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March 14, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Opportunity arrives (Wednesday links)

ccl logo.jpgMake no mistake, if Sounders FC advances past Mexico’s Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League, it will be a huge accomplishment.

I tried to capture some of that sentiment in my preview story for Wednesday’s paper, noting that Mexican teams have dominated MLS in home-and-home series — winning 12 of 13 overall and 10 in a row. Seattle is only the second MLS team to take a lead into the second leg.

National writers have taken notice of the series.

“The Sounders are attempting to buck history,” says Ridge Mahoney of Soccer America, with lots of good stuff from technical director Chris Henderson.

“Seattle represents what’s possible for American soccer,” says Brian Straus of The Sporting News.

And Seattle will certainly be getting some leaguewide support.

“I’ll go ahead … and say that Seattle will advance in that series,” Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis told’s ExtraTime Radio.

“I want (the Sounders) to do well for sure,” said Portland coach John Spencer to ETR, admitting he thinks Timbers fans won’t feel the same.

As kickoff approaches, here are some links:

* * *

— It sure sounds like Seattle forward/midfielder Cordell Cato will be playing for the Trinidad and Tobago U23s in the CONCACAF Olympics qualifying tournament. Stories here, here and here have all said so. We should be able to get something from the Sounders tomorrow on the issue.

— In case you missed it Tuesday, I’m told midfielder/defender Amadou Sanyang will be transferred to the Charleston Battery of the USL. He’s remains under contract with Seattle through the end of the month, but has been exploring his options. Certainly a move to Charleston could prove beneficial for his development, as we’ve seen recently from Lamar Neagle and Alex Caskey. The transfer is expected to be finalized in the next couple days.

— Here’s a video report from the Sounders’ training session Tuesday in Torreon. That stadium looks awesome.

— The Sounders FC U23s will be hosting a CCL viewing party tonight at Doyle’s Public House in Tacoma (208 St. Helens Ave.). There will be prizes to win and a chance to meet Darren Sawatzky, the man in charge of the U23s and Sounders FC’s youth development.

— Also locally, Ruffneck Scarves has extended its deal with the Sounders, North Sound SeaWolves FC will be holding tryouts again on March 24, here’s an update on the Kitsap Pumas and, lastly, a Q&A with a former Bellevue College player whose traveled a long soccer road and recently signed with the Los Angeles Blues.

— Sounds like MLS commissioner Don Garber thinks 500 is a good number for an away fan ticket allocation for Cascadia games.

— The TV ratings for the initial NBC Sports broadcast Sunday weren’t very impressive.

— Elsewhere leaguewide, average attendance was good, Vancouver has a multilingual back-line and some subsequent communication issues, RSL’s Nick Rimando wants him some black goalkeeper jerseys, FC Dallas signed a forward from Colombia (where else?), Montreal is expecting a huge home-opening crowd and MLS teams were apparently shopping for New York forward Juan Agudelo (think Seattle was in that mix?).

— The U.S. finalized its training camp roster for Olympic qualifying with the addition of forward Tony Taylor.

— Monterrey of Mexico punched its CCL semifinal ticket, cruising past Morelia 7-2 on aggregate.

— The UEFA Champions League has its first two quarterfinalists: Bayern Munich routed FC Basel of Switzerland to advance and Marseille knocked out Inter Milan. Also, check out this interesting story of a South Korean and North Korean being on the same club team.


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