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March 30, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Six-point game (Friday links)

The unbalanced schedule and playoff format in MLS this season has placed extra emphasis on games against conference opponents.

So while both Sounders FC (2-0) and San Jose (2-1) have gotten off to good starts against foes from the East, they’re both very aware that this is their first game in the West.

In this story, Earthquakes star forward Chris Wondolowski likened it to a six-point game — three points for the winner and three points kept from the loser. Goalkeeper Jon Busch said it will be San Jose’s “first major test.”

Importance was stressed with the Sounders, too.

“We’ve talked about winning more games at home than we did last year, and starting off 3-0 at home is important to us,” said coach Sigi Schmid, “especially because this game is coming against an opponent in the Western Conference.”

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— The Sounders FC U-23s will host Gonzaga in an exhibition at noon on April 15 at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. Season ticket holders get in for free and others will be asked for a $5 donation.

— The Sounders Women are now offering group tickets as a discount rate.

Amadou Sanyang scored for the Charleston Battery in a preseason scrimmage Thursday. His transfer hasn’t been announced yet, but is expected (might be due to his guaranteed contract with Seattle that runs through Saturday).

— Around MLS, one writer looks back to last season’s horrid spring where a trio of the league’s top stars. Only Real Salt Lake Javier Morales has been able to return in full. Seattle’s Steve Zakuani and FC Dallas’ David Ferreira are still working back almost a year later.

— Looking at the rivals, Vancouver will be without injured forward Eric Hassli (ankle) this weekend in Philadelphia and Portland will be wearing its throwback third kit against RSL.

— Here’s the latest from MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio.

— Tottenham will play Liverpool in a July 28 friendly in Baltimore.

Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands is running unopposed for the CONCACAF presidency.

— Yikes, there was an ugly scene at a South Carolina high-school game (warning: the video is pretty violent). The offender has been charged.

Here’s a picture of Fabrice Muamba sitting up healthy following his life-saving battle after his heart stopped on the field.

— Lastly, Jimmy Conrad interviewed Sounders Women’s forward Alex Morgan recently. I’ll post the video below…

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