Happy Friday everyone. It's a good one for Sounders fans as the team is playing this evening against the Colorado Rapids. The Sounders will be fighting the altitude as much as the reigning MLS champions. Unfortunately, the Sounders midfielders will also be battling Pablo Mastroeni whom will be available for the Rapids. The Rapids looked lost in the midfield when their captain was missing. This is a winnable game for the Sounders with or without Mastroeni and I'm looking forward to a win.
Marshall Awaiting the Sounders: The Seattle Sounders are likely to see two former players in new kits when they arrive in Colorado. Tyrone Marshall has been filling in at center-back during the last couple games and is motivated to play against his former team. The center-back might move back to the bench if Anthony Wallace is recovered from his recent injury. Midfielder and former Sounder Sanna Nyassi will likely provide a speedy option off the bench against the Sounders.
More after the jump:
Japanese Left Back Coming to MLS: Takahito Soma has reached an agreement with his former club tojoin MLS this summer. The 29 year old has experience in Germany's 2nd Division, Portugal and Japan's first playing everywhere on the left side, but is primarily a left back and sub these days for Energie Cottbus. With any Asian player connected to the league the first thought is - Sounders?
RSL Draws with Monterrey: One of the hardest soccer related things I have to do is explaining the importance of draws to non-soccer watching friends. Specifically, how a draw is often as important or even more important than a win. Such was the case with Real Salt Lake's draw with Monterrey in Mexico. A late goal by Javier Morales puts RSL in good position to advance after their home leg at Rio Tinto stadium. RSL will advance with a win or a 1-1 draw. Unfortunately, their field general Kyle Beckerman will miss the home leg due to yellow card accumulation.
Revolution Win Feilhaber: The New England Revolution secured the services of USMNT midfielder Benny Feilhaber after a protracted allocation process. Chivas USA, whom had first rights to Feilhaber, passed to preserve their spot in the allocation order. The Houston Dynamo tried to put together a package for Feilhaber's services, but ultimately failed to secure a trade with either Chivas or the Revolution. The acquisition of Feilhaber should relieve some of the pressure on star midfielder Sharlie Joseph and provide more creativity in an often lack-luster Revolution attack.
Vagenas on Trial with Vancouver: Former Sounder Pete Vagenas is on trial with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Whitecaps have been suffering from a number of injuries and could use a veteran to help plug their holes in the midfield. The 33-year old midfielder was set to ply his trade in Japan's J-league before the earthquake and tsunami indefinitely postponed the season (also check out how young Vagenas looks in the article's picture).
United Destroyed by Red Bulls: DC United experienced a set-back in their come-back season with a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls. Tim Ream and Rafa Marquez shut-down any DCU attacks coming down the center of the pitch. Thierry Henry looked equal to the expectations of a highly paid designated player with two solid goals for the game. However, the strike of the match came in stoppage time from 18 year old striker Juan Agudelo.
Carrasco Interview: The Sounders have one of the deepest midfielders in MLS and rookie Servando Carrasco often goes overlooked in the ongoing discussion. However, the young defensive midfielder has already earned valuable playing time in MLS and will be vital for a the Sounders run in the Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. Andrew Winner has a great interview with Carrasco on his experiences growing up and with his new team.
Toronto Plans for Youth Academy: Toronto FC has decided to invest almost $20 million in the team's youth academies. A large chunk of that investment will go toward a massive new training facility for the academy teams. The new facilities are a vital part of Toronto's plan for long-term revitalization of the franchise under head coach Aron Winter. In the meantime...Toronto FC has announced new restrictions on supporters groups at BMO Stadium.
No Promotion/Relegation: MLS President Mark Abbott once again poured cold water on some MLS fan's dreams of a European style promotion and relegation system. MLS will also be sticking with its current calender rather than the international soccer calender that runs from August to May/June.
The Worse of Two Evils: FIFA is widely recognized as a fundamentally corrupt organization and president Seth Blatter rightly takes the blame for FIFA's shortcomings. However, in this article by Prost Amerika, Blatter looks like the lesser of two evils in the upcoming election for the FIFA presidency.
ESPN Money List: Have you ever wondered how much the highest paid professional sports player from Martinique makes? Well, ESPN has the answer for you in their recent list of best paid athletes from 182 countries. No Sounders make the list, but Ichiro Suzuki is listed as the highest paid professional player from Japan.