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Seattle Sounders FC

31 July 2:25 de la tarde

Ever wonder what the days are like in the life of MLSers leading up to matches?

Well, now you can find out. Major League Soccer and NBC have announced a new, day-in-the-life series, MLS 36. The program – which follows in the footsteps of fellow NBC Sports Network series Fight Night 36, IndyCar 36 and NHL 36 – takes viewers behind the scenes for a player's 36 hours prior to kickoff.

San Jose Earthquakes star and golden-boot leading Chris Wondolowski wil be the first league player highlighted, when his preparation for the 2012 MLS All-Star Game will air on Sunday, August 5 at 9:30 pm ET on the NBC Sports Network. The second installment is set to air the following Friday, August 10 when Seattle's Fredy Montero's preparations are recorded ahead of the Sounders' World Football Challenge match vs. Chelsea on July 18.

Additional episodes and players of MLS 36 will be announced at a later date. Which player to the right would you want to see featured? Or, let us know who else you would want in the comments below.

31 July 12:45 de la tarde

La période des transferts internationaux estivale est terminée et de nombreux clubs en ont profité pour se renforcer. C’est le thème de notre émission Coup Franc cette semaine (à écouter ici), avec le menu suivant :
- Notre invité Eric Hassli parle de son transfert et de son rôle à Toronto, de son état de forme, de son style de jeu par rapport à celui de Danny Koevermans, évoque Vancouver à qui il est encore très attaché ainsi que de son amour de la liberté sur le terrain et en dehors.
- Les principaux transferts du mercato : quel est le meilleur coup ? Gros plan sur les arrivées les plus récentes : Tim Cahill (New York), Jerry Bengtson (New England), Frederico Higuain (Columbus), Christian Tiffert (Seattle), Sherjill MacDonald et Alvaro Fernandez (Chicago). Nous sommes curieux de connaître votre opinion à ce sujet !
- L’apport des joueurs du Honduras à la MLS : Najar, Espinoza et Bengtson éliminent l’Espagne aux jeux Olympiques, Bernardez et Chavez ont un rôle important dans la première place de San José, Houston est intouchable depuis l’arrivée de Garcia.
- La remontée de Philadelphie, contre New England (résumé vidéo) et au classement

L'émission Coup Franc est aussi disponible sur iTunes. Vous pouvez nous joindre par courriel (coup.franc@MLSsoccer.com) ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

27 July 12:49 de la tarde

The Seattle Sounders currently have three Designated Players under contract – Álvaro Fernández, Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales – but Germany is abuzz with the news that FC Kaiserslautern midfielder Christian Tiffert is on his way to the Pacific Northwest.

Rumors in recent weeks have linked Fernández with a move to Deportivo Cali in Colombia, and those rumblings are starting to make more sense as a DP slot would have to be cleared for Tiffert to be added to the Sounders roster.

That seems to be almost a certainty at this point, with agent Richard Motzkin confirming Tiffert's imminent arrival.

So who makes way for Tiffert? Will Fernández move on? Will Montero finally get a move to Europe? Is this the right move by Sigi Schmid?

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

25 July 2:07 de la tarde

The rumored deal that was set to send Seattle Sounders Designated Player Álvaro Fernández to Colombian side Deportivo Cali has fallen through.

That's the news according to this report in Colombian daily El Pais, which now claims that the club is looking elsewhere for attacking help.

Fernández addressed the situation only yesterday with the Seattle Times in this blog post.

25 July 1:09 de la tarde

On vient de dépasser la mi-saison et j’avais envie de voir à quel point les équipes en étaient par rapport au même stade l’an dernier. Le calendrier de la MLS étant ce qu’il est, j’ai d’abord réalisé un classement des 18 premières rencontres de chaque club (qui permet au passage de relativiser le classement actuel). Ensuite, je l’ai comparé avec le classement de leurs 18 premiers duels l’an dernier pour voir leurs progressions / régressions respectives. Même s’il faut prendre ces tableaux avec des pincettes, notamment en raison du déséquilibre entre les matchs joués à domicile et à l’extérieur, ils n’en demeurent pas moins des indicateurs très intéressants. À vous d’en tirer vos propres conclusions… N’hésitez pas à les partager !

