The MLS site recaps Stefan Frei's comeback year with the Sounders, noting his steady improvement capped by a great game in the first leg against Dallas. Frei acknowledges that there "was definitely some rust" after not playing a game for nearly two years.
Sigi Schmid and Clint Dempsey had some positive words about newly-signed Homegrown Player Victor Mansaray. Sigi compared his level of development at 17 with Kei Kamara, whom he had worked with in LA, and said he thinks Mansaray comes out a bit ahead in that comparison. That can't be a bad thing.
Both Kamara and Mansaray happen to hail from Sierra Leone, and after seeing that nation's flag I'm thinking the Sounders should be recruiting quite heavily among Sierra Leonans. Playing in a Sounders kit they get to represent club and country all at once!
Speaking of Homegrown players, Mansaray -- I can't stop thinking of manta rays -- might not have been the name you expected to sign with the first team right now. So, who's got next in the pipeline of academy players?
If you enjoy beer and this site (pretty sure that's all of you), you may recall a recent collaboration that melded the two, Cascadia Shale Ale by NW Peaks Brewery, a beer built with the help of Dave Clark to honor the Sounders and this community. NW Peaks is opening a tap room in Ballard, The Bergschrund. Starting in December you can support those who support local soccer by drinking their delicious concoctions just steps from where they are brewed.
Beginning Friday, Nov. 14, UP Global and the Sounders are hosting the first ever sports-themed Startup Weekend. Adrian Hanauer will be part of the judging panel on the final day, so this is your chance to pitch that awesome sports-business-related idea you've been tossing around.
Major League Soccer
Apparently Mexican paper La Hobby is reporting that MLS has offered "Cubo" Torres $1.5 million a year [Source: in Spanish] to remain in MLS, with his team TBD. The usual suspects are mentioned as possible homes for the man with a cube-shaped head and robotic tendencies, including Seattle.
Colorado Rapids announced the hiring of a new sporting director, Pádraig Smith, formerly of UEFA and the Football Association of Ireland. He'll be focused on data analytics and player performance assessment.
Although Sacramento is pulling out all the stops to snag that last dangling expansion spot, the league is content to take their time to make a decision, saying one isn't likely before 2015.
Steve Davis on Soccer Gods says the era of British or British-trained coaches in MLS should be left behind, and offers some evidence the league has moved on tactically from "boot it to the big lad up front."
Tesho Akindele might be a known enemy of the Sounders, particularly at the moment, but in good news for the USMNT, the youngster appears to have picked the US team over Canada after reportedly accepting a callup for next week's friendlies.
High school residency programs that combine soccer development and standard education could be the future for top-level US youth soccer players, but much has to change first. A few programs are already in operation and experimenting with the process.
With the NFL fiending for international expansion for some reason (that reason is money), and European soccer leagues interested in that same thing for some reason (also money), who will win the global sports battle (that soccer already won)?
Galatasaray fans are a bit rowdy, and they made a serious mess of things during their team's Champion's League away match vs. Borussia Dortmund, including throwing lit flares into a Dortmund fan section. German police are considering filing serious charges against some of the arrested Galatasararians, including attempted manslaughter.
An Irish fan applied to be head coach of the Irish National Team, and I'm not sure why his application was rejected. These are revolutionary tactics.