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December 8, 2010 at 12:41 AM

Back in rainy Seattle and catching up with Sounders news

2011shale.jpgPhoto credit: SoundersFC.com

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Hello everyone. I’m back from vacation and ready to get back in action, starting with the debut of the MLS re-entry draft Wednesday afternoon. Until then I wanted to catch up with some of the Sounders FC news that I missed during the break.

I thought I was taking a relatively light week off, but how wrong I was. Thankfully there are plenty of great resources for team updates and here’s what I was able to gather:

  • While it’s old news for some of you, Fredy Montero has officially re-signed with the club as its third designated player. Times reporter Jayda Evans had the story for us, noting that Montero’s rights are now exclusively Seattle’s — which would help compensation down the road if the Colombian striker heads off to Europe. The story also noted that an extension for Kasey Keller could be announced soon and gave a heads up that veteran defender Tyrone Marshall‘s option for next year would not be picked up, making him available for the re-entry draft.

  • Speaking of which, here’s a full list of players available for the re-entry draft, including: ex-USL Sounder Ciaran O’Brien from Federal Way, ex-MLS Sounder Peter Vagenas after being traded to Colorado and some big names like NY’s Juan Pablo Angel and Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham. Here’s some more information on the proceedings.

  • Other notes gleaned from the Montero press conference, as reported by The News Tribune and Sounder at HeartSteve Zakuani is under contract for three more years, Montero’s cap hit in 2011 will be lighter despite the raise, expanding Qwest Field capacity could happen with the Hawks Nest being the obvious target and no official decision has been made on replacing the turf for next season. Team-issued quotes from general manager Adrian Hanauer and Montero available here.

  • A day later the news got sour as FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar instead of the United States. To me, it was a shocking and disappointing decision and our columnist Steve Kelley agreed.

  • Another big day for Sounders FC news came from a team meeting with season-ticket holders. Complete reports on the proceedings are available at Sounder at Heart, GoSounders.com, Matt Gaschk‘s live blog and Prost Amerika had a handful of posts.

    The interesting bits I gathered were as follows and tell me if I misunderstood something as most of this information has not been made available to the press. The new proposal regarding ticket allocation for away fans in Pacific Northwest rivalry games could be increased to 500 pending league approval, the conditional pick Seattle got in the Freddie Ljungberg trade will be a second-rounder in 2011, the team will have a new shale uniform (see the picture at the top of the post) next season, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso has joined Zakuani in Liverpool to train with English Premier League side Everton FC, one might expect some academy signings next year, the team will have a preseason trip to Turkey to train, Seattle will host a Community Shield match against MLS Cup champ Colorado on March 9 at Qwest Field, the lineup of friendlies in 2010 was admittedly weak and Real Madrid was a target (something I heard rumblings of throughout the season), the big blowout friendly for 2011 could be announced soon, the team will have a mobile ap for next year and is partnering with the Special Olympics of Washington, Seattle will also hosts a supporters summit in March for Cascadia fans, ticket renewals are strong despite a fiasco surrounding unexpected price hikes, the team sold 18,000 jerseys and 25,000 scarves in 2010, a new MLS playoff structure is on the way and, of course, more signings are expected in the offseason.

  • Some team awards were handed out with Alonso winning MVP, Montero won the Golden Boot and James Riley was named Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.

  • The Sounders FC U-18 academy team was recently in action in Arizona and ex-Times staffer Jose Miguel Romero had the report on his blog. Some news, thoughts, pictures and videos available.

  • Lastly, as I got settled in Tuesday I noticed that three more Sounders have received their green cards: Zakuani (who announced the news on Twitter), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Blaise Nkufo won’t count as international players next season, providing the club much more roster flexibility.

I hope that catches us up on things and thanks for all the comments in the Year 1 reflection post.

Cheers.

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