Good morning one and all. Over the weekend the Sounders Academy teams swept Arsenal of California. The U-18 team secured a 2-0 shutout while the U-16 team went 3-1. Drew White and Darwin Jones were the goal scorers for the U-18 team. The U-16 team won on goals from Miles Rodriguez-Nelson, Chad Radulovich and Austin Sweeney. As always Chris Coulter captured the match in photos. Over at the Seattle Times Joshua Meyers has an interview with rookie Servando Carrasco. After the jump there's more link love from around the league.
Writer in Search of Story...packs up his confirmation biases and boards plane to Philly. The UK GQ article on the SoBs is available online and it's not a good read. On the positive side it doesn't paint the SoBs as mindless thugs. On the negative side it presents them as thug-poseurs. A quick read through the article paints the portrait of a journalist on deadline allowing his pre-existing biases to preempt any attempt at understanding the subjects he's observing. Match Fit USA has a more in-depth look at why the UK GQ story sucks.
Forward Injured in Training: Highly regarded forward Bright Dike was severely injured in practice when he tore his right Achilles tendon in a preseason game against Ventura County Fusion. It's a tough blow for the young Timber as he'll likely miss the majority of his first MLS season. The Timbers, on the other hand, have been stockpiling forwards and will likely have the depth to recover from the loss.
DCU Thrashes Canadian U-20 Team: In other preseason news DCU beat the Canadian U-20 team. Joseph Ngwenya scored a first half hat-trick in the 5-1 win. Charlie Davies notched a goal and an assist in his 74 minutes of play-time. Davies still has the scars from his horrific car accident, but as you can see from video from the DCU practice, he's regaining his form (also check out Chinese target forward Yang Men who partnered with Davies in the video).
Houston Break Ground: The Houston Dynamo broke ground on their new stadium today. The ceremony was lead by a giant weasel in a hard hat or at least that's what I can gather from these photos from the ceremony. The stadium looks loud judging from the recent promo video (fast forward to 3:14 for the stadium renderings).
In Praise of Hunt: With new soccer specific stadiums being built in Houston and Kansas City it's a good time to recognize the risks taken by Lamar Hunt with the first soccer specific stadiums in Columbus and Dallas. It's easy to blame the F.O.s of Columbus and Dallas for the location and design of their stadiums. However, they were literally breaking new ground on the design and location of soccer specific stadiums in the U.S.
A Clarion Call for Better Refereeing: Coach Hyndman of FC Dallas called this weekend for better protection of skilled players in MLS. The MLS continues to attract higher profile, more technically proficient talent into the league. As a consequence the league needs to step up and protect those players. Gang tackling is a well practiced tactic to take skilled players like Ferreira, Montero and Morales out of the game.
On the Relative Value of Analysis: Benjamin Massey, as always, has an entertaining piece on the value that blogs provide relative to more traditional media. To me, it's a well though-out piece on the relative value of analysis of facts already gathered by others. Analysis that is often missing in traditional media. Massey calls it thumb-sucking. Either way it's a good read on what a well-thought out blog can provide (which admittedly are few and far between).