Preview: Rapids look to extend Sounders' slump at CLink
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs COLORADO RAPIDS
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
July 7, 2012 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #167)
11 p.m. ET (NBC SN)
Seattle Sounders FC and the Colorado Rapids will meet for the second time this season Saturday evening as both clubs come to CenturyLink Field looking to rise up in the Western Conference table. Sounders FC are now winless in nine games, coming off a scoreless draw at Real Salt Lake that left them in fourth place in the division. The Rapids sit just behind, in fifth, coming off a 1-0 home to Vancouver in their annual Fourth of July fixture.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Mark Declouet
MLS Career: 224 games; FC/gm: 25.7; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 58; pens: 45
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: GK Michael Gspurning (R hip strain); FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); FW David Estrada (L foot fracture); DOUBTFUL: GK Andrew Weber (groin strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Adam Johansson (R hamstring strain); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); PROBABLE: DF Jeff Parke (dizziness)
- COLORADO RAPIDS -- OUT: DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches); PROBABLE: MF Jamie Smith (R ACL tear); FW Conor Casey (R hamstring strain); FW Omar Cummings (L ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Fredy Montero ... COL: Jeff Larentowicz
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Eddie Johnson, Andy Rose, Zach Scott ... COL: Jaime Castrillon, Tyrone Marshall
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Sounders FC 5 wins, 13 goals ... Rapids 1 win, 7 goals ... Ties 1
AT SEATTLE (4 meetings): Sounders FC 4 wins, 10 goals ... Rapids 0 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7 p.m. MT
- A Zach Scott goal in the 63rd minute gave Sounders FC a 1-0 win in the first meeting between the teams this season, April 14 at CenturyLink Field.
- Sounders FC have won the last four meetings between the clubs. Colorado's only victory in six all-time league meetings came May 29, 2010 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
- Seattle also won a U.S. Open Cup play-in match between the teams in 2009.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. COL: P36 W19 L10 D7 ... Oscar Pareja vs. SEA: P1 W0 L1 D0
LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/14: SEA 1, COL 0 (Scott 63)
- The game's lone game came in the 63rd minute, when Zach Scott sent a glancing header off a Alex Caskey corner kick from the left inside the back post.
- Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning was called upon to make just one save in recording a second consecutive shutout.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Michael Gspurning - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez - David Estrada, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Alex Caskey (Marc Burch 75) - Fredy Montero (Roger Levesque 91+), Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 66).
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Jaime Castrillon (Kamani Hill 69), Jeff Larentowicz - Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Tony Cascio (Andre Akpan 83) - Omar Cummings.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC saw their league winless run extended to nine games, following a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Sounders FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 18 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: RSL, Sounders scoreless in Seattle
- Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith was credited with two saves on the evening and was beaten in the 52nd minute as striker ¡lvaro Sabor"o hit the back of the net following a ball to the middle, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
- Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando was called upon to make one save for the match.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made seven changes to the team that ended in a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Only defender Zach Scott, midfielder Mauro Rosales and Brad Evans and striker Eddie Johnson kept their places.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Bryan Meredith - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 64), Servando Carrasco, Alvaro Fernandez (Marc Burch 85) - Fredy Montero (Cordell Cato 73), Eddie Johnson.
Instant Replay: Seattle's cause for complaint
- Sounders FC have gone 0-4-5 over their nine-game winless streak, now almost exactly two months since their last league victory (May 9, 2-0 vs. FC Dallas).
- "We want to be a tough team to beat and I think we've gotten back to that; we lost that for a couple of games and we've gotten back to that, which is very important," said Schmid. "Now it's a matter of the soccer catching up and us playing better and walking away with a win."
- Servando Carrasco made his second start of the season, his first since the third game of the season, March 31 vs. San Jose.
- "I thought Carrasco played well and Servando hasn't played much this season; I think it was only his second start of the season and I thought he came in and he did what he needed to do," said Schmid. "I thought he did a pretty good job on Morales. Overall, I thought he was good."
- Leo Gonzalez made his first start since May 2, after coming on as a late substitute against New England, his first league appearance in six weeks.
- "We kept our composure and we didn't allow ourselves to get stretched too much. I thought that part of it was good," said Schmid. "We stayed compact, and we dropped at a certain point, which generally we don't do on the road, but I felt it was something we needed to do."
- After coming on as a halftime substitute the week before for an injured Andrew Weber, Bryan Meredith returned to the starting lineup and recorded his third shutout.
- "It was good. The one goal they scored was an offside goal," said Schmid. "He was pretty safe and solid on all things. Just that one cross at the end, but outside of that I though he was pretty solid and confident."
- Said Meredith: "I think it gave me a chance to prove myself and this opportunity rather than the last is a little more important because I know they have an expectation of me now and they know how I can play so they want me to exceed that expectation every single game."
- Alvaro Fernandez returned to the starting lineup after a three-game absence, making two substitute appearances in that time.
The Colorado Rapids weren't able to find their Fourth of July form, falling 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the annual fixture at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 22 points from 17 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Whitecaps stun Colorado
- The game's lone goal came after 43 minutes. A seemingly harmless ball came from Jordan Harvey, but Rapids center back Drew Moor saw his poorly hit clearance deflect straight to the feet of Darren Mattocks, who slotted home from the heart of the area.
- Vancouver goalkeeper Joe Cannon was called upon to make six saves in keeping the clean sheet.
- Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made no changes to the side that strolled to a 3-0 win against the Portland Timbers at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
- COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens - Hunter Freeman (Edu 72), Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Luis Zapata - Brian Mullan, Martin Rivero, Jeff Larentowicz, Jaime Castrillon (Jamie Smith 63) - Omar Cummings (Tony Cascio 61), Conor Casey.
Two-time Super Bowl champ Martin visits Rapids
- The Rapids concluded their three-game homestand with a pair of losses, both coming against Western Conference opponents (San Jose, Vancouver).
- "We knew our job is to score and create a lot of options and have the initiative all the time," said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja "... Last game we scored three goals and today we could not, and that's what gives you points. So the answer is that's the way the game is. You have to score goals to get the points, otherwise it's difficult."
- It was also the second time in that span the Rapids were shut out offensively at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
- "We didn't put the ball in the back of the net today, and we missed a lot of chances. It was that final touch that could have changed the story of the game but they did all they could," said Pareja. "And they moved the ball, they worked hard and they got the ball back quick. I say that probably we could have moved the ball quicker."
- The Rapids still have not won back-to-back games since winning their first two games of the season, March 10 and 18 (vs. Columbus and Philadelphia).
- "We need to learn to win games like this. We need to learn to get back into a game like that and not just tie it but win it. This is a game that we have to win," said defender Drew Moor. "We're halfway through the season, we need to start putting that right. We're a good team, we've got great players and we create chances. We need to stay more organized in the back but that's a game that we need to win."
- Conor Casey and Omar Cummings again reprised their strike partnership, after starting together for the first time since last July 16 in the Portland win at the weekend.
- "I thought we were in control of the game, that's all you can really ask is to have possession and keep creating chances," Casey said. "I thought we did that a little bit less in the second half. They sat back which made it a little harder, but still we had chances in the second half too, just couldn't get it in tonight."
- Goalkeeper Troy Perkins did not make a single save, while Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon was called upon to make a season-high six saves.
- "We need to stay concentrated in the back. A lot of the pressure is on us, without a doubt. And it should be, that's the life of a defender to be honest," said Moor. "We've been good in the past. We've had a regular lineup the past couple weeks and that's important too. We have Marvell back, and he and I are starting to recognize each other's tendencies again, but yes, it's concentration."