Sounders Insider

Working Jeremy Lin into an MLS blog post, more ...

The Sounders enjoy one final day off today before shifting into game-week mode with training sessions Sunday, Monday and Tuesday leading up to their Community Shield match Wednesday against Jaguares. (The latter two of those sessions will be at CenturyLink, meaning the new FieldTuft pitch is down and ready for action.) (Some new beer choices also will await fans this season.)

With little news expected today from the local club, here's a little news roundup from around the Western Conference:

It probably makes sense to begin with this very good Western roundup from's Grant Wahl, which includes comments from all nine coaches.

Here's an interesting Denver Post piece on Andre Akpan, a Colorado Rapids forward who went to Harvard with NBA sensation Jeremy Lin. (Lin arrived at Harvard in 2006, meaning his career there also overlapped with Mike Fucito, who graduated in 2009. But, alas, Fucito is no longer around to ask about that.)

It's only preseason, but Western Conference contenders Los Angeles and Salt Lake will meet at 5 p.m. today in the Desert Diamond Cup. You can watch online here.

Speaking of RSL, goalkeeper Nick Rimando is heading off to Italy with the U.S. national team.

In Portland, the Timbers have taken the No. 9 jersey from returnee Bright Dike and handed it to new designated player Kris Boyd. "I didn't know somebody else had it," Boyd is quoted as saying in the Oregonian report. "I apologize to the person who had it before."

In San Jose, of course, the big news of the week was the green light for the club's long-awaited, much-needed new soccer-specific stadium.

And in Vancouver, the Whitecaps got early bragging rights on their new Canadian rivals with a 3-0 win over Montreal. Former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux concluded the scoring with a penalty kick.