Preview: Sounders look to bounce back in New England
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
GILLETTE STADIUM, Foxborough, Mass.
June 30, 2012 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #150)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-NE; KONG)
The New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders FC meet for the only time in league play this season when the clubs face off Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are coming off a dramatic road result, getting a late equalizer for a 2-2 draw at Toronto FC last weekend. Sounders FC saw their club-record winless streak extended to seven games last weekend in a throbbing 2-1 loss at the Portland Timbers, though Seattle reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup yet again at midweek.
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Anthony Vasoli; JAR (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 44 games; FC/gm: 22.3; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 4; pens: 5
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: DF Kevin Alston (L hamstring tightness); FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); FW Jose Moreno (L ankle sprain); GK Tim Murray (L knee menisectomy); FW Bjorn Runstrom (R knee inflammation); FW Jeremiah White (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Shalrie Joseph (R adductor strain)
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: GK Michael Gspurning (R hip strain); FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); FW David Estrada (L foot fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Leo Gonzalez (L quad strain); DF Adam Johansson (R hamstring strain); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); DF Jeff Parke (dizziness); PROBABLE: GK Josh Ford (R knee stress fracture)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: SEA: Fredy Montero (through June 30)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: NE: Chris Tierney ... SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Benny Feilhaber ... SEA: Zach Scott
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Revolution 3 wins, 8 goals ... Sounders FC 3 wins, 9 goals ... Ties 0
AT NEW ENGLAND (3 meetings): Revolution 2 wins, 6 goals ... Sounders FC 1 win, 4 goals ... Ties 0
LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/26: SEA 2, NE 1 (Wahl 34; Fernandez 40 -- Nyassi 3)
10/1: NE 1, SEA 2 (Fagundez 35 -- Montero 36, 47)
- Sounders FC won both meetings between the clubs last season, each win coming by a 2-1 scoreline, June 26 in Seattle and Oct. 1 at Gillette Stadium.
- Sounders FC have won three of the last four meetings, after the Revolution won the first two ever.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. NE: P29 W13 L11 D5 ... Jay Heaps vs. SEA: first game
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution came back for a point in dramatic fashion, getting a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Revolution are in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 15 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Revs battle back for draw in Toronto
- Toronto got off on the right foot after just four minutes, when Danny Koevermans shed his defender to head home a long cross from the left sideline by Ashtone Morgan.
- The Reds struck again in the 42nd minute, again off a long cross from the left by Morgan. Koevermans sprawled for the header, drawing the New England defense and leaving an unmarked Ryan Johnson at the far post to nod home for a 2-0 lead.
- The Revolution began their march back in earnest in the 71st minute when substitute Blake Brettschneider back a rebound from a tough angle off a Benny Feilhaber blast from the top of the box.
- And after seeing a couple of quality chances go begging, the Revs found the equalizer in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Chris Tierney headed home Florian Lechner's cross, sending New England home with a point.
- Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made three changes to the team that playing to a scoreless draw with the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium. Kelyn Rowe and Clyde Simms came into the midfield for Fernando Cardenas and Shalrie Joseph, and Diego Fagundez started up top in place of Jose Moreno.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston (Florian Lechner 40), A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms (Blake Brettschneider 63), Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen - Saer Sene, Diego Fagundez (Fernando Cardenas 70).
Revs preview Sounders clash
- The Revolution gained their first point of the season after trailing at halftime. "Right before the game I was telling the guys that this team (Toronto FC) has given up five goals in the past two games and that this is their third game in a week, said midfielder Clyde Simms. "All we have got to do is play good defensively and we are going to get our chances. And it showed, they died at the end of the game, their hands on their knees, breathing heavy and if you look at them in their eyes they looked really tired and we took advantage."
- After back-to-back clean sheets, the Revolution allowed multiple goals for the third time in five games. "We gave up two really, really soft goals. That's basically the two chances they had and they scored on them," said defender Chris Tierney. "We're happy to fight back and we'll take the point, but these are the games we want to start to be able to win consistently."
- The Revolution were forced into a change before halftime when Kevin Alston suffered a hamstring injury, and Flo Lechner came on for his first appearance since April 5. That also brought about a shift in tactics for the second half.
- "I felt like the space behind their two backs was important to get their back line spread out because I felt like they were doing a good job of keeping their center backs, one against Saer (Sene) a little wider and you could see that happened passing lanes open up," Heaps said. "I thought that Kelyn (Rowe) did an excellent job dropping in the hole and allowing Benny (Feilhaber) to play free. And then it showed you that Flo Lechner had an excellent impact on the game because as soon as we got forward, he has that calm resolve to pick someone out in the box."
