SBI MLS Season Preview: Seattle Sounders

After winning the Supporters Shield and U.S. Open Cup in 2014, the Seattle Sounders are focused on adding the elusive MLS Cup to the trophy case in 2015.

Garber new logo by Noah K Murray USA TODAY

Still no agreement in place as CBA talks continue

Talks are still ongoing between MLS and the Players Union ahead of Friday’s season opener.

MLS Cup Trophy 48

MLS Ticker: MLS signs sponsorship deal with Audi; Rumors swirling around Xavi, NYCFC; and more

MLS has signed a record-breaking sponsorship deal with Audi despite the ongoing CBA negotiations.

Carli Lloyd brace lifts USWNT in Algarve Cup opener

Carli Lloyd USWNT by Jerry Lal USA TODAY

Photo by Jerry Lal / USA Today


While searching for some new faces to inspire the team this summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team received a lift from its older, more reliable squad members.

Carli Lloyd scored twice in the second half to give the USWNT a comeback win against Norway in their Algarve Cup Group B opener. Lloyd’s equalizer was a splendid turn and strike from some 20 yards out, and a converted 62nd-minute penalty kick gave the USWNT an early upper hand in what is viewed as an important warm-up to the World Cup.

Early chances for the U.S. came and went, but it was Norway who struck first just before halftime. An unmarked Ada Hegerberg scored her 15th goal for the Norwegians, and the 19-year-old looked to hand her team momentum going into the break.

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Report: U.S. U-23s line up March friendlies vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark

LuisGilUSMNT1-Panama2015 (USATodaySports)

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports



The U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team won’t be the only U.S. international sides in action during the upcoming March FIFA dates.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team has lined up friendly matches at the end of this month against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Denmark. U.S. Soccer has not officially announced any friendly matches for the U-23s this year but the Denmark FA’s website has their U-21 team hosting the U.S. on March 31, in a yet to be determined venue.

As such, it’s expected that both friendly matches and a training camp will be taking place in Europe. U.S. Soccer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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SBI MLS Season Preview: Seattle Sounders



Six trips to the playoffs in six seasons. Two trips to the Western Conference finals in the last three years. Four U.S. Open Cup trophies. A Supporters’ Shield trophy. Victory over Liga MX side Tigres UANL to advance to the CONCACAF Champions league semifinals.

It’s an impressive list of accomplishments for a young club. There’s just that one little thing evading the Seattle Sounders: an MLS Cup trophy.

Last year the Sounders righted a listing ship, dashing memories of a disastrous end to the 2013 campaign with the club’s first Supporters’ Shield trophy, a fourth U.S. Open Cup title, and a close loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the conference finals. Still, a crushing defeat hurt that much more knowing that victory would have left the Sounders hosting the MLS Cup at a packed CenturyLink Field.

“Everybody has that bitter taste in their mouths after accomplishing so much, and being so close to doing something really, really, special by winning three trophies,” said center back Zach Scott on Tuesday. “Obviously the big thing now that we’ve been able to win the Open Cup and a Supporters’ Shield is to get the big one, the MLS Cup.”

The belief within the clubhouse is that there is enough talent on the roster to win MLS Cup, that the challenge is getting the team playing its best soccer when it matters most.

“By far the biggest thing is just to be clicking at the right time,” said Scott.

Here’s a closer look at the 2015 Seattle Sounders:

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Still no agreement in place as CBA talks continue

Garber new logo by Noah K Murray USA TODAY

Photo by Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports


Talks are entering crunch time, and negotiations are continuing between MLS and the Players Union.

The two sides negotiated until late Tuesday night and talks have continued into Wednesday. The principle negotiations still revolve around free agency, with ESPN reporting that there has been some movement regarding the league’s latest proposal.

The league has reportedly offered limited free agency for players that are over 28 years of age and have spent at least eight years in the league. Under that agreement, players would only be able to earn a salary increase limited to 10 percent when moving to a new team.

Goal USA reported Wednesday morning that the Players Union did hold a vote to strike, although the result of the vote was unclear. Talks between the two sides were reportedly seen in a positive light in the afternoon before taking a negative turn in the evening.

The MLS season is set to kick off Friday with a matchup between the Chicago Fire and LA Galaxy. The Fire have traveled to Los Angeles despite the recent impasse in negotiations.


What are your thoughts on the recent developments? How do you see talks playing out?

Share your thoughts below.

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NASL Ticker: Nothing imminent following talks between Lucio, Strikers; Armada’s Nicklaw, Millien called in to national teams; and more




Things are far from a foregone conclusion, but the Fort Lauderdale Strikers have registered some interest in a former World Cup winner.

The Strikers have recently been linked with a move for Brazilian centerback Lucio, and sources have told SBI that there have been “exploratory” talks between the two parties. While there has been contact between two sides, sources say that “nothing is imminent” at this point.

Lucio, who most recently has featured for Brazil’s Palmeiras, is most famous for his time with the Brazilian national team. The centerback was a part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning squad and played all 620 minutes in the tournament.

In addition, the 36-year-old has captured four league titles during his time with Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Juventus, while also leading Inter in the club’s 2010 Champions League triumph.

Here are some more of Wednesday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading »

Posted in NASL, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

MLS Ticker: MLS signs sponsorship deal with Audi; Rumors swirling around Xavi, NYCFC; and more

MLS Cup Trophy 48


Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding the league’s upcoming season, MLS has signed a record-breaking sponsorship deal.

Sports Business Daily reported Wednesday that Audi has signed a four-year deal to become the league’s official auto sponsor and presenting sponsor of the playoffs. The report also stated that the deal is “one of the largest in MLS history and Audi’s largest U.S. sports marketing expenditure”.

With the deal, Audi replaces Volkswagen, who had been the league’s official auto sponsor since 2008. The new sponsorship will see Audi develop experiences around the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, as well as national television and player appearances.

Here are some more of Wednesday’s MLS news and notes:

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Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- New York City FC, MLS- Orlando City, MLS- Philadelphia Union, Uncategorized | 7 Comments