Thoughts on Sounders over RSL

Alright, I am on my third viewing of last night’s game. I was there in person with my wife and friends last night, and now am on my second viewing from the DVR (hey, I took the week off of work, can you think of a better way to spend my time?)

  1. Goose is the most important (relatively speaking) unsung hero of the Sounders squad. Aside from his goal last night (the only of his for the season,) the work he does in the midfield and defensively is astounding.
  2. Ruidiaz reminded me of Dempsey last night, “trying to do shit.” The bicycle kick, his attempts to ball control around defenders, etc. While he has yet to match Clint’s success for the club in that manner, Raul is much more active in tracking back and defending. Dempsey would come back to get passes and enable us to move forward, but rarely for extended periods of defending.
  3. So impressed with the squad stamina after all their minutes. Jordan was the most clearly gassed member, leading to his sub; but the stamina of the team was fantastic.
  4. Schmetz spoke in the postgame conference about how the plan had been for the Sounders to hold possession and… that didn’t happen. Hearing that that was the gameplan, and no acknowledgement of a change in strategy makes me question the strategic acumen despite our W.
  5. Rimando is truly one of the legends of the league. I won’t miss getting Rimando’ed. Without him, it feels like the Sounders could have won 6 – 0 last night.
  6. The Sounders defensive lineup were very solid last night, RSL never truly challenged and when they did our CBs did an excellent job of controlling it. Frei only made one save all night.
  7. The people trying to talk down the seriousness of the Luiz Everton tackle are crazy. That was a cleats up tackle that deserves more than just the red card he got in the game.
  8. Leerdam had a stellar game. Offensively, defensively, he was solid.
  9. Lodeiro was also playing fantastic last night. When he plays at that level it lifts the entire squad.
  10. Last night convinced me that we can win the cup so long as this is the team that shows up for the next two games, regardless of who we face. But I certainly hope it is the Galaxy and then Atlanta.
  11. That said, Schmetz, in his postgame interview talked about how the strategy was to hold possession — and yet the game turned out that we only had 40% of possession in the game. That makes me question Schmetz as the tactical leader for the club given how successful the counterattack strategy proved.

My awards for the night:

  • Player of the game — Gustav Svensson
  • Goal of the game — Gustav Svensson’s header
  • Worst miss of the game — Jordy Delem wasting the pass from Cristian Roldan

2019 – 2020 Premier League Table Predictions

Alright, time to make my silly predictions for the upcoming Premier League so we can all look back at them at the end of the season and laugh at how dumb I was.

What the table will look like when the season ends:

  1. Manchester City
  2. Liverpool
  3. Tottenham
  4. Chelsea
  5. Manchester United
  6. Arsenal
  7. Wolverhampton
  8. West Ham
  9. Everton
  10. Leicester City
  11. Crystal Palace
  12. Watford
  13. Southampton
  14. Newcastle
  15. Aston Villa
  16. Bournemouth
  17. Burnley
  18. Brighton
  19. Sheffield United
  20. Norwich City

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Around the Sound — July 28

This post is me picking back up something I’ve done once or twice before. Around the Sound is a wrap-up of the soccer that took place around Seattle, Tacoma, and the region this week.

In this update we talk about MLS, NWSL, USL, CONIFA and EPLWA. That’s right, all of this happened around the Sound or to teams from around here. Not every result went the Sound’s way but this was an excellent weekend for soccer around the Sound.

Sounders earn an ugly road win in Houston

Image from @SoundersFC on Twitter

Winning on a contentious Jordan Morris goal, Sounders earn three important points

After their disappointing loss at home against their rivals last week this win is a welcome result. Especially considering they were still a squad missing a number of starters (Ruidiaz, Rodriguez, Svensson, and Leerdam.) It was far from an example of a beautiful game, but it was one that Sounders fans have come to understand their team can earn wins in. The standout performance for me was Danny Leyva, in his third start for the club.

As mentioned, not everyone was happy with Jordan’s goal. AJ Delagarza, Houston defender, clapped back at Steve Zakuani, Sounders commentator (and retired player) who criticized Delagarza’s defending on the play after the match:

Further reading: MLS Recap, Sounders Recap, Dynamo Recap, SounderatHeart, Seattle Times

Closing Notes:

  • Niko Moreno has confirmed a report of the Sounders pursuing Malaga’s Argentinean midfielder Emanuel Cecchini. Here’s the article on Sounder at Heart.
  • ECS & TA jointly decry MLS and clubs trying to stop the use of the Iron Front flag in their supporter sections. Here is the ECS statement.
  • Next match: Sunday, vs. Sporting KC, 7pm Pacific

Reign suffer first home loss of the season, 0 – 4 against visiting Red Stars

Image from @NWSL on Twitter

Reign FC set a new attendance record with 7,479 turning out to welcome World Cup players back.

