US OPEN CUP 4TH ROUND – CHENEY STADIUM, TACOMA, WA – SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. PORTLAND TIMBERS

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. I don’t know nothin’. Nobody tells me nothin’; I just work here. I was waiting on a late press release that would advise us that the Sounders FC used their hardship exemption to temporarily sign players from the reserves to make up the numbers. This, because if you’re playing our home game and keeping score, We have 15 available players for this match, 12 outfield players, and three goalkeepers. That makes three short of the usual 18 between those in the team and them’s that are on the bench. In my arguable wisdom, I’ve decided to publish anyway, as it’s 18:41 PDT and I haven’t heard any news from the club. So there ye go. I’ll write this as things stand now if it changes. So be it. I’m not feeling well, and my throat feels like someone savaged it with a cheese grater. It doesn’t matter. I’ll soldier on for you lot, for the Green Family.

And now, …football.

Sounders FC host the hated Treecutters from Portland in the unfamiliar confines of Cheney Stadium, home to the Sounders FC reserves and the Tacoma Rainiers of AAA baseball fame. The Sounders playing a US Open Cup home match, not at Starfire in Tukwila? Yes, that just happened. It’s a midweek US Open Cup tie. Hang on to something sturdy, and you’ll need to.

I want to make a statement here about how MLS should hold no matches during the FIFA International Window, how it’s insane that the US Open Cup, the second oldest sporting competition in North America, only to the Stanley Cup Finals, gets the billing, promotion, and visibility of a beer league playoff. I simply don’t have the energy, and these arguments have probably been previously voiced by people who aren’t currently feverish and whose heads don’t feel like a furnace full of sand.

Support is vital as always, but particularly now that we’ve begun to struggle in the league. We must show solidarity, and I wish I could be joining you in what would be my first time at Cheney. Gather the Green Family where ye may. At the pub, at the ground, at each other’s houses and flats. We join together to support the Sounders FC regardless of our proximity to each other or the match. The energy will be unified and to be truthful, our boys are going to need every erg of it.

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

telegraph operator
“What’s that, Sounders FC Communciations? You don’t yet know if the club will use the MLS Hardship Exemption? No press release? Okay [shrug]”
The Good News
If we field our strongest team, it will be a bit stronger than the decent side we fielded in Montreal.

Brad Smith should be available.

These things are good news.

In the US Open Cup all-time against Portland, the Sounders are 2-0-1.

If Portland fields a ‘B’ team the Sounders could be as competitive as they were in Montreal.

At Cheney, the possibility is better than average that there will be a whole heap more support for the Sounders than would’ve fit at Starfire.

The Bad News
The Treecutters are only missing four players, that I know of, from their squad due to international commitments. This leads me to predict that, like as not, Valeri, Blanco, and the rest of that lot cut our makeshift team to shreds. I really hope I’m wrong about that, and that we get a result.

If Portland fields a ‘B’ team the Sounders could be as competitive as they were in Montreal.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Campbell
RCH Abdul-Salaam
RB Leerdam
LDM Leyva
RDM A Roldan
LW Bwana
CAM Rodriguez
RW Shipp
CF Bruin

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Meredith
LB Nouhou
LCH Campbell
RCH Abdul-Salaam
RB Leerdam
LDM Leyva
RDM A Roldan
LW Bwana
CAM Rodriguez
RW Shipp
CF Bruin

Intangibles
Playing in a new park. International absences. No wins in four matches for the Sounders. Having 12 field players and three goalkeepers to contest a major cup tie against a bitter rival. I could list a ton of these. Also, no idea who the ref is going to be.

General notes on personnel
Portland transfers
IN: Loria (reserves), Zambrano (reserves), Dielna (New England), Ivacic (NK Olimpija Ljubljana), Fernandez (Necaxa), Moreira (River Plate, loan), Clark (re-signed), Conechny (re-signed), Flores (re-signed).

OUT: Armenteros, Barmby, Gleeson, Miller, Olum, Powell, Ridgewell, Guzman.

Brad Smith should be available to play today, having returned from his friendly with the Socceroos.

Comparison against common opponents
10 March LAFC 4:1 POR
1 June POR 2:3 LAFC
21 April LAFC 4:1 SEA
28 April SEA 1:1 LAFC

25May PHI 1:3 POR
18 May PHI 0:0 SEA

15 May HOU 1:1 POR
11 May SEA 1:0 HOU

Know Thine Enemy
(The hated Treecutters, as they lined up against equally hated LAFC on 1 June)

Goalkeeper –
Jeff Attinella, age 30
United States
Notable Clubs: Tampa Bay Rowdies (52/0), Real Salt Lake (29/0), Portland Timbers (45/0)
Value: £675,000 ($859,000)
Notes: Won an NASL Championship with Tampa Bay in 2012. Played his university football at South Florida (61/0).

Defence –
Jorge Villafana, 29
United States (21/0)
Notable Clubs: Chivas USA (86/7), Portland Timbers (68/2), Santos Laguna (53/0)
Value: £1.13M ($1.44M)
Notes: Produced by Santa Ana DSP Juventus and Chivas USA. Won a CONCACAF Gold Cup with United States in 2017, an MLS Cup with Portland in 2015, and a Liga MX Championship with Santos Laguna in 2018.

Bill Tuiloma, 24
New Zealand (24/0)
Notable Clubs: Waitakere United (1/0), Olympique Marseille (2/0), Strasbourg (9/0), Portland Timbers (24/2)
Value: £540,000 ($687,000)
Notes: Produced by Birkenhead United, Asia-Pacific FA, Waitakere United, and Marseille. Won an OFC Nations Cup with New Zealand in 2016.

Larrys Mabiala, 31
DR Congo (12/0)
Notable Clubs: Paris Saint-Germain (3/1), Nice (36/0), Karabukspor (106/3), Kayserispor (55/3), Portland Timbers (55/6)
Value: £900,000 ($1.14M)
Notes: Produced by Paris Saint-Germain. Born in Montfermeil, France.

Jorge Moreira, 29
Paraguay (17/0)
Notable Clubs: 2 de Mayo (16/2), Libertad (176/6), River Plate (37/1), Portland Timbers (9/1)
Value: £1.35M ($1.72M)
Notes: Produced by 2 de Mayo. Currently on loan from River Plate.

Midfield –
Diego Chara, 33
Colombia (2/0)
Notable Clubs: Deportes Quindio (124/2), America de Cali (31/1), Deportes Tolima (51/5), Portland Timbers (243/9)
Value: £450,000 ($572,000)
Notes: Produced by Deportes Quindio. Won an MLS Cup in 2015 with Portland.

Cristhian Paredes, 21
Paraguay (2/0)
Notable Clubs: Sol de America (30/4), Portland Timbers (27/3)
Value: £540,000 ($687,000)
Notes: Produced by Sol de America. Currently on loan from Club America of Mexico.

Sebastian Blanco, 31
Argentina (2/1)
Notable Clubs: Lanus (128/19), Metalist Kharkiv (68/10), West Bromwich Albion (3/0), San Lorenzo (40/8), Portland Timbers (77/20)
Value: £2.93M ($3.73M)
Notes: Won an Argentine league title with Lanus in 2007. Won the Supercopa Argentina with San Lorenzo in 2015. On a Designated Player contract.

Diego Valeri, 33
Argentina (3/0)
Notable Clubs: Lanus (220/39), Porto (12/0), Portland Timbers (193/71)
Value: £2.7M ($3.43M)
Notes: Produced by Lanus. Won an Argentine league championship with Lanus in 2007. Won Portuguese Cup and SuperCup with Porto in 2009-10. Won MLS Cup with Portland in 2015 and was the MLS Cup MVP of that tournament. A laundry list of other honours. On a Designated Player contract.

Andy Polo, 24 (Called into the Peru team for Copa America)
Peru (17/1)
Notable Clubs: Universitario (116/13), Universidad San Martin (28/4), Millonarios (11/2), Morelia (24/2), Portland Timbers (33/1)
Value: £720,000 ($916,000)
Notes: Produced by Universitario.

Forward –
Brian Fernandez, 24
Argentina
Notable Clubs: Racing Club (15/0), Metz (7/0), Union La Calera (21/11), Necaxa (32/18), Portland Timbers (3/4)
Value: £5.4M ($6.87M)
Notes: On a Designated Player contract.

Familiar Faces
Not a one and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Campbell, Leerdam, Smith, Nouhou, Bwana, Leyva, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin.

Portland from: Attinella, Clark, McIntosh, Cascante, Dielna, Jadama, Mabiala, Moreira, Tuiloma, Valentin, Villafana, Asprilla, Blanco, Chara, Conechny, Loria, Paredes, Valeri, Zambrano, Ebobisse, Fernandez, Langsdorf, Melano.

International Call-Ups
Sounders FC: Arreaga, Jones, Torres, Delem, Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Svensson, Morris, Ruidiaz, Ocampo-Chavez.

Portland: Polo, Flores, Farfan, Williamson.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Kim (knee).

Portland –
OUT: Ivacic (leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

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

No players suspended from either side.

Fun Fact
Tonight’s match will mark the first time the Sounders FC play a home US Open Cup tie at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

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MONTREAL IMPACT v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Sounders FC have made the trip from Texas to Quebec to face Montreal Impact in a midweek fixture at Saputo Stadium on the Rue Sherbrooke.

Half of everyone is gone for the day. I don’t even know what to say. I can only guarantee that 22 players will line-up today, and we might even know who some of them are. MLS gonna MLS.

The Sounders FC need your support and energy even more than usual as we are vulnerable in a way that we are unaccustomed to being in the league. Though this match happens about an hour before most people’s workday is likely to end, do what you can to link up the Green Family wherever ye may, at the pub, at our flats and homes. Assemble the liquid protection. It’s going to be a woolly one. Call in that vital “visit to the dentist/doctor/therapist” whatever you’ve got to do. I once told my supervisor at the printing press I worked at that I had a dentist appointment, then I boxed off to my flat and watched the Yanks play in a World Cup qualifier. Let that be your inspiration. Besides, your employer is likely stiffing you on wages anyway.

Before kick-off, if you are able, join me in the auld toast: “TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!”

bruin
Results not typical. –Image by Max Aquino

The Good News
Arreaga’s debut, which I will put down to a case of youthful nerves, was difficult to watch. Arreaga deserves the benefit of the doubt because if he were rubbish, he wouldn’t be selected into the Ecuador team for Copa America. So stay your fears, at least for now.

The Sounders will benefit from not having to face Montreal star midfielder, Ignacio Piatti as he’s been rather severely hurt. Get well soon, Ignacio.

As of a press release made by the Sounders FC at 17:18 PDT, Delem and Jones will both be available for selection and Rodriguez has had his injured status upgraded to declared fit and available for selection.

What we might get out of this match are potential debuts for Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, plus a chance for rotation players and reserves to make a statement for more regular inclusion in the side. We’ll also, for better or worse, end up with a very honest reckoning of the quality of our squad depth.

Montreal only averages 1.18 goals/match. If the Sounders are true to their average (1.67 goals/match), and our defence holds, we could walk away with three points. TO be fair, these stats are likely irrelevant because a lot of the players who created that data won’t be in the team for either side.

The Bad News
The Sounders FC scored three goals last Sat. Two of those were hit into our own net.

The Sounders have won only once at Montreal when their ground was the Olympic Stadium and has never won at their new ground, Saputo Stadium.

I love the Sounders FC, unconditionally, and I’ll be cheering as hard as I possibly can from the hopefully comforting embrace of my living room settee. In my heart, I think we have a real chance to win every match. No matter the result, I respect the effort of our Boys in Green. If I use my head though, my guess is that things are going to go completely pear-shaped. I think there’s a genuine possibility that this match may break so ugly that no amount of lager could wipe it away. I realise as I write this that this prediction will be extremely unpalatable with our number. I apologise for this, but I have to call it like I see it. As FS from Heartland once wrote about me, I keep it 1000 (I mean, technically it was an emoji, but that word doesn’t verb).

Half the squad out as they were called to play for their countries. It’s a crapshoot whether Kim will be able to play. Can we marshall what’s left into a team that can beat what Montreal has left?

Sounders have no wins from their last three matches and only one win this season on the road. Dodgy form indeed compared to Montreal’s two home losses out of six matches.

Comparison against common opponents doesn’t really shed much light one way or the other, in addition to the fact that you can essentially throw all the stats away when it comes to today’s matchup.

The Side I Would Select
GK Frei
LB Jones
LCH Nouhou
RCH Campbell
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM Leyva
LW Bwana
CAM Rodriguez
RW Shipp
CF Bruin

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
GK Frei
LB Nouhou
LCH Campbell
RCH Kim (makes “miraculous” recovery from injury)
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM Alex Roldan
LW Jones
ACM Rodriguez
RW Shipp
CF Bruin

Quote from the Gaffer
3 June – When asked what the key factor heading into the midweek fixture would be Brian Schmetzer responded: “Not giving up soft goals.”

Intangibles
Nima Saghafi will be the referee for today’s match. Saghafi has presided over 49 MLS league matches booking 198 (4.04/match), sending-off five (0.10/match), sending-off one for two bookings in the same match (0.02/match), and awarding 17 penalty kicks (0.35/match).

