REAL SALT LAKE v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The Sounders travel to the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains to face conference rivals Real Salt Lake under the lights in Sandy, Utah.

Although the lads have had a bit of a rough go over the last four matches, I have full confidence that the side will right the ship and return to winning ways.

As supporters, it’s our job to generate the faith and will to help propel our boys in Green right over the top. Gather your Green family where you can and head to viewing parties, like the one the ECS is holding at the Atlantic Crossing pub in Seattle. For those of you at the ground, we know that you will give it your all and we’ll listen for your voices raised in song, as we follow along on the tele. Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

stefan
The Sounders’ Minister of Defence, Stefan Frei.

The Good News
The Sounders continue their 13-match unbeaten run with their 0:0 draw at Dallas last week. The bulk of the squad is healthy and there is plenty of depth in the team to cover for recent injuries.

The raw maths suggest that Seattle is the side more likely to score two goals. We defeated Salt Lake in Seattle earlier in the season by a score of 1:0. That victory broke what was, at the time, a three-match losing streak.

Man for man, the Sounders have one of the most talented and accomplished sides in the league. Although Salt Lake’s form is in currently in a fine vein, they have been known to bleed goals at inopportune times. Both their losses within the last five matches saw them concede three goals, to Montreal and Vancouver. Salt Lake has conceded three or more goals in nine of their 30 matches this season.

Although Morris is out, the combination of Dempsey and Bruin should be enough to dispatch our opponent, with Jones ably covering at left wing for the injured Morris. Should Marshall be unfit to play tonight, Svensson and Alfaro have proven more than capable as cover in the centre-half position.

The markers point to victory, but the Sounders will have to produce a more convincing effort than they did last week in the Dallas if they plan on taking home all three points.

The Bad News
Seattle’s string of draws has seen them slip to 9th in the league table. In the last five matches, Salt Lake have scored 13 goals, conceding eight. In the Sounders’ last five matches they have scored five goals, conceding four.

Seattle was unable to score in their last match in Dallas. In fact, the Sounders only managed two on-target shots in the entire match.

Morris remains out with a hamstring problem. Marshall hasn’t been ruled out but is also nursing a hamstring issue.

Sandy, Utah is where dreams go to die, as the Sounders have only managed one win in eight matches there all-time.

The form book suggests, that Salt Lake is more likely to score multiple goals, with the Sounders struggling to score at all. In their last 11 matches, Salt Lake have only lost twice. The State Street ground sits at an elevation of over 4400’. Hopefully, thin air won’t be a problem.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper –
Rimando, 38, has played in nearly 450 MLS matches in his 18-year career, playing in 24 matches this season. The veteran goalkeeper has 22 caps for the United States. Needless to say, it’s tough to knock one past old man Rimando.

Defence –
Beltran, 29, has played his entire 10-year career with Salt Lake, amassing a total of over 240 appearances. The veteran right-back has been capped three times by United States.

Marcelo Silva, 28, lined up at right centre-half last match for Salt Lake. His football career of nine years has seen him play over 160 matches featuring for such clubs as Penarol in Uruguay, and Valladolid and Zaragoza in Spain. The Uruguayan national signed with Salt Lake just this July in the summer transfer window. He has appeared for his new club six times.

Glad, 20, played at left centre-half last match. This is his fourth year of MLS football. Tonight’s appearance will be the 50th of his career, all spent with Salt Lake. Glad was selected to the United States U-20 side that competed in the U-20 World Cup Finals, playing in four matches, and scored a goal against New Zealand in the round of 16.

Acosta, 19, supposedly lined up at left-back last match. He is listed as a midfielder on RSL’s website. Go figure. This is Acosta’s second year with Salt Lake. He has appeared 13 times for the club this season. This is also the sum total of his professional experience. He has eight caps and one goal for United States U-20s.
Midfield –

Midfield –
Mulholland, 29, lined up in a holding midfield role on the right side last time out. The Preston, England native once played 30 matches in a season with Reading United, scoring 8 goals. Mulholland went on to play over 80 matches of lower level US football with Wilmington, Minnesota Stars (later became Minnesota United), and Tampa Bay, before signing with Salt Lake in 2014. In his four years at Salt Lake, he has played over 115 times. Although he lines up in a defending role, Mulholland has proven to be a capable goal scorer. He is known as an uncompromising defender and provides a bit of hardness in the RSL midfield.

Beckerman, 35, lined up as a holding midfielder on the left side last match. Old man Beckerman’s 18-year career has seen him play nearly 430 MLS matches. He wears the Captain’s armband for his club. Although he has scored as many as seven goals in a season, he is more well-known for being a physical defender and his ball-winning abilities. Beckerman and Mulholland form a very imposing presence in defence. Beckerman has earned 58 caps with United States.

Savarino, 20, lined up as a left wing last match and is listed as a forward. The Venezuelan national is on a Designated Player contract. He is currently on loan at Salt Lake from his Venezuelan club, Zulia. At Zulia, Savarino has played 132 times scoring 32 goals. He has played 17 times for Salt Lake this year scoring five goals. He has one cap for Venezuela.

