Sunday, March 10, 2013 @ 3:19pm
By John Zielonka
The Sounders host Tigres UNAL on Tuesday night in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals matchup. The Mexican League visitors hold a 1-0 lead in the two-game, aggregate goals series.
Shalrie Joseph (mlssoccer.com)
Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid will field another makeshift lineup with midfielder Shalrie Joseph and defender Adam Johansson still recuperating from their injuries.
Midfielder Steve Zakuani and midfielder/forward David Estrada participated in Sunday's training session at CenturyLink Field. According to Schmid, both will be evaluated on Monday to determine their playing status for Tuesday's match.
Sunday, March 3, 2013 @ 4:07pm
By John Zielonka
The Sounders lost 1-0 to the Montreal Impact before a drenched 38,998 fans at Century Link Field in Seattle.
Davy Arnaud scored the only goal in the 35th minute. Arnaud flicked the ball over Michael Gspuring after receiving an excellent pass from Felipe Martins.
DeAndre Yedlin (mlssoccer.com)
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid used a lineup that included rookie DeAndre Yedlin at right back to replace Adam Johansson. Mauro Rosales stepped in to play at forward behind striker Eddie Johnson. Marc Burch, Patrick Ianni, and newcomer Shalrie Joseph were some of the other significant injured from Saturday's match.
The Sounders had two golden opportunities to equalize in the second half. Midfielder Brad Evans and Johnson hit the post in the 66th and 80th minute, respectively.
Johnson accounted for six of Seattle's 15 shot attempts, of which three were on target. Montreal totalled nine total shots with five of those on goal.
The diminutive Yedlin is the Sounders' first homegrown player to start. The 19-year-old Seattle native made quite an impression with his deep runs from his right back position. Seattle may have found a versatile sparkplug who can play on offense and defense.
Man of the Match: Davy Arnaud
The Montreal captain notched the lone goal of the match to give the Impact a hard fought win in miserable conditions.
"Felipe timed the ball really well. I knew he saw me running and he played a great ball. I wasn't sure who was to my right but I figured I wouldn't have a lot of time so I had to hit it pretty fast after I took my first touch."--Davy Arnaud
"The guy in the middle was really free. I thought maybe he'd stop the ball or I have to do something to close the distance to him. The guy made a perfect goal I have to admit. He kicked it perfectly over me."--Michael Gspurning, Sounders FC 'keeper
Seattle's depleted lineup
"Leo [Gonzalez] has been playing left back for us, so [Marc] Burch being out, it wouldn't have changed our lineup. [Pat] Ianni being injured, [Adam] Johansson being injured, Estrada being injured, Neagle not being available. Those definitely affected things in terms of our lineup and our lineup choices."--Sigi Schmid, Sounders head coach
"Making your rookie debut is always a very emotional and fun night and thought he played really well. He was very cool and composed with the ball and he connected his passes. He really played to his strengths."--Andy Rose, Sounders FC midfielder
"He did well. He is a very confident player. He is one of those guys who just goes out and plays futbol. He is fearless and has fun when he is out there because he is playing with his friends."--Steve Zakuani, Sounders FC midfielder
"Obviously a loss is never the result you want, but it's good to get a game under my belt and see what it's like to play with the first team and get to start. It was definitely good for my experience."--DeAndre Yedlin
They said it
"It was lucky in this situation because you're going against a very good team. We also had two or three chances to make it 2-0 and we also hit the post. So that's the game and it was a little bit of luck to have here because Seattle is a good team. And when you have 40,000 in the stadium, it's not easy to play."--Marco Schallibaum, Impact head coach
"We got slapped in the face today and we have to go to work and pedal through it. Of course it's tough because it's the home opener and everybody is expecting to win - the fans, the players, everybody and then you lose. That's soccer and we just have to look ahead to the future."--Michael Gspurning
"At the end of the day I think we can play better, but hats off to Montreal. I thought they did a good job defensively. They made it tough. They compacted the middle. We didn't get wide enough, especially the left hand side in the first half. I thought it got a little bit better in the second. At the end of the game I thought we carried the game."--Sigi Schmid
Saturday, February 23, 2013 @ 1:36pm
The Sounders acquired midfielder Christian Tiffert after more than 280 appearances in Bundesliga on July 27, 2012. As recently as the 2010-2011 season in Germany, he led the league with 11 assists and notched two goals in 32 starts.
