Clint Dempsey

DeAndre Yedlin Still Looking Good in Stars and Stripes in 2018

The media is in a tizzy about the USMNT. This is a good thing.

If you are going mad with two straight day without topflight soccer, entertain yourself with these Game of Thrones-inspired soccer kits.

These are really well done. The mandarin collar on the Martell jerseys is a small touch, but it adds a lot. The Night’s Watch has gotta be the sickest kit. What position would John Snow play? Ravenous attacking mid? My second favorite might be the pink polka-dotted Bolton kit. You still gotta have your sausage to rock pink. My least favorite is probably House Targaryen. It is a fine looking jersey but reminds me too much of a certain team from the south’s red home kit.

Grant Wahl wrote one of those fast-flash-forward articles at Sports Illustarted where he explores the potential 2018 USMNT World Cup roster. The Stars and Stripes would get a little more Seattle with Kelyn Rowe and Jordan Morris joining DeAndre Yedlin and Clint Dempsey:

Goalkeepers (3): Cody Cropper, Brad Guzan, Bill Hamid

Defenders (8): Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Greg Garza, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, Will Packwood, DeAndre Yedlin

Midfielders (7): Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Luis Gil, Julian Green, Joe Gyau, Kelyn Rowe

Forwards (5): Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Aron Jóhannsson, Jordan Morris

…although he will be 35 by then, captain Clint Dempsey could also be on the roster. His style is more conservative physically, which should allow him to continue playing for four more years at the international level. At the very least, the team could use his experience and leadership in what would be his fourth World Cup. If his form dips significantly, though, Klinsmann has shown he isn’t afraid to cut ties with an established star and there’s nothing stopping him from giving Dempsey the Landon Donovan treatment if others in the player pool narrow the gap.

…Another young player with an exciting future is highly touted U-21 forward Jordan Morris, currently playing at Stanford, but who was pictured in training with the senior national team during its pre-World Cup camp in Palo Alto, Calif., this spring.

Wahl brings up an interesting point about roster churn. Klinsmann, if retained as coach as expected, may hold onto more players much like Bruce Arena did between 2002 and 2006. It certainly seems this roster was built with one eye on the future, and some roster stability would be great for sustaining success.

There are No Moral Victories in Soccer

Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and the USMNT drew Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal 2-2 yesterday to keep all teams in the World Cup’s Group G alive. Ugh. The draw stings. We were 13 seconds away from winning. 13 seconds from clinching a berth in the knockout round. 13 seconds from proving the doubters wrong and fulfilling a dream.

There are no more moral victories in US soccer. We went toe-to-toe with a storied European club chock-full of superstars. We were the better team but only drew. If it was 2002, we’d be happy with this result. We’d be plucky Americans taking potshots at the world’s best. But it’s 2014 and we want to be one of the world’s best.

I am too emotionally exhausted to get into match recap specifics. Quickly: I love Jermaine Jones, who figured he’d be the lights-out midfielder for the Stars and Stripes? Conversely, I am perplexed by the play of Michael Bradley, his play the last tow games has been indecisive at best. I’m proud of the Rave Green. Yedlin didn’t shrink, but played great on the big stage and Clint Dempsey is on a goal-scoring tear in Brazil. The Sounders did the flag proud.

My bold prediction was 13 seconds to being correct, a stunning win over Portugal… Group G is complicated, we are guaranteed nothing and the scenarios are many. But we SHOULD still advance. Even Nate Silver says so.

Clint Dempsey in Bloom

My newest post is up at Sounders Nation. “Uniting the State of American Soccer: Dempsey in Bloom” is a meaty little essay that explores America’s troubled relationship with our domestic soccer league.

Here is the link to my article.

Montreal Impact Preview and the Curious Case of Clint Dempsey

*Update: Dempsey has formally been suspended for two games for “violent conduct.” No other player from last Saturday’s TFC-Sounders game received retroactive discipline.*

Saturday the Sounders continue their Tour of the Eastern Conference (the lesser conference) against Montreal. Montreal is not a good team. Granted we’ve never beaten them (0-2-0), but that’s a short history. Montreal’s backline is decimated by injuries and 2013 leading scorer Marco Di Vaio is still serving a suspension for being downright nasty in the Impact-Dynamo playoff tie.