CLASSEMENT 2012 APRÈS 18 MATCHS
    J Pts
1. San José 18 36
2. DC United 18 33
. Kansas City 18 33
4. Salt Lake 18 32
5. New York 18 31
6. Vancouver 18 30
7. Chicago 18 28
8. Seattle 18 27
9. Columbus 18 25
. Houston 18 25
11. Chivas USA 18 23
12. Colorado 18 22
. New England 18 22
14. LA Galaxy 18 20
. Philadelphie 18 20
16. Portland 18 19
17. Montréal 18 18
18. Dallas 18 15
19. Toronto 18 13
COMPARAISON 2012 / 2011 APRÈS 18 MATCHS
    J 2012 2011 Diff.
1. Vancouver 18 30 14 +16
2. San José 18 36 22 +14
3. Kansas City 18 33 22 +11
4. DC United 18 33 23 +10
5. Chicago 18 28 18 +10
6. New England 18 22 16 +6
7. New York 18 31 25 +6
8. Houston 18 25 20 +5
9. Chivas USA 18 23 21 +2
10. Salt Lake 18 32 31 +1
11. Seattle 18 27 28 -1
12. Colorado 18 22 23 -1
13. Columbus 18 25 27 -2
14. Portland 18 19 21 -2
15. Toronto 18 13 15 -2
16. Philadelphie 18 20 28 -8
17. LA Galaxy 18 20 34 -14
18. Dallas 18 15 34 -19
 
19 July 1:49 de la tarde

Una de las cosas que definitivamente tenía que ver en Seattle era la ya muy reconocida Marcha al Estadio o “March to the Match”, donde – con una banda de guerra al frente – los aficionados de Seattle Sounders hacen una ruidosa llegada al CenturyLink Field.

Para el partido ante Chelsea FC la fiesta no fue diferente. Los dejó con este video que es una pequeñísima prueba de la rumba que se arma antes del inicio de los partidos.

Un agradecimiento especial a la Barra Fuerza Verde por guiar a este extranjero de sus tradiciones y un detalle a resaltar: noten la seriedad de los hombres del Chelsea al segundo 11 de este video… no sé a ustedes, pero a mí se me hace que no esperaban que todo ese revuelo no fuera para ellos sino para los locales. Me gusta.

19 July 1:57 de la mañana

SEATTLE - The "Roger Levesque denouement" story will come sometime in the next couple of days. I'm not the one to write it - Levesque has a special place in Sounders lore, and it'll take someone who's steeped in said lore to do his story justice.

But as a neutral, and as a fan of the league, just know this: A life-long sub, a guy who was never the best player on the field at any point during his professional career, just got a standing ovation from 50,000 fans on a random Wednesday night in July. He hung around out there for 45 minutes afterward signing autographs, mingling with hoi polloi, and basically embodying everything about what must have been a wild trip.

Levesque, like so many other American kids, began playing before there was even a professional soccer league here in the States. He started his pro career bouncing between MLS and the lower divisions. And he finished it on a field surrounded by World Cup stars, European champions and teammates from 14 different countries while 50,000 people screamed his name back and forth.

It's been his own journey, but while watching it was hard not to think of how far we've all come.

Anyway, bon voyage, Roger. Thanks for the moment.

 

18 July 4:39 de la mañana

Es el jugador más representativo de Seattle Sounders en el medio del campo, y muchos dicen que incluso es el mejor jugador actualmente en la MLS.

Ese es Osvaldo Alonso.

Claro está que no lo es en todas las posiciones de la cancha, tal y como muestra este video, donde el estelar cubano es vencido en la portería por una pequeña jugadora de fútbol.

