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October 10, 2012 at 9:52 AM

More praise for Sunday’s spectacle (Wednesday links)

ecs tifo portland.jpgPhoto credit: Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times

66,452.

It’s a crowd for an MLS game that won’t be soon forgotten here in Seattle. But lots of other people have taken notice, too. That figure was included in this piece on FIFA.com, and the stunning ECS tifo (pictured above) headlined this Guardian gallery.

Very deserved all around, and is this the next challenge for the ECS?

UPDATE 2:35 p.m. — Here’s coach Sigi Schmid on the tifo after Thursday’s practice: “I wanted to thank the fans for putting up the tifo. I thought it was a better likeness than I would have expected, but I thought it was a great honor. It was something that I wasn’t really able to address after the game … but it was really something that touched me that they would do that. I think it’s a reflection, again, of our fans. I know just recently The Guardian voted this one of the top tifos in the world. That’s the effort they put in and it never ceases to amaze what our fans are able to do, and I know the guys feel the same every time out.”

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— Did you see this report from Real Salt Lake that the Oct. 17 game here has been picked up by the NBC Sports Network?

— Here’s are a couple pieces in The New York Times and the Miami Herald on Eddie Johnson‘s return to the national team. One reporter also comes up with his depth chart for USMNT forwards.

— Another Sounder on international duty was interviewed recently (Adam Johansson for this piece on Sweden by FIFA.com).

— Did you see Landon Donovan and Brek Shea have been ruled out of this month’s qualifiers? USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann also gave this Q&A, but one writer wants to see more reward and less talk. And here’s a look at how hard qualifying in CONCACAF really is.

— Around the league, Toronto FC coach Paul Mariner has left the team this week following the death of his father, former Chicago Fire star Hristo Stoichkov has been accused of battery, and here’s a report saying the United States Tennis Association isn’t thrilled with the idea of an MLS team in Flushing Meadows.

— Also, Chris Wondolowski is tops in the MLS weekly Castrol Index but a few Sounders make the top 20, here’s a story on the idea of college for a young pro soccer player, Vancouver’s Omar Salgado is having trouble getting over a foot injury, and Orlando commissioned a study looking at what MLS would mean to the market.

Here’s an update on the Sounders FC Academy teams.

— Lastly, Grant Wahl‘s big piece on FC Barcelona has just been made available online today.

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