Based on those lofty credentials, Seattle applied the designated player tag to Tiffert. At the time of the signing, head coach Sigi Schmid lauded his newest acquisition.
"Christian is a player who fits this mold and brings a lot of experience from the top league in Germany," Schmid said. "His leadership and versatility make him a good fit for our club."
During his half-season in Seattle, he tallied four assists in 16 MLS appearances. This lack of production may have sealed his fate for the upcoming season. Tiffert is not training with the Sounders in Arizona.
In the meantime, Seattle obtained MLS veteran Shalrie Joseph and named him as the team's third designated player. According to general manager Adrian Hanauer, this was the only way to get the deal done.
With the departure of Fredy Montero to Colombia earlier this year, the Sounders were expected to utilize his DP slot for a striker.
Schmid and Hanauer are non-committal about Tiffert's status with the team.
"There are things that are being discussed in regards to Christian, and part of that is really a better question for Adrian [Hanauer] as to where that is," Schmid said on Friday. "He's not with us right now. He's training on his own there. He seems to be doing all right with the things that were bothering him at times. But now it's gone into maybe another phase that Adrian can address better than I."
"We realize that gives us three designated players between Mauro [Rosales], Christian [Tiffert) and Shalrie, but we also have two weeks left and we still have the ability to buy a player out if we decide to do that to open up a slot for a regular-salaried player or a designated player slot if that were something we decided to do," Hanauer said after the Sounders acquired Joseph on Feb. 19.
By parting company with Tiffert, the door is once again open to replace Montero with a big-name signing.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 @ 1:32pm
Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer shared his thoughts during a press conference on the acquisition of Shalrie Joseph and other potential moves.
Hanauer praised the 10-year MLS veteran Shalrie Joseph and his ability to play as a forward, midfielder and back.
"His [resume] kind of speaks for itself, but the things that we still like and that we felt would be particularly useful to our team is his versatility," Hanauer said. "He can play anywhere through the middle of the park. He's done well as a forward, he's obviously done extremely well as an attacking midfielder, he's done well in the holding midfield position, and he did okay at centerback."
The Sounders GM noted Joseph's capabilities as a leader on the pitch, experience and skills as a passer, vision and capabilities in the air.
There was speculation Seattle would use its last designated player slot to replace departed striker Fredy Montero. According to Hanauer, the Sounders needed to move quickly and that it was the only way to get the deal done.
"It was effectively the only way to get the deal done...Otherwise, we wouldn?t have done it," Hanauer said. "We realize that gives us three designated players between Mauro [Rosales], Christian [Tiffert) and Shalrie, but we also have two weeks left and we still have the ability to buy a player out if we decide to do that to open up a slot for a regular-salaried player or a designated player slot if that were something we decided to do. We rather have not absorbed the designated player slot, sure, but it was the only way to get the deal done."
Despite Joseph's arrival, the Sounders are leaving their options open for additional moves before the start of the season.
"I'd be lying if I said we're not also very interested in acquiring another forward. And I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a player who could potentially fill that designated player position, of which we?ve got three right now. That kind of gives you a heads up that we are considering all of our options over the next couple of weeks."
Saturday, February 2, 2013 @ 11:03am
by John Zielonka
Fredy Montero's departure back to his native Colombia to join the Millionarios left a huge gap at the forward position for the upcoming season. Montero accounted for 17 goals last year and 15 the year before in all competitions.
Sounders preseason training in Casa Grande, Arizona (SoundersFC.com)
Head coach Sigi Schmid does have several choices from the 2012 squad with returnees David Estrada and Sammy Ochoa. Seattle invited several young players to their preseason training camp to identify another potential double-digit scorer to complement striker Eddie Johnson.
In his Friday telephone press conference from Casa Grande, Arizona, the veteran head coach didn't exclude any alternatives, including signing another Designated Player.
"I think we have options with the returning players," Schmid said. "Obviously David Estrada and Sammy Ochoa are the ones who were with us last year, probably more prominent."
Schmid promised to continue his search and give everyone a long look to replace Montero.
