By CALEB SONNELAND
The Sounders will be a busy bunch this week with a dual match-up in the MLS and an Open Cup game on just a single day of rest.
Seattle will play host to the New York Red Bulls tonight (10pm EST) and the New England Revolution on Sunday (4pm EST) on top of welcoming the Kitsap Pumas to Starfire Sports Complex next Tuesday.
Fatigue will definitely be an factor for the reigning Open Cup champs, and head coach Sigi Schmid was the first to voice his concern over the issue, saying the league should implement a 48 hour rule between games.
The match-up certainly has its fair share of side plots as the Pumas are coached by Sounders FC media analyst Peter Fewing, starting goalkeeper Bryan Meredith was drafted by Seattle in this year's SuperDraft before narrowly missing the cut, and Sounders defender Zach Scott could be lining up against his brother, Dan Scott, a defender for the Pumas.
Whoever emerges from the local derby will play host to either the LA Blues or LA Galaxy in a USOC quarterfinal on July 12th at the Starfire Sports Complex (10pm EST).
Jamaican striker O'Brian White having some fun and shooting around midweek on reserve keeper Terry Boss, indicating that a return to action in the near future is not a pipe dream at all.
Schmid said that White was also able to take part in the team's full warm-up, and next, he'll start training as a neutral while being closely monitored by the trainers. "I think three weeks, three to four, is probably a realistic timetable," said the head coach. "Could be sooner if we're a little fortunate."
According to Schmid, White should be around a return in mid to late July — around the time of the Manchester United friendly. However, a return to action at the Houston Dynamo may be a more reasonable fixture to expect for the striker.
NEW FACES IN CAMP
It was confirmed earlier in the week that Gianfranco Di Julio, a 24 year old Venezuelan midfielder, and Cordell Cato, an 18 year old native of Trinidad and Tobago, are currently on trial with the Sounders trying to earn a permanent spot on the roster. On top of other trialists, 22 year old Mrisho Ngassa of Tanzania is expected to make his way out to Seattle for a trial in July but that has yet to be confirmed.
Strikers Cillian Sheridan and Myron Samuel both had a trial earlier in the month as the club consistently try to find new options for the squad from abroad.
MULLAN RETURNS TO ACTION
10 games later, Brian Mullan will make a return to action after brutally breaking Steve Zakuani's leg in the Colorado/Seattle clash in late April.
Despite Zakuani insisting that he holds no ill will toward the Colorado midfielder, there was a faction of soccer fans that called for Mullan to receive a longer ban than the initial 10-game suspension he faced as a result of the tackle.
Mullan will be eligible for the Rapids' upcoming away fixture in Ohio against the Columbus Crew on Sunday the 26th.
Are you excited for the derby against Kitsap? How effectively will White be able to return to action? How do you feel about Mullan's suspension expiring?
That photo should be labeled: Child Abuse.
Really hope the rumors about Prince Tagoe are true. I would love to see a great striker up top w/ montero
This is the formula for success in USOC, buy home field advantage. DC has done it so Seattle just copied them.
It’s not about fairness it’s about financials to US Soccer. That’s why match ups are done regionally (saves travel costs) and why more lucrative bids win home field advantage (better chance of making money- or let’s be honest, losing less).
BTW. Sounders should have let the Pumas host this in Bremerton to really build the long term base of soccer in the NW. It would have been a huge deal for the gritty blue collar shipyard town. 7000+ would have attended. But Sounders blew the minnow out of the water with their bid to host.
A Pumas triumph over Sounders reserves on Tuesday would be epic. Allez Pumas!
I expect to see some goals tonight
thanks for the info. I am neutral to the PNW rivalry, but was surprised to learn Seattle was drawing 45K-50K to is match against NYRB. I thought Portland, even with fewer residents in its metro area, could probably draw crowds up to 50% more than JELD-WEN’s stadium capacity.
The Sounders have proven their depth this season with the reserve side going 6-0-0. It’s going to get much tougher when the CCL games start, but this USOC match shouldn’t put too much strain on the roster.
As far as Mullen goes, he’s done his time. I hope he starts July 16 when Colorado comes to Seattle. We’ll be sure to give him the reception he so richly deserves.
There are actually some more seats available in the stadium and it could be a little larger on the side. Apparently it gets really crowded in the pathways inside the stadium and that is part of the reason the restricted it to 18,000. I have to think at some point though they will raise it. Best place in the USA to watch a soccer match!
Well… it was PGE park… and it’s pretty much as big as the space will allow… and they were probably limited by time and money. Maybe they can expand upward later, but for the start of this season that probably wasn’t possible.
goin tonight. should be an great atmosphere 45,000+ baby!!!!!
i hate portland too
Have you seen where it’s built? Reto-fitted into a baseball stadium, sunk bellow ground. Not much extra room.
Curious to see how seriously Seattle takes USOC this year with a busy week ahead. At least they are all home games.
Mullan should not be playing this entire season
A little off topic, but do any Timbers fans know why the club decided to build JELD-WEN to a 18K capacity instead of larger? It seems like with all the support, they could probably fill a bigger stadium. Were they limited by space, finances, zoning laws, etc?