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SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. PORTLAND TIMBERS MLS CUP QUARTER-FINAL 2ND LEG – ROYAL BROUGHAM PARK, SEATTLE, WA

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It all comes down to tonight’s second leg in the MLS Cup Quarter-Final at 19:30 hours Pacific Time as our auld and bitter rivals the Treecutters of Portland make the voyage north to the Evergreen to face our beloved Sounders FC. At stake, advancement to the MLS Cup Semi-Finals. Aggregate score: 2:1 favouring the Treecutters.

League table position, irrelevant. Record against common opponents, useless. I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight, but I can tell you it’s not going to be boring getting there.

If you could make it to the ground for no other fixture this season, get yourself down to Occidental Avenue tonight for the conclusion of the MLS Cup Quarter-Final cup tie. I expect to see the Brougham End packed with supporters. Supporters who have rested their voices all day, and conserved their energy to support our beloved Sounders FC with every last erg of human and metaphysical energy possible.

Should you fail in your quest to secure a ticket, gather the Green Family where ye may. At the pub and at each other’s dwellings upon where you will mesh up your collective energies and channel them directly towards our Boys in Green.

It all comes down to tonight brothers and sisters. No quarter will be given. Voices loud, eyes bright. It’s time to demonstrate how football support is properly executed. I can think of no better group than ours. The best supporters in the entire bloody league, and perhaps in all of America. Sure, Timbers Army are going to show up in numbers, but so what? WE ARE LOUDER!!! SOUNDERS FOR THE CUP!

Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

lodeiro
“It’s going to be a final. They know us, and we know them, but each game is different. We have to be concentrated and play the full 90 minutes, 180 minutes. There’s no tomorrow. If you lose this [series], you’re done.” – Nicolas Lodeiro (2 November 2018)
The Good News
The Sounders only need a 1:0 win (or any of a variety of possible results that show the Sounders ahead on aggregate goals) to send the Treecutters packing.

Seattle’s all-time record in the league when hosting Portland is 7-3-1. That’s right, only one loss ever in the friendly confines of Royal Brougham Park. Portland’s away record in the league is an underwhelming 4-5-8 this season. The all-time league matchup favours the Sounders 10-6-7. The Sounders home record this season is 10-2-5.

According to records for goals for/against, the Treecutters are the more statistically likely of the two sides to allow two goals in a match.

The Bad News
The Sounders have only been able to keep one clean sheet against the Treecutters all season. Should Portland score a goal, the scenario becomes much more complicated.

The Sounders loss at Morrison Street was the first defeat in six matches in the league and MLS Cup.

If you look at the numbers, the loss is baffling. The Sounders had the better of possession (55%), with the shots (11:9 to Portland), shots on target (4:3 to Portland), corner-kicks (7:6 to Portland), crosses (23:26 to the Sounders), passing accuracy (83%:79% Sounders), duels won (53-all), and tackles won (12:11 Portland) showing the Sounders close to, equal, or better than our Oregonian hosts. All of which begs the question: “What went wrong?”.

Kim was caught too high on the pitch and was beaten by Ebobisse’s pace. That can’t happen again.

Marshall our best centre-half and perhaps the best in the league has just had surgery to repair a meniscal tear, and Cristian Roldan looks to be out as well with a strained hip flexor. Marshall and Roldan are easily two of the most reliable players in the side. Although this is an advantage to Portland, Seattle have enough depth to cover both left centre-half (Kim and Svensson) and right-wing (Shipp, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Ruidiaz, and possibly even Will Bruin) with quality footballers.

The Treecutters have only two injured players, Roy Miller of Portland and Costa Rica who hadn’t played in one league match, and Jake Gleeson who played only six times in the league this season. So the Treecutters have lost just a reserve player and a rotation player, whereas we have lost two members of the regular first-team in Marshall and Cristian Roldan. Three if you count Morris.

The Sounders are now 0-0-3 in three attempts in the MLS Cup against Portland. Seattle have never kept a clean sheet in the MLS Cup against Portland.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Kim
RCH Torres
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Shipp
ACM Lodeiro
RW Rodriguez
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Kim
RCH Torres
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW Shipp
ST Ruidiaz

Intangibles
A sold-out Royal Brougham Park, jammed full of supporters that are unabashedly, completely, and deafeningly behind their Sounders.

Due to the high-stakes poker of hiding football injuries, it will be unknown if Cristian Roldan will start until just before kick-off.

The Sounders nearly matched or bettered the Treecutters in every facet of the game except goals scored. This is, as a concept, demoralising for our supporters. We can only hope that the Sounders squad are such professionals that they have emotionally wiped the slate clean in preparation to close out the cup tie.

General notes on personnel
Mabiala has served his one-match ban and will be available for the Treecutters tonight.

Portland have lost no top players to injury. The Sounders, however, may be without right-wing, Cristian Roldan, with star centre-half, Chad Marshall out for certain as he’s just had knee surgery. Left-back, Brad Smith’s injury status is unknown, and he continues to be listed as a matchday decision.

Expect Torres to play at right centre-half with Kim sliding left to deputise for the convalescing Marshall.

If Shipp plays alongside Lodeiro and Rodriguez in the midfield tonight, it should be noted that all three players can play as the #10 in addition to both wings. Maybe the Treecutters’ defence is in for a crap night.

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up in the first leg at Morrison Street four days ago)

Goalkeeper –
Jeff Attinella, 30, is a domestic footballer produced by South Florida (NCAA). Attinella has 36 appearances in the team during his two seasons in Portland. Attinella, formerly the goalkeeper for Tampa Bay Rowdies (52 matches/0 goals), is a six-year MLS veteran, making 65 appearances for Salt Lake and Portland since 2013. Attinella has 16 career clean sheets. Attinella has played only three MLS Cup matches with the Treecutters, winning once, losing once and drawing once with one clean sheet.

Defence –
Zarek Valentin, 27, is a domestic footballer produced by IMG Academy, PA Classics, and Akron (NCAA). Valentin played 55 matches with Bodø/Glimt of the Norwegian league and has played 71 times for Portland since his arrival in 2016. Valentin has played 111 matches of MLS football during his five years in the league scoring two goals and assisting on six. Valentin has played in two previous MLS Cup matches.

Bill Poni Tuiloma, 23, will be replaced by Larrys Mabiala, 31. Mabiala is a French national produced by Paris Saint-Germain. In his three seasons contracted to PSG, Mabiala would only appear three times in the league, scoring one goal. A loan to Plymouth in 2007 produced no appearances in the league. A 2009 move to Nice saw Mabiala settle in as a rotation player (36 matches over three seasons). Mabiala moved to Turkey in 2012 signing with Karabukspor (106 matches/3 goals) then of the Turkish top division. After three seasons with Karabukspor, Mabiala signed with Kayserispor (55/3) where he remained for two seasons. Mabiala made his move to Morrison Street in 2017 and has since played 44 matches scoring five goals over his two seasons in Portland. Although born in France, Mabiala has 12 caps for DR Congo. Mabiala has played one match of MLS Cup football in his career in the play-in at Dallas in which he was sent-off.

Liam Ridgewell, 34, is an English national footballer produced by West Ham and Aston Villa. Ridgewell, the old man of the Treecutters’ back four, has played over 300 matches of Premier League football, most notably for Aston Villa (79 matches/7 goals), Birmingham City (152/9), and West Bromwich Albion (76/2). The Bexleyheath native is also a threat to score. Since signing for Portland in 2015, Ridgewell has played 97 times for Portland scoring six goals over five seasons. Ridgewell has played in eight MLS Cup matches scoring one goal.

Jorge Villafana, 29, is a domestic footballer produced by Santa Ana DSP Juventus and Chivas USA. Beginning his career with Chivas USA (86 matches/7 goals) in 2007. Villafana would play six seasons with Chivas USA before moving to Portland in 2014. Villafana played two seasons with the Treecutters (52/2) before being sold to Santos Laguna in 2016. Villafana remained two seasons at Santos Laguna (53/0) before being bought back by the Treecutters in August 2018. It’s a crazy world. Villafana has played eight times for the Treecutters this season since his transfer, bringing his Portland totals to 60 matches with two goals and eight assists over three seasons. Villafana’s MLS totals are 146 matches scoring nine goals and assisting on 14 over 10 seasons. Villafana has played in nine MLS Cup matches and was a member of the Treecutters’ 2015 MLS Cup championship squad.

Midfield –
Diego Chara, 32, is a veteran of Colombian league football produced by Deportes Quindio. Chara began his career with Quindio (124 matches/2 goals) in 2004. In 2009, Chara was signed by America de Cali (31/1). At the end of the 2009-10 season, Chara signed with Deportes Tolima (51/5). Chara’s exploits at Tolima earned him a Designated Player contract with Portland in 2011. Chara has played 232 times for Portland scoring nine goals with 17 assists over eight seasons. Chara has played in 10 MLS Cup matches with Portland scoring two goals and assisting on one. Chara has two caps for Columbia. Chara is Portland’s hard man in the defensive midfield, so fouls and bookings are to be expected.

David Guzman, 28, is a Costa Rican international developed by Saprissa. From 2009-2016, Guzman played 214 times for Saprissa scoring 18 goals. Guzman signed with Portland in 2017 and has since played 39 matches scoring four goals with seven assists. Guzman has played two MLS Cup matches with Portland. Guzman has 51 caps for Costa Rica.

Sebastian Blanco, 30, is an Argentine international produced by Lanus. Blanco began his career at Lanus (128/19) where he played from 2006-2011. Blanco moved to Ukranian club Metalist Kharkiv (68/10) in 2011. Three years later, Blanco would play three matches at West Bromwich Albion before being loaned to San Lorenzo (55/9) in 2015. Blanco would go on to sign with San Lorenzo and played there until being signed by Portland in 2017. Blanco is on a Designated Player contract and has played 64 matches scoring 18 goals and assisting on 19 for Portland whilst committing 90 fouls during his two seasons at Morrison Street. Blanco was twice capped for Argentina scoring once. Blanco has played in two MLS Cup matches.

Diego Valeri, 32, is in the twilight of his career, or so we thought. Valeri played nearly 160 times for Lanus in his native Argentina. Valeri has played 180 times for Portland scoring 68 goals with 65 assists over six seasons. Valeri is on a Designated Player contract, and he has been and continues to be a persistent thorn in our collective bottoms. Yeh, he’s getting long in the tooth, but he can hurt you with his goalscoring, playmaking, and set pieces. Valeri has three caps for Argentina. Valeri has played in 12 MLS Cup matches with the Treecutters, scoring two goals and assisting on six with 16 fouls committed, three of which he was booked for. Valeri is as vital to the Treecutters as Lodeiro is to the Sounders.

Andy Polo, 24, is a Peruvian national, who signed with Portland just this year. Polo has played in 23 of the club’s 34 matches this season. Since his arrival at Morrison Street in 2018, Polo has played 23 matches for Portland with one goal and two assists. Polo had previously played for Columbian giants, Milionarios (11 matches/2 goals), Universitario (57/5) in Peru, and Morelia (24/2) in Mexico’s Liga MX. Polo has 17 caps and one goal for Peru. Polo has played in two MLS Cup matches.

Forward –
Jeremy Ebobisse, 21, is a French-born, domestic footballer produced by Bethesda SC and Duke (NCAA). In 2015, Ebobisse began his career with DC United U-23s (9 matches/6 goals) in the PDL. Ebobisse signed with USL side Charleston Battery (5/2) a year later. In 2017, Ebobisse was drafted by the Treecutters with Portland trading $100,000 in allocation money and the tenth overall pick to Houston to move up to the fourth selection. Since his arrival at Morrison Street, Ebobisse has played 23 matches scoring three goals and assisting on five over two seasons. Ebobisse has three matches of MLS Cup experience scoring one goal. Ebobisse was a standout on the recent USA 2017 U-20 World Cup side. You have to watch out for any footballer that Tab Ramos (USA U-20 manager and former standout international for the Yanks) has marked for success.

Familiar Faces
Portland goalkeeper, Jake Gleeson was offered a trial with the Sounders in 2010, but the New Zealand man (eight caps) declined in favour of a guaranteed contract tendered by the former USL incarnation of the Portland Timbers as they were preparing to make their MLS debut.

Squads
Portland from: Attinella, McIntosh, Clark, Barmby, Cascante, Farfan, Jadama, Mabiala, Olum, Powell, Ridgewell, Tuiloma, Valentin, Villafana, Arboleda, Asprilla, Blanco, Chara, Conechny, Flores, Guzman, Paredes, Valeri, Armenteros, Ebobisse, Langsdorf, Melano, Polo.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Neagle, Ruidiaz.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Portland –
OUT: Miller (thigh), Gleeson (broken leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Marshall (meniscal tear).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Smith (hamstring), Cristian Roldan (groin).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Portland: none suspended. Ridgewell and Chara are carrying bookings from the play-in at Dallas.

Sounders FC: none suspended. Svensson is carrying a booking from the first leg.

Fun Fact
soundersfc.com reports that Sounders’ reserves defender, Denso Ulysse was named to the USL All-League Second Team. Well done, Denso! Way to make us proud and chuff us up.

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PORTLAND TIMBERS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – MLS Cup Quarter-Final 1st Leg – Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon.

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Fasten that seatbelt as the Sounders FC travel down to Morrison Street to contest the first leg of their MLS Cup Quarter-Final against the Treecutters of Portland. The road has been long with many a winding turn for the Sounders FC in 2018. However, with 34 league matches in the bank and a fourth-place league finish, miraculously achieved after sinking to the bottom of the MLS table near the season’s midpoint, our Boys in Green will play in their tenth consecutive MLS Cup playoffs.

Support against the auld enemy is crucial. If you have the time and the means, link up with ECS and get yourself down to the Morrison Street ground to lend your voice to the Emerald City multitudes. If you can’t find your way down to Oregon, gather the Green Family where ye may. Link up with your mates at the pub, or at each other’s dwellings so that we might channel a mighty wave of positive energy in the name of our club and in the name of the Evergreen.

Join me before the kick-off of this vital cup-tie in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

mlscup
Our shiny silver ticket to the CONCACAF Champions League?

The Good News
Portland lost both Adi and Nagbe and never truly replaced them whilst Seattle made significant improvements in the summer transfer window.

It’s been a season of high points for the Sounders.

The Sounders ran off nine consecutive wins in the league between 21 July and 15 September, as part of a 12-match unbeaten run.

The Sounders also set the record for most successful second half of an MLS season with a 15-2-2 record between 4 July and the season finale on 28 October.

