Seattle Sounders vs. D.C. United | MLS Match Preview

Seattle Sounders vs. D.C. United - July 3, 2013 (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs D.C. UNITED
CENTURY LINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
July 3, 2013 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #165)
7 p.m. PT (KONG; CSN-DC)

Seattle Sounders FC return home after a long absence from CenturyLink Field when they play host to D.C. United on Wednesday evening. Back home for the first time in nearly a month, Sounders FC saw a two-game winning streak put to an end last time out, a 2-0 loss at Real Salt Lake two weeks ago. United head to the West Coast off a 1-0 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend at RFK Stadium.

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REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 22 games; FC/gm: 21.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 4; pens: 5

DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Eddie Johnson
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SEA: Mario Martinez (HON) … DC: Bill Hamid (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 12 goals … United 2 wins, 9 goals … Ties 2
AT SEATTLE (3 meetings): Sounders FC 1 win, 8 goals … United 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/7: DC 0, SEA 0

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • The teams played to a scoreless draw in their only meeting a year ago, April 7 at RFK Stadium. The teams had split their series in each of the two previous years.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. DC: P31 W16 L10 D5 … Ben Olsen v SEA: P3 W1 L1 D1

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC had their two-game winning streak put to an end last time out, suffered a 2-0 defeat by Real Salt Lake on June 22 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Sounders FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 21 points from 14 matches.

READ: Yedlin questionable after separating shoulder at U-20 World Cup

LAST MATCH

  • Real took control of the match with goals on either side of halftime. In the 41st minute, Javier Morales sent in a bending free kick from the left that deflected off the Seattle wall and toward the far post. It fell to Kyle Beckerman, who hit a full volley that rocketed past goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and ricocheted off the bottom side of the crossbar and into the goal.
  • RSL doubled their lead less than a minute after the halftime break. Álvaro Saborío’s errant rebound shot off a defender's deflection landed between Robbie Findley’s legs on the right side of goal, and he turned and put a shot inside the far post.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that claimed a 3-2 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at CenturyLink Field. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado came into the back four for DeAndre Yedlin, and Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson came into the team in place of Andy Rose and Alex Caskey.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - Zach Scott, Djimi Traore, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (Shalrie Joseph 76), Brad Evans, Servando Carrasco, Lamar Neagle (Mario Martinez 57) - Eddie Johnson (David Estrada 73), Obafemi Martins.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC were shut out for just the second time in the last nine matches, both coming on the road to teams above them in the Western Conference standings – Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy.
  • “We’ve come here twice, we’ve lost twice. They’ve got to come to our place. We’ll see how it turns out at our place, but I think neither time that we played RSL we were as sharp as we needed to be, so part of that is a tribute to them and part of that is on us, so I got to worry about us and get us to play together,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “We had a stinker in L.A. when we played L.A. as well, so we got to start those things to win.”
  • For the first time this season, Schmid ran out Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle in the first XI together. Johnson and Martins formed the strike pair, with Neagle as a wide midfielder.
  • “It wasn’t good enough,” Schmid said. “We have to be able to sustain pressure. We have to be able maintain possession in the attacking third of the field. We have to have people play and move off the ball at that stage and there’s got to be quality of passing.”
  • Said Neagle: “The whole game we were struggling to make passes and you know when it’s like that, it’s just going to be one of those days. You’re hoping that you can get one through and one of your guys can create something special. It’s unfortunate for us that we didn’t get one.”
  • Neagle was forced to come off before the hour with a hip flexor injury, while Johnson was removed for David Estrada after 73 minutes.
  • “It can work,” Neagle said. “It’s a matter of time. It’s just like the beginning of the season where we were all trying to get used to each other. It’s crazy that this far into the season we’re still trying to figure out what’s going to happen or how to get everyone onto the field at the same time. I think we’re going to be fine. Once we get everyone onto the field at the same time, I’ll be excited to see what we can do.”
  • Johnson was making his first appearance for Sounders FC after missing two matches while with the U.S. national team.
  • “We just couldn’t get things going. We couldn’t connect passes today. Myself I wasn’t good enough today, I mean you could talk about the altitude, speaking for myself being away with the national team,” said Johnson. “You know there is no excuse. At the end of the day the coach put together a strong team to get results and we didn’t do it today.”
  • Brad Evans also returned to the Sounders after two games lost while with the U.S. national team, one of which where he scored a goal vs. Jamaica.
  • “The worst time for a team to get scored on is right after halftime. It is what it is,” said Evans. “Two goals down and chasing against a team like that when you start pressing guys forward they cheat a bit and they’re good enough to where they connect four or five passes and the game opens up from there.”

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United weren’t able to build on their first victory in 14 matches, Vancouver Whitecaps FC getting the game’s only goal for a victory Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 9 points from 17 matches.

READ: Olsen blows top after controversial loss to Whitecaps

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came shortly after the second-half restart. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid took down Whitecaps FC midfielder Matt Watson as he was dribbling toward the goal inside the 18, prompting referee Matthew Foerster to point to the spot. Camilo Sanvezzo converted the 48th-minute penalty.
  • Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton was called upon to make four saves in keeping the clean sheet.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that got the game’s only goal for a victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium. Sainey Nyassi and Dwayne De Rosario came into the team in place of Nick DeLeon and Casey Townsend.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White, Daniel Woolard, Alain Rochat - Sainey Nyassi (Carlos Ruiz 71), John Thorrington, Perry Kitchen, Kyle Porter (Casey Townsend 60) - Dwayne De Rosario (Lionard Pajoy 69) - Chris Pontius

TEAM NEWS

  • While United had won back-to-back games, with their fourth-round Open Cup victory following their first league triumph in three months – and had won three games out of their last four in all competitions – they weren’t able to put together back-to-back wins for the first time since last Oct. 6-20.
  • “I had a group of men that fought their tails off and they’re gutted. I asked them to give me everything this week. I pushed guys to the limit with three games and an Open Cup [match], and they gave it to me today. They gave me everything they had,” said United head coach Ben Olsen.
  • United were shut out on the attacking end for a 10th time in 17 league matches in the loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • “Yeah, we didn’t score. In the final third, we have to be cleaner. But overall, I thought there was some good stuff – the way we played, the way we attacked, the way we moved the ball,” said Olsen. “We fell asleep a little bit on a play, but Bill [Hamid] bailed us out.”
  • United have now gone six full league matches since scoring a goal from open play. Their only two goals since May 19 have been on penaltykicks, a span now of 385 minutes.
  • “[There were] plenty of opportunities. These are things that some nights they are clicking and you are going to put every chance away, and the other nights it seems like nothing is bouncing or falling your way,” said Chris Pontius. “Definitely tonight was one of those nights. That is on us. We have to be a lot cleaner. You have to pick out a man in the box, then it has to be a clean finish.”
  • Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario started together for the first time in four matches, since June 8, and for just the fifth time in league play this season.
  • United head out on a three-game road swing to Seattle, Colorado and Chicago as the only team in MLS not to win away from home this season. United are 0-5-2 on their travels, and have not scored in their last away games.
  • “We were unlucky to not score at this point of the game. After we were patient and it doesn’t come, we start to be nervous. We miss the easy passes. Like I said, everything is against us. It’s hard to find an explanation,” said defender Alain Rochat.