The Reign were completely outplayed in the midfield, and the final third… and their third. It wasn’t a good game. It felt very much like a match where the Reign needed Jess Fishlock to counter Chicago’s Julie Ertz. It was a disappointing result for the much hyped return match, we can only hope the electric atmosphere draws many of today’s attendees back for their next home game vs. Portland Thorns (on August 7.)

Further Reading: NWSL Recap, Reign FC Recap, Red Stars Recap, SounderatHeart Game thread

Closing Notes

  • Megan Rapinoe was unable to play in today’s loss, the club and fans will be eager for her return. Note that the US Women’s team play Ireland on Aug. 3, just 4 days before the Reign match against the Thorns.
  • This tifo from the Reign supporter group, the Royal Guard, is excellent.
  • Next match: @ Houston Dash, Aug. 2, 4pm Pacific.

Defiance fall to visiting OKC Energy 0 – 2

Image from Tacoma Defiance Facebook

Two second half goals, including one in the final minutes of the match from ex-MLS player Atiba Harris, sink the Tacoma Defiance at home. The Defiance have had a difficult season, with wins remaining elusive. As the Sounders development squad it is important to remember the fact that wins are not as important as they are for other clubs, however the club and the Rainiers have to be hoping for the club to improve moving forward.

Further reading: SounderatHeart recap

Closing Notes

  • Defiance defender Denso Ulysse has been called up to the U‑23 Haitian squad
  • The USL site lists OKC as the winner, but their first paragraph refers to the hosts winning. Whoops.
  • Next match: vs. Orange County, August 9, 7pm Pacific

Washington Premier Win 2nd Straight EPLWA Championship

EPLWA - Washington Premier FC
Image from @EPLWA Twitter

90th Minute Goal Earns Washington Premier 1 – 0 Victory

EPLWA is part of USASA which is an amateur division of America’s soccer pyramid. The league has existed since 2014 and this season they had ten teams participating in the league. Today, Bellingham United fought to keep Washington Premier from their second straight championship.

It was Washington’s Alex Whiting who scored the winning goal off of a mistake by Bellingham’s keeper Hector Gutierrez. Bellingham thought they had their answer minutes later, but it was called offside.

Cascadia defeats Darfur United 8 – 1

You can tell I took this picture on my phone because it’s horrible

First CONIFA match played on North America.

CONIFA is a soccer federation outside the FIFA structure, so this was a friendly between two regional CONIFA squads. Cascadia proved the far superior side, which wasn’t altogether unexpected as they have ex-MLS player James Riley, as well as Ex-Kitsap Pumas player Hamza Hadaddi who netted a hattrick in the match. Darfur United is a team composed entirely of Darfur refugees living in the US.

I love attending these sorts of matches. It was a small local match with less than a hundred people in attendance, but it didn’t have players rolling on the ground or diving. It was about playing the friendly.

Check out this photo gallery on ProstAmerika.com.

My Top 3 Sounders Goals Ever

I tweeted this but I figured, since I have this blog and I haven’t used it much lately, I should expand on my thoughts concerning the three greatest Sounders goals ever — one of which happened today.

1. Djimi Traore

Mar. 13, 2013 — In 2013, Djimi Traore, most well known from his stint as part of Liverpool’s 2004 – 2005 Champion’s League winning squad, though he arrived in Seattle by way of France’s Marseille. As a new member of the squad’s backline, alongside Deandre Yedlin, club legend Zac Scott, as well as Leo Gonzalez.

During the 2013 season, Seattle participated for the Concacaf Champions League. In the quarterfinals, they faced the Mexican side, Tigres. They lost 1 – 0 when they played in Mexico, so when they hosted the club they had to win by at least 2 goals or else risk losing due to the away goals tiebreaker if Tigres managed to score in Seattle, which they did.

This goal took the Sounders to 2 – 1 in their game, putting them within striking distance of advancing past Tigres, moving on to the Concacaf Semifinals, making their best showing in the tournament ever.

2. Obafemi Martins vs. San Jose

May 17, 2014 — In 2014, the Seattle Sounders would go on to win the Supporter’s Shield for the first and, to date, only time this season. It was this season that Sounders fans were first treated to a complete season of the Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey duo, well, mostly full season. Clint doesn’t feature in the clip you’re about to see, but Obafemi Martins certainly does.

Obafemi Martins is a journeyman soccer player, having played in leagues from Italy to England, Germany to Spain, all before coming to Seattle to be the front man for the Sounders. He’s an incredibly talented player who is quite beloved still by Sounders fans, having just been selected as a member of the teams’ Best XI ever. He left the Sounders in 2015, wooed by the lure of money and a new challenge, heading off to play in the Chinese Super League.

With Oba fone, this goal remains as a wonderful example of the magic Oba was capable of while wearing the rave green. And cherish, as we all do, the look on the poor keeper’s face after Oba’s wonder goal.

