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Sun. Dec 7th at 3:00pm EST · ESPN · UniMas · UDN · TSN1 · RDS2
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Final

Preview: Sounders' unbeaten run on the line vs. Rapids

Seattle Sounders FC put their eight-game league unbeaten streak on the line when the Colorado Rapids come to CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon. Sounders FC are coming off a 3-2 victory at archrival Portland Timbers last weekend, then extended their U.S. Open Cup unbeaten run with a quarterfinal victory against the LA Galaxy at midweek. The Rapids ended a long home winless run with a 2-1 win against Vancouver in their last time out.

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REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Mike Kampmeinert; JAR (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Andrew Chapin
Jurisevic's MLS Career: 34 games; FC/gm: 22.1; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 4; pens: 5

INJURY REPORT: SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (knee MCL sprain); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); DOUBTFUL: FW O’Brian White (L leg surgery); PROBABLE: MF Brad Evans (hamstring strain)

COLORADO RAPIDS – QUESTIONABLE: FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear); DF Danny Earls (L quadriceps contusion); PROBABLE: GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain); MF Joseph Nane (R shoulder strain); MF Brian Mullan (lower back spasms); DF Anthony Wallace (R quad strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Servando Carrasco
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Fredy Montero, James Riley, Tyson Wahl … COL: Conor Casey, Ross LaBauex, Jeff Larentowicz, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 8 goals … Rapids 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1
AT SEATTLE (2 meetings): Sounders FC 2 wins, 5 goals … Rapids 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0

  • Fredy Montero’s 19th-minute goal gave Sounders FC a 1-0 victory in the first meeting this season, April 22 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
  • Sounders FC have won both league meetings in Seattle.
  • Coaches record: Gary Smith vs. SEA: P5 W1 L3 D1 … Sigi Schmid v COL: P34 W17 L10 D7


LAST MEETING (MLS): 4/22 - COL 0, SEA 1 (Montero 19)

  • The match turned early. In the third minute, Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan went in with a two-footed sliding tackle on Sounders winger Steve Zakuani and was given a straight red card. Zakuani was taken off on a stretcher and immediately transported to the hospital to undergo X-rays for a broken leg.
  • In the 19th minute, Sounders FC finally took advantage. O'Brian White laid the ball off to Mauro Rosales, who subsequently found Fredy Montero at the edge of the penalty area. The Colombian then slipped the ball under ‘keeper Matt Pickens for his first goal of the season.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall (Anthony Wallace 66), Drew Moor - Brian Mullan (sent off 3), Pablo Mastroeni (Wells Thompson 68), Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith (Sanna Nyassi 72) - Caleb Folan, Omar Cummings.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Mauro Rosales (Erik Friberg 74), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Alvaro Fernandez 9 / Leo Gonzalez 82) - Fredy Montero, O'Brian White.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC extended their undefeated streak to eight games, coming back twice to defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field. Sounders FC have 35 points from 21 games on the season, sitting in second place in the Western Conference.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC LAST MATCH

  • All the goals came in the second half. The Timbers took the lead in the first minute after the break when Kalif Alhassan went wide of Seattle’s defense and aimed a pass for Jorge Perlaza, but defender Jeff Parke deflected it into his own goal.
  • Sounders FC pulled even in the 57th minute when Fredy Montero slammed a free kick low past the outside of the wall and inside Troy Perkins' right-hand post.
  • The Timbers regained the lead in the 69th minute when Perlaza, freed by a brilliant through ball from Diego Chara, saw his shot glance off Seattle defender Tyson Wahl and past a diving Kasey Keller. But Seattle leveled the score again just five minutes later when Mauro Rosales knocked down a Lamar Neagle cross from the left side and Montero tapped in from close range.
  • The winning goal came in the 83rd minute after Neagle was tackled in the box by Portland defender Eric Brunner, and sent off by referee Jorge Gonzalez. Osvaldo Alonso converted from the spot to seal the victory.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made no changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw with the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni 57), Tyson Wahl- Osvaldo Alonso - Mauro Rosales, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 66) - Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Pat Noonan 89).