We have problems of our own though. With no Dempsey (he didn’t travel, but no formal suspension has yet been announced), and maybe no Evans and Marshall, our eleven might look… creative. Sigi said Pineda can’t go more than 60, so maybe we’ll see Andy Rose. Whoever makes the eighteen, I want it to be enough to earn more than a point. I want to win in snowy Arcadia.

My focus for this match is Obafemi Martins. Without Dempsey, I want Oba really involved. I love Obafemi Martins. I was stoked when we signed him. Robbie Keane flipped the script in 2011 when he joined Los Angeles. Every team wanted to go get a Keane. Joe and Adrian got Oba. The man is too good. Oba is the type of player who makes the difference between Open Cups and MLS Cups.

How long will Oba be a Sounder?  I don’t know what drives the man. He has a fascinating sense of interior design and a passion for guns, but he has jumped from team to team. He was certainly eying Turkey this offseason and that bothers me. I don’t want him to unplug or transfer. He works hard and seems to have fun playing in Seattle. I just want to see that translate to goals and stats because I want to keep him here and happy.

We need Oba more involved. In the final third, he’s resorted to waiting for service. But crosses from the flank aren’t going to find his noggin atop that 5’7’’ frame. When he isn’t getting service, too often he drops into the midfield and takes himself out of the play. We need him plugged in more to the run of play. Oba and Dempsey had some fine, fancy interchanges against Toronto. I was really excited he got the assist on Deuce’s goal. It was great to watch them celebrate together. Shockingly, they have now played more minutes together in two games this season than all of last season combined. Of course, that partnership will be on hold for the foreseeable future because…

Clint Dempsey is not-yet-announced-but-probably-because-he-didn’t-travel-with-the-team  suspended. The nut hit, the kick outs, his general brattiness. The Soundersphere is very worked up about this, with some folks rampantly defending Dempsey and others condemning his antics.

The logic being, we don’t pay Dempsey millions, as the face of the franchise, to be a brat. He needs to sell the wholesome and superlative image of “The American Soccer Player.” Thing is… Dempsey don’t play that. Yes, he has a lot of sizzle in his game, but he is a scrapper, a fighter and a chip-on-his-shoulder-holder par excellence. He has a lot of gristle in his game. Some great players play happy, others lazy or driven, Dempsey plays angry. The man is plain pissed out there. He wants to backhand the world.

Considering the blockbuster salary and media reception he received, does he need to be part athlete/part ambassador? Sounders FC Inc. expects that, I’m sure. But everyone who stands in the rain boomboom-clapping just wants goals scored, with a reasonable amount of tact and class. No one wants to cheer for douchebags (which is why I am surprised there are so many Timbers fans), but I don’t want to cheer for the church choir either.

I want to see grit and hustle and heart. I want to see give a shit. Dempsey clearly gives a shit. Which is a relief. One of the many concerns when he returned to MLS was whether he’d lose his famous edge. Dempsey’s edge is still razor sharp, and people are getting tetchy about it.

I am not going to defend his actions, but I do think the context shouldn’t be ignored. Dempsey takes a lot of punishment. The man was fouled six times Saturday (called fouls, there were others). Six fouls suffered by one player is the second most in the league since Dempsey joined last season. He is the most fouled player in MLS.

Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the USMNT, wants his captain protected, and expressed concern over Dempsey’s treatment in MLS. On one hand Klinsmann is a soccer lifer, stud player and accomplished coach, he knows how the game should be played. He also has a cynical interest in protecting his players. There is a spectrum of truths here, from Deuce being a thug to Deuce getting thugged. MLS needs to do something. 

I am not advocating MLS go all NBA and put force fields around the stars. I hated watching Michael Jordan get away with everything (and, yes, Bryon Russell that was a push off). I do want a beautiful game of soccer however. To achieve that, MLS must better protect all their players equally, from Dempsey to Mark Bloom.

Yes nut hits are bad. But fifty fouls suffered by one team in two weeks?! Dempsey’s suspension reinforces the unpleasant truth that MLS’s style of play is part soccer/part football. It is one thing for the refs (replacement refs at that), to let an overly chippy game develop on the pitch. But with days to parse the action, the league bureaucracy chose to cement MLS’s goon ethos by not retroactively disciplining Jackson or Alvary Rey? Teams like Seattle which try to play soccer (Defoe was fouled exactly once), not kick and tackle, make life much harder on themselves. MLS encourages teams to play like San Jose or SKC.

