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Kick Off: Sounders face Kitsap, coached by a "Sounder"

One of the most interesting US Open Cup third-round matches tonight will be the one between the Seattle Sounders and PDL side Kitsap Pumas. Read this Q&A with Pumas coach Peter Fewing, who believes the Sounders want to “throttle” his team and “they want it to be over in 12 minutes.” (10 p.m. ET, Starfire Complex)

Fewing also confirmed there’s been some trash talking from his Seattle counterpart Sigi Schmid: “Sigi and I talked after the New York game and he repeated back to me a couple of quotes: the $36,000 budget vs. the $3 million budget.”

But wait a minute. It also turns out that Fewing is employed by the Sounders. Believe it or not, the Kitsap coach works on the Sounders’ broadcast team and was spotted in a green-and-blue striped tie at a recent Seattle match. “It’s strange, no question,” he admits.”

That’s not a good enough storyline for you? Well, how about the fact that a former MLS No. 1 overall pick will be playing for Kitsap as well as the brother of Sounders defender Zach Scott. Find out more about the Pumas in this article.

The Chicago Fire travel to face the Rochester Rhinos and the USL Pro side’s manager ventures with a prediction ahead of the single-elimination match: “I’m predicting a close game.” (7:30 p.m. ET, Sahlen Stadium)

The Fire have two horses in this Open Cup race tonight. The Chicago Fire PDL side will attempt to put Sporting Kansas City backup goalkeeper Eric Kronberg to the test (8:30 p.m. ET, LIVESTRONG Sporting Park). Sporting say that Kronberg is “a guy that, down the road, is probably going to be our No. 1.”

The Columbus Crew also plan to field reserves, including US Gold Cup midfielder Robbie Rogers, backup goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum and the potential return of long-injured veteran Danny O’Rourke, who says “I’m going to be back 100 percent.” (7:30 p.m. ET, Columbus Crew Stadium)

Real Salt Lake manager Jason Kreis is less interested in the actual US Open Cup trophy and more focused on the fact that winning the tournament gives the club an automatic ticket to the CONCACAF Champions League: “We view this as the shortest route to get back into that tournament.”

RSL will host USL Pro team Wilmington Hammerheads tonight (9 p.m. ET, Rio Tinto Stadium). The coach of the minor-league club hopes that the emotion of playing in a beautiful stadium will deflect his players’ minds off the altitude. The Hammerheads will be traveling with only 15 players because of travel costs: “These tickets are pretty expensive.”

The New York Times says that US national team players Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream will most certainly be in the Red Bulls lineup for tonight’s US Open Cup match against FC New York (8 p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena). Ahead of his first RBNY appearance since the Gold Cup, Ream wants everyone to be clear: “It wasn’t one mistake that led to me not playing [in the Gold Cup] … Bob went with experience, I can’t blame him.”

Here’s the story of FC New York as told by the Wall Street Journal. Their president calls the Red Bulls “that other team from New Jersey” while their coach has a history against Thierry Henry in knockout cup competitions.

As FC Dallas prepare to host Orlando City tonight in the Open Cup (9 p.m. ET, Pizza Hut Park), the talk around the club surrounds two new trialists, a CONCACAF Gold Cup star signing — rumored to be one of the Panamanian forwards — and the contract extensions for some players nearing the end of their deals.

The late game will take place in Fullerton, Calif., when the Galaxy face USL Pro team L.A. Blues (10:30 p.m., Titan Stadium). Maybe this is not the match to predict an upset. At least not when Blues coach Charlie Naimo gives this line: “Right now I can't even think about having success against the Galaxy when we can't have success against a mid-table team in the USL Pro.”

Thanks to LA Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, we now know that we all have an “ulna” located somewhere in our forearms. The Jamaican’s ulna is broken, however.

The ink is still fresh on the deal between the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United to swap Dax McCarty and Dwayne De Rosario. The bottom line for D.C. United is that McCarty “had a little trouble adapting” to the DC way and played “below our expectations.” Meanwhile, DC manager Ben Olsen looks at De Rosario as “the real deal.”

With the only reaction from RBNY coming through a club statement, veteran New York writer Michael Lewis says the Red Bulls owe fans some answers after the DeRo trade, speculating that the club may be “ready to add a high-priced player, their third Designated Player.”

FoxSoccer.com’s Ives Galarcep also believes a move in the transfer market is likely given that the Red Bulls have to justify what they gave up for De Rosario, including two starters and a draft pick.

Expect the Vancouver Whitecaps to be active on the transfer market. President Bob Lenarduzzi says he wants to upgrade his squad, “even if it ends up being for next season.”

Meanwhile, American goalkeeper Brad Guzan could be on the move this summer. Reports from England indicate that the Aston Villa goalkeeper could be headed to the second division in a swap deal with Birmingham City.

US President Barack Obama showed off his soccer knowledge upon welcoming the Colorado Rapids to the White House yesterday. He compared himself to Lionel Messi and even had the inside scoop on an inspiring Kosuke Kimura speech the night before MLS Cup.

Watch out, Major League Baseball. Soccer’s continued rise in the US sports culture is evidenced by this report: “Nine of the 18 teams in Major League Soccer are outdrawing Major League Baseball teams in average attendance.”

When you think of the most successful sports brands in North America, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox may come to mind. But the Mexican national team just might prove just as big.

The US women’s national team will look to capture some of the national sports attention with a long run at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. They’re participation kicks off this afternoon with a match against none other than North Korea (noon ET, ESPN and Galavisión).

Did this MSNBC.com writer take it too far when he calls the Mexican fans that booed and disrespected the American flag during the Gold Cup final “salvajes” which translates to “savages.”

Here’s a side to Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei that you probably would have never guessed: He’s a graffiti artist on his downtime and hopes to have an exhibit of his work one day.

Lastly, it was bound to happen. An MLS supporters group has provided the inspiration for a 15-minute documentary produced by college film students which can be watched here. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Armchair Analyst: Formation shift ahead for New York Red Bulls?

Gold Cup commentary: US loss is the only way forward

Quakes decision to trade Brandon McDonald was purely a numbers game

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