Seattle Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA | MLS Match Preview

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs CHIVAS USA
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
Sept. 27, 2014 (WEEK 29, MLS Game #278)
1 p.m. PT (JOEtv/ROOT-NW Alt/KOMO2; KDOC/TWCD)

Seattle Sounders FC will be looking to get their late-season drive back on track when they return home to face Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC enter the weekend still in a tie for the lead in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table, coming off back-to-back losses at New York and FC Dallas. Chivas USA are on the verge of playoff elimination after seeing their winless streak extended to 11 games last weekend in a 3-0 defeat at Toronto FC.

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REFEREE: Drew Fischer. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Baboucarr Jallow
MLS Career: 38 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 3; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: CHV: Nigel Reo-Coker (through Sept. 28)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Nathan Sturgis, Erick Torres
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins, Gonzalo Pineda, Zach Scott, DeAndre Yedlin … CHV: Marky Delgado, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Agustin Pelletieri, Donny Toia, Leandro Barrera, Nigel Reo-Coker
DISABLED LIST: CHV: Thomas McNamara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Sounders FC 9 wins, 25 goals … Chivas USA 2 wins, 13 goals … Ties 4
AT SEATTLE (8 meetings): Sounders FC 4 wins, 7 goals … Chivas USA 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 2

2014 (MLS):
4/19: CHV 1, SEA 2 (Torres 5 – Neagle 24; Martins 81)
9/3: CHV 2, SEA 4 (Delgado 51; Finley 60 – Martins 11, 16; Rose 38, 42)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Obafemi Martins and Andy Rose each scored twice in the first half as Sounders FC rolled to a 4-2 win Sept. 3 at StubHub Center. A Martins goal in the 81st minute snapped a deadlock as Sounders FC took a 2-1 victory April 19 in Carson.
  • Sounders FC are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with Chivas USA, with wins in their last seven encounters, since Chivas won the first two meetings ever between the clubs in 2009. Seattle has won nine times with four draws.
  • Sounders FC are unbeaten all-time vs. Chivas USA at home, with four wins and two draws in six meetings in Seattle.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. CHV: P5 W4 L0 T1 … Wilmer Cabrera vs. SEA: P2 W0 L2 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • Sounders FC broke open the game early. In the 11th minute, Chad Marshall headed a corner kick toward goal and it fell right to Obafemi Martins, who turned it home from close range for the opener. Five minutes later, Clint Dempsey freed Lamar Neagle and Martins all alone behind the Chivas backline, and Neagle slid it to Martins to finish into an empty net for his and Seattle's second.
  • The lead hit 4-0, both scored by Andy Rose on set-piece deliveries from Brad Evans in virtually identical scenarios. The first came in the 38th minute when Rose tracked down Evans’ cross near the back post on the right and beat goalkeeper Dan Kennedy with a volley . Rose struck again six minutes later, this time with a header from the heart of the area from an Evans free-kick service.
  • Chivas USA put an end to their long scoreless streak in the 51st minute when Marco Delgado finished an Eric Avila lob into the area with a header past Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei. It was Chivas USA’s first goal since July 20, snapping their goalless streak at 597 consecutive minutes.
  • Chivas scored a second nine minutes later, when Ryan Finley converted his own penalty after being brought down by Sounders FC center back Zach Scott.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Akira Kaji, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Andrew Jean-Baptiste 46), Bobby Burling, Tony Lochhead - Marky Delgado, Oswaldo Minda (Luis Bolaños 79), Nigel Reo-Coker, Eric Avila (Marvin Chavez 69) - Ryan Finley, Felix Borja.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 66) - Clint Dempsey (Gonzalo Pineda 87), Obafemi Martins (Micheal Azira 76).

