Preview: Sounders return home, face West foes Chivas

Seattle Sounders vs. Chivas USA

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CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
4 p.m. ET (KING-NBC/ROOT; PT)
August 13, 2011 (WEEK 22; MLS Game 213)

Seattle Sounders FC return to CenturyLink Field for the first time for a league game in nearly a month when they play host to Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon. Sounders FC are coming off another streak-busting victory, defeating Sporting Kansas City 2-1 in dramatic fashion last weekend. Chivas USA are in the third game of a five-game road swing, coming off a 3-2 victory at the New England Revolution last weekend.

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REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Jason Cullum; 4th: Matthew Foerster
MLS Career: 205 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 56; pens: 42

INJURY REPORT: SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC — OUT: GK Terry Boss (concussion); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (knee MCL sprain); MF Brad Evans (hamstring strain) ... CHIVAS USA — DOUBTFUL: DF Jimmy Conrad (concussion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Servando Carrasco, Fredy Montero ... CHV: Justin Braun, Zarek Valentin
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley, Tyson Wahl ... CHV: Nick LaBrocca, Michael Lahoud, Ben Zemanski

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Sounders FC 1 win, 2 goals ... Chivas USA 2 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 2
AT SEATTLE (2 meetings): Sounders FC 1 win, 2 goals ... Chivas USA 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 1
RETURN MATCH: 10/22: Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS)
8/14: CHV 0, SEA 0
10/15: SEA 2, CHV 1 (Zakuani 9; Alonso 25 — Padilla 90)

  • The home team has yet to lose in the all-time series. Chivas USA won the first two meetings at The Home Depot Center before last year's draw; Sounders FC won in Seattle last year after a draw in the first meeting there the previous season.
  • When Chivas USA scored in Seattle last year, it was the first time the road team had even scored in five all-time league meetings.
  • The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal a year ago, Sounders FC cruising to a 3-1 win at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
  • Coaches record: Robin Fraser vs. SEA: first meeting ... Sigi Schmid v CHV: P11 W2 L5 D4

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC rebounded after seeing their long unbeaten run end, coming back for a dramatic 2-1 win against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. Sounders FC have 41 points from 24 games on the season, sitting in third place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting got the opener from another long throw by Matt Besler in the 20th minute, as he found Kei Kamara unmarked at the top of the box, where he beat Keller to the ball and flicked it into the empty net.
  • Omar Bravo was shown a straight red card in the 59th minute, but the home side couldn't hang on. First, in the final minute on the clock, Mauro Rosales danced through the Sporting defense before cutting his shot inside the far post to tie the game.
  • Less than two minutes later, the Argentinean maestro played creator, carving up SKC's back line and flicking through Mike Fucito to Lamar Neagle. His shot went back against the grain, pinged off the right post and into the goal.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that fell 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. Zach Scott came into the back four for Patrick Ianni and Servando Carrasco started in midfield for Erik Friberg.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl - Mauro Rosales, Servando Carrasco, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 55) - Roger Levesque (Lamar Neagle 68), Fredy Montero (Mike Fucito 55).

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC have won six of their last eight league games, and have lost just once in MLS play since the start of June.
  • Their last three wins have all seen the winning goal scored after the 83rd minute; Sounders FC lead MLS with 13 goals scored in the final quarter-hour of games.
  • "You can tell that our effort is always there," Lamar Neagle said.  "At the end of the game we're still striving to get that win no matter what the score is even though we're down one or whatever it is, we still come back. We've gone down a goal many times, but we always seem to fight back and win the game, and that's what happened."
  • It also yet another streak-ending win for Sounders FC. They won in Columbus in 2009 to end the Crew's 22-match home unbeaten streak, then won earlier this year at Rio Tinto Stadium to end Real Salt Lake's 29-match home undefeated run. The win was the first ever by an opponent at Livestrong Sporting Park.
  • "Obviously, we're pleased with the result to come from behind like that. You know the red card was a game-changing moment," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "Right after that I felt like we got into a better rhythm and you know after that we lost it again.
  • In the last six games, Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales has two goals and four assists, including scoring one and setting up one vs. SKC.
  • "Two tremendous plays by Mauro Rosales at the end but overall for our team after playing 120 minutes in a really hard game against a team from Panama, I was really proud of them," Schmid said.
  • For Schmid, it was his 150th win in league play, the most all-time among MLS coaches.
  • "It just means that I've coached a lot of good players," Schmid said. "I've had the good fortune of having a lot of good players play for me. They work hard and they put forth the effort together. It's been successful more times than it hasn't, so I'm very proud of that fact that I've won that amount of games, but it's a tribute to the players I've coached."
  • Sounders FC felt they had battled through a difficult stretch before the trip to Kansas City, but now the start of play in the CONCACAF Champions League looms.
  • "Beginning with the game against Chivas, we have six difficult games in 18 days," said Schmid. "Having to play those amount of games, if we can go 17 to 18 players deep where we can make changes in our starting lineup and not impact our quality of play, that makes it a good thing for us."

