Preview: United look to keep momentum going vs. rival Sounders
D.C. UNITED vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
April 7, 2012 (WEEK 4, MLS Game #42)
7:30 p.m. ET (KONG/KOMO2)
D.C. United will be looking to build off their first victory of the season when they play host to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United ended a three-game winless run to start the campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of FC Dallas last Friday. Sounders FC are on the road for the first time this season, a two-game winning streak to open the year ended in a 1-0 loss to San Jose last weekend.
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Anthony Vasoli; JAR (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Sorin Stoica
MLS Career: 40 games; FC/gm: 22.0; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 4; pens: 5
- D.C. UNITED - OUT: DF Ethan White (R knee surgery); MF Lance Rozeboom (L ACL tear); QUESTIONABLE: FW Josh Wolff (L groin strain); GK Bill Hamid (L ankle sprain / bone bruising); PROBABLE: DF Dejan Jakovic (L groin strain); MF Kurt Morsink (L foot neurectomy)
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC - OUT: GK Josh Ford (R knee stress fracture); DF Michael Tetteh (L hamstring strain); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); FW Babayele Sodade (R ACL tear); DOUBTFUL: MF Mauro Rosales (R knee sprain); DF Andrew Duran (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Adam Johansson (L hamstring strain); FW Eddie Johnson (R hip strain); DF Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (pelvic sprain); PROBABLE: MF Brad Evans (R hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: DC: Brandon McDonald (through April 7)
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): United 2 wins, 9 goals ... Sounders FC 3 wins, 12 goals ... Ties 1
AT RFK STADIUM (3 meetings): United 1 win, 3 goals ... Sounders FC 2 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 0
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/4: DC 2, SEA 1 (Wolff 31; Davies 52 - Evans 71)
9/17: SEA 3, DC 0 (Fucito 35; Fernandez 45, 60)
- This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
- Sounders FC had won on each of their first three visits to RFK Stadium - including a victory in the 2009 U.S. Open Cup Final - until United claimed a 2-1 home win last May 4.
- D.C. United had come away with points from their first two trips to Seattle until Sounders FC's 3-0 win last September.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. SEA: P2 W1 L1 D0 ... Sigi Schmid vs. DC: P30 W16 L10 D4
D.C. United returned to RFK Stadium and came away with their first victory of the season in emphatic fashion, a 4-1 win against FC Dallas on Friday evening. United are tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 4 games.
Power 5: Sophomores, #5 Perry Kitchen
- Maicon Santos gave United their first lead of the season with a thunderous strike in the 28th minute. Receiving the ball from De Rosario, the striker quickly cut in on his left foot, and unleashed a rocket from all of 25 yards out that left FCD 'keeper Kevin Hartman no chance.
- FCD pulled back just before halftime through goal with a touch of controversy. United center back Emiliano Dudar failed to deal with a ball knocked back toward the D.C. goal and Blas PÈrez, who started the play in an offside position, was in on goal, sliding a cool and collected finish under goalkeeper Joe Willis.
- United regained the lead for good on the hour. Maicon Santos weighted a ball towards a streaking Nick DeLeon at the far post, and the rookie chested the ball down before roofing a shot past Hartman.
- DeLeon then turned creator as he set up Danny Cruz for another United goal six minutes later, breaking down the left flank and finding a wide-open Cruz at the far post for an easy tap-in.
- Maicon Santos wrapped up the scoring for United in the 73rd minute. Cruz started a quick counter from a Dallas corner, and fed De Rosario on the right. He lofted in a cross, putting it on Santos' head at the far post for a header back across goal and inside the post.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made one change to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Perry Kitchen returned from international duty, coming back into the team for Marcelo Saragosa.
- D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Joe Willis - Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Emiliano Dudar, Daniel Woolard - Danny Cruz (Chris Pontius 76), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon - Dwayne De Rosario (Stephen King 84) - Maicon Santos, Hamdi Salihi (Branko Boskovic 67).
- The win against FC Dallas started a run of five games out of six for United to played at RFK Stadium. "In the second half, I thought we were pretty good," manager Ben Olsen said. "I thought we executed some of the things we talked about all week very well." Said midfielder Danny Cruz: "Overall, the chemistry was unbelievable tonight. We were really prepared, and we are really proud of everybody. Three points was very important."
- Maicon Santos had the second two-goal game of his MLS career, and scored for the first time in league play since last Aug. 27, when he netted for FC Dallas against Seattle Sounders FC. Santos scored twice for Toronto FC in a 6-2 loss to Philadelphia last May 28.
- "I was very inspired," Santos said. "There is always more inspiration against your former team. It gives you a little bit more energy. It was [a good night]." Said Olsen: "I think he was a little bit extra revved up because it was Dallas. Playing a former team gets you a little more focused and more motivated."
