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Seattle Sounders vs. Chivas USA | MLS Match Preview

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs CHIVAS USA
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
Sept. 4, 2013 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #51)
7 p.m. PT (KONG; KDOC/KWHY)

Seattle Sounders FC and Chivas USA meet for the third time this season when the Western Conference clubs face off Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC return home off their second successive 1-0 win, defeating the Columbus Crew on the road last weekend. Chivas USA continue their Pacific Northwest swing following a 2-2 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps FC over the weekend.

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REFEREE: Mark Geiger. AR1 (bench): Corey Parker; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Younes Marrakchi
MLS Career: 114 games; FC/gm: 26.5; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 28; pens: 37

DISABLED LIST: SEA: Josh Ford, Steve Zakuani … CHV: Daniel Antuñez
SUSPENDED: SEA: Leo Gonzalez (through Sept. 4)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Djimi Traore … CHV: Carlos Borja
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado … CHV: Mario de Luna, Bobby Burling, Carlos Alvarez, Gabriel Farfan, Tristan Bowen
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SEA: Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Sounders FC 6 wins, 18 goals … Chivas USA 2 wins, 10 goals … Ties 4
AT SEATTLE (5 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 6 goals … Chivas USA 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 2

2013 (MLS)
6/1: CHV 0, SEA 2 (Martins 22; own goal 33)
7/28: SEA 2, CHV 1 (Evans 23; Neagle 57 – Torres 16)
• The teams are meeting for the third time this season. An Obafemi Martins goal and an own goal, in the first half, led Sounders FC to a 2-0 win June 1 in Carson, then goals from Brad Evans and Lamar Neagle led Sounders FC to a 2-1 win July 28 at CenturyLink Field.
• Sounders FC are unbeaten in their last 10 meetings with Chivas USA, since Chivas won the first two meetings ever between the clubs in 2009. Seattle has won six times with four draws.
• The teams have also met twice in the U.S. Open Cup, both times in a semifinal, with Sounders FC advancing on each occasion, in 2010 and 2012.
• Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. CHV: P18 W7 L5 D6 … José Luis Real v SEA: P2 W0 L1 D1

LAST MEETING

• Chivas USA took the lead after just 16 minutes when Carlos Alvarez wound his way through the Sounders FC defense and left the ball for Erick Torres, who coolly finished inside the far post.

Highlights: SEA 2, CHV 1

• But the home side were level seven minutes later. Obafemi Martins controlled the ball and slipped in Brad Evans, who made a nice run from a deep position before taking one touch and beating Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to the near post.

• The game-winner came in the 57th minute. Mauro Rosales picked up a loose ball at midfield and put it ahead to Obafemi Martins, who then tapped it back through the penalty area for Lamar Neagle to slip past Kennedy from the spot.

• SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Andrew Weber - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 78), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Marc Burch (Servando Carrasco 84) - Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins (Zach Scott 90)

• CHIVAS USA (4-2-3-1): Dan Kennedy - Carlos Borja, Mario de Luna, Carlos Bocanegra, Marky Delgado - Carlos Alvarez, Edgar Mejia (Josue Soto 64) - Tristan Bowen (Jose Rivera 82), Gabriel Farfan (Julio Morales 55), Jorge Villafana - Erick Torres.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC recorded their second consecutive victory, this time coming away from Crew Stadium with a victory against the Columbus Crew. Sounders FC are in third place in the Western Conference with 40 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

• Kickoff was delayed some two hours because of thunderstorms, then after just seven minutes, Sounders FC were a man down when defender Leo Gonzalez was shown a red card by referee Ismail Elfath after pulling down Crew forward Ryan Finley as he broke away toward goal just past the halfway line.

• But Sounders FC scored the game's only goal just seven minutes later, when Mauro Rosales swung in a free kick from the right flank that found the head of Eddie Johnson, and he nodded home the opener.

Highlights: CLB 0, SEA 1

• Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was credited with three saves on the night, including a save on Dominic Oduro from close range with 10 minutes to secure the full three points.

• Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 at CenturyLink Field. Mauro Rosales came into the side in place of Shalrie Joseph.

• SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (ejected 7) - Mauro Rosales (Marc Burch 74), Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 19), Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle - Eddie Johnson (Djimi Traore 61), Clint Dempsey.

TEAM NEWS

• For the second consecutive match, the lone Sounders FC goal in a 1-0 win came on an Eddie Johnson header from a Mauro Rosales free kick service.

• “Good service from Mauro [Rosales] and Eddie [Johnson] is so good in the air. He’s starting to get some headers for us,” said Schmid. “He got a lot of head ball goals last year, and he’s got two now in the last couple of games for us, so he’s definitely a weapon in the air, that’s one of the things he presents and helps us with us and the national team. He’s just got to keep it going, it’s great."

