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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)

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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.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Pre-Match Analysis by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Kansas City travel to the Evergreen for a Saturday matinee at Royal Brougham Park against our beloved Sounders. At stake for our Boys in Green: an attempt to stay above the red line to strengthen our bid for MLS Cup qualification, and a chance at climbing as many as three places in the league table from our current perch at eleven. That’s the who, what, when, and where of it. Thankfully the match telecast will be on Joe TV, so no having to listen to toffy, corpo commentators with their crappy biases, an assurance of a pre-match show, and on-time coverage of the kick-off. I think that’s something we can all enjoy.

There’s a lot going on, brothers and sisters. The Sounders announced Clinton “Deuce” Dempsey’s unexpected retirement from football as of three days ago. The Sounders FC continue their torrid rampage through the league having won seven matches running, unbeaten in their last 10. Lodeiro, Ruidiaz, and Svensson have received call-ups in the upcoming window for FIFA International Friendlies with Uruguay, Peru, and Sweden respectively. That seems like only three items, but there is more complexity here than meets the eye.

Dempsey’s retirement marks the end of his successful and turbulent football career. His list of honours is too long to include in this article, but I recommend that you take the time to peruse them. The resume is impressive. Even more impressive when you take into account that Clint was just a scrappy kid from a tough town in Texas who had trouble getting the money together to play on the elite-level youth football club Dallas Texans. But where you find that level of hardship, the seeds of legend are sown.

He scored at every club he played at — New England (71 matches/5 goals), Fulham (189/50), Tottenham (29/7), our beloved Sounders FC (115/47 – tying him with Fredy Montero for most goals ever scored for the club all-time in the MLS-era), and the United States (141 caps/57 goals – tied with Landon Donovan for top goal scorer all-time for the Yanks).

He will be remembered for his technique and skill, a willful single-mindedness to try just about any sort of creative move to attempt to score or enable a teammate to score. He will also be remembered for his sense of fairness and his quick temper, indelibly impressed on all of us when he ripped up the referee’s notebook in the infamous Red Card Wedding incident in the US Open Cup.

Within the context of football history in the United States, Clint was a generational talent who helped to change foreign opinion of American footballers as being lesser-skilled and unable to compete with more elite players from the rest of the world. Clint Dempsey was a one of a kind footballer. And although he is very much alive and well, Clint’s retirement feels like a sort of football death.

So hard, so fearless, so uncompromising, Dempsey has earned and deserves our respect, and I wish him a send-off fit for a victorious chieftain. He deserves no less. It is my great wish that he continues to serve the game he loves so much, and help forge the next generation of American footballers. Thanks for everything ye gave us Clint, and fare ye well.

On to the national call-ups for Ruidiaz, Lodeiro, and Svensson. Run your socks off, and show exactly what it means to wear the Sounders shirt and what a national team gets when they tap one of ours to be in the squad. Train hard, play hard, and most of all – return to the Evergreen uninjured. Congratulations to all three, and best of luck in the upcoming FIFA window.

On to the matter of our excellent run of form. Most statistical models show a return to the mean after a series of outlying results. A return to the mean for the Sounders FC is a depressing thought, indeed. With the above in mind, we may all be beginning to wonder, when, if ever, will the other shoe drop? Maybe it doesn’t have to. Maybe this current iteration of the side has what it takes to make a legendary run, not just for qualification for the MLS Cup, but perhaps a run at the league championship itself. The idea itself is audacious. It would require that frontrunners New York Red Donkeys and Atlanta United experience a near-total collapse over the next seven to eight matches, and the Sounders to win out for their remaining nine league fixtures. But the thing is, it’s possible. Highly unlikely, but mathematically possible. Whether or not we achieve that legendary goal is up to skill, luck, health, and weather. However, I can tell you this much, I will not give up on that dream until it is no longer possible in the slightest.

Support, as always, is vital this day. Form up the Green Family where ye may. Queue up at the pubs where we wish we could stay. Gather at the ground to watch the lads play. Let the glint in our eyes never fade away. Eyes bright, voices loud, Rave green shirts throughout the crowd. ETERNAL BLUE / FOREVER GREEN / SOUNDERS ’TIL I DIE / HEY!!!

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

Dempsey hard as nails
You will be missed.

The Good News
Things are going stupidly well. Like stoppage-time winner against the Loons and the Treecutters score on themselves well. The bulk of the squad are healthy, with the rehabbing Morris and Chenkam the only players out for certain. If Nico and the rest of the lads can keep pace, there’s no reason we can’t continue tearing the league apart.

The Sounders have won seven matches running, and are unbeaten in their last 10 matches. Facing Kansas City at Royal Brougham Park has produced an all-time record in the league of 4-2-2. Kansas City’s away record this season has seen them win only five of 13 matches. The Sounders overall home record this season has improved to 6-2-4. Seattle against Kansas City all-time in the league has seen us win eight of 17 matches.

Seattle continue to be in a tie for best defence in the league having conceded only 26 goals this season. Add to this the fact that our Sounders have scored 13 goals over the last five matches for an average of 2.6/match.

If Rodriguez can’t get past his hamstring issues, Shipp has done an excellent job at left-wing, so no worries either way. If the rest of the lads keep doing as they’ve done, and Frei remains at his best between the sticks, we are in very good shape, indeed.

The Bad News
Sporting have won four matches in a row. Over the last 16 matches, Kansas City have amassed a record of 8-4-4. At 13-6-6, Sporting are the fifth-best team in the league. They have a fine goalkeeper in Tim Melia, standout centre-halves in Opara and Besler, and plenty of firepower in Zusi, Gutierrez, Gerso Fernandes (who infamously hit a hat-trick against us once), Rubio, and Russell. They are an experienced side that lined-up five players over the age of 30 last week. This means they are the type of team that will punish mistakes. I’m sure Preki, Gonzo, and Schmetz are well aware of these things, and that it’s all been prepared for in training this week. But this would be a bad week for complacency to creep in. Make no mistake, this match is a clash of the titans, at least in MLS terms.

Sporting recently torpedoed the Treecutters 3:0 and beat LAFC 0:2 at Figueroa Street. It required the Treecutters scoring a goal on themselves for us to defeat them 0:1 on Sunday, and we weren’t able to manage any goals against LAFC in either fixture this season. Granted, we weren’t the side we are currently when we faced LAFC in March and April. But it’s still worthy of note, and a bit ominous as metrics go.

I recognise the likelihood of Dempsey’s retirement ceremony whipping the supporters into an emotional frenzy. I have to trust that the team will be prepared for this, and will hold their discipline should the match turn dicey. We want to properly see Dempsey into retirement, not emulate his more impulsive behaviours on the pitch. We need the lads focused this afternoon, demonstrating controlled aggression. Let’s fervently hope it doesn’t go all pear-shaped.

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
Dempsey’s retirement ceremony and the massive groundswell of emotion it is sure to create is likely to have an enormous influence on this match. How could it not?

General notes on personnel
Croizet (Mechelen), Russell (Derby and Scotland), and Gutierrez (Betis and Chile) are killer adds by Kansas City. SKC also added a centre-half named Fontas (Celta Vigo and Catalonia). All of them experienced footballers with lots of experience at solid clubs in competitive leagues.

In response, the Sounders killer adds are Ruidiaz (Morelia and Peru), Smith (Bournemouth [on loan from Liverpool] and Australia), and Kim (Shanghai and South Korea).

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

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up on 25 August at State Avenue)

Goalkeeper –
Tim Melia, 32, has 112 matches of experience in his nine-year MLS career, having played 106 of those with Sporting. Melia has 37 career clean sheets. Melia is a top professional who is perhaps unlucky to have not earned a chance at a United States cap.

Defence –
Seth Sinovic, 31, is a domestic footballer developed by Creighton (NCAA). Sinovic has played the bulk of his professional career with Kansas City. Since joining Sporting in 2011, Sinovic has played 179 matches scoring one goal.

Matt Besler, 31, is the current captain at Sporting. Besler has played 248 times for his club scoring three goals. His tenure in Kansas City dates back to their days as Kansas City Wizards. 2018 is the tenth year of Besler’s MLS career. Developed by Notre Dame (NCAA), and the KCFC Alliance, the Overland Park, Kansas native has earned 47 United States caps scoring one goal.

Ike Opara, 29, has played 105 matches with Sporting. Since the beginning of the 2017 season, Opara has started 53 out of a possible 59 matches. Opara has played in 140 career MLS matches and has one cap for United States. Opara was originally a number three overall MLS SuperDraft pick for San Jose.

Graham Zusi, 32, another career Kansas City man, has played 243 times for Sporting, scoring 28 goals with 60 assists over ten seasons. If he’s not hurt, expect him in the team. Zusi has 55 caps and 5 goals for United States.

Midfield –
Felipe Gutierrez, 27, is a Chilean international footballer produced by Everton de Vina del Mar and Universidad Catolica. Gutierrez started out at Universidad Catolica (65 matches/19 goals) in 2009. Three years later, Gutierrez moved to Twente (94/9) in the Netherlands where he would play for four seasons. 2016 saw a move to Spain and Real Betis (14/1) for two seasons interrupted only by a loan to Internacional (16/1) of Brazil in 2017. In January 2018, Gutierrez was released by Betis and moved to Kansas City where he has since played 12 matches scoring five goals. Gutierrez has 35 caps and four goals for Chile.

Ilie Sanchez, 27, is in his second season with Sporting. Since signing in 2017, Sanchez has played 58 matches out of a possible 59 with Kansas City scoring four goals. Before joining Kansas City in 2017, the Barcelona native had played 114 times with Barcelona B, 24 times for 1860 Munich, and 27 times on loan at Elche.

Roger Espinoza, 31, has played his entire nine-year MLS career at Kansas City. The Honduran national has played 213 times for Kansas City scoring six goals with 32 assists. This is Espinoza’s second stint with Sporting, as he left the club in 2013 to play 36 matches at Wigan Athletic in England. Espinoza has 53 caps and 5 goals for Honduras.