Until Don Garber realizes that the goon image of the league stunts its international growth, the Sounders will continue to get fouled. Until Dempsey starts popping Paxil, he will continue to get pissed and react. Maybe Sigi needs to scrap his tactics and rebrand the team the Brougham Way Bullies, sign some enforcers to protect Deuce and Oba and let’er rip.

 

MLS Soccernomics Part 1: An Overpriced Commodity

Welcome Raving Readers to our first serial post!

I forgot where I read it, but one of the many postgame articles from Saturday’s loss referenced Soccernomics. The article cited the book’s simple correlation between team payroll and results, as evidenced by Toronto’s success. For those who haven’t read Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefani Szymanski, it is worth your time. It is not the Moneyball of soccer. However it’s an informative book, dry and not gripping, but full of interesting perspectives on the intersection of soccer and economics (as the title successfully portmanteaus).

Kuper and Szymanski discuss how the better teams spend the most money, and that most clubs lose money. However they are mostly analyzing European leagues. MLS is a very different animal, and I’ll discuss the values of a salary cap in tomorrow’s post. Today, I want to talk about an overpriced commodity, the American soccer player.

MLS is in a transition. Saturday’s game was proof. The hype around the Seattle-Toronto game was rampant with all the international quality talent on the field: Bradley, Dempsey, Defoe, Oba, Julio Cesar, even Evans. I don’t know if it’s a tipping point, but it is indicative of a trend in MLS. Other than just the acquisition of world-class players (Henry, Keane, Defoe), which has been happening since the Beckham acquisition, teams are now paying a premium for USMNT players. Bradley’s salary skyrocketed coming to MLS. Dempsey got a raise, Eddie finally got his wish and got paid, and even Omar Gonzalez got a DP contract.

Are these players worth their salary on the pitch? Sure, but teams are paying for exposure, especially in a World Cup year. Among the owners’ suites, you have a lotta dudes in suits salivating as the US soccer market again blooms. With the World Cup cycle, owners want a big name American attached to their club. When the causal fan tunes in this summer, he/she will see that Dempsey plays in Seattle and think, cool, I’ll check that out. Teams are betting on growing fan interest and thereby investing in Dempsey, Bradley et al., pure and simple.

How do the economics of the World Cup and a growing States-side soccer market affect the game? Soccer’s growth here has been slow. Beckham and Henry moving to MLS was the first spurt in MLS’s evolution. International superstars retiring in MLS caught fans’ attention. Dempsey coming home was another major press release. Dempsey is north of 30 and, arguably, his return is consistent with Beckham’s and Henry’s.  But Dempsey is an American, and that changes the equation, as he got paid more than any native son in MLS history. Bradley coming back, at only 26, was another evolution. Did Beckham and Henry treating the league as a retirement home hurt the game? Will Dempsey and Bradley plying their trade here hurt the game? I can’t say. I’m being analytical here, just looking at angles.

As I explored earlier, soccer is growing exponentially in this country. A downside to this growth is fan access to the game, as ticket prices are rising. One of the many charms of MLS is fan access, both to teams/players but also at the gates. Tickets to Sounders game are affordable, and people how up. Games aren’t prohibitively priced like the NFL. Some owners are trying to cash in on their product prematurely.

Merritt Paulson and Dave Kazan, of Portland and San Jose respectively, are betting fans will pay more their product. These greedy owners are trying to price out the plebes and ruffians who make soccer soccer. The ECS is taking a stand and boycotting this year’s game in San Jose. I fully commend them on standing up now for what will surely be a problem later. It’s a pity, but as the league grows and gets more competitive, prices will rise. An interesting feedback loop exists. Interest grows because the product is accessible. As interest grows, prices rise and the product becomes less accessible. Does interest wan?

Hopefully the league can secure a better TV contract, this could keep ticket prices stable. TV is a visual medium. The league knows this, all their commercials have images of boisterous supporters from the Cauldron, Timbers Army, and, of course, the ECS.  Your product isn’t just sports Mr. Paulson and Kazan, it is entertainment. You need to sell an image of excitement, so you need asses in seats. Not khaki corporate asses, but jumping, singing supporter asses.

