Sounders FC Year Two: Closing Fast on the EliteSounders FC completed its second season earlier this week, falling to the L.A. Galaxy, 2-1, in the second leg of their MLS Western Conference Semifinal series and 3-1 on aggregate.
In 2010 Sounders FC won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for a second time, becoming the first team in 27 years to repeat as champion. It earned a second straight postseason berth, won 14 games during the MLS regular season-two more than the inaugural campaign-and has lost fewer matches in the first two years than any club in the league's 15-year existence.
Just as the team's successes multiplied, so did its supporters population. Seattle shattered its own MLS season attendance record, averaging 36,173 fans at its home matches and running its streak of consecutive sellouts to 32 straight MLS matches on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. The home crowd of 31,311 for the Open Cup Final was by far the largest in the tournament's 97-year history.
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Upcoming Key Dates (times are Pacific & subject to change)Sunday, November 21, 5:30 p.m. - MLS Cup 2010, BMO Field, TorontoMonday, November 22 - Expansion Draft Protected Lists SubmittedWednesday, November 24, 11 a.m. - Expansion DraftThursday, December 2, 7 a.m. - FIFA Announces hosts for 2018 and 2022 World CupsFriday, December 17- Sunday, December 19 - Sounders FC College Combine, Las Vegas
Sounders FC Fast Facts
·Sounders FC finished with a mark of 19-14-8 in all competitions, 14-10-6 in MLS regular season (6th overall) and had the third best road record (6-6-3)
·Seattle finished with the best record (10-2-3) during the second half of the regular season, winning a club record (and MLS season high) five in a row overall and going unbeaten (5-0-2) in the final seven at home
·The Rave Green became the first repeat champion of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 27 years and broke the 97-year-old tournament's single game attendance record with 31,311 for the final, a 2-1 win over Columbus
·Sounders FC shattered its own MLS regular season attendance record, averaging 36,173. It averaged 30,943 in 2009. There have been 32 consecutive sellouts for MLS matches
·Two new Designated Players-Swiss forward Blaise Nkufo and Uruguayan midfielder Alvaro Fernandez-arrived following their action in the World Cup. Nkufo scored the first hat trick in club history and a Fernandez goal sent the Rave Green through to the group stage of the Champions League
·Fredy Montero repeated as the club's Gold Boot winner, finishing with 10 goals and 10 assists (12 and 11, respectively, in all competitions). He was one of two players to rank among MLS top ten in both goals and assists and was chosen July Player of the Month
·Steve Zakuani more than doubled his rookie season total with 10 goals and added six assists
·Nate Jaqua was named the U.S. Open Cup player of the tournament and finished as the joint scoring leader with five goals
·James Riley was named the team's Humanitarian of the Year and the MLS W.O.R.K.S. October Humanitarian of the Month. Sanna Nyassi was the April Humanitarian of the Month
·Seattle sustained the fewest (17) losses in the first two seasons of any club in the 15-year existence of MLS
·Goalkeeper and captain Kasey Keller has played in 59 consecutive (and 63 of 64 overall) MLS regular season and playoff matches, dating to April 25, 2009
·The defense posted more shutouts (11) than 2009 and allowed only 12 goals in the final 15 games
Sounders FC Turns ThreeSaturday marks the third anniversary of Sounders FC joining MLS. The November 13, 2007 announcement was made on the 75th floor of the Columbia Center.
Draft DatesThe Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the newest members of MLS in 2011, will each select 10 players in the expansion draft on November 24. All teams must submit their protected list by November 22. The MLS SuperDraft is scheduled for January 13 in Baltimore.
World Cup 2022: Join the BidThere is still time to join Seattle's bid to host FIFA World Cup games in 2022. The Emerald City has been identified as an official host city by the USA Bid Committee and will be included in the formal bid book presented to FIFA on December 1 in Zurich. On the following day, December 2, FIFA will announce the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Over 1.1 million people have signed up online to support the U.S. bid (www.gousabid.com), including more than 46,000 backing Seattle as a site to host matches.
