The 2011 Seattle Sounders season is officially in the books. I should feel sad. I certainly did on Wednesday when the Sounders came just a Tony Beltran head away from an epic comeback (more highlights and photos for those that want to relive the battle). Yet, just a day later, I'm feeling pretty darn good about things.
The Sounders went out swinging against one of the best MLS teams of the last decade (2000-2010). They put their fat finger print on the history books with a third Open Cup victory and the most all-competition wins in a single season. CONCACAF Champions league (CCL) group stages are just around the corner and the Sounders have the solid, young core of players needed to punch the first U.S. ticket to the Club World Cup.
Folks before you settle into the usual mid-winter Seattle gloom-and-doom just imagine the alternatives:
- You could be on the phone trying to convince some D.C. politicians to help keep D.C. United in the district.
- You could be a Portland Timbers fan green in envy and red in anger that your bitter rival claimed the first MLS Cascadia Cup (and likely next year's too...)
- You could be a Vancouver Whitecaps fan sitting at home watching Toronto FC unfairly representing your country. Or...perish the thought...
- You could be a New England Revolution fan. *shudder*
More after the jump:
Conference Finals Set: So, the lots have been set for the Conference Finals. The LA Galaxy advanced past the New York Red Bulls and will play Real Salt Lake for the right to represent the West. Two nominally Eastern conference teams in the form of Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will battle for the other spot. At least they're both located farther east than Denver and Salt Lake City.
USMNT Roster Out: Jurgen Klinsmann has released his 22 man roster for the national team friendlies in France and Slovenia on November 11th and 15th. The list doesn't contain many surprises although the continued absences of promising young defenders Omar Gonzalez and George John in favor of Michael Orozco Fiscal is starting to cause concern since both have other national team options.
Interim Tag Removed: The Chicago Fire have decided to remove the interim tag from Frank Klopas. It's a good decision on the face of it. Klopas has done an excellent job of turning the team around since he fired coach Carlos de los Cobos (check here for the minority report). He has a deep history with the team both on the field and in the front office. The only question is whether he will retain the duties of Technical Director for the team and if he can handle both responsibilities.
League Sends Out Survey: MLS caused a bit of a stir in D.C. and some other markets this week when they sent out a survey to Baltimore about team relocation. The survey was cleared focused on a possible relocation of D.C. United. However, the survey also asked if they could influence a team to move to Baltimore who would they pick among D.C. United, FC Dallas, the Columbus Crew, the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union.
Let the Expansion Draft Talk Begin: Now that the Sounders season is officially over I don't feel like a bloody vulture posting links about the expansion draft. WV Hooligan has a pretty good one on the Sounders over at his site. The only real argument I can make is that Erik Friberg likely gets a slot due to the way the international rule shapes out.
A Good Week for Shea: Brek Shea's career is continuing on a rocket pace despite the inglorious ejection of Dallas FC from the playoffs. He's been called up to the national team ahead of the European friendlies in France and Slovenia. Following the national team matches, he'll travel to England to train with Arsenal. So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving break?