Forward –
Gerso Fernandes, 27, a native of Guinea-Bissau was produced by the youth academies of Coimbra and Academica in Portugal. The bulk of Fernandes’ time in Portuguese football was spent at Estoril (93 matches/3 goals) where he played from 2011-2016. Fernandes had never played a match in the first-team at Academica but enjoyed productive loan spells at Tourizense (25/3) and Moreirense (25/5). A move to Belenenses in 2016 (14/1) featured limited opportunities to get on the pitch until he was sold to Kansas City in the following year. Since his move to State Avenue, Fernandes has played 54 matches (of a possible 59) scoring 11 goals.

Diego Rubio, 25, is a Chilean international produced by Universidad Catolica and Colo Colo. His most high-profile tenure was with Sporting Lisbon (11 matches/1 goal) where he saw limited opportunity during his four years, playing mostly with the reserves (52/22). In 2016, Rubio joined Kansas City on loan from Valladolid (13/0) where he had been struggling to get in the team. Kansas City would sign Rubio to a permanent contract later that year. Since his move to America, Rubio has played 46 times for his new club, scoring 14 goals. Rubio has three caps for Chile.

Johnny Russell, 28, another new face at Sporting, has scored two goals in his first six matches with the club. The Scottish international previously played with Dundee United (102 matches/31 goals), and Derby County (182 matches/30 goals). Since his move to Kansas City, Rubio has played 22 times scoring eight goals with eight assists. Russell has five caps for Scotland. Suffice it to say; the man scores goals. Watch for him on the right wing.

Familiar Faces
Brad Evans played 200 matches with the Sounders FC from 2009-2017 scoring 20 goals. A beloved figure and club leader in Seattle, Evans sometimes served as the club’s captain.

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

Kansas City from: Melia, Zendejas, Dick, Besler, Evans, Didic, Fontas, Lindsey, Opara, Sinovic, Graham Smith, Storm, Zusi, Busio, Croizet, Espinosa, Gutierrez, Sanchez, Wan, Gerso Fernandes, Nemeth, Rubio, Russell, Salloi.

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

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

Kansas City –
OUT: Medranda (knee), Belmar (knee), Lobato (quadriceps).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Shelton (MCL).

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

Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem out next booking.
Kansas City: none suspended. Opara out next booking.

Fun Fact
Of the 16 Seattle Sounders to score a goal against Kansas City all-time in the league, none have scored more than one.

PORTLAND TIMBERS 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 Occidental Avenue to travel to Morrison Street to face the auld enemy for the third and last time in the league this season. Although we lost both of the previous matches, I feel it is safe to say “we weren’t ourselves” or perhaps more accurately “we weren’t then who we are now.”

The truth is, I don’t have to hype this match. Not one bit. The rivalry speaks for itself, not only in its authenticity but in its longevity stretching back to when I was a wee lad in 1974. We know what’s at stake, and the acrimony is palpable. It’s quite simple really. I have to resist the urge to strangle something every time that great prat Timber Joey saws on his damned log. Given our improvement, since the summer transfer adds arrived, I feel there is an excellent chance Joey’s entirely-too-noisy chainsaw will choke on the silence of a Sounders FC clean sheet.

As for our number making the trip to Portland, be sensible, stick together, and most importantly, make the most clamourous noise ever heard in the Morrison Street ground. As for those of us unlucky enough to not be able to join our brothers and sisters on the voyage down the I-5 motorway, we must link up the remainder of the Green Family at the pubs we call home, and at our dwellings we call home. Eyes bright, voices loud. It’s time to take the points from the Treecutters and restore the natural order of things with the Sounders higher up the table than our poxy rivals from Portlandia. Assemble your beverages people. It’s going to be a woolly ride.

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

FS1 logo
Although I may have to endure the insufferable arrogance, banal prattle, and glaikit face of Alexi Lalas. And I may perhaps have to listen to Fox’s presenters fawn over Portland as a more accurate representation of the “real” ‘Murica than Seattle. I’m hoping it will be worth it in that Fox Sports 1 just might manage to begin their telecast on time, rather than last week’s abject farce presented to us by ESPN who always seem to schedule programming that runs at least a half-hour into their scheduled MLS telecasts. Dear Bristol, Connecticut, you can take your ESPN subscription and shove it right up your jacksy. How I long for the days of the Before Time when media companies weren’t monopolies. Thank you Ladies & Gentlemen, GOOD DAY!

The Good News
The Sounders FC are unbeaten in nine matches and have won six glorious matches running. It’s beautiful. Even just considering this fact now, I might have to shed a bit of a manly tear.

We’re coming off of a 5:0 pasting of LA Galaxy, a club that used to beat up on us on the regular.

The Treecutters have lost the last three straight having been outscored 9:2 over this stretch. The Treecutters opponents over the previous three matches were Vancouver, DC United, and Kansas City, opponents we either vanquished or drew.

History shows us a ray of sunlight through the clouds as the Sounders all-time record against the Treecutters in the MLS-era is 9-6-7 favouring our boys in Green by two wins.

Should we defeat the Treecutters, we will have 38 points in the league, and leapfrog our rivals in the MLS table.

The Sounders are tied with NYRB for best defence in the league having each conceded a mere 26 goals.

We can rejoice at seeing the back of Fanendo Adi who scored nine goals against us in the league. Bon Voyage, Fanendo and enjoy the local cuisine in Cincinnati, notably chile con carne served over spaghetti. Don’t let the door hit you in the bum on your way out.

Nearly the entire side is healthy and playing well to a man. You have every idea how gratifying it is to be able to write that.

The Bad News
The Treecutters have beaten us in both of our previous meetings in the league this season.

The Treecutters have been defeated only one time in 11 home matches this season. Playing at Portland all-time, Seattle are 2-3-6 which by any estimation is a rather dismal showing.

Although our away form is sharply improving, we have still only won four out of 12 on the road this season.

Although the Treecutters have lost Adi, Mattocks, and Nagbe, they have added Villafana (19 caps for the Yanks) and Armenteros (2 Sweden caps and eight goals so far for Portland in the league).

Before the Treecutters started dropping points on 11 August, they had enjoyed an unbeaten run of 15 matches. This type of thing tends to not happen by accident.

Having lost three in a row, most recently a 3:0 pasting at the hands of Kansas City, you would imagine the disposition of The Treecutters to be nigh on surly. Could get dicey.

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

Intangibles
On 30 June of this season, the Sounders lost to Portland for the first time in Seattle, ever. Response?

Since both clubs entered the MLS-era, neither has won a complete season series over the other. Should Portland win today, it would be the first time one side has swept the other in the league.

The man lucky enough to be the arbiter of this football deathmatch? Christopher Penso. My condolences.

General notes on personnel
Although the Treecutters have lost Adi (FC Cincinnati), their primary goalscorer, Mattocks (DC United), and Nagbe (Atlanta United), they have added Villafana (Santos Laguna and United States) and a handful of loan players from competitive environments.

Know Thine Enemy
(As they lined up at Kansas City on 18 August)

Goalkeeper –
Jeff Attinella, 29, has 31 appearances in the team during his two seasons in Portland. Attinella is a six-year MLS veteran, making 60 appearances for Salt Lake and Portland since 2013. Attinella has 15 career clean sheets.

Defence –
Marco Farfan, 19, is a domestic footballer developed by Portland Timbers. Since he began playing with the first-team in 2017, Farfan has played 16 times over two seasons for Portland.

Julio Cascante, 24, is a Costa Rican international who signed with Portland in 2018. Cascante is a veteran of Costa Rican football (107 matches), most notably playing with Saprissa (54 matches/9 goals) in 2016-17. In his maiden voyage with the Treecutters, Cascante has appeared in 15 matches out of their 23 matches played. Cascante earned one cap for Costa Rica.

Lawrence Olum, 34, is a Kenyan international produced by Missouri Baptist (NAIA). Olum’s career path has been a winding one and has seen him play in the PDL, USL, MLS, and briefly in the Malaysian league. It is noteworthy that Olum played for both Portland and Orlando City when they were USL clubs. Olum also played for Kansas City of MLS for five seasons putting his MLS career totals at 131 matches with six goals. Olum has completed the circle, in a way, signing with the MLS iteration of Portland in 2017. Olum has played 45 times for Portland over 2 seasons scoring one goal. Olum has four caps for Kenya.

Larrys Mabiala, 30, 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 where he remained for two seasons (55/3). Mabiala made his move to Morrison Street in 2017 and has since played 36 matches scoring 4 goals over his two seasons in Portland. Although born in France, Mabiala has 12 caps for DR Congo.

Zarek Valentin, 27, played 55 matches with Bodø/Glimt of the Norwegian league and has played 62 times for Portland since his arrival in 2016. Valentin has played 102 matches of MLS football during his 5 years in the league.

Midfield –
Cristhian Paredes, 20, is a Paraguayan national with 46 matches of professional experience. He was loaned to Portland this season from Club America of Mexico. Paredes has played 16 matches for Portland this season scoring once. Paredes has earned one cap for Paraguay.

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 31 matches scoring two goals. Guzman has 48 caps for Costa Rica.

Andres Flores, 27, is a Salvadoran international developed by Academia La Chelona and River Plate. Before his move to Morrison Street in 2018, Flores played for Metapan (80 matches/8 goals), Viborg (2/1), and the New York Cosmos (79/9). Since signing with Portland, Flores has played in 20 matches. Flores has 57 caps for El Salvador.

Forward –
Samuel Armenteros, 28, is a Swedish international currently on loan from Benevento who were recently relegated from the Italian Serie A. Armenteros was a veteran of Dutch football, playing over 170 matches with Heracles Almelo, Feyenoord, and Willem II. 2018 saw the beginning of Armenteros’ loan to Portland. Since his move to Morrison Street, Armenteros has played in 21 of the Treecutter’s 23 matches scoring eight goals. Armenteros has two caps and one goal for Sweden.