Stefan Frei, Chad Marshall, and Osvaldo Alonso have been nominated for MLS post-season awards.

Despite the Sounders’ poor start to the season, they regrouped as a squad and salvaged a fourth-place finish in the league which included a shock second place finish in the conference standings thus bypassing the MLS Cup play-in round.

The Sounders finished a far stronger and more cohesive side than the group that began the season. It seems like the sky is the limit in the MLS Cup for Seattle. Between the acquisition of star striker, Raul Ruidiaz, Liverpool and Bournemouth left-back, Brad Smith (on loan), the resurgence of Victor Rodriguez and Harry Shipp, and the emergence of Handwalla Bwana, we may have assembled the depth to make deep cup runs in the upcoming season.

The Bad News
History does not smile on us when we travel to the Morrison Street ground with the Sounders managing only three wins in the league in 12 attempts (3-3-6). In the league this season, Portland lost at home just twice out of 17 matches (11-4-2).

It’s been a season of low points. The horrendous 3-3-9 start to the season. Losing Morris for the season at Santa Tecla. Injuries to Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Alonso, Torres, and Bwana, and World Cup call-ups for Lodeiro, Torres, and Svensson, leaving a depleted side to mash through the early parts of the season.

Our previous matchup with the Treecutters in the MLS Cup did not go well. It was 2013, and we lost on aggregate 5:3.

In the league our only away goal against Portland was an own-goal, thoughtfully and lovingly directed in by Cascante in our third and final league match against the Treecutters. To be fair, we’ve only played Portland one time since our Independence Day resurgence.

In general, the Sounders have not played particularly well in cup tournaments this season. After dispatching Santa Tecla (5:2 aggregate) in the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16, the Sounders would face CD Chivas of Guadalajara in the Quarter-Finals. This result might have been cause for great celebration if the first leg in El Salvador hadn’t seen starting left-wing, Jordan Morris go down with a torn ACL. An injury that ended his season. The CCL Quarter-Final first leg in Seattle against CD Guadalajara was also a bright start with Dempsey hitting a late winner for a 1:0 victory. The second leg in Zapopan had a promising start with the Sounders holding the Chivas scoreless in the first half. Beginning in the 50th minute, everything began to go sideways as we crashed out of the tournament losing 3:0 in a match where we were outshot 19:3.

The Sounders would fare no better in the US Open Cup, fielding a side of mostly reserves with four rotation players in an away visit to USL side Sacramento Republic. Iwassa scored in the 60th minute for Sacramento, and all seemed lost. Then Shipp, who had come on as a substitute, scored a stoppage-time equaliser to force extra time in the 91st minute. Matjasic would score for Sacramento in the 115th minute, dashing the Sounders’ hopes and seeing them crash out of the Cup in their opening match.

The Sounders only means of qualification for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League is to win the MLS Cup Final.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
ACM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
ACM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

Intangibles
The rivalry, and the unpredictability it creates.

Sounders FC after crashing all the way to the bottom of the league table generate the strongest second-half of the season in MLS history to finish fourth in the league.

Giovanni Savarese was a quintessential competitor when he played for MetroStars and Venezuela in The Before Time. I know this because I watched him play every chance I got. As the manager for the Treecutters, Savarese has shown the same intensity and drive that made him a standout attacker in East Rutherford.

General notes on personnel
Dollars to doughnuts, Portland midfielder, Guzman isn’t going to let his nagging thigh injury prevent him from getting a shot at arch-rivals Seattle.

For the Sounders, it would appear that both Smith (The Gaffer said Smith was “Very close” to being available for selection on 2 November) and Shipp will be available (pretty sure Shipp was on the bench for the final league match against San Jose) despite being listed as injured at mlssoccer.com. This speculation is based on a video interview with the Gaffer that was posted days ago and also a video interview that was published Friday.

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up in Frisco on 31 October for their MLS Cup play-in match)

Goalkeeper –
Jeff Attinella, 30, is a domestic footballer produced by South Florida (NCAA). Attinella has 36 appearances in the team during his two seasons in Portland. Attinella, formerly the goalkeeper for Tampa Bay Rowdies (52 matches/0 goals), is a six-year MLS veteran, making 65 appearances for Salt Lake and Portland since 2013. Attinella has 16 career clean sheets. Attinella has played only two MLS Cup matches with the Treecutters, losing once and drawing once with one clean sheet.

Defence –
Zarek Valentin, 27, is a domestic footballer produced by IMG Academy, PA Classics, and Akron (NCAA). Valentin played 55 matches with Bodø/Glimt of the Norwegian league and has played 71 times for Portland since his arrival in 2016. Valentin has played 111 matches of MLS football during his five years in the league scoring two goals and assisting on six. Valentin played in his first MLS Cup match on 31 October.

Larrys Mabiala, 31, is a French national produced by Paris Saint-Germain. In his three seasons contracted to PSG, Mabiala would only appear three times in the league, scoring one goal. A loan to Plymouth in 2007 produced no appearances in the league. A 2009 move to Nice saw Mabiala settle in as a rotation player (36 matches over three seasons). Mabiala moved to Turkey in 2012 signing with Karabukspor (106 matches/3 goals) then of the Turkish top division. After three seasons with Karabukspor, Mabiala signed with Kayserispor (55/3) where he remained for two seasons. Mabiala made his move to Morrison Street in 2017 and has since played 44 matches scoring five goals over his two seasons in Portland. Although born in France, Mabiala has 12 caps for DR Congo. Mabiala has played one match of MLS Cup football in his career. Mabiala was sent off at Dallas in the Treecutters’ Play-In victory and will be out this match. Mabiala’s likely replacement at centre-half will be Lawrence Olum, 34, (52 matches/2 goals). Olum has played in four MLS Cup matches, two for Portland and two for Kansas City. Olum’s MLS league totals are 138 matches with seven goals over seven seasons.

Liam Ridgewell, 34, is an English national footballer produced by West Ham and Aston Villa. Ridgewell, the old man of the Treecutters’ back four, has played over 300 matches of Premier League football, most notably for Aston Villa (79 matches/7 goals), Birmingham City (152/9), and West Bromwich Albion (76/2). The Bexleyheath native is also a threat to score. Since signing for Portland in 2015, Ridgewell has played 97 times for Portland scoring six goals over five seasons. Ridgewell has played in seven MLS Cup matches scoring one goal.

Jorge Villafana, 29, is a domestic footballer produced by Santa Ana DSP Juventus and Chivas USA. Beginning his career with Chivas USA (86 matches/7 goals) in 2007. Villafana would play six seasons with Chivas USA before moving to Portland in 2014. Villafana played two seasons with the Treecutters (52/2) before being sold to Santos Laguna in 2016. Villafana remained two seasons at Santos Laguna (53/0) before being bought back by the Treecutters in August 2018. It’s a crazy world. Villafana has played eight times for the Treecutters this season since his transfer, bringing his Portland totals to 60 matches with two goals and eight assists over three seasons. Villafana’s MLS totals are 146 matches scoring nine goals and assisting on 14 over 10 seasons. Villafana has played in eight MLS Cup matches and was a member of the Treecutters’ 2015 MLS Cup championship squad.

Midfield –
Diego Chara, 32, is a veteran of Colombian league football produced by Deportes Quindio. Chara began his career with Quindio (124 matches/2 goals) in 2004. In 2009, Chara was signed by America de Cali (31/1). At the end of the 2009-10 season, Chara signed with Deportes Tolima (51/5). Chara’s exploits at Tolima earned him a Designated Player contract with Portland in 2011. Chara has played 232 times for Portland scoring nine goals with 17 assists over eight seasons. Chara has played in nine MLS Cup matches with Portland scoring one goal and assisting on one. Chara has two caps for Columbia. Chara is Portland’s hard man in the defensive midfield, so fouls and bookings are to be expected.

David Guzman, 28, is a Costa Rican international developed by Saprissa. From 2009-2016, Guzman played 214 times for Saprissa scoring 18 goals. Guzman signed with Portland in 2017 and has since played 39 matches scoring four goals with seven assists. Guzman has played one MLS Cup match with Portland. Guzman has 51 caps for Costa Rica.

Andy Polo, 24, is a Peruvian national, who signed with Portland just this year. Polo has played in 23 of the club’s 34 matches this season. Since his arrival at Morrison Street in 2018, Polo has played 23 matches for Portland with one goal and two assists. Polo had previously played for Columbian giants, Milionarios (11 matches/2 goals), Universitario (57/5) in Peru, and Morelia (24/2) in Mexico’s Liga MX. Polo has 17 caps and one goal for Peru. Polo played his first MLS Cup match four days ago in Dallas.

Diego Valeri, 32, is in the twilight of his career, or so we thought. Valeri played nearly 160 times for Lanus in his native Argentina. Valeri has played 180 times for Portland scoring 68 goals with 65 assists over six seasons. Valeri is on a Designated Player contract, and he has been and continues to be a persistent thorn in our collective bottoms. Yeh, he’s getting long in the tooth, but he can hurt you with his goalscoring, playmaking, and set pieces. Valeri has three caps for Argentina. Valeri has played in 11 MLS Cup matches with the Treecutters, scoring two goals and assisting on five with 16 fouls committed, three of which he was booked for. Valeri is as vital to the Treecutters as Lodeiro is to the Sounders.

Sebastian Blanco, 30, is an Argentine international produced by Lanus. Blanco began his career at Lanus (128/19) where he played from 2006-2011. Blanco moved to Ukranian club Metalist Kharkiv (68/10) in 2011. Three years later, Blanco would play three matches at West Bromwich Albion before being loaned to San Lorenzo (55/9) in 2015. Blanco would go on to sign with San Lorenzo and played there until being signed by Portland in 2017. Blanco is on a Designated Player contract and has played 64 matches scoring 18 goals and assisting on 19 for Portland whilst committing 90 fouls during his two seasons at Morrison Street. Blanco was twice capped for Argentina scoring once. Blanco has played in one MLS Cup match.

Forward –
Jeremy Ebobisse, 21, is a French-born, domestic footballer produced by Bethesda SC and Duke (NCAA). In 2015, Ebobisse began his career with DC United U-23s (9 matches/6 goals) in the PDL. Ebobisse signed with USL side Charleston Battery (5/2) a year later. In 2017, Ebobisse was drafted by the Treecutters with Portland trading $100,000 in allocation money and the tenth overall pick to Houston to move up to the fourth selection. Since his arrival at Morrison Street, Ebobisse has played 23 matches scoring three goals and assisting on five over two seasons. Ebobisse has two matches of MLS Cup experience. Ebobisse was a standout on the recent USA 2017 U-20 World Cup side. You have to watch out for any footballer that Tab Ramos (USA U-20 manager and former standout international for the Yanks) has marked for success.

Familiar Faces
Portland goalkeeper, Jake Gleeson was offered a trial with the Sounders in 2010, but the New Zealand man (eight caps) declined in favour of a guaranteed contract tendered by the former USL incarnation of the Portland Timbers as they were preparing to make their MLS debut.

Squads
Portland from: Attinella, Clark, Barmby, Cascante, Farfan, Jadama, Mabiala, Olum, Powell, Ridgewell, Tuiloma, Valentin, Villafana, Arboleda, Asprilla, Blanco, Chara, Conechny, Flores, Paredes, Valeri, Armenteros, Ebobisse, Langsdorf, Melano, Polo.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Neagle, Ruidiaz.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Portland –
OUT: Miller (thigh), Gleeson (broken leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: McIntosh (head), Guzman (thigh).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Smith (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Shipp (hamstring).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Portland: Mabiala is out this match (sent-off). Ridgewell and Chara are carrying bookings from the play-in at Dallas.

Sounders FC: This will be the first MLS Cup match for Seattle. None suspended.

Fun Fact
soundersfc.com reported that Sounders Academy and Indiana University goalkeeper, Trey Muse has been named Big 10 Goalkeeper of the Year. Muse lead Indiana to a 15-2 record allowing 0.54 goals/match and posting eight clean sheets. Well done, Trey!

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The San Jose Earthquakes (v.3.0) fly up to the Evergreen to face our Sounders FC in the final match of the league schedule. You heard me correctly, it’s a Sunday matinee between former rivals of the original NASL. Chris Wondolowski’s Metallo against Stefan Frei’s Superman (Hopefully wearing that killer lead-lined suit). Feel free to insert your own metaphors to describe this clash of old rivals from the way-before-time.

As it often does in MLS, qualification and seeding placement for the League Cup doesn’t get resolved until the last league match of the season. MLS is a fun league like that. FCF, ECS and its subgroups are a pretty resilient lot though, so no worries.

Supporting the Sounders, as always, is vital. As red-letter days go, this fixture is a massive one. So we gather the Green Family where we may. At the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. We will concentrate our voices and focus the energies of the skies, the waters, the mountains and the forests, pouring the life of this region into our Boys in Green and then let the lads settle things on the pitch, as is right and proper.

Join me before kick-off this afternoon in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

Max Smart Shoephone
“Hello…? You say your name is Raul, and you just scored a goal in Seattle?”

The Good News
The Sounders are on song form-wise and have won their last four matches in a row, and are 13-0-2 in our previous 15. This is where we want to be entering the MLS Cup tournament, sharp and relentless.

The Quakes sit in 23rd position at the bottom of the MLS table. The Sounders currently reside in 6th position. Although the teams are both comparable in terms of goal scoring, the Sounders boast the second-best defence in the league.

The Bad News
The only bad news I can think of is that Brad Smith is unlikely to be fit for selection today. Also, the fact that the Sounders, despite their unparalleled second half of the season, could find their final position anywhere between 2nd and 5th place in the conference table.

For San Jose to defeat the Sounders would require some combination of absolute failures throughout the Seattle side and/or the Sounders underestimating San Jose and not selecting a strong enough team to secure the victory. Although these outcomes are possible, based on all available metrics, I believe them to be unlikely.

The Awesome Scenario
The Sounders win. Dallas draws or loses at Colorado. Sporting KC beats or draws LAFC. Sounders avoid the play-in round of MLS Cup and rest in 2nd Place in the conference table.

The Likely Scenario
The Sounders win. LAFC defeat Sporting. Dallas defeats Colorado. Sounders host an MLS Cup play-in match.

The Grim Scenario
Seattle draws or loses. Treecutters defeat the ‘Caps. Dallas defeats Colorado. LAFC defeat Sporting. Sounders face an away MLS Cup play-in match.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

Intangibles
San Jose have nothing to play for except pride. If their new manager is any indication, the Quakes will come out hard and edgy.

