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Final

Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders: MLS Match Preview

COLORADO RAPIDS vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
DICKíS SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
April 20, 2013 (WEEK 8, MLS Game #63)
4 p.m. MT (Altitude; KONG)

The Colorado Rapids put their two-game winning streak on the line against a Seattle Sounders FC club still looking for its first league win of 2013 when the two teams meet Saturday afternoon at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids headed to The Home Depot Center last weekend and again held out for a 1-0 win, this time against Chivas USA. Sounders FC are winless in five to start their league campaign, coming off a scoreless home draw with New England.

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REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Edvin Jurisevic
MLS Career: 61 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 8; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: COL: Diego Calderón
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: COL: Hendry Thomas

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Rapids 1 win, 9 goals … Sounders FC 7 wins, 17 goals … Ties 1
AT COLORADO (4 meetings): Rapids 1 win, 4 goals …Sounders FC 2 wins, 5 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 7/20: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 1 p.m. PT; 10/5: Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 8 p.m. MT (NBCSN)

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/14: SEA 1, COL 0 (Scott 63)
7/7: SEA 2, COL 1 (Fernandez 52, Johnson 64, Cummings 79)
7/28: COL 1, SEA 2 (Moor 3; Johnson 2, Alonso 65)

  • Sounders FC have won six consecutive meetings between the teams, dating back to the 2010 season. They have won seven of nine league matches in the series, with one draw.
  • Sounders FC have won all five meetings lifetime in Seattle. The lone Rapids victory came May 29, 2010, a 1-0 triumph at Dickís Sporting Goods Park.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. COL: P38 W21 L10 D7 … Oscar Pareja vs. SEA: P3 W0 L3 D0

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids won their second consecutive match, again making an early goal stand up for a 1-0 win against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on Saturday evening. The Rapids are in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 8 points from 7 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Rapids took an early lead after Chivas midfielder Eric Avila brought down Deshorn Brown just inside the area, and referee Kevin Stott pointed to the post. Brown converted his own penalty, fooling goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Chivas USA had a glorious opportunity of their own later in the first half with a penalty kick, but José Correa saw his attempt bounce off the crossbar.
  • Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin posted his second consecutive shutout, credited with two saves for the match.
  • Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made no changes to the team that held out for a 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-1-3-2): Clint Irwin - Brian Mullan, Shane O'Neill, Marvell Wynne, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas - Atiba Harris, Dillon Powers, Nick LaBrocca (Drew Moor 46) - Deshorn Brown (Jamie Smith 87), Edson Buddle (Anthony Wallace 73).