Michael Bradley Don’t Eat Tofu

I hate it when I’m right. I was afraid we’d lose the game in a letdown. Today’s post is a miscellanea of observations from Saturday’s game. Tomorrow is all Marco Pappa.

*****

Something foul is going down on the Xbox Pitch. Actually fifty somethings foul. Has anyone done a comprehensive catalogue of the total fouls across all MLS games through the first two weeks this season vs. the first two weeks of 2013 or 2012? The Sounders have already been fouled 50 times. 50 Times?! Last week SKC set a dubious record for fouls against Seattle with 25. A large amount, sure, but SKC is a chippy team and it was a start-and-stop First Kick game. Then Toronto ties the record with 25 more fouls a week later? WTF? TFC is not a traditionally chippy team. They shouldn’t be with all the quality and talent they’ve acquired. Maybe Ryan Nelsen said, Screw it. I want to keep my job. San Jose won the Shield being goons and SKC won the Cup as goons. This is what works in MLS. Or maybe the replacement refs are just whistle crazy. I need some chats and graphs here.

This isn’t blame the refs. Refs will always be a variable in sports. Sometimes they hurt your team and sometimes they help. It all comes out in the wash. Any fan who says otherwise and swears his team gets a rawer deal is delusional. I blame Saturday’s loss on the Sounders. In many games over the last couple of years, we dominate for the first fifteen minutes, but then we slow down and lose focus. If we happened to stab one in the back of the net, we usually weather the opponent’s push and hold on for a result. If we didn’t happen to capitalize in that first flurry and score, our ensuing sloppiness gets us scored on. The rest of the game plays out as a too fast and too furious rally to equalize, but, more often than not, we come up short.

The loss is a downer, sure, after last week’s late-game heroics, but MLS has a long and winding season. We started horrible last year. But by September we were leading the race for Supporters Shield. What is cause for concern is how we lost, the disappointing flashbacks to old habits. We lost in a shockingly similar fashion to the sloppy 2013 Sounders. We lost focus and cohesion for five minutes and started shipping goals. Too little too late has become a habit of this team.

*****

Losing Brad Evans hurt. Generally it’s never good to use a sub that early or to lose your captain. But his injury made a specific difference in the result, as both TFC goals were when Evans was in the 11 but either comprised or off the pitch. Evans is one of those players who contributes more than stats. He is the straw that just stirs the Sounders drink. When Evans was full-strength, floating around the middle, shoulder to shoulder with Ozzie, we were killing it. Then he took a helluva knock in the fifteenth minute and TFC immediately capitalized. Evans and Sigi both say the injury is nothing serious, so hopefully he starts next week against the Impact.

The upside to Evans’s injury being the Seattle debut of Gonzalo Pineda. I was absolutely impressed by Pineda. In the first half he was stellar, he showed good vision (that lovely pass to Neagle), was great on the ball, and rarely a liability (unlike someone who’s name rhymes with Sharko Yappa). However he is not yet 100% fit. Pineda is coming back from a sports hernia (few injuries in sports sound so awkward and unpleasant as a sports hernia). His lack of fitness was apparent as his play waned in the second half. His signing was a stellar one by the scouting department. Pineda is a talented and experienced veteran of a quality league. I would love to see him on the pitch much more.

*****

Jermain Defoe killed us. He whipped out his stethoscope and got all clinical. The man scored two goals on two shots in twenty minutes. More than a few tweets and soccer prognosticators deemed this a dismal display of the state of MLS: Defoe comes in with less than a week’s training, and makes it look too easy. Others took Defoe’s performance as further proof that Dempsey sucks. The logic being that Defoe has 2 goals in twenty minutes, whereas Dempsey has 2 goals in eleven games). That is crap. Both are stellar players. A big difference was that the Sounders gave Defoe room to work. He was fouled only once on Saturday, while Dempsey drew a whistle six times.

