It will be a bitter-sweet moment at CenturyLink Field this Saturday. Over 60,000 people will be packed into CenturyLink Field to watch a legend take the field for the last time at home against the struggling San Jose Earthquakes. A shutout by Kasey Keller will secure the Sounders the number 2 spot in the playoffs. The Sounder-at-Heart crew and 40 of our friends will be rocking section 328 at the C-Link. The original allotment of SAH tickets is sold out, but as of last night, there are still a few listed in the same section and in adjacent section 329 for those of you who want to watch Keller for the last time.
Those attending the game will also have a shot at cool stuff like this captain Kasey Keller arm-band. Also, check out this link for a picture of Keller with a full flowing mane of hair and a list of some of the swag available this weekend. Also, I would be probably face the wroth of Dave if I didn't mention that the SAH crew and 55 others will also be meeting up at Temple Billiards in the Basement from 4-5 P.M. All I'm saying is they have Brougham Bitter on tap. Make sure to RSVP as space is limited by that pesky fire code thing.
Sounders Reserve Win Again: The Seattle Sounders reserves defeated the San Jose Earthquakes reserve team 3-1 on Monday with goals from Sammy Ochoa, Michael Tetteh and Nate Jaqua. The Sounders are 8-1-0 in reserve league play and have already wrapped up the Western title. The club has also raised $6,726.95 for local charities from donations at the gate. Overall a very successful season by the reserves.
More after the jump:
World Cup Rights Up For Bid: Next Wednesday the bids will be in for the television rights to World Cups 2018 and 2022. The selection of the broadcast partner for the games here in the U.S. will have a big impact on the development of the sport and MLS. ESPN looks like the current leader for the English language rights after a commendable job with the South African games. However, Fox sports seems committed to stealing the rights away from ESPN and NBC has recently expanded their soccer coverage with a deal with MLS.
Smith May Leave: One of my least favorite coaches in MLS might be leaving the Colorado Rapids at the end of the season. Coach Gary Smith has basically gone public with an ultimatum to the Rapids to release Paul Bravo if they want him to stay. Well Gary, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. The Rapids play some of the most boring and thuggish ball in the league. He's also shown no commitment to promoting MLS in other competitions such as the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL).
Fixture Congestion? No Problem: Fixture congestion is one of the main excuses used by coaches like Smith and Hans Backe for half-assing non-league competitions like the CCL and Open Cup. They maintain that MLS rosters aren't able to handle the demands of multiple competitions. Of course, the evidence is not really in their favor this season. Our own Jeremiah Oshan looks how the Sounders and Los Angeles Galaxy have actually improved during the most congested parts of their season.
Keane Injured: Super-star striker Robbie Keane will be out 3-4 weeks with an adductor injury. The injury timeline comes from Keane's national team coach who believes Keane could miss Ireland's next round of playoffs. If true, it also means the striker could miss the Galaxy's (potential) conference finals against (potentially) the Sounders. The Galaxy are 4-0-0 in league play when Keane is on the pitch.
Dallas Actually Scores: The only thing more miserable than New York Red Bulls of late has been the Dallas FC offense. The team snapped a four match losing streak with a 2-1 win on the road against the Chicago Fire. The win moves them back into 4th place and secures them a spot in the playoffs. It also places them within striking distance of Real Salt Lake for the final spot in the West. The loss removes almost all hope of the Fire making the postseason.
Whitecaps Crush DC Dreams: The lowly Vancouver Whitecaps has strung together back-to-back wins with their 2-1 victory over DC United. Poor defense from United in the opening minute of both halves put the team down a hole they couldn't recover from. I'd like to tell you that the Whitecaps played a good game, but it was really a case of playing slightly better than the team against them.
Cosmos in the Back of the Pack: It looks like the dream of a New York Cosmos team coming back to the big apple is fading. MLS commissioner Don Garber is still set on putting the league's 20th franchise in the heart of the five boroughs. To do that he needs an ownership group with deep pockets and ideally land for a new stadium. Two things the Cosmos group don't have. I'll conjecture that the Wilpons are the current frontrunners due to their deep pockets and ownership of a prime piece of real estate in Flushing Meadow Park near the home of the their New York Mets.
Impact Make Roster Decisions: The Montreal Impact are making some important personnel decisions ahead of their entrance into MLS next season. This week they signed Hassoun Camara as their 2nd player for the 2012 season. The French-Sengelese midfielder was named the 2011 USL MVP in his first season in the league. They have also cut ties with six more players from the USL side including injured Canadian striker Ali Gerba who led the club in goals during 2010.
Burpo Hired as Montreal Coach: Former USL Sounder goalkeeper Preston Burpo has been hired as the Montreal Impact's new goalkeeping coach. Burpo was a fixture at the Sounders from 1997-2005 before moving up to the MLS to play for the Rapids, Chivas USA and the New England Revolution. He also coached for five years with Crossfire FC in Seattle and was a scout for the USSF in 2011.
Rongen to Coach American Samoa: Coach Thomas Rongen is giving up his job as the color commentator for DC United to take a position as head coach of American Samoa. He hasn't been terribly successful as a coach in MLS. Well, at least there's no where to go but up for the American Samoans. The team has never won a match and been outscored 299 to 12 since joining FIFA in 1998.
Seamon Looking to Make an Impact: Seattle central midfielder Mike Seamon has had a particularly rough year after a few standout performances in his rookie year. Seamon has been fighting injuries since preseason and has largely received his time in reserve league play. Now that he's healthy again the young Seamon is hoping to make a positive impression on Sigi Schmid before the season ends.
Montero Named Player of the Open Cup: Fredy Montero has been named the 2011 US Open Cup player of the tournament. Montero beat out teammate Osvaldo Alonso and Richmond Kickers David Bulow and Ronnie Pascale for the honors.
Zizzo Goes Native: Portland Timber midfielder Sal Zizzo has gone native and opened his own food cart in the heart of Portland. Zizzo already commutes to work on his fixie bike and models recycled clothing in his off time. I'll let you guys fill in the Portlandia jokes in the comments section.
Berhalter to Retire: Galaxy central defender Greg Berhalter will hang up the spurs at the end of the season. The 38 year has been acting as a player coach for Bruce Arena since a foot injury earlier in the season.
West Seattle Coach Passes: It was a sad week in West Seattle when father and volunteer youth coach Ed Kingston passed away unexpectedly at his son's game. A memorial fund for the family has been set up and you can find out more here.