General notes on personnel
Montreal transfer activity
IN: Bayiha (reserves), Kinumbe (reserves), Novillo (Johor Darul Ta’zim FC), Urruti (FC Dallas), Sejdic (draft).

OUT: Salazar, Beland-Goyette, Fisher, Choiniere, Fanni, Crepeau, Duvall, Silva, Mancosu, Petrasso, Amarikwa.

Both teams will feature severely depleted lineups due to international call-ups. This will massively impact the match.

Comparison against common opponents
1 June MTL 0:3 ORL
15 May SEA 2:1 ORL

29 May MTL 2:1 RSL
6 April SEA 1:0 RSL

24 May LAFC 4:2 MTL
28 April SEA 1:1 LAFC
21 April LAFC 4:1 SEA

Know Thine Enemy
(Impact de Montreal as they lined up against Orlando City on 1 June)

Goalkeeper –
Evan Bush, 33
United States
Notable Clubs: Montreal Impact (161/0)
Value: £540,000 ($684,000)
Notes: Played his university football with Akron. Has kept 39 clean sheets in his career at Montreal in the MLS era. Played 18 matches with Montreal Impact when they were a club in the modern incarnation of the NASL. Won two Canadian Championships with Montreal in 2013 and 2014. Was awarded the Golden Glove for being the best goalkeeper in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League.

Defence –
Daniel Lovitz, 27 (Called-up to United States for Gold Cup)
United States (3/0)
Notable Clubs: Toronto FC (41/0), Montreal Impact (73/1)
Value: £720,000 ($912,000)
Notes: Produced by Lower Merion SC. Played his university football at Elon (80/9).

Zakaria Diallo, 32
France
Notable Clubs: Dijon FCO (64/5), Ajaccio (37/0), Brest (37/3), Montreal Impact (16/1)
Value: £270,000 ($342,000)
Notes: Produced by AS Treauville-Deauville and Le Havre.

Victor Cabrera, 26
Argentina
Notable Clubs: River Plate (1/0), Montreal Impact (87/0)
Value: £450,000 ($570,000)
Notes: Produced by River Plate.

Bacary Sagna, 36 (Sagna has been listed as out with an ankle injury)
France (65/0)
Notable Clubs: Auxerre (37/3), Arsenal (213/4), Manchester City (54/0), Benevento (13/1), Montreal Impact (21/1)
Value: £450,000 ($570,000)
Notes: Won Coupe de France with Auxerre in 2004-05. Won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2013-14. Won the English Football League Cup with Manchester City in 2015-16. Named to UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year in 2006-07. Named Auxerre Player of the Year in 2006-07. Twice named to the English PFA’s Team of the Year in 2007-08 and 2010-11.

Midfield –
Saphir Taider, 27
Algeria (38/5)
Notable Clubs: Grenoble Foot 38 (26/1), Bologna (110/6), Internazionale (25/1), Sassuolo (27/3), Montreal Impact (48/12)
Value: £2.25M ($2.85M)
Notes: Produced by Castres FC, Albi, and Grenoble. On a Designated Player contract with Montreal.

Samuel Piette, 24 (Called-up to Canada for Gold Cup)
Canada (41/0)
Notable Clubs: Fortuna Dusseldorf (2/0), Montreal Impact (61/0)
Value: £1.35M ($1.71M)
Notes: Produced by Metz and Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Micheal Azira, 31 (Uganda might let Azira remain for this match)
Uganda (4/0)
Notable Clubs: Charleston Battery (40/5), Seattle Sounders FC (25/0), Colorado Rapids (66/0), Montreal Impact (25/1)
Value: £360,000 ($456,000)
Notes: Played his university football with Lindsey Wilson and Mobile (both NAIA schools).

Forward –
Maximiliano Urruti, 28
Argentina
Notable Clubs: Newell’s Old Boys (57/12), Toronto FC (2/0), Portland Timbers (65/29), FC Dallas (95/29), Montreal Impact (16/1)
Value: £1.35M ($1.71M)
Notes: Produced by Newell’s Old Boys. Won a Primera Division Final with Newell’s in 2013. Won an MLS Cup with Portland in 2015. Won an MLS League and US Open Cup double with FC Dallas in 2016.

Anthony Jackson-Hamel, 25
Canada (9/3)
Notable Clubs: Montreal Impact (67/14)
Value: £540,000 ($684,000)
Notes: Produced by Montreal Impact.

Omar Browne, 25 (Called up to Panama for Gold Cup)
Panama (3/0)
Notable Clubs: Plaza Amador (8/0), Sporting San Miguelito (14/3), Chorrillo (7/0), CAI (49/15), Montreal Impact (6/2)
Value: £360,000 ($456,000)
Notes: Earned his first Panama cap against Trinidad & Tobago in April 2018.

Familiar Faces
Montreal midfielder, Micheal Azira played 25 times for the Sounders FC from 2014-2015.

Squads
Montreal from: Bush, Diop, Beaulieu, Pantemis, Cabrera, Camacho, Diallo, Krolicki, Novillo, Shome, Taider, Jackson-Hamel, Urruti.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Campbell, Jones, Leerdam, Nouhou, Bwana, Delem, Leyva, Rodriguez, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin, Ocampo-Chavez.

International Call-Ups
Montreal: Browne, Lovitz, Brault-Guillard, Piette, Raitala, Azira (depending on whether Uganda calls him up early).

Sounders FC: Arreaga, Ruidiaz, Torres, Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Morris (assuming he’s fit enough to report), Svensson, Smith.

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

Montreal –
OUT: Okwonkwo (leg), Piatti (knee), Choinere (concussion), Bayiha (quadriceps), Sagna (ankle).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Kim (knee), Rodriguez (declared fit).

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

No players suspended from either club.

Fun Fact
Nine Montreal players have scored a goal against the Sounders FC. No Montreal player has scored two or more against us.

FC DALLAS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Once again the Sounders FC head back to Texas. Frisco, TX specifically to play the Dallas Burn– I mean, FC Dallas. Ah, Dallas, where the Sounders’ dreams go to die. A historically difficult place for the Sounders to play, today’s encounter on Bison Boulevard will be complicated by the impending zonal championship tournaments for CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, respectively the Gold Cup and the Copa America.

Who will stay? Who will report to their national teams early? After an exhaustive round of research, it appeared that the Sounders would all be available, save for Lodeiro who’s fifth booking on Sunday sees him out this match. So I generally made my best guesses and expect the results to be starkly different from my predictions. It’s challenging to get in the Gaffer’s head; mostly because Brian Schmetzer is a proper, cagey geezer. That’s part of what’s so genius about him and why I am a continuing member of Brian Schmetzer’s Rave Green Army. Thus even as attempting to predict who’s in the team generates a massive pain in my arse, I comfort the self with images of the other managers in the league chasing at shadows trying to figure out the Gaffer’s next move. Good luck with that.

Worrying circumstances or not, there’s football to be played. And we aim to play it. Support as always is vital. Our number will do as they can to drum up support in the Evergreen at the pub and at the flats and houses of the Faithful. At Dallas, we rely on our comrades in the Heartland to bring to life the phrase “YOU WILL HEAR US”.

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

goldcup
I have very conflicted feels about you CONCACAF Gold Cup. In one way, you’re the trophy the Yanks have a shot at winning. In another, you deprive my dear Sounders of valued parts of the side. Right. More lager then.

The Good News
Even though we were defeated by Kansas City on Sunday, the statistical picture of the game was mostly even. The decisive statistic of the match was that Sporting finished one more chance than we did.

Although dinged a bit by conceding three goals on Sunday, Sounders FC still boast one of the top ten defences in MLS.

It was only recently that we got our first two away wins at Dallas. A clear improvement. Also, Dallas sits 13th in the league, and we are 3rd. Although it should be acknowledged, position in the table had no bearing on Sunday’s result.

Dallas have a bit of trouble scoring goals (1.29/match). If the Sounders can hold the Dallas to their average and we score our usual two goals, we’ll be just fine.

Ultimately we’ve only lost two out of 14 matches in the league this season, and that’s exceptional, so there’s little room for complaint.

Morris will likely be just shy of full fitness for this match, with Kim, Svensson, and Rodriguez expected in the team. All the above returned to full training this week. So generally good news on the injury front, although probably no Morris for this afternoon.

The Bad News
We couldn’t manage to get a result against a second from bottom SKC side that was missing Espinosa (a DP), Gerso Fernandes (who once hit a hat-trick against us), Zusi (a regular in the Yanks’ side for years), and Salloi (perhaps on the verge of getting selected for Hungary), plus five additional players. We were missing Rodriguez and Morris who are vital players, but we had won earlier in the season without them. To be fair, SKC fouled us 17 times whereas we only committed 7. I also felt at the time that Russell’s stiff-arming of Bwana was a foul and that first goal should never have happened. You can shoulder-charge legally, sure, but you’re not supposed to be permitted to bundle over someone with an outstretched forearm.

Dallas has only lost once at home this season. The Sounders have only won once away this season.

Lodeiro was booked for Persistent Infringement at Kansas City, and he will be suspended this match. We don’t have another player at his position that has his quality. Lodeiro is a vital component of the Sounders’ success. Rodriguez and Cristian Roldan have played in the #10 role before with good results. Let’s hope that holds.

With both the Gold Cup and Copa America just days away, there will be severe attrition in the Sounders’ squad. Jeremiah Oshan of Sounder at Heart reports that due to potential International commitments, as many as 11 Sounders FC players may be missing midweek when the Sounders FC travel to the Rue Sherbrooke in Montreal. The silver lining is that we have several players in our squad worthy of national team selection. Ups and downs, innit?

The Side I Would Select
National selections and possible early reporting notwithstanding, if everyone except for Lodeiro is available, this seems like, arguably, the most competitive team we could put out. However, you never know with the Gaffer. He’s a proper cagey geezer and could go all 5-3-1-1 on the Dallas.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
ACM C Roldan
RW Shipp
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
Away defeats at LAFC and Kansas City tell me the Gaffer will switch tactics and roll out a 5-3-1-1 as he did in Philadelphia. I don’t know if I’ll have any of this correctly predicted, this is essentially an educated blind darts throw because the Gaffer is just that good.

GK Frei
LB Nouhou Tolo
LCH Campbell
CH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LM Smith
CDM Delem
RM C Roldan
LCF Bruin
RCF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Baldomero Toledo will be the referee for this afternoon’s match. Toledo has presided over 275 MLS league matches booking 965 (3.51/match), sending-off 74 (0.27/match), sent-off 25 for two bookings in the same match (0.09/match), and has awarded 107 penalty kicks (0.39/match). Toledo has been on the FIFA list since 2007.

International call-ups will affect this match, although at press time it was unknown as to what degree.

General notes on personnel
Dallas transfer activity
IN: Ondrasek (Wisla Krakow), Bressan (Gremio), Acosta (Tenerife), Cerrillo (FCD Academy), Sealy (FCD Academy), Montgomery (draft), Nelson (draft).

OUT: Chala, Aguilar, Cano, Figueroa, Lamah, Reaves, Reid, Akindele, Urruti, Ulloa, Richards, Pedroso.

Comparison against common opponents
25 May VAN 2:1 DAL
30 March VAN 0:0 SEA

19 May DAL 1:1 LAFC
16 May LAFC 2:0 DAL
28 April SEA 1:1 LAFC
21 April LAFC 4:1 SEA

4 May HOU 2:1 DAL
11 May SEA 1:0 HOU

Know Thine Enemy
(the Dallas as they lined up in Vancouver on 25 May)

Goalkeeper –
Jesse Gonzalez, 24
United States
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (80/0)
Value: £720,000 ($910,000)
Notes: Produced by FC Dallas. Has 24 career clean sheets for Dallas. Although eligible to play for both United States and Mexico, Gonzalez is not yet cap-tied to either nation.

Defence
John Nelson, 20
United States
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (8/0)
Value: £270,000 ($341,000)
Notes: Played his university football at North Carolina (41/1). Was selected 10th overall by Dallas in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.

Bressan, 26
Brazil
Notable Clubs: Juventude (6/0), Gremio (107/4), Flamengo (4/0), Penarol (11/0), FC Dallas (5/0)
Value: £675,000 ($853,000)
Notes: Produced by Juventude. Won the Copa Libertadores in 2017, and Recopa Sudamericana in 2018 with Gremio.

Ryan Hollingshead, 28
United States
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (123/7)
Value: £720,000 ($910,000)
Notes: Played his university football at UCLA (81/16). Won an MLS League Championship and US Open Cup double with Dallas in 2016.

Reggie Cannon, 20
United States (2/0)
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (47/1)
Value: £1.58M ($2M)
Notes: Produced by FC Dallas. Played his university football at UCLA (20/0).

Midfield-
Jacori Hayes, 23
United States
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (28/1)
Value: £518,000 ($655,000)
Notes: Produced by Baltimore Bays. Played his university football at Wake Forest (81/15).

