Preview: Sounders face Revs, look to close gap on West

New England vs. Seattle

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
(WEEK 29; MLS Game 279)
October 1, 2011

7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-NE; KONG; watch LIVE online)

The New England Revolution return home to face Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are on the verge of seeing their MLS Cup Playoffs hopes dashed, certainly unable to drop a single point the remainder of the season and then needing help, after a 3-2 loss in Chicago last weekend. Sounders FC have secured their place in the top 10 overall after a 3-1 win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC last Saturday.

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Geoff Gamble
MLS Career: 69 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 23; pens: 20

INJURY REPORT:

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION-OUT: FW Rajko Lekic (L ankle sprain); MF Stephen McCarthy (L shoulder surgery); MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: DF A.J. Soares (L adductor strain); MF Monsef Zerka (L quadriceps strain)
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC-OUT: GK Terry Boss (concussion); MF Michael Seamon (lateral ankle tendon); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); FW OÆBrian White (leg surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Mauro Rosales (R knee MCL sprain); DF James Riley (concussion); FW Pat Noonan (adductor strain); PROBABLE: MF Erik Friberg (hip flexor strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: NE: Franco Coria (caution accumulation; through Oct. 2)

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
NE: Pat Phelan
SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Fredy Montero

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
SEA: Alvaro Fernandez, James Riley, Zach Scott
NE: Milton Caraglio, Ryan Cochrane, Shalrie Joseph, Rajko Lekic, Kenny Mansally, Stephen McCarthy

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Revolution 3 wins, 7 goals…Sounders FC 2 wins, 7 goals… Ties 0
AT NEW ENGLAND (2 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 5 goals…Sounders FC 0 wins, 2 goals…Ties 0

  • In the first meeting this year between the clubs in Seattle, Sainey Nyassi staked New England to a third-minute lead, but Tyson Wahl and Alvaro Fernandez scored before the first half was out to lead Sounders FC to a 2-1 win, June 26.
  • 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 record: Sigi Schmid vs. NE: P28 W12 L11 D5…Steve Nicol v SEA: P5 W3 L2 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 6/26: SEA 2, NE 1 (Wahl 34; Fernandez 40 - Nyassi 3)
  • The Revolution took a third-minute lead from a corner kick, with Benny Feilhaber rolling the ball out to the top of the box where Sainey Nyassi hit a shot that Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller got a hand to but was unable to keep out of the net.
  • Sounders FC evened terms in the 34th minute after a foul just outside the penalty area. Defender Tyson Wahl stepped and curled home a majestic left-footed free kick.
  • Then six minutes later, Alvaro Fernandez finished from inside the penalty area after some scintillating build-up play from Seattle, with Mauro Rosales and Roger Levesque earning the assists.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 17), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Lamar Neagle, Erik Friberg, Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 69) - Mauro Rosales (Nate Jaqua 89), Roger Levesque.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 81), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes - Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph - Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 62), Benny Feilhaber, Ryan Guy (Kenny Mansally 62) - Rajko Lekic

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution went down to a second consecutive defeat on the road, falling 3-2 to the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Revolution have 27 points from 30 matches, in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Chicago took the lead after nine minutes. Patrick Nyarko was taken out by New England 'keeper Matt Reis while chasing down midfielder Logan Pause’s through ball in the right side of the area, and Sebastian Grazzini buried the resulting penalty into the lower right corner.
  • Dominic Oduro made it 2-0 four minutes later, running unmarked onto a Grazzini through ball at the top of the box before sidestepping Reis and tapping home. Then in the 30th minute, Oduro hit a hopeful through ball that Reis should have easily cleared, instead seeing Nyarko strip it off his foot and dribble unmolested into the goal.
  • The Revolution made it interesting with two goals in stoppage time from Ryan Guy. First, on the stroke of full time, Sean Johnson spilled a cross after colliding with the Revolution's Milton Caraglio, and Guy looped the ball into the goal. Then two minutes later, Guy slotted home a pass from substitute midfielder Diego Fagundez from the heart of the box.
  • Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made three changes to the team that went down to a 3-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Ryan Guy, Kenny Mansally and Zack Schilawski came into the side for A.J. Soares, Monsef Zerka and Rajko Lekic.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-3-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Franco Coria, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney - Shalrie Joseph, Ryan Guy, Benny Feilhaber, Kenny Mansally (Kheli Dube 56) - Milton Caraglio, Zack Schilawski (Diego Fagundez 71).

