The Sounders have been in the midst of a good break away from MLS action lately. It seems that they've been traveling to far away stadiums hidden away in the forests of Central America, and that there's been a lot of pictures of the boys in Electric Yellow. Like this stellar one above. Have the thirds grown on you yet? I think when you put them up against international teams like Marathon and Monterrey, they really do look gorgeous.
The Sounders got the actual CONCACAF group play started with a meek loss. However, this is nothing to worry about, as we still have a total of six games to play in the group stage, against Saprissa and Monterrey (tomorrow) in addition to openers Marathon. Even though our group is not the easiest of the tournament, I think we'll feel a bit better once we bring the visitors to Qwest. Tomorrow should be a tight game, and strong fan support will be key. Let's see if we can get that ~17,000 back up into +36,000 (so far 19,000 fans are expected to come out). Because there is actually a lot on the line if we do win the tournament. An automatic berth in the FIFA Club World Cup? Yeah, Hanauer and Co. would be dining on Electric Yellow shorts if we could showcase our competition with intercontinental play.
In any case, the CCL's random scheduling (I still haven't worked out how they schedule their matches) will be put on hold as the Sounders welcome Freddie Ljungberg back since he left us three weeks ago. It'll be the first leg against the Chicago Fire. That's three days after our home game with Monterrey. And just another three days after the game with the Fire, we've got our second leg against Chivas away. I don't know, maybe it was just me but I felt as if the past week or so nothing was really happening and thing's were a little too quiet. Expect that to change.
And just to get the loins stirring (not in that way, mind you) I never really got to sit down and watch this.
I think after seeing this I feel a little bit better about the
transfer sale of Freddie. It's just that for me, every transfer ends up being like a bad break up, and with Freddie I never really wanted it to be one of those cold, hard, never-speak-to-you-again-and-pretend-I-never-loved-you break ups in the first place. Things with Freddie were entirely... mutual. Physical? Pragmatic? Maybe. Regardless, we both got the most out of each other, and we both know it. As long as all sides acknowledge what our original intentions were, then no harm done. For once, I can take it like a mature man and respect our past while still being able to hold my head high when we cross paths, instead of acting like a 12 year-old on a playground throwing rocks at every girl that I tried to kiss.
Well, come Saturday.
And another great tidbit I didn't catch before. Speaking about love on and off the field. In case you were running out of ideas, this is one way to get hitched.
Now can you get that two-pole reprinted on the napkins for the reception? :D Awesome.
And, lastly, as the title of the post implies, I literally am writing this after two weeks of going AWOL. Off the back of finals, full-time work shifts, moving out, and last-minute packing, I am excited to say that I will be going on a much needed vacation. Not that I (n)ever work my butt of for The Offside. But just that, this time I am actually giving you guys a heads up, and that if you are still reading this then you've more than done your duty. For that, much appreciated.
Which is why I am delighted to say that everyone's favorite Soccer Mom Laurie will be returning to fill in for me while I am across the world (literally) for a month. She'll be here posting as she can, since you know, the life of a retired big-time blogger is really too glamorous to be seen around these empty parts. But, do treat her with motherly respect, and I promise I will come back with the energy and vigor that this summer has so far drained me of.