Seattle Sounders FC vs Manchester United 07-21-2011 - Preview
Preview: Seattle vs. Man. United promises fireworks
Seattle are fired up and will be ready to go when defending English Premier League champions Manchester United pay a visit to CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night (10 pm ET, FOX Soccer).
Both squads are coming off registering four-goal hauls, and with a large crowd expecting a show from both teams, it’s likely they will deliver.
The Sounders have lost just once in the last 15 games in all competitions, and they’ve rung off three straight wins, including come-from-behind wins against rivals Portland Timbers and defending MLS champs Colorado Rapids.
The Sounders are now just one point behind MLS-leading LA Galaxy, and a large part of that success is owed to midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Erik Friberg, wingers Álvaro Fernández and Mauro Rosales, and forwards Rogers Levesque and Fredy Montero.
“[They] can't concentrate on one player,” said head coach Sigi Schmid after an impressive 4-3 defeat of Colorado. “If you focus on one guy, hopefully another guy is going to come along and hurt you. That’s what’s important about our team.”
In their first game of their preseason and first match of the World Football Challenge, the Red Devils schooled the Revolution en route to a 4-1 win. But instead of usual culprits Wayne Rooney or Dimitar Berbatov doing the damage, the hurt came from second-half subs Federico Macheda and Michael Owen.
With Javier “Chicharito” Hernández — who has yet to join the team during its US tour — in top form with Mexico in the Gold Cup and with Mame Biram Diouf back, Man. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he’ll have a tough time picking his front line.
The game against Seattle could go a long way for Berbatov, Macheda and Owen’s bids for more minutes or even a spot in the starting XI.
Seattle Sounders: Fredy Montero
After struggling to find his scoring touch for a long stretch of the season, the Sounders star forward is on fire, having scored three times in his last two games. For Seattle to repeat Kansas City’s winning effort against Manchester United last year, the young Colombian will need his sights to remain true.
Manchester United: Wayne Rooney
Not many players have the raw mix of power and dogged determination that the Manchester United ace brings. Injury, drop of form and turbulent times hampered Rooney last season, but he eventually ironed things out to finish on a high note. If Rooney’s on his game on Wednesday night, Seattle’s defense will have a terribly tough time defending against him.