3. Raul Ruidiaz vs. Atlanta United

July 14, 2019 — In 2018, the Sounders signed Peruvian national Raul Ruidiaz from Mexico’s side Morelia. Raul has proven himself a lethal offensive weapon, having after this game scored 17 goals in just 22 appearances. Raul has quickly earned himself a seat among the most elite scorers in Sounders history.

Raul’s goal here is a magical goal, earning accolades from around the league and leaving many wondering if it might be a contender for the goal of the year in MLS. I’m not sure if it is that good, but it certainly has a chance for the series of touches Raul was able to pull off in his second season with the club.

MLS Power Rankings — Week 8

The Leaders

1. Los Angeles FC

Change: +0 — Form: WLWWW
LAFC are not infallible, as proven by the unusual loss in Vancouver. But playing Seattle they showed themselves to be the unquestionable best team. They showed just how beatable a shorthanded Seattle can be.

2. LA Galaxy

Change: +3 — Form: WWWWW
They defeated the other remaining undefeated team to get their fifth win in a row. Zlatan receiving key to the city and a four movie deal.

3. Seattle Sounders FC

Change: ‑1 — Form: LWWDW
The last standing undefeated team lost in dramatic fashion and one which leaves many Sounders fans unsure if their run was an entire fluke. It wasn’t, but the team does have to have some hard conversations in preparation for the week with two more games.

4. DC United

Change: ‑1 — Form: LWDLW
NYCFC took the lead and never looked in danger. Just a bump in the road though and they will be back to


The Pack

5. Toronto FC

Change: +1 — Form: WLDWW
Toronto picked up the win over Minnesota, perhaps not expecting to give up 3 on the way but a win is still a win.

6. Houston Dynamo

Change: ‑2 — Form: LWWWW
Houston got their first loss of the season at the hands of the Galaxy, though I think it is only a minor setback for Cabrera’s crew.

7. FC Dallas

Change: +2 — Form: WWLWW
Dallas got a win on the road, even in Atlanta. Glad to see the Dallas of old has returned after their slow start.

8. Columbus Crew

Change: +0 — Form: LLWWL
I find great cosmic balance as Portland beats Porter. Caleb couldn’t have been happy with how his squad played.

9. Minnesota United

Change: +1 — Form: LDWLL
Minnesota lost but advanced a spot due to the greater table shifting. We will see if they stay in the top ten or begin to fall again.

10. Philadelphia Union

Change: +1 — Form: WLWWW
Philly has 12 points out of their past 5 games. Next they travel to Vancouver and must face what has proven a bit of a fortress thus far this season.

11. Sporting KC

Change: ‑4 — Form: LDDWD
SKC and Peter Vermes must be losing sleep. They have six points from their past five games, but the good news is New England are coming to town. Should be a game they are heavily favored for.

12. Atlanta United

Change: +0 — Form: LWLDD
A loss at home is getting to be old hat. Atlanta has to figure their shit out.


The Chase

13. FC Cincinnati

Change: +0 — Form: LLDLW
A loss at home against RSL and next week they travel to New York Red Bulls, given how this season has gone that could be good news for them.

14. Chicago Fire

Change: +3 — Form: WDDWL
Chicago win 4 – 1 over Colorado and look quite solid.

15. Montréal Impact

Change: ‑1 — Form: LWDLW
Seven points in their last fifteen, Montréal really need Piatti to come back. Soon.

16. NYCFC

Change: +2 — Form: WDLLD
NYCFC finally notch their first win of the season, and it’s on the road over the powerhouse DC United. That has to feel good.

17. New York Red Bulls

Change: ‑2 — Form: LDLLL
What is going on with the Red Bulls? Even if the rumors are true of Henry returning to help the club, I’m not convinced that can really turn the ship around on their own.

18. Real Salt Lake

Change: +0 — Form: WWLLL
Two wins in a row! Mike Petke gets a win on the road and has to feel he might finally have the animal under his control.

19. Orlando City

Change: +0 — Form: WLWLW
Their third win and it comes again at 1 – 0, can Orlando’s defense stiffen further and more than that can Orlando start scoring more goal?

20. Vancouver Whitecaps

Change: +1 — Form: LDLDL
Two points in five games. Vancouver needs a fucking win. Or a fucking change. One of these two things. Still.


The Basement

21. San Jose Earthquakes

Change: +1 — Form: WLWLL
What was that team which hung four goals on SKC? Will they show up in Seattle this week? I sure hope not.

22. Portland Timbers

Change: +2 — Form: WLLLL
Congratulations to Portland, with that win they leave Colorado as the only winless team left in the league.

23. New England Revolution

Change: +0 — Form: WLLWL
New England got their second win, let’s see if they keep it going.

24. Colorado Rapids

Change: ‑3 — Form: LLLLL
Welcome to last place. Again. Colorado, you need an intervention and I feel for the team’s fans.