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA rebounded on the second game of their five-game road swing, defeating the New England Revolution 3-2 on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Chivas USA have 29 points from 23 games on the season, in sixth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA took the lead after 31 minutes. Simon Elliott sent an inch-perfect diagonal to Nick LaBrocca on the right flank, and he curled a cross into the box where Alejandro Moreno to turn home the goal with an outstretched right foot.
  • Just before the hour mark, LaBrocca fired home at the second time of asking after his initial effort deflected off defender Darrius Barnes. But the Revolution pulled a goal back when Home Grown Player Diego Fagundez drew a penalty two minutes after he took the field, and Shalrie Joseph thumped home from the spot.
  • Moreno restored the two-goal lead with 10 minutes to play, when he again tapped home from an Ante Jazic ball curled into the area. Fagundez threw the Revolution an unexpected lifeline with four minutes to play when he ghosted in to latch onto a misplayed long ball from Kevin Alston and scored his first MLS goal.
  • Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. Alejandro Moreno returned to the lineup, in place of Michael Lahoud.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Zarek Valentin, Michael Umana, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic - Simon Elliott (Paulo Nagamura 76) - Blair Gavin (Ben Zemanski 56), Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores (Laurent Courtois 66) - Justin Braun, Alejandro Moreno.

TEAM NEWS

  • Alejandro Moreno returned to the Chivas USA starting lineup for the first time since June 11 and scored two goals in the 3-2 win at New England on Saturday night. They were his first MLS goals since scoring in back-to-back games April 23-30.
  • "Coming off of my trip to Copa AmÈrica, I felt pretty strong and confident of what I've been doing on the field," Moreno said. "I felt good during the match, I felt dangerous so I was moving fairly well, then I was able to take advantage of two great balls by Ante [Jazic] and by Nick [LaBrocca] and was able to finish."
  • The club's newest signing, French midfielder Laurent Courtois, made his MLS debut, coming on for the final 24 minutes in a midfield role.
  • "His first touch was excellent and with some of his passing ideas going forward he was extremely composed," said Fraser. "I thought he made good decisions on the ball. I think that it'll take a little bit more time of him playing with us to understand and reintegrate himself defensively into what we're doing. So it'll be a matter of time before he gets more comfortable with what is being asked of him defensively."
  • Nick LaBrocca continued his career year with his seventh goal of the season, matching Justin Braun for the Chivas USA team lead. LaBrocca had five goals total in league play in his first four MLS seasons.
  • "I'm not entirely happy with how I played, but just glad I could contribute to the team and help with them putting some goals on the scoreboard ... I don't think I was sharp enough in those crucial moments," LaBrocca said. "Something to think about and something to focus on next time."
  • Chivas USA conceded multiple goals in a game for the first time since doing it in three games in a row June 11-25. They had allowed just three goals total in their previous six games.
  • "[Dan Kennedy] was huge, he was extremely important and came up big in a number of situations for us," Fraser said. "It's so important to have a goalkeeper who will keep you in games while you sort things out and he's done that many times this year."
  • Chivas USA are playing the third game of a five-game road swing, but the final three are all against Western Conference clubs — at Seattle, Colorado and Portland.