The Name Game

Over 8000 Seattleites evidently like soccer enough to place season ticket deposits without even knowing the name of our future team. Nevertheless, this is currently the hottest topic of discussion in Seattle soccer circles. The basic question is... to be Sounders, or not to be Sounders?

So against our better judgment, we're going to offer our opinion. The obvious reason to keep the Sounders name would be to preserve the rich history of soccer this city has. But if the new team has a different name, we will not be 'throwing away our history,' as some hardcore Sounder fans might argue. The ownership group (especially Adrian Hanauer) knows soccer and the importance of its history, and if the name is changed, they will surely take measures to preserve this. Keeping the same blue and green colors would be a start. Another way would be to put (with Paul Allen's blessing) a Seattle soccer museum in Qwest field, with banners, photos and newspapers from the days of the Sounders in the NASL and A-League/USL.

Of course, Sounders would be just peachy, but if not, we trust the owners to not pick a ridiculous name. If they could both take steps to preserve this cities' soccer history and still pick a classy, more 'traditional' soccer name like Seattle City or Inter Seattle, that would arguably be the best of both worlds. And hey, if they pick something horrendously stupid (Seattle Strikerz! Wooo!), there's always the chance that us fans could bitch enough to make them change it, like what happened in San Jose a few years ago.

In conclusion, a name change wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Feel free to vehemently disagree.


MLS 2007 season ends

The Houston Dynamo won their second MLS Cup in a row yesterday, 2-1, defeating New England on yet another clutch Dwayne De Rosario goal (as San Jose fans quaked with anger). And with the 2007 season ending, now would be a good time to do a congratulatory post.

First, obviously, congratulations to the Dynamo for being the best team in MLS for two years running.

Second, congratulations to the NE Revolution for being the second best team in MLS for three years running.

And lastly, we should give props to all the Seattle Unnamed FC fans who have already signed up and made a deposit for season tickets. At least 6000 deposits have been made - and that's before ticket prices have been released. So respect to all you who have signed up. If you haven't yet, uh, no hurry... there's still about 500 days to go until the first game. But do sign up eventually, as the cheap-seat season plans shouldn't cost more than $300. That's an awesome deal. Go for it.


MLS Cup - back on, by popular demand

Yesterday we learned that KOMO had bumped the nation's most important soccer game of the year for Hannah Montana. At the time, words failed us.

The original reason was that the FCC requires a certain amount of children's 'educational' programming, and so instead of cutting off NASCAR or one of the 3 football games ABC is showing on Saturday, MLS Cup will not be shown on channel 4 in Seattle.

However, we've just learned that the game will be shown live in Seattle on ESPN2! Keep in mind, if you live elsewhere, it's still on ABC. Big ups to all those who called in and/or emailed KOMO to make your voice heard. Also, respect to KOMO, ABC, ESPN, Adrian Hanauer or whoever got this thing figured out. Seattle soccer fans will be appreciative.

*EDIT* We aren't going to be able to post this weekend, so here's our MLS Cup prediction: New England 2, Houston 1. We're rooting for Houston, though, so we win either way.


Press Announcement Wrap-up

Turns out we didn't learn that much new information from the press conference. The name, colors and crest are yet to be unveiled, although it's safe to say the colors will be some combination of blue and green. The one interesting new thing is that the USL Sounders will be back for the 2008 season, which is cool but also sort of weird. How many people will go to Sounders games knowing they only have to wait one year for a team in the big leagues?

We hope that multiple high-profile friendlies are lined up for next year to draw in the casual fan. Maybe a Korean team like the Suwon Bluewings or FC Seoul? A Mexican team like Cruz Azul or Toluca? Toronto FC, perhaps?

On another topic, we'll respond to Mr. Wiley's question of "...what season ticket prices should be?" In a perfect world we would like a pair for free, please. Since that won't happen, we'd say 13$-15$ per game for the cheap behind-goal seats, 20$ for the corners, and 30$-50$ for the nice seats (with the highest prices being the club seats right at midfield.) These are sort of low prices, but we'd really love to see a packed house every night.

We'd also be very much in favor of student discounts. This has nothing to do with the fact that we are in school.


And now for the fun part...

The speculation can end: Seattle will have an MLS franchise.

And now, according to this article, all of the team's details will be announced at the press conference this coming Tuesday. So until then, we have three questions to ask of Seattle MLS: What is your name? What is your crest? What are your team colors?

We expect to see a new crest, but using the traditional Seattle soccer colors of green and teal-ish. As for the name... let's just say that the hardcore Sounders fans should be happy. *LATE EDIT* Suggestions for the name are now being accepted online, so the name may still be up in the air.

(Bonus points if you caught the Monty Python reference!)

Also, since this news has already been leaked, we can confirm that Drew Carey will almost certainly be a part of the ownership group.


It's official!!!!!

Screw Monday, we've got confirmation today!

As reported by the always awesome Larry Stone, Seattle will officially have an MLS franchise in 2009!

This news was really only a formality, but it is fantastic to hear nonetheless. A press conference is indeed scheduled for next Tuesday, so keep your ears peeled for that. One question that remains unanswered is about the team's name...hopefully that will be cleared up in the press conference?

At this point, we really don't care. The quest for MLS in the northwest is complete. Crap...that means we have to think of a new name for this blog!

Come Monday?

The new word on the street is that a Seattle-to-MLS announcement could be made as soon as next Monday. Details are scarce, but this informal announcement would be at Seattle's famous George and Dragon pub, and supposedly features a 'Hollywood celebrity.' Could this be Drew Carey, rumored to be in on the ownership team? To find out, head on down to the pub at 12 PM on Monday; it's a holiday, so there's no excuse for not being there. While you're there, cheer on Arsenal to beat Reading in an EPL match that starts at the same time. Go!

This informal announcement will apparently be followed by a more official one for the press and all next Tuesday. So we may not even have to wait until MLS Cup to hear what we expect will be good news. (We say this as we cross our fingers, knock on wood, and kiss our lucky egg.)

And if you can't wait until Monday, check out this site frequently. The domain name is owned by the Seahawks, and the website could come online as soon as today, although we wouldn't expect it until Tuesday. Still, there's the potential for a bunch of ridiculously awesome news to happen within about 75 hours, and we're crazy excited.


Designated Player Speculation: Shinji Ono

As MLS Cup and a possible Seattle-related announcement draw nearer, only 2 weeks away at the time of posting, all we can do is wait. Wait and speculate.

Supposedly Adrian Hanauer, the MLS Seattle boss-to-be, has been in Asia for scouting purposes. (Which would explain why he isn't responding to our emails!) It makes sense for him to be looking for an Asian superstar player to sign, as sort of a soccer equivalent to Ichiro. Well, we think we know of the perfect guy.

Shinji Ono (shown here in a Seattle jersey, 2 years in the future) is an midfielder, primarily attacking but able to play anywhere in the midfield. He's played for Feyenoord, Uwara (in the J league) and has had 55 appearances (with 6 goals) for the Japan national side.

He's known for fantastic vision and versatile, all-around strong play. Ladies think he's cute, so we guess that's a bonus. Plus his nickname is 'Tensai,' or 'Genius,' which we think is just awesome. But here's the best part - his current contract with Uwara runs out in winter of 2008 - just in time to join Seattle for their inaugural MLS season in 2009! And by that time, he'll still only be 29 years old. Perfect. A Japanese midfielder in his prime to build around.

The only knock on him is durability, as injuries have caused him to miss a bunch of games for Japan internationally. Still, that shouldn't stop Hanauer from pursuing Shinji Ono, who looks to be a perfect fit for a Seattle MLS team.

(Check out videos of him here and here.)