Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS match preview
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
May 4, 2013 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #81)
4 p.m. ET (WPVI-ABC6; KONG/ROOT-NW)
Philadelphia Union return home looking to get back on track as they play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. Union lost for the first time in four matches last time out, dropping a 2-0 decision to the New England Revolution on the road. Sounders FC return to action after a weekend off, winning for the first time in league play in their last match, a 1-0 win at Colorado.
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): Adam Wienckowski; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Muschik; 4th: Mark Geiger
MLS Career: 93 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 28; pens: 24
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Conor Casey
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Union 2 wins, 6 goals … Sounders FC 2 wins, 5 goals … Ties 1
AT PHILADELPHIA (2 meetings): Union 1 win, 4 goals … Sounders FC 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/5: SEA 1, PHI 0 (Rosales 63)
- This is the only league meeting of the season between the two clubs.
- Union are undefeated lifetime at PPL Park vs. Sounders FC, with a win and a draw in two meetings, including a 3-1 triumph in the first game ever on the Chester waterfront.
- Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. SEA: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Sigi Schmid vs. PHI: P5 W2 L2 D1
Philadelphia Union saw their undefeated streak end at three games, the New England Revolution striking for a 2-0 victory Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Union sit in a sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 8 matches.
- The Revolution opened the scoring in the 61st minute. Lee Nguyen slipped Kelyn Rowe through on the right side of the penalty area, and he picked out Diego Fagundez's run near the penalty spot. Fagundez swept home with his first touch.
- Nguyen then started and finished the buildup to the vital second 11 minutes later. He embarked upon an incisive run through midfield and played second-half substitute Saer Sene through on the left side of the penalty area. MacMath saved the initial attempt, but the rebound fell kindly for Nguyen and he gleefully thumped home into the empty net.
- Union team manager John Hackworth made no changes to the team that came away from RFK Stadium with a 3-2 victory against D.C. United.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 65), Keon Daniel (Jose Kleberson 72), Michael Farfan - Jack McInerney, Conor Casey (Sebastien Le Toux 59).
- Union lost for the first time since a 2-1 defeat at New York, and the loss in New England also came after a win and a draw in their last two matches away from PPL Park.
- “That was not reflective of the kind of game we’re capable of playing at all: probably our worst performance on the year so far,” said Union head coach John Hackworth. “In a lot of ways just frustrating that we’ve been playing so consistent and at least the way we try to play and tonight wasn’t the same.”
- Union were shut out for the first time this season in the 2-0 defeat. Only FC Dallas and Portland still have scored in every game this season.
- “I thought there were a lot of things that we could've done better. It just wasn't our night, for whatever reason, offensively, defensively, possession of the ball making plays that we normally make. It just wasn't there tonight,” midfielder Brian Carroll.
- Goalkeeper Zac MacMath faced a season-high seven shots on target, and made a season-high five saves.
- “They just opened us up and put us on our heels and attacked with numbers. They made it difficult for us in the back. We didn't follow runners and didn't do enough to keep them wide. They came at us up the middle, played it wide then played it across and there's a couple of goals after it. They had a couple of chances, as well,” said defender Jeff Parke. “On the whole and on the day, they were better and created more chances.”
- Hackworth again started Conor Casey in attack with Jack McInerney, bringing on Sebastien Le Toux at the hour mark in place of Casey. Le Toux had not featured in the 3-2 win at D.C. United.
- “We just need to go back and review this game. Look at the game film, come up with a plan, just try to hammer home the things we’ve been doing well. Know that tonight on a lot of levels, this is not acceptable for this team,” said Hackworth.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC return to action after a weekend off, winning for the first time in league play this season in their last match, a 1-0 win against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Sounders FC are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 5 points from 6 matches.
- The game's lone goal came after 17 minutes. Shalrie Joseph’s blast from just outside the penalty box required a diving save from Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin, and Obafemi Martins gobbled up the rebound and finished easily from short range for his first MLS goal.
- Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning made three saves for the clean sheet, including a pair of quality stops late in the match.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field. Brad Evans and Obafemi Martins came into the side, in place of Mauro Rosales and Alex Caskey.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Shalrie Joseph, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Alex Caskey 70) - Obafemi Martins (Mauro Rosales 61), Lamar Neagle (Marc Burch 89).
- Sounders FC won for the first time in six league matches before their bye week, in the 1-0 victory in Colorado.
- Seattle has still not scored more than one goal in any MLS game this season, and just once in 10 games in all competitions (a 3-1 win vs. Tigres UANL in the CONCACAF Champions League). Sounders FC have scored just three goals total in league play, the fewest in MLS.
- “To a certain extent we really don’t care how we played because we really needed a win,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "We had a little bit of good fortune in the back, but it’s about time we got some good fortune. … It’s good to get it behind us and now we can move on. The West is pretty tight, so if we can win the games we have in hand, we’re going to be back in the mix for a playoff spot.”
- It was a second consecutive shutout on the back end for Sounders FC, who have now gone 235 minutes without conceding a goal.
- “I think defensively we’ve been pretty consistent all season,” Schmid said. “Sometimes things break the way they do on Saturday and we’ll take that and continue to build and go forward.” Added goalkeeper Michael Gspurning: “To be honest, I was never feeling different. From the beginning of the season, we have been feeling pretty confident in the back.”
- Seattle Designated Player Obafemi Martins scored his first MLS goal in the victory in Colorado, returning to the lineup after missing the New England match through injury.
- Lamar Neagle made his second consecutive start, partnering Martins in attack. He played 89 minutes after playing the full match the week before vs. New England.
- “He’s been great,” Schmid said. “Once he gets his full game fitness maybe those balls he got in the second half, he can turn those into goals as well. I thought his running was pretty good as the game wore on. He did a much better job of holding the ball up for us as well. Lamar has done well for us the last few games.”
- After missing the last two matches with a hamstring injury, Eddie Johnson has returned to full training and could be available for selection for the Philadelphia match.
- “I thought he trained well last week. So he’s just got to continue to go on that and if there are no setbacks, he should be ready to go this weekend,” Schmid said. Said midfielder Shalrie Joseph: “It’s going to be good to get back all these healthy guys. The more we can practice together, the better we are going to become. Another week of training is going to be good and we look forward to the challenge against Philly.”