Rusnak, 23, lined up at central attacking midfield last match. The Slovakian international is on a Designated Player contract at Salt Lake and was a winter signing just before the start of the 2017 season. The Manchester City Academy product never played a match in the Premier League. He instead was loaned to Oldham, Birmingham City, and SC Cambuur in the Netherlands. These short loan spells were followed by his transfer to FC Groningen where he would play 61 times scoring nine goals over two seasons. Rusnak has five caps for Slovakia.

Plata, 25, lined up at left-wing last match and is listed as a forward. The Ecuadorian national is the product of LDU Quito’s youth system. He played seven times for Quito before transferring to Toronto FC. He transferred to Salt Lake in 2013 and has played a total of 165 matches of MLS football. He has seven goals this season but has scored as many as 13 in a season. Plata has four caps and two goals for Ecuador.

Forward –
Luis Silva, 28, lined up as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation last match, though he is listed as a midfielder. His MLS career spans seven years and has seen him play a total of 135 matches combined with Toronto FC, DC United, and Real Salt Lake. He has six goals for Salt Lake this year. he has played 27 times for Salt Lake this season. After signing with Salt Lake in 2015, he then moved to Tigres UANL of the Mexican league. He played no matches in the first team for Tigres and transferred back to Salt Lake for the 2017 season.

Familiar Faces
RSL defender, Justin Schmidt was born in Washington state, played for UW, and also played for Washington Crossfire. Chad Barrett played 44 matches for Sounders FC scoring 12 goals.

Squads
Salt Lake from: Rimando, Van Oekel, Sparrow, Beltran, Dunk, Horst, Schmidt, Glad, Wingert, Acosta, Schuler, Marcelo Silva, Beckerman, Savarino, Sunny, Rusnak, Mulholland, Hernandez, Besler, Plata, Movsisyan, Saucedo, Lennon.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Nouhou, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Bruin, Neagle.

Injury List
Salt Lake –
OUT: Barrett (knee), Allen (knee), Holness (knee), Velazco (ankle).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Phillips (hamstring), Luis Silva (groin).

Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (back), Morris (hamstring), Mallace (quadriceps).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Marshall (hamstring).

Discipline
None suspended from either side. For RSL, Schuler and Sunny are one booking away from a one-match ban.

Fun Fact
Sounders Academy U-15s won the Youdan Trophy this August. Other youth teams in the tournament represented Everton, Manchester United, FC Basel and Newcastle United. WELL DONE, LADS!!!

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FC DALLAS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. What do you feel when you watch the football? I know what I feel. I feel like the 11 lads in our colours represent me and mine. It’s real. A real thing. They’re willing to sacrifice a tonne to maybe once represent us wearing the Blue and the Green. How many drills in training have they spent? They run and fight. Tackle and lunge. Pass and move. You look up and pass the football and then you make a run, hoping to get a return pass. Breath is short. You hope to make a pass that lets a goal be scored, or run into a position that will allow you to have a crack at goal. There are no guarantees. You try and make your way the best you can. You look for teammates to pass to and run like hell when there’s no support. A good result by the team will see me exultant. A crap result will see me nearly in tears. This is the way of the football supporter. It’s a sickness like. What would you not give for your team? Even at home on the settee, it’s the same. I sing the same songs you do. I chant the same chants you do. We are one. One voice. One club. BRIAN SCHMETZER’S RAVE GREEN ARMY!!!

Time for a trip into Frisco, Texas for a Saturday standoff with our auld rivals the Dallas. This is a team we beat in the MLS Cup tournament despite the fact that the Dallas had won the League and the US Open Cup. This should bolster the hearts of our supporters, both at home and away. Yeah, they can score goals, but so can we. They can defend well, but so can we. Can we triumph over them…of course we can! What we need is every voice in the Green Family at full volume to make it happen. We have the lineup to see us to victory. Green belief is the key! Find your Green Family where ye may, and gather at the match or at a local pub to watch the proceedings. Join me in the pre-match toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB AND VICTORY!!!

lodeiro
Be the maestro, Nico. Manufacture the badass win we need.

The Good News
We are 7th in the league, six points clear of the Dallas. We are on a league-best 12 match unbeaten streak. The all-time record favours our boys in Green with nine wins and five draws in 20 matches. The Dallas haven’t won in their last eight matches. We haven’t lost a match since 17th June against NYCFC. We have form in our favour, and also the transfer window additions of Victor Rodriguez and Kelvin Leerdam, who are bolstering us up in the best possible way.

The Bad News
So here’s where it gets wonky. Away at the Dallas, we have only won twice in 11 attempts. On the road this season, the Sounders have only won three times in 14 matches. The compared margins of both sides scoring and defending are quite thin. The metrics don’t show a clear winner.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper
Jesse Gonzalez, 22, a domestic footballer developed by FC Dallas, has played 32 matches with the Dallas first team. He has also been capped at youth levels by Mexico 8 times.

Defence
Figueroa, 34, is a Honduran international who once played 148 matches for Wigan in England. He has 135 caps for Honduras.