The other 17 cities selected by the USA Bid Committee are, in alphabetical order: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
Among the LeadersSeattle finished the regular season leading the league in fouls suffered (362) and corner kicks (171). It finished second in assists (44) and seventh in goals (39). Fredy Montero took 91 shots (T-3rd) with 34 on goal (7th). His four game-winning goals is tied for fifth. He committed 44 fouls (T-5th) and suffered 60 (4th). Steve Zakuani and Montero each scored ten goals (T-10th) and had four game-winning assists (T-4th). Montero's ten assists is tied for fifth. Kasey Keller finished tied for third amongst goalkeepers with 14 wins. Keller's 11 shutouts is tied-second and he is fifth with 82 saves.
Academy: Rave Green Visit NorCalThe Sounders FC Academy U16 team heads to northern California this weekend on the bounce of winning three straight, including a pair of home matches last weekend. Meanwhile, the U18 team remained undefeated following a win and a draw at Starfire.
In their Northwest Division opener, the U16s (5-1-0) got a goal and an assist from Ike Crook to beat the San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1. The goals came two minutes apart. Austin Sweeney converted a Crook cross in the 15th minute and Jesse Klug found Crook for what proved to be the game-winner on the next foray downfield. Keenan Townsend made a big save in the 60th minute to preserve the win.
Seattle came from behind with four second-half goals to defeat the Cal Odyssey, 4-1, the following day. Klug's brace was backed up by goals from Michael Gallagher and Crook, while Connor Adkisson produced a big save and then assisted on Klug's second tally with a long punt. Klug now has four goals.
The U18s (3-0-3) were held scoreless for the first time in four matches by San Jose, settling for a 0-0 draw. Despite playing a man down for most of the match, Sounders FC finished with a 22-7 advantage in shots. Still, it was a penalty kick save by Ryan Herman in the 80th minute that enabled the Rave Green to earn the point.
Sean Okoli scored a goal and an assist the next afternoon in a 3-nil win over the Cal Odyssey. Brandon Brockway and Darwin Jones scored in the 33rd and 35th minutes. Nick Palodichuk assisted on the first and Okoli's insurance goal (his fifth of the season) just before full time.
The Sounders FC Academy teams face the De Anza Force in Cupertino on Saturday and the Santa Cruz Breakers on Sunday. They each host Crossfire Premier on November 20.
Seattle will conclude the 2010 portion of the schedule at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase, December 4, 5 and 7 in Phoenix. Sounders FC will face South Carolina United, Virginia Rush and Lonestar SC.
Sounders FC RosterThe following players are currently training with Sounders FC: Goalkeepers (3): Terry Boss, Kevin Guppy+, Kasey Keller; Defenders (10): Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Jamel Wallace*. Midfielders (8): Osvaldo Alonso, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez, Sanna Nyassi, Michael Seamon, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas; Forwards (9): Mike Fucito, Blaise Nkufo, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montaño, Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan, Ty Perdido*, Steve Zakuani.
*invitee; +MLS emergency goalkeeper
Throw-insUpcoming birthdays: Osvaldo Alonso turns 25 on Thursday, Nov. 11; Tyrone Marshall will be 36 on Friday, Nov. 12; and Leo Gonzalez celebrates his 30th on Nov. 21. ...Kasey Keller was the only player to appear in all 30 regular season matches. Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani led the outfield players with 29 appearances. Altogether, Keller and Montero each saw action in 39 competitive games. James Riley played the most outfield minutes altogether (3180)...Sigi Schmid's lead in career playoff wins is being threatened by Galaxy boss Bruce Arena. Schmid has won 19 postseason matches while Arena has 18 wins...Tyrone Marshall will enter the 2011 season just six appearances short of the exclusive 300 club. Marshall is 15th in all-time regular season games played (294), and ninth amongst active players. He is currently 24th in postseason appearances with 24...There are four Sounders members among the top 40 active players in total points. Pat Noonan is 17th with 115 points, followed by Nate Jaqua (18th/109), Fredy Montero (37th/61) and Peter Vagenas (40th/55)...Seattle's Fado Irish Pub is again among the finalists for U.S. Soccer Best Soccer Bar. Fado won the honor for 2009. Online voting began this week at ussoccer.com...A complete list of 2010 stats is available at www.SoundersFC.com/Team/Stats/2010-Statistics.aspx.