SEATTLE SOUNDERS TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC extended their undefeated streak to eight games with the win in Portland, the longest in MLS play in club history.
  • “It’s a team effort and the team is putting in the effort. We’re getting the rewards for it. Especially when go down as unlucky as we had on two occasions,” said goalkeeper Kasey Keller. “At different times in the last three years, the team might have folded, but that’s not the case right now. The team knows that we’re capable of coming back. We’re capable of riding any kind of situation, and we can get results out of it.
  • Fredy Montero recorded his first two-goal game since his MLS debut on March 19, 2009.
  • Two of Montero’s Sounders FC-leading five goals on the season (the other June 18 vs. Toronto FC) have come directly from free kicks; with three direct free kicks for goals this season, Seattle leads MLS.
  • “Fredy has been putting in extra work this year on the free kicks and has gotten two pretty good free kicks for us in the last five games,” Schmid said. “That’s because of all the extra work he’s done. When you do extra work you get rewarded. The second goal he got was a great cross by Rosales. He picked him out. He was unlucky not to get a third off his header. I was very pleased with how he played and what his work rate was all about today.”
  • Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was forced from the field in the 57th minute with a knee injury, but it was not considered serious. Hurtado missed the majority of the 2010 season with a knee injury.
  • “He’s definitely out for the game Wednesday and the game this weekend, but there’s no ACL or no meniscus or anything else. It’s just an MCL sprain," Schmid said.
  • On Wednesday, Sounders FC continued their U.S. Open Cup run, defeating the LA Galaxy 3-1 in a quarterfinal match at Starfire Sports Complex. Nate Jaqua put Sounders FC into the lead after just four minutes, then Fredy Montero added a goal in the 25th minute. Adam Cristman pulled a goal back for the Galaxy just before halftime, but Lamar Neagle sealed the win with a strike 16 minutes from the end.
  • Here’s the Sounders FC team: Terry Boss, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Pat Noonan (Erik Friberg 64), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Lamar Neagle, Nate Jaqua (Roger Levesque 71), Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 79).
  • Since coming into MLS, Sounders FC have won 11 Open Cup with one draw (winning that in a penalty shootout), and have won back-to-back titles.

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids won for the first time in nearly a month, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids have 27 points from 20 games, sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference.

COLORADO RAPIDS LAST MATCH

  • The Rapids took the lead in the 25th minute. Jamie Smith played a cross over the Whitecaps defense into the path of Conor Casey, and he settled before snapping a quick angled shot past Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
  • Colorado doubled the lead at the three-quarter mark of the match. Casey powered a header on goal from a free kick that Cannon couldn't hold, and substitute Scott Palguta slammed home the rebound.
  • Whitecaps FC pulled a goal back in the 77th minute, when Nizar Khalfan released Camilo behind the Rapids defense. The Brazilian rounded Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens and slid his shot inside the post, but no equalizer was to come.
  • Rapids head coach Gary Smith made three changes to the team that reached a 1-1 result with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Danny Earls, Jamie Smith and Caleb Folan came into the team, for Tyrone Marshall, Ross LaBauex and Pablo Mastroeni.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Danny Earls (Scott Palguta 23) - Omar Cummings (Sanna Nyassi 81), Wells Thompson, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith - Conor Casey, Caleb Folan (Brian Mullan 65).

COLORADO RAPIDS TEAM NEWS

  • The Rapids won at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for the first time since April 3, a 4-1 win vs. D.C. United. Colorado were winless in their last seven home games (0-2-5).
  • "I think all the guys can breathe out now, breathe a sigh of relief. There was some anxiety in that final 10 minutes, but that’s what happens when you’re not winning regularly at home, even if you’re playing well you’re not quite squeezing the result and getting three points,” Rapids head coach Gary Smith said. “The most important thing for us today was to make sure that we added three points to the board. Of course it’s great to do it at home."
  • Conor Casey continued his hot streak, scoring for the sixth time in his last seven games, all since May 28, in Colorado’s 2-1 win against Vancouver last weekend.
  • “He’s on one of those runs when he looks like he’s going to score,” Gary Smith said. “Mostly, that boils down to confidence. Hitting the back of the net breeds confidence and he’s in an extremely good vein of form. But it was more than just his goal tonight. He played like a captain tonight.”
  • A scorer of double-digits in goal each of the last three seasons, Casey gets hotter as the weather does: he had nine goals after June 1 each of the last two seasons, and all 11 of his goals in 2008 came after that date.
  • "I feel good, really. I haven’t really thought about it,” Casey said. “I know there’s stretches as forwards where you score a lot of goals and there’s stretches where you don’t, so I’m not really thinking about it, going out and playing, and I hope it just continues."
  • While Casey and Caleb Folan started as the strike pair, there was good interchange with Omar Cummings and Jamie Smith at the wide midfield roles, with Cummings especially moving into a striker role.
  • “We needed to dictate the game and I felt this allowed the guys to be a little freer in their expression,” Gary Smith said. “To a degree, it worked.”
  • Defender Scott Palguta, brought on as an early substitute for Danny Earls – who was making just his second start of the season – scored his second goal of the season after netting May 4 vs. Houston. They are his only two goals in MLS after signing from the Rochester Rhinos in 2009.
  • "It always feels good to score a goal, especially as a defender when those opportunities are few and far between,” Palguta said. “It’s always a special moment when you’re able to get one, and the fact that they’re game winners makes it all the more sweet."