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 171 times for Portland scoring 67 goals with 63 assists over six seasons. Valeri is on a Designated Player contract, and 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 been on the team sheet for all 23 of his club ’s matches this season. Valeri has earned three caps for Argentina.

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, McIntosh, Barmby, Cascante, Farfan, Mabiala, Olum, Powell, Tuiloma, Valentin, Villafana, Arboleda, Asprilla, Blanco, Chara, Conechny, Flores, Guzman, Paredes, Valeri, Williamson, Armenteros, Ebobisse, Langsdorf, Melano, Polo.

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

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

Portland –
OUT: Jadama (thigh), Miller (thigh), Gleeson (broken leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Ridgewell (leg).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Bwana (foot), Dempsey (back), Smith (hip).

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

Portland: none suspended.
Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem and Nouhou Tolo out next booking.

Fun Fact
The children of Yesler Terrace have a brand new space to play in. Thanks to the combined efforts of the RAVE Foundation and the Seattle Housing Authority, Yesler Terrace Park opened yesterday complete with festivities and guest speakers such as Sounders FC owner, Adrian Hanauer. SoundersFC.com referred to the new park as

“a much-anticipated outdoor gathering place featuring an expansive plaza for community events, smaller-scale spaces for assembly and play, a basketball court and a soccer field.”

The development of Yesler Terrace park earned the Seattle Housing Authority the 2018 Urban Soccer Symposium Innovation Award from the United States FA. A hearty “Well done!” to both the RAVE Foundation and the Seattle Housing Authority.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. LOS ANGELES GALAXY

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. LOS ANGELES GALAXY
by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Los Angeles Galaxy make the trip up from the Southland for a Saturday matinee at Royal Brougham Park. The Galaxy have liked to make light work of us over the years, but they are currently on three days rest and are short four of their star players by my reckoning. They’ll have to face an in-form Sounders side in the deafening depths of GREEN HELL! [Maniacal Laughter]. Oh, the just desserts we’d like to return to ye, Los Angeles, torpedoing us with the likes of Donovan, Keane, and Zardes. But all I have to say is “Welcome. Welcome to the Evergreen.”

All hands to Action Stations! Gather the Green Family where ye may, at the pub, at the ground, in each other’s dwellings. We’re cranking on just fine, but it all starts with the support of the Faithful. Wherever you may be, remember how we roll: Voices loud, eyes bright, on form and in song. The Galaxy won’t know what hit them.

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

lodeiro
Don’t think Lodeiro is at the heart of our recent successes? You need to watch this video.

The Good News
Sounders are in their best form of the season yet having won five on the trot and are unbeaten in their last eight matches.

Lodeiro’s play has been a watershed catalyst within our return to form. Although the additions of Ruidiaz and Smith were critical, we are fifty times better with Nico on the pitch, than with him off of it. The Gaffer has moved Nico back to where most of us probably feel he belongs, playing behind the striker as a #10.

We’ve moved up to 12th place in the league table when we were once at the very bottom.

LA are conceding an average of nearly 1.7 goals at the back this season. In recent matches, we have done a fine job of defeating teams with defensive woes.

The Galaxy will face us without either dos Santos brother, Alessandrini and Ibrahimovic, who asked to be dropped rather than play on the artificial surface at Royal Brougham Park. These four players are arguably the most talented in the Los Angeles squad.

In a recent interview, the Gaffer stated that both Bwana and Rodriguez were “available for selection”. This is the closest to having the entire side healthy since the beginning of the season. We’ll only be missing Morris, who continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee and Dempsey who is suffering from back problems.

The Sounders are 2nd overall in league defence, having conceded only 26 goals this season.

The Sounders have picked up their goal scoring during our eight-match unbeaten run at a clip of 1.63 goals/match. This is 0.5 goals/match higher than our season average.

In the last three matches, LA took only one point out of six against Colorado, and could only manage a draw against Minnesota United. These are teams we have beaten.

The Bad News
Historically, we have trouble defeating the Galaxy, even when we are the hosts. They have knocked us out of the MLS Cup three times and eliminated us from the US Open Cup once. We are 6-9-9 against them all-time in the league, and 3-5-4 against them all-time when we are the home side.

LA are scoring nearly two goals per match.

Although the Galaxy haven’t won in three matches, they have lost only twice in the last 13 (6-5-2). Teams that the Galaxy have beaten during their previous 13 matches: Salt Lake, Columbus, New England (away), Philadelphia (away), and Orlando.

Players like Ashley Cole and Chris Pontius have played a ton of football. They are the type of players that will punish any mistakes we might make.

The Side I Would Select
(4-2-3-1, with Rodriguez returning to fitness, I would select him at left-wing over Shipp.)

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
LB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
(4-2-3-1, LA are missing half a team full of stars, I feel the Gaffer will opt for the same team that sank the Dallas.)

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
LB Leerdam
LDM Alonso
RDM Svensson
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW Roldan
ST Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Schmetz v. Sigi

General notes on personnel
Even though the Galaxy added Ibrahimovic, I don’t know if one Zlatan makes up for: No more Robbie Keane. No more Donovan. No more Jermaine Jones. No more Zardes. So better for us, yeh?

Sounders’ transfer window additions, Ruidiaz and Smith, are having a massive positive impact on the side.

Comparison against common opponents
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR / LAG 2:1 POR – POR 1:1 LAG
SEA 3:1 NYC / NYC 2:1 LAG
SEA 2:0 VAN / VAN 0:0 LAG
SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / LAG 4:3 LAFC – LAFC 2:2 LAG
SKC 2:2 SEA / 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 / 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
SEA 2:1 DC / LAG 2:2 DC
SEA 0:0 CLB / LAG 4:0 CLB
NE 0:0 SEA / NE 2:3 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

Know Thine Enemy
(LA Galaxy as they lined up on 14 August against Colorado)

Goalkeeper –
David Bingham, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by California (NCAA). Since his trade to Los Angeles in 2018, Bingham has played 25 matches for the Galaxy. 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 121 matches with 33 clean sheets. Bingham has three caps for United States.

Defence –
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 25 matches during his first season. Skjelvik has seven caps for Norway.

Michael Ciani, 34, is a French international produced by Racing Paris and ES Colombes. Since his professional career began in 2001, Ciani has played for ten different clubs. Ciani notably played for both Bordeaux (91 matches/6 goals over three seasons) and Lazio (48/1 over three seasons). In addition to this, he also played at Racing Paris, Charleroi, Auxerre, Sedan, Lorient, Sporting Lisbon, and Espanyol before moving to Carson in 2017. Since signing with the Galaxy, Ciani has played 25 times scoring two goals. Ciani has one cap for France. Ciani has been listed with a hamstring injury. His likely replacement, should he need one, could be former Sounder, Daniel Steres.

Dave 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 63 matches for the Galaxy scoring three goals.

Midfield –
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 77 times over three seasons for the Galaxy, scoring three goals. Cole has 107 caps for England.

Jonathan dos Santos, 28, is a Mexican international produced by Barcelona. Beginning his professional career with Barcelona in 2009, he 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 28 matches for the Galaxy over two seasons, scoring two goals. Jonathan has 37 caps for Mexico. Listed as injured at press time, Jonathan may be replaced by Joao Pedro.

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 24 matches with his new club. Kitchen’s MLS totals are: 182 matches scoring 10 goals. Kitchen has five caps for United States.

Chris Pontius, 31, is a domestic footballer produced by Irvine Strikers, Servite HS, and UC Santa Barbara (NCAA). Pontius began his MLS career at DC United in 2009. Pontius played 152 times for DC United over six seasons scoring 31 goals. In 2016, Pontius was traded to Philadelphia where he played 63 matches scoring 14 goals. At the end of his contract in Chester, Pontius signed with LA Galaxy in 2018. Since joining the Galaxy, Pontius has played 24 times scoring five goals. LA lists Pontius as a forward. Pontius MLS totals are 239 matches, 50 goals, and 35 assists over ten seasons. Pontius has five caps for United States.

Forward –
Sebastian Lletget, 25, is a domestic footballer produced by Sporting Santa Clara and West Ham United. Beginning in 2010, Lletget’s five-year tenure at West Ham produced no league appearances in the first team. In 2015, Lletget signed with the Galaxy and has since played 74 matches over four seasons scoring 11 goals and assisting on 11 others. Lletget has three caps for United States scoring one goal.

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 19 times scoring 15 goals 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. Ibrahimovic has not travelled with the team to Seattle so look for him to be replaced, perhaps by Ariel Lassiter.

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 22 matches scoring nine goals. Kamara’s MLS totals are 81 matches and 43 goals over three seasons. Kamara has 11 caps and four goals for Norway.

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.

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, Chenkam, Ruidiaz.

LA Galaxy from: Bingham, Sylvestre, Vom Steeg, Arellano, Cole, Hilliard-Arce, Romney, Skjelvik, Steres, Williams, Alvarez, Boateng, Carrasco, Husidic, Kitchen, Lletget, Joao Pedro, Jamieson IV, Kamara, Lassiter, Pontius.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Dempsey (back).

LA Galaxy –
OUT: Feltscher (shoulder), Alessandrini (knee), Giovani dos Santos (leg), Jonathan dos Santos (groin), Ciani (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.
DROPPED: Ibrahimovic (at player’s request).

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

Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem and Nouhou Tolo out next booking.
LA Galaxy: none suspended. Ciani out next booking.

Fun Fact
Henry Wingo scored two goals last Saturday, narrowly missing his hat-trick via a penalty miss, and led the Sounders’ Reserves to a 3:2 victory over San Antonio FC in Tacoma. One of Wingo’s goals was assisted by Alex Roldan. Well done, lads!

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. FC DALLAS

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It’s been a long time since we last played Dallas. I wish I could forget that match, but I just can’t. 18 March, 2:00 p.m., Frisco, Texas. Lamah scored for the Dallas, Dempsey got himself sent off, Svenson booked, Urruti scores 2:0 to the Dallas, then five minutes later Lamah hits his second goal 3:0, Leerdam and Nedyalkov booked, Kim booked, and Neagle booked. It was a laugher.