"We're looking at different options," Schmid went on. "We haven't really looked at some of our other internal options, but we're still looking at possible DP options out there, as well. We haven't stopped searching for that, we feel in the near term we have enough quality to get by in that position, but there's certainly a lot of guys with opportunities to show themselves and show they've been playing better."
Sunday, January 6, 2013 @ 10:08am
by John Zielonka
Fredy Montero update
In the latest update on Fredy Montero's departure, Joshua Mayers from the Seattle Times was able to touch base with Helmuth Wennin, the Colombian's agent. Montero's representative indicated that conversations between the Sounders and Colombian side Millionarios were progressing. The loan deal could last a year rather then the previously reported six months.
The rationale for Montero's willingness to leave Seattle appears to be a desire to play in the Copa Liberadores. The South American club competition would provide a high-profile showcase for Montero.
Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans called up to U.S. Men's National Team
Forward Eddie Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans were selected to join 23 other players at the National Training Center in Carson, Calif. Traning begins on Monday and runs through Jan. 27.
Ex-Sounder defender Jeff Parke, who recently joined the Philadelphia Union, also made the squad.
The U.S. will play a friendly against Canada on Jan. 29.
Thursday, January 3, 2013 @ 2:56pm
By John Zielonka
The Seattle Times is reporting that forward Fredy Montero may be headed to Columbia to play with the Millionarios.
According to sources in the article, Montero is slated to play for the Colombia side on a six-month loan agreement. The deal needs to be signed off by MLS, which appears to be a fait accompli.
With the emergence of Eddie Johnson as the Sounders' primary scoring threat and Montero's struggles in the post-season, his days with Seattle appeared to be numbered.
Stay tuned for more news.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 @ 10:17am
My thoughts on what worked, what didn't in 2012 and what to expect next year.
- Forward Eddie Johnson re-emergence as a scorer was the best acquistion ever by the Sounders. He tallied 17 goals in all competitions, and became a sorely needed physcial presence in front of the nets. Johnson is my pick for the Sounders' Player of the Year.
- Keeper Michael Gspurning stepped into Kasey Keller's spot between the posts and proved to be more than an adequate replacement. The Austrian recorded 10 shutouts in MLS regular and post-season play. Seattle struggled when Gspurning was out for several matches, proving how valuable he was to the Sounders.
- The versatile Brad Evans played as a forward, midfielder and defender during 2012. In addition, he scored six goals and notched five assists in all competitions.
- Striker Fredy Montero scored double digit goals for the fourth year in a row. He tallied 17 goals and 11 assists.
- Osvaldo Alonso defined himself one of the top defensive MLS midfielders. He earned his second MLS All-Star selection in 2012 and was named the U.S Open Cup Player of the Tournament.
- Midfielder Mauro Rosales led the team with 15 assists and added three strikes in addition to his playmaking skills.
Misses, Near Misses and Question Marks
- The Sounders signed midfielder Christian Tiffert in late July. The German also earned one of the three Designated Player slots. He recorded a disappointing three assists in over 1200 minutes of play.
- The forward tandem of Johnson and Montero yielded phenomenal results during the regular season. Johnson appears interested to stay with the Sounders next year. The issue will be Seattle's willingness to pay Johnson DP-type wages and part company with Montero.
- Head coach Sigi Schmid managed to get his squad into the conference finals this season. He led the Sounders to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. Seattle's management team thought they had the talent to make it to the 2012 MLS Cup. Schmid will bear the brunt of criticism for another failed attempt at MLS' ultimate prize.
- Steve Zakuani returned from a horrendous injury he suffered in 2011. His recovery is remarkable, but he's still a work-in-process. Zakuani can no longer make his patented runs across the endline as he did before his injury. Despite limited minutes, he still managed to score twice and record one assist in 2012. Next year will reveal the true extent of his comeback.
- The injury bug and a full schedule of matches (MLS, US Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League and one friendly) led to numerous changes in the starting rotation. Several of the Sounders broke down and the number of games may have taken its toll on a squad that needed more depth to reach the MLS Cup finals. Will the Sounders invest in quality versus quantity in a squad that's deeper in talent?
- Rosales is the playmaking midfielder that makes things happen. The 31-year-old led the team in assists. When it counts the most--during last two playoff runs--Rosales was injured or on the bench. The answer may lie in managing his minutes with a capable replacement to ensure Rosales is fresh and available for the 2013 postseason.
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