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2003 News Archive

Dec 19 - The W-League alignment has the Seattle Sounders Women competing in the Western Conference. New teams this year are the Edmonton Aviators and Calgary.

Dec 18 - The USL today announced the A-League alignment for 2004. Seven teams in the Western Conference: Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton (new), Portland, Minnesota, and Milwaukee. Nine teams in the Eastern Conference: Montreal, Toronto, Rochester, Syracuse, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Charleston, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico (new). Gone from the A-League: El Paso, Cincinnati, Indiana, Pittsburgh, and Charlotte. No divisions in 2004. Qualifying for the A-League playoffs will be the top four teams from each conference, in spite of the imbalanced alignment.

Dec 17 - The annual A-League draft was held today in two rounds. The Sounders picked:

Other notable college seniors with local ties who were not picked in the A-League draft (good crop this year):

Dec 15 - Sounders rookie midfielder Matt Hulen has been loaned to FSV Optik Rathenow of the German Oberliga (4th division). A look at an Optik roster showed two more local players, forward Dayo Oyetuga of Everett and defender Jacob Kayser of Seattle.

Nov 12 - The USL held their annual general meeting last weekend in Florida. Among the highlights from the USL news release:

Oct 24 - Today's article in the Seattle Times has more on the Sounders in the Hawk in 2004: Sounders return to Seahawks Stadium.

Oct 23 - The Sounders today announced that they will return to Seahawks Stadium for the 2004 season.

Oct 21 - An alert fan noticed a Swedish interview of Leighton O'Brien a day before his most recent match. We've posted the usual translated version. O'Brien was apparently named the Norrbotten County's Football Player of the Year by local sportswriters.

Oct 20 - So how's Leighton O'Brien doing for Bodens BK in Sweden? 6 goals, 9 assists, 6 yellows and no reds in 22 matches. We've pulled some excerpts from the match reports at the Bodens web site and translated them into English for your reading pleasure!

Oct 13 - The Sounders announced their 2003 team awards: Kyle Smith as Goal Leader, Andrew Gregor as Assist Leader, Danny Jackson as Defensive Player of the Year, Ryan Edwards as Leader in Minutes Played, and Craig Tomlinson as Sounders Community Relations Player of the Year. We think they overlooked Marco Velez as Rookie of the Year.

We spotted Bodens BK's coverage of the recent trials there by Andrew Gregor and Preston Burpo. We've done the usual automatic web translation from the Swedish and have a couple of translated pages for your reading enjoyment:

Oct 9 - Inducted into the USL Hall of Fame as a Player is Mark Baena, who is the all-time goals leader in the A-League. Baena scored 41 of his 86 A-League goals for Seattle in 1998 and 1999.

Oct 8 - Inducted into the USL Hall of Fame this year are co-owner Neil Farnsworth as a Builder and the Seattle Sounders as a 10+ Club.

Oct 4 - Andrew Gregor got a tryout with Sweden's Bodens BK. Danny Jackson had successful surgery for a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee. Playing for MISL San Diego Sockers are Zach Scott and Kevin Sakuda.

Sep 14 - The Sounders are eliminated in the second round of the A-League playoffs, losing each leg to the Minnesota Thunder by a score of 1-0.

Sep 11 - Three Sounders were named to the 2003 A-League All-League Teams. Defender Danny Jackson and midfielder Andrew Gregor were named to the first team, with goalkeeper Rich Cullen picked for the second team. Congrats, lads, we appreciate your hard work!

Aug 31 - Seattle Sounders 3 - 2 El Paso Patriots (Callahan 52, Levesque 85, 90; Martinez 52, Andrade 67). The come from behind win in the A-League's final match of the regular season gives the Sounders first place in the Pacific Division.

Final A-League standings: a-league.com. The Times previews the playoffs: Sounders have score to settle in playoffs.

Aug 27 - US Open Cup, Quarterfinal: Seattle Sounders 1 - 5 Los Angeles Galaxy (Farrell 70; Ruiz 3, 87, 90, Martinez 39, Moreno 67). The cup run ends for the Sounders.

Aug 21 - The P-I reports that midfielder Alex Bengard will be out for awhile with a fracture just below his right ankle. The injury occurred when a Calgary player slid into Bengard's ankle cleats first from behind.

Aug 14 - Defender Danny Jackson has unfortunately suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice. Jackson was probably the front runner for Sounders MVP thus far this season.

Aug 10 - W-League 3rd Place Match: Ottawa Fury 1 - 4 Seattle Sounders Women (Alfa 65; Frimpong 2, 6, Mueller 11, Milyak 82). The Sounders Women set a high water mark in their short history.

Aug 8 - W-League Semifinal: Hampton Roads Pirhanas 4 - 1 Seattle Sounders Women (Borski 46, 55, Hibbs 73, Ritchie 90; Frimpong 15). The Sounders Women will settle for the 3rd place match on Sunday.

The I-5 rivalry is covered in the Seattle Times, including quotes from fans (Eric Gilbertson, who runs the supporters group web site Sounder Nation, and Timbers fan Rick Curwen), coaches (Bobby Howe and Jim Gabriel), a player (Andrew Gregor), and a mascot (Timber Jim): 206 vs. 503: Soccer rivalry still simmers. The Whitecaps get a bit of discussion in there. And they quoted the best song from Sounder Nation (heh, heh).