- Lechner is likely to fill the right back role vs. Seattle with Alston listed as out on the Revolution injury report.
- "He's still coming back from injury, so we weren't 100 percent wanting to play him just yet, but we were hoping to get him a game soon," Heaps said. "He came in and I thought he did stellar." Said Lechner: "Against Toronto it was perfect for us outside backs because they play a small diamond and you have a lot of space on the outside. When you have the space, you should take it and I took it. One outside back should [always be] up helping the midfielders get the ball into the box. Most goals are scored in the box. That's the point."
- Shalrie Joseph was held out of the Toronto match with an adductor strain. "We have to be smart," Heaps said. "Shalrie's a big part of what we do. We have to make sure we take precautions. It's good to have him back this week."
- Said Joseph, who returned to full training ahead of the Seattle game: "He told me to be smart because it was an injury you don't want to make worse and have it linger throughout the season. I was smart and took a game off and the boys did well to get a point on the road and we should have had three."
- In place of Joseph, Clyde Simms was able to return to the lineup for the first time in four games, since May 12, after suffering ankle tendonitis.
- Diego Fagundez made his first start of the season, his fourth of his MLS career (and first since last Oct. 15).
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC saw their winless drought reach seven games in league play, arch-rivals Portland Timbers taking a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field. Sounders FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 16 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle taken down in Portland
- Portland took the lead in the 16th minute. Kris Boyd snuck a run behind the Seattle back line perfectly timed with a Steven Smith cross, and coolly tapped home to beat Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber.
- The Timbers added to their lead nine minutes later when David Horst headed home a Franck Songo'o corner kick for his first MLS goal.
- Seattle came back into the match, pulling a goal back in the 58th minute. Eddie Johnson ran past a defender onto a ball played over the top on the right, pulled up at the corner of the box and fired a left-footed blast to the top far corner.
- The rivalry boiled over in the 90th minute. Forward Fredy Montero saw red for sending Horst sprawling to the turf off the ball after the Portland defender exchanged heated words with Johnson. Portland defender Lovel Palmer was also shown red when he elbowed Johnson during the ensuing scuffle.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado returned from suspension, in place of Patrick Ianni.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Andrew Weber - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 42), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch - Brad Evans (Andy Rose 46), Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Alex Caskey (Cordell Cato 75) - Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero (sent off 91+).
90+: Rivalry Week
- Sounders FC saw their winless streak stretched to a club-record seven games. They've taken just three points from those matches.
- "I don't feel good about these series of games," Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. "The team in the locker room has to decide what team is the Seattle Sounders. Are they the Seattle Sounders that played the first seven games of the season or the Sounders that have played the last eight games of the season? They are at the crossroads where they have to make a decision which team they are."
- Sounders FC have yet to lose back-to-back games, though, alternating draws and losses in their winless run.
- "We have to try and take the positives out of this game with our chances. We can't keep putting ourselves into these positions," said striker Eddie Johnson. "We're still learning as a team with the new faces. We're going to get better if we keep making these chances. Yeah we haven't won in six or seven games, but we're making chances for ourselves and that's a good sign."
- Sounders FC will be without a key cog for the New England after Fredy Montero was sent off late in Portland. He had started every league match this season.
- "There's players who've logged a lot of minutes, but mentally I don't think they're that sharp. We are getting too many red cards and as a result the options become limited," said Schmid. "On the same token we haven't responded well in terms of our demeanor. We shouldn't be losing our composure towards the end of the game and that's something we have to seriously talk about and make sure we're better at."
- Johnson scored his fifth league goal, all over the last 11 MLS contests, in pulling Sounders FC back to within a goal
- "I thought we had to show the winning mentality and start from a goal up, not two goals down. Seems the last five games we've had to dig ourselves out of a hole," Johnson said. "In this league, you can't do that and going down two goals, it's difficult to get back, especially playing Portland here with their fans."
- On Tuesday, Sounders FC once again reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 1-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The game's lone goal came from Cordell Cato after 18 minutes.
- Sounders FC, who have never lost an Open Cup match since coming into MLS, are bidding to become the first-ever Open Cup winner for four consecutive years. They face Chivas USA in the July 11 semifinals.
- Here's the Seattle team: Andrew Weber, Brad Evans, Zach Scott, Pat Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Cordell Cato (Marc Burch 83), Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose, Alvaro Fernandez (Jhon Kennedy Hurtado 89), Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa (Eddie Johnson 76).