The Sounders need to win to have any chance at avoiding the one-match play-in round of MLS Cup. To avoid the play-in, the Sounders would have to win combined with Dallas losing or drawing at Colorado, and Sporting KC defeating or drawing LAFC. The Sounders need only a point to guarantee hosting a play-in match.

General notes on personnel
Despite being listed as injured by mlssoccer.com, the Gaffer led me to believe in a video interview that Torres and Shipp may be available for today’s match.

I have no idea who will line up for the Quakes. Will new Manager Almeyda elect to play his most experienced lineup, or trot out a younger team to see what his club has in the cupboard?

Comparison against common opponents
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA/ SJ 3:2 MIN – MIN 1:3 SJ
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / SKC 3:2 SJ – SJ 1:5 SKC
SEA 3:1 NYC / SJ 1:2 NYC
SEA 0:1 PHI / PHI 1:1 SJ
SEA 4:1 HOU – HOU 2:3 SEA / SJ 2:2 HOU – HOU 3:2
ORL 1:2 SEA / SJ 3:2 ORL
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 2:1 SJ
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / SJ 0:1 POR – POR 2:1 SJ
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / VAN 2:2 SJ – SJ 2:3 VAN
SEA 3:1 DC / SJ 1:3 DC
SEA 5:0 LAG – LAG 3:0 SEA / LAG 1:0 SJ – SJ 3:3 LAG
SEA 1:1 CHI / CHI 2:1 SJ
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / SJ 3:4 LAFC – LAFC 2:0
NE 0:0 SEA / SJ 2:2 NE
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / RSL 1:1 SJ – SJ 0:0 RSL
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 2:0 SJ
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / DAL 1:3 SJ – SJ 4:3 DAL
COL 1:2 SEA – SEA 4:0 COL / COL 2:1 SJ – SJ 0:0 COL
TOR 1:2 SEA / SJ 1:1 TOR
ATL 1:1 SEA / SJ 3:4 ATL
NYRB 2:1 SEA / SJ 1:3 NYRB

Know Thine Enemy
(San Jose as they lined up against Colorado at Coleman Avenue on 21 October)

Goalkeeper –
JT Marcinkowski, 21, is a domestic footballer produced by San Jose Earthquakes Academy and Georgetown (NCAA). Marcinkowski began his career in 2016 with Burlingame Dragons (PDL). Marcinkowski signed a Homegrown Player contract with San Jose in 2017 and has since played four times with the club. All four matches were during the 2018 season. During his loan to Reno 1868, the Quakes’ USL affiliate, Marcinkowski has played 24 matches, all during the 2018 season.

Defence –
Shea Salinas, 32, is a domestic footballer produced by Furman (NCAA). Turning professional in 2005, Salinas began his football apprenticeship in the PDL playing 27 matches over three years for DFW Tornados and Carolina Dynamo, scoring 10 goals in the process. 2008 would see Salinas selected by San Jose in the MLS SuperDraft. Salinas signed with the Quakes in 2008 and played 46 matches over two seasons scoring two goals. 2010 saw Salinas move to Philadelphia where he played 17 matches scoring one goal in his single season at Chester. In 2011, Salinas moved to Vancouver where he played 26 matches scoring one goal in his only season at BC Place. In 2012 Salinas was swapped to San Jose for allocation money. Since his return to the South Bay, Salinas has played 194 times in the league scoring nine goals with 38 assists over seven seasons. Salinas’ total numbers for the Earthquakes are as follows: 240 appearances scoring 11 goals over nine seasons. Salinas’ MLS totals are 283 appearances scoring 13 goals with 46 assists over 11 seasons. You don’t continue to get regular, professional, first-team football for 11 years without having some level of quality and consistency to your game. Though listed as a midfielder, Salinas can also play as a full-back.

Francois Affolter, 27, is a Swiss international produced by Etoile Biel, Biel-Bienne, and Young Boys. Beginning his pro journey in 2008, Affolter would play 100 times for Young Boys scoring two goals. A loan to Werder Bremen saw Affolter play in 13 matches. A 2014 move to Luzern opened a new chapter for Affolter seeing him play 101 times scoring four goals during his three-year tenure with the club. Affolter signed with San Jose on a free transfer in 2017. Since his move to the South Bay, Affolter has played 14 times for the Quakes. Affolter has five caps for Switzerland.

Jimmy Ockford, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by Mount St. Mary’s and Louisville (NCAA). Following a two-year apprenticeship in the PDL and USL with Central Jersey and Reading that began in 2012, Ockford was drafted by the Seattle Sounders FC in 2014. During his time in the Evergreen, Ockford played only one time in the Sounders’ first-team though he played for the New York Cosmos of the NASL (28 matches/2 goals) and the Sounders reserves (13/1) on loan. Ockford would move to Reno 1868 of the USL in 2017 playing 31 times and scoring four goals. In 2018, Ockford was signed by San Jose where he has since played 15 matches, interrupted only by a two-match loan to Reno.

Nick Lima, 23, is a domestic footballer produced by San Jose Earthquakes Academy and California (NCAA). After a brief apprenticeship at Burlingame (PDL), Lima signed with San Jose on a Homegrown Player contract in 2017. Since his signing, Lima has appeared in 55 matches scoring four goals over two seasons.

Midfield –
Jackson Yueill, 21, is a domestic footballer produced by Minnesota Thunder and UCLA (NCAA). After his studies at UCLA, Yueill signed a Generation Adidas contract with MLS in 2016. Yueill was a 6th overall selection for San Jose in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. Yueill would sign with San Jose in 2017 and has played 33 matches over two seasons with the club.

Anibal Godoy, 28, Is a veteran Panamanian international (89 caps, 1 goal) produced by Arsenal di Sarandi and Chepo (113 matches/10 goals). From 2013-2015, Godoy played at Honved in Hungary playing 24 times scoring one goal. In 2015, Godoy signed with San Jose and has since played 85 times for the Quakes scoring five goals with five assists over four seasons.

Tommy Thompson, 23, is a domestic footballer produced by San Jose Earthquakes Academy and Indiana (NCAA). Thompson signed a Homegrown Player contract with San Jose in 2014. Since joining the Quakes, Thompson has played 92 matches scoring one goal. During his contract, he has been on loan at Sacramento Republic (19 matches/4 goals) and Reno 1868 (2/0).

Eric Calvillo, 20, is a domestic footballer produced by Real So Cal. Calvillo’s professional career began in 2016 with the New York Cosmos where he played 19 times scoring four goals. In 2018 Thompson signed with San Jose and has since played two matches.

Forward –
Danny Hoesen, 27, is a Dutch national produced by SV Eikenderveld, Groene Ster, and Fortuna Sittard. His career highlights include playing at Ajax (32 matches/7 goals) from 2012-2014 and Groningen (57/11) from 2014-2017. Lent to San Jose in February 2017, the move would be made permanent in December of that year. Hoesen’s league totals at San Jose are 65 matches and 17 goals with nine assists over two seasons.

Chris Wondolowski, 35, is a veteran domestic footballer produced by De La Salle High School, Diablo Valley Soccer Club, and Chico State (NCAA II). Despite being a 41st overall selection in the MLS Supplemental Draft, Wondolowski has exceeded all expectations in becoming one of MLS’ elite goal-scorers. Signing with the Quakes in 2005 he would make only two first-team appearances with no goals scored. A move to Houston Dynamo the following year saw Wondolowski play 37 matches scoring four goals over four seasons. A return to San Jose in 2009 saw Wondolowski truly hit his stride as a professional playing 287 times for the Quakes scoring 140 goals with 37 assists. Wondolowski’s MLS career totals are 326 matches scoring 144 goals with 39 assists. Wondolowski’s rise to prominence as an attacking player earned him the attention of the United States National Team seeing Wondolowski earn 35 caps scoring 11 goals for the Yanks since his debut in 2011. No MLS player has scored more goals against Seattle than Chris Wondolowski. Wondo has scored 11 goals against the Sounders in the league since the two sides began playing each other in the MLS-era (2009). Wondo is Seattle’s kryptonite.

Familiar Faces
A 2014 2nd round MLS SuperDraft pick for the Sounders FC, defender Jimmy Ockford signed with San Jose in 2018. In Ockford’s three years at Seattle, he played only once in the first team in the league. Ockford played 13 times for Sounders FC reserves (S2) scoring one goal in 2015.

San Jose goalkeeper, Matt Bersano played twice for Sounders FC reserves in 2016. He currently plays with San Jose’s reserve team, Reno 1868.

San Jose midfielder, Chris Wehan played eight matches scoring one goal for Sounders FC U-23s in 2014.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Ruidiaz.

San Jose from: Tarbell, Bersano, Marcinkowski, Affolter, Cummings, Kashia, Lima, Marie, Ockford, Quintana, Qwiberg, Calvillo, Eriksson, Felipe, Fuentes, Godoy, Jungwirth,“Vako” Qazaishvili, Salinas, Thompson, Wehan, Yueill, Hoesen, Musovski, Oduro, Thiaw, Wondolowski.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Shipp (hamstring), Smith (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Torres (knee).

San Jose –
OUT: Partida (ACL), Hyka (multiple facial fractures), Akanyirige (head).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC: none suspended. Alonso and Delem out next booking.
San Jose: none suspended. Felipe out next booking.

Fun Fact
Sounders reserve player, Sam Rogers has been named to Tab Ramos’ roster for the United States U-20 CONCACAF Championship. Well done, lad! Do us proud.

HOUSTON DYNAMO v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Sounders make the trip to Dowling Street, Houston, Texas for a Sunday matinee and penultimate match of the league fixture list.

The Creamsicles are going to trot out their newly won US Open Cup, a trophy we haven’t had a proper crack at in four years, to rub their success right in our faces. The appropriate response to this is executing a scenario in which we again hit four past their hapless goalkeeper, with cheeky Will Bruin taking an active role in humiliating his former teammates.

That’s right. It’s time to deliver a proper battering to our close personal friends, the Creamsicles. To accomplish this task we will not only need the skill, tactics, and resolve of the side, but also a towering display of support and positive energy which we, the supporters, are responsible for delivering.

To do this, we need all hands on deck. So we gather the Green Family where we may, at the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. Football + Pints + Mates = Awesome.

Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

hereswilleh
“HEEEERE’S WILLEH!”

The Good News
Houston is a side we beat 4:1 a fortnight ago. The Sounders’ recent form is better, and we are 12 places above them in the league table. The Sounders’ defence is better, with our goalkeeper better than any Houston have on their roster, and our star players are better and younger than their ageing veterans attempting to hold together the creaky remains of the formidable side that they once were.

The Sounders will be reinforced by the return of Ruidiaz, Lodeiro, and Svensson. This means we will field a stronger side than we did when we pasted the Creamsicles in our last meeting when of those three players only Lodeiro was in attendance.

Darwin Ceren will be serving a one-match ban for too many bookings. Having the veteran Salvadoran defensive midfielder out of the Houston team can only benefit the Sounders.

Victor Rodriguez has been tearing it apart the last few matches. Should he retain this purple patch of form, it’s some bad time news for the Houston team.

Will Bruin loves to score on his old mates from Houston. Expect a particularly gritty performance from him. Bruin will be at his technical and abrasive best.

Since 4 July, the Sounders have only been beaten once in nine away matches, a 3:0 defeat to the Galaxy at Avalon Boulevard.

The Bad News
We have our international players back, but so do Houston. Elis and Quioto will, more likely than not, return to the Houston team, two of the most dynamic wingers in the league. Nouhou and Leerdam will have their hands full with that lot. As they had left to be with their national teams, neither Elis nor Quioto featured against the Sounders on 8 October.

The Sounders are historically crap when playing at Houston. We’ve yet to win at Houston in the league managing only four drawn with four defeats in our eight visits to the land of the Creamsicles. Granted, we succeeded in the MLS Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg 0:2 at Houston, so hopefully the home side won’t be feeling their usual invulnerability against us within their friendly confines. This season, Houston have only been defeated five times in 16 matches.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Houston have nothing tangible to play for whereas if Seattle get every point they can manage they could avoid the play-in round of MLS Cup. No expectations for Houston means no pressure. Could it be the difference in the match? Metrics say no, but I suppose it’s possible.

It’s going to be a queer feeling to see the Creamsicles trot out their US Open Cup victory banner this afternoon at Dowling Street. The US Open Cup was the first trophy the Sounders ever won in the MLS-era in their inaugural 2009 season. The last time the Sounders won that trophy was in 2014. Since the 2014 USOC triumph, we haven’t advanced any further than the Quarter-Finals and twice were eliminated in the fourth round (the first round with MLS sides participating). In 2018 our reserves were eliminated by Sacremento Republic of USL, and in 2017 we fielded our reserves against the San Jose first-team and were again eliminated. On some level, that’s got to hurt.

General notes on personnel
Both sides should have all their players back from international duty. It is likely that Elis and Quioto return to the Houston side.

Comparison against common opponents
ATL 1:1 SEA / HOU 4:0 ATL
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / HOU 1:2 VAN – VAN 2:2 HOU
SEA 2:1 DC / DC 2:2 HOU
NE 0:0 SEA / HOU 0:2 NE
SJ 0:1 SEA / SJ 2:2 HOU – HOU 3:2 SJ
TOR 1:2 SEA / HOU 5:1 TOR
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / MIN 2:1 HOU – HOU 3:0 MIN
SEA 5:0 LAG – LAG 3:0 SEA / HOU 3:2 LAG
SEA 1:1 CHI / CHI 2:3 HOU
SEA 3:1 NYC / HOU 3:1 NYC
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 / RSL 2:1 HOU – HOU 1:2 RSL
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 1:0 HOU
COL 1:2 SEA – SEA 4:0 COL / HOU 2:0 COL – COL 0:0 HOU
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / SKC 3:2 HOU – HOU 0:1 SKC
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / HOU 2:2 LAFC – LAFC 4:2 HOU
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / HOU 1:1 DAL – HOU 1:1 DAL – DAL 4:2 HOU
SEA 0:1 PHI / HOU 1:3 PHI
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / POR 2:1 HOU – HOU 4:1 POR
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 1:0 HOU
NYRB 2:1 SEA / NYRB 1:0 HOU

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up against LAFC at Figeroa Street on 12 October)

Goalkeeper –
Tyler Deric, 30, is a domestic footballer produced by North Carolina (NCAA) and Houston Dynamo Academy. Deric began his pro career with Houston in 2009 and has played 81 times for them, he has only played in one match for them in the league this season.