Tina Frimpong and the Sounders Women, who play a W-League semifinal today in Virginia Beach, are covered by the KCJ and SeaTimes: Frimpong: Net addition and Women look for victory in semifinals.

Warning: don't click on this link from the P-I if you hate ManU or Nike: Northwest soccer reboots: Man U match, Sounders' U.S. Open Cup win show interest is roaring back.

Aug 7 - It's official, the San Jose Earthquakes have loaned forward Roger Levesque to the Sounders for the remainder of the 2003 season. Pronunciation: the "s" and the "ue" are silent. Levesque, from Portland (the good Portland, the one in Maine), played at Stanford last year.

Aug 6 - Today's KCJ has more on the possible soccer stadium in Kent: Sounders, Kent advance goal for soccer complex.

Sammy Sounder unmasked!

Aug 5 - US Open Cup, 4th Round: Seattle Sounders 1 - 0 San Jose Earthquakes (Smith 41). The Sounders pull off the upset and advance to the Open Cup quarterfinals to host the LA Galaxy.

From the P-I: Sounders, Kent start stadium talk.

Aug 2 - W-League Playoffs, 1st Round: Vancouver Whitecaps Women 2 - 2 Seattle Sounders Women (Andrews 9, Neil 65; Frimpong 42, 43; Seattle advance from kicks from the penalty mark 1 - 3). The Sounders ladies advance to the final four to face host Hampton Roads Piranhas.

Jul 31 - Seattle Times coverage includes Danny Jackson's visa situation and a wedding for Leighton O'Brien. Seattle P-I coverage discusses the Open Cup match and newcomer Roger Levesque.

Jul 30 - Today's San Jose Mercury News reports that rookie forward Roger Levesque will be loaned to the Sounders by the San Jose Earthquakes.

Jul 22 - Friendly: Manchester United 4 - 0 Glasgow Celtic (van Nistelrooy 7, Giggs 28, Solskjaer 39, Bellion 72). Attendance was 66,722, a record for Seahawks Stadium. It was a great atmosphere on the streets and in the stadium.

Soccer attendance in Seattle is explored in the Seattle Times.

Jul 16 - US Open Cup, 3rd Round: Minnesota Thunder 0 - 1 Seattle Sounders (Smith 60). The Sounders advance to face the San Jose Earthquakes again.

Jul 10 - USL announced that the league will run "Team Calgary" for the rest of the season after the team owner stepped away.

Jul 9 - New Sounder: Midfielder Benjamin Somoza has been signed. 23-year-old Somoza is an Edmonds native. During college he played for the UW Huskies and the Sounders Select. He played for the Portland Timbers last year, his first year in the pros.

May 26 - Ex-Sounder Brian Ching, now with the San Jose Earthquakes, came on as a substitute for the national team as USA beat Wales 2-0 in San Jose. It is Ching's first cap.

May 9 - An alert reader found an interview in Swedish with Leighton O'Brien at Bodens' web site. Another alert reader found an online Swedish-English translator, and we've posted an automatically translated version. Enjoy!

May 3 - The Sounders merchandise booth at last night's match had the new scarves on sale for $25, and they are nicely done. We saw quite a few fans walking around the stadium with the new scarves.

May 2 - Seattle Sounders 2 - 0 Portland Timbers (Smith 78, Callahan 80). The back-to-back wins qualify the Sounders for the US Open Cup.  

May 1 - Opening match of the season: Portland Timbers 0 - 1 Seattle Sounders (Smith 35).  Sounders lose 'keeper Preston Burpo to a broken jaw at 15 minutes.

King County Journal: Man of many options: Jackson; Seattle Sounders 2003
Seattle PI: Sounders take pitch tonight
Tacoma News Tribune: Sounders' quest kicks off tonight
Bremerton Sun: Sounders face Timbers to start season

Apr 29 - Today's article in the Times could be titled: Paul, please buy us a team.

Apr 23 - An article in the TNT suggests that if Seattle gets an MLS franchise, the A-League Sounders might continue in Tacoma: Professional soccer could find South Sound home.

Apr 18 - The Sounders held their annual media day at Stade Seahawks. Head coach Brian Schmetzer announced that the Sounders will probably be signing Marco Velez, a defender drafted by the Metrostars, but cut during preseason. Velez played for Barry University in 2001, PDL Bradenton Academics in 2002. Listed on the roster are Greg Foisie and Rich Cullen. Hercules Gomez is still on the roster, on loan from the LA Galaxy, even though Gomez is recovering from a broken foot. Seen at the workout was Edmonds native Ben Somoza, who chose the Timbers over the Sounders a few weeks ago, then was recently released by the Timbers when they acquired Redmond native Nick Downing on loan from MLS New England Revolution. Somoza's chances with the Sounders may be slim with the roster getting full. Also listed as contenders for roster spots are Matt Hulen, Willy Cardenas, goalkeeper Ryan Wittstruck, Shawn Purcell, Leo Cupnick, and Kevin Sakuda. Out of the picture are the Sounders' 2003 draft choices, Zac Tallman and Mike Pardini.

