Thierry Henry to Seattle?

The title says it all. There are rumors swirling around the interweb that Thierry Henry, the brilliant Barcelona striker and top all-time goal scorer for France, is in talks with Seattle MLS. Here's what we heard, word for word:

"...a question was asked of the GM of the Seattle club had they thought about who they would bring in. He answered by saying quite matter of factly that they were in 'advanced negotiations' with Thierry Henry and then added that he was the other guy in the Gilette commercial with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer."

Obviously, this would be huge. Enormous. Henry coming to MLS (and Seattle, no less) would be an EXTREMELY BIG DEAL. He would be instantly the most recognizable player next to Beckham, and one of the league's best as well.

But would it really happen? Well, for a group with Paul Allen money, the cost wouldn't be a hurdle. And Henry has publicly stated a desire to eventually play in the United States. Still, we'll remain skeptical just to guard from disappointment. If he did sign, it probably wouldn't be until Barcelona's 2009 season had ended, meaning he wouldn't get to Seattle until June or July. It's a long way off, but... it could happen. Seriously.


Our MLS Predictions

For those not in the know, or those distracted by the naming of Seattle MLS (vote Sounders!), the 2008 MLS season begins tomorrow. Obviously we're well qualified to make these predictions, since we watched about 8 games overall last year. And these are going to be totally biased for our likes/dislikes of certain teams (say goodbye to the playoffs, Dallas!) Still, for the record and for all you Seattle soccer fans who somehow know less about the league than we do, here's how we think each team in MLS will finish.

Houston Dynamo - 1st
Chivas USA - 2nd
Colorado Rapids - 3rd
LA Galaxy - 4th
FC Dallas - 5th
San Jose Earthquakes - 6th
Real Salt Lake - 7th

1st - DC United
2nd - Chicago Fire
3rd - New York Red Bulls*
4th - New England Revolution
5th - Kansas City Wizards
6th - Columbus Crew
7th - Toronto FC

*Seriously, are they 'Red Bull New York' or the 'New York Red Bulls?' Their official home page lists both, for crying out loud.


Of Montreal

Seattle isn't the only team from the USL that will be effectively promoted into Major League Soccer in the near future. The Montreal Impact, 2-time USL champions, are looking to move up.When? That's up in the air. Maybe as soon as 2009 or as late as 2012. MLS hasn't officially announced anything... yet, but we'd be highly surprised if they passed on Montreal. Cause they have all the parts in place.
Rich ownership? Check - Joey Saputo (Impact chairman) is teaming up with George Gillett, the part-owner of Liverpool FC. Good market? Check - Montreal, a large and unique city, would be Quebec's team and would certainly develop a crackling rivalry with Toronto FC. 
And stadium? Yeah, check. Check it out below. The brand-new Stade Saputo holds 13500 people and can be expanded easily to 17000 (potentially more). Not bad, eh?

Non-soccer interlude

We just signed up for Google Analytics, and it's pretty interesting. Apparently there's people from all over interested in MLS Seattle. So we'd like to give a special shoutout to all our international readers in Canada, Mexico, Ireland, the UK, Portugal, France, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Uganda (???), India, Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Australia. You stay classy... Planet Earth.

We'll be back with a real post sometime this afternoon.


And the nominees are...

Seattle's future MLS team will be named either Seattle Alliance, Seattle Republic, Seattle FC, or... something else. Yes, fans will be able to write in a different name if they feel passionate about it. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out why.

It has become apparent that the guys running Seattle MLS would rather go in a new direction as far as the team name. Fair enough, they surely have their reasons. But at least they respect their fans enough to allow the possibility of the Seattle Sounders name to carry over into MLS.

We'd been operating under the assumption that the name would be changed in some way, shape, or form. But now there is potential to keep the Sounders alive, the team that went toe to toe with Pele's New York Cosmos in the 70's - and that was/is a 4-time title winning powerhouse in the USL. And that's changed our minds. So write in your vote for Seattle Sounders. Tell all your friends, family, teammates, even the guitar-playing hobo on the sidewalk that you pass on your way to work. Like reggae legend Jimmy Cliff sang, You can get it if you really want.

Vote Sounders!


First player signed?