Defence –
DaMarcus Beasley, 36, is a domestic footballer produced by IMG Academy. Beasley’s MLS career began in Chicago where he scored 14 goals in 98 matches from 2000-2004. In 2004, Beasley would move to PSV Eindhoven of the Dutch Eredivisie where he played 56 times scoring 10 goals from 2004-2007. During his tenure with PSV, Beasley enjoyed a loan at Manchester City playing 18 times scoring three goals. 2007 would bring a move to Glasgow Rangers for Beasley who played 30 times for them scoring four goals. 2010 saw Beasley pack his bags again, this time for Germany where he would play only four matches with Hannover 96 from 2010-2011. A journey to Mexico in 2011 saw Beasley play 92 times for Puebla scoring 12 goals. In 2014, Beasley signed with Houston. Since his move to Dowling Street, Beasley has played 110 times scoring three goals. Beasley’s MLS totals are 208 matches with 17 goals and 24 assists over his ten years in the league. A stalwart for the United States, Beasley has amassed 126 caps scoring 17 goals. Beasley has won a laundry list of honours, and although I won’t list them here, I recommend you look them up, he is an accomplished footballer with the record and trophies to prove it.

Leonardo, 30, is a Brazilian national produced by Sao Paulo FC. Leonardo would never play in the league for Sao Paulo and played his first professional matches in Los Angeles. Leonardo would play 85 times for LA Galaxy scoring two goals from 2010-2016. Leonardo moved to Houston in 2017 and has since played 53 times scoring three goals. Leonardo’s MLS totals are 138 matches with five goals.

Kevin Garcia, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by Villanova (NCAA). Garcia played in the PDL for Long Island Rough Riders (34 matches/1 goal) before being drafted by New England in 2012. Garcia did not sign a contract with the Revs, instead opting for a 2013 move to IFK Lulea (30/3) in Sweden. 2015 would see Garcia move to Galway United (11/0) in Ireland returning to Vasteras SK (11/0) in Sweden before the end of the year. Returning to America, Garcia would sign with Rio Grande Valley FC of the USL (25/1) in 2016. Later that year, Garcia became a Discovery Signing for Houston and has since 15 matches over his three seasons in Texas.

AJ DeLaGarza, 30, is a domestic footballer and Guam international produced by Maryland (NCAA). From 2009-2016, DeLaGarza played 204 times for Los Angeles Galaxy scoring two goals. 2017 would see DeLaGarza move to Dowling Street on a fee of $175,000 in combined allocation funds. Since his move to Houston, DeLaGarza has played 32 matches over his three seasons in Texas. DeLaGarza’s MLS totals are 236 matches played scoring two goals and assisting on seven. DeLaGarza earned two caps for the Yanks before switching to Guam but was never cap-tied. DeLaGarza has 12 caps for Guam since 2013.

Midfield
Darwin Ceren, 28, is a Salvadoran international who has played five seasons in MLS totalling 96 matches, three goals, and six assists since joining Orlando City in 2015. Ceren began his professional career with Juventud Independiente playing 87 times and scoring 15 goals between 2009-2014. In 2014, Ceren moved to the USL iteration of Orlando City (23/2) in 2014 before the club joined MLS. Beginning in 2015, Ceren played 42 times for Orlando City scoring two goals. A 2016 transfer to Coleman Avenue in exchange for a player plus an international roster slot saw Ceren play 33 times for San Jose. January 2018 saw Ceren transferred to Houston for a fee of $175,000 in allocation funds. Since arriving at Houston, Ceren has played 22 matches scoring once in his first season at Dowling Street. Ceren has 41 caps for El Salvador scoring two goals. Ceren picked up a booking against LAFC and will face a one-match ban for this afternoon’s match.

Oscar Boniek Garcia, 34, is a Honduran international produced by Real Patepluma. Boniek Garcia began his pro career with Olimpia in 2004, playing 115 times scoring 14 goals in his eight-year tenure in Tegucigalpa. Boniek Garcia signed with Houston in 2012 and has since played 167 times scoring 13 goals with 37 assists in his seven years in Texas. Boniek Garcia has 125 caps for Honduras scoring three goals.

Adam Lundqvist, 24, is a Swedish international produced by Nykopings BIS and IF Elfsborg. Lundqvist made his name at Elfsborg where he played 110 times scoring three goals between 2011-2018. Lundqvist moved to Dowling Street in March 2018 and has since played 15 matches with his new club. Lundqvist has two caps for Sweden.

Tomas Martinez, 23, is an Argentine national produced by Atletico Beccar and River Plate. He has also seen spells at Tenerife and Braga. Martinez moved from Braga to Houston for €1.68M in July of the 2017 summer transfer window. Martinez has played 38 league matches for Houston scoring seven goals over two seasons assisting on nine.

Memo Rodriguez, 22, is a domestic footballer produced by Houstonians FC and Houston Dynamo Academy. Signed in 2015 by Houston, Rodriguez would toil on loan at Charleston Battery (17 matches/1 goal), moving in the following year to Rio Grande Valley FC (30/5). In 2017, Rodriguez was re-signed by Houston and has since played 28 matches over three seasons scoring three goals.

Forward –
Mauro Manotas, 23, is a Colombian national produced by Uniautonoma. Starting his professional journey in 2014 with Uniautonoma, Manotas played 25 times scoring five goals from 2014-2015. Manotas signed with Houston in 2015 and has since played 94 times scoring 32 goals over four seasons. Manotas has scored 16 goals for Houston this season in 30 matches.

Familiar Faces
Dylan Remick, now a defender at Houston, played with the Sounders FC 44 times from 2013-2016 scoring one goal.

Squads
Houston from: Willis, Seitz, Deric, Nelson, Beasley, DeLaGarza, Donovan, Kevin Garcia, Lundqvist, Machado, Remick, Leonardo, Alvarez, Bird, , Alexander, Boniek Garcia, Gil, Martinez, Memo Rodriguez, Wenger, Elis, Manotas, Pena, Quioto.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Victor Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Ruidiaz.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Houston –
OUT: Watts (hip), Steeves (hip), Cabezas (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Fuenmayor (concussion), Senderos (hamstring).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Shipp (hamstring), Smith (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Torres (knee).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Houston: Ceren is banned this match (accumulated bookings). Lundqvist and Leonardo out next booking.

Sounders FC: none suspended. Alonso and Delem out next booking.

Fun Fact
Houston manager, Wilmer Cabrera, used to be a coach for Suffolk County Community College (NJCAA III) from 2005-2006. The same Suffolk CC Clippers (since renamed to the Sharks) I played for in the early 1990s. Small world, yeh?

ORLANDO CITY SC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It’s a midweek fixture at The Lion’s Den for the Sounders FC in the former Spanish territory of Florida. When we face this particular opponent, you think to yourself “How is it that we’re going to beat Shakespeare’s Orland— I mean Orlando Bloo— I mean Tony Orlando and Daw— I mean Orlando City?”

I’ll tell you how we beat them. With goals, that’s how. We smash the football into the back of their net repeatedly and without mercy making ourselves the worst guests they’ve had the misfortune of hosting. Simple as.

At stake: Securing qualification for MLS Cup. Is MLS Cup the most prestigious trophy we could attempt to win? Debatable. Is MLS Cup the shiniest trophy available? Possibly. Is MLS Cup the physically most massive trophy? It just might be. All we need to secure qualification is two points, and a win gets us three. As matches go, this one looks pretty massive. As massive as the Jet Lag our lads will feel playing in the eastern time zone when it’s only Wednesday arvo here. Relevance established.

As far away as Florida is, there is no escaping the groundswell of energy produced by the Green Family. Gather our numbers where we may, at the pub and at each other’s dwellings. Support, as always, is vital. If we generate the energy, I fully believe the impact will be felt in central Florida.

Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

lodeiro
I don’t suppose we could clone you? Just the once?

The Good News
We’ve never once lost to the Lions (2-1-0). The Sounders have hit eight goals over the last two matches. Eight goals in two matches. We have become the football equivalent of a wood chipper. Genius. The Sounders are 8th in the league table, and Orlando City are second from bottom.

Orlando have only won four matches out of 31 this season and are winless in their last 12 matches. That’s right, Orlando City haven’t won since they beat Toronto FC 2:1 at Church Street. In fact, Orlando City have won only once in their last 22 matches (1-3-18).

The Orlando City defence bleeds goals at a rate of 2.26/match, whilst we are tied with the Red Donkeys for conceding the least goals in the league at 33.

When considering the squad list of our opponent, I only recognise the names Kljestan and Dwyer. As for the rest: “WHO ARE YE?”

The Bad News
The Sounders are missing several key players for this fixture. Smith and Shipp are out with hamstring issues. Lodeiro, Svensson, Delem, and Ruidiaz are gone because they are outstanding enough to be selected by their national teams.

Bruin has served well, ably deputising for Ruidiaz at centre-forward, with his playmaking and goal scoring. However, Svensson and Lodeiro are harder to replace.

Svensson gives us flexibility in the team as he can play both centre-half and defensive midfield at a high level. The absence of both Svensson and Delem means we have no cover at defensive midfield. In my estimation, this forces Cristian Roldan to relinquish his new role at right-wing and return to his natural position.

Lodeiro is the most difficult to replace of the lot. We just don’t have another player that can do what he can. I would attempt to explain it, but Casey Dunau has done a right, proper job of it — INCLUDING VISUALS at Sounder at Heart. Click the link and recognise.

So yeh, we’re miles better in the standings than Orlando and far better recent form, but can we take the points from Florida without Nico?

The Gaffer has hinted that we could see Bwana, Wingo, and Alex Roldan tonight. I wonder if he meant they’ll be in the team or if they’ll come off the bench?

Orlando defeated the Red Donkeys 4:3 this season. When we visited Harrison, we lost 2:1. Orlando also defeated Portland without needing the Treecutters to score on themselves. I’m no happier about it than you, I’m just sayin’.

On paper, it’s the Sounders by a landslide. But I can’t escape the gnawing feeling that this could be the easiest three points we’ve ever dropped by coming out shambles. No pressure, lads.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM C. Roldan
LW Bwana
CAM Rodriguez
RW Wingo
CF Bruin

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM C. Roldan
LW Bwana
CAM Rodriguez
RW Wingo
ST Bruin

Intangibles
Sides like Orlando City, winless in 12 matches, have a tendency to show their teeth at the damnedest times.

General notes on personnel
FIFA window absences will impact this match.

Cyle Larin left Orlando for Turkey and Besiktas, so that’s one ace striker we don’t have to face. Orlando added Sacha Kljestan giving up two players and a stack of cash to the Red Donkeys for his services.

Comparison against common opponents
SEA 2:1 DC / ORL 1:1 DC – DC 3:2 ORL
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / ORL 1:2 MIN
SEA 3:1 NYC / NYC 2:0 ORL – NYC 3:0 ORL – ORL 0:2 NYC
NYRB 2:1 SEA / ORL 4:3 NYRB
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / ORL 3:2 POR
SEA 0:1 PHI / PHI 0:2 ORL – ORL 2:2 PHI
SJ 0:1 SEA / ORL 3:2 SJ
COL 1:2 SEA – SEA 4:0 COL / COL 1:2 ORL
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / ORL 3:1 RSL
ATL 1:1 SEA / ORL 1:2 ATL – ATL 4:0 ORL
TOR 1:2 SEA / TOR 2:1 ORL – ORL 2:1 TOR
SEA 1:1 CHI / ORL 1:2 CHI – CHI 4:0 ORL
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / VAN 5:2 ORL
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 3:0 ORL – ORL 0:2 MTL
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / LAFC 4:1 ORL
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 3:2 ORL
SEA 5:0 LAG – LAG 3:0 SEA / LAG 4:3 ORL
NE 0:0 SEA / ORL 3:3 NE – NE 2:0 ORL
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / SKC 1:0 ORL
SEA 4:1 HOU / ORL 0:0 HOU
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / DAL 2:0 ORL

Know Thine Enemy
(As they lined up in Foxboro on 13 October)

Goalkeeper –
Adam Grinwis, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by Michigan (NCAA). Though Grinwis has 63 matches of experience at the USL level with Michigan Bucks, Rochester, and St. Louis, he has only played twice for Orlando City earning one clean sheet since his signing in January 2018. I would expect that the regular starter Joe Bendik would be in goal for tonight’s fixture.

Defence –
RJ Allen, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by Monmouth (NCAA). Following a 13-match three-goal PDL apprenticeship with Central Jersey, Allen signed with Skive IK of the Danish second division where he played 13 times. Following his stay in Denmark, Allen saw two years without football where he trained with such players as David Villa and Mike Grella whilst coaching youth football in Staten Island. In 2015, NYCFC offered him a contract. Between 2015-17 Allen played 53 matches for NYCFC scoring one goal during his time in The Bronx. In December 2017 Allen moved to Orlando City on a swap deal for a 3rd round draft pick. Since his move to Florida, Allen has played 18 matches assisting on two goals. Allen’s MLS totals are 71 matches with one goal and 13 assists.

Carlos Ascues, 26, is a Venezuelan-born Peruvian international produced by Alianza Lima. In two stints with Alianza Lima, Ascues played 45 matches scoring seven goals. Other notable clubs Ascues played for include Benfica B (22 matches/0 goals) and a single appearance for VfL Wolfsburg. In 2017 Wolfsburg sold Ascues to Alianza Lima. Ascues is currently on loan with Orlando City from Alianza Lima. Since his move to Church Street, Ascues has played seven matches for the Lions. Ascues has 21 caps for Peru with five goals.

Lamine Sane, 31, is a French-born Senegalese international produced by US Lormont, Stade Bordelais, and Bordeaux. Before joining Orlando City in 2018, Sane notably featured for Bordeaux (188 matches/7 goals), and Werder Bremen (38/2). Since moving to central Florida, Sane has played 14 times for the Lions scoring one goal. Sane has 31 caps for Senegal.

Shane O’Neill, 25, is an Irish-born American footballer produced by Colorado Rapids. O’Neill’s career began with Colorado Rapids in 2012 and saw him play 52 times scoring one goal over four seasons. In 2015, O’Neill signed with Apollon Limassol of Cyprus. O’Neill would never play for Apollon instead being lent to Excelsior, Cambridge United (2 matches/0 goals), and NAC Breda (25/1) from 2015-2017. Signing with Excelsior in 2017 produced only one first-team opportunity. At the end of the Belgian season, O’Neill signed with Orlando City on a three-year deal. Since his move to Church Street, O’Neill has played in 10 matches. O’Neill’s MLS totals are 62 matches with one goal over five seasons.

