Seattle to have company?

Seattle might (might!) not be the only team entering MLS in 2009.

The long-running battle between Philadelphia and St. Louis for the 16th expansion slot may have just been won by those from the land of cheesesteaks and obnoxious sports fans. The state of Pennsylvania has just announced that they're cool with giving about 50 million dollars for building a brand new soccer stadium in a Philly suburb. This is in addition to 30 million dollars of county money.

There's plenty of time remaining before the 2009 season, and having Philly and Seattle join at the same time would give the league a friendly number of 16 teams. Philly would have to play in a temporary home for one year, but the University of Penn Stadium would probably work as a decent option.

However... based on what Commissioner Don Garber has said in the past, MLS would prefer to have the next team open in their own stadium, making it probable that Philly doesn't start until 2010. On the other hand, he kinda changes his mind all the time, so don't rule out a 2009 start for the club-to-be.

Philly's proposed stadium:

Kinda looks like a toilet seat...
(but still cool.)

Click here for the MLSnet article.


Already Making Headlines

Seattle's hiring of Chris Henderson is on the front page of MLSnet.com as of now. It's great to see the club to-be getting such positive press more than a year before the team begins play, and especially to see things like this (from Henderson):

"The stadium experience will be incredible. We're confident that the 24,500 lower bowl will be filled to capacity. The fan club sections, the VIP sections will be state of the art. Word around the country is all about what is going on in Seattle. We'll all -- fans, organization and players alike -- be part of something big. I'm happy to be coming home to see it."

All the ingredients seem to be in place to build a team/franchise that can be perennially successful - the Asian connection, a great (on paper) ownership group, a brilliant stadium in the heart of an amazing city. And that's what has us so excited; we could be not only major league, we could be one of the best major league franchises. In America. Sweetness.


Quick update

Kevin Forrest was taken third in today's supplemental draft by Colorado, where he will join another local star, Ciaran O'Brien, in fighting for a roster spot and/or playing time. According to Forrest, the two are friends and have trained together with the Sounders. Good luck to both of them.

And Seattle MLS has made its first hire! Everett's Chris Henderson, a longtime Major League Soccer guy, will join the club as its technical director. His job's likely going to be mainly advising the staff on the many intricate facets of MLS, as well as simply being Hanauer's assistant. So congratulations to him and to the club for officially doing something.


Kicking it with... Kevin Forrest

UW's Kevin Forrest, former Pac-10 Player of the Year, was unfortunately passed over in the MLS Draft but will likely be picked in the Supplemental Draft next week. We tracked him down on Myspace and he was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Seattle MLS - So what's your plan from here? Just wait and see where you go in the supplemental draft?

Forrest - For now I will just wait and see how the supplemental draft goes, and if I get called in somewhere I'll definitely give it a shot.

SeaMLS - How was the combine? Was that the toughest competition you've ever faced?

Forrest - The competition at the Combine was good, but it wasn't anything new. It was a little more difficult for me having not played in a while, but the level was what you would expect from a group of good college players.

SeaMLS - Are you 100% recovered? (He missed much of last season with a stress fracture.)

Forrest - The Combine games were my first games back, fortunately my foot held up and seems to be healed. As far as gaining full fitness back I still have a ways to go and I still have to be careful about overtraining so that I don't put myself in a position to stress my injury.

SeaMLS - On a scale of 1 to awesome, how would it be to play professional soccer in Seattle?

Forrest - I love Seattle and playing here would be amazing. For now I have to keep my options open and take opportunities as they come, but if I end up playing here I couldn't be happier.

Results of MLS SuperDraft

...because it's not just a draft, it's a SUPERDraft.

Anyways. Local boy Ciaran O'Brien (Decatur HS) was picked 5th overall by the Colorado Rapids, so congratulations to him. Ely Allen (UW, Kentridge HS) was taken in the 2nd round by the Los Angeles Beckhams. Kevin Forrest wasn't selected, so where he plays next season is still up in the air, with the MLS Supplemental draft (in which 56 more players will be selected) coming next week.

In one year, the Seattle Somethings will have the first pick in the 2009 SuperDuperDraft. It'll be a long wait until then...


Schedule released, and what it means

You can finally start planning your trips down to Tukwila. The USL Sounders schedule for 2008 has just been released (View it here). Of note is the one game at Qwest Field, May 10 against Portland, and the fact that the Sounders end their season with 7 straight home games. That's just silly.

We can get two things from this news. One, the MLS team will likely announce its name and stuff shortly before the season begins, so the window to look for that is end of March to the beginning of April. And secondly, there is a nice little window in mid-June where the Sounders are at home, with no games for almost 2 weeks. Look for a high-profile friendly in that timeframe, quite possibly Wednesday, June 11. Toronto FC or a Mexican team could be opponents...


Team name rumors, ahoy!

The first serious rumor regarding the MLS team's new name has popped up, and if it is to be believed, the club will be called - the Greens?

Yup. And it gets better. According to the aptly named MLSRumors website, the official name will be Emerald City Seattle Football Club with a nickname of 'Greens.' Seriously, that's twelve syllables. It's like they couldn't decide between 3 different names, so they combined them all into one. It's a ridiculous moniker.

Fortunately, we're pretty certain that there's about zero chance that this is true. So deep breath in, deep breath out, and relax. With the naming announcement over months away, expect more of this type of speculation and/or rumor mongering.

We're not going to do this very often, but today we're going to mention a non-soccer related thing. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mt. Everest, has just passed away. The humble New Zealander summited along with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, and devoted much of the rest of his life to helping reforestation and education in Nepal. His charity earned hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for the country.

As one of the greatest and kindest explorers ever to walk the earth, we salute you, Sir Edmund Hillary. Rest in peace.


Huskies to MLS, Cougars to KFC

File this away for later - two senior forwards from the University of Washington, Ely Allen and Kevin Forrest, are invited to the 2008 MLS player combine taking place next week. Around 60 top prospects primarily from the US have been invited, and all of them have a future playing professional soccer.

Allen, from Kent, racked up 26 goals and 12 assists in his UW career. Forrest, who is from Edmonds and is (in our possibly incorrect opinion) the more talented of the two, was injured for much of the 2007 season. He had 34 goals and 6 assists in his career.

Both have a good chance of going in the draft, and if not, either or both of them could find themselves wanted by the USL Sounders, in preparation for the big show of Seattle MLS. The club will be offensive-minded, and these are two excellent offensive players. Remember these names.

(If you're reading this and you're a WSU graduate who actually works at KFC, well, it could be worse. At least you didn't go to Eastern.)


Site things and notes

Obviously, this site has been updated very infrequently. Our excuse is that it's hard to write a blog for a team that won't exist for like 15 months. But someone's gotta do it. (What? You say that's not true? Well, we say 'shut up.' Heh.)

So here's the deal. We promise to post at LEAST twice weekly* from now until the team name and colors are announced... at which point this site will undergo a DAZZLING new upgrade and become seriously awesome. Our goal is to be the first** - and best - blog/website/internet thingy dedicated solely to whatever the hell our Seattle MLS team is going to be called. Whatever it is, the team will likewise be seriously awesome. Dazzling, even.

We promise interviews. We promise analysis. We promise whatever else you can think of. (Seriously - want us to write about something? Email us to let us know.) This is a slow period, but it only gets better from here, and we promise to take you through it. Get ready, future Seattle MLS fans. It's gonna be awesome.

*Unless we forget or something.
**Turns out we're already the first. So, we win! YES!
***Honestly, we feel sorry for you Alaskans. Consider yourselves cordially invited aboard the good ship USS MLS Seattle.