One of the amazing things about the brand rollout was the clear, unabashed display of the extensive history of the Seattle Sounders. Scroll up and look at that photo. Seated next to Stefan Frei is USL-era legend Craig Tomlinson, winner of multiple titles. Behind the podium? Mike Fucito, the first memed player in the MLS era club. You can also see Pepe Fernandez, Lamar Neagle, Marcus Hahnemann, current teenagers and a coach who has touchpoints with every single era this team has gone through.
It's unique within MLS, and not just because it's a league that has turned its back on U.S. soccer history through much of its existence.
This is also why Seattle Sounders FC can get away with a primary logo that doesn't contain the name of the team or the city it plays in. How many other Anglo North American soccer teams embrace their past right into their present?
How many of their homegrowns could say that the carnation tertiary is their favorite of the new marks because it's a "secret callout to the people who know" and he's one of those who knows? That's something Josh Atencio told me at the launch party.
How many other MLS homegrowns would be able to say that the cartoonish orca is their favorite because as a child he and his mom would follow the Orca Network alerts and try to spot orcas in Puget Sound? That's what Paul Rothrock told me.
Frei talked at the event about earning more trophies, more stars and continuing to make history.
A major reason why Sounders fans have such a strong connection to the club is because of that history. You didn't need to be a part of it – there's probably someone in the stands next to you who went to their first game in the 1970s. You can throw a rock into the stands and hope to hit someone who was once a ballboy in the A-League or USL era. Former players in the booth won titles in '94 or '05 or '16.
We Sounders have these resources and legends among us. Each day we see new legends walk out in the rave green (under new shades or old) and blue and black and even red, ready to tell the next true story that will seem like a myth to the generations that follow. That's grander than any single win, or loss, but the amount of hardware certainly helps. - Dave Clark, Sounder in sport, Sounder in life*
*the first motto of Sounder at Heart
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UEFA tries to let Russia back into competition; Portland's former #1 keeper is now suspended; American Soccer Analysis is another step closer to one stat to rule them all.
Remember when Russia committed to a full invasion of Ukraine and proceeded to be kicked out of most major sports tournaments? UEFA is trying to backtrack on that, despite the fact that Russia is still committed to conquering Ukraine. Some UEFA members are pushing back, because, well Russia is still committed to conquering Ukraine.
The Portland Timbers are the hottest team in MLS – they've earned more points in the post-Messi era than Inter Miami has. That hasn't kept their former No. 1 keeper from filing a complaint against the leadership of the Timbers and then saying something to said leadership that earned him a league suspension. The words used have also caused a complete cessation into the investigation based on his complaint.
American Soccer Analysis took the next steps towards a unified single metric with advancements to G+. Much of this work is focused on gaining more understanding of defensive and possession phases of the game. The work is being done on MLS and NWSL simultaneously, which means you can learn that Megan Rapinoe is still one of the top talents in her league.
- Omaha-raised lead singer for 311 buys into Omaha Union of USL League One. I'm all mixed up.
- We should see the 2026 Men's World Cup schedule by the end of the year. Seattle will host 3-6 matches. Leaders with Seattle 2026 have stated that they would rather have more matches than hosting later round games.
- Brad Smith and the Houston Dynamo won the U.S. Open Cup. Telemundo had 1.2 million "Total Audience Deliver".
"The historic final ranked #1 regardless of language in the time slot in Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Orlando, and Philadelphia." All without Messi.
- Some of the issues with the USWNT are because of issues with the NWSL, per Jeff Kassouf in this column for ESPN.
- Bay FC, one of Reign's opponents in 2024, named Albertin Montoya as their first head coach. Montoya has experience in the WPSL, NWSL and US YNT systems.
- EA Sports FC released their latest soundtrack this week. Blur's Song 2 will always be my main screen song.
Puget Sound Soccer
What else are we watching this weekend?
North Carolina FC vs Union Omaha in USL League One play at 4 pm PT on ESPN+. No, Nick Hexum won't be there. He has a show in Nebraska tonight.
Sporting Kansas City II vs Austin II in the MLS Next Pro playoffs at 5 pm PT on MLS Season Pass. SKCII coach Benny Feilhaber picked the highest possible seed for his opponent in the first round. Bold move Cotton, let's see how that works out.
First up, let's review MLS important matches and desired results to help Seattle get another shot at continental glory.
- Nashville SC vs Seattle Sounders FC at 5:30 pm on MLS Season Pass. Seattle has to win to have a chance at the Western Conference pennant.
- St. Louis City vs Sporting KC at 5:30 pm on Apple TV (free). A Sporting victory is vital for the Sounders to get the one seed.
- Houston Dynamo vs FC Dallas at 5:30 pm on Apple TV (free). A Dallas win or draw would be helpful.
Reign are also in a playoff hunt and need results to help them secure homefield advantage.
- Washington Spirit vs Kansas City Current at 4 pm PT on Paramount+. A draw helps Reign the most.
- Chicago Red Stars vs Racing Louisville FC at 5 pm PT on Paramount+. Red Stars winning would be a fun surprise.
- Portland Thorns vs San Diego Wave at 7:30 pm PT on Paramount+. If you believe Reign have a shot at the Shield you want a Wave win, otherwise a draw works for Reign.
New Mexico United vs Louisville City in USL Championship play on ESPN+ at 6 pm PT features on-loan Sounder Andrew Thomas in goal and former Defiance star Ray Serrano for Lou City. New Mexico nearly needs to win out to make the postseason.
Los Angeles FC vs Real Salt Lake at 5 pm PT on FS1 and Apple TV. To get the one seed the Sounders should want RSL to win. An RSL draw is also helpful.
NJ/NY Gotham FC vs Houston Dash at 3:30 pm PT on CBS Sports Network. Go mighty Dashes.
OL Reign vs North Carolina Courage at 5 pm PT on Paramount+ and Fox 13+. Lumen Field's penultimate regular season match of 2023 should be a good one.
Tacoma Defiance vs Houston Dynamo FC II at 7 pm PT in the MLS Next Pro playoffs at Starfire Stadium. You can also watch on MLS Season Pass. Wade Webber and the org picked a rematch of last year's opponent.