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Sunday Kickaround

*With MLS Cup kickoff approaching, I take a closer look at the scene in Seattle and an extraordinary inaugural season for the Emerald City. I have attended all 14 Cups (Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America and Michael Lewis of the New York Daily News join me in this elite group), and I have never seen a city embrace the championship game like Seattle has the past few days. Let's hope for a break in the rain pattern, a quality match ... and no penalty kicks.

*Seattle weather forecast: 39-45 degrees, 90 percent chance of rain.

*Steve Nicol has agreed to a long-term contract extension with the New England Revolution, the Insider has learned. Nicol is MLS's longest-serving head coach, having been in charge since 2002.

*Seattle Coach Sigi Schmid was hospitalized for pneumonia Thursday night after experiencing difficulty breathing. His condition has stabilized and he is improving, the Sounders said.

*D.C. United rookie Chris Pontius is representing the club at league festivities, a late replacement for Ben Olsen, who is planning to retire.

*MLS players in Seattle for the match will meet with union representatives Monday and discuss negotiations concerning a new collective bargaining agreement. The current deal expires in January.

*The second round of the NCAA tournament unfolds today with 16 matches, including reigning champion Maryland at seventh-seeded Penn State and ACC champion Virginia hosting Bucknell in pursuit of a ninth consecutive shutout.

By Steve Goff  |  November 22, 2009; 2:28 AM ET
Categories:  College Soccer , D.C. United , MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Saturday Kickaround
Next: MLS Cup: Galaxy-RSL

Comments

"Ben Olsen, who is planning to retire."
--Goffster

On Saturday night, I heard a report on CSN that Olsen may not retire after all...Any word on this report or is CSN just terrible at reporting up-to-date news about soccer?

Posted by: redskinsux | November 22, 2009 3:43 AM | Report abuse

125 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | November 22, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to Seattle for embracing their team and MLS Cup. Let's hope the rain stops by kickoff, or we have another classic final like in 1996.

Posted by: MR1Caretaker | November 22, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm still skeptical that 40,000 will actually show up. If Seattle were in the final, the whole building would be sold out. But L.A. and RSL? With all the hype of Seattle being a "soccer city," (and barely getting 14,000 for the Gold Cup game played there this past summer) I'll believe it when I see it tonight.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 22, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John: Haven't nearly all of those 40K tickets already been sold? And with regard to the Gold Cup, was USA vs. Grenada really such a marquee event?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I think Seattleites will show up tonight because it's a civic pride thing - and they seem to be all about that. And to see if Beckham and Donovan's burying the hatchet season can end with a title

Posted by: Kev29 | November 22, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Good to see Pontius representing the team. The young guys are the future of the team.

Posted by: peter_nd | November 22, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I believe the children are the future.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 22, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"You are going to have true soccer fans, people who know the game," said Clint Mathis. "It's not like going -- with no disrespect -- to a Kansas City game."

Garber fines Mathis in 3...2...1

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

If I lived in Seattle, I'd pay to watch an LA-RSL final. Donovan and Beckham are entertaining when they're not playing against DC and, for some reason, Chris Klein has grown on me. Is it just me, or is Klein having a much better-than-average year?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Seattle has embraced soccer for sure. But I was there with 57,000 rain-soaked DC fans at MLS Cup '97 - that was true support in a torrential downpour. DC fans are sophisticated enough to support good soccer. But they won't support the mediocrity DC put out on the field the last two years. As long as Seattle has a good team, it will continue to show great support - but like any other professional franchise [like the Nats] the Sounders will see support drop dramatically when they hit a rough patch for 2/3 seasons.

Posted by: dcpsycho | November 22, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I read a report that Montreal will be announced as the 19th franchise in the MLS, is there any confirmation from the best soccer reporter in the States?

Posted by: DER27 | November 22, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Vamos Salt Lake, the Terps and hail to the Redskins!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 22, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

As much smack as I talk about Seattle fans, I must stick up for them in regard to the Gold Cup. It was played on July 4th and was a C team as I recall. Had Brad Evans been in the line up they would have gotten a bigger draw. Most fans I was jibber jabberin' with at the time stated they'd already spent all their money on Sounders STH's, and were using the 4th to "get back in touch with their families"....;)

Hope everyone is having fun out there, and a little reminder to MLS in the future: Seattle has like 1 month of summer and the rest of the year is rainy, drizzling, mess. Hopefully the fans are bundled up and keep it rockin' like they usually do.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes that Gold Cup game was an outlier due to the weak US side (known about in advance), the opponent and the holiday. A better measure of local support for the game is obviously SFC and the sold out international games at Qwest over the summer.

It will be an interesting sight to have no Sounders playing today yet everyone will be decked out in green and doing Sounders chants (at least at the beginning -- it may tail off towards the end if it is a compelling game).

I don't know who to pull for. I usually like underdog teams, but it seems odd for RSL to win it all when they didn't deliver during the regular season.