Hedges, 27, is a domestic footballer developed by Butler and North Carolina (NCAA). He has played 162 times for FC Dallas and has five caps for the United States.

Zimmerman, 24, is a domestic product developed by Furman (NCAA). He has played 77 times for his club. He has 14 caps for United States youth sides, and one cap with the senior team.

Grana, 32, is an Argentine national on loan from All Boys. He has played 23 times for the Dallas and had previously played 7 times for the Columbus Crew. He has experience in Argentine football in excess of 100 matches.

Midfield
Gruezo, 22, is an Ecuadorian international who played 18 matches at VfB Stuttgart before moving to Dallas in 2016. He has played over 49 matches for his current club. He has 17 caps for Ecuador.

Acosta, 22, is a United States international developed by FC Dallas and the IMG Academy. He has played 100 times for his club. He has been capped 15 times for the Yanks.

Hollingshead, 26, is a domestic footballer produced by UCLA (NCAA). He has played 73 times for his club.

Diaz, 26, is an Argentine national developed by River Plate. After playing 69 times for River Plate, he moved on loan to Union Espanola for 41 matches. He moved to Dallas on a Designated Player contract in 2013 and has played 78 times for them scoring 19 goals.

Barrios, 26, is an Colombian national. He played 140 times for Unlautonoma scoring 35 goals before moving to Dallas in 2015. He has played 83 times for Dallas scoring 18 times.

Forward
Urruti, 26, is an Argentine national developed by Newell’s Old Boys. Played 65 times for the Treecutters. Has played 52 matches for the Dallas scoring 21 goals. He is the danger man in the offence.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Dallas from: Jesse Gonzalez, Seitz, Cannon, Chala, Figueroa, Grana, Guillen, Harris, Hedges, Hume, Zimmerman, Acosta, Barrios, Cermeno, Craft, Diaz, Luis Gonzalez, Gruezo, Hayes, Hollingshead, Lamah, Morales, Pomykal, Ulloa, Akindele, Colman, Ferreira, Reid, Reynolds, Urruti.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Nouhou, Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Joevin Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Bruin, Neagle.

Injury List
Dallas –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (back), Morris (hamstring), Mallace (quad).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Marshall (hamstring).

Discipline
No suspensions on either side.
Hedges and Gruezo of Dallas out next booking.

Fun Fact
Before goalkeeper Stefan Frei played for us in Seattle, he played 82 times for Toronto FC and 47 times for California Golden Bears. What a trip.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. LOS ANGELES GALAXY – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Los Angeles Galaxy make the trip north to meet our Sounders at Royal Brougham Park in the Evergreen at 6:00 p.m. PDT. At stake, three points in the league and a chance for the Sounders to go unbeaten in the season series, as our boys in Green have already amassed a win and a draw in two previous meetings.

There are only seven matches left in the league schedule for Seattle. As it’s unlikely that Toronto FC (17 points clear of us at the top) will drop its last six matches, and maybe unlikely that our Sounders will win out in their last seven, winning the league is not a very likely prospect. As we crashed out of the US Open Cup in the 5th round, it’s not possible for us to win that trophy either. The MLS Cup though is very much in range should our form hold and our players stay healthy.

Intangibles for this match include the first return of former manager Sigi Schmid to Royal Brougham Park since his sacking last summer, and which of our international players may be too fatigued to play a major role.

Roldie
Who else fancies good old Roldie to put a bulge in the auld onion bag tonight?

The Good News
The Sounders are still riding high at 6th position in the league table. Our opponents from the Southland remain struggling in 20th position, two places from bottom. The Sounders are still riding their 11-match unbeaten streak, and have not lost in the league since mid-June. Los Angeles, in comparison, have won only once and drawn once in their last 11 contests, including the 0:0 draw they held us to at Avalon Boulevard near the end of July.

The Sounders are unbeaten against the Galaxy and have only lost one match at home this season. Again in stark relief, Los Angeles have only won five matches on the road this season in 12 attempts (5-1-6). The Galaxy have only managed four wins all-time at Royal Brougham Park in the 11 matches they’ve played here.

Against common opponents, we have earned 41 points in the league, compared to LA’s 25.

Los Angeles have had trouble keeping the football out of their net, and concede nearly two goals a match. The Sounders are only conceding at a rate closer to 1.3 goals/match. Although no one wins matches in real football by fractions of goals, the metrics point to Seattle being far more likely to score two goals, than their opponents from Southern California.

With the entire Sounders’ squad, save for Evans and possibly Shipp, healthy, we should be in good shape to send Los Angeles packing in what will seem like the longest flight to LAX ever, providing far too much time for suffering and self-reflection.

The Bad News
Although our form places us in rarified company in the league, we haven’t managed a victory since August 20th against Minnesota United. In contrast, Los Angeles won their last match, shutting out Colorado 3:0.