Scott Sutter, 32, is an English-born Swiss international produced by Millwall, Barnet, Aston Villa, Charlton, and Grasshopper. Beginning his professional journey with Grasshoppers in 2003, Sutter would play 62 times scoring two goals for the Zurich club from 2003-2009. 2009 saw Sutter move to Young Boys where he played 185 times scoring five goals during his eight-year tenure in Bern, briefly interrupted by a loan to FC Zurich (13/1). Sutter signed with Orlando City in 2017 and has since played 48 times for his new club scoring four goals and assisting on five. Sutter has two caps for Switzerland.

Midfield –
Chris Mueller, 22, is a domestic footballer produced by Chicago Sockers and Wisconsin (NCAA). Beginning his pro career in 2017 at Chicago FC United (USL 2), Mueller played nine times scoring four goals. Mueller signed with Orlando City after being drafted sixth overall in 2018 and has since played 29 times scoring three goals and assisting on six.

Tony Rocha, 25, is a domestic footballer produced by Tulsa (NCAA). Rocha’s pro career begins with a four-year apprenticeship spent between the PDL, NPSL, and USL. Rocha signed a permanent contract with Orlando City in 2016 and has since played 23 times for the Lions assisting on four goals.

Will Johnson, 31, is a Canadian international produced by Woodridge Storm and Blackburn Rovers. Johnson began his career for Chicago Fire (6 matches/1 goal) in 2005. A 2006 move to The Netherlands and Heerenveen (14/1) produced some opportunity, but most of his Dutch adventure was spent on loan from the Frisian club at De Graafschap (26/2). 2008 saw Johnson return to America signing a contract with Salt Lake (114/9) beginning a four-year term in Sandy. From 2013-2016, Johnson would play with Portland (69/15), and Toronto (23/2) before signing with Orlando City in 2017. Since his move to Church Street, Johnson has played 52 matches scoring three goals and assisting on four. Johnson’s MLS totals are 264 matches with 30 goals and 24 assists over 12 seasons. Johnson has 43 caps for Canada scoring four goals.

Richie Laryea, 23, is a Canadian national produced by Sigma FC and Akron (NCAA). Beginning his career in 2015 with Sigma FC (League1 Ontario), Laryea played 12 times scoring seven goals. A move to Orlando City B (USL) saw Laryea play 35 times scoring three goals. Laryea signed with Orlando City in 2016 and has since played 20 matches assisting on one goal over three seasons.

Forward –
Josue Colman, 20, is a Paraguayan national produced by Cerro Porteno. Colman began his career with Cerro Porteno playing 48 times scoring four goals from 2016-2017. In 2018 Colman signed with Orlando City and has since played 22 matches scoring one goal and assisting on five. With Dom Dwyer having served his one-match ban for accumulated bookings, it’s a safe bet that OCSC’s leading goal scorer will return to the team, likely displacing Colman to the midfield.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Orlando City from: Bendik, Grinwis, Edwards, Allen, Ascues, Giro, O’Neill, Sane, Schuler, Sutter, Toia, Colman, Higuita, Johnson, Kljestan, Laryea, Lindley, Powers, Rocha, Rosell, Dwyer, Mueller, Villarreal.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Wingo, Bruin, Neagle.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Orlando City –
OUT: Stajduhar (Ewing Sarcoma), Da Silva (knee), Spector (back).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Pinho (quadriceps).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Shipp (hamstring), Smith (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

International Call-Ups
(It’s possible that some of these players will be back from international duty. It’s possible that they could be selected by their club manager on short or no rest, but I doubt it. If the player in question didn’t feature for their national team during the break and didn’t have far to travel to Florida, then it’s more likely they would be selected.)

Orlando City: El-Munir (Libya), Tarek (Egypt), Yotun (Peru).

Sounders FC: Delem (Martinique), Lodeiro (Uruguay), Svensson (Sweden), Ruidiaz (Peru).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Orlando City: Yotun (accumulated bookings, but absent with Peru).
Sounders FC: none suspended. Alonso out next booking.

Gone But Not Forgotten
Paul Allen, a member of the Seattle Sounders FC ownership group, died on Monday 15 October of complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Allen was the co-founder of Microsoft, owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, and a philanthropist who donated more than $2 billion towards the advancement of science, technology, education, wildlife conservation, the arts, and community services.

We at Fog City Faithful use this time and space to recognise and respect the magnitude and impact of Mr. Allen’s legacy as we mark his passing.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. HOUSTON DYNAMO

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. HOUSTON DYNAMO
by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Sounders FC face Houston Dynamo in a showdown under the lights at Royal Brougham Park. This marks the first time the clubs have met since the Sounders ran out the Creamsicles 5:0 on aggregate in the 2017 MLS Cup Semi-Final. So no love lost between the sides then.

The Sounders are only two points clear in the MLS Cup qualification zone and are in need of a three-point infusion to solidify their place in the tournament. The matter is complicated however and national team call-ups may severely impact both sides.

We need all the points we can muster, so gather the Green Family where ye may, at the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. Be loud, be heard, and keep it Green. Our numbers shall be legion.

Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

bruin
Guess who likes to score against his old mates?

The Good News
The Sounders are back to winning ways after dropping two matches in a row. The 4:0 pulping of Colorado restored the side’s self-confidence and will serve as fine preparation for tonight’s fixture.

History favours the Sounders when the Creamsicles come calling in the Evergreen. The Sounders are unbeaten at home in the league against Houston with a record of 6-2-0. All-time at either venue the Sounders have a 6-6-4 record. Our home record this season is a reasonably handsome 8-2-5, whilst our guests from Texas have only seen victory once on the road this season (1-5-8). In addition, Houston have only won nine of their 30 matches this season. Looking at records and history, The Sounders’ prospects are bullish.

Regarding defence, the Sounders hold the best record in the league having only conceded only 32 goals this season. Houston bleed an average of 1.5 goals/match. It is unlikely that this will be offset by the Creamsicles’ scoring output, as it is only narrowly greater than ours (difference of 0.3 goals/match). The Sounders tend to play very well when facing sides that struggle to keep the ball out of the net.

The Bad News
Although we have only just righted the ship form-wise, Houston are unbeaten in their last three matches. It must be noted, however, that Houston put four goals past the Treecutters on 15 September. More goals scored on the Timbers than we scored in three matches against them combined.

International call-ups could greatly influence the match for both sides with the FIFA window beginning after tonight’s fixture. The Sounders will certainly be missing Ruidiaz and Svensson. It is possible that Lodeiro and Delem may also be unavailable. Houston have also had five players called up, but to be honest the Creamsicles are on 35 points and can only finish with a maximum of 47 points if they win out. Thus, Houston aren’t expected to qualify for MLS Cup, but they could play spoiler. Not good news when one’s own squad is thinner than usual. In addition to the call-ups, Shipp and Smith are out with hamstring issues. If Will Bruin were to go down tonight…it would be very bad.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim (Torres if Delem joins Martinique)
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Delem (Kim if Delem joins Martinique)
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro (Crisitan Roldan if Lodiero joins Uruguay)
RW Alex Roldan
CF Bruin

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim (Torres if Delem joins Martinique)
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Cristian Roldan (Delem or Kim if Lodeiro joins Uruguay)
LW Alex Roldan (Rodriguez if Lodeiro available)
CAM Lodeiro (Rodriguez if Lodiero joins Uruguay)
RW Neagle (Cristian Roldan if Lodeiro available)
CF Bruin

Intangibles
Seattle are two points clear of the MLS Cup qualification line with four matches left to play.

General notes on personnel
National team call-ups for the upcoming FIFA window will likely restrict the selection for both the Gaffer and Cabrera.

Comparison against common opponents
ATL 1:1 SEA / HOU 4:0 ATL
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / HOU 1:2 VAN – VAN 2:2 HOU
SEA 2:1 DC / DC 2:2 HOU
NE 0:0 SEA / HOU 0:2 NE
SJ 0:1 SEA / SJ 2:2 HOU – HOU 3:2 SJ
TOR 1:2 SEA / HOU 5:1 TOR
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / MIN 2:1 HOU – HOU 3:0 MIN
SEA 5:0 LAG – LAG 3:0 SEA / HOU 3:2 LAG
SEA 1:1 CHI / CHI 2:3 HOU
SEA 3:1 NYC / HOU 3:1 NYC
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 / RSL 2:1 HOU – HOU 1:2 RSL
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 1:0 HOU
COL 1:2 SEA – SEA 4:0 COL / HOU 2:0 COL – COL 0:0 HOU
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / SKC 3:2 HOU – HOU 0:1 SKC
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / HOU 2:2 LAFC
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / HOU 1:1 DAL – HOU 1:1 DAL – DAL 4:2 HOU
SEA 0:1 PHI / HOU 1:3 PHI
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / POR 2:1 HOU – HOU 4:1 POR
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 1:0 HOU
NYRB 2:1 SEA / NYRB 1:0 HOU

Know Thine Enemy
(As they lined up against San Jose on 29 September. As indicated under the Squads sub-heading, some of these players may be unavailable for selection.)

Goalkeeper –
Joe Willis, 30, is a domestic product developed by Denver (NCAA). Willis has played in 61 league matches for Houston keeping 11 clean sheets in his four seasons at Dowling Street. Over his eight-year MLS career, Willis has compiled 84 matches of MLS experience with 15 clean sheets. Willis won the US Open Cup with DC United in 2013.

Defence
Adam Lundqvist, 24, is a Swedish international produced by Nykopings BIS and IF Elfsborg. Lundqvist made his name at Elfsborg where he played 110 times scoring three goals between 2011-2018. Lundqvist moved to Dowling Street in March 2018, and has since played 13 matches with his new club. Lundqvist has two caps for Sweden.

Alejandro Fuenmayor, 22, is a Venezuelan national produced by Carabobo FC. Beginning in 2013, Fuenmayor played for the club that developed him appearing 71 times scoring two goals. Fuenmayor’s move to Houston in January 2018 has seen him play 20 times for his new club scoring three goals.

Kevin Garcia, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by Villanova (NCAA). Garcia played in the PDL for Long Island Rough Riders (34 matches/1 goal) before being drafted by New England in 2012. Garcia did not sign a contract with the Revs, instead opting for a 2013 move to IFK Lulea (30/3) in Sweden. 2015 would see Garcia move to Galway United (11/0) in Ireland returning to Vasteras SK (11/0) in Sweden before the end of the year. Returning to America, Garcia would sign with Rio Grande Valley FC of the USL (25/1) in 2016. Later that year, Garcia became a Discovery Signing for Houston and has since 14 matches over his three seasons in Texas.

A.J. DeLaGarza, 30, is a domestic footballer and Guam international produced by Maryland (NCAA). From 2009-2016, DeLaGarza played 204 times for Los Angeles Galaxy scoring two goals. 2017 would see DeLaGarza move to Dowling Street on a fee of $175,000 in combined allocation funds. Since his move to Houston, DeLaGarza has played 31 matches over his three seasons in Texas. DeLaGarza’s MLS totals are 235 matches played scoring two goals and assisting on seven. DeLaGarza earned two caps for the Yanks before switching to Guam but was never cap-tied. DeLaGarza has 12 caps for Guam since 2013.

Midfield
Darwin Ceren, 28, is a Salvadoran international who has played five seasons in MLS totalling 96 matches, three goals, and six assists since joining Orlando City in 2015. Ceren began his professional career with Juventud Independiente playing 87 times and scoring 15 goals between 2009-2014. In 2014, Ceren moved to the USL iteration of Orlando City (23/2) in 2014 before the club joined MLS. Beginning in 2015, Ceren played 42 times for Orlando City scoring two goals. A 2016 transfer to Coleman Avenue in exchange for a player plus an international roster slot saw Ceren play 33 times for San Jose. January 2018 saw Ceren transferred to Houston for a fee of $175,000 in allocation funds. Since arriving at Houston, Ceren has played 21 matches scoring once in his first season at Dowling Street. Ceren has 41 caps for El Salvador scoring two goals.

Juan Cabezas, 27, is a Colombian national produced by Deportivo Cali. Cabezas played 74 matches for Deportivo Cali scoring nine goals between 2007-2018. Cabezas’ tenure with Cali was interrupted by loan spells with Cucuta Deportivo (6 matches/0 goals), La Equidad (1/0), Once Caldas (34/5), and Independiente Medellin (29/2) before being loaned to Houston in 2017. In December 2017, Cabezas was signed to a permanent contract with Houston. Cabezas has played 32 matches for Houston scoring one goal over his two seasons at the club. Cabezas has only played in five matches this season out of a possible 30.

Memo Rodriguez, 22, is a domestic footballer produced by Houstonians FC and Houston Dynamo Academy. Signed in 2015 by Houston, Rodriguez would toil on loan at Charleston Battery (17 matches/1 goal), moving in the following year to Rio Grande Valley FC (30/5). In 2017, Rodriguez was re-signed by Houston and has since played 27 matches over three seasons scoring three goals.

Tomas Martinez, 23, is an Argentine national produced by Atletico Beccar and River Plate. He has also seen spells at Tenerife and Braga. Martinez moved from Braga to Houston for €1.68M in July of the 2017 summer transfer window. Martinez has played 37 league matches for Houston scoring seven goals over two seasons assisting on nine.

Ronaldo Pena, 21, is a Venezuelan national produced by Caracas FC. Pena would only play four first-team matches with Caracas from 2013-2018. Houston signed Pena in July 2018. Since his move to Dowling Street, Pena has played eight matches scoring one goal.

Forward
Mauro Manotas, 23, is a Colombian national produced by Uniautonoma. Starting his professional journey in 2014 with Uniautonoma, Manotas played 25 times scoring five goals from 2014-2015. Manotas signed with Houston in 2015 and has since played 93 times scoring 31 goals over four seasons. Manotas has score 15 goals for Houston this season in 29 matches.

Familiar Faces
Dylan Remick, now a defender at Houston, played with the Sounders FC 44 times from 2013-2016 scoring one goal.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem*, Lodeiro*, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Wingo, Bruin.

Houston from: Willis, Seitz, Nelson, Beasley, DeLaGarza, Donovan, Fuenmayor, Kevin Garcia, Lundqvist, Machado*, Remick, Alvarez*, Bird, Cabezas, Ceren, Boniek Garcia, Gil, Martinez, Rodriguez, Wenger, Elis*, Manotas, Pena*, Quioto*.

* It is unknown at press time if these players will be unavailable for selection due to national team call-ups.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Shipp (hamstring), Smith (hamstring)
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Houston –
OUT: Senderos (hamstring), Alexander (hamstring), Watts (hip), Steeves (hip).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Leonardo (adductor).