• The last three goals scored by Seattle have come on free kicks, and their last goal from open play was the Mauro Rosales goal in the 16th minute of the Aug. 10 win vs. Toronto FC. Sounders FC have scored six goals from free kicks this season, second-most in MLS, to FC Dallas (10).

• After going more than two months without a league goal, Johnson has now scored goals in three of the last five matches.

• “We’re a good team on set pieces. I think one of my strengths is being dangerous in the box. Mauro Rosales and I have a good relationship. We showed last year the relationship that we had and it’s starting to click again this year,” said Johnson. “I think four of the seven goals I’ve scored I think he’s assisted and I think they’ve all been headers.”

• Sounders FC were forced into a change just 19 minutes into the game when Brad Evans suffered a calf injury, which then forced him out of the U.S. national team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

• Obafemi Martins was unavailable for a third consecutive match after suffering an ankle injury that forced him out of the Toronto FC match on Aug. 10 after just a half-hour.

• “We need him to get healthy,” Schmid said. “We’re going to have some guys missing after the Columbus game. We have to be smart about it, not just throw him into a game too early and have him re-injure himself. Since we’re missing those other guys, having Oba is going to be extremely important to our team.”

• It was the second win in the last three road matches for Sounders FC, following three consecutive away losses.

• “[Schmid] said we don’t want to use excuses, and just for the game itself we talked about our team goals,” Johnson said. “One of our team goals was defending from top to bottom and getting something on the road. I feel like if we can defend well for 90 minutes plus we know that one goal can get us a victory on the road. We showed a lot of character.”

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA made it two matches without a loss, reaching a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday afternoon at BC Place. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 22 points from 26 matches.

LAST MATCH

• Chivas USA had a two-goal lead before the game was a quarter-hour old. After just three minutes, Erick Torres scored with an incredible overhead kick from the edge of the area after Andy O'Brien headed a ball straight up around the top of the box, finishing spectacularly into the top left corner of David Ousted's goal.

• Torres and Chivas had their second in the 14th minute when he headed home a cross from Edgar Mejia, nodding home into the bottom corner from the heart of the penalty area.

Highlights: VAN 2, CHV 2

• Whitecaps FC began their fightback in the 64th minute. Gershon Koffie caught Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy wandering, firing home a right-footed effort from distance after the goalkeeper's left-footed clearance went straight to him, unable to readjust after getting back into the goalmouth.

• The equalizer came three minutes into stoppage time with what was almost the last kick of the game. Kekuta Manneh found Erik Hurtado with a cross from the left and he nodded the ball into the path of Tommy Heinemann, who turned home from the edge of the goal area.

• Chivas USA head coach José Luis Real made no changes to the team that defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-2 at StubHub Center.

• CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Carlos Borja, Bobby Burling, Carlos Bocanegra, Marky Delgado - Carlos Alvarez (Steve Purdy 83), Edgar Mejia, Oswaldo Minda (Josue Soto 88), Bryan de la Fuente - Julio Morales (Tristan Bowen 64), Erick Torres.

TEAM NEWS

• While Chivas USA saw their road winless streak extended to 11 games, since a 4-1 win at Chicago on March 24, they did end a three-game losing streak on their travels.

• “I think this Chivas team is getting better game-by-game. Unfortunately, we missed the most important opportunity in the 80th minute of the game when the score was 2-1,” said Chivas head coach José Luis Real. “… I’m happy with the development of Chivas in the game, but angry for the result because 2-0 was a big opportunity to win the game. Maybe two mistakes in defense … and we lost the opportunity to get our second win [in a row].”

• Chivas USA have now won just four of 12 games when they scored the opening goal, the poorest record in the league this season. Chivas has lost four games and tied four after opening the scoring.

• “It’s kind of a good thing that it feels like this. We would have been happy with a tie a few months ago but now we’re (ticked) off that we let those points slip away and we’re frustrated,” said center back Carlos Bocanegra. “It’s good for our team spirit, I’d rather have the two points then talk about that later but it was a bit unfortunate. We’re going in the right direction.”

• Chivas USA have also now allowed 20 goals in the final quarter-hour and stoppage time, most in MLS, three more than StubHub Center co-inhabitants LA Galaxy.

• “We all feel that we’re better than what our record shows and better than the points that we have on the table. We’ve had maybe a handful of games like today where we’ve for whatever reason given points up in the last minutes,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “But this is part of building character and experience. We have a very young team and a very new team … it’s not an excuse but it’s a reality of the situation.”

• Erick Torres scored a pair of goals for a second consecutive match in the draw at Vancouver. Torres has scored the last four Chivas goals and has six goals in seven games since coming to MLS.

• Torres and Julio Morales formed the strike partnership for a second consecutive match, with Morales coming off for Tristan Bowen just after the hour.

• “I am very happy. Obviously it helps us a lot as well,” said Torres. “For a forward it is obviously very important for me to score goals and it helps us a lot as we continue moving forward and helping us improve as a team.”