Preview: Sounders, Revs set for Sunday afternoon showdown
Seattle Sounders FC and the New England Revolution meet for the first time this season when the clubs clash Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC started their homestand with a 4-2 victory Thursday against the New York Red Bulls in front of the largest home crowd in club history. The Revolution travel cross-country after reaching a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at home last weekend.
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REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 3 games; FC/gm: 24.7; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 0; pens: 2
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: FW O’Brian White (L leg surgery); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture)
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: MF Ousmane Dabo (R quadriceps strain); DF Didier Domi (R Achilles tendonitis); FW Kheli Dube (whiplash); MF Marko Perovic (L knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Ryan Cochrane (L hamstring strain); DF Chris Tierney (L foot contusion); PROBABLE: MF Benny Feilhaber (R ankle sprain)
SEA: Osvaldo Alonso (caution accumulation; through June 26); Leo Gonzalez (caution accumulation; through June 26)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
SEA: James Riley
NE: Stephen McCarthy, Shalrie Joseph
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
SEA: Servando Carrasco, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Sounders FC 1 win, 5 goals … Revolution 3 wins, 6 goals … Ties 0
AT SEATTLE (2 meetings): Sounders FC 1 win, 3 goals … Revolution 1 win, 1 goal … Ties 0
RETURN MATCH: 10/1: New England Revolution vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS)
- 6/5: SEA 3, NE 0 (Gonzalez 5; Zakuani 24; Montero 42)
- 9/4: NE 3, SEA 1 (Tierney 70; Perovic 73; Dube 81 – Zakuani 59)
- The Revolution have won both meetings between the clubs at Gillette Stadium.
- The Revolution won the first meeting ever, in 2009 at Qwest Field. Sounders FC came back to win their first game against New England in the second meeting last season, in Seattle.
- Coaches' records: Sigi Schmid vs. NE: P27 W11 L11 D5 … Steve Nicol v SEA: P4 W3 L1 D0
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC won a second consecutive match, returning home for a 4-2 victory against the New York Red Bulls on Thursday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC have 28 points from 18 games on the season, sitting in a tie for second place in the Western Conference.
- Sounders FC scored in the aftermath of corner kicks early on, staking Seattle to a 2-0 lead after just 12 minutes. First, Erik Friberg collected a partial clearance outside the penalty area, cut back and neatly curled it in the far post. Less than two minutes later, Osvaldo Alonso scored a similar goal from the opposite side, volleying a short clearance that appeared to deflect off a foot and into the net.
- The Red Bulls were handed a lifeline in the 31st minute when Dane Richards drove a shot towards goal that Kasey Keller got a hand to but couldn’t keep out of the net. The visitors then leveled the score when right back Jan Gunnar Solli fired in a low cross that deflected off Zach Scott and into the Seattle goal.
- But Sounders FC regained the lead in the 67th minute. Substitute Roger Levesque flashed in at the near post on a corner kick and knocked a glancing header back over his shoulder and inside the far post. Then in the 78th minute, New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton misplayed a simple back pass, allowing Levesque to steal the ball and score on an empty net to seal the victory.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that defeated Toronto FC 1-0 at BMO Field. Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez came into the back four for Tyson Wahl and the suspended Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and Erik Friberg and Alvaro Fernandez came into the midfield for Brad Evans and Lamar Neagle.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez (Servando Carrasco 72) - Mike Fucito (Roger Levesque 58), Fredy Montero (Nate Jaqua 81)
- It was the first goals of the season for Roger Levesque, and the first two-goal game of his MLS career. He has nine goals in 45 career league appearances.
- “Maybe I'm not the most technical guy, but I always work on getting good positions and fortunately tonight was one of those nights where I got in two good spots and the ball went in,” Levesque said. “If you always find yourself in front of the goal you give yourself a chance."
- With Jhon Kennedy Hurtado suspended, Zach Scott fitted into central defense, after playing there for 38 minutes in the Toronto FC match. Scott had played primarily as a fullback in his previous first team appearances.
- Leo Gonzalez also returned to the back four, making his first start in five matches, since the May 25 game vs. FC Dallas.
- “I thought Zach was solid and I thought Leo [Gonzalez] was solid as well. I thought defensively he was much better in the second half because he didn't go forward quite as much,” Schmid said. “I think we locked down that side a little bit more. I think in the second half, we probably locked that down a bit better."
