The Sounders are getting closer and closer to full strength as Eddie Johnson and Mario Martinez have been expected back in training today after a short break following international duty (and the Real Salt Lake game).
There is, of course, still uncertainty surrounding Martinez, as his loan with Seattle expires Sunday. He also sent out this cryptic tweet this morning that could indicate a return to Real Espana along with a national team call-up.
General manager Adrian Hanauer had an important note when it comes to Martinez: “We’re still in discussions. I know June 30 has been out there as sort of a witching-hour date, which it isn’t necessarily. June 30 is the date by which we must give notice if we intend to exercise the option as it’s laid out today to buy Mario. But there is nothing that restricts from getting beyond that date if we don’t intend to exercise it exactly the way it is. Again, without getting into too much detail, if we were going to exercise things exactly the way things were, June 30 is an important. If not, this could potentially drag on.”
And there is additional confusion surrounding Martinez, as he wasn’t named to Honduras’ provisional roster for the Gold Cup — which CONCACAF described as “binding” — but he was apparently listed on the team’s 23-man roster for the start of the tournament. We’ll see if we can get some clarification all of that today.
Also, DeAndre Yedlin should be on his way back after the U.S. crashed out of the FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 4-1 loss to Ghana on Thursday. The 19-year-old Seattle native had to leave the game with a shoulder injury, so we’ll see if there’s an update on that.
I asked Hanauer how the team might handle interest abroad in Yedlin, who looked to impress on the world stage.
“DeAndre is under contract here for a long time, but it’s our sport — if offers come in, offers come in and we deal with it as that happens,” Hanauer said. “But DeAndre is our starting right back right now, and we’d like to have him here as many years as possible.”
Let’s get to some quick links:
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— There is a note on Twitter that trialist Roberto Chen has signed with the Sounders. That’s about as informal as a report gets, so I’ll see if the Sounders have anything to say about it. One report says Seattle is also after La Liga veteran Sergio Ballesteros.
— In some MLS news, Sporting Kansas City re-signed Graham Zusi to a new deal, leading many to think that’s a way to ensure maximum compensation before a move abroad. Also, San Jose pulled off a surprising move, signing U.S. international Clarence Goodson after holding onto his rights since the 2007 MLS Expansion Draft.
— ProSoccerTalk looks at a full-strength Reign FC, which are actually on an unbeaten streak after a two-game road trip. Here was an earlier Soccer By Ives piece on Hope Solo. Also, here’s a Sports Illustrated story on USWNT star Alex Morgan, which has much mention of boyfriend Servando Carrasco.
— It will be Brazil and Spain in the Confederations Cup final after Brazil got a late goal to beat Uruguay and Spain outlasted Italy in penalty kicks.
— Links I had been meaning to get to include, Arne Friedrich being forced to retire and John Strong being named the new voice of NBC Sports’ MLS coverage. Carlos Bocanegra is being linked to a return to the league, plus there is this update on Orlando’s efforts to get an MLS franchise.
— Lastly, be sure to check out the first episode of MLS Insider, in case you missed it…