Bryan Acosta, 25 (May not be available due to Honduras call-up)
Honduras (38/3)
Notable Clubs: Real Espana (129/19), Tenerife (47/5), FC Dallas (11/2)
Value: £1.35M ($1.71M)
Notes: Produced by Real Espana. On a Designated Player contract.

Dominique Badji, 26
Senegal
Notable Clubs: Colorado Rapids (91/24), FC Dallas (19/4)
Value: £900,000 ($1.14M)
Notes: Played his university football at Boston University (69/26).

Pablo Aranguiz, 22 (May not be available due to Chile U-23 call-up)
Chile
Notable Clubs: Union Espanola (51/11), FC Dallas (20/0)
Value: £675,000 ($853,000)
Notes: On a Designated Player contract.

Michael Barrios, 28
Colombia
Notable Clubs: Uniautonoma (140/35), FC Dallas (138/27)
Value: £1.13M ($1.43M)
Notes: Has also produced 29 assists in his career with Dallas. Won an MLS League Championship and US Open Cup double with Dallas in 2016.

Forward-
Jesus Ferreira, 18
Colombia
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (15/5)
Value: £675,000 ($853,000)
Notes: Produced by FC Dallas.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Dallas from: Gonzalez, Maurer, Zobeck, Bressan, Cannon, Hedges, Hernandez, Montgomery, Nelson, Ziegler, Barrios, Hayes, Hollingshead, Roberts, Atuahene, Badji, Colman, Ferreira, Ondrasek, Reynolds, Sealy, Twumasi.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Arreaga, Campbell, Leerdam, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Leyva, Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Bruin, Ocampo-Chavez, Ruidiaz.

International Call-Ups
Dallas: Acosta (Honduras), Gruezo (Ecuador), Aranguiz (Chile U-23), Pomykal (USA U-20), Cerrillo (USA U-20), Servania (USA U-20).

Sounders FC: Lodeiro (Uruguay), Cristian Roldan (United States, depending on if he reports early for Gold Cup duty), Morris (United States, provided he’s fit enough to play and reports early), Jones (Trinidad & Tobago, provided he reports early), Nouhou Tolo (Cameroon U-23, depending on whether consideration turns into a call-up).

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

Dallas –
OUT: Mosquera (knee).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Kim, Morris,

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

Dallas: none suspended. Gonzalez and Acosta (Provided Acosta hasn’t reported to Honduras) out next match if booked.

Sounders FC: Lodeiro (fifth booking) is out this match as he is suspended.

Fun Fact
Sounders FC Communications reported that the Sounders FC reserves have signed defender Everardo Rubio who previously played with Murcielagos FC in Mexico. Welcome to the Evergreen, Everardo!

SPORTING KANSAS CITY v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Fill up that flask and fasten that seatbelt, Grandpa. The Sounders FC will descend on the State Avenue ground in Kansas City to face Sporting in a Sunday arvo fixture. Although you might say the real battle today might be metrics and analytics versus MLS’ engineered parity.

Who am I kidding? Your focus is likely the same as mine this day, steadily resting fixedly on the shock retirement of Sounders FC centre-half, Chad Marshall. I swear to God, I take one day off from looking at football news, and shit turns pear-shaped. I feel like our lives are all about being constantly and cruelly reminded of the fact that there is no permanence in this life. Although I am powerless, like the rest of us, to resist this. I have to say, I hate it. A lot. Both my wife and I have purchased tickets for the 29 June match, to say farewell. There’s just not enough lager to wipe away the ravages of the meatgrinder called time.

We’re going to have to say goodbye to an old friend. I mean, hopefully, Marshall will still be around. Cameos in the broadcast booth or placed in a meaningful role in the club’s management structure. Perhaps a placement helping in the development of our Academy players, who could benefit from the example of a consummate professional who for year after year was the picture of reliability and steadiness. Marshall was one of the finest to ever wear the shirt. Seems fitting that it’s raining as I write this. We will sail on, into uncharted waters, and cast our bitter tears into the sea. We will miss you on the pitch, Chad Marshall and like the Sounders FC, like the city of Seattle, and like our supporters, you will be Forevergreen.

However, football has no patience for aching hearts. It is driving, insistent, and never-ending. The only response to these feelings is to channel them into the indefatigable support that can only be generated by the finest supporters you will find in this league. That would be us. Support is vital. If you’ve found your way to Kansas City, look after each other. Be loud, be heard, and be kind. Eyes bright and hearts full. If you’re here in the Evergreen, you know what to do. Gather the Green Family where ye may. At the pub, and at each other’s dwellings. To Sporting and their fans I can definitively say: “YOU WILL HEAR US!”

Before kick-off, please join in two toasts. One in conjunction with our friends at The Heartland Horde. They will precisely, at 1:14 in the afternoon to symbolise the #14 that Marshall proudly wore, raise a glass to Chad Marshall. For all he’s given the club, it’s the least we can do.

Following this, please join me in the auld toast: “TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!”

marshallandcup
Six seasons, 156 appearances, 10 goals, six assists, forever a Sounder.

The Good News
Nemeth, SKC’s top scorer, is suspended due to his sending off against Vancouver last week. One less dangerous striker to face suits me just fine this day.

Seems like the bulk of the side have returned to fitness, save for Morris and Rodriguez. Hopefully, Svensson will pass a matchday fitness test and at least have a place on the substitute’s bench.

The Sounders FC hold the second position in the league table at 7-5-1, but alas still eight points adrift of league leaders LAFC.

Traditionally we have little trouble getting results against SKC with the all-time record favouring the Sounders FC at 9-4-5. When playing away at Kansas City, the Sounders’ all-time mark is 4-2-3.

SKC have lost only once at home, but the Sounders FC have only lost once on the road, and given Sporting’s excessive injury woes, it’s hard to picture a result where we walk away with zero points, but then again, you never know because MLS.

In matches against our latest common opponents (see below), the Sounders FC have performed significantly better than Sporting has.

Although SKC scores at a slightly higher rate than we do, the Sounders concede nearly a goal less per match than today’s opponents.

The Bad News
Thunderstorms and also river flooding warnings are in effect for Sunday in Kansas City, KS. Although I hope this doesn’t affect the match negatively, and hope for the safety of both teams and their staff, I am concerned for the local population in general. Please be safe.

SKC Manager Peter Vermes never gives up, and neither do his boys. I remember Vermes taking a free kick for the Yanks in the World Cup against Italy in Rome trailing 1:0. Vermes smashed the football in a low, rasping drive getting underneath Italy goalkeeper Walter Zenga who barely saved it through the accidental use of his butt cheek. The point is, although there will be rotation players and reserves in the team for Sporting, there is still quality in the team and also the pressure of not buckling in front of the home support. The match is ours for the taking, but it won’t be in any way easy.

We have to say goodbye to Chad Marshall, which is for me, the worst news of the season.

The Side I Would Select
The loss of Marshall to retirement must be addressed by either Torres, Arreaga, or Campbell. With Torres in form, it looks like it’s his place to win or lose. Arreaga has yet to feature for the Sounders, and I would expect him to be on the bench, based on the Gaffer’s latest interview insights. Campbell impressed me last week at Chester. He blocked shots, was rarely out of position, and looked steady at the least. With all that noted, Campbell is likely at the bottom of the centre-half depth chart.

GK Frei
LB Brad Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM Cristian Roldan
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW Bwana
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
I can’t imagine the Gaffer not selecting his strongest available side, given that Kansas City have 10 players currently on injury list, with several key personnel recovering from surgeries. Given the current scenario, you’d have to think the three points are on the table for us to take. Having said all that, Schmetzer changed the entire formation at Chester, featuring five rotation players in a 5-3-2. Will we stay in that shape? I have no earthly idea. I’m assuming back to basics and 4-2-3-1. Then again, maybe 5-3-2 is how we’re planning to present on the road.

GK Frei
LB Brad Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM Cristian Roldan
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW Bwana
CF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Chad Marshall has retired. Will it affect the match? If so, how?

Christopher Penso will be this afternoon’s match referee. Penso has presided over 156 MLS league matches booking 580 (3.72/match), sending off 29 (0.19/match), Sending off 16 for two bookings in the same match (0.10/match), and awarded 57 penalty kicks (0.37/match).

General notes on personnel
Kansas City transfer activity
IN: Wallace (NYCFC), Hurtado (Vancouver), Barath (Honved), Rowe (New England), Zelalem (Arsenal), Hasler (Chicago), Feilhaber (Colorado).

OUT: Belmar, Evans, Lobato, Didic, Storm, Rubio, Shelton, Opara, Rwatubyaye.

Svensson may be available for the Sounders, but it’s uncertain. Rodriguez and Morris have likely been ruled out.

Arreaga is expected to be available for selection.

Comparison against common opponents
18 May SKC 1:1 VAN
30 March VAN 0:0 SEA

20 April SJ 4:1 SKC
24 April SEA 2:2 SJ

7 April CIN 1:1 SKC
2 March SEA 4:1 CIN

Know Thine Enemy
(Sporting KC as they lined up against Vancouver on 18 May)

Goalkeeper –
Tim Melia, 33
United States
Notable Clubs: Chivas USA (6/0), Sporting Kansas City (125/0)
Value: £900,000 ($1.14M)
Notes: Played his university football at Oneonta and Lynn. Has 40 clean sheets in his 125 appearances for Kansas City. Started all 34 league matches in the 2018 MLS season for SKC. Won two US Open Cups with SKC and was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017.

Defence –
Seth Sinovic, 32
United States
Notable Clubs: New England Revolution (20/0), Sporting Kansas City (196/1)
Value: £540,000 ($687,000)
Notes: Played his university football at Creighton. Has won three US Open Cup titles and one MLS Cup with SKC.

Matt Besler, 32
United States (47/1)
Notable Clubs: Sporting Kansas City (264/3)
Value: £900,000 ($1.14M)
Notes: Played his university football with Notre Dame (90/5). Produced by KCFC Alliance. Twice won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with United States. Won three US Open Cups and one MLS Cup with SKC. Was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2012.

Botond Barath, 27
Hungary (3/0)
Notable Clubs: Honved (159/6), Sporting Kansas City (8/0)
Value: £315,000 ($400,000)
Notes: Produced by Dunakeszi, Ujpest, and Honved. Won a league championship with Honved in 2016-17.

Nicolas Hasler, 28
Liechtenstein (59/3)
Notable Clubs: FC Balzers (18/4), USV Eschen/Mauren (21/3), FC Vaduz (136/10), Toronto FC (24/3), Chicago Fire (13/1), Sporting Kansas City (4/0)
Value: £540,000 ($687,000)
Notes: Produced by FC Triesen and FC Balzers. Won a Swiss Challenge League and five Liechtensteiner Cups with FC Vaduz. Won an MLS Cup and the MLS League Championship with Toronto FC in 2017. Won a Canadian Championship with Toronto FC. Was named three times as Liechtensteiner Footballer of the Year.

Midfield –
Benny Feilhaber, 34
United States (44/2)
Notable Clubs – SV Hamburg (9/0), Derby (10/0), Aarhus (65/5), New England (52/5), Kansas City (204/29), Los Angeles FC (34/3), Colorado Rapids (9/2).
Value – £540,000 ($706,500)
Notes – Produced by Irvine Strikers. Played his university football at UCLA (36/7). Named to 2015 MLS Best XI. Won two US Open Cups and an MLS Cup with Kansas City. Won 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup with United States.

Ilie Sanchez, 28
Catalonia
Notable Clubs: FC Barcelona B (114/2), 1860 Munich (24/1), Elche (27/1), Sporting Kansas City (78/5)
Value: £1.13M ($1.44M)
Notes: Produced by six different clubs that included FC Barcelona. Won a US Open Cup with SKC in 2017.

Felipe Gutierrez, 28
Chile (35/4)
Notable Clubs: Universidad Catolica (65/19), FC Twente (94/9), Real Betis (14/1), Internacional (Brazil) (16/1), Sporting Kansas City (31/11)
Value: £2.25M ($2.86M)
Notes: Produced by Everton de Vina del Mar and Universidad Catolica. Won a League Championship and Copa Chile with Universidad Catolica. Won Copa America with Chile in 2015. Named Most Valuable Player of the Dutch Eredivisie in 2013-14. Is on a Designated Player contract with SKC.

Forward –
Kelyn Rowe, 27
United States (4/1)
Notable Clubs: New England Revolution (206/29), Sporting Kansas City (11/0)
Value: £765,000 ($973,000)
Notes: Produced by Crossfire Premier. Played his university football at UCLA (46/13).

Krisztian Nemeth, 30 (This player is suspended today)
Hungary (35/4)
Notable Clubs: MTK Budapest (38/15), Blackpool (1/0), AEK Athens (19/3), Olympiacos (4/0), Olympiacos Volos (13/1), RKC Waalwijk (18/4), Roda JC (45/10), Sporting Kansas City (48/18), Al-Gharafa (26/13), New England Revolution (21/1)
Value: £675,000 ($858,000)
Notes: Produced by FC Gyor. Won a League Championship with MTK in 2006-07. Won a Greek Super League Championship with Olympiacos in 2010-11. Won a US Open Cup with SKC in 2015. Won MLS Goal of the Year in 2015.

