Seattle Sounders Took MLS by Storm in ’09, but will 2010 Bring More of the Same?

The Seattle Sounders are a strange team. They’re a riddle locked in a conundrum, a puzzle wrapped around a quandary, an enigma of what-ifs and maybes. Take last season as an example. They were the most-supported club, even though they were playing in just their first season. They had the fewest shots on goal, despite being led by the player who eventually topped the league in shots. They conceded the lowest number of goals, while having more men sent off than anyone else. In theory, Seattle should be a poorly-supported, ill-disciplined team that lets in a lot of goals and misses the playoffs by a mile. In reality, they’re loved by fans, envied by competitors, and they may just have the making of a team that could turn into perennial contenders for silverware and trophies. A second-year team, simply put, shouldn’t be this good. But the start of the 2010 season hasn’t gone all Sigi Schmid’s way. An opening day win at home to the Philadelphia Union wasn’t all that unexpected, but their Week Two defeat against the New York Red Bulls certainly was. The Sounders dominated the Red Bulls in every way possible, but despite all of their numerical advantages, they couldn’t find a ...
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Will Blaise Nkufo’s Heavy Workload Be a Big Concern for Seattle Sounders?

The Seattle Sounders today announced they have signed Swiss international Blaise Nkufo from Dutch club FC Twente. Nkufo will play out the rest of the season in Europe before heading out to the World Cup in June, and he is expected to join the Sounders by the middle of July, halfway through the MLS campaign. Even though the Sounders knew they would only have the veteran striker for 15 or 16 games in 2010, they were not reluctant in pulling the trigger on the deal. 34-year-old Nkufo said he will be ready and raring to go when he lands on the West Coast, but I have serious concerns about him burning out. Nkufo has played in 213 league games for FC Twente in the last seven seasons, an average of 30 a year, including 122 games in the last four-and-a-half seasons since turning 30 years old. That’s not including other club competitions or international matches. This season alone, he has appeared in 10 games in the UEFA Europa League, two Champions League qualifying games, and five matches for Switzerland. Twente have eight fixtures left in Holland’s Eredivisie, including a crunch match on March 20 against league leaders PSV Eindhoven, and regardless of whether Nkufo and his ...
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2010 MLS Preview: The Western Conference

It's now less than five weeks until the start of the 2010 Major League Soccer season. Teams have been active in winter scrimmages and training camps, and SuperDraft pickups are integrating with their new clubs ahead of the upcoming campaign. Last season the Western Conference was as competitive as it has ever been before. L.A., Houston, and Chivas USA each proved why they deserved a shot for the game's top prize, and expansion team Seattle Sounders shocked a lot of people on their way to a memorable first season. But for every success story, there has to be the odd team that fails to live up to the rest. In 2009 it was the lowly San Jose Earthquake. Winners of just seven games, they quickly became the whipping boys of the conference, something they will be looking to change when they kick off next month. Real Salt Lake only just crept into the playoffs at the end of the year at the expense of Colorado and they will be fired up as they get set to defend their crown. Jeff Cunningham, Conor Casey, Zach Thornton, Landon Donovan, Geoff Cameron, and Freddie Ljungberg all shone in 2009. Who is going to step up this year? Her's my preview ...
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