Good morning from Seattle. Another cool, sunny day in the Pacific Northwest. Matchday at CenturyLink Field, where a decidedly partisan crowd of between 36,000 and 40,000 will witness the U.S. national team face Panama in the fifth of 10 World Cup final-round qualifiers.
*Let’s start, however, with an NWSL item: I am getting word the Washington Spirit has reached a deal to acquire former German national team forward Conny Pohlers on loan from European champion Wolfsburg. Pohlers, 34, scored 28 goals in 67 international matches between 2001 and ’08. She played one season for the Atlanta Beat in the WUSA 10 years ago. The Spirit (1-4-3) has scored nine times in eight matches — four came in one game — and has had to rely heavily on young players in the attack. It’s unclear whether Pohlers’ paperwork will be completed in time for Saturday night’s match against the Western New York Flash at Maryland SoccerPlex.
UPDATE: Deal is done. Details here.
Here in Seattle…..
*My formal print-online story looks at Seattle’s long-awaited opportunity to stage a major U.S. match.
*Juergen Klinsmann confirmed midfielder Jermaine Jones will sit out the Panama qualifier because of a head injury suffered in Jamaica last Friday. He added Jones will “definitely” be ready for next Tuesday’s match against Honduras in Utah. The doctors will have the final say on that, however.
*Forward Herculez Gomez, who has been slowed by a knee injury, was sent home to heal. Midfielder Danny Williams (fitness) was dismissed Saturday. The USSF has not ruled out recalling midfielder Brek Shea, who has missed the entire camp with a calf injury, ahead of the Honduras match. Without match fitness, though, he probably will just provide depth in case of injuries or suspensions.
*U.S. players carrying a yellow card: DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, Brad Davis, Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson.
*With Gomez, Williams and Graham Zusi (suspension) out, Klinsmann will have 21 players, including three goalkeepers, at his disposal.
*Midfielder Maurice Edu, who withdrew from the roster two weeks ago with a hernia injury, wrote on his Twitter page he is undergoing surgery.
*Tonight’s kickoff is at 10:08 p.m. ET and 7:08 local. Ignore USSF references to 9:30/6:30 — that’s just to encourage fans to arrive early amid rush hour and avoid crossover traffic for the Mariners-Astros game next door. Not that many are headed to Safeco Field: Last night’s crowd to watch bad baseball was 12,811.
*TV: ESPN, UniMas, WatchESPN. (ESPN3.com coverage is available in Hawaii only.)
*Game-time weather: 63 degrees, partly sunny, light wind.
*Former USA coach Bob Bradley‘s unbeaten and untied Egypt squad is on the verge of advancing to the final stage of World Cup qualifying in the fall. Here’s the latest trailer (it’s long) documenting his harrowing and inspiring journey: