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February 7, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Sounders nearly back to full strength (Thursday links)

At long last, the four Sounders who have been on international duty the past month will be joining up with the team in the next few days.

Brad Evans tweeted above that he’s en route to Seattle after a month with the U.S. men’s national team, and Eddie Johnson is in the same boat. Mario Martinez has been in action with Honduras for several weeks, and Adam Johansson has been all over the world with Sweden.

But now they’re coming back and the Sounders will be nearing full strength (outside of some injuries and illnesses).

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— Reports here and here indicate the Sounders could soon be formalizing a preseason friendly with Veracruz of the Mexican second division. One report said the game is set for Feb. 22 in Tucson, which would be used by Seattle for CCL preparation for an upcoming quarterfinal with top Mexican club Tigres UANL.

— Here is more reaction to the USMNT’s 2-1 defeat in Honduras from MLSsoccer.com, SI.com, The Washington Post, ESPN.com, ProSoccerTalk and Soccer By Ives.

— Tickets for a March 22 qualifier against Costa Rica in Commerce City, Colo., go on sale Feb. 19.

— Did you see former KJR host Mike Gastineau is working on a Sounders book? He revealed as much in a live chat with The Seattle Times.

— How about Erik Friberg scoring against the New York Red Bulls in preseason action today? He’s still with Sweden’s Malmo FF.

Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, a Bainbridge Island native and UW product, has signed with the Portland Timbers.

— Elsewhere around the league, here’s another update on former Sounders defender Tyson Wahl, it looks like Chad Barrett might sign with New England, and Frank Lampard will reportedly be offered a new deal by Chelsea and has also been warned of the dangers of a possible MLS move by England’s manager.

— Here are some details for Sounders FC’s annual kickoff luncheon on Feb. 28.

— Here is our roundup of local soccer signees from National Signing Day.

— On the international scene, it’ll be Nigeria and Burkina Faso in the African Cup of Nations final.

— Lastly, Reign FC coach Laura Harvey got a nice going-away gift from the FA recently.

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