Sounders left back, Nouhou Tolo, got himself sent off last week against the Treecutters and will be out this match. Normally this wouldn’t be a factor, as Joevin Jones would simply start at left back as he normally would like ye do. This pulls Joevin’s recent situation into a rather harsh light. Joevin left the club without permission to join Trinidad & Tobago. This shortly after the club announcing that Jones elected to move to German side Darmstadt 98 on a free transfer at the end of this season when his contract ends with Seattle, rather than renewing with the Sounders. During the FIFA window for World Cup qualifiers that just ended recently, he played the bulk of both qualifiers for the Soca Warriors. This means he is likely fatigued, and even if he weren’t, it’s entirely possible that Sounders’ Manager, Brian Schmetzer would pass him over for selection, as such lapses in discipline tend to leave a player out of favour. These events beg the question, who will start at left back for the Sounders tonight? Fisher? Alfaro? This is exactly the type of uncertainty we didn’t need at a stage in the season where consistency is a key factor in the run-up to the MLS Cup tournament.

Both Dempsey and Morris went the full 90 minutes in the Yanks’ lacklustre draw in San Pedro Sula. Roman Torres also played 80 minutes in Trinidad for his Panamanian side. These three men are key players in the Sounders’ team. Will any of them have the constitution to play a role in tonight’s match? You would expect to see Neagle play in Morris’ spot on the wing (perhaps even Rodriguez or Kovar), with Bruin starting in place of Dempsey up top. Both are capable and experienced, so we are probably in safe hands. You would imagine Torres place in the team will see Svensson deputise for him at centre-half. Svensson has played in this position several times this season, often with fine results. There’s probably nothing to worry about. However then, why am I kind of worried?

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – Kempin, 24, was between the pipes for LA eight days ago. The result was a 3:0 shutout of Colorado. It would be a hard manager, indeed, who would leave out a ‘keeper after a clean sheet. Kempin is light on experience with 56 matches as a professional. Only 11 of those were MLS contests. Rowe, 28, is the experienced alternative.

Defence
Diallo, 27, is a French national developed by Olympique Marseille. He never played for Marseille and amassed only 25 matches of first team football in Europe at Oldham in England, and RWS Bruxelles in Belgium. After five years of scraping for first team football, he moved to Avalon Boulevard in 2014 playing nearly 50 times for LA Galaxy II, and playing 14 matches with the first team this season.

Steres, 26, is a domestic player, developed by San Diego State (NCAA). He’s played 106 matches as a professional. 51 matches with the Galaxy’s first team since moving to LA in 2014.

Romney, 24, is a domestic footballer, developed by University of San Fransisco (NCAA). He has played 36 times for the first team in LA. He has 60 matches of experience as a professional.

Cole, 36, needs no introduction. Cole played nearly 400 matches of top-flight English football, mostly with Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC. He moved to Avalon Boulevard in 2016 and has played nearly 50 times for the Galaxy. Cole was capped 107 times for England before his retirement from international football in 2014.

Midfield
Jermaine Jones, 35, is a German-born United States international. He was developed by Eintracht Frankfurt. He played over 264 matches in German football, 129 times for Schalke 04. This was followed by short spells at Blackburn and Besiktas. Jones moved to New England Revolution playing 28 times there. Then a move to Colorado where he played nine matches, before his most recent move to the Southland for the 2017 season. He’s played 14 times for LA since his move from the Rockies. Jones has 69 caps and four goals for the Yanks.

Joao Pedro, 24, is a Portuguese national produced by Vitoria Guimaraes. Pedro played 118 times for the Vitoria reserves over a four year period. He would later play 21 times in the Vitoria senior team before moving to Los Angeles in 2017. He has played 25 times in his maiden season for the Galaxy.

Alessandrini, 28, is a French national developed by Marseille and Gueugnon. The Galaxy’s new winger moved to LA this year after a nine-year career in French football that exceeded 200 matches. Alessandrini was once worth €5 million to Marseille, who purchased him for that sum from Rennes in 2014. He has played 23 times in the LA first team this season.

Jonathon dos Santos, 27, is a Mexican national developed by FC Barcelona. dos Santos has played 81 times for Barcelona reserves, 14 times for the Barca first team, and 87 times for Villarreal. The sum total of his matches in first-team Spanish football is 101. dos Santos moved to LA in the summer transfer window to play with older brother, Giovani. Jonathon has played four times for the Galaxy since his summer move. dos Santos has played 27 times for Mexico since 2009. Although Bradford Jamieson IV played in the withdrawn centre-forward slot last match, I would imagine Jonathon or his brother will replace him for a high-visibility match in Seattle.

Boateng, 23, is a Ghanian national developed by Right to Dream Academy, Cate School, and UC Santa Barbara (NCAA). A notable career highlight is the 37 matches he played for Helsingborgs IF in Sweden from 2013-16. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2016, Boateng has played 52 times for the Galaxy.

Forward
Giovani dos Santos, 28, is a Mexican national produced by Barcelona. Giovani played 27 times for Barca reserves and 28 times for the first team. He then moved to Spurs which was the start of several short spells at Ipswich, Galatasaray and Racing Santander. In 2012, Gio moved to Mallorca and found 29 matches of first team football there. This was followed by a move to Villareal where he played 58 times and scored 12 goals. He then moved to LA in 2015 and has since played 54 times for the Galaxy. Gio has 100 caps and 19 goals for Mexico. Although Zardes started as the lone forward last match. I believe that LA manager Sigi Schmid will play Gio along with his brother Jonathan where they may interchange between the striker and withdrawn centre-forward roles. It is also possible Zardes will play in favour of Boateng and will move Gio to the withdrawn centre-forward role, and move his brother to the wing.