According to GoalSeattle.com, Sebastien Le Toux has been signed by Seattle MLS. The Sounder striker and 2007 MVP was basically considered a lock to make the MLS team, and now has - unofficially - been signed thru 2012. This may be officially announced, along with the team name, in early April. Congrats, Sebastien!


It's up to you!

From March 27 to March 31, the future fans of Seattle MLS will be able to pick from one of three name choices, and cast their vote on what our future soccer team should be called.

Of course, the three choices will have been carefully selected by the ownership, and none of them may appeal to some fans (especially if, as rumored, the traditional 'Seattle Sounders' name is not among the options.) MLS commissioner Don Garber's comments indicate this as well: “While we should celebrate the past, we believe the MLS Seattle team should be about where we are headed tomorrow and help position the club globally.”

Still, at worst, this is a nice little gesture from the people upstairs, and at best it's a sign of how much this organization will care about and listen to the fans. So CAST YOUR VOTE! Unless you're voting for a crappy name. Oh, and as for the choices? Those won't be officially revealed until Tuesday, March 25 - which will allow the buzz to grow around the city. Savvy decision.

However. Here are the three likely choices, all of which have domain names parked. Seattle FC. Seattle Republic. Seattle Alliance. One wonders whether we're building a soccer club or an army... but we'll reserve judgment until Tuesday, when the names are actually announced.

Voting will be on www.MLSinSeattle.com


Our words are delicious...

And we will happily eat them.

Mexico will play China in a friendly match on April 16, barely over a month away, in the friendly confines of Qwest Field. Both teams will be tuning up for World Cup Qualifiers, so expect to see close to their best lineups in action. The cool part is that the match is sponsored by the MLS Seattle group... it's very nice to see them working for the fans, after 3 to 4 months of nothing but rumors.

If you choose to go (and you should!), tickets will be on sale starting Sat., March 15 at the Qwest Field box office. You can buy them online from Ticketmaster, as well, if you enjoy paying 3 to five dollars for silly 'convenience' charges. But go anyways.


Breaking News: There Isn't Any!

A name announcement is almost certainly 1 to 2 months away, but that doesn't mean we have to stop talking about it. Especially since there's been a dearth of actual, honest news about Seattle MLS in the last, oh, since the team's been announced. So here's sort of a summary of the names that might be on the table. Oh, and don't be scared that we're going to end up as the Seattle Sockeyes with a grey-and-pink kit... if one of these names below isn't picked, we'd be shocked.

Seattle Sounders - The seemingly obvious one. At least for the fans - the ownership group is probably leaning towards something new. Doubt this happens.

Seattle Sounders FC (or SC) - Sort of a compromise... the traditional FC notation in addition to keeping the Sounders name. If we had to place a bet, it'd be on this. 

Seattle FC - A nice, harmless international-sounding name... but with FC Dallas and Toronto FC already in the league, would this really be a serious choice? ...yeah, it might be. It rolls off the tongue nicely, for whatever it's worth.

Seattle United - See above, thanks to DC United. The key with these names-without-nicknames is that USL supporters could continue using 'Sounders' as an unofficial nickname.

Inter Seattle (Seattle International FC) - We're unconvinced that this is really an option, but it does fall in line with the worldly theme Hanauer and co. seem keen on. 


What we might be paying

Along with the team name and all the goodies that go along with it, details about season ticket prices will be released sometime this spring. We didn't want to wait, however, so we calculated the average ticket prices in MLS. We took 4 categories (the best midfield non-club seats, other midfield seats, corner seats and endline seats) from every club (except the Galaxy, their website hates us apparently) and plugged the data into Excel. Away we go:

Best midfield: $31.08 average per game
Other midfield: $24.46
Corner seats: $17.11
Endline seats:$14.27

Pretty reasonable, yes? Of course, there will also be suites and club seats up for sale, but if you're interested in those, the cost probably isn't all that important to you, Mr. Moneybags. For everyone else, you can anticipate paying under 20 bucks a game in 2009 if you're a season ticket holder. Also worth noting is that the most comparable stadium to Qwest, New England's Gillette Stadium, is incredibly cheap - they have midfield seats directly in the center for $24 per game and corner seats for $14. A sign of things to come? Hopefully...

And if you want our information/calculations and all that noise, send us an email. seattlemls@hotmail.com