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News & Notes

The Southern California portion of Seattle Sounders FC preseason training concludes later this week with a combination of four exhibitions and training games prior to the team’s return home.

Following a scrimmage with Chinese Super League champion Shandong Luneng at Ventura College on Tuesday, February 10, Sounders FC will make its public debut on Wednesday night, February 11, at the Ventura County Fusion. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Buena High School.

On Friday night, February 13, in San Luis Obispo, Seattle meets the San Jose Earthquakes in the MLS Central Coast Showcase. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Alex G. Spanos Stadium on the campus of Cal Poly.

The team is scheduled to train Saturday morning, February 14, before breaking camp and boarding the flight to Seattle. Training resumes February 18 and 19 at Qwest Field.

A Look Ahead

The first opportunity for fans in the Pacific Northwest to see Sounders FC in action comes February 20. Kasey Keller and Nate Jaqua will return to their collegiate home, Merlo Field, to play a preseason exhibition against the University of Portland. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Tickets for the game will go on sale next Monday, February 9, at 11 a.m. They can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, online at, the University of Portland box office or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are general admission and are available for $10 for adults and $7 for youth (high school and younger) and UP students.

Keller (1988-91) and Jaqua (2000-02) were All-Americans for the Pilots. Keller holds the school’s records for season (13) and career (43) shutouts. In 1988, he helped lead the Pilots to the school’s first NCAA semifinal appearance. Jaqua scored 29 career goals. His 80 career points ranks 10th all-time at UP, while his 12 game-winners ranks third.

Marshall for Defense

Sounders FC acquired defender Tyrone Marshall from Toronto FC in a trade for an undisclosed amount of allocation money on Tuesday. Marshall, 34, started 39 games at central defender for Toronto since being obtained from the L.A. Galaxy midway through the 2007 Major League Soccer season. He is currently playing with the Jamaican National Team in England. Jamaica plays Nigeria in a friendly on Wednesday night (February 11) in London.

“The addition of Tyrone brings us speed and experience to our back four,” said head coach Sigi Schmid. “He’s a player I know well from my time in Los Angeles. He has two rings to his name and that championship mentality is something we can always use.”

A veteran of 11 MLS seasons, Marshall played five-plus seasons with the L.A. Galaxy (2002-07). He was a two-time MLS All-Star and a member of the Galaxy’s MLS Cup-winning teams in 2002 and 2005, and also helped L.A. win the U.S. Open Cup in 2005. Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid was the Galaxy coach from 1999-2004.

Marshall has appeared in 248 career MLS regular-season games, starting 221. He has totaled 13 goals and 17 assists. Marshall was drafted out of Florida International by Colorado in 1998, then traded during that season to Miami, where he played through 2001.

Winning Preseason Opener

Sounders FC came from behind to win its opening preseason match, 3-1, over the host L.A. Galaxy on Monday, February 9. Seattle got second-half goals from Roger Levesque and Sanna Nyassi. Fredy Montero pulled Sounders FC level at 1-1 in the 17th minute on a penalty kick after Steve Zakuani was taken down in the box. Both teams changed their entire lineups at the break. Levesque broke the deadlock in the 80th minute and Nyassi added insurance in added time.

Eddie Lewis had staked the Galaxy to a lead in the opening three minutes. Both teams struggled to gain footing in slippery conditions follow a heavy morning rain at The Home Depot Center.

Preseason Competition Schedule

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 4:00 p.m. — Shandong Luneng; Ventura College (training game)

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 7:00 p.m. — at Ventura County Fusion, Buena High School, Ventura, Calif. (public)

Friday, Feb. 13, 7:00 p.m. — San Jose Earthquakes; Cal Poly SLO (public)

Friday, Feb. 20, 7:00 p.m. — at University of Portland; Merlo Field (public)

Sunday, Feb. 22, 12:00 p.m. — Vancouver Whitecaps; Qwest Field (closed scrimmage)

Friday, Feb. 27, TBD — Argentina

Saturday, Feb. 28, TBD — Argentina

Tuesday, Mar. 3, TBD — Argentina

Thursday, Mar. 5, TBD — Argentina

Thursday, Mar. 12, 7:00 — Colorado Rapids; Qwest Field (closed)

Training Schedule, Feb. 11-19

The Sounders FC training schedule for the next week is as follows (subject to change):

Wednesday, Feb. 11 – Training at Oxnard College (Oxnard, Calif.), 10 a.m.

Thursday, Feb. 12 – Training at Oxnard College (Oxnard, Calif.), 4 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 13 – Training at Oxnard College (Oxnard, Calif.), 10 a.m.

Saturday, Feb. 14 – Training at Oxnard College (Oxnard, Calif.), 9 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 15 – Tuesday, Feb. 17 – Players Off

Wednesday, Feb. 18 – Training at Qwest Field, 10 a.m.

Thursday, Feb. 19 – Training at Qwest Field, 10 a.m. & 4 p.m. (weights at VMAC)

Training Status

The objective for the first week of training in Ventura was to work hard on physical preparation. There were two-a-days on three days, with rain canceling one session. Aside from fitness, Coach Sigi Schmid also wanted to begin building the base for the team’s offensive and defensive concepts.

Two training sessions featured 11v11 scrimmages. Trialist Jeff Clark’s goal was answered by Zakuani, the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, for a 1-1 tie. Last Sunday, Brad Evans and Sebastien Le Toux each scored and set-up one another in a 2-0 win for their side.

A flurry of goals came during a series of 8v8 games last Saturday. Montero hit the net six times with Nyassi, Evans and trialist Ryan Caugherty also getting goals.

Majority owner Joe Roth traveled up from Los Angeles to attend one training session and he also was on hand for the Galaxy game, along with Tod Leiweke, CEO of Vulcan Sports & Entertainment. Midfielder Peter Vagenas watched multiple sessions. Vagenas is recovering from arthroscopic surgery.

Coming & Going

Three new faces arriving at camp last week were Argentine midfielder Fernando Screpis and St. Vincent and Grenadines midfielder Emerald George. From the college ranks came defender Mamadou Danso from Southern Poly (Georgia), Kyle Schmid (UC Irvine) and Jeff Clark (Concordia, Calif.). Participating early in the week was Bosnian defender Nicola Andelic, who is no longer with the team. Mandou Bojang, a central defender formerly with Gambia’s Ports Authority and the U-20 National Team, will rejoin the squad in Seattle on February 18. Bojang last participated in the team’s January 30 session.

From the Training Room

Jared Karkas (hamstring) and Taylor Graham (foot contusion) are due to miss the Shandong Luneng scrimmage due to injuries. Fourth-round pick Michael Fucito (hamstring) has not yet joined the team for training. Jarrod Smith (hip flexor) remains in Seattle. Vagenas is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to trim articular cartilage above his knee. Freddie Ljungberg, who underwent surgery to repair a hip condition in December, continues to rehabilitate in Sweden.

Watch & Join

The Emerald City Supporters (ECS) have organized two viewing parties for the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night, February 11. The game begins at 4 p.m. PT. Both parties are in Pioneer Square establishments: McCoy’s (173 S. Washington Street, Seattle) and Fuel (must be 21 or over; 164 S. Washington Street, Seattle). ECS is accepting new members. For $30, each member receives an ECS scarf, T-shirt and a membership card good for discounts and specials with participating businesses.