International Call-Ups
(as reported by the Seattle Times via Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart and Houston Dynamo Communications via Houstondynamo.com)

Sounders FC:
OUT: Ruidaz (Peru), Svensson (Sweden).
POSSIBLY AVAILABLE: Lodeiro (Uruguay), Delem (Martinique).

Houston:
OUT: unknown.
POSSIBLY AVAILABLE: Ronaldo Pena (Venezuela), Elis (Honduras), Quioto (Honduras), Machado (Panama), Alvarez (El Salvador).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem and Alonso out next booking.
Houston: none suspended. Boniek Garcia, Lundqvist, and Ceren out next booking.

Fun Fact
Sounders FC players Raul Ruidiaz, Gustav Svensson, Nicolas Lodeiro, and Jordy Delem have been invited to their respective national teams during the upcoming FIFA window. Congratulations, lads. Do us proud.

Correction
At press time last match I listed Deklan Wynne of Colorado Rapids as suspended per MLS.com as he had been sent off in his previous match. Rather than noting the correction on their Disciplinary list, MLS.com simply deleted the entry, which failed to indicate any change in Wynne’s disciplinary status for the upcoming match. Wynne’s sending off was subsequently rescinded, making Wynne eligible to play against the Sounders last Sunday. His manager then selected him on matchday. Please forgive, and know that this misstep will only increase my fact checking vigilance in upcoming reports.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. COLORADO RAPIDS

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. A Saturday matinee at Royal Brougham Park sees us play host to our esteemed guests from Commerce City. Sounders FC. Rapids. May the best club win.

Sure we’ve dropped two matches in a row. I’m nowhere’s near ready to panic over it. In my ever so humble estimation, we’ve been doing the same thing match after match after match. For nine matches in a row, this consistency in approach meant victories. Somehow for the last two, success hasn’t come off. The Gaffer assured members of the media that the side are doing the right things and that all we have to do is keep at it to get positive results. I’m so good with that. What that means to us is that we fortify ourselves, consolidating our might into a massive wall of support to bolster the lads.

After a bit of a pre-match talk from the Gaffer, our lads suit up, do the stretch and jog thing, take the pitch, and dominate. That is all.

Gather the Green Family where ye may, at the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s flats and houses. Our lot make the seemingly impossible, possible. GET IN!

Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

raul
Strike true, Raul. Strike true.

The Good News
We got some lads back from injury. Their number include Bwana, Marshall, Neagle.

History smiles on our Boys in Green. All-time against Colorado our Sounders have a record of 16-2-5. That’s a lot of victories. All-time against Colorado when they visit us at home the Sounders have a record of 9-1-2. Again, a lot of victories. The Rapids road form is for shite at 1-3-10. That’s a ton of defeats. This sets the stage to begin a return to form for Los Sounders.

As far as simple metrics, the Sounders average 0.80 goals/match less than Colorado’s defence. Sounders have the best defence in the league, tied with the Red Donkeys on 32 goals conceded.

Rapids sit second from bottom in the league table in 22nd place. They’ve dropped the last five matches.

The Bad News
We’ve lost both Harry Shipp and newboy Brad Smith to hamstring ailments. They are expected to be unavailable for two to three weeks. Get well soon, lads.
Although the stage is set for our return to form, we still have to remember our lines. The show must go on.

Tim Howard, even in his advanced football grandpa years, is a proper goalkeeper who once protected the sticks for the likes of Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League. Add to him players like Acosta, Gashi, Barnes, and some English and Scottish league veterans and you get a team that has to be respected regardless of their record and current form. Crack the door open just a bit for these lads, and they’ll rip it off its hinges.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Rapids have dropped their last five matches. We’ve dropped our last two. Both clubs will have their backs to the wall thus things are likely to get a bit spiky.

General notes on personnel
Only transfer in this season for Colorado is Giles Barnes from Leon.

Comparison against common opponents
NE 0:0 SEA / NE 2:1 COL
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / COL 2:2 SKC – SKC 1:0 COL
SEA 0:1 PHI / COL 3:0 PHI
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / DAL 1:1 COL
TOR 1:2 SEA / COL 2:0 TOR
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / RSL 3:0 COL – RSL 2:2 COL – COL 0:6 RSL
NYRB 2:1 SEA / COL 1:2 NYRB
SEA 3:1 NYC / NYC 4:0 COL
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / COL 2:3 POR – POR 2:0 COL
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / COL 1:2 VAN – VAN 0:1 COL
SEA 1:1 CHI / COL 2:2 CHI
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / COL 3:2 MIN
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 2:1 COL
SEA 2:1 DC / DC 2:1 COL
SEA 5:0 LAG – LAG 3:0 SEA / COL 2:1 LAG – LAG 2:2 COL
SJ 0:1 SEA / COL 2:1 SJ
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 / LAFC 2:0 COL
ATL 1:1 SEA / COL 0:3 ATL
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 2:1 COL

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up on 22 September at Columbus)

Goalkeeper –
Tim Howard, 39, is a goalkeeper for all seasons proven by a list of honours too long to list here. Starting his pro career in 1997, Tim played 16 matches with North Jersey Imperials. In 1998, Howard signed with MetroStars and played 88 matches. In 2003, Howard was signed by Manchester United where he played 45 times. Forced out at Old Trafford by the signing of Edwin van der Saar, Howard moved to Everton on a loan that would become a permanent contract. Howard played 354 matches with Everton, even scoring one goal! 2016 would see Howard return to his home country, signing with Colorado, where he has since played 70 matches with 16 clean sheets over three seasons. His MLS numbers are 155 matches with 31 clean sheets over nine seasons. Howard earned 121 caps for United States.

Defence –
Deklan Wynne, 23, (suspended) is a South African-born New Zealand international. Started his pro career in 2013 with Wanderers SC in New Zealand (26 matches/0 goals). Wynne would move to join Vancouver Whitecaps reserves (Whitecaps FC 2) (34/2), before signing with Colorado in 2018. Since his move to Colorado, Wynne has played 21 matches with his new club. Wynne has 15 caps for New Zealand. As Wynne will be banned this match for being sent off, you would expect him to be replaced in the team by Edgar Castillo.

Tommy Smith, 28, is a veteran of English football. Smith played 248 times for Ipswich scoring 21 goals between 2007-2018. Smith signed with Colorado in 2018 and has played all 29 matches with his new club scoring three goals assisting on three others. Smith has 36 caps and two goals for New Zealand.

Danny Wilson, 26, is a Scottish international produced by Rangers. Wilson began his career in 2009 with Rangers (14 matches/1 goal). 2010 saw Wilson move to Liverpool where he would only play two matches in the first-team. Loans to Blackpool and Bristol City provided little opportunity, but a subsequent move to Hearts was eventually made permanent. Wilson would play 77 times for Hearts scoring nine goals. 2015 saw Wilson move back to Rangers increasing his totals with the Glasgow club to 79 matches and five goals. 2018 saw Wilson move to Colorado where he has since played 22 times. Wilson has five caps and one goal for Scotland.

Marlon Hairston, 24, is a domestic footballer produced by Louisville (NCAA). Hairston signed with Colorado in 2014 and has played 90 matches scoring seven goals assisting on 11 others over his five seasons.

Midfield –
Dillon Serna, 24, is a domestic footballer produced by Colorado Rapids Academy and Akron (NCAA). Serna signed with Colorado in 2013 and has played 87 times scoring nine goals with six assists over his six seasons at the club.

Jack Price, 25, is an English national produced by Wolverhampton. Starting in 2011, Price played 97 times for Wolves scoring two goals. Price’s spell at Wolves was only interrupted by short loans to Yeovil and Leyton Orient. In 2018, Price moved to Colorado and has since played 27 matches scoring one goal assisting on four others.

Johan Blomberg, 31, is a Swedish national produced by Lunds BK. Best known for his times at Halmstads BK (88 matches/13 goals) and AIK (78/9) between 2012-17, Blomberg moved to Commerce City in 2018 and has since played 21 times for the Rapids assisting on three goals.

Enzo Martinez, 27, is an Uruguayan-born footballer produced by Discoveries SC and North Carolina (NCAA). Initially signed by Real Salt Lake in 2012, Martinez would never play in the first team at Sandy. A loan to Carolina RailHawks of the USL would become a permanent contract after Salt Lake released him. Martinez would play a total of 36 matches scoring nine goals for the RailHawks, moving to Charlotte Independence in 2017. Martinez’ time in Charlotte was his most fruitful yet playing in 79 matches scoring 29 goals over three seasons. Since his move to Colorado in 2018, Martinez has played 20 times assisting on two goals.

Forward –
Kellyn Acosta, 23, is a domestic footballer and a star centrepiece of the rebuilding United States side. Produced by FC Dallas Academy and IMG Academy, Acosta played 117 times scoring 91 goals with 12 assists for Dallas between 2013-2018 before moving to Colorado in a swap deal on 23 July. Since moving to Commerce City, Acosta has played eight matches scoring two goals with two assists. Acosta has 19 caps and one goal for United States.

Shkelzen Gashi, 30, is a Swiss-born Albanian international produced by FC Zurich and Grasshoppers. Between 2005 and 2016, Gashi’s career reads like a tour of Swiss football seeing him most notably play with FC Zurich (47 matches/12 goals), Grasshoppers (60/24), and FC Basel (41/25). After seeing out the season at Basel, Gashi moved to Colorado in 2016. Since his move to the Rapids, Gashi has played 60 matches scoring 13 goals with seven assists over three seasons. Gashi has 17 caps and one goal for Albania.

Familiar Faces
Colorado midfielder, Micheal Azira played 25 times for the Sounders FC.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Svensson, Wingo, Neagle, Bruin, Ruidiaz.

Colorado from: Howard, MacMath, Castillo, Ford, Sjoberg, Smith, Wilson, Acosta, Boateng, Bassett, Blomberg, Gashi, Hairston, Martinez, Price, Serna, Barnes, Boli, Jackson, McBean.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Shipp (hamstring), Smith (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Colorado –
OUT: Nicholson (back), McBean (foot/toe).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem out next booking.
Colorado: Wynne suspended. McBean and Blomberg out next booking.

Fun Fact
(Sourced from a report by Joseph Mondello at SoundersFC.com)

Yanks U-17s have selected four Seattle Sounders FC Academy players to the roster that will compete in the Four Nations Tournament. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Josh Atencio, Ray Serrano, and Danny Robles, you have done us proud already, continue to represent for America and the Evergreen. GET IN, LADS!

 

LOS ANGELES GALAXY v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The streak is dead. Long live the streak.

The Sounders FC travel down to the Southland and the city of Carson to face longtime rivals Los Angeles Galaxy in the hot sun of a Sunday matinee on Avalon Boulevard.

Am I sad the streak is over? Sure I am. But I’m not much bothered by it. The players in the Sounders team are the same ones that built the colossal streak, who says they can’t manage to replicate that effort? It’s time to start a new streak, and who better to be the object of our redemption than the LA Galaxy? The Galaxy done us hard many times before. The names of the villains change, but the arrogance remains the same. Before our nemeses were Donovan and Keane, now it’s Zlatan. It really doesn’t matter who suits up for the Galaxy, though. As I recall we handed them an old-fashioned pasting on 18 August at Royal Brougham Park to the tune of 5:0. Considering the typical Sounders FC response after a streak-ending loss, I think we can look forward to a very gratifying result, indeed.

Gather the Green Family where ye may, at the pub, at each other’s flats and homes, and if you have the means and time – link up with our supporters at the Avalon Boulevard ground. Wherever ye may be, be loud, be joyous, be heard.

Emerald City will be heard. Heartland will be heard. Fog City will be heard. Gorilla FC will be heard. North End will be heard. Eastside will be heard. 253 Defiance will be heard. 542 Brigade will be heard. Anchor-N-Rose will be heard. ASG will be heard. Black Hills will be heard. Dry Side will be heard. European Sounders will be heard. La Barra Fuerza Verde will be heard. Pride of the Sound will be heard. Sounders East will be heard. SoCal Sound will be heard.

Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

foot-xray
Heal, Raul. Heal well and heal fast.

The Good News
Sure the streak is over, but we have nine wins in the last 10 matches. If that isn’t good news, you need to re-examine your definition of good.

In the next match after a loss that followed an unbeaten streak of four matches or better (since 2009), the Sounders record is 13-5-3.

The Sounders are still four points clear of the MLS Cup drop zone.

Last time we played this lot, we pasted them 5:0.

The Galaxy’s home record isn’t that convincing this season at 6-4-4. The Galaxy haven’t won a match since 29 July against Orlando City. The Galaxy have conceded 11 goals over the last two matches. The Galaxy are conceding slightly over two goals a match.

The Sounders are unbeaten in their last six matches against the Galaxy.

The Bad News
The Sounders all-time record against the Galaxy is 7-9-9. Not great. All-time against the Galaxy in Carson, the Sounders record is 3-4-5. Worse than not great. Silver lining: The Galaxy sides that inflicted most of those defeats on us were playing a lot better than the current group is.

The Galaxy are averaging nearly two goals scored per match (1.86).

Although the MLS website doesn’t indicate that Marshall and Ruidiaz are on the injury list, their status is unknown as of today. Although Torres can seamlessly deputise for Marshall, Ruidiaz is not a talent that can easily be replaced in the team. Bruin is a capable enough centre-forward, but will it be enough against a Galaxy side that’s probably still bent out of shape that we manhandled them last time we met?

The fact that the Galaxy are dropping points left and right doesn’t make sense if you add up the quality in their team. Even the law of averages alone should see the Galaxy get better results than they’ve been managing. So one might start to wonder when the proverbial shoe is going to drop. Hopefully not this afternoon.

Winning the league was an almost impossible task for the Sounders after their ugly 3-3-9 start. With Atlanta United earning their 63rd point it is now mathematically impossible for the Sounders to win the league this season. If the Sounders win the remainder of their fixtures, they can only manage 62 points.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall (Torres if Marshall is not fit)
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Ruidiaz (Bruin if Ruidiaz is unfit)

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
ST Bruin

Intangibles
Discounting the smash & grab defeat midweek, the Sounders haven’t been shut out since 7 July in Foxboro.