Apr 15 - Today's report in the Seattle Times confirms that Leighton O'Brien will join Bodens BK in Sweden's second division, but not until after the Sounders' first three matches. Herculez Gomez, the striker most recently added to the roster, broke his foot in Saturday's preseason match in Yakima and will miss at least eight weeks healing.

Former NASL Sounder player and coach Jim Gabriel has joined the team as an assistant coach. Chuck Granade is goalkeeper coach and Bernardo Ruiz returns as an assistant coach.

Apr 13 - New on the roster is 21-year-old forward Herculez Gomez, reportedly on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy after playing last season for the D3-Pro San Diego Gauchos, where he scored 17 goals in 17 matches. Gomez was signed by the Galaxy as a development player.

In Sweden, Bodens BK have announced that Leighton O'Brien will arrive by May 11 to play for them, on loan from the Sounders.

Apr 2 - The Sounders announced the signing of midfielder Sean Michael Callahan, who played for the Hampton Roads Mariners last season and the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2001. Callahan played at Santa Clara University with Kyle Smith.

Goalkeeper update: The Seattle Times report that Preston Burpo has re-signed with the Sounders after testing the MLS waters and considering the Portland Timbers, who lost Matt Napoleon to retirement. #2 'keeper Rich Cullen is still a possibility for 2003. He is an Air Force reserve stationed at McChord Air Force Base and he might get called up due to the war.

Mar 31 - Announced today by the Sounders were defender Danny Jackson, a rookie with the Colorado Rapids last year, and midfielder Sean Henderson, who played with the Sounders in 2001 and semi-retired last season.

Mar 29 - USA 2 - 0 Venezuela (Kirovski 52, Donovan 76). Kasey Keller had some fine saves on the grass in Seahawks Stadium to earn the shutout.

Mar 25 - First new signing for the Sounders: midfielder Alex Bengard, who played two seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy following college ball with Cal State - Dominguez Hills.

Mar 21 - Japan have cancelled out of the March 29 friendly, after $100,000 of grass was installed in Seahawks Stadium. But wait! Venezuela have stepped in as a replacement for the islanders.

An update from US Soccer confirms USA - Venezuela on Mar 29. The US roster is listed and includes goalkeeper Kasey Keller from Lacey.

Mar 18 - Leighton O'Brien is back from his tryout with MLS Chicago Fire, cut from their preseason roster. But Sweden's Bodens BK are apparently still interested in O'Brien.

Mar 17 - The Sounders announced that they will broadcast their entire 28-match regular season, home and away, on KKNW 1150 AM.

Mar 13 - A Seattle Times story confirms that they will put real grass on top of the plastic grass for the Jul 22 Manchester United vs. Glasgow Celtic match in Seahawks Stadium.

Mar 6 - Eight months in the making, The Travelers' Guide to American Soccer was published on the web today. The goal is to have a separate page for each substantial soccer city in the US. Nearly all MLS and A-League teams in the US are covered today, with more cities to be added later. Seattle Pitch El Presidente Mark Coker was one of three who initiated the fan-based project, and he did a great job on the Seattle page, which includes a thorough and insightful rendition of the Sounders' history. From the rest of Seattle Pitch, super job Mr. Coker! More background in the Guide's news release: Soccer Fans Write Their Own Guide.

Mar 3 - The Puget Sound Business Journal has a nice article with a frank discussion of the Sounders' bottom line: Sounders look to increase attendance, improve finances.

Feb 28 - The San Jose Earthquakes took Brian Ching with the first pick in the MLS supplemental draft.

Feb 27 - Ryan Edwards is this year's fourth announced signing.

Feb 24 - Midfielder Viet Nguyen has signed with the Sounders for 2003 after testing the free agent waters.

Feb 12 - Top guns leaving? It is looking likely that the San Jose Earthquakes will take forward Brian Ching (16 goals, 8 assists last season) in the MLS supplemental draft. Although midfielder Leighton O'Brien (11 goals, 10 assists last season) signed a 3-year deal with the Sounders, the Times reports that he may transfer to Bodens BK in Sweden's second division or MLS Chicago Fire. O'Brien reportedly declined an offer from DC United at the MLS minimum salary.

Jan 18 - The MLS/A-League agreement that was in effect for the last several years has expired. The leagues have not been able to reach a new agreement, so each A-League club will negotiate independently with MLS regarding any player transfers or loans.

Jan 17 - The pitch in Seahawks Stadium, home for the Sounders and Sounders Select Women this year, has been certified under FIFA's quality assurance program.

Jan 13 - The USL announced the PDL alignment today, and absent are the Seattle Sounders Select men. There will be no Sounders Select men's team in 2003. We presume that the team is a victim of cost cutting efforts.

Jan 9 - Leighton O'Brien has signed for three years with the club.

The Sounders Select Women will play home matches in Seahawks Stadium this year. Dick McCormick repeats as head coach. McCormick is retiring as a player for the men's team. All women's matches will be double headers paired with men's matches.

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