I suspect that the team that works the hardest on the pitch will get the most fan support.

Posted by: rice1234 | November 22, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if DadRyan could EVER get his facts straight. Seattle rarely has rain over the summer- extending into October- and has fewer rainy days than most cities in the northern United States.

We instead have a lot of dry but gray days.

From the opening game in March through the play-off game on October 29, we had only two games with any precipitation at all.

But facts never seem to get in the way of DadRyan's fictions.

Posted by: captainwierd | November 22, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm prayin' for penalty kicks...

But if you happen to see this Steve, I was just wondering how much international attention this game is getting w/ Beckam? Any foreign soccer journalists planning to attend the game?

Posted by: rademaar | November 22, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I read a report that Montreal will be announced as the 19th franchise in the MLS, is there any confirmation from the best soccer reporter in the States?

Posted by: DER27 | November 22, 2009 11:03 AM
__________________________________________

A link, s'il vous plait. (Or will I get in trouble for speaking French around here? If so, just imagine that I'm speaking with a Quebecois accent.)

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Re: "I was just wondering how much international attention this game is getting w/ Beckam?"

I read an annoying article in the Daily Mail about Beckham and this game, mostly just about Beckham. I left a comment but it did not get past the moderator : ) Other than that I haven't seen much.

Posted by: rice1234 | November 22, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@DER
Garber mentioned yesterday that the league is in talks with Saputo about being #19. Thats a far cry from annoncing it, so I doubt thats going to happen anytime soon.

@UandP
I think what J-J is trying to say is he's skeptical if all of those Seattle STH's who have tickets to the game will show up. I don't think all of them will come, but I still think 38-40K is possible.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | November 22, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

How many times do I have to tell you that everything I say about Seattle is tongue in cheek? Do you have Asperger's or are you just an @$$HAT? Its called obnoxious sarcasm, and again I lived there plenty long enough to form an opinion about Seattle being, a grey, drizzly, depressing place, except during those fleeting moments of summer when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds for a couple months.

Even when I'm sticking up for you, you somehow get rubbed the wrong way... Lighten up captainwierd, stop acting so weird.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I believe the children are the future.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 22, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse
----------------

Ladies and gentlemen, Sexual Chocolate!

SEXUAL CHOCOLATE!!!

Posted by: stancollins | November 22, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

A link, s'il vous plait. (Or will I get in trouble for speaking French around here? If so, just imagine that I'm speaking with a Quebecois accent.)

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse
---------------------

Fwiw, that info is here:
http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/blog/post/374977

They talk about it about 16 minutes in.

Posted by: stancollins | November 22, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Seattle has football in their blood. Those that don't have it, should experience it.

Posted by: juke2 | November 22, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Go Seahawks!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I went to the Baltimore Blast game last night. I looked at the roster and saw #11 on Baltimore. His name was Rod Dyanchenko, former DCU player. He played a total of 45 seconds - no lie.

Posted by: AnthonyTheGreat | November 22, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting bit in that Guardian article with Leiwenke (sp?), the AEG chairman saying they're changing the DP rule to allow 3 per team next year.

Are we making predictions yet?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Amr Zaki goes racist, xenophobic, and anti-semetic in his reasons for not wanting to play at Portsmouth. I'm rather glad a player who thinks like this won't be playing in South Africa come next summer:

http://tinyurl.com/yjjq4dq

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Jacobfrom Atlanta-ish,

Pierre Aubameyang
Francesco Totti
Julio Cesar Caceres

Posted by: B_A_ | November 22, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Good thoughts, I suppose, on DP guesses, but I was meaning on tonight's game.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 22, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Let's see -- DadRyan can come on here and spout what he euphemistically calls "obnoxious sarcasm". But then he PMSes left and right when someone takes a run at him for it.

Ooooooooook.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 22, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

What time is kickoff tonight? 8:45? 9:00?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Gee, if only AU had beaten Bucknell for the Patriot League title, the Cavs would have been given a run for their money.

And who are the geniuses at San Diego, UCLA, and UC-Irvine who scheduled their games for tonight?

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Ron, GFY already. I'm sick and tired of you crawling out from underneath your grumpy old troll bridge to try to prove you are on the podium for the King of the Curmudgeon Championship.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

(... just imagine that I'm speaking with a Quebecois accent.)
Posted by: universityandpark
===========

I did and you sound like Inspector Clouseau.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, tonight's game.

Donovan scores two.

Findley forces his way into National Team, transfer talk.

Movsisyan underperforms.

Kovalenko flirts with a red card.

Beckerman and Beckham have a confrontation.

Rimando is out of position late.

Drew Carey joins the announce booth early in the second half.

Galaxatives win, 4-2.

MLS Cup is the 4th story on the Midnight SportsCenter broadcast.

