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June 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Ticket sales at 34,000 for USA-Panama World Cup qualifier (Thursday links)

The Washington Post provided the latest ticket sales update for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier between the USA and Panama at CenturyLink Field (as you can see above).

His tweet suggests disappointment in the 34,000 tickets sold — maybe not a huge surprise considering the Sounders averaged more than 43,000 per MLS game last season and will draw more than 50,000 for Saturday’s game against Vancouver.

Fans have been quick to credit ticket prices for the slow sales, and here is a story from MLSsoccer.com that defends Seattle in that regard and others.

Let’s get to some links:

*     *     *

— First off, it sure sounds like Brad Evans will be starting at right back again in Friday’s qualifier in Jamaica. Here is some other preview material from SI.com and The Washington Post.

— The rumor mill (credit to @SSFC_Rumors for the finds) has linked Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo to the Sounders in reports here and here.

— And speaking of Brazil, the USMNT isn’t too far away from the 2014 World Cup hosts in the latest FIFA world rankings.

— The U.S. U-20 roster for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey will be released Friday, and I’m fully expecting Seattle’s DeAndre Yedlin to be included. Academy forward Jordan Morris is also in the mix. Here is a roster projection from Soccer By Ives.

Mario Martinez definitely sounds like he wants to be a Sounder for a while in this story.

Potential pairings for the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals were released Wednesday, where it looks like the Sounders would’ve traveled to Texas in your “what if” scenario of the day.

— Around MLS, here’s a story on the Whitecaps ahead of their trip to Seattle, the Cosmos think three teams in New York is good for American soccer, and is the Galaxy in pursuit of Giovani dos Santos?

— Here is a piece exploring racism in Italian soccer that really sucked me in last night.

The ECS will be having a block party Saturday starting at 1 p.m. at the corner of Occidental Ave. and S Washington St. It’s a 21-and-up event. American Outlaws Seattle is having events all over for recent USMNT action, as well.

— Reign FC is working on having a beer garden later in the season.

— Both the Sounders U-23s and Sounders Women were winners Wednesday.

— Lastly, in a couple links with local connections, UW product Ben Fisk is doing well with the Charleston Battery and former Sounders goalkeeper Terry Boss has been hired as an assistant coach at Oregon State.

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