Kick Off: History is not on Seattle's side vs. Santos
Should the Seattle Sounders advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semis and oust Mexican side Santos Laguna in their second leg quarterfinal later tonight (8 pm ET, Fox Soccer and TeleFutura), the feat would be nothing short of historic.
Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times has dug up the numbers: Only once has an MLS team won a home-and-home series against a Mexican side in official competition (Kansas City in 2002) and it came against Santos Laguna.
The Sounders are a confident bunch heading into this one. Veteran midfielder Brad Evans says “the culture has changed” at the club and the players are not fazed by playing in Mexico: “We’ve seen what these games bring, what these [Mexican] fans bring, the hotels, travel, it’s become a habit. It just becomes natural.”
But all of MLS will take notice at what Evans says about Santos Laguna in this article: “This is the best team we’re going to face all year.” Seattle are yet to face an MLS team in official competition this year.
Seattle’s Fredy Montero told the Mexican press what he feels the Sounders need to do to advance: “They’re the leaders in Mexico and they’re going to come out to win. … We need to score a goal here.” (SPANISH)
The story of the other CONCACAF quarterfinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and Toronto FC is fatigue (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer and TeleFutura). The LA Galaxy played their MLS opener on Saturday while Toronto FC had the weekend off.
The situation has proven a lesson to LA manager Bruce Arena: "In the future, I'm going to take much more responsibility in scheduling," Arena said on Tuesday. "We're not going to put ourselves in this position again."
TFC Designated Player Danny Koevermans is not fooled by LA’s 3-1 loss against Real Salt Lake over the weekend: “They shouldn’t have lost the game against Salt Lake and we know that.” (VIDEO)
Toronto FC get Nick Soolsma and Julian de Guzman back from suspension ahead of tonight’s decisive showdown and De Guzman told TorontoFC TV his team will be ready: “When it comes down to the moment, we tend to step it up. … We’re coming into this game as the underdogs. … As long as we’re stable with our organization, I don’t see why we wouldn’t come away with a positive result.” (VIDEO)
As of last night tickets were still available for the LA-TFC match at The Home Depot Center, which will be limited to 7,500 due to campus restrictions. This article also contains video interviews with LA veteran left back Todd Dunivant, midfielder Juninho, captain Landon Donovan and manager Bruce Arena. (VIDEO)
No contest. The CCL defending champions Monterrey have advanced to the semifinals of the latest edition of the tournament after a 4-1 win in last night’s second leg for a 7-2 aggregate victory. Watch the highlights here. (VIDEO)
Big news out of New England and we’re not talking about the arrival of Pepe Moreno. In this lengthy interview with The MLS Reserves, Revolution president Brian Bilello says the following about the club’s push for a soccer stadium: “I’m hoping in the next 60 days we might be able to talk about that. We feel good about the direction it's heading.”
San Jose Earthquakes manager Frank Yallop doesn't like the direction officials are taking with respect to his forward Steven Lenhart: "They've got to learn the way he goes about it," Yallop said. "He's getting a little bit of a raw deal. … We're asking him to be aggressive and strong but he's not dirty.”
New FC Dallas forward Luis Perea didn’t waste much time in getting to work, scoring a goal and notching an assist in his new club’s Reserve League match victory against Real Salt Lake last night. This blog dug up some highlights of the new Dallas signing. (VIDEO)
In this article, Perea explains how the FCD deal came down, the differences between MLS and the South American scene and, more importantly, how he wants “to score a lot of goals.”
They’re expecting a lot of people at Olympic Stadium in Montreal for the Impact’s first ever MLS home game on Saturday against the Chicago Fire. So much so, that that they’ve added another 2,000 seats to make sure they break the all-time record for soccer in the city.
Yesterday, Columbus Crew manager Robert Warzycha forced his squad to watch video of the poor display in a 2-0 loss at Colorado. It was a rough time for rookie Ethan Finlay: “You’re like, ‘Oh no,’ and you don’t want to be looking, but it’s good.”
It was a good day for American midfielder Robbie Rogers, who made an appearance again for Leeds United after recovering from a concussion. He scored a goal in an exhibition match and reports say he’s back in contention for a spot on the gameday squad.
Look who else might be making a comeback: FC Dallas playmaker David Ferreira. Here’s what Schellas Hyndman had to say about his status: “Talking to David and talking to the trainers, major improvement, 50 or 60 percent from last week, so we’re hoping that [Saturday vs. Portland] will be the game he will be able to come back to.”
In addition to the CONCACAF Champions League matches tonight, the UEFA Champions League rounds out its quarterfinalists with a highly anticipated match between Napoli and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (3:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer) and Real Madrid’s expected qualification at the expense of CSKA Moscow (3:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes).
In off-the-field news, a state assemblyman in California is introducing a bill that would create a published list of fans convicted of felonies at sports arenas. These “fans” would be banned from attending professional sporting events, including soccer, for up to five years.
The son of US legend John Harkes has announced the college where he will continue his soccer career. It’s not the University of Virginia.
Read this story about a Sporting Kansas City season ticket holder who got the chance to play against his beloved club at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park just days after cheering them on against D.C. United: “I have dreamed about playing here as a professional, but I never thought I would get a chance like this. It was great.”
Worth noting that two MLS owners made this year’s influential list of Sports Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Find out the names here.
Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni is a huge presence on the field for his team. Off the field? He’s seven stories tall (check out this photo).
Lastly, a report from Italy indicates that Mickey, Minnie and Donald Duck may soon have their own soccer team to call their own if this deal between Disney and AS Roma goes down. (ITALIAN)
RSL’s Jason Kreis and Portland’s John Spencer on the latest episode of ExtraTime Radio
Vote now among the five candidates for AT&T MLS Goal of the Week
Watch: FC Dallas’ Break Shea heads to the salon for a new hairdo