, Ohio.
Later in the evening, Honduras and Panama played to a 2-2 draw, and the combination of results assured the USA’s place in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The first U.S. goal was scored on a header by Eddie Johnson. Landon Donovan set the final score later. Clint Dempsey missed a penalty kick in stoppage time.
Dempsey went all 90 minutes, and Johnson went 75 before taking a tumble and leaving the match after seeming to hit his head. That makes both seem unlikely for much/any duty Friday when Real Salt Lake comes to CenturyLink Field. RSL’s Kyle Beckerman also went the whole way.
Pregame: A few hours before the USA’s 5 p.m. PT meeting with Mexico tonight, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was asked what he thinks of the matchup.
“It’s an interesting game, especially with the turmoil in Mexico with the change of coaches and everything else,” he said. “How much is Tena going to change the lineup for them really becomes an interesting proposition. You don’t know exactly what they’re going to come at you with. Is he going to rely a little more on some of the players that played well for him in the Olympics. Is he going to give (Oribe) Peralta another run, is he going to try to play with Peralta and Chicharito up front. There’s a lot of question marks there.
“And for the U.S., they’ve got to replace a few players. So we’re hoping Beckerman is one of the guys that they use – that will be good for us as well. And I think he probably deserves a short right now and with Bradley out of there, because he had a good Gold Cup and he’s been playing well.
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We got a little time with general manager Adrian Hanauer after Sounders training today, and he confirmed the club will host an international friendly as part of its 18-game 2014 season-ticket package.
“We’re going to do an 18-game plan again – add a friendly,” he said. “We don’t have the name of the team yet. We’re working on it, but I’ve mentioned before these things come together, fall apart, come together, fall apart. But we like doing the friendlies. There’s some fans who don’t like friendlies. There are a lot of fans who do like the friendlies, I guess by …