Familiar Faces
LA defender Steres was selected by the Sounders in the 2012 MLS Waiver Draft. He never played for the Sounders’ first team.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Joevin Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Mallace, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Neagle.

Los Angeles from: Rowe, Diop, Kempin, Cole, Romney, Steres, Smith, Diallo, Arellano, Ciani, Alessandrini, Jonathan dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, Jaime Villarreal, Garcia, Mendiola, Joao Pedro, Giovani dos Santos, Zardes, Lassiter, McInerney, Boateng, McBean, Jose Villarreal, Jamieson IV.

Injury List
Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (back).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Shipp (ankle).

Los Angeles –
OUT: Rogers (ankle), Lletget (foot), Husidic (broken leg), van Anholt (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
Sounders FC: Nouhou (Sent Off).
Los Angeles: none suspended. One booking away from suspension: Alessandrini, Jermaine Jones.

Fun Fact
Wondering why Los Angeles defender, Jelle Van Damme, 32, isn’t in the team for Los Angeles? As it turns out, Los Angeles sold him in the transfer window to Royal Antwerp FC of Belgium for a smidge over £178,000 ($235,000 or a bit over €195,000). Who says MLS players have no resale value?

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. PORTLAND TIMBERS – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The hated Treecutters have made their way north to the Evergreen from their dingy lumber camp on Morrison Street in Portland to clash with their bitter rivals. Us. When not busy hefting sawed discs of murdered trees lopped off by bloody Timber Joey, Portscum – as we affectionately know them, have been amassing actual football results. Which shouldn’t actually surprise anyone, as it would be a pretty crap rivalry if the Treecutters were a completely crap side. The Sounders seem well prepared for this chapter against our auld rivals from the 1970s as we find ourselves in the best form we’ve ever seen since the beginning of the MLS-era. Undoubtedly for the sole purpose of being difficult, the Treecutters have only lost one in their last six. Sauce for the goose. Rather reminds me of when we played Kansas City when both of us were on a run, and they’d lost only one in their last 10. This is that kind of match, with the difference being that our momentum has been more sustained and consistent than that of our friends from Oregon. All of that having been said, the Treecutter’s Wikipedia page for this season was last updated on 27 May, thus generating an extra two hours of research for me. Therefore I am extra displeased with everything Portland tonight. Please be sure to take it out on their supporters for me from the terraces of Royal Brougham Park. Make up a chant or summat. Something like: “YOU LOT CAN’T COUNT” clap clap clap-clap-clap. I digress. Every voice in our number that can be mustered must be heard at the park tonight. Everyone that can’t make it to the match, do your best to gather your Green family and head for a viewing party at your local. Join me in the pre-match toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

PNW Derby Oldskool
The more things change, the more they remain the same.

The Good News
The Sounders are riding their best form of the season, boasting a 10-match unbeaten streak – a club record. In the entirety of the MLS history between the two clubs, the Sounders have never lost to the Treecutters at Royal Brougham Park where we’ve won seven times and drawn twice in nine matches. Throw in Portland’s crap away form with only three wins in 13 matches, and our home dominance with only one loss in 12 matches, and prospects look very bright indeed for this derby match.

Newboy Victor Rodriguez looked extremely able in his midweek debut in British Colombia. Rodriguez drew a penalty, looked composed both on and off the ball, and was able to deliver consistent passes of very good quality to his teammates.

The Sounders are generally quite healthy seeing only veteran defender, Brad Evans, out with a nagging back issue. Although Neagle and Shipp are nursing ankle problems, either may play tonight if they’re fit enough for the substitute’s bench.

Portland are currently experiencing significant attrition, as top defensive midfielder Guzman is suspended for accumulated bookings and is out this match. Defenders, Meyer and Arokoyo are out this match with severe injuries. Usual first choice ‘keeper, Gleeson, top all-time vs. Seattle scorer, Adi, veteran defender, Ridgewell and reserve, Farfan are all listed as matchday decisions and may or may not take part in this evening’s high-profile derby.

The Bad News
Of our top five all-time goalscorers against Portland, three have left the club. Of Portland’s top four goalscorers against us all time, three of them are still there.

Between Valeri, Nagbe, Blanco, and Mattocks, the Treecutters can create a heap of trouble for us if they’re all on the same page. Should Adi, Gleeson, and Ridgewell find themselves fit enough to be in the team it will present an even more difficult challenge.

The metrics for this match are pretty even, though the history is lopsided. We defend a bit better than Portland does. Portland scores at a slightly higher rate than we do. We’ve played ever so slightly better against common opponents than they have this season. The edges seem all slightly in our favour. This rather reminds me of the pre-match analysis before our trip to Vancouver, which of course troubles me.