Except I wasn’t laughing, you see. My heart was breaking. Sometimes everything that can go wrong goes wrong in a football match. We were outshot 19:12, and the Sounders could only manage three shots on frame. We were outdueled 54:40.

It’s not that we had an inferior side either: Frei, Marshall, Leerdam, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, C. Roldan, Svensson, Bwana, Shipp, Dempsey, Wolff Eikrem in the starting eleven that day.

Didn’t help us that Demsey got sent off in the 37th minute and we had to play the rest of the match a man down. It’s past time that the Sounders address the balance to put right the wrongs of how badly the Dallas abused us in March. This time we will be facing most of the same cast, but this time with Lodeiro, a midfield maestro that guarantees that we’re in every match that he plays in, and Ruidiaz, a clinical finisher – driven to succeed in front of his new Green Family, in the team.

No, this won’t be the same match for the Dallas. Not by a long shot. Welcome to Green Hell, Dallas. Royal Brougham Park. 7:00 p.m. Let justice be served.

Gather the Green Family where ye may. At the ground, at the pub, at each other’s dwellings. Raise your voices and raise your glasses in the name of the Sounders FC. Hearts full, voices loud, eyes bright. “We are Sounders/Mighty Sounders/We are Sounders/From Brougham End!”

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

smith
Look what came to us from the merry old land of Oz. Will Liverpool and Austrialia newboy, Brad Smith feature tonight for the Sounders? Hands up who wants to see the newboy get a runout?

The Good News
Our blistering return to form has seen us take 13 points of a possible 15 from the last five matches. The Sounders are unbeaten in their previous seven matches. The Dallas have only managed seven of 15 points in the same span. Over the last 10 matches, the Sounders are 5-3-2, and the Dallas are 6-1-3, relatively even footing.

All-time when Dallas visits Seattle, the Sounders have a nearly perfect record of 8-1-1. The Sounders all-time record in the league against Dallas overall is 10-6-7.

Over the last 10 matches, the Sounders are averaging 1.5 goals/match, making their season average of 1.09 goals/match a misleading statistic. Dallas’ season goal scoring average is 1.64 goals/match. Over the last 10 matches, Dallas has averaged 1.6 goals/match.

Frei, Marshall, Torres, Nouhou Tolo, Leerdam, Kim, Smith, Lodeiro, Dempsey, Rodriguez, Ruidiaz, Svensson, Alonso, and Cristian Roldan are all healthy and available for selection. That’s 14 very good players to fill 11 positions.

The Bad News
Dallas sits 4th in the league table compared to our 13th place.

Dallas has scored more goals this season than the Sounders by a measure of 36:24.

Dallas has a fine away record this season of 5-2-3, whereas the Sounders have only won four of 10 at home this season.

Dallas has the sort of team where it’s difficult to figure out where the goals are going to come from, with the bulk of their team being reasonable threats to score.

The Dallas were embarrassed last week at Coleman Avenue 3:1 by bottom of the table San Jose. They’ll be agitated and looking to redeem themselves.

The Side I’d Select
(4-4-2)
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LW Rodriguez
LDM Roldan
RDM Svensson
RW Lodeiro
CF Dempsey
ST Ruidiaz

The Side I Think the Gaffer Will Select
(4-2-3-1)
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Roldan
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Dempsey
RW Lodeiro
ST Ruidiaz

Comparison Against Common Opponents
SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA / DAL 1:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 DAL
POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR / DAL 1:1 POR
COL 1:2 SEA / DAL 1:1 COL
NE 0:0 SEA / NE 0:1 DAL
SEA 3:1 NYC / NYC 3:1 DAL
SEA 0:1 LAFC / LAFC 1:0 SEA / LAFC 1:1 DAL – DAL 2:1 LAFC
SEA 2:0 VAN / DAL 2:2 VAN
TOR 1:2 SEA / TOR 0:1 DAL
SEA 0:1 MTL / DAL 2:0 MTL
NYRB 2:1 SEA / NYRB 3:0 DAL
SEA 3:1 MIN – MIN 1:2 SEA / MIN 0:1 DAL
ATL 1:1 DAL / DAL 3:2 ATL
SEA 1:1 CHI / DAL 3:1 CHI
SKC 2:2 SEA / SKC 2:3 DAL
SJ 0:1 SEA / DAL 1:3 SJ

Know Thine Enemy
(As they lined up on 4 August in Frisco, TX)

Goalkeeper –
Jesse Gonzalez, 23, played 29 times last season for Dallas. Gonzalez has spent his entire career with Dallas playing a total of 58 league matches over his six years in Frisco. Gonzalez was highly rated by Yanks’ Manager, Bruce Arena, and was added to the USA’s Gold Cup roster last July. One to watch.

Defence –
Marquinhos Pedroso, 24, is a Brazilian national produced by Figueirense. Beginning his pro career for his Academy club, Marquinhos would play 71 times for Figueirense scoring one goal over his six-season tenure in Santa Catarina. In 2017-18, he played 23 times for Ferencvaros in Hungary. In 2018, Marquinhos made his move to Dallas and has since played in two matches for the Texan side.

Reto Ziegler, 32, is a veteran Swiss footballer produced by such youth setups as Servette and Grasshopper Zurich. He began his career with Grasshopper 16 years ago. His experience spans over 380 matches of football at such clubs as SV Hamburg, Tottenham, Grasshopper, Wigan, Sampdoria, Fenerbahce, Sassuolo, FC Sion, and most recently Luzern. Since his move to Dallas, Ziegler has played 20 matches scoring three goals. Ziegler has 35 caps and one goal for Switzerland.

Matt Hedges, 28, has played 198 MLS matches, all for FC Dallas. This season will be Hedges’ seventh season representing Dallas. He has scored 14 career goals in the league. Hedges has five caps for United States.

Reggie Cannon, 20, in his second season with FC Dallas, has a total of 23 matches of MLS experience. Cannon is a product of UCLA (NCAA) and FC Dallas Academy. The Chicago native has played with the Yanks’ U-17 and U-19 teams. Promising, but just on solid food and out of short pants. Cannon may be unavailable for tonight’s match as he is known to be nursing a hamstring problem.

Midfield –
Victor Ulloa, 26, has played 132 times in the league for the Dallas scoring four goals since his arrival in 2011. If Ulloa is fit, it’s pretty likely you’ll see his name in the team sheet. Out of a possible 136 matches over the last four seasons, Ulloa has played in 103.

Carlos Gruezo, 23, is an Ecuadoran international. After 81 matches and three goals playing in his native Ecuador for three years, Gruezo moved to VfB Stuttgart in 2014. Over two seasons in the Bundesliga, Gruezo played 18 times for Stuttgart scoring once. 2016 saw Gruezo move to Dallas, where he has since played 79 matches scoring two goals over three seasons. Gruezo has 17 caps for Ecuador.

Tesho Akindele, 26, is a Canadian international. Since joining Dallas in 2014, Akindele has played 124 matches scoring 24 goals over five seasons. Akindele has 14 caps and two goals for Canada.

Maximiliano “Maxi” Urruti, 27, has played 150 times in his six-year MLS career, scoring 42 goals. The Argentinian had previously played for Portland and Toronto in MLS, after beginning his career in 2011 with Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, playing 57 times and scoring 12 goals for the club that produced him. I guess the burning question for me with Urruti is: “If he’s such a good goal-scorer, how come he never played for Argentina?” Since his move to Dallas, Urruti has played 83 matches and scored 27 goals.

Roland Lamah, 30, is a Belgian international. After playing for 13 years in such exotic locales as Anderlecht, Roda, Le Mans, Osasuna, Swansea City, and Ferencvaros, Lamah joined FC Dallas in 2017. Since his move to Frisco, Lamah has played 54 matches scoring 19 goals over two seasons. Lamah, although an Ivorian native, has five caps for Belgium.

Forward –
Michael Barrios, 27, is a Colombian footballer who has played over 114 times for FC Dallas, scoring 22 goals. Before his 2011 move to Texas, Barrios played 140 times for Uniautonoma in the Colombian top flight, scoring 35 goals over four seasons.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

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

Dallas from: Gonzalez, Maurer, Zobeck, Cano, Figueroa, Hedges, Hernandez, Marquinhos Pedroso, Reaves, Ziegler, Aranguiz, Barrios, Gruezo, Hayes, Hollingshead, Lamah, Pomykal, Roberts, Servania, Ulloa, Akindele, Badji, Colman, Ferreira, Reid, Reynolds, Urruti.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Bwana (foot).

Dallas –
OUT: Mosquera (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Cannon (hamstring).

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

Sounders FC: none suspended. Delem and Nouhou Tolo out next booking.
Dallas: none suspended.

Fun Fact
Should Montreal (@RSL) and Vancouver (@POR) lose and the Sounders defeat Dallas, the Sounders could move as high as 11th place in the league.

MINNESOTA UNITED FC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

MINNESOTA UNITED FC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. What do we have to look forward to? Answer: A Saturday night return fixture against our feathered friends from the North, Minnesota United FC. The Sounders FC travel to the Oak Street ground, home of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers American football team, for a shot at three points in the league. All it will take to claim the points is to score more goals than the Loons, who have only been defeated at home three times in 12 matches.

The Sounders fare well. Six unbeaten on the trot for our Boys in Green. Negotiations for Vitoria and Peru winger, Paolo Hurtado continue, from the friendly confines of Bellevue according to Mark Kastner of Sounder at Heart. Hurtado was spotted there with his agent and Sounders General Manager, Garth Lagerwey. The Callao, Peru native has played 59 times for Vitoria scoring 18 goals since 2016 when he made his move to Guimaraes. We’d be lucky to get him. Vitoria certainly saw something in Hurtado, as they were willing to part with £450,000 to prise him from Reading. The Sounders are in good form. Ruidiaz is looking every bit the lethal finisher he was purported to be. Life, at least in the realm of local professional football, is good.

