Preview: Coming off ties, TFC, Seattle seek full three at BMO
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
7 p.m. ET (GolTV Can.; KONG/ROOT-NW)
June 18, 2011 (WEEK 14; MLS Game 131)
Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders FC meet for the second time this season when the clubs face off Saturday at BMO Field. TFC are coming off a third consecutive draw at midweek, another scoreless result, this time with the New England Revolution. Sounders FC hit the road off a wild 2-2 road at home with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Seattle claimed a 3-0 win when the clubs first met this season, April 30 at Qwest Field.
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REFEREE: Yader Reyes. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Corey Rockwell; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 15 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 3; pens: 1
INJURY REPORT: TORONTO FC — OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); DF Nana Attakora (R quadriceps strain); MF Jacob Peterson (L hamstring strain); MF Tony Tchani ( L ankle contusion); QUESTIONABLE: MF Alen Stevanovic (adductor tightness) ... SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC — OUT: FW O'Brian White (L leg surgery); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); DOUBTFUL: DF Taylor Graham (calf strain); PROBABLE: MF Servando Carrasco (knee contusion); MF Alvaro Fernandez (hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: TOR: Dicoy Williams (Jamaica)
SUSPENDED: TOR: Gianluca Zavarise (through June 19)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Leo Gonzalez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Servando Carrasco, James Riley ... TOR: Richard Eckersley, Dan Gargan, Javier Martina, Tony Tchani
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 4 goals ... Sounders FC 3 wins, 8 goals ... Ties 1
AT BMO FIELD (2 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 2 goals ... Sounders FC 1 win, 2 goals ... Ties 0
• Sounders FC claimed a 3-0 victory in the first meeting between the teams, behind two goals from Brad Evans, April 30 at BMO Field.
• Toronto FC have won just one of the five all-time meetings, that a 2-0 win last April 25 at BMO Field.
• Coaches record: Aron Winter vs. SEA: P1 W0 L1 D0 ... Sigi Schmid v TOR: P11 W6 L1 D4
4/30: SEA 3, TOR 0 (Fernandez 9; Evans 52, 75 pen)
• Sounders FC took the lead in the ninth minute. With TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei moving to cover the near post, an unmarked Alvaro Fern·ndez got on the end of a Brad Evans cross from the right flank and headed home.
• Seattle doubled the lead in the 52nd minute. This time it was Evans who finished off, running onto a Montero pass and firing a shot to the left side that Frei could only get his hands on but not stop.
• Evans added a third on the night for the home side and his third of the season in the 75th minute from the penalty spot after referee Ricardo Salazar whistled Mikael Yourassowsky for a handball in the box.
• SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Osvaldo Alonso - Brad Evans, Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 80), Alvaro Fernandez - Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque 72), Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 67)
• TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Dan Gargan, Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman - Julian de Guzman (Nathan Sturgis 57) - Jacob Peterson, Maicon Santos (Mikael Yourassowsky 46) - Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Alen Stevanovic (Matt Gold 62)
Toronto FC shared the points for a third consecutive game, another scoreless draw, this time with the New England Revolution on Wednesday evening at Gillette Stadium. TFC has 15 points from 16 games on the season, sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
• Both teams created their share of chances, but could not break the stalemate. TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was forced into a season-high seven games, from 16 total Revolution attempts at goal. New England goalkeeper Matt Reis made three saves, while TFC's Alan Gordon saw his goalbound header cleared off the line by Kevin Alston after 36 minutes.
• TFC survived Gianluca Zavarise's red card in second-half stoppage time to hold out for the draw.
• TFC head coach Aron Winter made two changes to the team that grabbed a 2-2 tie with the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Alan Gordon and Joao Plata came into the team for Jacob Peterson and Tony Tchani.
• TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Danleigh Borman - Nathan Sturgis - Mikael Yourassowsky, Maicon Santos (Oscar Cordon 56) - Nick Soolsma (Gianluca Zavarise 67; sent off 92+), Alan Gordon, Joao Plata (Javier Martina 73)
• TFC have played to a league-high nine draws, one more than Chicago and Vancouver, and they've reached a scoreless result in three of their last five games.
• "Overall, a point away but it's otherwise good. We wanted more, but also we had a lot of chances and we're better for it. A couple times they had some good opportunities but still one point is good," said TFC head coach Aron Winter. "... The result is good but I'm waiting for a victory because every time to play a tie, it's good but it's not changing anything in the standings."
• It was a fifth shutout of the season for TFC, who have allowed a league-most 25 goals.
• "It's not three points, but I think today with three points is doable. You got to stay positive. I think the good thing is it's the second game in a row on the road where we come out to fight for 90 minutes," said goalkeeper Stefan Frei. "We kept it pretty clean in the back, played fairly decent I think defensively as a team - just looking for that little luck and spark up top."
