by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Admittedly. the Sounders’ current form could be charitably described as disappointing. With that said, I come to you with glad tidings of hope. Sure, we just finished dropping four of the last six matches, but there have been similar or worse patches of form in our short MLS history which we put behind us on the the way to reasonably strong finishes.

To wit:
In the 2010 season we went through a stretch where we dropped six of eight matches between 8 May and 4 July. We ended up finishing 6th in the League and won the US Open Cup.

In the 2012 season we were winless for nine straight matches from 12 May through 4 July. We ended up with a 7th place league finish, making it as far as the Conference Finals in MLS Cup and the Final of the US Open Cup.

In 2013 season we were winless for the first five matches of the season and also had a winless stretch of seven matches to close the season. We ended up finishing 6th in the League.

In the 2014 season we went through a stretch between 5 July and 16 August where we dropped four of six matches (A very similar stretch to what we’re experiencing now). We ended up winning the League and US Open Cup double, and once again made it to the Conference Finals in the MLS Cup.

In the 2015 season we went through a stretch from 20 June to 22 August where we dropped nine of 11 matches. We went on to a 6th place league finish.

The point being, never lose hope. We’re only through a third of the season, and there were bound to be rough patches after all the off-season defections of last winter. Hope will bind our verdant family together, lending us strength and purpose in order to marshal our support to its highest level. We’ve been through worse than this sorry stretch, and we’ll come through this just as we did back then. Even though a midweek fixture is a tough ask, try to stow your colours in your car boot or in a backpack and make it to a local viewing party on your way home from the works. Then raise your glasses in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

The Good News
We have a good overall record against DC United. We are 6-2-2 overall, and 3-1-1 on the road at RFK Stadium. United standouts Birnbaum and Saborio are with their national teams for Copa America and will not face us on Wednesday night. The team outside of Torres and Anderson is quite healthy. United are also in a patchy run of form, as they have only won two of the last six matches. Between Saborio’s Costa Rica call-up and Nyarko’s head injury, United will be missing it’s top two goal scorers this match.

The Bad News
We’re mired in a crap patch of form, having lost three matches in a row, and we’re missing Dempsey and Valdez who have reported to USA and Paraguay, respectively. We may also miss Marshall and Evans again through injury, but their status for Wednesday is not yet determined. Although the statistics favour a positive result for the Sounders, this is mitigated by the uncertainty of all the new faces in the squad.

The Rest
Although no players are out this match through suspension, DC United’s Sarvas (7 bookings) may be minding his manners this match as he has a booking accumulation warning from the league. For the Sounders, Alonso is two bookings away from suspension. Dempsey and Valdez will miss this match for Seattle as they are with the United States and Paraguay for Copa America Centenario. Birnbaum and Saborio are likewise with United States and Costa Rica for the same tournament. United are managed by Ben Olsen, a former USA international standout at midfield. Olsen’s record in charge is 82-45-89 (through 1 August 2015).

Familiar Faces
Goalkeeper, Tally Hall was born in SeaTac, WA and played schools football for Gig Harbor HS. Forward, Lamar Neagle, born in Tacoma, played 116 times for the Sounders scoring 26 goals helping us to win two US Open Cups. Forward, Miguel Aguilar, played 73 times for University of San Francisco (NCAA), scoring 15 goals. Defender, Steve Birnbaum would also be on this list with 72 appearances and 12 goals for Cal (NCAA) save for his selection to the American team for Copa America.

Selections for Last Match
DC United: Hamid, Franklin, Opare, Boswell, Kemp, DeLeon, Jeffrey, Sarvas, Neagle, Espindola, Acosta.

Bench: Worra (gk), Robinson, Mishu, Alhaji Kamara, Aguilar, Buescher, Vincent.

Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Scott, Joevin Jones, Alonso, Friberg, Ivanschitz, Kovar, Morris, Gomez.

Bench: Miller (gk), Remick, Fisher, Alfaro, Sturgis, Roldan, Darwin Jones.

Injury List
OUT: Torres (ACL), Anderson (hamstring)
MATCHDAY DECISION: Marshall (hamstring), Evans (head)

DC United-
OUT: Dykstra (back), Korb (ACL), Martin (foot), Rolfe (concussion), Nyarko (concussion)

No players suspended.

Fun Fact
The first ever meeting between DC United and the Sounders was at Royal Brougham Park on 17 June 2009. The match ended in a 3:3 draw. The significant thing about this match is that both sides scored own goals. Burch put one in his own net for United, and Marshall put one in his own net for the Sounders. Rare enough for one own goal to be scored in a match, let alone one own goal for both teams. And the referee for this match…our close personal friend, Ricardo Salazar.


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