Johnny Russell, 29
Scotland (11/1)
Notable Clubs: Dundee United (102/31), Forfar Athletic (26/8), Raith Rovers (23/4), Derby County (182/30), Sporting Kansas City (41/14)
Value: £1.58M ($2.01M)
Notes: Produced by Dundee United.

Familiar Faces
SKC midfielder, Kellyn Rowe was born in Federal Way, WA and produced by Crossfire Premier.

Squads
Kansas City from: Melia, Dick, Zendejas, Barath, Besler, Hasler, Sinovic, Graham Smith, Busio, Croizet, Feilhaber, Gutierrez, Rowe, Sanchez, Zelalem, Freeman, Russell.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Arreaga, Campbell, Jones, Kim, Leerdam, Brad Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Leyva, Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin, Ocampo-Chavez, Ruidiaz.

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

Kansas City –
OUT: Hurtado (knee), Lindsey (knee), Wallace (hip), Espinoza (knee), Fernandes (wrist), Fontas (calf), Wan Kuzain (ankle), Zusi (oblique).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Medranda (knee), Salloi (groin).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Svensson (hamstring), Rodriguez (hamstring), Morris (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

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

Kansas City: Nemeth (sent-off) is suspended and out this match.
Sounders FC: No players suspended. Lodeiro out next match if booked.

Fun Fact
The Sounders Reserves ended their losing streak with a 1:1 draw against Reno 1868. Sounders Reserves forward, Justin Dhillon, scored the fastest goal in USL history only nine seconds into the match. The Reserves held on for the bulk of the game but had to settle for a draw when Reno equalised through Brian Brown on 84 minutes. Way to show that fighting spirit lads! Well done.

PHILADELPHIA UNION v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. There comes a time in a young man’s life when…It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…Call me Ishmael…There are those who believe that life here, began out there…nah, that’s all naff. The Sounders FC travel across the continent to Chester, Pennsylvania, where we will meet fourth place, Philadelphia in a clash of football titans.

With the Sounders having returned to winning ways, dispatching both Houston and Orlando City in our last two matches, the lads and we supporters will be thirsty for more success. And it would appear that this time, we’re running up against some tough customers. Which is fitting really, because Philadelphia.

We need to get our supporting ducks in a row. So whether you’re with ECS, whom I presume will be represented at Chester, making the transcontinental voyage, or at the pub or your mate’s flat, we need to put it together and generate maximum positive vibes for our Boys in Green. That’s what it means to be a member of Brian Schmetzer’s Rave Green Army.

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

torres
With Marshall nursing his damaged knee, Torres has done a rather remarkable job deputising for him. Well done, Roman!

The Good News
We’ve played 12 matches this year and have only lost once. We are currently on a five-match unbeaten streak and a two-match victory streak.

Although there are some injury issues, our depth players have proven equal to the task. Delem, Torres, Shipp, and Bwana have all provided quality minutes and even generated some goals.

Our defending has been consistent and a source of strength in the team. We have only conceded more than two goals in a match once this season by way of our poxy trip to Figueroa Street when LAFC had the temerity to put four goals past us. The rest of the season, however, has seen four clean sheets, four matches where we conceded one goal, and three matches where we conceded two goals. Clearly, the side seem to be doing a good job of meeting the defensive expectations of our coaching staff. The Sounders defence concedes an average of only 1.17 goals/match.

The Sounders continue to score goals at a pace of nearly two per match (1.83). Our strikers have regained their fitness, and at least Ruidiaz seems to have returned to form.

The Sounders away record at 1-2-1 is actually pretty good.

The Bad News
As good as we are, Philadelphia have nearly equalled our record, and have lost only three matches this season. Before the slate of midweek fixtures, Philadelphia were in second position in the league table. They are conceding an average of only one goal per match, and are scoring at a slightly higher rate than the Sounders with an average of 1.92 goals per match. This means that both sides are more likely to score two goals, and concede only one. This is, of course, impossible, as if one side scores two goals, the other side concedes two, and, well, you get the idea.

Philadelphia has a slight advantage in our all-time record against each other, having won five, lost four, and drawn two when our two clubs meet. Philadelphia have only lost once at home with the offender being Toronto FC, who defeated them 1:3 on 2 March.

In our matches against common opponents, Philadelphia have done as well as we have or better in most of those incidences, barring the loss to Toronto.

In the last five matches, the Sounders have won two and drawn three. Over that same period, Philadelpia have won four and drawn one.

The two-day turnaround may have a negative impact on the match for the Sounders as Philadelphia will be well-rested. When examining their injury list, only Philadelphia and Jamaica goalkeeper, Andre Blake is a noteworthy player.

Philadelphia’s strikers are quite good, particularly Kacper Przybylko who has scored three goals this season. They are ably supported by former Yanks’ midfielder, Alejandro Bedoya who has scored two goals himself.

Given that the teams score and defend at such a similar rate, the metrics point to a draw, which I think on two days rest, the Sounders FC would gladly take their point and return to the Evergreen having fought the good fight.

The Side I Would Select
With Svensson, Marshall, Morris, and Rodriguez out, This is probably the XI you want to put on the pitch.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Shipp
ACM Lodeiro
RW Bwana
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
This match is only a two-day turnover from the midweek fixture against Orlando City. This may affect the Gaffer’s selection, but I’m banking he’ll put out his best team unless there are injuries that we don’t know anything about.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Shipp
ACM Lodeiro
RW Bwana
CF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
The two-day turnover means that those who played in the midweek fixture against Orlando City will be on short muscle-recovery time. This could have either an impact in the selection or manifest itself in the last 20 minutes of the match as fatigue stacks up on our players. Philadelphia, on the other hand, has had a full week to recharge.

General notes on personnel
Philadelphia transfers
IN: Santos (Audax Italiano), Freese (Harvard University), Collin (New York RB), Coronel (RB Salzburg), Wagner (Wurzburger Kickers), Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Monteiro (FC Metz).

Comparison against common opponents
11 May TOR 1:2 PHI
2 March PHI 1:3 TOR
13 April SEA 3:2 TOR

1 May PHI 2:0 CIN
30 March CIN 0:2 PHI
2 March SEA 4:1 CIN

27 April VAN 1:1 PHI
30 March VAN 0:0 SEA

12 February ORL 1:4 PHI
15 May SEA 2:1 ORL

Know Thine Enemy
(Philadelphia as they lined up in Toronto on 11 May)

Goalkeeper –
Carlos, 22
Brazil
Notable Clubs: RB Salzburg (1/0), Philadelphia Union (4/0)
Value: £360,000 ($467,000)
Notes: Won Austrian Cup with RB Salzburg in 2017-18.

Defence –
Kai Wagner, 22
Germany
Notable Clubs: Philadelphia Union (10/0)
Value: £248,000 ($322,000)
Notes: Produced by SV Lonsee, SSV Ulm 1846, and FC Augsburg. Played for three lower-division German teams before being signed by Philadelphia.

Auston Trusty, 20
United States
Notable Clubs: Philadelphia Union (45/1)
Value: £720,000 ($934,000)
Notes: Produced by Philadelphia Union. Has 16 United States youth caps scoring one goal.

Jack Elliott, 23
England
Notable Clubs: Philadelphia Union (59/4)
Value: £585,000 ($759,000)
Notes: Played his university football at West Virginia. Selected by Philadelphia with the 77th overall pick of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.

Raymon Gaddis, 29
United States
Notable Clubs: Philadelphia Union (184/0)
Value: £585,000 ($759,000)
Notes: Played his university football at West Virginia.

Midfield –
Haris Medunjanin, 34
Bosnia & Herzegovina (60/9)
Notable Clubs: AZ Alkmaar (25/4), Sparta Rotterdam (32/7), Real Valladolid (42/7), Maccabi Tel Aviv (79/13), Gaziantepspor (62/6), Deportivo La Coruna (24/2), Philadelphia Union (76/4)
Value: £900,000 ($1.17M)
Notes: Born in Sarajevo, SFR Yugoslavia. Produced by Swift Atletiek, AFC ’34, and AZ Alkmaar. Playing with the Netherlands U-21s won two U-21 UEFA Championships in 2006 and 2007.

Jamiro Monteiro, 25
Cape Verde (5/0)
Notable Clubs: Cambuur (56/6), Heracles Almelo (34/4), FC Metz (3/0), Philadelphia Union (8/2)
Value: £1.58M ($2.05)
Notes: Produced by Dordrecht, Hansa Rostock, Anker Wismar, and Cambuur. Currently on loan from FC Metz.

Alejandro Bedoya, 32
United States (66/2)
Notable Clubs: Orebro SK (65/8), Rangers (12/1), Helsingborgs IF (21/6), Nantes (87/11), Philadelphia Union (83/8)
Value: £1.58M ($2.05)
Notes: Played his university football at Fairleigh Dickinson (35/13) and Boston College (37/14). On a Designated Player contract.

Marco Fabian, 29
Mexico (42/9)
Notable Clubs: CD Guadalajara (153/70), Cruz Azul (31/8), Eintracht Frankfurt (44/8), Philadelphia Union (6/2)
Value: £2.25M ($2.92M)
Notes: Produced by CD Guadalajara. Won a Copa MX with Guadalajara in 2015. Won an InterLiga with Guadalajara in 2009. On a Designated Player contract. Won the CONCACAF Champions League with Cruz Azul in 2013-14. Won a DFB Pokal with Eintracht Frankfurt in 2017-18. Won a Gold Medal with Mexico U-23s in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Forward –
Fabrice-Jean “Fafa” Picault, 28
United States (2/0)
Notable Clubs: Tampa Bay Rowdies (19/0), FC St. Pauli (22/4), Philadelphia Union (69/18)
Value: £675,000 ($875,000)
Notes: Produced by Cagliari. Won an NASL Championship with Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2012.

Kacper Przybylko, 26
Germany
Notable Clubs: Arminia Bielefeld (16/4), 1. FC Koln (12/2), Greuther Furth (32/5), 1. FC Kaiserslautern (45/9), Philadelphia (5/3)
Value: £270,000 ($350,000)
Notes: Produced by TuS Jollenbeck and Arminia Bielefeld. Born in Bielefeld, Germany. Played 30 times for Poland youth sides. Won the 2. Bundesliga championship in 2013-14 with 1. FC Koln.

Familiar Faces
Philadelphia Coach, Pat Noonan played 21 times for the Sounders FC from 2010-2011 scoring one goal.

Former Sounders FC goalkeeper, Charlie Lyon is currently with Philadelphia as an MLS Pool Goalkeeper. Lyon never appeared in the Sounders first-team but played 41 matches with the reserves between 2015-2016.

Squads
Philadelphia from: Coronel, Lyon, Fabinho, Collin, Elliott, Gaddis, Mbaizo, Real, Trusty, Wagner, Aaronson, Bedoya, Creavalle, Ilsinho, Fabian, Fontana, Madunjanin, Montiero, Burke, Ngalina, Picault, Przybylko, Santos.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Arreaga, Campbell, Jones, Kim, Leerdam, Smith, Nouhou, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Leyva, Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin, Ocampo-Chavez, Ruidiaz.

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

Philadelphia –
OUT: Blake (adductor), McKenzie (appendectomy), Freese (oblique).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Svensson (hamstring), Rodriguez (hamstring), Morris (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Marshall (knee).

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

None suspended from either club. Lodeiro out next match if booked.

Fun Fact
Philadelphia Union has USL side Bethlehem Steel FC as its reserve side. The current iteration of Bethlehem Steel is not to be confused with the Bethlehem Steel FC side that existed from 1907-1930 that won nine league championships, five National Challenge Cups (now known as the US Open Cup), and six American Cups (The open cup competition that preceded the National Challenge Cup). One should definitely not be confused with the other. The original Bethlehem Steel FC were dissolved in 1930.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. ORLANDO CITY SC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Orlando City travel across one continent, three times zones, and 50 public citations for barefoot and shirtless in the local convenience store, to face the Sounders FC under the lights at Royal Brougham Park in a midweek MLS League fixture. No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Our Boys in Green have worked their way back into the win column despite some dodgy defending last Sat managing to parley a Cristian Roldan wonderstrike into a 1:0 victory. Victory has been a while coming, as the Sounders hadn’t won a match since 13 April when the vict- I mean visitors were Toronto FC.

With Orlando City sitting in 18th position in the league table, what could provide a better opportunity for victory for the Sounders who are so thirsty for a three-point meal? Time to face the music in the Evergreen, Orlando City. You are unprepared, and we mean to properly expose you for it – but not your torsos and feet, standards must be maintained. We’re not barbarians.

Support is ever vital tonight. We have a chance to snatch three points in the league against a team that comes from the same state as the @Floridaman Twitter account. Gather the Green Family where ye may. Drop what you’re doing and head out to the ground, or the pub, or your mate’s flat. Put away your mobile devices and raise a glass with your friends. Let’s make the phrase “You will hear us” an indisputable fact.

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

Roldie
Cristian Roldan by the steps. Step 1, don kit and shinguards. Step 2, lace up boots. Step 3, take the pitch and kick-off. Step 4, hit amazing highlight reel goal on the full volley.