You know the drill Fog City. Gather the Green family where ye may, at the pub, at each other’s dwellings, and if you have the means and the time a trip to the Oak Street ground in Minnesota, the Land of Lakes. Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

Gussie
How about that scorcher Svensson hit against Manchester City Junior Varsity? It just gets better and better every time I watch it.

The Good News
Hurtadowatch continues, and it looks like the 28-year-old Peruvian might be joining us sooner rather than later should he and his agent agree to terms with the Sounders. Enough pieces have been assembled in the puzzle that we’re beginning to clearly see the image of our team appear.

We are in no way the same team that was floundering in the league, trainer’s table stacked with beaten up footballers who’d won only three matches out of the first 15. We are now a force to be reckoned with. This is good.

We have a perfect record against the Loons currently holding at 3-0-0 all-time. No need to blemish that today. We are unbeaten in our last six matches, and Ruidiaz is every bit the footballer we hoped he was.

As the Whitecaps were before them, MUFC are bleeding two goals a match at the back. The result against Vancouver was a 2:0 victory in the Evergreen of Royal Brougham Park. It’s not unreasonable to think we could manage the same or better from our trip to Minneapolis.

The addition of Kim has given us three quality centre-halves, allowing Svensson to concentrate on holding in the midfield. This is an excellent thing, as evidenced by Gus’ rasping daisy-cutter of a goal launched from just beyond the restraining arc against NYCFC. What a scorcher!

The defence is holding with three clean sheets in the last six matches, and we’re beginning to score goals again. For the first 15 matches this season, the Sounders were scoring 0.86 goals/match. During our six-match unbeaten run, we are scoring at a rate of 1.50 goals/match. That is an immense improvement. I don’t know if it was getting all our footballers back (Injuries, World Cup), The energy of adding Ruidiaz, or the additional threat he represents to opposing defences, or something different that Gonzo, Preki, Djimi, and Tom are having the side work on in training, but you get the feeling from recent results that the Sounders are on their way.

The Bad News
Minnesota United have turned their season around winning four of the last six matches, after being victorious in only five of the previous 16. The focus for me is the last four matches for the Loons beginning with their 14 July 3:2 victory over Salt Lake. You ask yourself “What’s changed at MUFC that made them win three matches in a row for the first time this season?” I confess that I don’t know what’s different about MUFC. I thought it was the addition of Romario Ibarra and Angelo Rodriguez in early July, but Romario has played only two matches, and Angelo has yet to play. Neither has scored a goal or assisted on one. Regardless of why it appears the Loons have hardened themselves up and are a very different side from the one we smashed 3:1 in the Evergreen on 22 April.

After a 4:2 bludgeoning at the hands of hands of Vancouver on 28 July, MUFC will be anxious to put their terrible result behind them. My guess is they’ll attempt to take out their frustration on us. I expect United to be sharp, hard, and hungry. Let’s hope our lads are up to the challenge.

Ramirez and Quintero are clinical finishers. Ramirez goals to matches ratio is outstanding, and there’s a reason Club America saw something in Quintero. Every team should have one, preferably three strikers that have no problem scoring goals. Our centre-halves and goalkeeper have their work cut out for them.

United have turned Oak Street into a bit of a fortress this season building a home record of 8-1-3. Regrettably, tonight’s match is in Minneapolis.

The Sounders away form has markedly improved, but it’s still a work in progress at 3-3-5. Although it was a triumph to score three against 2nd in the league NYCFC on Sunday, the quality of that result has to be mitigated by the fact that they were on two days rest having played a match in Orlando last Thursday. So it’s still a good win for the Sounders, but perhaps not the definitive statement of dominance we might wish it was.

The team I’d select
(configuration 4-2-3-1)
GK Frei
LB Nouhou
LCH Marshall
RCH Torres
RB Leerdam
LDM Roldan
RDM Svensson
LW Shipp
CAM Dempsey
RW Lodeiro
ST Ruidiaz

The team I think the Gaffer will select
(configuration 4-4-2)
GK Frei
LB Nouhou
LCH Marshall
RCH Torres
RB Leerdam
LM Shipp
LDM Roldan
RDM Svensson
RM Lodeiro
CF Bruin
ST Ruidiaz

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

General notes on personnel
Since Minnesota United added Romario Ibarra on 9 July and added Angelo Rodriguez on 10 July, the club are 3-0-1. Before the arrival of the aforementioned players, MUFC had only won six of 18.

Intangibles
A win for the Sounders (combined with an unlikely convergence of losses for Montreal, New England, Houston, and Philadelphia) could leapfrog them as many as five places up the league table to 12th place, the position currently held by Minnesota United.

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up at Vancouver on 28 July according to mlssoccer.com)

Goalkeeper –
Bobby Shuttleworth, 31, is a domestic footballer developed by Loyola (MD) and SUNY Buffalo (NCAA). After a three-year apprenticeship in the PDL and NPSL (2007-2009), Shuttleworth signed with New England Revolution in 2009. Shuttleworth played 127 times for the Revs over eight seasons. In 2017 Shuttleworth moved to Minnesota United on a swap deal. Since his move to Oak Street, Shuttleworth has played 49 times over two seasons. Shuttleworth’s MLS totals are 176 matches with 41 clean sheets over 10 seasons.

Defence –
Francisco Calvo, 26, is in his second season with Minnesota United. Calvo has played 44 matches for the Loons since he signed in 2017. A native of Costa Rica, Calvo has played over 70 times for Herediano, and over 60 times for Saprissa. Calvo has 39 caps and four goals for Costa Rica.

Brett Kallman, 27, is a domestic footballer developed by Creighton (NCAA). Since being signed by the MLS iteration of MUFC, Kallman has played 35 times for the Loons over two seasons scoring two goals. Kallman had previously played for Minnesota United’s NASL club 40 times scoring one goal over three seasons.

Michael Boxall, 29, is a New Zealand international who signed with Minnesota United in 2017. Boxall has played 33 times over two seasons for the Loons and had previously played for Vancouver Whitecaps giving him a total of 52 career MLS matches. Before signing with the Whitecaps in 2011, he had played for clubs in the New Zealand Championship, and also for a South African club. Boxall has 31 caps for New Zealand.

Midfield –
Miguel Ibarra, 28, is a domestic footballer produced by Ambush SC, Taft (CCCAA), and UC Irvine (NCAA). Ibarra signed for Minnesota United in their inaugural MLS season of 2017. Ibarra has played 50 times for his club over two seasons. Ibarra had played 90 times, scoring 17 goals for the NASL iteration of Minnesota United before his move to the MLS side. Ibarra has three United States caps.

Rasmus Schuller, 27, is a Finnish international who signed with Minnesota in 2017. Schuller has played 28 matches over two seasons with the Loons scoring once. Previously, Schuller had played with HJK Helsinki (88 matches/10 goals), and BK Hacken (18/1) before moving to Oak Street last year. Schuller has 14 caps for Finland.

Collen Warner, 30, is a domestic footballer developed by Portland (NCAA). Warner served a three-year apprenticeship (2007-2009) playing in the PDL for Colorado Rapids U-23s and Portland Timbers U-23s. 2010 would see Warner sign with Real Salt Lake where he played 37 times. In 2012 Warner moved to Montreal for three seasons (55/1), followed by a move to Toronto in 2014 for two seasons (44/2). A 2016 transfer to Houston Dynamo saw Warner play 24 times. In 2017, Minnesota United claimed Warner in the MLS Expansion Draft. During his tenure with MUFC, Warner has played 36 matches over two seasons scoring once. Warner’s MLS totals are 201 matches with four goals over nine seasons.

Ibson, 34, is a Brazilian national produced by Flamengo. Ibson’s career represents a world tour of football, seeing him play at Flamengo (114 matches/23 goals), Porto (46/2), Spartak Moscow (44/3), Santos (19/0), Corinthians (20/0), and Bologna (10/0) before signing with Minnesota United (49/7) during their NASL days. Ibson has continued with his club since their ascension into the MLS. He played in almost every match for the Loons last season and has played 51 times in the team scoring four goals over his two MLS seasons.

Eric Miller, 25, is a domestic footballer produced by Bangu Tsunami, Minnesota Thunder and Creighton (NCAA). After two seasons playing with Portland Timbers U-23s (12 matches/3 goals) between 2012-2013, Miller was drafted by Montreal Impact of MLS a year later. Miller would play for Montreal for two seasons (30/0) before moving to Colorado in 2016. Miller played three seasons in Commerce City (56/0), moving to MUFC in 2018. During his tenure at Oak Street, in this, his first season with the Loons, Miller has played 10 matches. Miller is listed as a right-back but lined up at midfield last match in a 3-5-2 formation according to mlssocer.com’s match report.

Forward –
Christian Ramirez, 27, is a domestic footballer produced by La Quinta HS, UC Santa Barbara (NCAA), and Concordia (NCAA II). Ramirez was a mainstay with Minnesota during their NASL days (90 matches/51 goals) and has continued with their MLS iteration (50 matches/21 goals). A lethal finisher, Ramirez will require the best efforts of our centre-halves and goalkeeper to keep the football out of our goal.

Darwin Quintero, 30, is a Columbian international and veteran of the Mexican Liga MX. Before signing with the Loons this year, Quintero played 107 times for Club America, scoring 17 goals, and played 187 times for Santos Laguna, scoring 50 goals. Quintero has 14 caps and one goal for Colombia. Since his 2018 move to Minnesota United, Quintero has played 17 matches (all of them as a starter) scoring nine goals.

Familiar Faces
MUFC defenders, Tyrone Mears (65 matches/1 goal) and Marc Burch (49/0) are former Sounders FC players. Burch has appeared in four matches for the Loons this season, and Mears nine with a goal scored.

Squads
Minnesota United from: Shuttleworth, Lampson, Kapp, Boxall, Burch, Calvo, Kallman, Manley, Mears, Miller, Omsberg, Owundi Eko’o, Ibson, Gomez, Heath, Miguel Ibarra, Romario Ibarra, Martin, Maximiano, Pangop, Schuller, Venegas, Warner, Danladi, Quintero, Ramirez, Angelo Rodriguez, Toye.