Zapatero a sus zapatos.

12 July 12:56 de la tarde

La finale de la Coupe des États-Unis, programmée de longue date à Kansas City, opposera le Sporting local à Seattle, triple tenant du titre. L’affiche rêvée !

Lors des demi-finales programmées ce mercredi, Kansas City s’est imposé 0-2 à Philadelphie, vengeant le cinglant 4-0 concédé en championnat il y a quelques semaines, alors que Seattle a confirmé son retour en forme en battant Chivas USA 4-1. Mais Sigi Schmid ne sera heureux qu’en cas de victoire lors de la finale, le 8 août. Rappelons que le vainqueur décrochera aussi un ticket pour la Ligue des champions 2013-2014.

La journée a également été très animée du côté nord de la frontière. On a commencé par des transferts : Davide Chiumiento quitte Vancouver pour le FC Zurich, Justin Braun rejoint Salt Lake et quitte Montréal qui s’est renforcé avec l’arrière gauche suisse Dennis Iapichino, alors que Toronto se sépare de Nick Soolsma et prête Joao Plata.

En soirée, le duel entre les Ontariens et leurs compatriotes du Pacifique a eu des allures de feu d’artifice (résumé vidéo complet). Le marquoir indiquait 2-1 à la fin du temps réglementaire, avant que Mattocks n’égalise de la tête suite à une détente digne de la NBA. Mais tard dans les arrêts de jeu, Dunfield a offert les trois points au TFC.

01 July 6:21 de la tarde

There's like a 99 percent chance that, if you're reading this blog post, you also watched the 2012 European Championship final between Spain and Italy.

It was awesome. Even if you had no rooting interest (full disclosure: I'm a quarter Italian, but was pulling for Spain), it's hard not to get caught up when the stakes are that high and the quality of soccer on display matches it.

And it just kills me that CONCACAF and CONMEBOL can't figure out a way to get a "Copa Américas" up and running every four years, starting immediately after the Euros. What an incredible opportunity the two confederations are missing.

Hopefully someday, they'll figure it out.

Anyway, only one real observation this week...

Scoring keeps going up and up and up

You should be reading Andrew Wiebe's Opta Spotlight every week. This past week's edition was especially good. Click me!

OK, now that you've read it, you know that teams are passing more, passing more accurately, passing more aggressively, and as a result (we assume), scoring more. Before this week scoring was already up 12 percent over last season's pace. That will have gone up some more, since in Week 17's 10-game slate there were 34 total goals.

And it's not just a blip. Since the end of the international break, MLS clubs have produced 100 goals in 33 games (thanks to Greg Lalas for that little tidbit).

It's the reversal of a 10-year trend. Back in 2001 MLS averaged 3.28 goals per game; by 2010, that was down to 2.46. Here's the whole table:

2011 -- 2.58
2010 -- 2.46

2009 -- 2.54
2008 -- 2.81
2007 -- 2.66
2006 -- 2.62
2005 -- 2.87
2004 -- 2.61
2003 -- 2.89
2002 -- 3.01
2001 -- 3.28
2000 -- 3.19
1999 -- 2.86
1998 -- 3.57*
1997 -- 3.26
1996 -- 3.37

The key thing here isn't just that MLS have imported guys like Thierry Henry (one of the league's elite finishers) and David Beckham (one of the league's elite chance creators). The league's also kept guys like Dwayne De Rosario and Brad Davis, who've both had overseas interest; they've developed highly rated talents like Chris Pontius and Will Bruin, who've both been given plenty of time to figure out where the net is; and, of course, used the Reserve League to help build Chris Wondolowski, who's turning into one of MLS' all-time greats.

It's a multi-faceted approach to finding and cultivating talent, and the numbers say it's working.

* For those of you who don't remember 1998 for one reason or another ... yes, that season was as crazy as the numbers indicate. Go find some YouTube clips of that year's Galaxy squad — it'll be worth your time.