SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs TORONTO FC
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
March 15, 2014 (WEEK 2, MLS Game #11)
1:30 pm PT (NBCSN; TSN/RDS2; KCPQ-13 FOX)
Seattle Sounders FC return home for their second match of the new season, taking on a completely revamped Toronto FC making its season debut, when the teams meet Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field before an NBC Sports Network audience. Sounders FC opened their season in dramatic fashion with a last-second 1-0 win against defending champions Sporting KC last weekend. Toronto FC finally begin their new campaign, after an offseason marked by some of the highest-profile signings in league history.
REFEREE: Ioannis Stavridis. SAR (bench): Kyle Longville; JAR (opposite): Andrew Bigelow; 4th: Bernard Hosu
MLS Career: 1 game; FC/gm: 34.0; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 0; pens: 0
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Sounders FC 6 wins, 14 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 1
- AT SEATTLE (4 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 9 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS):
8/10: TOR 1, SEA 2 (Osorio 46 – Rosales 16; own goal 40)
- This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
- Sounders FC have won the last five meetings between the teams. TFC’s last win is their only one in eight all-time meetings, having come April 25, 2010 at BMO Field.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. TOR: P14 W9 L1 D4 … Ryan Nelsen vs. SEA: P1 W0 L1 D0
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC once again opened their season with some late heroics against Sporting Kansas City, getting a stoppage-time winner for a 1-0 victory Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are one of five teams tied atop the Western Conference with 3 points from 1 game.
- The game's lone goal came well into stoppage. From a goalmouth scramble, Clint Dempsey put a header off the crossbar. The ball rebounded to Chad Barrett, who followed up another Dempsey shot and got just enough of it to put the ball in the back of the net. It was the fifth time in four years that Sounders FC have scored a late goal to beat Sporting KC.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid ran out newcomers Marco Pappa and Kenny Cooper in attacking roles and rookie Dylan Remick at fullback in his first lineup for the new season.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick - Lamar Neagle (Sean Okoli 86), Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Clint Dempsey 57) - Kenny Cooper (Chad Barrett 78), Obafemi Martins.
- Sounders FC have won four of six matches to open the MLS season, all six of which have been played at CenturyLink Field.
- “I am very pleased we got a shutout. Shutouts were a little harder to come by at the end of last year than they normally are for our team, so I was pleased with that. I was pleased we played them to zero and pleased we came out with the victory,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.
- Chad Barrett scored his first goal since moving to Sounders FC. His last MLS goal came June 29, 2013, for the New England Revolution in a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA.
- "It's one of the reasons we brought him in – he is an experienced forward and he has shown he can score goals in this league. He ended up getting two shots in the limited minutes he played. … Chad's one of those players who should know what to do in front of goal and he was able to do it today,” said Schmid.
- Said Barrett: “When I scored I couldn't even hear myself screaming. I'm pretty sure I was screaming or I was going through puberty, one of the two. I couldn't hear myself scream. I was telling the guys that haven't scored here yet that it's just an unbelievable feeling, especially with all 40,000 people staying until the very end.”
- With Leo Gonzalez out with an injury, rookie Dylan Remick was given the start at right back.
- “It’s still Leo’s job and I’ve told Remick that,” Schmid said. “He’s our returning starting fullback and it was an injury that had him out. … Leo has always been one of our best defenders going against fast players. People always think they’re faster than Leo, but he always finds a way to find that gear where he’s able to stay with that guy. That’s the last little gear he’s looking for.”
- After returning from an offseason loan with Fulham FC of the English Premier League, Clint Dempsey came off the bench to play the final half-hour.
- "I thought he was all right. He hasn't really trained with us, but I like that him and [Obafemi Martins] were definitely looking for each other, looking to combine with each other, and that is something that will continue to get better as well,” said Schmid.
- Said Dempsey: “I was a withdrawn forward the whole time. I get freedom to move around and impact the game in whatever way I can. I found some good spots on the field and was able to make some plays happen and, like I said, was happy to play a part in the goal.”
- There were also two MLS veterans who made their Sounders FC debuts in the rearguard, Chad Marshall starting in central defense and Stefan Frei earning the shutout in goal.
- "I thought Chad did well. Obviously he is a guy that wins a lot of balls in the air for us. He had a little bit of an injury, so weren't 100 percent sure he was going to play, but he played through that for us very well, but I think Chad was solid,” Schmid said. “... I think one of the things (Frei) brings to the game, as Chad does, is that they are very calming guys. They aren't hyper guys and as a result it gives your team a calming effect that things are taken care of, which is good.”
