Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Before we get to the links, I'd like to take a minute to thank all of you for making the Sounder at Heart community as great as it is. Feel free to share what you're thankful for this year, either as a Sounders fan or about life outside of soccer (if there is such a thing).
It would be easy to forget about Sounders HGP prospect Sean Okoli, since he's all the way out on the east coast playing for Wake Forest in the ACC. Despite the distance, he's doing everything he can to convince the Sounders to make him the team's second home grown player. Okoli currently has Wake Forest in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, where the Demon Deacons will face Notre Dame next weekend.
It looks like wedding bells are in Obafemi Martins' future, according to reports out of Italy.
Here are some things Sounders supporters have to be thankful for.
The Top Drawer Soccer ranking of draft eligible players is out and 10 players with ties to the Puget Sound are ranked in the top 100:
- 21. Aodhan Quinn, F (Sounders U23)
- 32. Taylor Peay, D (University of Washington, North Sound SeaWolves)
- 50. Miguel Gonzalez, F (Seattle University, Sounders U23)
- 55. Eric Stevenson, M (Sounders U23)
- 58. Michael Harris, D (University of Washington, Sounders U23)
- 60. Blake Wise, M/F (Sounders U23)
- 66. David Geno, M/F (Sounders U23)
- 69. Josh Phillips, D (Gonzaga University, Sounders U23)
- 72. Ryan Caballero, GK (Gonzaga University)
- 91. Jake Feener, GK (Seattle University, Washington Crossfire)
Jose Goncalves of the New England Revolution was named MLS Defender of the Year after a 2013 season in which he played every minute in every game.
Matt Reis was named MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year for saving the life of his father-in-law at the Boston Marathon bombing.
FC Dallas still hasn't made a decision on a new head coach, and the franchise may not even be finished interviewing candidates. The Hunt family may be reunited with former Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
With Montreal remaining silent concerning the future of the team's head coaching position, Mount Royal Soccer assesses the available options.
The New York Red Bulls have decided not to pick up Fabian Espindola's option for the 2014 season, which reportedly would have cost $450,000 or more. The team hasn't ruled out the possibility of negotiating a new deal prior to the re-entry draft. The Red Bulls have also reportedly parted ways with Heath Pearce.
Chicago Fire head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop expects to fill out his coaching staff within the next couple of weeks. Dilly Duka and Victor Pineda are currently training with Atlético Madrid as part of the "Team for the World" partnership that includes 9 clubs around the world. Fire defender Hunter Jumper luckily escaped serious injury or worse after a car accident in Virginia on Tuesday morning.
Reports out of Germany are linking 35 year old German striker Miroslav Klose with a move to the LA Galaxy next summer. Klose will reportedly sign a pre-contract in January and join LA in July. LA would have to free up one of its 3 DP slots. The most likely scenario would have Bruce Arena selling Omar Gonzalez.
Toronto FC has responded to reports linking it to deals with Jermaine Defoe and Alberto Gilardino by claiming that the reports are "inaccurate". It's interesting that the team didn't deny that it has been in negotiations with the players. Eighty-Six Forever examines the effect Defoe moving to TFC would have on soccer in Canada.
Ukraine will have to play its first home qualifying match for the 2018 World Cup in an empty stadium after having its appeal denied by FIFA. The sanctions were handed out to Ukraine after incidents in the qualifying match against San Marino in September.
Zahir Belounis will finally be allowed to leave Qatar after a two year dispute over wages. Public pressure on Qatar helped Belounis gain an exit visa.
Two people were killed yesterday in Brazil after a crane collapsed during construction of one of one of the new stadia for the World Cup. After the accident, a reporter was allegedly beaten and had pictures of the accident deleted from his phone. FIFA released a statement offering condolences to the families of the deceased workers and promising a full investigation of the accident. Pro Soccer Talk published some pictures of the damage caused by the accident.
Reports began to emerge yesterday that Andre Villas-Boas' position as Tottenham's manager may be in jeopardy. That's not entirely surprising considering how bad his team looked against Manchester City in last weekend's 6-0 loss. Cartilage Free Captain advises Spurs fans to neither immediately dismiss the story nor take it too seriously.
USMNT and Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones' contract is set to expire at the end of the 2013/14 Bundesliga season, which has fueled speculation that he could move to MLS after the 2014 World Cup. Regardless of where he plays, he says he won't decide where he will play until after the World Cup.
US Soccer announced the recipients of its Athletes of the Year awards yesterday. Jozy Altidore was named Male Athlete of the Year. Abby Wambach was named Female Athlete of the Year. Will Trapp was named Young Male Athlete of the Year. Lindsey Horan was named Young Female Athlete of the Year. Rene Renteria was named Disabled Athlete of the Year.
The presidents of NASL's 2015 expansion team in Jacksonville met with Celtic FC in Scotland earlier this week to discuss the possibility of a partnership between the two clubs.