We looked all sorts of good against the Whitecaps, generally dominating both in possession and chance creation, yet we still dropped two points despite being up 0:1 on Lodeiro’s penalty kick and with the ‘Caps seeing Tchani sent-off on the hour mark. Once again we were torpedoed by former Sounders’ standout, Fredy Montero. Also in the vein of troubling factors in that match, 16-year-old Canada and Whitecaps starlet, Alphonso Davies set about cutting apart our veteran defence with jinking runs and penetrating passes. Scary.

Jones’ unauthorised and early departure to play for his national team is a troublesome development and makes me hope it’s not having an effect on club morale.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper-
Attinella, 28, Attinella has only six appearances in the team but has been playing regularly of late. Don’t be too surprised though if regular first choice ‘keeper, Gleeson, 26, recovers from his hamstring problem and finds his way into the team.

Defence-
Valentin, 26, played over 50 matches with Bodø/Glimt of the Norwegian league and has played over 40 times for Portland, and roughly 80 matches of MLS football. Valentin has played a lot at right back recently, but don’t be too surprised if Portland Manager, Caleb Porter, opts for the pace and versatility of Alvas Powell instead.

Mabiala, 29, an experienced French centre-half that has played seemingly every match since his signing in late June. Has played over 160 matches of Turkish league football, 36 times for Nice in France, and three times for Paris Saint-Germain. He has 12 caps for DR Congo.

Miller, 32, has played 21 times for the Treecutters this season. In addition to his 145 matches of MLS experience, Miller has also played nearly 50 times for CD Saprissa, over 50 times for Bodø/Glimt in Norway, 17 times for Rosenborg, as part of his European experience that totals 83 matches. He has played for Costa Rica nearly 60 times.

Andriuskevicius, 26, leads the league in last name syllables in addition to his 26 caps for Lithuania and over 100 matches of European football.

Midfield-
Olum, 32, is an experienced hand and plays as either a midfielder or defender. Olum is Kenyan-born (4 caps for Kenya) and has played nearly 140 matches of MLS football. He has played over 50 times for Portland. I believe he moves to a holding midfield role with the suspension of Guzman.

Chara, 31, has played nearly 400 times as a professional, with over 180 of those in a Portland shirt. The Colombian national has two caps for his country and also played for Deportivo Cali, his hometown club.

Blanco, 29, has nearly 200 matches of experience in the Argentine league. He’s played nearly 70 matches in Ukrainian football, and three matches at West Bromwich Albion, before moving to Portland this season. He is on a Designated Player contract and has played 26 times for the Treecutters in his first MLS season. He was twice capped for Argentina.

Valeri, 31, is in the twilight of his career, or so we thought. He played nearly 160 times for Lanus in his native Argentina. He has played over 100 times for Portland scoring 38 goals. Good enough for a Designated Player contract, not to mention being a persistent thorn in our collective bottoms. Currently is the 3rd best goalscorer in the league and has scored a goal in his last five matches.

Nagbe, 26, is by all rights an established star. The Liberian-born naturalised American has 14 caps for the Yanks and has played nearly 200 times for Portland, scoring 26 goals.

Forward-
Mattocks, 26, has over 120 matches of MLS experience. Likely signed last year as cover for Adi, the Jamaican international has represented his country 39 times scoring 14 goals. Don’t be too surprised if Adi, one of the Treecutter’s deadliest strikers, convinces his manager that his hamstring problems are behind him in order to get a chance to face his club’s bitter rival.

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

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Nouhou, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Mallace, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Neagle.

Portland from: Attinella, McIntosh, Gleeson, Powell, Andriuskevicius, Miller, Olum, Valentin, Okugo, Ridgewell, Clarke, Farfan, Nagbe, Valeri, Blanco, Asprilla, Zemanski, Chara, Barmby, Adi, Ebobisse, Mattocks, Arboleda.

Injury List
Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (back).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Neagle (ankle), Shipp (ankle).

Portland –
OUT: Arokoyo (Achilles), Myers (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Farfan (ankle), Ridgewell (quadriceps), Adi (hamstring), Gleeson (hamstring).

Discipline
Sounders FC: None suspended.
Portland: Guzman (accumulated bookings).
Portland midfielder, Chara, suspended with next booking.

Fun Fact
Sounders FC Reserves have won their last two matches, facing Portland Timbers Reserves and Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves, by a combined score of 5:1, with Parra, Mathers, Chenkam, Rogers, and Wingo scoring goals for us. Well done, lads. Keep it up.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It’s again come time to travel to the Great White North and reprise the auld rivalry that has existed between Seattle and Vancouver since the mid-1970s. That’s right, a midweek fixture in Canada, land of migratory geese and poutine against the Whitecaps FC at 7:00 p.m. PDT. The last chapter took place at Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, B.C. seeing our Sounders fall 2:1 with both goals scored by former Sounders FC and Sporting Lisbon standout Fredy Montero.

It hurts that in his return to North American football that he would sign with a rival club, but I guess that’s business, yeh? If only we had a spare £4.6 million (the better part of $6 million) and Designated Player slot lying about we might have re-signed him were he not too expensive and on the wrong side of 30, but I digress.

