Kick Off: Seattle go to Mexico with long memories

Time to get your CONCACAF Champions League groove on again.

The Seattle Sounders are in Mexico on Tuesday to face defending champions Monterrey (8 pm ET, FOX Soccer). Remember Seattle’s trip to Mexico last year? Yeah, so do the Sounders.

But can Sigi Schmid’s side mimic FC Dallas’ historic win south of the Rio Grande without a full-strength squad? He seems to think so.

The Colorado Rapids are also in action tonight, taking on Honduran side Real España in San Pedro Sula (10 pm ET, FOX Soccer). Their Group B opponents say they know what to expect: “a very North American and English football … very vertical.” (SPANISH)

Real España expect to have former LA Galaxy striker Carlos Pavón back in the lineup, while the Rapids are going down to Central America without more than a few regulars.

For both Seattle and Colorado, a draw on the road in CCL will suffice. But what of all the draws in MLS? For one veteran soccer writer, the many ties — 38 percent of regular-season games have finished level — are cause for concern and possibly action by the league.

The league is not taking any action to stop George John’s move to Blackburn. MLS and FCD allowed the FC Dallas center back to fly to Greece to complete some citizenship paperwork, saying, we “can’t stand in his way.”

Something is blocking Real Salt Lake, who lost to Houston on Alex Dixon’s last-second goal. Striker Fabián Espíndola knows why: the absence of Javier Morales. (SPANISH)

The Revolution have recently been filling absences with new players. First, DP Milton Caraglio arrived from Argentina — and scored a couple of goals — now a Moroccan winger has signed from a club in Greece.

Still plenty of chatter about NBC’s MLS promo during Sunday Night Football. As one commentator put it: “If you're wondering why MLS fans were so excited about NBC buying their league's broadcast rights, look no further than here.”

LA’s newest sports power couple, Robbie and Claudine Keane, might be getting lots of ink these days, but the “Beckham” name still reigns. And we’re not talking about Galaxy midfielder David Beckham. His recently born daughter was the second-most Googled celebrity this summer.

American soccer fans have been Googling Jozy Altidore in the wake of his brace for AZ. The US striker already has a predictable theme song at the AFAS Stadium. (DUTCH)

Speaking of Yanks abroad, goalkeeper Brad Friedel extended his incredible playing record to 276 consecutive matches and joined a unique “ageless” club when he started for Tottenham Hotspur in yesterday’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United.

Robbie Findley is still looking to begin a streak of some kind, and it could get going today. He looks set to start today when Nottingham Forest clash with Wycombe Wanderers in the second round of the Carling Cup.

For those who need some afternoon TV watching, the UEFA Champions League is on as some of the second legs of the playoff round take place. The biggest match of the day is FC Zürich-Bayern Munich (2:45 pm ET, FOX Soccer). Bayern hold a 2-0 aggregate lead. Elsewhere, Giuseppe Rossi and Villarreal will try to overturn a 1-0 deficit when they host Danish club Odense in Spain.

Finally, if you haven’t heard Houston radio announcer Jonathan Yardley’s goal call, do it now. Classic.

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