Dumping on Dempsey is an oddly popular trend. The interesting most angle from Saturday’s game is the public perception of Clint Dempsey vs. Michael Bradley. The national post-game narrative is that Bradley is a stud, a saint, and a baller, while Dempsey is cheap whiner and flopper. This is fascinating. And it is crap. One of the reasons I love sports is because it is a Rorschach of the culture and the people who make culture. Yes, I’ve seen the gifs. Dempsey’s hand swats right at Mark Bloom’s crotch. One (with a 206 area code) could argue that Bloom embellished. That Dempsey wasn’t aiming for the dude’s junk, but just swatting his hand away because people were in Dempsey’s grill all game. One (who spells color with a u) could argue that Dempsey purposefully nut-punched a poor defenseless chap who meant well. I don’t care to argue the validity of either perception. It is less what happened and more how and why we see it happening.

For example, Bradley committed numerous fouls on Dempsey. The ref would blow the whistle, Deuce would pull him himself off the turf, and Bradley’d stroll back into position. No gesticulation or argument with the ref. Bradley knew exactly what he was doing. The man is a consummate professional and fouling is part of the job description. Every defensive midfielder worth his salt knows when to foul: Ozzie, Beckerman, Chara, so don’t start singing songs of St. Bradley. Yes Dempsey got Chippy during the game, but Bradley was purposefully knocking him down. Repeatedly. It’s vintage tactics, from the Mighty Ducks to hack-a-Shaq, the hyper-talented player is neutralized if you goon the crap out of him. Dempsey is a red-blooded American man. He lost his temper at times in the match. Do we wish he had the zen-like calm of a yoga teacher? Hell no. I want Deuce fiery and driven. I want that chip on his shoulder to block out the sun. If America hates him because America hates the Sounder, so be it. Just don’t tell me Bradley eats tofu and walks on water.

Toronto FC Preview and Reader Responses

Good news and bad news. Bad news? I’ve decided to make RavingGreen a Monday through Friday gig, so you’ll have to survive the weekend without me. Good news? I have two action-packed posts for you today. Today’s smorgasbord will start with reader comments and responses, and a quick preview of Saturday’s game against Toronto. The second post is an epic essay on Seattle’s impending Yankeeness.

*****

Bob commented on Wednesday’s post regarding HGP and the Draft. Bob said:

The blog has been great. So far I’ve enjoyed it! Although why can’t you comment on the articles? I think you give the draft to little respect and the HGP too much. While some years the draft might seem like a wasteland there are others where you can get some real talent out of them. You might get a really good player out of Africa or somewhere, that had a opportunity to go to college in the states. Or just a player that might not wish to be a HGP, or someone who’s development took off in college.

P.s. did you find out how many HGP players you’re allowed to have?

Thanks for reading Bob! The inability to comment is annoying. I can’t yet have comments on the site because of the format I am using. I plan on doing some happy hour homework with a buddy tomorrow to try and build the site on a more legit platform so folks can comment.

I wholeheartedly agree that the draft is still a legit place to discover talent. Maybe I am overhyping HGPs after a year of Yedlin and a glimpse of Okoli. Maybe I’m underhyping the draft after Bates/Duran/Sodade. I could be guilty of both. It just seems the real blue chip prospects are identified earlier and attend the academy to get their 10,000 hours quicker.

Every team is allowed to sign two players a year to HGP contracts and get all the benefits. But there is no limit to how many HGPs you can keep on your roster. Right now the Sounders have Yedlin (2013), Okoli and Kovar (2014) under the incentivized HGP contracts. Next year they could have Darwin Jones as well.

One last thing on HGPs. The rule unfairly helps N.Y., L.A., Chicago, Houston, Seattle. The big cities have a much larger pool to draw talent from than PDX, SLC, or Columbus, for example. That is an inequity right now. A team like Seattle has a huge competitive advantage over a team like Portland. I love it.

*****

Toronto FC is a bizarro Sounders. Both teams have passionate fan bases and a market that allows ownership to throw money around. Both teams do throw money around, and have been accused of using money to buy respect and legitimacy (this is a foreshadowing of today’s next post). Yet somehow… Seattle has never missed the playoffs and Toronto has never made them.

This weekend I’m excited to see Bradley, Defoe and Dempsey all on the same pitch. Allegedly the two TFC stars are nursing injuries, and Toronto may hold back players due to our infamously terrible, very bad turf. Part of that cheeses me off because “screw you grass elitists.” Part of me is stoked. The reputation of our turf gives us a competitive advantage. It’s like the old concrete turf at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Nothing like having some good old-fashioned intimidation on your side come game day.