• Frei's seven saves were a season-high for the club. "Of those seven shots I think there were maybe one or two that were threatening," Frei said. "Other than that it was pretty routine, so that's a very positive thing for the team to look at as a team defensively."
• After scoring two goals in his first game back since April 30 in the weekend draw at the LA Galaxy, Alan Gordon came back into the starting lineup for his sixth start of the campaign.
• "Alan has been very good and he's important for the team. You saw it today and it's really good because he gets good opportunities and was at sometimes not sharp at that moment but still it was his first game after a while he was away," said Winter. "At the end he was a little bit tired but it's important because we have to take care and prepare him for the next game.
• TFC Academy graduate Doneil Henry made his second successive start, his first two in his league career, in central defense.
• "It's a great partnership me and Ty (Harden) have going on right now. But, like I said, anyone can come in and do the same job, but we just have to put our efforts together and try to get the team three points," Henry said. "Our job as defenders is to keep a clean sheet and we got that today. So in the back we were successful."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC played to a second consecutive draw, this time pegged back to a 2-2 result with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Qwest Field. Sounders FC have 22 points from 16 games on the season, sitting in a tie for third place in the Western Conference.
• Whitecaps FC broke through first in the 29th minute. Camilo's clever cutback in the left of the area led to a foul from Osvaldo Alonso, and Eric Hassli calmly buried the penalty kick, chipping the ball down the middle.
• Mauro Rosales pulled Sounders FC level in the 81st minute. A deflected cross from the left fell to Rosales in the area and struck home inside Joe Cannon's left-hand post.
• Seattle then pulled ahead in the 84th minute. Alonso picked off a pass from Shea Salinas and lashed a left-footed blast from outside the area into the lower corner.
• But barely a minute later, Vancouver scored the stunning equalizer. Hassli volleyed a dipping shot from outside the penalty area at the right corner of the box, looping it over Kasey Keller and into the goal off the inside of the far post to salvage a point for the visitors.
• Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Fredy Montero came in for Nate Jaqua in attack.
• SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Osvaldo Alonso - Brad Evans, Mauro Rosales (Erik Friberg 83), Lamar Neagle (Nate Jaqua 59) - Mike Fucito (Miguel Montano 65), Fredy Montero.
• While a gut-wrenching draw, Sounders FC extended their unbeaten run to six games (2-0-4) in the 2-2 draw with Vancouver.
• "I thought we could've closed the game out," defender James Riley said. "We did well to battle and said at halftime if we got one we were going to get the second, and we did. We battled. We fought. They didn't quit. It comes off our mistake and we're sitting in the locker room like it's a loss instead of a derby victory."
• Osvaldo Alonso scored his first goal of the season. Alonso has scored one goal now in each of his three seasons in the league.
• "He gets a lot of shots from that place and it was good to see the ball go in. It was a lucky situation because we were 2-v-1 at the other end of the field, so if the shot gets blocked we're scrambling a little bit but it didn't get blocked and it went in," Schmid said. "Hopefully that will give him confidence. Alonso works extremely hard and does great things all the time. Sometimes simplicity helps you get out of a certain situation but certainly the goal was well taken."
• Mauro Rosales also scored his first goal of the season. It was the first MLS goal for Rosales.
• "I thought he was good. Thought he was sharp. He was a handful for them. I thought he was very effective on the right,"Schmid said. "He continues to get in, that's one of the reasons we came with [Nate] Jaqua, thinking that we're getting so many opportunities to cross the ball and eventually Jaqua got a flick that helped us on our first goal."
• Eight different players have scored the last eight goals for Seattle, since their loss at D.C. United on May 4, including the first goal of the season for five players (Rosales, Alonso, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Lamar Neagle).
• "It's a matter of guys being active and guys putting the defense on their heels," Schmid said. "[Mike] Fucito was in there in the first half and got pushed from behind as he was about to shoot but it was not a PK, so he had a good look. Fredy Montero had some good looks. Rosales was getting there as well. [Lamar] Neagle played well in the first half. I thought the front four in that regard was pretty good."
• Miguel MontaÒo made just his second appearance of the season, his first since playing six minutes in a substitute role in the season opener March 15.
• "Based upon (improved training), you give him the opportunity to take the next step up," Schmid said to the Tacoma News-Tribune. "We've always felt that he's one of the players — when he's on his game — to take some people (one on one). Unfortunately, I think his impact was very small when he came into the game. I didn't think he really impacted the game. Maybe he hadn't been out there for a while, maybe it was the occasion. I don't know for sure exactly what it was, but that's another step for him to take."
• Pat Noonan has returned to full training and playing with the Sounders FC reserves. He has yet to make a league appearance this season, though he was an unused substitute vs. Vancouver.
• "I didn't want him to step in right away into a first-team game when he really hadn't been healthy," Schmid said. "So, he's been playing pretty consistently with the reserve team, so I thought it was right for him to be on the bench. ... Hopefully he'll stay healthy and maybe the opportunity will come for him in the next game or two."