Preview: Chivas USA close out season at HDC vs. Seattle

CHIVAS USA vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.

7:30 p.m. PT (FS-W/KWHY; KING-NBC)
October 22, 2011 (WEEK 32; MLS Game 304)

Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders FC conclude the 2011 MLS regular season against each other on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA have finished outside the top 10 and the MLS Cup Playoffs, coming off a 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy in the final SuperClásico this season. Sounders FC are guaranteed of a second-place finish in the Western Conference, their last match a 2-1 come-from-behind home win against San Jose.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Craig Lowry; JAR (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Ramon Hernandez
MLS Career: 142 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 42; pens: 54

INJURY REPORT: CHIVAS USA - OUT: MF Paulo Nagamura (R foot); DF Michael UmaÒa (L knee); PROBABLE: FW Justin Braun (R calf); MF Simon Elliott (L quad strain) ... SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC - OUT: GK Terry Boss (concussion); MF Michael Seamon (lateral ankle tendon); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); FW OíBrian White (leg surgery); QUESTIONABLE: Josh Ford (knee pain); PROBABLE: DF Jeff Parke (concussion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 4 goals ... Sounders FC 1 win, 2 goals ... Ties 3
  • AT CHIVAS USA (3 meetings): Chivas USA 2 wins, 3 goals ... Sounders FC 0 wins, 0 goals ... Ties 1
  • The teams played to a scoreless draw in their first meeting this season, Aug. 13 at CenturyLink Field.
  • 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: P1 W0 L0 D1 ... Sigi Schmid v CHV: P12 W2 L5 D5

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • 8/13: SEA 0, CHV 0
  • Sounders FC had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the 19th minute when Fernandez earned a penalty after knocking the ball off Chivas defender Michael Umaña's arm. But his effort from his own spot kick came back off the left post.
  • Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was called upon to make just two saves from 10 total Seattle attempts at goal, including another on Fernandez from point-blank range in the 77th minute. Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller made three saves.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl - Mauro Rosales, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez - Fredy Montero (Lamar Neagle 83), Pat Noonan (Nate Jaqua 69).
  • CHIVAS USA (4-3-1-2): Dan Kennedy - Zarek Valentin (David Junior Lopes 73), Michael Umana, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic - Blair Gavin, Simon Elliott, Jorge Flores (Laurent Courtois 46) - Nick LaBrocca - Marcos Mondaini (Justin Braun 23), Alejandro Moreno.

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA saw their modest unbeaten streak put to a stop at three games, falling in the second SuperClásico of the season, 1-0 to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA have 36 points from 33 games on the season, in seventh place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 53rd minute. Chad Barrett sent a header toward the right side of the penalty area where Adam Cristman took control and floated a ball back across the box, where Barrett raced onto the return pass and easily headed home from inside the six.
  • Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made four changes to the team that came back for a late 1-1 draw against Philadelphia Union at The Home Depot Center. Zarek Valentin came in at right back for Michael Umana, and Ben Zemanski, Michael Lahoud and Marcos Mondaini came into the midfield for Simon Elliott, Justin Braun and Laurent Courtois.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-1-3-2): Dan Kennedy - Zarek Valentin, David Junior Lopes (Heath Pearce 46), Andrew Boyens, Ante Jazic - Ben Zemanski - Michael Lahoud (Laurent Courtois 59), Nick LaBrocca, Marcos Mondaini - Juan Pablo Angel, Alejandro Moreno.