The Good News
The Sounders are unbeaten in their last four, have only been defeated once in our last entirety of this season, and remain undefeated at home (5-2-0). In sharp contrast, Orlando City have lost three of their previous five and lost their last two matches by an aggregate score of 3:0. In addition, Orlando’s away record shows only one victory from five matches (1-2-2). Matched up against the Sounders home form, the result seems to inevitably point to a Sounders victory. The Sounders have never been defeated by Orlando City over four meetings (3-1-0).

When comparing the two sides, it becomes statistically evident that the Sounders FC are more likely to score two goals, and Orlando City are the club more likely to concede two goals.

The Sounders FC have played better than our guests against four out of five common opponents. We victorious over Toronto and Salt Lake, where Orlando could only manage a draw. We shut out Colorado, where Orlando needed four goals to beat them 4:3. Then we smashed four goals past Chicago at Bridgeview, where Orlando could only manage a 1:1 draw.

Although Orlando have made several off-season signings, few to none of them seem particularly threatening. Of all the incoming players to Orlando, only former Manchester United winger, Nani, and Jansson who was signed from AIK Stockholm seem to have any real star power. Ultimately, Orlando look like a team that plays five at the back and prays for a favourable counter-attack. Sure, Dwyer and Akindele can finish, but who’s getting them the football?

The Bad News
There are some injury woes, and it looks like we will definitely be without Svensson and Rodriguez who are hampered by hamstring issues, and likely without Marshall who can’t seem to get relief from his dodgy knee. So we’re likely without our starting left-wing, defensive-midfielder, and left centre-half. This is somewhat mitigated by having Torres, who will be glad to leave the bench with a chance to shine in the team, to deputise for Marshall, with Shipp and Delem likely reprising their roles as understudies for Svensson and Rodriguez. The trio have generally done well filling in, and we’ll need them to continue their yeoman’s work tonight.

Houston had a number of plum chances last Sat, and I feel we were lucky to walk away with a win. Hopefully, our defensive lapses were worked on in training over Monday and Tuesday. Our group has an excellent staff, and I’d imagine the Gaffer already has Gonzo and Preki ironing out these issues as I write this.

This match calls to mind the last midweek fixture the Sounders had against San Jose. The match was supposed to be in the bag, but the Fauxquakes had other ideas and ran out to a 0:2 lead. I’m dearly hoping we learnt a valuable lesson from that, and that the side will not allow Orlando to get in.

The turnaround after this match is only two days before our away match at Chester to face Philadelphia. I wonder what the Gaffer has up his sleeve to deal with that.

The Side I Would Select
Assuming that Svensson, Marshall, and Rodriguez remain out, I think this is the best selection. Jones and Arreaga would, I imagine, still be getting training sessions under their belt. Arreaga has to learn our system from scratch. This will take time. Even though Jones had been with us for a fair patch before, it will take time to break the habits of the Darmstadt way of footballing.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
I imagine the Gaffer and I are on the same page with selection, but you never know. It depends on if he thinks we can beat Orlando City with x amount of rotation players in the team, and whether he wants to rest top players to face 2nd in the league Philadelphia on Sat. The trouble with resting top players is that we are a very different team without Lodeiro, so I can’t see that happening. It’s my best estimate that The Gaffer will play his best available lineup to try to bag the three points against a struggling Orlando side and deal with short rest and the club’s trip to Chester later.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Torres
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Tonight’s match referee is Dave Gantar. He has presided over six MLS matches, booking 26 (4.3/match), sent-off two (0.3/match), sent off three for two bookings in a match (0.5/match) and awarded three penalty kicks (0.5/match). He has been on the FIFA list since 2011.

General notes on personnel
Orlando City transfers
IN: Akindele (FC Dallas), Joao Moutinho (LAFC), Ranjitssingh (Louisville City FC), Kyle Smith (Louisville City FC), Mendez (Independiente del Valle), Michel (University of Portland), DeJohn (Dalkurd FF), Ruan (Barra da Tijuca), Nani (Sporting Lisbon), Rowe (Vancouver), Jansson (AIK Stockholm), Ascues (Alianza Lima – Loan), Danilo Acosta (Salt Lake – Loan).

OUT: Bendik, Laryea, Rocha, Schuler, Spector, Sutter, Toia, Villarreal, Edwards, Victor “PC” Giro, El Monir, Tarek, Yotun, Pinho, Allen.

Leyva and Ocampo-Chavez are still with the Yanks’ U-17s at the 2019 CONCACAF Championship tournament and are unavailable for selection.

Comparison against common opponents
13 April SEA 3:2 TOR
4 May ORL 0:2 TOR

30 March VAN 0:0 SEA
20 April ORL 1:0 VAN

6 April SEA 1:0 RSL
13 April RSL 2:1 ORL

9 March SEA 2:0 COL
6 April ORL 4:3 COL

16 March CHI 2:4 SEA
9 March CHI 1:1 ORL

Know Thine Enemy
(Orlando City as they lined up at Atlanta on 12 May)

Goalkeeper –
Brian Rowe, 30
United States
Notable Clubs: LA Galaxy (59/0), Vancouver (10/0), Orlando City (11/0)
Value: £315,000 ($408,000)
Notes: Played his university football at UCLA (53/0). Won MLS Cup with LA Galaxy in 2014.

Defence –
Kamal Miller, 21
Canada
Notable Clubs: Orlando City (4/0)
Value: £113,000 ($146,000)
Notes: Played his university football at Syracuse (78/7). Was selected by Orlando City in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft with the 27th overall pick.

Robin Jansson, 27
Sweden (1/0)
Notable Clubs: AIK Stockholm (25/2), Orlando City (8/0)
Value: £675,000 ($874,000)
Notes: Produced by Bengtsfors IF and BK Hacken. Won the Swedish league with AIK in 2018.

Alex De John, 28
United States
Notable Clubs: TPS Palloseura (28/1), IK Start (41/1), Orlando City (4/0)
Value: £225,000 ($291,000)
Notes: Produced by Players Development Academy. Played his university football at Old Dominion (66/2).

Midfield –
Joao Moutinho, 21
Portugal
Notable Clubs: LAFC (14/1), Orlando City (8/0)
Value: £450,000 ($583,000)
Notes: Produced by Sporting Lisbon. Played his university football at Akron (24/3).

Will Johnson, 32
Canada (43/4)
Notable Clubs: Chicago Fire (6/1), Heerenveen (14/1), De Graafschap (26/2), Salt Lake (114/9), Portland Timbers (69/15), Toronto FC (23/2), Orlando City (62/3)
Value: £675,000 ($874,000)
Notes: Produced by Woodridge Storm and Blackburn Rovers. Won one MLS Cup with Salt Lake in 2009 and one with Portland Timbers in 2015. Won a Canadian Championship with Toronto FC in 2016. Named to MLS Best XI in 2013. Named Canadian Player of the Year in 2013.

Sebastian Mendez, 22
Ecuador (7/0)
Notable Clubs: Independiente del Valle (81/4), Cultural Leonesa (1/0), Orlando City (10/0)
Value: £720,000 ($933,000)
Notes: Produced by Norte America and Independiente del Valle.

Ruan, 23
Brazil
Notable Clubs: Ponte Preta (17/0), Orlando City (10/0)
Value: £360,000 ($467,000)
Notes: Produced by Barra da Tijuca.

Cristian Higuita, 25
Colombia
Notable Clubs: Deportivo Cali (8/2), Orlando City (96/6)
Value: £630,000 ($817,000)
Notes: Produced by Deportivo Cali. Won the Columbian Cup in 2010 and the Superliga Colombiano in 2014 with Deportivo Cali.

Forward –
Dom Dwyer, 28
United States (4/2)
Notable Clubs: Kansas City (128/57), Orlando City (49/20)
Value: £2.25M ($2.92M)
Notes: Produced by Norwich City, Staines Town, and King’s Lynn. Played his university football for Tyler JC (42/52) and South Florida (21/16). Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, England and received his US Green Card in 2012. Also played for the USL iteration of Orlando City (13/15). On a Designated Player contract.

Tesho Akindele, 27
Canada (14/2)
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (133/24), Orlando City (8/2)
Value: £540,000 ($700,000)
Notes: Played his university football with Colorado School of Mines (83/76). Named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2014.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Arreaga, Campbell, Jones, Kim, Leerdam, Brad Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin, Morris, Ruidiaz.

Orlando City from: Rowe, Grinwis, Ranjitsingh, Acosta, De John, Jansson, Miller, Moutinho, O’Neill, Rosell, Sane, Kyle Smith, Ruan, Colman, Da Silva, Higuita, Johnson, Kljestan, Mendez, Powers, Akindele, Dwyer, Michel, Mueller, Patino.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: Svensson (hamstring), Rodriguez (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Marshall (knee).

Orlando City –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Ascues (hamstring), Nani (calf).

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

No players from either club suspended. Lodeiro out next match if booked.

Fun Fact
Joseph Mondello of SoundersFC.com reports that the Sounders FC Academy teams “will be travelling all over the world this summer, with different age group teams taking place in international tournaments in Mexico, Switzerland, England and South Korea. Domestically, they’ll also be competing in the Manchester City Cup and USSDA Playoffs.” Best of luck to our Academy sides this Summer. Do us proud, Lads!

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. HOUSTON DYNAMO

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. After a fair point earned in St. Paul, the Sounders FC return to the loving arms of the Evergreen to face Dinamo Creamsicles, I mean San Jose Earthquakes 2.5, I mean Houston Creamsicles, D’OHHHH! Stupid football identity crises!

As it ever is and as I ever continue to say, support is vital. If you can by any legal means procure a ticket, get ye to Royal Brougham Park on Saturday night. If you can’t link up with the Green Family where ye may. At the pub or at your place or your mate’s place. Most importantly, be loud and be jovial. In this way, no one lets the side down.

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

creamsicles2
You know who we’re playing, right? It’s so cute when San Jose Earthquakes v. 2.5 play dress-up as a club from Houston. Adorable. It’s not even Halloween!

The Good News
According to my sources, the entire side is healthy save for Svensson. MLS website says Nouhou is late fitness decision, but you’d expect Smith to be in the team.

Sounders FC are still unbeaten at home. That’s no small thing. With nearly a full-strength side, we are in a reasonable position to defend that record. In fact, our all-time record when we host Houston is also unbeaten in the league at 7-2-0. Houston are a mixed bag on the road at 1-0-1.

All-time record against Houston is encouraging at 8-6-4. I mean, it’s 12 results from 18, that’s not bad.

For the Sounders’ part, the football has been quite good. Those who have been asked to provide cover have done so and generally acquitted themselves well. With so many returning from injury, the quality of play only promises to get better. Even though we’ve three draw results in a row, I’m not yet panicking as I think it can all be worked out in training.

The transfer window deadline signings of Jones and Arreaga will provide some long-term benefits as hedges against Marshall’s inevitable battle with Father Time, Smith’s eventual loan recall to Bournemouth or Liverpool, and Torres’ arguable desire to leave the club due to lack of playing time.

The Bad News
Houston have four wins in their last five. We have only one win in our previous five matches. Form edge to Houston, at least in terms of results.

We’re having trouble finishing our chances, as we demonstrated in St. Paul with the notable exception of Roldan’s cracking volley, whilst Houston’s defence is not conceding goals. Houston have the third-best defence in the league having only conceded nine goals in eight league matches.

The Creamsicles were already a good team, and they added more quality to that mix.

In matches against common opponents San Jose, Colorado, Vancouver, and Salt Lake, the Sounders FC had a goals scored/conceded ratio of 5:2 whilst Houston’s rate against the same clubs was 10:5. Both clubs are more likely to score two goals than not and more likely than not to concede less than two goals.

Sounders reserves have dropped five in a row by an aggregate score of 18:1. I love our boys as much as anyone, but we need to do better.

The Side I Would Select
With Leerdam’s suspension over, and Ruidiaz fit enough for a runout last week in St. Paul, the course seems clear, start the best team possible. If we do any less, we might be overrun. Svensson’s nagging hamstring issues require Delem to deputise again.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Rodriguez
ACM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
Really can’t imagine the Gaffer selecting anyone aside from the best possible 11.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Rodriguez
ACM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Ruidiaz

Intangibles
Seattle playing in front of the best supporters in the league, at Royal Brougham Park is definitely an advantage.

The referee for tonight’s match was still undetermined at press time.

General notes on personnel
Sounders FC have signed Darmstadt 98 and Trinidad & Tobago defender/midfielder Joevin Jones along with Barcelona SC and Ecuador defender Xavier Arreaga just before the transfer window closed.

Houston transfers
IN: McCue (Houston Dynamo Academy), Duvall (Montreal Impact), Vera (San Lorenzo), Struna (Palermo), McNamara (NYCFC), Hairston (Colorado Rapids).

OUT: Donovan, Leonardo, Machado, Steeves, Watts, Alvarez, Senderos, Wenger (retired), Remick (retired), Alexander, Gil, Seitz.

Recent Sounders FC signings, Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, are still with USA U-17s at CONCACAF Championship and are thus unavailable for selection.

