It was a great weekend for Seattle sports. The sun made a welcome appearance and plenty of people were out in the parks playing pick-up games. The Seattle Sounders absolutely dominated Toronto FC in front of a packed house and the crowd was as loud as I've ever heard them at a regular season game. The 11-minute tribute to Steve Zakuani was a great show of support. Even the Mariners, yes our Seattle Mariners, were dominant on the road this week versus the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Truly a rare and exceptional weekend.
In other news, Soccer by Ives has made Brad Evans their player of the week. Evans stepped up in a big way for the Sounders with 2 goals and an assist. His effort narrowly beat out Houston Dynamo striker and dancing bear Will Bruin. for the honors The rookie scored his first hat-trick against a very flat D.C. United team. Photos of the TFC match are available here.
France Institutes Quota System: Race relations in France took one giant leap back according to an article by France's Mediareport website. According to the report, the French Football Federation (FFF) have quietly approved a plan to limit black and North African youngsters inside France's training centers and academies. French Coach Laurent Blanc has reportedly cast the decision as an attempt to foster a shared sense of "culture" and history". The desire to limit the number of players North African and black players comes after the player's mutiny in the 2010 World Cup. It's a crying shame this decision is coming out of a country that was once a beacon of racial progress.
More links from around the world of soccer after the jump:
Boskovic Might Out for the Year: Branko Boskovic was diagnosed with a torn ACL and may miss 4-6 months if he decides to undergo surgery. The injury happened during D.C. United's loss to the New England Revolution in an Open Cup game. DCU's sole designated player has flown under the radar this year after starting the season on the bench in favor of Dax McCarty. The bad news continued for DCU on Friday when the team received a 4-1 shellacking by the Houston Dynamo.
Chivas Look Like a Real Team: Chivas USA proved they don't need no stinkin' Benny Feilhaber as they dominated the New England Revolution 3-0 on their home pitch. Chivas could have easily notched another goal or two without key saves by Revolution keeper Bobby Shuttleworth. Maybe coach Robin Fraser really does know what he's doing over there in LA. Too bad the Sounders had to play that other team from LA in our home opener rather than Chivas at their maximum level of dysfunction.
RSL Shocked by the Timbers: The Portland Timbers shocked Real Salt Lake with a well-deserved 1-0 victory at home. The Timbers applied continuous pressure on RSL and did a good job of disrupting their play through the midfield especially in the 1st half. RSL looked flat and a bit tired after the draining loss to Monterrey earlier in the week.
Meredith Makes the Saves: The Kitsap Pumas traveled to Vancouver to kick-off their Premier Development League (PDL) season against the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency team. Bryan Meredith, a second round draft pick by the Sounders, made his debut and recorded five saves in the 2-0 victory. This is the third consecutive time the Pumas have started their season with a shut-out victory.
Writer Writing About Writing: Benjamin Massey over at 86 forever tackles expectations for web-content and soccer analysis. He tackles the absurd notion that all readers on the internet want are easily digestible puff pieces and gives a shout-out to Sounder-at-Heart and our readers. I was a reader and occasional fan-poster here at SAH before Dave Clark gave me the opportunity to do the regular links post. It was always the great writing, in-depth analysis and comments that kept me coming back to blogs like SAH and 86 Forever.
How to Flop Like a Pro: Are you feeling a little out-classed in your rec league soccer games? Now you can learn to dive like the pros. See the video below for a little preview and order now to receive a limited edition pair of goggles autographed by the Philadelphia Union's own Carlos Ruiz!