TEAM NEWS

  • After three ties and two losses in the opening five games to start the season, the Rapids have now won back-to-back games. A year ago, the Rapids won back-to-back games twice ñ the first two games of the season, and the final two games of the season.
  • "We were very aggressive going forward. To make all these movements was difficult but we made accurate decisions. The players deserved the points," said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja.
  • The road win was the first of the season for Colorado, in their third match away from Commerce City, to start a run of four road matches over a six-game span. The Rapids' last away win also came at The Home Depot Center vs. Chivas, last Oct. 20.
  • "It's very important to us," midfielder Anthony Wallace said. "We are looking to build on that. It gives us momentum going in the future. Coming in here, where Chivas has had a great start to the season and to get a win, or at least a tie, would have been great. But to get a win, thatís great for us."
  • For the first time since September 2006, when he was with FC Dallas, Drew Moor was a substitute as Pareja maintained the same back four that recorded the shutout in the win against Real Salt Lake.
  • "I'm a competitive guy. I want to be playing 90 minutes as much as possible," Moor said. "Obviously, I'm not OK with me not starting, but in a positive way because I understand why I didnít start. The defense has been playing extremely well over the course of the last three games."
  • Moor came on at halftime for Nick LaBrocca, who suffered a slight groin injury. Moor slotted into the center of the back four, with Shane O'Neill moving into a holding role in central midfield.
  • "Drew is a leader of this group," Pareja said. "Drew is a starter and he knows it. The [defense] played a good game against Portland, [and they] played a good game against Salt Lake. … I thought he came on in the second half and played very well."
  • Anthony Wallace made his first appearance since Aug. 5, 2011, after suffered a torn Achilles tendon the week before the season opener a year ago. "Honestly, it felt amazing. I haven't been in there in so long. I've been hungry to get back on and once I did I kind of felt right at home again. But yeah, it was great to be back out there," he said.
  • Rookie Deshorn Brown scored his second goal this season, converting his first penalty kick. Brown has started all seven games in attack this season.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC saw their season-opening winless run extended to five games, playing to a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 2 points from 5 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution saw their goalless drought to 388 minutes. Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was not forced to make a single save, as he recorded his first shutout of the season.
  • Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was called upon to make three saves, as the Revs have still allowed just two goals this season, the fewest of any team.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that suffered a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Leo Gonzalez came in at left back for Marc Burch, Shalrie Joseph started in midfield for Brad Evans, and Alex Caskey and Lamar Neagle came into the side for Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (Mario Martinez 83), Shalrie Joseph (Andy Rose 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Alex Caskey - Steve Zakuani (Phillip Lund 74), Lamar Neagle.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC continued their club-record winless streak to start a season since coming to MLS, now with three losses and two draws to open the campaign.
  • Sounders FC were shut out for a third time this season at the attacking end; their two goals for the year is level with D.C. United, with only New England (1) having scored fewer.
  • After having made one substitute appearance in league matches, Lamar Neagle made his first start of the season. He had come as a substitute in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League at Santos Laguna.
  • "He did what I asked him to do," Schmid said. "He stayed high, he occupied the two center backs. He made runs into spaces. He stretched their defense. I wanted to him to get on the end of things, he could have been more dangerous, but all the other things he did well."
  • Brad Evans missed the match with a calf injury and Eddie Johnson has a hamstring ailment, though both have returned to full training. Obafemi Martins is still slowed by a knee injury which is limiting his participation.
  • "You can't say once those guys come back, all our problems are solved," Schmid said. "At the same time, the reality is that we haven't had a full practice. We haven't had a chance to work on any of these combinations with the whole group. We have played nine different lineups in nine games [including CONCACAF Champions League]. We've had to mix the lineup all the time. We haven't found any consistency in that form."
  • Steve Zakuani partnered Neagle in attack, his first start as a striker in league play this season. Zakuani played up top in the CCL match at Santos.
  • "I thought in the Santos game he was the guy that was most closely involved with the majority of our chances, so that's why I decided to give him another game there – hopefully a little more relaxed and understanding what we want," said Schmid. "I thought he did an even better job this game through, especially the first 45, staying high and being more of a threat to their backline."
  • Philip Lund made his MLS debut, coming on for the final quarter-hour in place of Zakuani.
  • "Lund has been training well. He's busy and he's active. He hits a heavy shot with either foot so we felt like giving him a go," said Schmid. "I think he was maybe little bit overwhelmed his first game so I don't think he got into it or got involved as much as I think he could have. But it's based upon what he's been doing."
  • Shalrie Joseph made his first MLS start for Sounders FC, playing 74 minutes in central midfield. Joseph had started both legs of the CONCACAF Champions League series vs. Santos.
  • "Shalrie's helping us. I think it's still a little rough at times because he's still getting into his game rhythm and his fitness rhythm. For him to play two games this week and play basically around 160 minutes in those two games is going to go a long way towards really improving his game as we move forward," Schmid said. "I think he's been a combination. If we can get Evans out there, as well ... and it'll all come together. For now, that's not the situation."

In addition, Zakuani will be making his first appearance in Colorado since the horrific broken leg he suffered there in 2011. The emotion of it forced him to break his self-imposed Twitter moratorium.