TEAM NEWS

  • With the loss, the Revolution were all but eliminated from playoff contention. Only one of Toronto FC or New England can qualify for the postseason; if the Revolution fail to win out, or any one of New York, Portland or D.C. United win, they will be out.
  • “The reason we lost the game was because we gave three bad goals away. Well, they weren’t bad goals but ridiculous goals. A couple of decent balls through and the whole set up by us, so we don’t want to take that away from Chicago but they didn’t do a whole lot to hurt us,” said Revolution head coach Steve Nicol. “We really hurt ourselves more than anything.”
  • Rookie central defender A.J. Soares missed just his third game of the season. In the three games in which he has not played, the Revs have surrendered eight goals: 2-0 vs. RSL (April 9); 3-2 vs. CHV (Aug 6); 3-2 at CHI.
  • Making his second MLS start and his first since June 26, Ryan Guy scored his first two goals in MLS.
  • “I was just thinking how many seconds are left, to see if we could get another one and try to bring it back. It was bittersweet to be honest with you,” Guy said. “It was nice to get my first couple MLS goals but also to lose like that, on basically three mistakes, really was a shame.”
  • The loss in Chicago extended the Revolution’s winless streak to six games on the road. They return home for three consecutive games before concluding the campaign in Toronto.
  • “It’s just throwing caution into the wind at this point. Things are looking dire for playoffs so we have to go out there with a nothing-to-lose attitude,” said defender Chris Tierney. “We have to go forward, take people on, and take chances. If we do that I think we have enough quality like we showed, that we can score goals, and we’ve been scoring goals lately but we have to put it together for 90 minutes.”
  • With Rajko Lekic perhaps lost for the remainder of the season, Zach Schilawski made his first start since Aug. 13. Kenny Mansally also made his first start since Aug. 20.
  • “We actually looked decent going forward and I would say we had the majority of the chances and I think we had the better share of possession. That’s the really frustrating thing,” said defender Chris Tierney. “I don’t think we were played off the park today. I think with those two mistakes we shot ourselves in the foot. It wasn’t so much being beaten as it was beating ourselves.”

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC won for a second consecutive league match, cruising to a 3-1 win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Empire Field. Sounders FC have 54 points from 30 games on the season, in second place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC broke through in the 22nd minute as Camilo finished off a wonderful piece of interplay. Eric Hassli’s through ball found Davide Chiumiento, who cut back a simple ball for Camilo to tap past Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller from close range.
  • But Seattle equalized from the penalty spot after Jair Marrufo deemed Jay DeMerit handled Alvaro Fernandez's shot in the box, and Brad Evans sent the goalkeeper the other way in converting the spot kick.
  • Then Fredy Montero scored twice in the space of four minutes to put the game away. First, in the 63rd minute, he latched onto a poor clearance before firing into the top left corner past Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
  • Then in the 67th minute, Montero struck a shot from well out which took a slight deflection off DeMerit, then dipped just over ‘keeper Cannon and into the goal.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that rolled to a 3-0 victory against D.C. United at CenturyLink Field. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leo Gonzalez came into the back four for James Riley and Tyson Wahl, Lamar Neagle came into the midfield for Mauro Rosales, and Nate Jaqua started up top in place of Mike Fucito.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Alvaro Fernandez (David Estrada 79), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle - Nate Jaqua (Sammy Ochoa 66), Fredy Montero.

TEAM NEWS

  • With the victory, Sounders FC clinched the Cascadia Cup, given to the winner of the season series between Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.
  • “The Sounders fans were great with their support and it was a great feeling to be able to hold the cup up in front of them,” said Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid. “I’m not sure what the favorite top of the line beverage is here in Vancouver but I’m sure it will be filling the cup tonight.”
  • Since June 11, Sounders FC have taken 35 of a possible 45 points in league play, winning 11 of their last 15 games after the 3-1 weekend win in Vancouver.
  • Fredy Montero has three goals and three assists in the last five league games after scoring twice at Vancouver.
  • “Fredy’s a player who, like a lot of players, likes to play in front of a crowd and feel that atmosphere. For some, when they sense that atmosphere it brings a little more out of them than others and I think Fredy’s that kind of guy,” Schmid said. “What’s good for me, is that compared to his first two years here when we had important playoff games and he went dry, hopefully this is an indication of what lies ahead in the playoffs. I think it speaks well for Fredy, but it also bodes well for the team.”
  • Sounders FC scored their sixth goal from a penalty kick in nine attempts this season. For the club’s MLS history, it is 7-for-13 from the spot in league matches.
  • “It’s always important that when you go a goal down that you get that goal back as soon as possible,” said goalkeeper Kasey Keller. “We’ve had our difficulties putting away penalties this year so it was nice to see Brad slot that goal in.”
  • On Tuesday, Sounders FC became the first MLS team to qualify for the knockout stage in the CONCACAF Champions League with a 2-2 draw against CSD Comunicaciones. Osvaldo Alonso scored twice, including the vital equalizer a minute from the end of full time, as Seattle twice came back from a goal down.
  • “We set it as a goal that we wanted to advance and to have assured us of advancement with a game to go, I couldn’t be prouder and I think it’s great for the organization,” Schmid said.