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USA-Ecuador, Euro 2012, Strikers, Sounders.

On tap Tuesday...

Euro 2012 qualifiers: Germany vs. Belgium (1 p.m., ESPN2), Ireland vs. Armenia, Spain vs. Scotland, France vs. Bosnia, Sweden vs. Netherlands.

USA vs. Ecuador, friendly from Red Bull Arena (NJ), 7 p.m., ESPN2 and Univision. Will the US follow up Miami win over Honduras with another one?

Speaking of US team, coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he'd like to see MLS extend its season from 9 months to 11 months to keep up with European leagues. He thinks MLS players have too much vacation time.

Reminder that the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers host second leg of NASL semifinal this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Lockhart. They play the defending champion Puerto Rico Islanders, whom they beat 3-1 in the first leg. Tickets start at $10. Call 954-606-0400.

Finally, major thumbs up to the Seattle Sounders for selling more than 57,000 tickets for Saturday's regular-season finale against San Jose. Yes, this game was part of a 3-game package that included a Manchester United friendly earlier in the summer, but still...57,000 for a regular-season MLS game! The Sounders are averaging 36,893 per game this season, better than last year's 36,173. If only MLS could bottle up whatever they're doing in Seattle and spread it all over the league. I sure would love to get to one of those Sounders games and experience it. I've heard it feels like Europe or South America. Lots of passion. Must be fun.

 

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Attendance in New York for the USA-Honduras game: 20,707. So South Florida outdrew NY and LA of the last 3 USMNT games, with crappy weather all day and on a Jewish holiday with a high profile NBA exhibition down the road. And the Strikers are drawing more fans per game in NASL than the Sounders did when they were in D2. 70,000+ fans for Barça-Chivas, 18,000+ for Gold Cup.

We may not get a MLS team back anytime soon, but we are slowly but surely rebuilding our soccer reputation. Before the Fusion and Miami FC debacles, we were a respected soccer market. Poor management from Horowitz and Traffic respectively stained South Florida's domestic soccer image, but we're making a comeback! GO STRIKERS!

Israel hasn`t qualified for the Euro2012 games, which is too bad considering that countries like Belgium (that is divided to half) did went on.

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