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Sounders FC News & Notes

January 28, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Seattle Sounders FC

Sounders Head South to Arizona Desert

With the first week of training camp complete, Sounders FC players and coaches fly south on Tuesday for a seven-day training camp at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz. The trip culminates with the first training game of the 2013 preseason as Seattle takes on Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers in Tucson on Tuesday, February 5.

Training camp opened last week with morning sessions at Starfire Sports, then transitioned to fitness testing at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where Andy Rose came in first in the beep test and Osvaldo Alonso impressed in the speed test, clocking the best time of all returners.

The opening week of preseason was capped with the return of Federal Way native Lamar Neagle, who Sounders FC acquired from the Montreal Impact on Sunday in exchange for an international roster spot.

The upcoming week-long stay in Arizona will feature two-a-day training sessions to improve the players' fitness and develop style of play in preparation for the earliest start in club history with the March 2 opener against the Impact at CenturyLink Field.

Following the training game against Portland, Sounders FC will return to Seattle next Tuesday for a five-day homestay before departing again for the Grand Canyon State from February 11 to February 23. The team will participate in The Desert Diamond Cup against the New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake.

Join for 2013

Sounders FC season tickets are now available. To select seats, fans may visit www.SoundersFC.com or call 877-MLS-GOAL (877-657-4625). Tickets for the Seattle Sounders FC versus Tigres UANL match on March 12 are on sale now. Champions League tickets are available by phone at 800-745-3000 or www.SoundersFC.com .

Back to Grande Sports World

Sounders FC returns to Grande Sports World for the fourth consecutive preseason. The team will train, eat and sleep on-site, and 10 training sessions and one training game are scheduled over the seven-day stretch.

Grande Sports World, a $20 million dollar facility in Casa Grande, Ariz., is located at the previous home to the San Francisco Giants spring training. The hotel and resort, Francisco Grande, dates back to 1959 when then-owner of the Giants, Horace Stoneham, developed the property as the spring training site for his MLB team. In the first-ever game at Francisco Grande in 1961, Willie Mays hit a home run off Gaylord Perry. Legendary actor John Wayne also frequently visited Francisco Grande.

The 45-acre Grande Sports World campus is adjacent to the Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort and features nine professional grade soccer fields and a 58,000 square foot performance center.

Preseason Preview: Portland up First

There are currently five games scheduled in Seattle's preseason over the next four weeks, beginning with the February 5 match against the Portland Timbers. The match will kickoff at 10:30 a.m. local (9:30 a.m. PT) at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz. The two Pacific Northwest sides have twice met in the preseason over the past four years with the Timbers winning both matches, 1-0 on March 11, 2010 at CenturyLink Field and 2-0 on March 4, 2011 at Starfire Sports.

Sounders FC Acquires Midfielder Lamar Neagle

The Seattle Sounders FC acquired midfielder Lamar Neagle from the Montreal Impact in exchange for an international roster spot through the end of the 2014 season, the club announced on Sunday.

A Federal Way native, Neagle, 25, is joining Sounders FC for the third time following successful stints with the club in 2009 and 2011. Neagle spent the 2012 MLS season with the expansion Montreal Impact after he was traded by Seattle along with Mike Fucito to Montreal in exchange for forward Eddie Johnson. Neagle scored two goals with two assists in 23 appearances last season.

Neagle initially joined Sounders FC on June 10, 2009, before earning Golden Boot and MVP honors in USL-2 for the Charleston Battery in 2010. Following the 2010 season, Neagle was signed by Finland's IFK Mariehamn, where he played in five leagues matches, scoring two goals. He then signed with Seattle as a free agent on March 2, 2011, and scored a career-high five goals with two assists in 23 appearances. During the 2011 MLS season, Neagle became the second player in club history to net a hat trick.

Neagle was a three-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first team selection while at UNLV. He earlier played for Federal Way's Thomas Jefferson High School.

The Home Team

With the addition of Lamar Neagle, Sounders FC has three Washington natives on the roster - the most since 2009 (Neagle, Kasey Keller, Chris Eylander and Kevin Forrest). Neagle grew up in nearby Federal Way, and Marcus Hahnemann, who signed with the club last September, grew up in Seattle native and attended Seattle Pacific University goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann. And former O'Dea High School defender DeAndre Yedlin became the club's first Homegrown Player earlier this month. All three players were previously connected with the team either through the MLS club (Neagle), the USL side (Hahnemann) or the Academy (Yedlin). Additionally, defender Zach Scott played collegiately at Gonzaga and also spent time with the USL Sounders.

The Washington State ties continue on Seattle's staff as owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer attended Mercer Island High School and sporting director Chris Henderson attended Everett's Cascade High School where he was named the 1989 Gatorade National Player of the Year and Washington State Player of the Year. Assistant coaches Brian Schmetzer (Nathan Hale) and Tom Dutra (Timberline) also grew up in state.

International Slots and Roster Spots

In acquiring midfielder Lamar Neagle, Sounders FC traded an international roster slot through the end of the 2014 season, leaving the club with seven available spots for foreign players over the next two years. Seattle currently has four internationals on the roster (Adam Johansson, Mario Martinez, Christian Tiffert and Andy Rose) with three slots open.

There are 26 players on the roster, which includes Generation adidas player Eriq Zavaleta, and with 30 spots available Sounders FC will look to fill out the squad over the coming weeks.

Roster Reminders

A Major League Soccer club's first team roster is comprised of up to 30 players. All 30 players are eligible for selection to each 18-player game-day squad during the regular season and playoffs. Players occupying roster spots 1-20 count against the club's salary budget, and are referred to collectively as the club's Salary Budget Players. Roster spots 19 and 20 are not required to be filled, and teams may spread their salary budget across only 18 Salary Budget Players. Players occupying roster spots 21-30 do not count against the club's salary budget, and are referred to collectively as the club's Off-Budget Players (maximum of 10 per team). All Generation adidas players are Off-Budget players. Clubs may elect to leave up to two of these roster spots (25-30) vacant and use $35,000 for each empty spot as allocation money. Clubs may sign up to two Homegrown Players contracts above the minimum salary.

Offseason Transactions

December 1

Waived GK Bryan Meredith, MF Michael Seamon, DF Daniel Steres and GK Andrew Weber.

December 7

Traded DF Jeff Parke to Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation money and 2013 first round Supplemental Draft pick.

December 13

Re-signed DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and DF Patrick Ianni.

January 11

Signed DF DeAndre Yedlin as club's first Homegrown Player.

January 17

Selected Two players in 2013 MLS SuperDraft: FW/DF Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana; 10th overall) and DF Dylan Remick (Brown; 35th overall).

January 21

Loaned FW Fredy Montero to Millonarios of Colombia. Signed to multi-year contract extension with Sounders FC.

January 27

Acquired MF Lamar Neagle from Montreal Impact in exchange for international roster spot through end of 2014 season.

Eddie, Brad to Play Canada on Tuesday

Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans have both joined the U.S. National Team's January camp, which began on January 7 in Carson, Calif. The duo hope to see action in Tuesday's friendly against Canada at Houston's BBVA Compass Stadium. The match kicks off at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

Following the friendly, the U.S. National Team will continue preparations for the first match of the Final Round of World Cup qualifying on February 6 against Honduras at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Evans, 27, has six caps for the United States. He was called in by the U.S. National Team in January 2012 for friendlies against Venezuela and Panama. Evans' first three appearances for the USMNT came in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, with his last competitive match against Haiti at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on July 11, 2009.

Johnson, 28, leads the roster with 44 caps and 14 goals for the United States. He helped the team advance to the Final Round of qualifying with two goals and one assist in matches against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala in October. Johnson made his national team debut in 2004, and his call-up last October was his first national team action since 2010.

Schmid, Henderson Nominated for National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2013

Ballots have been finalized for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2013 elections, and Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid (Builder) and sporting director Chris Henderson (Player) are again nominated for induction. Voting will begin immediately for the Player, Veteran Player and Builder categories and will continue through February 22, and the election results will be announced shortly after.

In order to be eligible for election as a Player, an individual must be retired as a player for at least three years, but for no more than 10 years and have either: 1) Played in at least 20 international games for the U.S., or 2) Played at least five seasons in an American first division professional league and named to a postseason All-League or All-Star team at least once.

The voting pool includes all past and present full Men's and Women's National Team coaches, all active MLS and NWSL head coaches with a minimum of four years of experience as a head coach in a first division league, MLS and NWSL management representatives, MLS Commissioner, NWSL Executive Director, U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General, U.S. Soccer President, designated media members, and all Hall of Famers.

Each voter can list up to 10 candidates per ballot. Any player appearing on at least 66.7 percent of ballots will earn election, while any player who does not appear on at least five percent of ballots will be dropped from the Player ballot.

The 2013 Builder ballot includes 10 individuals selected by a screening committee and follows the same procedures for election as the Veteran ballot, although the voting pool is expanded to also include select soccer administrators.

Builders are eligible by making their mark in the soccer community in a non-playing capacity while sustaining a major and positive impact on U.S. Soccer at the national federation or first-division level for 10 years.

The election process is being administered by U.S. Soccer Federation staff under election and eligibility guidelines established by the Hall of Fame board of directors. Established in 1950, the National Soccer Hall of Fame is dedicated to the sport of soccer in America by celebrating its history, preserving its legacy, inspiring its youth and honoring its heroes for generations to come.

CCL Update: Tigres Stays Top of the Table

UANL Tigres, Seattle's opponent in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals in March, have started the Clausura in Liga MX with four straight wins. One of just two teams to win its first four fixtures, Tigres sits atop the table with a plus-eight goal differential, including just one goal conceded in four outings. The Monterrey side has won twice at home and twice on the road. By March 6 when the quarterfinal series begins, Tigres will have played nine league matches while Seattle will have played just one.

Tigres is led by a pair of Argentine footballers. Forward Emanuel Villa leads the club with four goals on just eight shots this season. Villa, 30, previously played at Estudiantes Tecos with Sounders FC forward Sammy Ochoa. Midfielder Lucas Lobos, 31, has registered three assists. Tigres features three American players in midfielders Jonathan Bornstein, Francisco Torres and Victor Garza.

Throw-ins

David Estrada turns 25 on February 4...The non-roster players that are still in preseason camp include Tristan Bowen, Guy Essame, Ashani Fairclough, Doug Herrick, Phillip Lund, Lebogang Moloto, Kevin Olali, Dylan Remick and Jennings Rex...Mario Martinez started his fourth straight match for Honduras in the final of the Copa Centroamericana on Sunday. Honduras lost to Costa Rica, 1-0, and will next meet the U.S. National Team in a World Cup Qualifier on February 6...Sounders FC training sessions at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz. are open to the general public...MLSsoccer.com will stream Seattle's preseason friendly vs. Portland in Tucson, AZ, on February 5 at 10 a.m. PT...The deadline for MLS credential application is January 31.

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