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

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

Minnesota United –
OUT: Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), Molino (ACL), Finlay (ACL), Thiesson (leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Bwana (foot).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Victor Rodriguez (hamstring).

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

Minnesota United: None suspended. Schuller and Warner out next booking.
Sounders FC: None suspended. Delem and Nouhou Tolo out next booking.

Fun Fact
Cities that, in my opinion, should have been considered for MLS expansion before Nashville: Baltimore, St. Louis, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Bethlehem (PA, Bethlehem Steel FC), Richmond, Rochester, NYC (Queens/Blau-Weiss or the NY Cosmos), a second Chicago club.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. NEW YORK CITY FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Happy days are here again in the Evergreen, as our Boys in Green welcome visitors New York City FC to Royal Brougham Park for a Sunday afternoon matinee.

The going had been very hard since the beginning of the season. First, we lost Morris in the CONCACAF Champions League, Then we crashed out of the CCL. We crashed out of the US Open Cup. A rash of injuries struck the side that never seemed to end, including Torres, Lodeiro, Bruin, Alonso, Rodriguez, and Bwana. We lost Torres and Svensson to their participation in the World Cup Finals. We won only three of our first 15 matches in the league.

Things have changed dramatically this month, and we’ve regained everyone except for Morris, Bwana, and Rodriguez (injuries) and added standout Peruvian striker, Raul Ruidiaz. We have hit the most consistent form of this season, and are managing a five-match unbeaten streak.

Support is particularly vital today as New York City FC sits in second place in the league table. This will indeed be a benchmark match for the Sounders FC. Let’s help win the lads to victory, and make a towering noise the likes of which has never been heard in the Pacific Northwest.

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

MLS: MLS Cup
It’s likely that you’ll have to be at your very best today, Stefan. I believe in you, and I believe in the Sounders. GET IN!

The Good News
Sounders are riding high on a five-match unbeaten run, and we have a 4-3-2 record in our last nine matches. Whatever the staff and players are doing differently, it’s working exceptionally well on the pitch.

Ruidiaz appears to have seamlessly integrated himself into the team, scoring a goal against San Jose that looked like it was out of an English Premier League highlights package. Receiving a cross from the right flank, Ruidiaz, at a dead run, turned his chest to the right to settle the football and then swung his entire body weight to the left to bring around his right leg, solidly thumping the ball with his right foot, and smashing it past the hapless Andrew Tarbell. Good times.

The only players unavailable due to injury are Morris, Bwana, and Rodriguez. NYCFC are operating on one day less of rest between matches in addition to the massive advantage the Sounders hold when playing at home because we have the best support in the league.

It is likely that we will not have to face NYCFC’s David Villa, as he is currently hampered by a knee problem. Villa is a top player, even at the age of 36 proven by his having scored eight goals this season so far. Although today’s match promises to still be very challenging, not having to face Villa makes the job a bit less difficult.

Even though NYCFC are in 2nd place in the league table and we are at 17th, we are nowhere near the struggling side we were even a month ago. Also, NYCFC aren’t particularly awe-inspiring on the road with an away record of 3-3-4 this season.

The Bad News
NYCFC are 2nd in the league table and have won 13 of 21 matches, having only lost four. In our only previous meeting at Royal Brougham Park, the Sounders were defeated by NYCFC 0:2. All-time in the league, we have lost two of three to the Bronx outfit (1-0-2). In their last eight matches, NYCFC have lost only once (6-1-1).

NYCFC have scored 42 goals in 21 matches, an average of two per match, equalled only by New York RB and exceeded only by LAFC (44 goals) and top of the league Atlanta United (48 goals). NYCFC certainly had little trouble scoring their average on Thursday night against Orlando City. In stark contrast, we average 0.95 goals/match, though to be fair, over the last six matches this figure becomes 1.50 goals/match.

Against common opponents, NYCFC has often had much better results than we have. Specifically, a 3:0 win over Montreal whom we lost to by the score of 0:1, dominating a Salt Lake side 4:0 that shut us out twice, and a 3:1 victory over a Dallas side that pasted us 3:0.

Moralez and Tajouri-Shradi have scored eight goals each for NYCFC this season, just behind them are Tinnerholm, Berget, and Medina who have scored four goals each. Our top scorers are Bruin with five goals and Lodeiro with four.

Intangibles
NYCFC are on two days rest, the Sounders FC are on three days. It’s likely both teams will field some rotation players.

The side I would select
Frei (GK), Nouhou Tolo (LB), Marshall (LCH), Torres (RCH), Leerdam (RB), C. Roldan (LDM), Svensson (RDM), Shipp (LW), Dempsey (CAM), Lodeiro (RW), Ruidiaz (ST).

The side I think the Gaffer will select
(last match at San Jose I successfully predicted 5/11 players the Gaffer chose in their exact positions)

Frei (GK), Francis (LB), Marshall (LCH), Alfaro (RCH), Leerdam (RB), Delem (LDM), Svensson (RDM), A. Roldan (LW), C. Roldan (CAM), Lodeiro (RW), Bruin (CF).

General notes on personnel
For NYCFC: Eight foreign players out including Andrea Pirlo and five international players in who are arguably much younger than the players they replaced.

According to Jeremiah Oshan of Sounder at Heart via the Portuguese newspaper The Record, the Sounders FC have agreed terms with Vitoria Guimaraes for Peruvian midfielder, Paolo Hurtado. The Sounders have agreed to pay a transfer fee of €1.5M for Hurtado. Although we have an agreement in place with Vitoria, the Sounders must now negotiate terms with Hurtado.

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

Know Thine Enemy
(as they lined up on 26 July at Orlando City)

Goalkeeper –
Sean Johnson, 29, is a domestic footballer produced by Central Florida (NCAA). Although he began his professional career in 2009 with Atlanta Blackhawks (PDL), Johnson’s first MLS football was with Chicago Fire (176 appearances) after they selected him in the fourth round (51st overall) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. In December 2016, Johnson was sold to Atlanta United for General Allocation Money. Later in the same day, Johnson was purchased by NYCFC for General and Targeted Allocation Money. Since his move to the Bronx, Johnson has played 53 times with 16 clean sheets over two seasons. Johnson’s MLS career totals are 229 matches with 52 clean sheets over a nine-year career. Johnson has five caps for United States.

Defence –
Ben Sweat, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by South Florida (NCAA). After a two-year professional apprenticeship (2012-2014), in 2015 Sweat would sign with Tampa Bay (USL) where he played 33 matches over two seasons. In 2017, Sweat joined NYCFC as a trialist which he parlayed into a contract. Since his arrival in the Bronx, Sweat has played 42 matches over two seasons scoring one goal.

Alexander Callens, 26, is a Peruvian international produced by Sport Boys. Callens’ career began with Sport Boys where he played 30 matches scoring one goal in his first and only season there. 2011 would see Callens sign with Real Sociedad. Though Callens managed four seasons in the reserves (86/5), he never played in the first-team during his contract. A 2015 move to Soria where he played two seasons at Numancia (39/3). Callens signed with NYCFC in 2017 and has since played 55 matches scoring three goals over two seasons. Callens has 10 caps and one goal for Peru.

Maxime Chanot, 28, is a Luxembourg international produced by Nancy and Reims. Chanot began his professional career in 2007 struggling to find first-team football at Sheffield United and Le Mans resulting in loan spells at Mansfield Town (5 appearances/0 goals) and Gueugnon (16/0). In 2011 Chanot signed with WS Woluwe in Brussels where he played 44 times scoring once. A 2013 transfer to Beerschot produced only 15 matches of work, just enough to get him noticed by Kortrijk where he would settle in to play three seasons of his career (105/5). According to Matthew Nash, Chanot selected NYCFC in 2016 over Chievo Verona and Queens Park Rangers. Since his move to the Bronx, Chanot has played 36 matches scoring two goals over three seasons. Chanot has 25 caps and two goals for Luxembourg.

Anton Tinnerholm, 27 is a Swedish international produced by Brokinds IF and IK Ostria Lambohov. Tinnerholm began his career in 2008 at Atvidabergs FF (108 matches/6 goals) bouncing between the first and second tiers of Swedish football for six seasons. 2014 would see Tinnerholm move to top division Malmo FF (98/6) for three seasons. Signing on a free transfer in 2018, Tinnerholm has played 18 times for NYCFC scoring four goals. Tinnerholm has nine caps for Sweden.

Midfield –
Alexander Ring, 27, is a Finnish international produced by Lannesdorf, Leverkusen, Anderlecht, and Helsinki. Ring must serve a one-match ban today for accumulating his fifth booking three days ago in Orlando. His likely replacement is James Sands, 18, a local lad from Rye, NY who signed a Homegrown Player contract with NYCFC in July 2017. Sands was produced by New York SC and New York City FC Academy. As Sands is not yet out of short pants, nor on solid food, he has appeared only once in the NYCFC first-team since his signing.

Ebenezer Ofori, 23, is a Ghanian international produced by New Edubiase United. Beginning his career with New Edubiase United in 2012, Ofori played 17 times scoring four goals in his one season there. 2013 would bring a move to AIK where Ofori has earned the bulk of his experience (81 matches/4 goals) over three seasons. A 2017 move to VfB Stuttgart saw Ofori make 10 appearances in his first season in the Bundesliga. in 2018 Ofori was lent to NYCFC on loan from Stuttgart, and has played 18 matches scoring one goal since his move to the Bronx.

Tommy McNamara, 27, is a Homegrown Player from West Nyack, NY produced by Brown and Clemson (NCAA). Starting his professional journey in 2011, McNamara would see a three-year apprenticeship in the PDL pay off in six matches with one goal at Chivas USA in 2014. McNamara moved to the Bronx in 2015 and has since played 85 times for NYCFC scoring 14 goals plus 14 assists over his four seasons at Yankee Stadium.

