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Major Link Soccer - Wounded Pride Edition

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As much as I would like to ignore the big friendly against Manchester United, it was the big thing happening in Sounders land this week, so a little writeup and some links are in order.  The Seattle Sounder's first team managed to hang with one of the top five teams in the world for a full 45 minutes.  Then the 2nd half rolled around and the reserves gave up 6 goals in the most one sided route I've ever had the displeasure to watch live.  My heart goes out to the reserves because it couldn't have possibly been a pleasant experience to be so thoroughly dismantled.

So, what's the soccer-sphere make of all this?  There are plenty of quickly written articles that focus entirely on the scoreline with some after-match quotes, but not much in the way of insight.  Not too mention the completely Manchester United focused commentary on places like Sky Sports.  As you could imagine little focus is given on the difference in play between the first and second teams. 

What do I think?  I'll let Jerry Brewer do the talking for me as his piece was by far the best I've seen on the game.  Besides that, I'm ready to move on, but if you want, you can see a full package of Manchester United highlights on the Sounders website.  You can also see photos here, here and here.          

Less depressing links after the jump:

Sounders Earn Player of the Week Honors: The Seattle Sounders great run of form in league games is not going unnoticed.  Mauro Rosales (also known as #thetrialist) was named the player of the week by MLS.  He follows Jeff Parke and Fredy Montero, whom was named player of the week for his brace against bitter rivals Portland Timbers.  Montero also won the Soccer-by-Ives player of the week honors for last week. 

Casey Out for the Season: It's been a rough year for Conor Casey.  The Colorado Rapids striker was finally gaining his form after fighting injuries earlier in the season.  Now, he'll be out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles tendon sustained playing here at the C-Link.  Fortunately for the Rapids they are fairly deep at the striker position with both Caleb Folan and Macoumba Kandji.  

Sanna Nyassi Puts on a Show: Do you remember the Sanna Nyassi show from last year's Open Cup final?  Well, you can relive the excitement now in claret rather than rave green.  The speedy winger pulled a hat-trick against the New York Red Bulls newest DP (Frank Rost). 

MLS Attendance is Up: MLS attendance is up 6.3% this season and once again the Seattle Sounders lead the league in overall attendance.  Strongest growth was seen by Sporting K.C., the San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and the New York Red Bulls.  The Sporks new stadium is having a huge impact on attendance and hopefully it will continue when the luster of the new stadium wears off.  Meanwhile the Columbus Crew have seen attendance drop 22.7% despite the team's more successful than expected rebuilding of the roster under coach Robert Warzycha.    

Whitecaps After Hargreaves: The Owen Hargreaves rumors are back and it looks like the Vancouver Whitecaps are making a serious play for the former Manchester United midfielder.  Co-owner Jeff Mallett officially confirmed the team's interest.  Hargreaves would be a great pick-up for the Whitecaps assuming the oft-injured midfielder actually sees the pitch on a regular basis.

Portland Bolsters Defense: The Portland Timbers traded a hefty chunk of allocation dollars and central midfielder Adam Moffatt to the Houston Dynamo for a pair of defensive specialists and an international roster slot.  Lovel Palmer, a defensive midfielder for the Dynamo, looks likely to slide into the right back or central defense for the Timbers.  Mike Chabala will provide additional depth at left back.

Impact Stadium Delayed: Next year the Montreal Impact will become the 19th team in MLS.  The Impact are bringing in players and generally preparing for their debut next year.  Unfortunately, the planned expansion of Saputo Stadium is delayed and won't be completed until the summer of 2012.  Montreal will likely play their home opener and most of their early season games at aging and cavernous Olympic Stadium.