Dempsey opening his account would feel good. Beating Toronto and starting 2-0-0 would feel better. I am little worried we could have a letdown after last week’s at-the-death winner. But I am wired a little that way; years of being a Philly fan, always expect heartbreak. Prove me wrong boys, prove me wrong.

What Does It Take To Be A Seattle Sounder?

First off, congrats to Cam Weaver on being re-signed as a Sounder.  That’s gotta feel good, local boy comes home. I am not too optimistic about what he brings as a player, but am mighty excited by what he brings as a “culture carrier.” Weaver is a man who knows what it means to be Eternal Blue, Forever Green.

Second off, if you missed last Saturday’s game, then you missed an epic tifo. I’ll do a tifo piece in the future. Just check this out and respect.

And on that note, we cue the music:

I have fumed about Sigi’s substitution decisions many times in the past. I usually think they are too little too late. Often I’m left wondering if injecting a sub or shaking the lineup sooner would’ve yielded different results. On Saturday, I was mighty confused by all of the substitutions. The later two were classic Sigi: Chad Barrett in the 76th minute and Sean Okoli in the 86th (the familiar “really?! what is a player going to do with just 4+ minutes?”). Maybe this is results-based analysis, but… they sure look like great decisions now. However, I was really befuddled by the decision to play Clint Dempsey for over half an hour. He replaced Marco Pappa in the 57th minute, and that seemed too early for a man with Deuce’s recent flight itinerary.

FYI, I am more of a soccer newbie here. My fuming at Sigi is less informed regarding subs or tactics than it is against, say, Andy Reid and his proclivity for the ill-timed time out. I have only been following the Sounders since 2010, and soccer since the 2006 World Cup (oh Ghana, how you wound me!).

Dempsey played 90 minutes in London 7 days prior, and 90+ in Cyprus 3 days before. I’ve seen the maps and charts, Cyprus is WAAAYY over there. I don’t want to “Oba” Dempsey. It was great last March to see our flashy new signing jump right off a plane and into the match against Portland. But it wasn’t fun to watch his torrid start crumble to an injury-riddled halt.

On top of that, I’m just not sold on Dempsey yet. I was so stoked to see the new squad, but Dempsey was an afterthought. Oh yeah, we still have that guy. He just doesn’t feel like a Sounder yet. Last season it was a surreal dream come true. Dempsey, Captain America, stud in the EPL was signing with my team. I didn’t exactly believe it then, it was just so much to digest. Between #Dempseywatch and the theatrics right before the Dallas game I was in shock (that weekend my wife and I were in Spokane for a wedding. We heard the official news at the reception, bought tickets that night, woke up extra early, left our friends and rocked the 90 straight to the C-Link and into our seats). It was so worth it, even with all of Joe Roth’s cheesy showmanship.

Dempsey didn’t deliver last season. Yes there are mitigating factors and excuses. Yes, MLS midseason additions fare much better in their second season. I understand all of that. But you expect transcendence, not trouble adjusting and injuries. You want a buzzsaw, but you get a player with 1 goal in half a season. The weird thing is, these are not the reasons why I don’t buy Dempsey yet. I am not trying to be a hater. I am not trying to be the typically frustrated sports fan who crucifies the franchise. It’s more cognitive dissonance. Deep in my gut, I feel that we are not worthy. That MLS and the Sounders are not big time yet. Why would Dempsey descend from Olympus to join a lowly MLS squad? So I don’t even see Dempsey as part of the franchise, let alone the franchise. Is Dempsey a Sounder?

What does it take to be a Sounder? To represent the crest? Even with all of Eddie’s drama, he felt like a Sounder. Was it because he played hard against Portland? Mauro Rosales felt like a Sounder. Why? I want to do a whole post on the ethos of Mauro Rosales. Dempsey… still feels like Joe Montana on Kansas City: a historical fact, but not a gut “truth.” Maybe I’m holding him to a different standard. Maybe I’ll forget this unease when he scores 20 goals or leads us to the Cup?

Despite the travel and the potential wear, I am actually glad Sigi put him in. He looked great, and arguably played his best game as a Sounder. And that is just it. Put him in coach. Play him. Make him a Sounder.

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