Posted by: B_A_ | November 22, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure they'll announce the attendance at around 40,000-plus, regardless of whether 40,000-plus actually show up.

If they DO show up, I'll be duly impressed and will gladly admit my skepticism was incorrect.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 22, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The significance in Seattle is that the Sounders are relevant in the city. That is significant. If you go to other MLS cities where do MLS teams rank in the hierarchy of sports relevance?

Posted by: csd1 | November 22, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Keep it up, dadryan :)

Atlanta's AJC actually had a good-sized article on the MLS Cup today (because of Mathis).

http://www.ajc.com/sports/rockdale-s-mathis-has-208112.html

Posted by: Reignking | November 22, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If you go to other MLS cities where do MLS teams rank in the hierarchy of sports relevance? Posted by: csd

Well, they are holding doing admirably well with solid fan bases and (i.e. Seattle, Toronto, DC, Houston) they are no longer being ignored as a flash in the pan (KC, San Jose) . . which is a plus, and have weathered a pretty deep slide in the business cycle, but yeah, many are an afterthought still (Dallas, Colorado)

Posted by: delantero | November 22, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Garber said something about doing a case study on MLS' Seattle success. Here's my analysis:
1. Find a city that's enthusiastic about professional soccer, but does not have an MLS team.
2. Allow their USL franchise to join MLS.

Don, you can send the $1M consultancy fee to me.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

If this game goes to PK's, my money is on Nicky Rimando . . . but hope that RSL tries to play an open match.

Posted by: delantero | November 22, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Beckerman and Beckham have a confrontation.
Kovalenko flirts with a red card.
Posted by: B_A_
===========

Dema pulls down Beckerman by his dreadlocks.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 22, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Juan-John, I am also a bit skeptical that we'll see 40,000 actually show up. But anything close to that would be a good number and hopefully be more telegenic than, say, a HDC hosted MLS Cup with sizable patches of empty seats.

In any case, I think it is time to, wherever possible, play MLS Cup at the ground of the higher-seeded participant.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 22, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

On top of old Smokey,
All Covered with Cheese
We've got Dema,
He'll break your knees.

Posted by: delantero | November 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

i didn't check an almanac, weird guy, but I spent most of the summer in seattle and I got rained on plenty. and it sure seemed to me like dadryan was giving props to his former hometown of seattle. i suppose there is no comment so anodyne that it won't get someone upset.

Posted by: troy6 | November 22, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, I lived in Seattle for 18 months in 92-93, and it didn't rain anywhere NEAR as much as I'd originally thought it would.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 22, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

OK, let's end this rain issue.

There's a great study that's analyzed National Weather Services data for rainfall across the country over the last 30 years and has identified the rainiest cities. They've done it both in terms of total rainfall, and in terms of rainy days (which they define as more than 1/4 inch of rain in a day). Even better, they've broken it down into three month sections!

Basically, from October to March, those Pacific Northwest cities (like Seattle, Olympia, Portland, Salem, Eugene) definitely have the most rainy days. From April to June, it's a tight mix of Miami, a bunch of places in Ohio, Kentucky, etc. -- no Pacific NW city cracks the top ten. Then for July-September, it's pretty much all Florida cities.

So there. The report is available as a PDF here: http://www.weatherbill.com/reports/rainfall

And yes, I am a librarian.

Posted by: edgeonyou | November 22, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I'd agree with that data edge. I'd have to say we get pretty violent rain and thunder here in the DC area, compared to a slow steady drizzle in Seattle. I never wore Gortex until I moved to DC. Just hung out in half wet sweatshirts in Seattle for YEARS.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Got back a bit ago from the Terps-Penn State Pasture game, now watching the finale of 'The Next Iron Chef Chef' (hey, everyone's got priorities!).
Terps win 2-1 at Jeffrey Field in so-called Happy Valley! Scores by Billy Cortez (assisted by a cross from Drew Yates) and a winning header by Jason Herrick (assisted by Billy Cortez, the Everywhere Man!) with 4 minutes and 5 seconds left. Oh, we went crazy!!!
Penn State tied it up in the 5th minute of the second half. (Taking this down, Steve?)
OK, they didn't even half fill their stadium. Ludwig at UMd gets far more per game than showed up for the second round of the national championship at Penn State. In fact, we could not look out at the countryside without being socked in the face by the MAMMOTH football stadium there. And we couldn't find Peachy Paterno ice cream anywhere!
Maryland plays next Sunday, Nov. 29, in Cambridge, Mass., against Harvard, who beat Monmouth today. And, fans, there may be another game at Ludwig, IF Maryland beats Hahvahd and if Portland beats VIRGINIA!
Oh, this is GOOD. Sorry for the excitement of the caps. Goff, met you at the Navy or Charleston game at Ludwig, whichever you covered. The matron who always sits below the press box, who couldn't believe you're so young. Go, Terps!

Posted by: sbuck | November 22, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

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