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Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

December 13, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Portland Timbers have new unis and a gaggle of other links

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After my time off I naturally had to catch up on all the team and league news I missed — you might remember this post. I also gathered a bunch of links that some of you might find worthwhile during this downtime in MLS/Sounders FC news.

First off, if you haven’t seen the new Portland Timbers uniforms (pictured above), take a look. General feedback has been positive for the two-tone green and red looks.

To some Seattle news: the league website had a handful of Sounders FC-related stories, including an offseason checklist, a roundup of the best and worst moments of the season and an interview with coach Sigi Schmid. I was a little disappointed the Schmid Q&A was made out to be an exclusive when it was material from the end-of-the-season meeting with reporters (at least one question I asked was credited to Anyways, Schmid and technical director Chris Henderson were spotted at the College Cup, academy player Sean Okoli is off to Israel with the U-18 U.S. men’s national team and here’s a look into the new TechFit uniforms. Lastly, one writer wonders if Seattle’s soccer support would be affected by the possible return of an NBA team.

Other MLS and American soccer news

— The league website notes the underrated moments of the year, including the season opener at Qwest Field.

— The U.S. men’s national team has agreed to play a friendly against Egypt on Feb. 9.

Here’s an update on ex-Sounder Nathan Sturgis, now with Toronto FC.

— One writer suggests it’s time for MLS to go after top American goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Here’s an interview with MLS great Taylor Twellman, who was forced to retire early due to post-concussion syndrome.

— Houston has a new uniform, a new sponsor and dealt a fourth-round pick to Portland to acquire defender Jordan Graye.

— Philadelphia is reportedly close to signing a veteran Colombian goalkeeper.

— Not sure if I mentioned this earlier, but Real Salt Lake made forward Alvaro Saborio its first designated player.

— Apparently the L.A. Galaxy’s patience with Ronaldinho, as the Brazilian weighs a move to MLS, is growing thin.

— The SportsBusiness Journal listed the 50 most influential people in sports business and some MLS folk were included.

— Southern California is getting a new USL Pro team, to be called the L.A. Blues.

— Here’s a look at the recent success of MLS academy teams.

Some more Portland and Vancouver notes

First the Timbers: the team introduced four new players, filled out its coaching staff, signed a young English defender with Champions League experience and has been plastering some eye-catching posters around the city.

Next the Whitecaps: first coach Teitur Thordarson has a very entertaining video about selecting your seats to watch Vancouver games, here’s an update after a recent training camp, the team signed a couple players and a club legend has joined the coaching staff. Q&A’s with league coaches

The league website had offseason chats with New England’s Steve Nicol, San Jose’s Frank Yallop, Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis, Houston’s Dominic Kinnear, New York assistant Richie Williams, Sporting Kansas City’s (I still have to get used to that name) Peter Vermes, Columbus’ Robert Warzycha, L.A. Galaxy’s Bruce Arena and Chicago’s Carlos de los Cobos.

If there are others I missed, be sure to link to them in the comments section.

SoccerAmerica’s MLS position rankings

Find out where Kasey Keller ranked among league goalkeepers; Steve Zakuani rates well as a left midfielder, team Defender of the Year James Riley is on the right backs‘ list; his counterpart Leo Gonzalez can be found on the left backs‘ list; Jeff Parke was judged one of the best centerbacks; Ozzie Alonso‘s a bit low for my liking on the holding midfielders list; a Sounder for half the season made the rankings for attacking midfielders; a recent departure was rated among the top right midfielders; finally, the team’s newest DP is among the top forwards.

Argentina national team coming to Seattle or not…

Still not sure what’s up with this one. A Soccer By Ives tweet suggests the international friendly between the U.S. and Argentina (supposedly scheduled for March 26 at Qwest Field) might not be coming to Seattle. But the game is listed on the AFA website, for what it’s worth.

Freddie Ljungberg on the move?

The ex-Sounder might be on his way out of MLS. The Swede talked to Sky Sports and Goals on Sunday about his future, his agent talked to and here’s something in Swedish you can try to get translated.

More on Erik Friberg

Other updates on the soon-to-be Sounder from Sweden can be found here and here, both also need translation.

Local links and team in the community

First of all, congrats to the Eastside FC Boys U16 Red team, which led by coach Dan Strom won the Far West Regional League and qualified to play in the USYSA 2011 Region IV Championship in Boise. The Sounders Women will host a winter combine Dec. 18-19 at Interbay Stadium. Interested in being on the combine roster? Email general manager Jon Billings ( David Falk has another story on a local team trying to find its footing. Lastly, Federal Way product Kelyn Rowe, who has had a great freshman season at UCLA, was called in to the U.S. men’s national team U-20 camp.

A new pair of NCAA champions

Zakuani’s old team, Akron, won a national title Sunday with a 1-0 win over Louisville. Seattle-native Chris Blais helped lead Michigan to the semifinals. He’s a goalkeeper and co-captain for the Wolverines and was twice on our Star Times team. Notre Dame captured its third women’s championship by beating Stanford 1-0.

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