Comparison against common opponents
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 / LAG 2:1 POR – POR 1:1 LAG
SEA 3:1 NYC / NYC 2:1 LA
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / VAN 0:0 LAG
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 LAG / LAG 4:3 LAFC – LAFC 2:2 LAG – LAG 1:1 LAFC
SKC 2:2 SEA – SEA 3:1 SKC / LAG 0:2 SKC
SEA 1:1 CHI / CHI 0:1 LAG
ATL 1:1 SEA / LAG 0:2 ATL
NYRB 2:1 SEA / LAG 2:3 NYRB
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 / DAL 3:2 LAG – LAG 2:3 DAL
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 0:1 LAG
SJ 0:1 SEA / LAG 1:0 SJ – SJ 3:3 LAG
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / LAG 3:0 RSL – RSL 6:2 LAG
SEA 2:1 DCU / LAG 2:2 DCU
SEA 0:0 CLB / LAG 4:0 CLB
SEA 0:0 NE / NE 2:3 LAG
SEA 0:1 PHI / PHI 1:3 LAG
COL 1:2 SEA / COL 2:1 LAG – LAG 2:2 COL
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / LAG 2:2 MIN
TOR 1:2 SEA / TOR 5:3 LAG

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up in Toronto on 15 September)

Goalkeeper –
David Bingham, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by California (NCAA). Since his trade to Los Angeles in 2018, Bingham has played 29 matches for the Galaxy (every match this season) with six clean sheets. Previously, Bingham played for San Jose where he had spent the bulk of his eight-year professional career. Bingham notably played nine times for Strommen IF of Norway whilst on loan from San Jose. Bingham’s MLS league totals are 125 matches with 33 clean sheets. Bingham has three caps for United States.

Defence –
Ashley Cole, 37, is a veteran English international produced by Arsenal. Barring brief stretches at Crystal Palace and Roma, Cole played 156 times for Arsenal scoring eight goals, and 229 times for Chelsea scoring seven goals. Cole moved to Carson in 2016 and has since played 81 times over three seasons for the Galaxy, scoring three goals. Cole has 107 caps for England.

Jorgen Skjelvik, 27 is a Norwegian international produced by Hosle IL and Stabaek. Before his move to Los Angeles, Skjelvik had played for four seasons at Rosenborg (108 matches/four goals). Before his move to Trondheim, Skjelvik had also played for Stabaek (29/0), and Kalmar (34/1). Since signing with the Galaxy in 2018, Skjelvik has played in all of their 29 matches during his first season. Skjelvik has seven caps for Norway.

David Romney, 25, is a domestic footballer produced by San Francisco (NCAA). Romney’s professional career began in 2015 at LA Galaxy Reserves (LA Galaxy II). Since 2015, Romney has played 67 matches for the Galaxy scoring three goals.

Rolf Feltscher, 27, is a Swiss-born, Venezuelan international produced by Grasshoppers. Feltscher began his career with Grasshoppers playing 64 matches for them between the years of 2007-2010. A move to Parma produced only seven first-team matches and loans to Padova (6/0) and Grosseto (15/0). A return to Switzerland at Lausanne saw him play just eight times. A 2014 move to Germany saw him play 53 matches for MSV Duisburg, scoring two goals. In 2016 Feltscher moved to Getafe but again had troubles cracking into the first-team (7 matches/0 goals). A loan to Zaragoza in 2017 (9/0) was little better and saw Feltscher move yet again to Cardiff City where he wouldn’t get a single first-team match. In 2018 Feltscher signed with the Galaxy and has since played 11 times for his new club, scoring once. Feltscher has 19 caps for Venezuela.

Midfield –
Bradford Jamieson, 21, is a domestic footballer produced by Santa Monica United FC, Cosmos Academy West, Chivas USA Academy, and LA Galaxy Academy. Since his signing with the Galaxy in 2014, Jamieson has played 42 times scoring four goals. In over half his appearances he has come on as a substitute.

Perry Kitchen, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by IMG Academy and Akron (NCAA). In 2011, Kitchen signed with DC United playing 167 times over four seasons scoring 10 goals. In 2016, Kitchen moved to Scotland, signing with Hearts where he played 39 times. 2017 saw Kitchen move to Denmark where he signed with Randers, playing 17 times. In 2018, Kitchen signed with the Galaxy and has since played 28 matches with his new club. Kitchen’s MLS totals are: 186 matches scoring 10 goals. Kitchen has five caps for United States.

Jonathan dos Santos, 28, is a Mexican international produced by Barcelona. Beginning his professional career with Barcelona in 2009, dos Santos only managed to play 14 matches in the first team over his five seasons at the Nou Camp. A move to Villarreal in 2014 produced 88 matches of football and four goals. In 2017 Jonathan moved to Carson and has since played 30 matches for the Galaxy over two seasons, scoring three goals and assisting on eight. Jonathan has 37 caps for Mexico.

Forward –
Ola Kamara, 28, is a Norwegian international produced by Frigg and Stabaek. With a professional career that began in 2006, Kamara played the bulk of that career with Stromgodset where he played 114 times scoring 46 goals. Before he left Europe to come to MLS, Kamara had played for seven different clubs, most notably a ten-match loan spell at 1860 Munich. In 2016 Kamara signed with Columbus and played 59 times scoring 43 goals over two seasons. In January 2018, Kamara was traded to the Galaxy for Gyasi Zardes and $400,000 in Targeted Allocation Money. Since his move to Carson, Kamara has played 26 matches scoring 10 goals. Kamara’s MLS totals are 85 matches and 44 goals over three seasons. Kamara has 11 caps and four goals for Norway.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 36, is a Swedish international produced by FBK Balkan and Malmo FF. Throughout his 19-year professional career, Ibrahimovic has played for some of the most well-known clubs in Europe (Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester United) assembling a staggering number of appearances (517) and equally staggering number of goals scored (319). In a high-visibility transfer, Ibrahimovic moved to Carson in March 2018. Since joining the Galaxy, Ibrahimovic has played 22 times scoring 17 goals, assisting on eight, and infamously refused to play in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game. Ibrahimovic has 116 caps for Sweden scoring 62 goals. Known for his brawny physique and abrasive swagger, Ibrahimovic more often lives up to his own hype machine than he has failed to. A predatory finisher, Ibrahimovic is nearly impossible for defenders to contain, and scored consistently in some of the most challenging leagues in Europe. He has won 33 major trophies and has a list of personal achievements that would require a book to list. At any given moment, Ibrahimovic is the single most dangerous goal-scoring threat on the pitch.

Romain Alessandrini, 29, is a French national produced by CA Plan de Cuques MJC, Marseille, and Gueugnon. Alessandrini began his career with Gueugnon (33 matches/6 goals) in 2008. 2010 saw Alessandrini move to Clermont Foot (68/2) where he played two seasons. Still, two years later in 2012, Alessandrini signed with Rennes (49/16). Following in the change-clubs-every-two-years trend, Alessandrini made a move to Marseille (54/8) where he stayed three seasons. In 2017 Alessandrini moved to LA Galaxy and has since played 51 times scoring 22 goals and assisting on 17 others over his two seasons in Carson.

Familiar Faces
Galaxy defender, Daniel Steres, was waiver drafted by the Sounders, signing with them in 2012, but never played a match in the first team. LA midfielder, Servando Carrasco played 40 times for the Sounders from 2011-2013 scoring once. Former Sounders reserves manager Ezra Hendrickson joined the Galaxy coaching staff as an assistant this season.

Squads
Los Angeles Galaxy from: Bingham, Sylvestre, Vom Steeg, Arellano, Ciani, Cole, Feltscher, Hilliard-Arce, Romney, Skjelvik, Steres, Williams, Alessandrini, Alvarez, Boateng, Carrasco, Jonathan dos Santos, Husidic, Kitchen, Lletget, Joao Pedro, Giovanni dos Santos, Ibrahimovic, Jamieson, Kamara, Lassiter, Pontius.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Bruin, Ruidiaz.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Los Angeles Galaxy –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc), Wingo (concussion).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Los Angeles Galaxy: none suspended. Ciani, Ibrahimovic, and Skjelvik out next booking.
Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem out next booking.

Fun Fact
The top goalscorers for the Sounders FC against LA Galaxy all-time are Morris (3), Dempsey (3), Johnson (3), Montero (3), and the LA Galaxy who have thoughtfully scored on themselves three times.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. PHILADELPHIA UNION

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. After our Cascadia Cup triumph in British Colombia on Sat, the Sounders return to the Evergreen to face Philadelphia Union in a mid-week fixture, under the lights at Royal Brougham Park.

Although the Sounders’ trophy cabinet will not be bare this season, thanks to Saturday night’s result at BC Place, disappointments in both the CONCACAF Champions League and the US Open Cup have pinned our collective hopes towards MLS Cup glory in December.

Although it’s yet possible for the Sounders to win the league, it is highly unlikely. Atlanta United FC are currently top of the league on 57 points with six matches remaining. The maximum points the Sounders can earn is 65 points, a number we will only reach if we win our last seven league matches of the season (including tonight’s fixture). Thus three more victories (or nine points out of a possible 18) for Atlanta United make it impossible for Seattle to win the league.

Putting all of the above aside for the moment, we can only focus on tonight’s fixture and for the best result possible against our opponents from Chester.

Gather the Green Family where ye may, at the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. For 90 minutes on Wednesday night, channel your energy into the Sounders team. May the sound that emanates from us all be both wild and real, much like the Pacific Northwest, manifesting the spirit of the Evergreen itself.

Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

1200px-Philadelphia_Union_2018_logo.svg
“Snakes. Why did it have to be Snakes?” – Indiana Jones

The Good News
The Sounders find themselves four points clear of the MLS Cup qualification line, and 8th place in the league table. Our Boys in Green have won a club-record nine matches in a row, and are unbeaten in 11 matches, two short of tying the club record set in the 2017 season. This current patch is as good as form gets unless it should continue to better and grow with each match. Philadelphia, in contrast, could only manage a draw in Orlando and were pulped at home on Sat by Montreal.

The only Sounders players unavailable for selection are Morris and Chenkham. The rest of the team is, thankfully, healthy. Should Dockal miss tonight’s match due to an ankle problem, the Sounders benefit as he is a Czech international that has been successful wherever he’s played.

The Sounders’ defence is nearly a goal better per match than Philadelphia’s, with both sides scoring at a similar rate (0.06 goals/match difference).

History favours the Sounders when Philadelphia visit the Evergreen (4-0-1). The Sounders have improved their home record this season to 7-2-4. In contrast, Philadelphia’s overall record and their road record reveal a “feast or famine” type of side that has decisively seen victory or defeat in 24 of its 28 matches.

The Bad News
Before their recent winless two matches, Philadelphia had won four straight beating New England twice and NYCFC once during this run.

Nearly the entire Philadelphia team are healthy. Including star players C.J. Sapong, Alejandro Bedoya, and Jamaica first-choice goalkeeper Andre Blake.

In the all-time series between the clubs, the record is even at 4-2-4. Although the Sounders have only lost once in five matches to Philadelphia all-time at Royal Brougham Park, the all-time overall numbers show the sides as evenly matched with respect to results.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
CF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
On 26 September, Philadelphia will play Houston in the US Open Cup Final, a tournament that has seen the Sounders only win one match in three over the past two seasons.

Philadelphia is a true football city, like New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and Los Angeles. They had the Atoms in the NASL-era, and Bethlehem Steel FC currently function as the Union’s reserves (in USL) but had a rich history before that as an amateur club in its original iteration (1907-1930), winning nine league championships, five US Open Cup titles, and six American Cup titles. St. Joseph’s, Drexel, Temple, La Salle, Pennsylvania, and Villanova are all Division I NCAA sides. Amateur sides include Fleisher Yarn, Philadelphia German-Americans, Philadelphia Inter, Philadelphia United German-Hungarians, Lighthouse Boys Club, Junior Lone Star FC, Buxmont Torch FC, Reading United AC, Ocean City Nor’easters. Underestimating clubs from true football cities is unwise. The Union are the adversary today, but I respect their footballing traditions as we wish ours to be respected.

General notes on personnel
The Philadelphia Union feature three legitimate stars in Andre Blake, Alejandro Bedoya, and C.J. Sapong.

Both clubs played in the league on Sat, and are thus on three days off. Three days is supposedly the minimal amount of time for muscle recovery. You’d imagine training for both clubs would be light, centred more on film than conditioning. The short time off may result in adjustments to the team sheet and substitutions tonight.

Comparison against common opponents
NE 0:0 SEA / PHI 2:0 NE – NE 2:3 PHI – PHI 1:0 NE
PHI 0:0 CLB – CLB 1:0 PHI / SEA 0:0 CLB
COL 1:2 SEA / COL 3:0 PHI
SJ 0:1 SEA / PHI 1:1 SJ
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / DAL 2:0 PHI
SEA 2:1 DC / PHI 3:2 DC – DC 0:2 PHI
TOR 1:2 SEA / TOR 3:0 PHI – PHI 0:2 TOR
SEA 0:1 MTL / MTL 0:2 PHI – PHI 1:4 MTL
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / PHI 4:1 RSL
NYRB 2:1 SEA / NYRB 0:0 PHI
SEA 1:1 CHI / PHI 3:1 CHI – CHI 3:4 PHI
ATL 1:1 SEA / ATL 3:1 PHI – PHI 0:2 ATL
SEA 2:0 VAN – VAN 1:2 SEA / PHI 4:0 VAN
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / LAFC 4:1 PHI
SEA 5:0 LAG / PHI 1:3 LAG
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / POR 3:0 PHI
SEA 3:1 NYC / PHI 2:0 NYC

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up against Montreal on 15 September)

Goalkeeper –
Andre Blake, 27, was developed by Connecticut (NCAA). Philadelphia is Blake’s first professional club. Blake has played for the Union 93 times with 25 clean sheets since he signed in 2014. Blake has 31 caps for Jamaica. Jamaica’s run in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup where they made it all the way to the final was mainly due to Blake’s outstanding play during the tournament.

Defence –
Raymon Gaddis, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by West Virginia (NCAA). After a two-year apprenticeship with Reading United, Gaddis joined the Philadelphia first-team in 2012 and hasn’t looked back. Gaddis has played 168 times for the Union over seven seasons.

Auston Trusty, 20, is a domestic footballer produced by Philadelphia Union Academy. Trusty signed with the club in 2016 but spent his first two seasons playing in the reserves (Philadelphia’s USL affiliate, Bethlehem Steel FC). This season has seen Trusty become a first-team regular with Philadelphia having played in all 28 matches scoring one goal.

Jack Elliott, 23, is an English national produced by West Virginia (NCAA). Elliott has played 46 times for Philadelphia scoring three goals over his two seasons with the club.

Keegan Rosenberry, 24, was produced by the Philadelphia Union Academy and Georgetown (NCAA). The Pennsylvania native has played 74 matches scoring three goals with Philadelphia since he signed in 2016. He has played in 26 of 28 matches this season.