Toronto FC have completely rebuilt their club, making some of the highest-profile signings in the history of Major League Soccer as they aim to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in the club’s eight-year history. Ryan Nelsen begins his second season in charge of the club, after a 6-17-11 record and a ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference in his debut campaign.
- TFC concluded their preseason campaign with a 4-2 loss to the U-23 team of Brazil’s Fluminense SC in the final match of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, March 1 in Orlando. Michael Bradley and Dwayne De Rosario scored the TFC goals.
- Here’s the Toronto FC team: Joe Bendik; Jeremy Hall (Kene Eze 84’), Steven Caldwell, Doneil Henry, Ashton Morgan; Jackson, Kyle Bekker (Nick Hagglund 61’), Michael Bradley, Alvaro Rey (Daniel Lovitz 75’); Dwayne De Rosario, Andrew Wiedeman (Manuel Aparicio 46’)
- TFC ended the tournament with two losses and two draws in four matches, including a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Crew and a scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union.
- In the week leading up to the season opener, Toronto FC were finally able to have all three of their Designated Players in the fold. U.S. international Michael Bradley took part in full training after pulling out of the friendly with Ukraine.
- "Light training again for him," Nelsen said. "The problem with Michael is kind of stopping him from doing stuff, he's so keen and so eager, over-keen and over-eager, which is why he's such a good player. It's more holding him back and pulling on the reins is my biggest problem with Michael."
- Jermain Defoe arrived from Tottenham Hotspur after reports of a hamstring injury left him as an unused substitute in England’s 1-0 win against Denmark in a friendly.
- "I was 100 percent, so there’s no problems,” Defoe said. “Obviously it helps, the more you play with the players, it helps going into the season. Hopefully, in training, they will understand how I play and vice versa and it’ll be OK. ... First and foremost, it’s important to concentrate on your club and make sure your form’s good. As a forward, you get judged on scoring goals.”
- Said Bradley: “I think it kind of gives everybody the sense that now we’re getting going, the season’s starting. I think we all watched the games this weekend and at this point I’m just really excited to get going. Seeing [Defoe] in the locker room this morning, now it’s like, 'All right, we can start now.’"
- The third Designated Player, striker Gilberto, picked up a quad injury ahead of Toronto’s preseason match Feb. 19 against the Columbus Crew and has been out of full training since.
- “Hopefully [Gilberto] should be back jogging real soon,” Nelsen said. “It’s a wee bit of a blessing in disguise because he’s come in so late. He’s put in a proper preseason in terms of conditioning in the gym.”
- TFC’s other full international, goalkeeper Júlio César, played the full 90 minutes and earned a clean sheet for Brazil against South Africa.
- “It’s not ideal, obviously,” Nelsen said. “It’s a big concern really because it does take time. It’s not just [Gilberto and Defoe] playing together, it’s the midfield, it’s everybody. There’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll work them and get the combinations going and hopefully we get it done as quick as possible.”
IN: MF Jackson (12/9/13 - trade from FC Dallas); FW Gilberto (12/13/13 - transfer from SC Internacional); DF Justin Morrow (12/17/13 - trade from San Jose); FW Jordan Hamilton (1/9/14 - Homegrown); MF Dwayne De Rosario (1/9/14 - Re-Entry Stage 2); FW Jermain Defoe (1/10/14 - transfer from Tottenham); MF Michael Bradley (1/13/14- transfer from AS Roma); DF Bradley Orr (1/24/14 - loan from Blackburn Rovers); GK Júlio César (2/14/14 - loan from Queens Park Rangers)
OUT: MF Michael Thomas (11/29/13 - option declined); MF Darel Russell (11/29/13 - option declined); FW Robert Earnshaw (11/29/13 - option declined); FW Justin Braun (12/9/13 - out of contract); FW Danny Koevermans (12/9/13 - out of contract); GK Stefan Frei (12/10/13 - trade to Seattle); MF Bobby Convey (12/13/13 - trade to New York); DF Richard Eckersley (1/27/14 - trade to New York); DF Jonas Elmer (2/7/14 - contract terminated); FW Emery Welshman (2/25/14 - waived); MF Matías Laba (2/26/14 - traded to Vancouver); MF Reggie Lambe (3/5/14 - waived)