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October 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Happy Halloween! (Wednesday links)

I hope everyone has a fun, safe, dry-as-possible Halloween. Remember, the MLS playoffs kick off tonight with a first-round game in the Eastern Conference; No. 4 Chicago hosts No. 5 Houston at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.

Sounders fans might want to consider jumping on the Dynamo bandwagon since Houston is the only team Seattle can host in MLS Cup.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— First off, be sure to join our live chat with Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning at noon.

— To avoid a conflict with Friday’s playoff game, the first annual “Northwest Soccer Legends Night” has been moved to Nov. 9. Also, legends Gary Heale, Chance Fry, Gerry Gray, Neil Megson and Fran O’Brien are new additions to the event.

— Here are some playoffs predictions from the folks at (three of 10 editors pick Seattle to win MLS Cup), Grant Wahl at (he doesn’t), and another look through some numbers that says the Sounders have a 0.00% chance of winning it all.

— In other big news, there’s a new USWNT coach. His name is Tom Sermanni, the long-time coach of the Australian women’s national team. He’s scheduled for a conference all today but talked about the move here.

— In USMNT news, it sounds like there won’t be a January friendly before the next round of World Cup qualifying, Jurgen Klinsmann is just about guaranteeing qualification to the finals, and here’s a video report of the team’s German-Americans.

— Also, the folks at NBC Universal have indeed purchased EPL television rights starting with the 2013-14 season, and here’s a chat with NBC Sports president of programming Jon Miller.

— Here are some details on an event Steve Zakuani will be a part of at The Triple Door. The Sounders midfielder talked about it in this interview.

— Around the league, there is some Sounders representation on this All-Rookie team, league attendance ranked seventh in the world (higher than France), here are some quotes from the coaches in tonight’s and tomorrow’s playoff games, and Goal of the Year voting starts today.

— In a New York edition, the Red Bulls released a statement on how Hurricane Sandy affected their stadium, Kenny Cooper won MLS Player of the Week, and The New York Times ran this big piece on Chelsea captain John Terry.

— Elsewhere, Sounders technical director Chris Henderson was on with Salt Lake City radio to talk playoffs, here’s a look at numbers that suggest Seattle’s might’ve been the second-best team in the league, and here are some features on a decorated Chicago newcomer and the defending champion Galaxy.

— In some miscellaneous links, the AP has new soccer polls for players and teams, here’s the 23-man shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Arsenal came back from a four-goal deficit in a wild League Cup game vs. Reading, and former Sounders draft pick Jason Banton has been offered a contract by Crystal Palace.

— Also, Washington is still ranked in the SBI Top 25, Marcus Hahnemann was a guest on the most recent Nos Audietis podcast, and here’s a new-look training technique.

— If you missed it, here’s a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the “All In” ECS tifo a while back.

— Lastly, what is postseason without a hype video…?


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