So, yeh, Montero torpedoed us with a brace of two second half strikes in the space of 15 minutes. Shambles. But it’s a new day innit? [Pause for dramatic effect] I like our chances. These are genius days, unlike the awful stretch between the end of March and mid-May where we dropped four of eight matches, winning only once (1-3-4). It was a dark time where I had curled into the fetal position on our settee surrounded by a glittering sea of lager tins. But what light through yonder breaks? Or summat that some blokes said in an amazing and very old play.

Now they have to face our lot on the best form of the season riding and unbeaten stretch of nine matches. This top form is currently the best in the league and ties us for the longest unbeaten stretch the Sounders have ever had in their nine MLS seasons. They have to face our lot that’s been reinforced by Leerdam, Rodriguez, Neagle, and Mallace. Our rejuvenated lot that’s only conceded one goal in the last five matches.

If ECS is running the coach up to Canada, and I would be shocked if they weren’t, get your ticket and get on. If you can’t make your way to BC Place, find a viewing party at your local Sounders-friendly pub. Together, we shall will our boys in Green to another great result when we join in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

dempsey
Look who’s rounding into top form at just the right time. Mark him too tightly and he’ll cut the defence apart with a perfectly weighted through ball. Cut him too much slack and he’ll bury one on ye. Tip top.

The Good News
Sounders are not only in their best form of the season but have tied a club record with their nine match unbeaten streak. It is the best current vein of form in the league. We are sitting in fourth place in the league table, six points clear of the ‘Caps, and 10 points adrift of leaders Toronto FC with nine matches to play.

In sharp contrast, Vancouver have had spotty form of late with only two wins in the last five matches, four wins in the last 10. In the all-time series, we are currently dead even at 7-4-7. All-time at Vancouver we are 4-3-3 which is very good indeed.

Against common foes, we have 16 positive results to Vancouver’s 11. We’ve only conceded one goal in the last five matches. The foundation of our defence, recently bolstered by Kelvin Leerdam, has seen us climb the table on a ballistic curve.

Other than Evans’ back problem the entire side is healthy and available for selection. Vancouver are missing Edgar and Laba who are both rehabbing from torn ligaments. As Edgar had an 11-year career in English football, and Laba has nearly 130 matches of MLS football and a previous career of over 60 matches of Argentinian football with Argentinos Juniors, they are missing a wealth of experience in the team. This makes the ‘Caps potentially vulnerable at the back.

The Bad News
The ‘Caps are playing well at home this season with a record of 6-2-3. Our away form for the season has been solid, but less than scintillating at 3-4-6. In terms of hitting goals and keeping them out, the two sides seem nearly a perfect match as in terms of goals for and against there’s not much between us.

The only meeting between the clubs this season saw us lose 2:1 back in April. Montero torched us for a brace in the span of 15 minutes, answered only by a late strike from Will Bruin. Desperation may play a factor, as Vancouver are holding on to the last MLS Cup qualifying berth at present with both San Jose and Salt Lake nipping at their heels. This and Montero’s likely desire to score “I told you so” goals against us could prove to be a significant intangible.

Jones has inexplicably departed to play with Trinidad & Tobago. I know almost nothing about this, but more later as the circumstances become clearer. As his understudy, Nouhou Tolo is more than adequate to cover, everything should be just fine. At least for now.

Intangibles/Unstable Variables
Fredy Montero. Ricardo Salazar in the middle of the park as referee.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper-
Ousted, 32, is a veteran ‘keeper and has over 200 matches in Danish football. Over 100 of those with Randers FC, which competed twice in the Europa League during his time there.

Defence-
Nerwinski, 22, is newly recruited out of UConn (NCAA). The New Jersey native played 72 matches at Storrs, scoring five times. He’s played only 10 MLS matches in his first year. It is my assessment that Nerwinski is cover for the injured Edgar.

Waston, 29, has 16 caps for Costa Rica and over 170 appearances as a pro.

Parker, 24, is a domestic product who played his NCAA football at St. Johns, he has played just over 60 games as a professional.

Harvey, 33, was produced by Strikers FC and UCLA (NCAA). He has nearly 250 matches in MLS experience, with over 150 of those played for Vancouver. Harvey earned three USA youth caps.

Midfield-
Jacobsen, 31, developed by California (NCAA), has over 200 matches of MLS experience. He had loan spells at both Lorient and Stabæk. He’s played nearly 50 times for Vancouver since his move there in 2016.

Tchani, 28, is a Cameroonian-born naturalised American developed by Beach FC and Virginia (NCAA) with over 170 pro appearances. He has earned caps for both United States and Cameroon. Tchani moved to Pacific Boulevard just this year after having played 130 times for Columbus.

Bolanos, 33, Developed by Saprissa. Played 170 times in Denmark and Norway. ? total MLS Matches for Vancouver. Bolanos has 74 caps and six goals for Costa Rica.

Reyna, 23, is a Peruvian international developed by Alianza Lima. After playing nearly 50 matches for Alianza he spent the next two years with RB Salzberg, this included loans to two other Austrian clubs and also at Leipzig in Germany. His tour in Austria and Germany saw him feature in 72 matches in all before his transfer to Vancouver this year. Reyna has six caps and two goals for Peru.