Comparison against common opponents
24 April SEA 2:2 SJ
13 April HOU 2:1 SJ

9 March SEA 2:0 COL
30 March COL 1:4 HOU

30 March VAN 0:0 SEA
16 March HOU 3:2 VAN

6 April SEA 1:0 RSL
2 March HOU 1:1 RSL

Know Thine Enemy
(Houston, as they lined up against FC Dallas on 4 May)

Goalkeeper –
Joe Willis, 30
United States
Notable Clubs: DC United (23/0), Houston Dynamo (71/0)
Value: £495,000 ($644,000)
Notes: Played his university football with Denver. Won a US Open Cup with DC United in 2013 and with Houston in 2018. Named Houston defensive player of the year in 2016.

Defence –
Adam Lundkvist, 25
Sweden (2/0)
Notable Clubs: IF Elfsborg (110/3), Houston Dynamo (24/0)
Value: £765,000 ($996,000)
Notes: Produced by Nykopings BIS and Elfsborg IF. Won a Swedish Cup with Elfsborg in 2013-14, and a US Open Cup with Houston in 2018.

Maynor Figueroa, 36
Honduras (149/5)
Notable Clubs: Victoria (24/2), Olimpia (100/6), Wigan (37/1), Hull (35/0), Colorado Rapids (10/1), FC Dallas (73/4), Houston Dynamo (7/0)
Value: £270,000 ($351,000)
Notes: Produced by Victoria. Won an FA Cup with Wigan Athletic in 2012-13. Won a US Open Cup / League double with FC Dallas in 2016.

Aljaz Struna, 28
Slovenia (14/0)
Notable Clubs: Koper (63/3), Jadran Dekani (63/2), Palermo (63/2), Carpi (64/2), Houston Dynamo (7/0)
Value: £675,000 ($878,000)
Notes: Produced by Koper. Won Slovenian League/Supercup double with Koper in 2010. Won Serie B titles in Italy with Palermo in 2013-14 and Carpi in 2014-15.

A. J. DeLaGarza, 31
United States (2/0) / Guam (12/0)
Notable Clubs: LA Galaxy (204/2), Houston Dynamo (41/0)
Value: £450,000 ($585,000)
Notes: Played his university football at Maryland. Won three MLS Cups and two League Championships with LA Galaxy. Won US Open Cup with Houston in 2018.

Midfield –
Boniek Garcia, 34
Honduras (125/3)
Notable Clubs: Olimpia (115/14), Houston Dynamo (177/13)
Value: £270,000 ($351,000)
Notes: Produced by Real Patepluma. Won eight league championships with Olimpia. Won US Open Cup with Houston in 2018. Won Copa Centroamericana with Honduras in 2011. Named Houston Newcomer of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year in 2012.

Matias Vera, 23
Argentina
Notable Clubs: O’Higgins (28/2), Houston Dynamo (7/0)
Value: £540,000 ($702,000)
Notes: Produced by Nueva Chicago. Loaned by San Lorenzo to O’Higgins, and then signed a permanent contract with the Dynamo.

Memo Rodriguez, 23
United States
Notable Clubs: Houston Dynamo (35/7)
Value: £270,000 ($351,000)
Notes: Produced by Houstonians FC and Houston Dynamo. Won US Open Cup with Houston in 2018.

Tomas Martinez, 24
Argentina
Notable Clubs: River Plate (12/0), Tenerife (13/0), Braga (3/0), Houston Dynamo (49/9)
Value: £1.35M ($1.76M)
Notes: Produced by Atletico Beccar and River Plate. Won a League and Copa Sudamericana double with River Plate in 2014. Won a US Open Cup with Houston in 2018. On a Designated Player contract.

Alberth Elis, 23
Honduras (21/9)
Notable Clubs: Olimpia (38/20), Monterrey (5/0), Houston Dynamo (64/25)
Value: £2.25M ($2.93M)
Notes: Produced by Real Espana, EF Esafi, and FC Barcelona. Won two league titles and a President’s Cup with Olimpia. Won US Open Cup with Houston in 2018. Named Houston Player’s Player and Newcomer of the Year in 2017. On a Designated Player contract.

Forward –
Mauro Manotas, 23
Colombia
Notable Clubs: Uniautonoma (25/5), Houston Dynamo (105/40)
Value: £2.25M ($2.93M)
Notes: Hit 19 league goals for Houston in 2018. Won US Open Cup with Houston in 2018. Named Houston Young Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017. Named Houston MVP, Player’s Player of the Year, and Ironman of the Year in 2018.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Arreaga, Campbell, Jones, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Victor Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin, Morris, Ruidiaz.

Houston from: Deric, Willis, Nelson, DeLaGarza, Duvall, Figueroa, Fuenmayor, Kevin Garcia, Junqua, Lundkvist, McCue, Struna, Cabezas, Ceren, Boniek Garcia, Martinez, McNamara, Memo Rodriguez, Vera, Elis, Manotas, Quioto.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: Svensson (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Nouhou Tolo (ankle).

Houston –
OUT: Bird (ankle), Beasley (knee), Pena (knee), Hairston (hip).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

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

No players suspended from either side. Lodeiro is out next match if booked.

Fun Fact
Anyone else been watching Leyva and Ocampo-Chavez bossing it in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship Tournament? I mean, that’s the definition of fun, innit? Well done, Lads! You’re doing us proud!

MINNESOTA UNITED FC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Sounders FC have invaded the Land of 10,000 Lakes to face Minnesota United under the lights at St. Anthony Avenue.

It’s been a pretty crazy end to April. The Fauxquakes rolling into Seattle, expected to be easy meat but then, surprisingly running out to a 2:0 lead. Only a massive late effort enabled the Sounders to hit back twice and equalise. Four days later, LAFC come to the Evergreen, chuffed from their 4:1 dismantling of our Boys in Green in the away fixture, and mayhem ensued. The Sounders took a shock 1:0 lead with Morris picking off a backpass and smashing it into the LAFC goal. It didn’t take long for things to unravel, with Vela hitting back three minutes later to level the score. Crisitan Roldan was sent off 16 minutes later for putting hands to Atuesta’s face – in what could fairly be described as simply trying to regain his balance from being shoved from behind by his supposed victim. Then on to the rest of the match just trying to hang on, in an unevenly officiated environment with chippy play from both sides seeing Lodiero and Kim booked, and Leerdam sent-off in stoppage-time for what I would charitably describe as a cross-body block. Both of these results were massively affected by injuries to the team that saw us unable to select five first-team players nor our first or second choice centre-forwards. What a week.

So what now? A trip to St. Paul with hopes to secure three points against an MUFC team we’ve beaten all four times we’ve played them. On the surface of it, that seems like a reasonable expectation, until you consider that this particular iteration of the Loons has added one of the best defensive midfielders that ever played for the Sounders, Ozzie Alonso, and a goalkeeper on loan from Redding that used to play for the Arsenal in Vito Mannone. Add to that lethal finishing play from Columbian veterans Angelo Rodriguez, and Darwin Quintero, bolstered by the midfield presence of Slovakian international Jan Gregus and Finland midfielder Rasmus Schuller and it begins to look like a completely different side. Add veteran defender Ike Opara and Madagascar right-back Romain Metanire to the mix and it becomes clear that nearly the entire team has been revitalised. This begs the question: Are we up for the challenge? We’re about to find out.

Support as always is vital, so here’s hoping that our visiting supporters from ECS and it’s subgroups live up to the saying “You will hear us”. Here in the Evergreen we must gather the Green Family where we may, at pubs and at each other’s dwellings for viewing parties espousing the holy trinity (I ask the devout to notice that I did not capitalise and to show mercy) of pints, mates, and football.

As always before kick-off, please join me in the auld toast: “TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!”

healthpack
Our players are fit again…right?

The Good News
The Sounders have only lost once in their last five matches, and have shown the necessary resilience to earn draws against San Jose, and league-leading LAFC despite severe injury attrition and match officiating more commonly found in local pub leagues.

Miki Turner from Sounder at Heart reported that all the injured have returned to full training save Svensson. If she’s right this will be the first time we’ve fielded our first-choice players since 30 March against Vancouver. Or at least it would be our complete first eleven if not for Leerdam’s suspension for that cheeky stoppage-time body-block on Sunday.

I feel the entire Sounders team deserves to be singled out for valour. Bwana has shown he’s more than capable to fill-in for Victor Rodriguez when he’s unable to play. Lodeiro has been…well, Lodeiro – demonstrating the excellence that made him a meaningful contributor to Nacional (Uruguay), Boca Juniors, and for Uruguay. Everyone in the back pitching in and playing with a generally high level of quality, save for the match in LA. Morris playing out of position to deputise at centre-forward and eventually scoring a clutch, shock goal on Sunday. Shipp filling in on the right-wing scoring, what was it, two goals in three matches. The list goes on. This tells me there is no cause for alarm, along with the fact that we’ve only lost once in nine matches.

We have historically dominated Minnesota United, with an all-time record of 4-0-0 since the Loons’ introduction to MLS.

Roldan’s red card was rescinded. So he’s in the team. Justice done. Good for us.

The Bad News
This MUFC side is in almost no way the same as the Minnesota teams we have so consistently defeated in the past. MUFC have lost only one of their last five matches and haven’t conceded a goal in their last two. Plus they have Ozzie, which is bad time news for our goal scorers and playmakers.

Although the MLS website lists Gasper and Quintero as matchday decisions, I would be shocked if Quintero’s ankle injury kept him out, and much less surprised if Gasper continues to be hampered by his hamstring issue. If both of them are in the team at kick-off, it’s not good like for the Sounders.

Lodeiro has been booked four times, and will thus will be out next match if booked a fifth time. You’d have to imagine that this will impact Lodeiro’s ability to defend with aggression.

This MUFC side played better against two of our three common opponents this season, defeating the ‘Caps 2:3 when we could only manage a 0:0 draw, and Blanking San Jose 0:3 whilst we struggled to a 2:2 draw.

The metrics of goals scored and goals against averages suggest that the margins are exceedingly narrow for this game with both clubs averaging two goals per match and conceding fractionally less than two per match. This comparison suggests that the Sounders are the more likely of the sides to score two goals. We’ll see.

Tonight’s referee, Tim Ford, has only refereed a total of 27 matches, and only presided over four MLS league contests. It has yet to be determined how or whether his relative inexperience will impact tonight’s result.

Will Abdul-Salaam be able to adequately deputise for Leerdam? What will happen if the Gaffer tries the Wingo experiment and places the midfielder at right-back? Not so much bad news as questions that will have to be asked.

The Side I Would Select
With Leerdam suspended and Svensson injured, this seems like the best selection available. Miki Turner of sounderatheart.com reported that all the injured players had returned to full training with the exception of Svensson, and this line-up is based on the assumption that those who have returned to full training have also returned to a fitness level that would not significantly hinder their ability to play should they be selected for tonight’s match.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Abdul-Salaam
LDM C Roldan
RDM Delem
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Ruidiaz

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
The Gaffer may choose to give Victor extra time to make sure he’s past any remnant of his concussion symptoms by having Bwana continue to take his place in the team. Bwana arguably deserves this chance as he’s played quite well since being called on two matches ago. I think the Gaffer will also exercise caution with Ruidiaz, not wanting to rush him back into the team potentially exacerbating his heel problem and losing him for even more matches down the stretch. I predict both Rodriguez and Ruidiaz will be on the bench, and would expect to see them play near the hour-mark of the match if things go pear-shaped or our attack needs a jolt.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Abdul-Salaam
LDM C Roldan
RDM Delem
LW Bwana
CAM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Bruin

Intangibles
Tim Ford will be tonight’s match referee. Ford has presided over four MLS matches, booking 16 (4/match), sending-off one (0.25/match), and has awarded one penalty kick (0.25/match). In total, Tim Ford has only refereed 27 professional matches between MLS, USL, NASL, US Open Cup, and USL Cup. Tim ford is not on the FIFA list for officials.

General notes on personnel
Minnesota United transfers:

IN: Gregus (FC Copenhagen), Alonso, Metanire (Reims), Opara (Kansas City), Olum (Portland).

OUT: Thiesson, Ibson, Burch, Fernando Bob, Heath, Pangop, Kapp, Warner, Owundi, Lampson, Maximiniano, Gomez, Venegas, Cronin.

Loons’ goalkeeper Vito Mannone is currently on loan from Reading FC of the EFL Championship.

Sounders reserves and USA U-17 forward, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez has signed a Homegrown Player first-team contract with the Sounders FC. Ocampo-Chavez and Danny Leyva will be with the Yanks’ U-17s at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship which will determine the zonal qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Sounders reserves players have a match on 4 May, the same date as MIN v. SEA. This will affect the selections of both teams.

Comparison against common opponents
2 March VAN 2:3 MIN
30 March VAN 0:0 SEA

9 March SJ 0:3 MIN
24 April SEA 2:2 SJ

19 April TOR 4:3 MIN
13 April SEA 3:2 TOR

Know Thine Enemy
(MUFC as they lined up Sunday 28 April in their 1:0 win over DC United)

Goalkeeper –
Vito Mannone, 31
Italy
Notable Clubs: Arsenal (15/0), Barnsley (2/0), Hull City (31/0), Sunderland (67/0), Reading (47/0), Minnesota United (9/0)
Value: £1.58M ($2.06M)
Notes: Developed by Arsenal and Atalanta. In nine matches with the Loons, Mannone has three clean sheets.