Maximiliano “Maxi” Moralez, 31, is an Argentine international produced by Racing Club. Although he is now the elder statesman of NYCFC with the departure of Andrea Pirlo, Moralez began his career at Racing in 2005 playing two seasons in Avellaneda (52 matches/8 goals). A move to FC Moscow in 2007 saw Moralez see only six matches of first-team football resulting in a loan back to Racing (seeing his totals at Racing increase to 89 matches/16 goals). A 2009 move to Velez Sarsfield (72/20) produced two seasons of consistent first-team football. 2011 would see Moralez’ big money move to Italy, as Atalanta saw their way clear to making an €8M investment in paying his release clause from Velez. Moralez would play four seasons in Bergamo amassing 142 appearances and scoring 18 goals. 2016 saw Moralez move to Mexico where he would play a season at Leon (34/6). In 2017 NYCFC announced that Moralez had signed with them as a Designated Player. Since his move to the Bronx Moralez has played 50 times for NYCFC scoring 13 goals and assisting on 20 over two seasons. Moralez has one cap for Argentina.

Jesus Medina, 21, is a Paraguayan international produced by Libertad. Beginning in 2012 with Libertad, Medina would play 74 times scoring 17 goals over five seasons in Asuncion. 2018 would see Medina move to the Bronx where he has since played 21 matches scoring four goals and assisting on seven others. Medina has one cap for Paraguay.

Forward –
Rodney Wallace, 30, is a Costa Rican international produced by Maryland (NCAA). Wallace began his career being selected in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by DC United. Wallace would play two seasons at United (39 matches/3 goals) before moving to our arch-rivals Portland in 2011. Wallace played four seasons at Morrison Street piling up 120 appearances scoring 16 goals. A 2016 move to Portugal saw little traction at Arouca (2/0) culminating in his move to Sport Recife (24/4) of Brazil later that year. Since his 2017 signing with NYCFC, Wallace has played 38 matches scoring four goals and assisting on seven others. Wallace’s current MLS career totals are 197 matches with 23 goals and 29 assists over nine seasons. Wallace has 29 caps and three goals for Costa Rica.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

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

NYCFC from: Johnson, Stuver, Caldwell, Abdul-Salaam, Callens, Chanot, Ibeagha, Matarrita, Scally, Sweat, Tinnerholm, Amagat, Awuah, Castellanos, McNamara, Medina, Moralez, Ofori, Sands, Lewis, Tajouri-Shradi, Berget, Wallace.

Injury List
(at press time as posted by MLSsoccer.com)

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Bwana (foot).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Rodriguez (hamstring).

NYCFC –
OUT: Herrera (ankle), Hountondji (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Villa (knee).

Discipline
(at press time as posted by MLSsoccer.com)

SEA: none suspended. Alonso & Delem out next booking.
NYCFC: Ring (accumulated bookings).

Fun Fact
According to a report by SoundersFC.com’s Joseph Mondello, the Sounders FC Academy U-17 team had a record this season of 27-3-3 with a +81 goal difference. The U-17s won the USSDA national championship this season, the first earned by our Academy at this age level. Four players from this team are already signed to the Sounders reserves (S2): Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Ray Serrano, Azriel Gonzalez, and Marlon Vargas. Well done, all around.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The late-season Sounders FC comeback machine seems to be approaching full-speed. Loved my afternoon at the ground last Sat. Even with all of the good ozone gone, resulting in a very incongruous farmer tan, it was good times. I joined the faithful in the Brougham End and shouted ’til I was hoarse. And when the referee blew full-time, there it was, glittering in all its splendour, ANOTHER VICTORY FOR SEATTLE!!! Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, good day. Thanks to BH for the chance to serve on the good ship Sounders.

We’re getting results, and life is good. Ruidiaz made his debut to the cheers of the faithful. Lodeiro enacted his Get Smart shoe-phone goal celebration, twice if I have it right. Things go well in the Evergreen.

And now we move on to tonight’s midweek fixture. A trip down to Coleman Avenue, where dreams go to die. A ground where we’ve only won one time in 10 attempts. It’s time for a trip to the South Bay Area in Northern California to visit the San Jose Earthquakes.

Support is, as always, vital. That’s right ladies and gents; it’s a road trip to San Jose. This is why we gather the Green Family, at the ground, at the pub, and at each other’s dwellings.

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

fredy
The last time the Sounders FC won away at San Jose was on 31 July 2010 on Fredy Montero’s 26th minute goal.

The Good News
For once, the Sounders FC are climbing the table, and it’s our hosts who reside at the bottom of the league and haven’t won since 12 May. On top of that, San Jose have only won once at home this season. Maybe we can finally jam a foot in the door and take the points.

Our away form steadily improves as we reclaim our players from injury and the World Cup Finals. The Sounders are also riding a boost from the Ruidiaz signing and are no doubt heartened by his encouraging debut on Occidental Avenue last Sat. Our glorious victory over Vancouver is our fourth straight match unbeaten as we watch the ballistic curve of our surging form.

The side are stepping up their goal scoring, with the Sounders FC averaging 1.4 goals/match over the last five, nearly 0.50 goals above the current season average of 0.95. San Jose, in stark contrast, are conceding an average of over two goals per match. A slightly worse defence than we just faced against Vancouver.

Against most of our common opponents, the Sounders have fared better than our rivals from the Bay, and with Panamanian standout Godoy suspended, our job just got a bit more manageable.

The Bad News
You can guarantee that Chris Wondolowski is going to suit up for the Quakes tonight, and no other MLS player has scored more goals against the Sounders FC than he has with his 11 goals. Chad and Kee-Hee, you have your work cut out for you. Add to this that San Jose has more than doubled our season goals total in the league, having scored 39 to our 18.

Doesn’t seem to matter if it’s the Buck Shaw in Santa Clara, or the sparkly, new Coleman Avenue ground, the Sounders have an all-time record of 1-4-5 away at San Jose. The Sounders have only won eight of 23 contests in the league against the Quakes all-time in the league in total.

The Gaffer tends to attempt to over-manage in these situations. If we rotate too many first-choice players out, I feel it opens the door for a desperate San Jose side strapped for points. As a general rule of thumb, a player should only sit if he’s too tired or to sore to go. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see McCrary in the team as he’s served his one-match ban and Schmetzer seems to rate him. It’s possible that we could also see Delem, Shipp, and Bruin in the starting eleven as well. Let’s hope that we see pretty much the same lineup as we had against Vancouver, but with Ruidiaz starting up top.

The Side I’d Select
Goalkeeper – Frei, left-back – Nouhou Tolo, left centre-half – Marshall, right centre-half Kim, right-back – Leerdam, left defensive midfield – Cristian Roldan, right defensive midfield – Svensson, left-wing – Shipp, centre attacking midfield – Dempsey, right-wing – Lodeiro, striker – Ruidiaz.

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
Goalkeeper – Frei, left-back – Nouhou Tolo, left centre-half – Marshall, right centre-half – Svensson, right-back – McCrary, left defensive midfield – Cristian Roldan, right defensive midfield – Delem, left-wing – Shipp, centre attacking midfield – Dempsey, right-wing – Lodeiro, striker – Bruin.

Intangibles
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.

Comparison against common opponents
SJ 3:2 MIN – MIN 1:3 SJ / SEA 3:1 MIN
SKC 3:2 SJ / SKC 2:2 SEA
CLB 2:1 SJ / SEA 0:0 CLB
SJ 0:1 POR – POR 2:1 SJ / POR 1:0 SEA – SEA 2:3 POR
VAN 2:2 SJ / SEA 2:0 VAN
SJ 1:3 DCU / SEA 2:1 DCU
CHI 2:1 SJ / SEA 1:1 CHI
SJ 3:4 LAFC / SEA 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA
SJ 2:2 NE / NE 0:0 SEA
RSL 1:1 SJ / SEA 0:1 RSL – RSL 2:0 SEA
MTL 2:0 SJ / SEA 0:1 MTL

Know Thine Enemy
(as San Jose lined up at Montreal on 14 July)

Goalkeeper –
Andrew Tarbell, 24, is a domestic footballer produced by Clemson (NCAA). Tarbell has played 31 times for San Jose earning two clean sheets over three seasons.

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 in 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 183 times in the league scoring nine goals over seven seasons. Salinas’ total numbers for the Earthquakes are as follows: 229 appearances scoring 11 goals over nine seasons. Salinas’ MLS totals are 272 appearances scoring 13 goals with 44 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.

Harold Cummings, 26, is a Panamanian international who began his professional career in 2009 at Arabe Unido of the Panamanian league where he played 52 matches. A loan move to River Plate Montevideo in Uruguay in 2011 produced no first-team football. A 2014 move to Juan Aurich of the Peruvian league saw him play 18 times. In 2015 Cummings moved to Sante Fe of Colombia and played 12 matches. The third move in three years in 2016 saw Cummings move to Alajuelense where he played 24 times scoring once. 2017 would see Cummings move to Coleman Avenue. Though Cummings earned zero first-team minutes in the league in 2017, he has played 12 times this season for the Quakes. Since 2010, Cummings has 52 caps for Panama.

Florian Jungwirth, 29, is a German national produced by TSV Eintracht Karlsfeld and 1860 Munich. Jungwirth is a veteran of German football having played with 1860 Munich II (48 appearances/0 goals), Dynamo Dresden (89/0), VfL Bochum (29/1), and Darmstadt 98 (62/0), over a ten-year span (2007-2017). In 2017 Jungwirth signed with San Jose and has since played 49 times for the Quakes scoring five goals over two seasons. It is notable that Jungwirth earned 48 youth caps for Germany over a five-year period (2004-2009) scoring twice. Listed as a midfielder, Jungwirth may also play in defence, his natural position.

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 41 matches scoring three goals over two seasons.

Midfield –
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 273 times for the Quakes scoring 136 goals. Wondolowski’s MLS career totals are 312 matches scoring 140 goals with 37 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. Though lined up as a midfielder against Montreal, Wondolowski is listed as a forward.