Midfield –
Alejandro Bedoya, 31, was developed by Fairleigh Dickinson and Boston College (NCAA). The New Jersey native has seen his football career take him to Sweden (Orebro and Helsingborgs), Scotland (Rangers), and France (Nantes) before arriving at Philadelphia in 2016 on a Designated Player contract. He has played 65 matches for Philadelphia scoring five goals and assisting on eight. Bedoya has 66 caps for United States scoring two goals.

Haris Medunjanin, 33, is a Bosnian national developed by AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands. He has had extensive experience in European football at such clubs as AZ, Real Valladolid, Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Deportivo La Coruna. The Sarajevo native has 60 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina, scoring nine goals in the process. He signed with Philadelphia just before the 2017 season began, and has played 59 times for his new club, scoring four goals and assisting on 18.

Fabrice-Jean “Fafa” Picault, 27, is a product of the Cagliari youth system. At the beginning of his career, he played in the NASL with Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale. After this, he moved to Sparta Prague where he did not make a single appearance. A move followed to FC St. Pauli in Germany where he played 22 times scoring four goals. He signed with Philadelphia just before the 2017 season began, and has played 51 times for his new club scoring 14 goals. Picault has one United States cap.

Borek Dockal, 29, is a Czech international produced by Slavia Prague. Dockal’s professional career began in 2006 with notable stops at Slovan Liberec (84 matches/13 goals), Rosenborg (55/14), and Sparta Prague (95/24). Dockal is currently on loan at Philadelphia from Henan Jianye of the Chinese Super League. Since his arrival in Chester, Dockal has played 26 times for the Union scoring five goals and assisting on 15. Dockal has 27 caps and six goals for Czech Republic. Dockal was on the MLS.com injury list with an ankle sprain at press time. If Dockal’s injury is severe enough, he may be replaced in the team by Fontana, Najem, Jones, Medunjanin, or Bedoya.

C.J. Sapong, 29, is a product of DC United Academy and James Madison (NCAA). Sapong’s eight-year domestic career has seen him play for MLS sides Kansas City and Orlando City before his move to Philadelphia in 2015. He has played 118 times for Philadelphia over four seasons, scoring 36 goals. His career MLS experience is at 228 matches and 56 goals. Sapong has four United States caps. He is amongst the most likely players in the side to score a goal.

Forward –
Cory Burke, 26, is a Jamaican international produced by Old Harbour High. In 2013, Burke began his professional career with Rivoli United (75 matches/25 goals) in the Jamaican league. The Kingston native signed a loan deal with Philadelphia’s reserves (Bethlehem Steel FC) in 2016 but did not see first-team football until this season. Burke has played 24 matches with the Union scoring eight goals. Burke has 14 caps and four goals for Jamaica.

Familiar Faces
Philadelphia Assistant Coach, Pat Noonan, played 21 times for the Sounders FC scoring one goal.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Ruidiaz.

Philadelphia from: Blake, McCarthy, McGuire, Fabinho, Elliott, Gaddis, Marquez, Mbaizo, McKenzie, Rosenberry, Trusty, Yaro, Aaronson, Accam, Bedoya, Creavalle, Epps, Fontana, Herbers, Jones, Medunjanin, Najem, Picault, Sapong, Burke, Przybylko, Simpson.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Philadelphia –
OUT: Real (knee).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Ilsinho (quadriceps), Dockal (ankle).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Sounders FC: none suspended, Delem out next booking.
Philadelphia: none suspended.

Fun Fact
Within the last three years, Sounders FC Academy sides have won the Youdan Trophy (an annual tournament held in honour of England’s first-ever football competition) three times and produced over 24 players that received United States youth call-ups.

(Sourced from an article on SoundersFC.com written by Joseph Mondello)

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Sounders FC leave the friendly confines of the Evergreen for BC Place with its roof of retractable bed linens in a clash of the Titans at 19:00 Pacific Time. At stake: The Cascadia Cup and thus bragging rights over the Treecutters and the ‘Caps. Intensity level: Massive. Quarter to be given: None.

With due respect allowed for what is likely to be our pending qualification for MLS Cup, tonight marks our most important match of the season and last fixture in the Cascadia Cup. If you have the means and the opportunity, contact your local Travel Monkey and saddle up with the ECS and her member groups for a road trip to the Great White North. An ye can’t get out of town this weekend, gather the Green Family where ye may. At the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. Voices loud, eyes bright, the many voices becoming one mighty voice.

Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

CascadiaCup
Soooooo shiny…must haaaaave…

The Good News
The Sounders are in their best form this season. Unbeaten in their last 11 matches (only bettered by a 13-match unbeaten streak last season) with a still-intact club record eight-match string of victories, the Sounders are in the best form they’ve been in since joining MLS.

For the Sounders, all players are available for selection save for Morris and Chenkam. Rodriguez has been dealing with a hamstring problem, and it is uncertain if he will reprise his role on the left-wing tonight. Also, the Gaffer is unlikely to want to replace an in-form Harry Shipp with Rodriguez, so there’s that to consider.

Reyna is suspended tonight for the ‘Caps through accumulated bookings. Reyna is not only a Peruvian international but also earned extensive experience playing in both Austria and Germany. Not having to face him tonight can only be seen as an advantage for the Sounders as Kamara, Techera, and Davies will be more than enough challenge for our defence to cope with.

The half-baked sending-off of Chad Marshall last week was rescinded by an independent disciplinary panel. Therefore, Marshall is available for selection as he does not face the mandatory one-match ban for a sending-off.

The Bad News
The ‘Caps haven’t been defeated since their trip to Seattle on 21 July. During this stretch, they are 4-2-0. This begs the question, what have the ‘Caps learnt since we defeated them on Occidental Avenue? Put in perspective though, three of those wins were against San Jose and Minnesota United. Hedge against that though, are a draw in The Bronx against NYCFC, a home draw against the Red Donkeys, and an away victory against the Treecutters. It’s a mixed bag, really. Don’t precisely know what to make of it.

Tonight’s weather in Vancouver seems to be channelling Old Blighty as the forecast predicts a 100% chance of rain, possibly with thunder and light variable winds. Inclement weather generally lessens the impact of technical skill and increases the chances of error and injury. Be safe, lads.

Selections and substitutions for the Sounders in this match may be adjusted by the midweek fixture on 19 September when we host Philadelphia at Royal Brougham Park.

A loss to Vancouver tonight would likely dash the Sounders’ chances of hoisting the Cascadia Cup. Besides, a Sounders defeat would also see them leapfrogged by the ‘Caps in the conference table, temporarily knocking the Sounders out of the qualification zone for MLS Cup. In either scenario, a defeat is an unacceptable result.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez (if healthy, Shipp if not)
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW C. Roldan
CF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
A victory tonight at Vancouver allows the Sounders to hoist the Cascadia Cup. The only legitimate rivalry cup in MLS. A draw would leave the door open for the ‘Caps to tie the Sounders on points should they defeat Portland on 28 October.

General notes on personnel
Sounders add Ruidiaz and Smith. Vancouver add “who?”. Davies is so skilful, Bayern Munich have purchased his services. Sadly, Davies will not leave for Bavaria until after the end of the MLS league season, and MLS Cup should Vancouver qualify. Thus we have to face him tonight.

Comparison against common opponents
SEA 0:1 MTL / VAN 2:1 MTL
ATL 1:1 SEA / ATL 4:1 VAN
SEA 5:0 LAG / VAN 0:0 LAG – VAN 0:2 LAG
SEA 0:0 CLB / CLB 1:2 VAN
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / RSL 2:1 VAN – VAN 2:0 RSL
SEA 3:1 SKC – SKC 2:2 SEA / SKC 6:0 VAN
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / MIN 1:0 VAN – VAN 4:2 MIN
SJ 0:1 SEA / VAN 2:2 SJ – SJ 2:3 VAN – VAN 2:1 SJ
DAL 3:0 SEA – SEA 2:1 DAL / DAL 2:2 VAN
NE 0:0 SEA / VAN 3:3 NE
COL 1:2 SEA / COL 1:2 VAN – VAN 0:1 COL
SEA 1:1 CHI / VAN 3:2 CHI
SEA 2:1 DC / DC 3:1 VAN
SEA 3:1 NYC / NYC 2:2 VAN
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR – POR 0:1 SEA / POR 1:2 VAN
NYRB 2:1 SEA / VAN 2:2 NYRB

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up at BC Place against San Jose on 1 September)

Goalkeeper –
Stefan Marinovic, 26, is a New Zealand international produced by Waitakere United. Marinovic began his professional career in 2009 with SV Wehen Weisbaden II (the club’s reserve team) playing 36 times for them. During his three seasons in Wiesbaden, he would only make two appearances in the first team. It wasn’t until 2014 that Marinovic found first-team football at SpVgg Unterhaching (3. Liga and Regionalliga) where he would appear in 70 matches over three seasons. In 2017, Marinovic moved to Vancouver where he has since played 22 times over two seasons. Marinovic has 24 caps for New Zealand.

Defence –
Brett Levis, 25 is a Canadian national produced by Saskatoon United and Saskatchewan (U SPORTS). Levis began his career at Victoria Highlanders of the PDL (14 matches/9 goals) in 2013. Levis signed with Vancouver in 2014 playing first with the Whitecaps U-23s (12/2) and later in the Whitecaps reserves (Whitecaps FC 2) (49/8) beginning in 2015. In his three seasons in Vancouver, Levis has played in nine matches, eight of those during the 2018 season.

Aaron Maund, 27, is a domestic footballer produced by FC Greater Boston and Notre Dame (NCAA). Maund began his career at Indiana Invaders of the PDL in 2011. In 2012, Maund signed with Toronto FC and played 15 matches. 2013 would see Maund move to Salt Lake where he would play 64 matches scoring two goals over five seasons. In 2017, Maund moved to BC Place where he has since played 11 matches over two seasons. Maund’s MLS career totals are 90 matches and two goals over seven seasons. Maund earned youth caps for both United States and Trinidad & Tobago.

Kendall Waston, 30, is a Costa Rican international developed by Saprissa. Waston played 41 times for Saprissa scoring eight goals during his eight-year tenure with the club. During that time, he was also lent to several clubs, finally signing with Vancouver in 2014. Since his move to British Colombia, Waston has appeared 109 times for the ‘Caps scoring 14 goals. Waston has 27 caps and three goals for Costa Rica.

Jakob Nerwinski, 23, is a domestic footballer produced by NJSA 04 and Connecticut (NCAA). In 2017, Nerwinski was drafted (seventh pick overall) by Vancouver, signing with them in February of that year. Nerwinski has played 38 times for the Whitecaps over two seasons.

Midfield –
Russell Teibert, 25, is a Canadian international produced by the Toronto FC Academy. Starting in 2008 with 26 matches and three goals for Whitecaps Residency, Teibert would join the Vancouver first team in 2010 and has since played 130 times scoring two goals over eight seasons. Teibert has 20 caps and one goal for Canada.

Aly Ghazal, 26, is an Egyptian international produced by El Sekka El Hadid and Wadi Degla. Ghazal began his career in 2013 at Nacional of the Portuguese league where he appeared 107 times scoring one goal. In 2017, after a brief and unfruitful stopover in China, Ghazal signed with Vancouver. Ghazal has played 23 times for the Whitecaps over two seasons. Ghazal has five caps for Egypt.

Alphonso Davies, 17, is a Canadian international developed by Edmonton Internationals, Edmonton Strikers, and Vancouver Whitecaps. After a 2016 apprenticeship of 11 matches and two goals with the Whitecaps reserves, Davies joined the first team later that year and has since played 59 times for Vancouver scoring six goals and assisting on 11. He has been sold to Bayern Munich and will report to them at the end of his season with the ‘Caps. Davies has seven caps and three goals for Canada. Transfermarkt values Davies at £9 million.

Yordy Reyna, 24 is suspended this match due to accumulated bookings. His replacement might be Anthony Blondell, 24, a Venezuelan international footballer. Beginning his career at Yaracuyanos in 2012, Blondell scored five goals in 40 appearances over two seasons. A move to Zamora in 2014 produced 32 matches and five goals. A 2017 move to Monagas saw Blondell play 39 times scoring 24 goals. In 2018, Blondell signed with Vancouver with FC Dallas receiving $50K in general allocation money for his rights. Since his move to Vancouver, Blondell has played 17 times scoring one goal. Blondell has one cap for Venezuela. To be fair, Vancouver have a ton of depth at this position so it could be Mezquida, Hurtado, or any of four others.

Cristian Techera, 26, is a Uruguayan national produced by Penarol and River Plate Montevideo. Starting his pro career in 2010 with River Plate Montevideo, Techera played 74 matches scoring 18 goals over six seasons. In 2015 Techera was loaned to the Whitecaps with his contract made permanent the next year. Techera has played 97 matches for Vancouver since his loan signing scoring 23 goals and assisting on 14 over four seasons.

Forward –
Kei Kamara, 34, is a Sierra Leone international produced by Kallon FC and CSU Dominguez Hills (NCAA II). So who hasn’t Kamara played for? In MLS alone, he’s played for Columbus, San Jose, Houston, Kansas City, New England, and finally Vancouver in 2018. He’s also had some time in England at Middlesbrough (25 matches/4 goals) and Norwich (11/1). His MLS totals are 308 matches with 109 goals and 43 assists. For Vancouver, he’s played 22 matches with 11 goals and five assists. Kamara has 25 caps for Sierra Leone with five goals.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Vancouver from: Marinovic, Rowe, Melvin, Baldisimo, de Jong, Dominguez, Franklin, Henry, Levis, Maund, Nerwinski, Shea, Waston, Colyn, Davies, Emnes, Ghazal, Hurtado, Juarez, Martins, Mezquida, Norman, Techera, Teibert, Bair, Blondell, Kamara.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, McCrary, Smith, Nouhou, Torres, Alonso, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Dempsey, Ruidiaz.

Injury List
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Vancouver –
OUT: Aja (quadriceps), Mutch (foot).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Chenkam (herniated disc).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Rodriguez (hamstring).

Discipline
(as listed on mlssoccer.com at press time)

Vancouver: Reyna suspended (accumulated bookings).
Sounders FC: None suspended. Delem out next booking.

Fun Fact
Joseph Mondello of SoundersFC.com reports that Danny Leyva, Sota Kitahara, Nico Rei McMillan, and Eric Kinzner of Seattle Sounders FC Academy have been called up to the United States U-16 camp in Bradenton, FL. Well done, lads. Do us proud.