If you live in the South Sound area, you may want to pick up a copy of today's issue of The News Tribune. The Tacoma newspaper has a feature story on Eddie Johnson, in which he addresses some questions that have lingered in the minds of many fans, such as whether he still feels the need to prove himself in Europe, what motivates him and how he feels about his doubters and haters.
The Sounders haven't even played the second leg of the conference final in Portland yet, and they're already being written off by a few members of the media, some going as far as to presume that Sigi Schmid won't have a job in Seattle next year.
Voting is now open for the MLS Latino del Año award. The Sounders have two nominees: Mauro Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso. Rosales is in a much tougher group than Alonso, but they could both use your votes.
MLS Cup Playoffs
After the 2-2 draw in Houston between the Dynamo and the Red Bulls, it seems that some Houston fans allegedly stole from New York midfielder Michael Bustamante's family after the game.
When Portland beat Seattle in the first leg, it marked the first time in over 8 years that the Timbers had won a competitive match in Seattle.
If you're looking for good news in the playoffs involving local players, look no further than the first leg of the series between Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution. New England midfielder and Federal Way native Kelyn Rowe scored what wound up being the winning goal for the Revolution. Rowe and his teammates performed a "Rowe your boat" celebration following the goal.
There is good news for MLS playoff teams. It looks like Jürgen Klinsmann will not call up any players involved in the playoffs for the national team friendlies this month. New York's Tim Cahill also will not join Australia if the Red Bulls progress to the Eastern Conference Final.
MLS Offseason News
Newly hired head coach and director of soccer is already making changes in Chicago. The Fire parted ways with four assistant coaches yesterday.
Some new details have emerged concerning Jason Kreis' contract situation with Real Salt Lake and the potential of joining New York City FC. Despite the fact that RSL has offered a contract that would make Kreis the second most highly paid coach in MLS, NYCFC's international connections may better suit his ambitions to manage clubs in Europe at some point in the future.
While the MLS Cup Final is being played, the league's worst team will be on the other side of the globe in the midst of a postseason tour of Indonesia.
Toronto FC is determined to bring in some big name DP's during the offseason. TFC is so determined to make a big signing that it is enlisting the help of Drake, who is apparently a friend of one of the team's targeted signings.
Not only will Bayern Munich's talented young midfielder Julian Green not be training with the USMNT this month under Jürgen Klinsmann, but he has accepted a call up with Germany's U19 team for a friendly this month against France.
The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) will send a crew to the FIFA Club World Cup next month. That crew will be headed by Mark Geiger.
Virginia Cavalry FC, an expansion team that will begin play in 2014 is in talks with George Mason University to use the school's soccer facility for home games in the NASL spring season next year. VCFC would have to find another facility for the fall season, since it wouldn't be feasible for the NASL team to share the stadium with GMU's men's and women's soccer teams in the middle of the NCAA soccer season.
If UEFA thought a partial closure of CSKA Moscow's stadium against Bayern Munich would send a message to the club, it was mistaken. CSKA has gone from denying that any racist abuse against Yaya Touré took place to claiming that it was "exaggerated". Perhaps in Russia that is seen as progress, but to most of the rest of the world it shows a lack of concern for the issue of racism in soccer, which is concerning less than 5 years away from the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This sentiment was expressed by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, in an attempt to prevent another incident of racist abuse by traveling CSKA supporters in the upcoming Champions League match in Manchester.
Although FIFA has granted Egypt the right to host the second leg of the World Cup qualifying playoff in Cairo, Ghana remains unconvinced and is demanding a meeting with FIFA president Sepp Blatter to discuss the specifics of the security plan.
Tottenham Hotspur (and even English soccer as a whole) has come under fire for allowing Hugo Lloris to continue playing in last weekend's match against Everton, despite having obvious concussion symptoms. FIFA's chief medical officer, the players union and Headway (a British brain injury charity) strongly criticized the decision to keep Lloris in the game. Tottenham defended its decision, though it did not specifically address the concerns raised by critics.
A 10 year television broadcast deal has been signed by the Scottish Professional Football League to air matches from Scotland in China, in an attempt to expand the international audience for pro soccer in Scotland.
If you think it's impressive when the Sounders draw 60,000 fans for a game in MLS, how about a third division team drawing that many fans? That's exactly what Serie C side Santa Cruz did on Sunday in the second leg of a promotion playoff that saw Santa Cruz promoted to Serie B.
Rave Green Diplomats
Nearly one-third of the way through the Liga Zon Sagres season, there is an entertaining race at the top of the table between Porto, Sporting and Benfica. The "big three" are separated by only 3 points, after wins by Sporting and Benfica and a draw by Porto. Fredy Montero didn't score this weekend, though he had some good scoring opportunities.
Montero's team is well-positioned to qualify for 2014/15 UEFA Champions League, where he would join former Sounders teammate Erik Friberg, whose Malmö FF won Sweden's Allsvenskan and its spot in Champions League qualifying with 63 points from 30 matches. Adam Johansson's Göteborg finished third in the league and will participate in 2014/15 UEFA Europa League qualifying.