I got the chance to speak with Sounders FC defender James Riley about returning to training after some intense negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
He said the players are happy with the new provisions in the CBA, even despite the absence of free agency, and believe they’ve helped advance the league for the future generation of MLS players. But, unfortunately for Riley, there is tempered enthusiasm for the opener.
He’s suspended for Thursday’s game against Philadelphia after getting a red card in the last game of the 2009 season against Houston.
“It hurts a little bit,” Riley said. “It’s going to be a special day, but I’m ready to be a fan and support the team.”
In case you didn’t know, his 27 starts and 2334 minutes were among the team’s best. Riley also added a career-best four assists.
Let’s get to some links:
- Happy Birthday Jeff Parke. How’s 28 feel? I bet you think a contract offer might be the best present of all, huh…?
- Other stories involving Seattle: the Philly Union players talked about coming to Qwest and here’s an AP story on the Sounders FC players reaction to the CBA, minus free agency.
- Some roster moves are being made around the league as compliance day nears: Chicago made a surprise move and cut Jon Busch, a former goalkeeper of the year, and Dallas said goodbye to defender Steve Purdy.
- In other MLS links: Soccer America had some team goalkeeper rankings, here’s a story on the legacy of Lamar Hunt, John Mayer wore a K.C. jersey in concert and, finally, one writer has some MLS rankings predicting some great things for Seattle.
- Here’s a fun chat with SI’s Grant Wahl.
- Some random links to close it up: Inter’s Mario Balotelli created a bit of a buzz by wearing a Milan shirt and David Beckham has been linked to a remake of the movie “Victory.”
A couple of videos before you go. A bit of potpourri.
1. Who’s to blame for this own goal? Defender? Keeper?
2. Perhaps the best free-kick ever? Not really, I know, but still fun…