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 26 matches over two seasons with the club.

Anibal Godoy, 28, Is an experienced Panamanian international (89 caps, 1 goal) produced by Arsenal di Sarandi and Chepo. Godoy is suspended this match for accumulated bookings. His likely replacement, should he be pronounced fit to play, is Fatai Alashe, 24, produced by Vardar SC and Michigan State (NCAA), has played 85 times for San Jose scoring five goals over four seasons.

Jahmir Hyka, 30, is an Albanian international produced by Dinamo Tirana and Rosenborg. The most noteworthy stretch in Hyka’s career was during his tenure with FC Luzern of Switzerland. Hyka played 161 times for Luzern between the years of 2011 and 2017 scoring 17 goals. Hyka signed with San Jose in 2017 and has since played 38 times for the Quakes scoring four goals over two seasons. Hyka has 46 caps and two goals for Albania.

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 51 matches and 15 goals over two seasons.

Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili, 25, is a Georgian international produced by Saburtalo Tbilisi. Although he began his professional career at the club that produced him in 2010, Qazaishvili more visibly played at Vitesse (104 appearances/25 goals) in the Netherlands and on loan at Legia Warsaw (12/1) in Poland between 2011-2017. Qazaishvili signed with San Jose in 2017 on a Designated Player contract. Qazaishvili has since played 32 times for the Quakes scoring nine goals over two seasons. Qazaishvili has 33 caps and eight goals for Georgia.

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
San Jose from: Tarbell, Bersano, Marcinkowski, Affolter, Akanyirige, Cummings, Kashia, Lima, Marie, Ockford, Quintana, Qwiberg, Calvillo, Eriksson, Luis Felipe, Fuentes, Hyka, Jungwirth, Vako, Salinas, Thompson, Wehan, Yueill, Hoesen, Musovski, Thiaw, Wondolowski.

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

Injury List
San Jose –
OUT: Partida (knee).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Amarikwa (rib), Alashe (groin).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Bwana (foot).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Torres (ankle), Rodriguez (hamstring).

Discipline
San Jose: Godoy (accumulated bookings).
Sounders FC: none suspended. Alonso and Delem serve a one-match ban with next booking.

Fun Fact
As the Sounders have waived Magnus Wolff Eikrem, it opens up an International Player Slot. I wonder how much Targeted Allocation Money we have… [sourced from a report by Ryan Krasnoo at soundersfc.com]

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Our close personal friends, Vancouver Whitecaps, have come down from the British Columbia for a Saturday afternoon matinee Cascadia Derby showdown at Royal Brougham Park.

Great shakes these past few weeks as we start stepping up the quality control on our football. Ruidiaz figures to make his debut in the city that will grow to love him. We’ve results from our last three matches, our best form of the season. A crack of daylight has shined in through the door.

Thanks to the largesse of a proper mate, I’ll be at the match on Sat. I will raise my voice to the sky, and I will expect you to do so as well. We know our role: Support the team with maximum heart and voice. I know I can count on you lot, as I will press my voice to the very limit to support the side. Be sharp, eyes bright, voices loud, whether ye be at the pub, a mate’s house or flat, or the ground. Gather the Green Family where ye may.

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

raul
“If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumber’d here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle theme, No more yielding but a dream, Gentles, do not reprehend: if you pardon, we will mend: And, as I am an honest Puck, If we have unearned luck Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue, We will make amends ere long; Else the Puck a liar call; So, good night unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends, And Robin shall restore amends.” –Puck, from William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

The Good News
Results in the last three matches, a win and two draws against fierce opposition. Good news.

We’ve got nearly the entire side healthy and together for the first time in months. The Gaffer can select his best side today, and we’ll all be the better for it.

The all-time series in the league between the Sounders and Vancouver favours us with an 8-5-7 record.

Vancouver has managed only three wins on the road this season in 10 attempts.

We have only lost once in nine matches all-time at home with Vancouver as the visitor.

Vancouver are bleeding two goals conceded per match.

Ruidiaz (should he finally make his debut as expected) and Lodeiro in the team together should create all sorts of trouble for the ‘Caps defence.

The Bad News
Vancouver are nine points and five places better in the league table.

Vancouver are the more likely side to score two goals as predicted by average goals scored.

McCrary was sent off with two bookings in Atlanta and will face a one-match ban today. Alonso and Delem are one booking away from suspension.

The fact that the rest of the league knows we need points so badly to attempt an MLS Cup run means that our visiting opponents will all likely play with ten men behind the football, limiting space and opportunity. We’re going to have to take results from our competitors, and it won’t be in any way easy.

Know Thine Enemy
(Vancouver as they lined up in the First Leg of the Canadian Championship on 18 July)

Goalkeeper –
Stefan Marinovic, 26, is a New Zealand international produced by Waitakere United. Marinovic began his professional career in 2009 with SV Wehen Wiesbaden 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 15 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 five matches, four 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 six matches over two seasons. Maund’s MLS career totals are 85 matches and two goals over seven seasons. Maund earned youth caps for both United States and Trinidad & Tobago.

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 17 times for the Whitecaps over two seasons. Ghazal has five caps for Egypt.

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 32 times for the Whitecaps over two seasons.

Midfield –
Brek Shea, 28, is a United States international produced by Texans SC and the IMG Academy. Shea began his career in 2008 at FC Dallas where he played 98 times scoring 19 goals over five seasons. In 2013 Stoke City paid £2.5M for Shea’s services. Shea would only appear three times in the Stoke first team with injuries a grave factor. Loans to Barnsley (8/0) and Birmingham City (6/0) produced little better. 2015 saw Shea sign with Orlando City for a return to MLS (46/3). 2017 saw Shea join Vancouver Whitecaps on a swap deal for Giles Barnes. Since joining the BC outfit, Shea has played 43 matches scoring seven goals. Shea’s MLS totals are 187 matches scoring 29 goals over nine seasons. Shea has 34 caps and four goals for United States.

David Norman, 20, is a Canadian national produced by Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency, 1. FSV Mainz 05 of Germany, and Oregon State (NCAA). Beginning his career in 2017 with The Whitecaps reserves (Whitecaps FC 2) playing 26 matches and scoring one goal, Norman has yet to play first-team football for Vancouver in the league.

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 124 times scoring two goals over eight seasons. Teibert has 20 caps and one goal for Canada.

Cristian Techera, 26, is an 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 92 matches for Vancouver since his loan signing scoring 21 goals over four seasons.

Forward –
Nicolas Mezquida, 26, is an Uruguayan national produced by Penarol. Starting his career with Penarol in 2008, Mezquida struggled to find first-team opportunities (3/1) and saw him lent to Brann and Lillestrom. In 2012 he would move to Fenix in Uruguay (14/1) and then lent to Rampla Juniors (24/7). A move to Boston River (Uruguay) in 2013 produced no first-team appearances. In 2014, Mezquida signed with Vancouver and has since played 90 times scoring 10 goals over five seasons for the Whitecaps.

Anthony Blondell, 24, is 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 15 times scoring one goal. Blondell has one cap for Venezuela.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

General notes on personnel
Courtesy of the MLS Shuffle:

Notable Vancouver players in –
Kei Kamara (Sierra Leone) (from New England/Swap for 2019 1st round and conditional 2020 2nd round draft picks)
Brian Rowe (from LA Galaxy/Swap for 2018 2nd round draft pick)
Jordon Mutch (ENG) (on loan from Crystal Palace)
Jose Aja (URU) (from Orlando City/Swap for $125K TAM and future considerations)
Felipe (BRA) (from NYRB/Swap $500K allocation money, one International Roster Spot, and Tim Parker)

Notable Vancouver players out –
Christian Bolanos (CRC) (option declined)
David Ousted (DEN) (option declined)
Mauro Rosales (ARG) (option declined)
Fredy Montero (COL) (loan ended, returned to Tianjin TEDA)
Tony Tchani (CMR) (to Chicago Fire for $150K TAM)

Comparison against common opponents
SEA 0:1 MTL / VAN 2:1 MTL
ATL 1:1 SEA / ATL 4:1 VAN
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 0:1 LAFC – LAFC 1:0 SEA / VAN 0:2 LAFC
SKC 2:2 SEA / SKC 6:0 VAN
SEA 3:1 MIN / MIN 1:0 VAN
DAL 3:0 SEA / 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 DCU / DCU 3:1 VAN

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Brown, Lubin, Alfaro, Francis, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, Nouhou Tolo, Alonso, Delem, Wolff Eikrem, Lodeiro, Neagle, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Cristian Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Chenkam, Dempsey, Ruidiaz.

Vancouver from: Marinovic, Melvin, Rowe, Aja, Baldisimo, de Jong, Franklin, Henry, Levis, Maund, Nerwinski, Shea, Bustos, Colyn, Davies, Ghazal, Hurtado, Ibini, Juarez, Martins, Mezquida, Mutch, Norman, Reyna, Techera, Teibert, Bair, Bevan, Blondell, Kamara.

Injury List
Sounders FC –
OUT: Morris (ACL), Bwana (foot).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Torres (ankle).

Vancouver –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Waston (groin).

Discipline
Sounders FC: McCrary (Sent Off for second booking last week at Atlanta United).
Vancouver: none suspended.

Seattle midfielders Alonso and Delem face a one-match ban with next booking.

Fun Fact
Centre-half Sam Rogers and goalkeeper Trey Muse were called up for a United States U-20 camp by USA U-20 manager Tab Ramos. Rogers and Muse are both Sounders FC Academy alums. Rogers currently is under contract to the Sounders FC reserves (S2). Muse is currently enrolled at Indiana University where he plays for their Men’s Football team. Well done, lads and good luck at camp! Hope you impress the gaffer, as he was one of the Kearney Boys playing for United States in the 1990 World Cup Finals and for Real Betis of La Liga in Spain. If Tab Ramos saw something in our lads, you can bet that they’re proper footballers. [sourced from a report by Joseph Mondello on soundersfc.com]