It's one of those mornings where you hold on to your morning cup of coffee and try to transition your mind to the work ahead. Not the easiest task after the latest weekend in Seattle Sounder-land. Two big let-downs this weekend. The first was a disappointing 0-0 tie against Chivas USA at the C-Link. It was a game that the Sounders dominated in most statistical categories you'd care to count. However, the defensive organization of the goats was good and the finishing of the Sounders once again fell short. On the positive side, the defense has looked much better the last two games.
For those of you who missed the game you can see highlights and photos.
No News Is the Big News: Of course the big news this weekend ended up being no news at all. After months of speculation and rumor the Seattle Sounders failed to secure a much needed target forward in the international transfer market. However, it wasn't for a lack of effort. The team had two candidates they actively pursued. One was almost signed until some injuries at the player's current club caused him to rethink the deal. Best guesses for the two targets are Djibril Cisse and Prince Tagoe. I'm personally happy to see the Sounders raise the bar on the types of players they want to bring for the team's third designated player. The team has until September 15th to make an in-league trade or pick up a player currently out of contract.
No One Wants Angel: The other expected transfer news that never materialized involved Robbie Keane joining the LA Galaxy on an estimated two-year ($8 million dollar) contract. Of course, to make the deal happen, the Galaxy needed to off-load Juan Pablo Angel to free up a designated player spot. Rumors had the former New York Red Bulls stand-out going to either Chivas USA or the Philadelphia Union. Now, according to SBI, the deal is back on with Angel going to crosstown rivals Chivas USA. Most likely, the LA Galaxy are paying a very large chunk of Angel's salary to make the deal happen. An announcement needs to happen soon since the international transfer deadline has already passed.
Montano to Montreal: The Sounders have loaned out young midfielder Miguel Montano to the Montreal Impact. The 20-year midfielder has struggled to get playing time since arriving in Seattle last year. The loan deal should provide the young midfielder a chance to improve his on-field decision making. It will also provide Montreal a good look at a player they might want to take in next season's expansion draft.
Auvray to NYRB: Sporting Kansas City has traded midfielder Stephane Auvray in exchange for a draft pick. Auvray had clearly fallen out of favor in K.C. However, the veteran midfielder provides some much needed depth to the New York Red Bulls midfield. The interesting bit is how this affects the cap space for both teams. This year Auvray picks up a salary of $170,000. The trade creates significant flexibility for the Sporks and further jams up the Red Bulls roster with aging, high-priced talent.
NYRB Continue to Drift: At the start of the season the New York Red Bulls were the favorites to top the Eastern conference and perhaps even win the MLS Cup. This weekend they were lucky to claw back a point in a 2-2 draw against the cellar dwelling Chicago Fire. They are now 12th in the league on a PPM basis and their last win was on July 6th. So, the NYRB could miss the playoffs despite the huge payroll, league-leading talent and the current leader for the golden boot. That's certainly enough to put coach Hans Backe on the coaching hot-seat. What the hell is wrong with the Red Bulls?
Cyrus Out for The Season: Improving the Spork's defense has been a priority for the team this off-season. The team brought in Trinidad & Tobago defender Daniel Cyrus in on a loan to help with the problems in the back. Unfortunately for the team, Cyrus fractured his leg less than one month into his loan spell and will miss the rest of the season.
WPS Attendance is Up: Attendance is up 89% in the Women's Professional Soccer League since the Women's World Cup. Playoffs begin this Wednesday. Women's collegiate soccer also starts up in the fall and the University of Washington is currently ranked 19th in the Soccer America preseason polling.