Happy Friday everyone! It's shaping up to be a nice day in Seattle and its even better now that the Seattle Sounders are able to get back to some normal MLS action. No friendlies, no all-star game, and no crazy travel horror stories. Just an opportunity to grab three points off a struggling Houston Dynamo team. I'm looking forward to a win so we can finally put all crazy talk about the Sounders losing their mojo to Manchester United to bed.
Well, if you did want MLS all-star highlights, the Ginge has a clip of Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman doing their best 'Night-at-the-Roxbury' impression. You can also find more conventional highlights on the MLS website. Also, a post-game interview where Kasey Keller reflects on his last All-star game.
Sounders Lose 1-0 in Panama: The Sounders did lose their first competitive match after the Manchester United friendly to Panamanian side San Francisco. It was a brutally ugly game played on an equally ugly grass pitch. The referee took every opportunity to kill what little momentum was building in the game with soft foul calls. In the end it was an inadvertent handball in the box by Jeff Park that would be the deciding factor in the game. It would be easy to claim that the Sounders have lost confidence after the 7-0 friendly loss. I think the more likely culprit is a 4-hour flight delay on an already long flight killing the energy of the team. We'll see how they look tomorrow when they've had a decent rest in Houston.
You can see a match recap and highlights here, as well as a photo gallery of the match here. Also, a massive shout-out to the supporters who made the long journey! We could hear you loud and clear throughout the match. In fact, I would say hearing 'Take 'Em All' loud and clear through the FSC microphones was one of the highlights of the game.
More links after the jump:Sounders Women in Semi-Finals: The Sounders women's team is having quite a run in the W-league championship despite their top scorer going down to a season ending injury earlier in the season. Later today at Starfire the Sounders will open semi-final play against the Ottawa Fury. It will be a tough match as the Fury have gone 14-0-0 in league play. Also playing on Friday are the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Atlanta Silverbacks. Regardless of the result the Sounders will play on Sunday in either the championship or the consolation game. Click here for ticket information.
No Milk Cup for U-18s: The U.S. men's U-18 team won't be able to defend their Milk Cup title this year. They only managed a 1-1 draw against rivals Mexico in the group stages. Both Denmark and Northern Ireland were able to win by 2 goals in their respective matches to eliminate the U.S. on goal differential.
Virtual Tour of Houston's Stadium: The Dynamo are building a new stadium and so far it looks like another quality soccer-specific stadium. They've also developed a neat little virtual venue to show off the various ticket locations and prices. You can also click through for approximated views from the seats. Unfortunately, the new stadium isn't quite ready for games so the Sounders won't get to play there until next season.
Toronto Deals Gargan: Toronto FC head coach and technical director Aron Winter is at it again. This time he's dealt defender Dan Gargan and a 2nd round draft pick to the Chicago Fire for defender Dasan Robinson. It's a like for like trade with a draft pick throw-in for good measure. A day later Winter signed 22-year old forward Perica Marosevic. The former US youth international and generation Adidas player was waived by Dallas FC. Dallas also waived veteran striker Milton Rodriguez this week.
The Sporks Lose Collin: The recent undefeated run by Sporting K.C. depended a lot on the play of French center-back Aurelien Collin and now the team will be without his services for the next six weeks to a lower-back injury. Collin was an immediate improvement for the Sporks when he signed in April of this year.
Whitecaps Waive 2 Defenders: In other news, the Vancouver Whitecaps have waived defenders Mouloud Akloul and Blake Wagner. Both were alumnus of the 2010 division 2 version of the Whitecaps and likely are victims of new coach Tommy Soehn's sudden zeal to discard everything associated with Teitur Thordarson. Still, the waivers are unlikely to have much of an impact as both were used mostly as depth to shore-up an injury-ridden back-line. Also, the Whitecaps have picked up the rights to young Canadian prospect Keven Aleman as part of an earlier deal that sent Terry Dunfield to Toronto FC.