The Seattle Sounders are back in action this weekend after a well deserved break. They take on Real Salt Lake team that looks like its coming back into form and ready to make a late run into the playoffs. RSL needs three points here in Seattle to catch FC Dallas and avoid a wildcard play-in game. The Sounders need a win to keep themselves in the hunt for the Supporter's Shield. This should be a tough, well fought game as one of the best offenses in the league takes on one of the best defenses.
Union Come Back Against the Revolution: The only mid-week action in MLS had a boring 1-0 grind written all over it. The Philadelphia Union under coach Piotr Nowak play a pretty bland, but effective style of defensive soccer (the New England Revolution are just plain bland). I thought there might be an outside chance for a goal for the Revolution since Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon just underwent surgery for a broken finger. Imagine my surprise when I hit the inter-webs the next day and saw it was a 4-4 thriller.
More news after the jump:
College News from Around the Sound: The college soccer season is in full swing and there are plenty of local guys and gals looking to step up on the collegiate scene. The University of Washington Huskies are rising up in the rankings thanks to senior forward Brent Richards from Camas, WA. In the collegiate off-season Richards plays for the Portland Timbers PDL team. Local players from the Tacoma Tide have returned to their schools after the summer season. The Tide's collegiate players have helped to propel the Pacific Lutheran Lutes to a 22nd ranking in college soccer's third division. Meanwhile, in women's soccer, standout Seattle University goalkeeper Madison Goverde earned a nod as the CS360 performer of the week for her 17 save performance at the Husky Nike Invitational.
More on the Concussion Problem in Soccer: ESPN has a new article on the concussion problem in soccer including some pretty tragic interviews with former MLS players whom have had to end their careers early due to repeated head trauma. It's a big issue for the Sounders right now with Terry Boss likely missing the rest of the season due to repeated concussions. The biggest surprise for me in the article is how prevalent the problem is at all levels of the game from high school to professional. Everyone from the coaches to the referees to the players themselves need to do a better job of preventing concussions and ensuring players take more time to recover.
Chandler the Answer? It's a new era for the US Men's National Team (USMNT), but it's the same old search for a left-back. New coach Jurgen Klinsmann tried out the right-footed Timmy Chandler at left-back during this week's friendly against Belgium. Chandler handled the defensive pressure well, but his offense from the back left a lot to be desired. Hopefully, we can see Eric Lichaj, who is recovering from an injury, return at the left-back spot sometime soon. Also, in USMNT news, Jozy Altidore's manager is pissed at Klinsmann for calling up the striker despite an agreement with previous coach Bob Bradley.
Holden on the Way Back: USMNT midfielder Stuart Holden reached a key milestone in his latest comeback from injury by putting a 65 minute shift for the Bolton Wanderers in their shoot-out victory over Rochdale. Holden is currently recovering from a ACL tear after a brutal studs-up tackle last year. The left winger looked dangerous on the pitch and showed off some of his old speed and skill on the ball.