Defence –
Eric Miller, 26
United States
Notable Clubs: Montreal Impact (30/0), Colorado Rapids (56/0), Minnesota United (20/0)
Value: £540,000 ($704,000)
Notes: Produced by Bangu Tsunami and Minnesota Thunder. Played his university football with Creighton (63/4).

Brent Kallman, 28
United States
Notable Clubs: Minnesota United (53/2)
Value: £540,000 ($704,000)
Notes: Played his university football with Creighton.

Ike Opara, 30
United States (1/0)
Notable Clubs: San Jose Earthquakes (35/3), Sporting Kansas City (113/12), Minnesota United (8/0)
Value: £1.35M ($1.76M)
Notes: Played his university football at Wake Forest.

Romain Metanire, 29
Madagascar (4/0)
Notable Clubs: Metz (161/2), Kortrijk (18/0), Reims (59/0), Minnesota United (9/0)
Value: £1.58M ($2.06M)
Notes: Born in Metz, France of Malagasy descent. Won a Ligue 2 title with Reims in 2017-18.

Midfield –
Rasmus Schuller, 27
Finland (14/0)
Notable Clubs: FC Honka (63/5), HJK Helsinki (95/10), BK Hacken (18/1), Minnesota United (46/1)
Value: £450,000 ($586,000)
Notes: Developed by FC Kasiysi and HooGee. Won a Swedish Cup with BK Hacken in 2015-16.

Osvaldo Alonso, 33
Cuba (17/2)
Notable Clubs: Pinar Del Rio (42/14), Seattle Sounders FC (277/42), Minnesota United (9/1)
Value: £450,000 ($586,000)
Notes: Defected from Cuba in 2007 during the CONCACAF Gold Cup, ditching his Cuban teammates at a Houston Wal-Mart. Alonso became a United States citizen in 2012 and has stated his desire to represent the Yanks should he be selected and granted a one-time-switch from FIFA.

Jan Gregus, 28
Slovakia (21/2)
Notable Clubs: Nitra (4/0), Banik Ostrava (95/4), Jablonec (32/6), FC Copenhagen (64/3), Minnesota United (8/1)
Value: £1.58M ($2.06M)
Notes: Produced by Nitra. Won a league and cup double in Denmark with FC Copenhagen in 2016-17. Signed a Designated Player contract with MUFC in December 2018.

Forward –
Darwin Quintero, 31
Colombia (14/1)
Notable Clubs: Deportes Tolima (55/24), Krylia Sovetov (11/1), Santos Laguna (187/50), Club America (107/17), Minnesota United (35/16)
Value: £2.25M ($2.93M)
Notes: Produced by Deportes Tolima. Equally dangerous at creating goals as scoring them. On a Designated Player contract. Likely the most dangerous player in the side.

Angelo Rodriguez, 30
Colombia
Notable Clubs: Atletico Nacional (6/0), Real Cartagena (29/7), Independiente Medellin (8/0), Deportes Tolima (64/28), Minnesota United (20/8)
Value: £1.13M ($1.47M)
Notes: A native of San Andres Island, Colombia. On a Designated Player contract.

Abu Danladi, 23
Ghana
Notable Clubs: Minnesota United (50/10)
Value: £450,000 ($586,000)
Notes: Developed by Right to Dream Academy and Santa Barbara SC. Played his university football at UCLA (42/18).

Familiar Faces
Midfielder, Osvaldo Alonso (277/42) played from 2009-2018 with the Sounders FC helping to form the backbone of our defensive midfield for the better part of a decade.

Midfielder, Hassani Dotson was produced by Crossfire Academy and Washington Premier. Hassani is a Seattle native.

Squads
Minnesota United from: Mannone, Shuttleworth, St. Clair, Boxall, Calvo, Dotson, Kallman, Manley, Metanire, Miller, Omsberg, Opara, Alonso, Finlay, Gregus, Miguel Ibarra, Romario Ibarra, Martin, Molino, Olum, Schuller, Danladi, Angelo Rodriguez, Toye.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Campbell, Kim, Marshall, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Victor Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Wingo, Bruin, Morris, Ruidiaz.

Injury List
(Minnesota United’s injuries are as listed at mlssoccer.com.)

Minnesota United –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Gasper (hamstring), Quintero (ankle).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Svensson (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

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

Minnesota United : No players suspended.

Sounders FC : Leerdam (sent-off) is suspended this match. Lodeiro suspended after next booking.

Fun Fact
The VAR official for tonight’s match is Ricardo Salazar. Make of that what you will.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. LOS ANGELES FC

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Footballing equivalent of a wood-chipper and wayward extras from a motion picture, Los Angeles FC find themselves in the crystallised reality of The Evergreen as they face our Sounders FC in a high-tension Sunday matinee at Royal Brougham Park.

We have yet to beat this lot, and just like the rest of us, I’m well and sick of them. Support is vital this day. Get ye to the ground, and if ye can’t manage that, link up with the Green Family in pubs and homes, gather round the tele and stock up the lager for liquid protection.

We need maximum effort from our supporters this day, and thanks to the largesse of DS, my good mate JS and I will be lending our voices to the multitudes in the Brougham End, where the voices of many become one and where we will give our utmost to not let the side down. For our boys. To the end. So to all of you, I say “C’MON YE!!!” And to our stalwart lads in the Sounders FC, I say “GET IN!!!”

Before the match, wherever ye may be, please join me before kick-off in the auld toast: “TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!”

paulatredies
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. -Bene Gesserit litany from Frank Herbert’s “Dune”

The Good News
We are supposedly healthy, but for Bruin’s hamstring woes. In an interview, the Gaffer suggested that the attrition due to injury is far more expansive than the league list would seem to indicate, which of course seems more like bad news. This means I have no idea who is going to fill half the positions in the side. The good news is, our rivals from the Southland also have no idea who’s going to play.

Despite our recent lapse in form, we are still in third position in the league table. We’re still unbeaten at home, and I like to think we’re in with a shout any time the Sounders FC play at Royal Brougham Park.

Granted the sample size is only eight matches, but the Sounders FC are still averaging better than two goals per match.

Sounders FC have the best supporters in the league. NO EQUAL.

The Bad News
LAFC did not play midweek and will be on a full week’s rest, as opposed to the Sounders who struggled with, now 18th place, San Jose on Wednesday.

We have never defeated LAFC and have scored only one goal in three league matches against them. LAFC continue their good form having only lost once in their last, well, ever. That’s why they’re top of the league. This, of course, is an insufferable condition.

Our first and second choice centre-forwards are out and Morris has not shown himself to be an effective replacement so far.

Midweek we went down 0:2 to visiting, 19th place San Jose only managing to level with two goals after the hour mark from Leerdam and Shipp.

It’s possible that our injured players that have been declared fit, may still be the worse for wear. It’s one feasible theory addressing the sudden downturn in form. If the reports from Sounder at Heart, the Gaffer’s video interview, and Dylan Butler are correct we will be missing Svensson, Ruidiaz, Rodriguez, and possibly Bruin and Marshall this match. Not a great time to have critical first-team players out hurt when facing a foe we have yet to defeat, or even get a result against.

Our defence seems to be coming apart, and our attack looks nothing like scoring for large patches of play. I would describe this as things gone pear-shaped. LAFC are conceding an average of 0.78 goals/match and are scoring nearly three goals/match (2.78). These are not good signs for the Sounders, who have struggled to score goals of late.

If all it takes for rest of the league is to kick Ruidiaz and Bruin until they need medical attention for the Sounders’ wheels to come off, it’s going to be a very long year. As the old equation goes: The number of inexpensive chippy defenders > the cultivated multi-million-pound attackers that can reliably stick the ball in the back of the net. Sobering, but true enough.

The Side I Would Select
This is a best guess at a time when the league website says it’s only Bruin out, and the Gaffer’s interview would have you believe half the first team is out, with Svensson nursing a hamstring problem, Rodriguez in concussion protocol, and Ruidiaz still in his injury boot. On the other hand, the Gaffer said that Bruin was “looking good”. The shorthand for all this is, I have no idea who is going to play.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Shipp
CAM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Bruin

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
The Gaffer’s being awfully cagey about this one. With Svensson and Rodriguez supposedly out, you’d have to imagine they will be replaced with Delem and Bwana. The Gaffer spoke glowingly of Bwana’s play midweek, and maybe it’s enough to get him in the team with so many of the lads nursing bumps and bruises. It would be difficult to turn a blind eye to the fine play of Harry Shipp and keep him out of the team with Morris standing in for our injured strike force up front.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM Delem
RDM C Roldan
LW Bwana
CAM Lodeiro
RW Shipp
CF Morris

Intangibles
LAFC did not have a midweek fixture as the Sounders did on Wednesday. Typical. Thus fatigue and injuries will test the Sounders’ depth today. This should affect the Gaffer’s selection.

Today’s match referee is Ted Unkel. Unkel has presided over 83 MLS matches, booking 327 (3.94/match), sending-off 23 (0.28/match), sending-off 6 for two bookings in the same match (0.07/match), and has awarded 46 penalty kicks (0.55/match).

General notes on personnel
LAFC transfers

IN: Segura, El Monir, Zelaya, Sisniega, Batista, Ejimadu, Adrien Perez, Hamalainen, Guido, Vassell, Javi Perez.

OUT: Joao Moutinho, Lyon, Roberts, Czornomaz, Mallace, Murphy, Saint-Duc, Urena, Feilhaber, Lopez, Kovar.

Leyva will be unavailable for selection, as he is with the Yanks’ U-17s for CONCACAF U-17 World Cup Qualifying.

Muse will likely be unavailable as he played for the Sounders reserves in Tacoma on Friday in a 0:3 loss to San Antonio.

Although the MLS website does not list Svensson, Rodriguez, Marshall, and Ruidiaz as out this match or a matchday fitness decision, this does not jibe with the Gaffer’s video interview for soundersfc.com, with Miki Turner’s assessment of Sounders’ training this week, or with Dylan Butler’s prediction at mlssoccer.com.

Comparison against common opponents
23 March LAFC 2:1 Salt Lake
6 April Sounders 1:0 Salt Lake

13 April LAFC 2:0 FC Cincinnati
2 March Sounders FC 4:1 FC Cincinnati

17 April Vancouver 1:0 LAFC
30 March Vancouver 0:0 Sounders FC

Know Thine Enemy
(LAFC as they lined up against us on Figeroa Street a week ago)

Goalkeeper –
Tyler Miller, 26
United States
Notable Clubs: Seattle Sounders FC (2/0), Los Angeles FC (42/0)
Value: £675,000 ($877,000)
Notes: Played his university football at Northwestern (77/0). Stolen from us by thieving LAFC in the 2017 Expansion Draft. 13 clean sheets for LAFC.

Defence –
Jordan Harvey, 35
United States
Notable Clubs: Colorado Rapids (45/0), Seattle Sounders FC (12/1), Philadelphia Union (46/1), Vancouver Whitecaps (179/10), Los Angeles FC (37/0)
Value: £360,000 ($468,000)
Notes: Played his university football at UCLA. Produced by Strikers FC.

Eddie Segura, 22
Colombia
Notable Clubs: Los Angeles FC (9/0)
Value: £360,000 ($468,000)
Notes: Produced by Deportivo Pereira.

Walker Zimmerman, 25
United States (6/2)
Notable Clubs: FC Dallas (89/7), Los Angeles FC (34/5)
Value: £1.35M ($1.74M)
Notes: Played his university football at Furman (39/11). Produced by GSA Phoenix.

Steven Beitashour, 32
Iran (6/0)
Notable Clubs: San Jose Earthquakes (87/2), Vancouver Whitecaps (54/0), Toronto FC (51/0), Los Angeles FC (37/3)
Value: £720,000 ($930,000)
Notes: Played his university football at San Diego State (57/0).

Midfield –
Latif Blessing, 22
Ghana
Notable Clubs: Kansas City (25/3), Los Angeles FC (39/5)
Value: £675,000 ($877,000)
Notes: Produced by Liberty Professionals. Holds a US Green Card.

Eduard Atuesta, 21
Colombia
Notable Clubs: Independiente (29/0), Los Angeles FC (34/2)
Value: £450,000 ($585,000)
Notes: Has a US Green Card and thus does not take up an international slot for his club. Produced by Independiente.

Mark-Anthony Kaye, 24
Canada (7/0)
Notable Clubs: Los Angeles FC (28/4)
Value: £540,000 ($698,000)
Notes: Played his university football for York (29/18). Produced by Toronto FC Academy and Wexford SC.

Forward –
Diego Rossi, 21
Uruguay
Notable Clubs: Penarol (46/13), Los Angeles FC (41/18)
Value: £4.05M ($5.26M)
Notes: On a Designated Player contract. Produced by Penarol. Holds a US Green Card.