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC went down to their second defeat on their two-game road swing, falling 3-1 to FC Dallas on Wednesday evening at Toyota Stadium. Sounders FC are still tied for first place in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 54 points from 28 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The hosts took the lead in the eighth minute. Andres Escobar flicked the back end of a one-two with David Texiera in the left side of the penalty area, arcing the ball over Sounders defender Chad Marshall. Texiera blasted home the return ball, putting a well-placed shot past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei to the far post.
  • Sounders FC equalized in the 58th minute. After receiving the ball in midfield from a sweeping back-heel by Clint Dempsey, substitute Lamar Neagle unleashed a fantastic dipping shot from 30 yards up to the far upper corner, leaving Dallas 'keeper Raul Fernandez zero chance to save the blast.
  • FC Dallas again had their breakthrough in the 78th minute. Another run at the Sounders FC defense by Escobar unlocked the Seattle back line and sent a centering pass through the six-yard box, and again he connected with Texiera, who tapped the cross home from close range for his second goal of the night.
  • FCD tacked on an insurance goal in the 88th minute when Michel found Blas Perez in the box on a corner kick, and he powered home a header that Frei could not keep out of the goal.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made six changes to the team that lost 4-1 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott and Leo Gonzalez came into the back four for Jalil Anibaba, Djimi Traore and Dylan Remick, Brad Evans started in midfield in place of Lamar Neagle, and Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins formed the strike pair ahead of Kenny Cooper and Chad Barrett.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott (Djimi Traore 36), Chad Marshall, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose (Lamar Neagle 57), Marco Pappa (Chad Barrett 75) - Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC lost for a second consecutive match, just the second time this season they’ve had back-to-back losses (also: July 28 vs. LA; Aug. 2 vs. San Jose).
  • “That's the way it's going to be in the playoffs so we have to be a little bit tougher, meaner, maybe a little dirtier at times. I don't think we were tough enough at times so that's something we've got to address with ourselves,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “ … It's tough to do a 12-day road trip in the middle of the season. It's long and it's hard. Not just physically, but it's hard mentally.”
  • Said midfielder Brad Evans: “We should be able to go on, if we score a goal, and at least get in with a tie if we want to make a push for the Supporters’ Shield and beyond. It's the kind of result we need to have away from home.”
  • Sounders FC have also conceded multiple goals in four consecutive matches, the first time they’ve done that this season.
  • “We've been down in our last three, four games. We've taken the first goal so it's not a good habit to be into. … Again, some individual mistakes,” Schmid said. “They had some good pace, ran past some people, and scored three goals. We've got to stay on our feet when we defend, and we have to defend better than that.”
  • Lamar Neagle hit for his second goal in the last three matches, and now has seven goals for the season, one goal shy of his single-season career-high set a year ago. It was also the second consecutive goal Neagle has scored from well outside the area, along with the long-range strike Sept. 12 vs. Real Salt Lake.
  • Clint Dempsey collected his eighth assist of the season, his third helper in the last four matches. He now has a goal and/or an assist in six consecutive MLS games (with three goals and four assists in that time); he has four goals and five assists in 11 matches since returning from the FIFA World Cup.
  • “An amazing strike by Lamar once again, and I thought Clint was able to pick up the ball in the midfield and create and push forward and we had a number of chances,” said Evans. “Personally, if I'm on top of the box I've got to pull the trigger instead of being too cute around the box. Second half turned around because we had to.”
  • There was an significant injury blow when Zach Scott was forced off before halftime. Scott was one of six regulars back in the first XI after missing out on the New York match following the US Open Cup Final victory the midweek before.
  • “I think losing Zach Scott hurt us,” Schmid said. “Zach’s been a very important part of our defense…The [ankle] is locked up so we don’t know if there’s something broken or it’s just jammed up. We don’t know.”

CHIVAS USA

Chivas USA had their winless streak extended to 11 games, falling 3-0 to Toronto FC on Sunday afternoon at BMO Field. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 29 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. A bit of smart combination play resulted in Jonathan Osorio slipped the ball to Gilberto, who in turn delivered a cheeky back-heel to an onrushing Jackson. He then took a few touches before smacking a deflected shot that beat Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Toronto FC doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time. Michael Bradley swung a corner to the far edge of the box and Nick Hagglund headed the ball back in front of goal, where Luke Moore buried the ball into the back of the net with a full volley from close range.
  • Gilberto got Toronto FC’s third of the day in the 54th minute after a Daniel Lovitz corner was flicked by Bradley toward Steven Caldwell in front of goal. Caldwell let the ball run past to Gilberto, whose easy tap-in provided the final scoreline.
  • Each team ended a man down after referee Edvin Jurisevic sent off TFC's Jackson and Chivas USA's Nigel Reo-Coker when the two players came to blows in the 66th minute.
  • Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera made three changes to the team that fell 4-0 to Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center. Donny Toia, Eriq Zavaleta and Oswaldo Minda came into the team, in place of Akira Kaji, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Leandro Barrera.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-1-1): Dan Kennedy - Donny Toia, Eriq Zavaleta, Bobby Burling, Tony Lochhead - Eric Avila (Leandro Barrera 55), Oswaldo Minda, Nigel Reo-Coker (ejected 66), Nathan Sturgis - Marvin Chavez (Matthew Dunn 82) - Felix Borja (Ryan Finley 64).

TEAM NEWS

  • Chivas USA lost for a sixth consecutive match and saw their winless streak extended to 11 games overall in the loss at Toronto FC. The losing streak is one game away from the Chivas club record; the winless run matches the third-longest in club history.
  • “The only thing we got to do is just keep going. We always have to be positive in the locker room. That’s just the only way to get out of it,” said Eric Avila. “I’ve been in situations like this before and the only thing to do is to be together and being positive.”
  • Said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy: “This is what we do. None of us should be short of motivation. Being positive is kind of what it takes. Unfortunately we are going through a tough stretch here. The only ones who are going to get us out of this is ourselves.”
  • Chivas were also shut out for a third consecutive game and the ninth time in the last 10 games. They have scored two goals since July 20, when they lost 3-1 to D.C. United to begin the winless slide.
  • “We tried and we made some changes,” Chivas head coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “But we couldn’t find clear possibilities to score a goal. … The guys were trying to come back and we had a good chance to tie the game, but we couldn’t finish that.”
  • Chivas USA were held to just two shots on goal – the first coming in the 83rd minute. Erick Torres missed his fourth consecutive match, his second to suspension.
  • “He has to score 75 percent of the goals for us. So, yes we miss him. We’ve missed in for four games. Hopefully he has a good mentality to come back against Seattle,” said Cabrera.
  • Eriq Zavaleta returned to the back four after a one-match absence, and Donny Toia made his first start since Aug. 25, coming in at right back. But there will be a change for certain again – on loan from Seattle, Zavaleta cannot play against the team that holds his contract under terms of the loan agreement.
  • There will be another forced absence after Nigel Reo-Coker was sent off; Reo-Coker had started five matches in a row following his trade from Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • Chivas USA will be without midfielder Marco Delgado for the remainder of the season after he underwent surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his knee.