Major Link Soccer: Spotlight on Seattle

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The Sounders will be featured on HBO's Real Sports tonight.

I'm going to start your Tuesday morning with a simple question. If you could wager a guess, who do you think currently leads the top 6 leagues in Europe in scoring thus far in the 2013/14 season? If you went with the obvious answer of Leo Messi, you're half right. He is actually tied with none other than Fredy Montero. That's right. A Sounder (since Fredy is technically on loan to Sporting) and Leo Messi are the top scorers in the top 6 leagues in Europe with both players having 6 goals to their credit through the first 4 matches of the season. Even the most optimistic fan couldn't have imagined that Montero would be mentioned in the same breath as Messi in any context.

DeAndre Yedlin was interviewed in the latest episode of MLS Extra Time Radio and discussed his hairstyle, his early experiences as a spectator at Sounders games, his honest assessment of the weaknesses of his game and which young player in MLS he looks up to the most.

After Seattle's statement win over Real Salt Lake last Friday, the chances of the Sounders winning have spiked to nearly 60%, according to this article from Forbes. The Sounders are ranked at or near the top of every power rankings list published this week. The opening goal from Obafemi Martins is up for MLS Goal of the Week and also helped him win MLS Player of the Week. Leo Gonzalez was thrilled to be able to play with his father in attendance for the first time since he signed with the Sounders in 2009.

The spotlight on the newest top team in MLS only grows brighter tonight, as the Sounders are featured in tonight's episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It airs at 7:00 PM PDT. A teaser for tonight's episode can be viewed here. The Sounders were also recently featured on Grantland. Soccer By Ives once again named the Sounders as their MLS Team of the Week.

Yesterday, Eric mentioned how good of a weekend teams from Washington had. Two more teams from Washington that are currently on a roll are the men's soccer teams of the University of Washington and Gonzaga University. In the most recent Top Drawer Soccer rankings, UW climbed to the #6 spot and Gonzaga appeared at #24. The only blemish on UW's record is a draw on the road against then #1 Connecticut. Gonzaga has only dropped points in a season opening loss against UW.

Sounders fans, like fans of other MLS teams jockeying for playoff position, will anxiously await the announcement of the USMNT roster next month for the final qualifying matches against Jamaica and Panama. Jurgen Klinsmann made it pretty clear that he plans to call up a first choice lineup, citing the fact that the qualifying match in Kansas City has already sold out and that it wouldn't be fair to the fans to field a weaker lineup. It's possible that Klinsmann uses the final match in Panama to cap-tie some players and play more reserves, because any suspensions resulting from yellow card accumulation or a red card in the final match would carry over to the World Cup.

Klinsmann's predecessor, Bob Bradley, is going to face a very familiar obstacle in his bid to get Egypt to the World Cup for the first time in 24 years, after his side was drawn against Ghana in the CAF's qualifying playoffs. Bradley's side must defeat Ghana in a two leg series in order to secure its spot in Brazil. The silver lining is that maybe Bradley can eliminate the team that has eliminated the United States in the past two World Cup tournaments. There is also a new trailer available for "We Must Go": the documentary following Bob Bradley's Egyptian national team.

Four MLS teams will be involved in CONCACAF Champions League this week. Three of them are involved in tonight's games. Sporting Kansas City faces Nicaragua's Real Esteli at 5:00 PM tonight, followed by San Jose vs. Montreal, in a match both teams desperately need to win to stay in contention for Group 5's spot in the knockout round.

For better or worse, the topic of promotion and relegation is one that won't go away. It's certainly understandable that fans who watch leagues around the world, such as England's Premier League, would like to see a similar system here. It's especially reasonable that fans who aren't in a current MLS market would like to see their local NASL or USL Pro team get a chance to test themselves against the top teams in the US and Canada throughout the course of an entire season. With this in mind, Dan Loney of Big Soccer decided to let the people who actually run lower division teams weigh in on the topic of promotion and relegation. As you might imagine, the responses varied from enthusiastic support of the idea to skepticism based on the costs that come along with both being promoted from a lower league and being relegated from a higher league.

The City of Orlando is considering the possibility of using eminent domain to acquire two pieces of property that would be necessary to build a soccer specific stadium at their preferred location. The city has already submitted offers for both properties but has yet to receive a response.

NBC announced yesterday that they will begin offering archived Premier League matches on their Live Extra website. The service isn't yet being offered on their mobile apps or for MLS games, but last weekend's Premier League matches are currently available for viewing. Let's hope that they add archived matches for their MLS coverage in the not so distant future.

A celebration of life for Troy Wolff will be held at Shoreline Community College next Sunday at 2:00 PM. His friends, family and supporters are encouraged to attend.

TV Listings:

  • UEFA Champions League: Manchester United vs. Bayer Leverkusen 11:45 AM Fox Sports 1
  • UEFA Champions League: Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid 11:45 AM Fox Sports 2
  • UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich vs. CSKA Moscow 11:45 AM Root Sports
  • CONCACAF Champions League: Sporting KC vs. Real Esteli 5:00 PM Univision Deportes
  • CONCACAF Champions League: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Montreal Impact 7:00 PM Fox Sports 2
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