- However Gonzalez, along with Osvaldo Alonso, both received a fifth yellow card of the season after being on warning and will be suspended for caution accumulation.
- “We have a bench. Different people have to step up. We think [Brad] Evans should be ready to go Sunday, which should help us. [Servando] Carrasco got a few minutes today and he's had a little bit of a bruise, so he's ready to go again. I think we'll find enough people," Schmid said.
- Erik Friberg scored his first MLS goal in making his first start in four games, since the 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake on May 28. Alvaro Fernandez also made his first start since being forced off injured in the same game.
- “Our plan all along was that [Brad] Evans wasn't going to play on Thursday and was going to come back and play on Sunday. So then we gotta look at how we feel,” Schmid said. “Fredy Montero came out because he felt his quad getting a little tight. So I want to make sure that it didn't get worse. So it's a matter of how some guys regenerate. I think that all season long, we've been able to put different people out there and come up with performances."
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution has their winless streak extended to six games, coming back for a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution have 15 points from 15 matches, in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
- Chicago's Dominic Oduro opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. Patrick Nyarko's diagonal ball from a counter located Oduro as he stormed through midfield. Oduro surged toward the penalty area and unleashed a quick shot inside the far post.
- Lekic restored parity three minutes after play resumed after Pat Phelan shot a ball into Rajko Lekic's feet inside the penalty area. The offside flag stayed down and the unmarked Lekic then easily poked home into the far side of the net.
- Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made two changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium. Franco Coria and Sainey Nyassi started at center back and on the right of midfield respectively, replacing the injured Ryan Cochrane and Zak Boggs.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Franco Coria, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes - Sainey Nyassi, Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph, Chris Tierney (Ryan Guy 71) - Rajko Lekic, Kenny Mansally (Zack Schilawski 81).
- After four consecutive losses, the Revolution have taken points from two consecutive games. It was the first time they’d put together back-to-back results since May 7-14.
- “It’s disappointing,’’ Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. “To be honest, it feels like a loss, coming in at halftime one down when we should be three up. Defensively, we’ve been great this year; but we defended terribly. But saying that, going forward we created chances.’’
- The game in Seattle starts a stretch of five of the next six games on the road for the Revolution. Only the July 17 vs. Philadelphia will be at Gillette Stadium between the trip to Seattle and a visit to Kansas City on July 30.
- Rajko Lekic scored his second goal of the season, his first coming on April 23. He and Shalrie Joseph are the only Revolution players with more than one goal this season.
- “I played maybe [eight] games without scoring a goal and I’m here to score goals, so it’s a tough time for me,’’ Lekic said. “I saw Pat (Phelan) had the ball and if he missed the ball I’m alone, and he missed it. I had maybe one or two seconds and just put it in. It was a great game for the team. We played good, we created chances, and Sainey played good on the right side.”
- Lekic was again partnered by Kenny Mansally as Nicol stayed with the twin-striker system he first installed in the second half of the 2-1 loss at New York on June 10.
- “Since coming it’s been hard for him playing up from on his own to begin with. That’s never easy for anybody,” said Nicol. “The finish tonight, on the one hand looks simple, but if you panic it becomes a lot harder. But he kept his cool and just stroked it away and just finished.”
- Pat Phelan recorded his second assist of the season on Lekic’s goal, the most in a single season for Phelan in four MLS seasons.
- After eight consecutive games coming off the substitutes’ bench, Sainey Nyassi returned to the first XI. It was his first start since April 6 in Vancouver, the last of three consecutive starts.
- “Me gaining a lot of confidence being in the starting 11 was something I really wanted,” Nyassi said. “But coming from the bench a couple of games back, I was positive being outside and still had confidence. Starting, I think, will really help me a lot being out there.”
- Midfielder Benny Feilhaber was close to being available for the Revolution, but in the end Nicol kept him out of the 18-man gameday squad.
- “The doctor looked at (Benny Feilhaber) again and just felt that, with that type of injury, three weeks was pushing it. Had it been a cup final, he’d have been available. But we’ll always listen to the doctor’s advice. So that’s why he wasn’t in the 18,” Nicol said.