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA lost for the sixth consecutive regular-season game to their Home Depot Center neighbors, and in seven league games since the 2009 season, they've scored just one goal vs. the Galaxy.
  • "I don't think we were good enough with the ball. As a result we turned it over and put ourselves under pressure," said Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser. "Certainly LA was coming at us a great deal in the first half, but I think a lot of that is attributable to the fact that we were not quite good enough with the ball. In the second half, I thought we were better. This is another game were weíve seen to have made a few critical mistakes at a critical time."
  • Juan Pablo Ángel saw his four-game goalscoring streak come to an end in the 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy. It was his longest streak in MLS since scoring in six consecutive games shortly after coming to the league, May 19-June 16. 2007.
  • "We lacked ideas in the final third. We weren't able to utilize spaces that they were leaving every time that we were attacking," Ángel said. "At the end of the day, I was the only one in the box the majority of the time. They were basically overlapping every time that I had the chance to get in there."
  • Heath Pearce came on as a second-half substitute, his first appearance after missing two games following a 90-minute performance Sept. 21 vs. D.C. United, which also followed a two-game absence to a hamstring injury.
  • Striker Justin Braun missed the game with a calf injury, and defender Michael Umaña missed the game after suffering a knee sprain and could miss the season finale.
  • "I'm not ruling anything out yet, but it is possible," said Fraser. "I don't think that he's in the equation at this time."
  • There were more injury woes in the Chivas USA reserve match vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Tuesday, when Simon Elliott was forced off after just 10 minutes with a quadriceps strain.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC resumed their winning ways in league play, coming back for a 2-1 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC have 60 points from 33 games on the season, in second place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Earthquakes took the lead after 24 minutes. Rafael Baca sent a perfect through ball from his own half and Chris Wondolowski ran onto it, racing unmolested into the area before beating Kasey Keller with a well-placed shot into the lower left corner.
  • But Sounders FC hit for a deserved leveler in the 82nd minute when Mauro Rosales found substitute Sammy Ochoa with a long through ball, and he stroked a low shot past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch for his first goal since joining Sounders FC.
  • Five minutes later, Sounders FC took the lead. Lamar Neagle found Fredy Montero after the Colombian barely beat the offside trap, and Montero calmly beat the defenseless Busch for the winner.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to Philadelphia Union at CenturyLink Field. Patrick Ianni came into central defense for Jeff Parke, Alvaro Fernandez came into the midfield for Erik Friberg, and Fredy Montero started up top in place of Pat Noonan.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Osvaldo Alonso - Alvaro Fernandez (Sammy Ochoa 68), Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle (Zach Scott 92+) - Fredy Montero, Mike Fucito (Mauro Rosales 64)

TEAM NEWS

  • A crowd of 64,140 attended the CenturyLink Field regular season finale, the eighth-largest regular season crowd in MLS history and the third-largest for a standalone game.
  • Honored before the game, in what was his final regular-season home game for Sounders FC, Kasey Keller made a season-high seven saves. He was named the MLS Player of the Week.
  • "Big goalkeepers make saves at crucial points in the game and they don't give up generally soft goals and that's what Kasey does," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "He makes saves at important junctures in the game to keep us in it and that keeps us in the game. He was able to do that for us tonight and he's done that numerous times."
  • Mauro Rosales made his first appearance since suffering a sprained MCL against D.C. United on Sept. 17.
  • "Certainly, you could see the impact that Mauro [Rosales] has on our game. When he came onto the field, he just changed our whole dynamic a little bit."
  • It was a remarkable seventh victory for Sounders FC after allowing the opening goal. Seattle is 7-7-3 when conceding first; the next closest team is Columbus, with four wins and five draws in 21 games when they allowed the opening goal.
  • On Tuesday, Sounders FC fell 2-1 to CF Monterrey in their final group game in the CONCACAF Champions League. Dario Carreno opened the scoring after three minutes, but Fredy Montero leveled terms three minutes before halftime. But Cesar Delgado hit for the winner just after hour.
  • "We can concentrate on just the games left and this weekend in LA, and the playoffs coming up. We'll see who we play and gear up for them, and that's the most important thing," said defender Jeff Parke. "That's all we have left, so hopefully we can get a better chance earlier than later to see who we play, and we can start with them."
  • Here's the Sounders FC team: Bryan Meredith, James Riley, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 67), Tyson Wahl, David Estrada (Lamar Neagle 79), Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero, Sammy Ochoa (Mike Fucito 74).
  • Since July 10, Fredy Montero has played in 23 games in all competitions (MLS, CCL, Open Cup) and scored 15 goals. He has six goals in his last five league games (since Sept. 10).
  • "He's grown, he's matured. He understands the physicality of the game now and he has sped up his play. He's a player that continues to grow and mature. He has great vision and great skills," Schmid said. "Sometimes he tries so hard to try to do something, people say if he could play it a little simpler, but that's part of his game. He's a player who can pull some things off like that and he needs the opportunities to do that."