Christian Ramirez, 28
United States (2/1)
Notable Clubs: Minnesota United (140/72), Los Angeles FC (15/4)
Value: £765,000 ($994,000)
Notes: Played his university football at UC Santa Barbara (24/1) and Concordia (42/41). Won the NASL Golden Boot in 2014 and 2016. NASL Best XI 2014, 2015, 2016.

Carlos Vela, 30
Mexico (72/19)
Notable Clubs: Arsenal (29/3), Salamanca (31/8), Osasuna (33/3), West Bromwich Albion (8/2), Real Sociedad (184/54), Los Angeles FC (37/24)
Value: £9M ($11.7M)
Notes: Won the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup with Mexico, winning the Golden Boot. Twice won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with Mexico.

Familiar Faces
LAFC defender, Jordan Harvey was once on loan with the Sounders FC (12/1) in 2006.

Goalkeeper, Tyler Miller used to play for the Sounders FC as well (2/0) until he was expansion drafted by LAFC in 2017. Miller made his league debut last season with LAFC in Seattle where they defeated us 0:1.

LAFC Assistant Coach, Ante Razov was a coach with the Sounders FC from 2015-2016.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Meredith, Abdul-Salaam, Campbell, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Morris, Ruidiaz.

LAFC from: Miller, Sisniega, Ejimadu, Batista, Beitashour, Blackmon, El-Munir, Hamalainen, Harvey, Jakovic, Segura, Silva, Zimmerman, Atuesta, Blessing, Guido, Kaye, Nguyen, Javier Perez, Vassell, Brewer, Josh Perez, Adrien Perez, Ramirez, Rossi, Vela.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: Bruin (hamstring or is it? Gaffer said he looked good in training).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none (or the whole team, difficult to tell because football. show me a manager’s honest injury assessment and I’ve an investment opportunity for you regarding a bridge in Brooklyn)

LAFC –
OUT: Horta (quadriceps), Diomande (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Zelaya (calf).

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

Sounders FC: Leerdam will be out next match if booked. (Leerdam was not listed, because the mlssoccer.com website is rarely up to date re: injuries or discipline)

LAFC: Atuesta will be out next match if booked.

Fun Fact
Joseph Mondello of soundersfc.com has reported that Sounders Academy players Austin Brummett and Angel Martinez have been called into the Yanks’ U-15 side to participate in the Torneo Delle Nazioni in Gradisca, Italy. Well done, Austin and Angel! Do us proud, lads!

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. San Jose Earthquakes, the club with a lovely new park, snazzy re-branding, with a pathological case of identity crisis, travel north to the Evergreen to face our Sounders FC under the lights in the friendly confines of Royal Brougham Park.

The utter shambles of Sunday’s defeat must be placed in the past for later review, as there is work to be done midweek under the lights on Occidental Avenue against our current foe from the South Bay. It’s not easy being Green, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Support is vital, and we need to show the lads that our support never wavers, no matter what. If you have the means get yourself to the ground, link up with your mates, and save your voice for the match. Our Boys in Green need the bounce-back, and we can aid them by raising our voices and showing our fierceness. If a ticket is beyond your reach for whatever reason, link up with the Green Family at the pub for a viewing party, or throw or attend a viewing party in your dwelling. No one lets the side down. By the good graces of BH, I will be at the match tonight to help support the Sounders FC to victory.

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

the lads
The lads. Be mindful Sounders’ veterans. This lot is comin’ “ta take yer jaaaabs”.

The Good News
The midweek test against San Jose could be the perfect bounce-back match. For starters, the Sounders are historically good at home against the ‘Quakes (8-1-5). San Jose are winless away from the Coleman Avenue ground this season, whilst the Sounders are still unbeaten at home.

San Jose isn’t LAFC, and as good as some of the talent is for this evening’s opponent, they don’t have a devastating combination in the mould of Vela and Rossi who are together transfer valued at some £13M at transfermarkt.co.uk.

It seems Marshall will be fit to play, as Sounder at Heart has reported he has returned to full training. However, it’s unknown whether he will start in the team or come off the bench. If Marshall starts, it will make a world of difference as he is, arguably, the best centre-half in the league.

Royal Brougham Park is Green Hell for all visiting clubs, which I’ve written about a bit under the intangibles heading, but I felt like underscoring it here.

Harry Shipp’s goal-scoring performance at right-wing will likely earn him a place in the team. It’s good for our rotation players to get matches so they can be ready to deputise in case of injury or lapses in form.

The ‘Quakes have trouble scoring goals (1.43/match) and are bleeding goals at the back (2.43 goals conceded/match). If it weren’t for their confident display on Sat, I’d say they were game for the taking.

The Bad News
Chris Wondolowski. The local boy from San Ramon Valley with the golden boot. Wondo is the single most deadly striker to play against our Sounders in the MLS-era, having repeatedly torpedoed us to the tune of 11 goals at last count. Oh, and if you’re deciding to mark Wondo out of the match, or he should find himself on the bench as he was on Sat, Dutch national Danny Hoesen will be happy to run into the gifted space and hammer in a goal of his own.

The even record between the sides all-time is a crapshoot (10-5-10) if you look at the history between the sides. The fact that the visitors are coming off a very convincing 4:1 thrashing of Kansas City is no help.

It’s likely that Ruidiaz and Bruin will be scratched from the team due to injury. 35% of the Sounders’ goal scoring was accomplished by Ruidiaz and Bruin last season, and they’ve scored 33% of our goals this season so far. So either Morris must do a better job at centre-forward, or another alternative must be found up front until Raul and Will can return to full fitness.

I feel things sometimes go pear-shaped in matches against San Jose, for no identifiable reason. Those of you who have made the trip to the South Bay with our away support know what I’m talking about. I can’t describe it, and it seems to have nothing to do with football or reality. It’s just all queer like. Or like when Los Ultras throw rubbish at your coach on the way out of town.

Nightfall kits at home? On the road, super cool. At home, utterly confusing. Has the Sounders’ equipment staff not done the washing?

The Side I Would Select
Yes, I know Alfonso is only 17 years old, but Morris did not perform at centre-forward on Sunday and Bruin, and Ruidiaz are out. I would give Ocampo-Chavez his first-team debut on the basis of his stunning performance in the Generation Adidas Cup.

GK Frei
LB Nouhou
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM C Roldan
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW Morris
CF Ocampo-Chavez

The Side I Think The Gaffer Will Select
I think the Gaffer will select as close as possible to the team that’s gotten us five wins. The Gaffer doesn’t seem like the kind of manager to replace the whole team based on one result.

GK Frei
LB Smith
LCH Marshall
RCH Kim
RB Leerdam
LDM C Roldan
RDM Svensson
LW Rodriguez
CAM Lodeiro
RW Shipp
CF Morris

Intangibles
The fact that Bruin wasn’t in the team for a vital match against LAFC leads me to believe that his injury is rather severe. The undeniable shambles that was Sunday’s match leads me to wonder if many Sounders are playing through injury of some sort. Or we’re just not as good as we thought we were, or we were just having a letdown because our players are humans and not machines, or maybe we’re plenty good, but LAFC were better on the day.

It would be only human for the lads to have their confidence shaken after the abject hosing at Figeroa Street. But I believe that, as any other top professional coaching staff would, the Gaffer, Gonzo and Preki have likely stressed business as usual in training allowing no time for wallowing in defeat. Yes, Sunday was a disappointment, but that’s over now, and there’s work to be done.

LAFC generated a pretty hostile environment to play in on Sunday. We will make every effort to make LAFC’s welcome to the Evergreen twice as warm.

General notes on personnel
San Jose Transfers

IN: Judson, Espinoza, Lopez, Haji, Vega, Cowell

OUT: Quintana, Hyka, Wehan, Musovski, Thiaw, Oduro

Comparison against common opponents
On 21 April LAFC 4:1 Sounders FC
On 30 March SJ 0:5 LAFC

Know Thine Enemy
(San Jose as they lined up to thrash Kansas City 4:1 on Saturday, 20 April)

Goalkeeper –
Daniel Vega, 34
Argentina
Notable Clubs: Nueva Chicago (58/0), River Plate (76/0), Anorthosis Famagusta (15/0), Miami FC (64/0), Tampa Bay Rowdies (10/0), San Jose Earthquakes (7/0).
Value: £180,000 ($234,000)
Notes: The clubs that have signed Vega have all been clubs that have either won titles or won titles on the regular. A bit long in the tooth, but they don’t let just anyone play between the sticks at River Plate.

Defence –
Nick Lima, 24
United States (2/0)
Notable Clubs: San Jose Earthquakes (62/4)
Value: £765,000 ($993,000)
Notes: Played his university football at California (72/6). Produced by San Jose Earthquakes. Signed to a Homegrown contract.

Florian Jungwirth, 30
Germany
Notable Clubs: Dynamo Dresden (89/0), VfL Bochum (29/1), Darmstadt 98 (62/0), San Jose Earthquakes (64/5)
Value: £1.13M ($1.47M)
Notes: Produced by 1860 Munich. Played 48 times scoring two goals for Germany at youth levels. Was the 2017 San Jose defensive player of the year.

Harold Cummings, 27
Panama (52/0)
Notable Clubs: Arabe Unido (52/0), Juan Aurich (18/0), Santa Fe (12/0), Alajuelense (24/1), San Jose Earthquakes (28/0)
Value: £450,000 ($584,000)
Notes: 2017 Copa Centroamericana Best XI.

Tommy Thompson, 23
United States
Notable Clubs: San Jose Earthquakes (100/1)
Value: £360,000 ($467,000)
Notes: Produced by San Jose Earthquakes. Played his university football at Indiana (16/5).

Midfield –
Anibal Godoy, 29
Panama (89/1)
Notable Clubs: Honved (24/1), San Jose Earthquakes (93/5)
Value: £720,000 ($935,000)
Notes: A regular selection for Panama in major tournaments. Produced by Chepo.

Shea Salinas, 32
United States
Notable Clubs: San Jose Earthquakes (246/13), Philadelphia Union (17/1), Vancouver Whitecaps (26/1)
Value: £360,000 ($467,000)
Notes: Played his university football at Furman.

Jackson Yueill, 22
United States
Notable Clubs: San Jose Earthquakes (40/1)
Value: £450,000 ($$584,000)
Notes: Played his university football at UCLA (40/9). Produced by Minnesota Thunder.

Magnus Eriksson, 29
Sweden (1/0)
Notable Clubs: Atvidabergs FF (50/26), Gent (4/0), Malmo FF (60/16), Beijing Renhe (7/0), Brondby IF (22/1), Djurgardens IF (46/17), San Jose Earthquakes (39/8)
Value: £900,000 ($1.17M)
Notes: Produced by AIK Stockholm. Won two Swedish league titles and two Swedish Cups with Malmo. Shared 2017 Allsvenskan Golden Boot scoring 14 goals at Djurgardens.

Cristian Espinoza, 24
Argentina
Notable Clubs: Huracan (90/9), Alaves (6/0), Valladolid (10/0), Boca Juniors (15/2), San Jose Earthquakes (7/2)
Value: £1.35M ($1.75M)
Notes: Currently on loan from Villarreal of Spain’s La Liga. San Jose are the fourth loan team that Espinoza has travelled to since signing for Villarreal in 2016, the others were Alaves, Valladolid, and Boca Juniors.

Forward –
Danny Hoesen, 28
Netherlands
Notable Clubs: Fortuna Sittard (34/13), HJK Helsinki (12/2), Ajax (32/7), PAOK (10/1), FC Groningen (57/11), San Jose Earthquakes (73/20)
Value: £1.13M ($1.47M)
Notes: Produced by Fortuna Sittard. Has won titles at HJK Helsinki, Ajax, and Groningen.

Familiar Faces
Defender, Jimmy Ockford played one time for the Sounders FC between 2014-2016 but played 13 times for the reserves scoring one goal.

Goalkeeper, Matt Bersano played two matches with the Sounders’ reserves in 2016.

Squads
Sounders FC from:
Frei, Meredith, Muse, Abdul-Salaam, Campbell, Kim, Leerdam, Marshall, Smith, Nouhou Tolo, Torres, Bwana, Delem, Leyva, Lodeiro, Rodriguez, Cristian Roldan, Alex Roldan, Shipp, Svensson, Wingo, Morris.

San Jose from:
Tarbell, Vega, Bersano, Marcinkowski, Affolter, Akanyirige, Cummings, Jungwirth, Lima, Lopez, Marie, Ockford, Salinas, Thompson, Calvillo, Eriksson, Espinoza, Luis Felipe, Fuentes, Godoy, Haji, “Vako” Qazaishvili, Salinas, Judson, Yueill, Cowell, Hoesen, Wondolowski.

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

Sounders FC –
OUT: Bruin (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Ruidiaz (foot).

San Jose –
OUT: Partida (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Kashia (leg).

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

Sounders FC: Leerdam out next match if booked.

San Jose: Godoy out next match if booked.

Fun Fact
Jeremiah Oshan of Sounder at Heart reported that Academy starlets Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez were selected to Raphael Wicky’s Yanks U-17s roster for the U-17 CONCACAF Championship tournament. Congratulations, lads! Do us proud.