It’s not even the start of the regular season for the buys in Rave Green and I’m already behind schedule and in turn behind with Sounders news — that will be adjusted starting now. Here’s a ton of news and links to get your weekend started right.
– With only three weeks until Seattle Sounders FC open up their 2013 MLS schedule at home against the Montreal Impact, the squad is back in Tuscon, Ariz. for their final pre-season tune-up matches, starting with the Desert Diamond Cup.
The Sounders opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory against the New England Revolution
The Sounders will face Real Salt Lake tonight at 4 p.m. to secure a spot in the championship game.
-One of the biggest position battles in camp has been for the new center back spot alongside Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Although that spot may still belong to the injured Patrick Ianni upon his return, former Premier League stars Djimi Traore (Chelsea) and Mikael Silvestre (Manchester United) have been in camp and are seemingly competing for one spot. That job now looks like it may be Traore’s which I’m perfectly OK with.
– In one of the most cryptic and out-of-the-blue comments I’ve seen in a while, Sounder at Heart editor Jeremiah Oshan (guy knows his shit) said that Sounders central midfielder Christian Tiffert, “may have played his last game as a Sounder.” This revelation is purely opinion according to Oshan and nothing is confirmed, but Tiffert is not on this Arizona trip and did not play against Portland on the last one either with an undisclosed injury.
Oshan went on to say that he’s had conversations with GM Adrian Hanauer who’s said he could see three new designated players this season. Tiffert could have been a midfield rock for the Rave Green, but a move to a lower European league — Russia or Turkey — or an MLS move (please let it be Chicago) could be in his near future.
– One of the DPs that may be filling one of the two open spots come the summer window is ex-Barcelona and Argentinian forward Javier Saviola. The current Malaga forward is having an excellent season in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League with seven goals and three assists. Not only does the 31-year-old have skill to bring to the table, but his experience at both the club (played for Real Madrid as well) and international level will be unmatched on the squad.
– Finally, one of the great guys in MLS and soccer as a whole left the game yesterday, when former Columbus Crew and USMNT winger Robbie Rogers came out as gay and then decided to step down from the game. The decision that Rogers made to come out is a courageous and difficult one in which he has the full support of everyone in the soccer community. Several Sounders are close to Rogers including national team members Johnson and Evans, along with former Crew and current Sounders manager Sigi Schmid. Here’s a few messages the squad recorded in support of Rogers.