- "He brings a different element to our team, one which we needed," said Dwayne De Rosario. "He's a guy that can be physical. He can take hits from behind and hold the ball up and get guys into the play. We really saw the best of that on Friday."
- After missing two matches while part of the USA's failed efforts to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, Perry Kitchen was inserted back into the starting lineup in the holding midfield role.
- "Perry I was really proud of. Not an easy week for him. He was shot from 10 minutes in. We were asking a lot of him today and he gutted it out and we're really proud of him," said Olsen.
- Joe Willis was credited with his second victory in six league starts for his career, making a career-high six saves in the FC Dallas match.
- "Without Joe Willis, this game is 2-0, and looks a whole lot different," Olsen said. "He was the Most Valuable Player, hands down, in this game. You don't make those two big saves, the game is done."
- Rookie Nick DeLeon scored the second goal of his professional career, and also collected his first assist.
- "We knew it was going to be a battle, and once that second goal came, the floodgates kind of just opened," DeLeon said. "Game by game, we're getting better with each other and more comfortable with each other, getting to know each other's habits, so we're slowly progressing."
- Danny Cruz made his second consecutive start in a wide midfield role and scored his first goal, and added his first assist, since coming to United from the Houston Dynamo in the offseason.
- "They had a big impact on the offensive end but they also had a big impact on the defensive end. I certainly appreciated the way they worked on both sides of the ball," Olsen said. "Danny is just a pain in the ass. I would hate to play against him. He's a really competitive guy and just doesn't quit. Nick [DeLeon] has very good soccer instincts for a young kid and I thought both of them played very well."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC went down to defeat for the first time in league play in 2012, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 6 points from 3 games.
- The game's only goal came after 24 minutes. While preparing for a cross from Marvin Ch·vez, Steven Lenhart was bundled into by Sounders FC defender Marc Burch, and referee Mark Kadlecik pointed to the spot.
- Chris Wondolowski stepped up and converted the penalty past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning for what would prove to be the game-winner.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that knocked off the Houston Dynamo 2-0 at CenturyLink Field. Christian Sivebaek and Servando Carrasco came into the midfield in place of Roger Levesque and Brad Evans.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Jeff Parke 46), Marc Burch - Christian Sivebaek (Sammy Ochoa 62), Servando Carrasco (Alex Caskey 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez - Fredy Montero, David Estrada.
Sounders Scouting Report: at D.C. United
- Sounders FC concluded their MLS season-opening three-game homestand by taking six of a possible nine points.
- "Of course we all wanted to start the season 3-0, but we have already shown one time this season that we can bounce back from a tough loss," said goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. "We have to keep working and keep our heads up high. It is just one loss and it is important that we get good games in the future."
- Sounders FC did not have midfielder Brad Evans available, who suffered a hamstring strain. He is listed as probable for the Untied match.
- "When you're looking at it - [Christian] Sivebaek played instead of [Mauro] Rosales. Zach Scott playing instead of [Adam] Johansson and you've got Servando [Carrasco] playing instead of [Brad] Evans," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "Those three guys are very important to our possession game, but I thought we were OK. I didn't think it was a situation where the game was one-sided, or that they dominated the game over the 90 minutes. So I thought the guys did all right."
- Christian Sivebaek made his first start for Sounders FC, playing on the right side of midfield.
- "I thought early on in the game he definitely created some good situations for us. He's in and out of the game a little bit, so you have to deal with that as well as a team, but I thought offensively he created some good moments for us," said Schmid. "He got in behind, got to the end line, hit some good crosses and I just thought his one-on-one abilities would help us better than Roger [Levesque] out there today."
- With the introduction of Sammy Ochoa for Sivebaek, David Estrada moved from striker to the wing, but still saw his two-game goalscoring streak end.
- "It was just obviously they were going to pack the middle a little bit more as the game goes on and there was space out there. [Christian] Sivebaek had seen the ball quite a bit in the first half out there and so we knew [David] Estrada is fit enough to go 90 minutes so we moved him outside and told him to stay a little bit wider," Schmid said.
- Alex Caskey, who was signed in March after playing for the USL's Charleston Battery last year, made his MLS debut, coming on as a late substitute.
- "I thought Alex did well. For his first game out there and he didn't show nerves," Schmid said. "He was composed on the ball, sent over a good cross, connected and I thought he helped us create some pressure and increase the pressure we were putting on them."
- Sounders FC were forced into a change at halftime when Jeff Parke replaced Jhon Kennedy Hurtado. Hurtado is listed as questionable for this weekend with a pelvic strain.
- "When he started jogging on the field for the second half he said he couldn't go at all," said Schmid. "So it was difficult for Jeff Parke because he didn't really have an appropriate warmup, but I thought he did all right."
- Hurtado, along with midfielder Brad Evans and striker Eddie Johnson, all returned to full training during the week. Fullback Adam Johansson is still in question after missing the last two matches with a hamstring strain. "The jury is still out on him a little bit," Schmid said.