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February 14, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Furlough day (Tuesday links)

I’ll be taking a furlough day Tuesday, which means this will be my only blog post of the day (and it’s been previously scheduled). I’ll be back in action early Wednesday morning to track Sounders FC’s training game against the Columbus Crew.

Until then, here’s my story on Sounders newcomers embracing the hunger for trophies in Seattle and here are some other links:

* * *

— Did you catch Alan Hinton on the radio the other day on 950 KJR?

— A local writer you may know posted the second part of his in-depth look at the MLS academy system and here’s an update from the Sounders’ U-16 and U-18 teams.

Here’s a report from the Kitsap Pumas open tryouts. Sounds like local product Nik Besagno, a former top MLS draft pick, will be joining Crossfire’s PDL team next season.

— Around the league, MLS veteran Chris Albright signed with the Philadelphia Union, New England signed a forward from the Bayern Munich system and Colorado is reportedly pursuing a No. 10-type from Argentina.

— It looks like Brian Ching is closer to rejoining the Houston Dynamo. Tottenham’s David Bentley is the latest name linked to MLS. The Columbus Crew commissioned a study recently to gauge its economic impact in the region.

— In Portland, owner Merritt Paulson was named Sportsperson of the Year at the 60th Oregon Sports Awards. He’s the first soccer guy to win the award since the legendary Clive Charles. The Timbers also have a trialist named Franck Songo’o who’s making an impact in camp.

The Soccer Insider got the scoop on the money U.S. Soccer paid coaches and players the past couple years.

— The latest from MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio is available; guests were Tim Ream and Claudio Reyna.

— Here’s some brief analysis regarding turf vs. grass and here’s some data that suggests success is driven by defenders.

— And as a sucker for moments of great skill, here’s a fun highlight

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/P-TbD_WCLu8?rel=0

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