Techera, 25, is an Uruguayan national produced by Penarol and River Plate Montevideo. He played for River Plate (the one in Uruguay, not Argentine) 74 times scoring nearly 20 goals before his loan to BC Place. His move has since been made permanent and he has appeared 55 times for the ‘Caps scoring 14 goals.

Forward-
Montero, 30, We know him all too well. Success at his Colombian teams, then in Seattle, and then in Europe and China. His transfer fee to Sporting Lisbon totalled $2.75M. His transfer fee from Sporting to Tianjin TEDA was €5M. His career goals:matches ratio is over 36%. He is the most dangerous attacker in the Vancouver side.

Familiar Faces
Richey: This dude is Mister Seattle. Born in Seattle. Played for Tacoma Tide, Washington Crossfire, Puget Sound Gunners, and NCAA career at UDub. Add to this eight USA U-17 caps. ‘Caps defender, Jordan Harvey, played 12 times for the USL iteration of the Sounders in 2006. Why did we not sign him? Rosales played 86 times for Seattle Sounders FC scoring 12 goals. Montero played 119 times for the Sounders scoring 47 Goals and helped us win three US Open Cups.

Squads
Vancouver from: Ousted, Richey, Marinovic, Harvey, Waston, Seiler, Maund, Williams, Parker, Nerwinski, Levis, Bolanos, Jacobsen, Mezquida, Techera, Tchani, de Jong, Shea, Reyna, Teibert, Bustos, Ghazal, Davies, Rosales, Montero, Hurtado, Ibini-Isei.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Nouhou Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Mallace, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Neagle.

Injury List
Vancouver –
OUT: Edgar (PCL & MCL), Laba (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: None.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Evans (back).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Neagle (ankle).

Discipline
None suspended for either side.

Fun Fact
In all the matches Fredy Montero played against the ‘Caps in a Sounders’ shirt he scored only four goals against them in the league. At the previous matchup where he wore Vancouver’s colours in April, he scored half that number in 15 minutes against us. Hardly the jolliest fun fact, but a fact nonetheless. Play up, Chad and Ramon!!!

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. MINNESOTA UNITED FC – Pre-match analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Oh, happy day! The Sounders are riding high on an eight match unbeaten streak and this week’s vict- I mean opponents are Minnesota United. That’s right, the Loons travel from the land o’ lakes to the Evergreen to meet the Sounders FC for a Sunday night showdown at Royal Brougham Park. It’s only the second ever meeting between the sides this season and in the league all-time. Gather your Green family where ye may. I’m headed into Seattle myself to catch this one at the park. Join us at the ground if you can. If you can’t manage a ticket or aren’t in town, find a local viewing party at a pub near you and invite all your mates to flip some beer mats. Join me before kick-off in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

leerdam
One of the things in common with our four clean sheets in a row is that it coincides with Kelvin Leerdam’s emergence in the team.

The Good News
Only Toronto FC and Houston with their current six match unbeaten runs are the closest in the league to our league-best eight match unbeaten streak. We have clawed our way up to 6th position in the league table. We have won five of our last six matches and have only lost two of our last 13. Minnesota United are 21st in the league table, only one place above bottom. The only player expected to be unavailable for Seattle is Brad Evans, who is currently on injury list with a back problem. Another interesting component to our blistering form is that we haven’t conceded a goal in four matches. Soundersfc.com correlated this list of clean sheets with Leerdam’s entry into the team. Certainly food for thought. The Loons have dropped four of their last seven matches and only won a single match in that stretch. Minnesota United have yet to win on the road and only managed a draw twice in nine away contests. In stark relief, the Sounders FC have only lost once at home in 11 matches and have won seven within the friendly confines on Occidental Avenue. Against common opponents in the league, Minnesota United have lost four more times than we have. We are scoring at a fractionally better rate than MUFC, and our defence is conceding at a rate very close to one goal for every two conceded by the Loons. By the numbers, it looks like a walkover for the Sounders FC and that’s what makes me kind of nervous.

The Bad News
This is the return match, following our 0:4 victory two weeks prior at St. Anthony Avenue across the street from the University of Minnesota, MUFC’s temporary home. It was a funny kind of match though, as the scoreline suggests total dominance by our Sounders, yet the first 20 or so minutes of the match saw the Loons pressing high, and generating scoring chances of reasonable quality. An objective observer would say that in addition to our skilful play and hatful of goals, we were a bit lucky to survive the first bit of the match unscathed. The Loons have no regular first-team players out to injury and you would expect that top MUFC goalscorer, Christian Ramirez will be healthy enough to reclaim his place in the team. MUFC added three players in the transfer window, apprentice goalkeeper, Alex Kapp, veteran Columbus Crew midfielder Ethan Finlay, and Costa Rican winger/defender Jose Leiton. Whether or not any of them will feature in today’s match is a matter for debate. Simon Borg of MLS.com seems to think that Finlay will play rather than Ibarra. Only the matchday team sheet will say for certain. It is safe to say, however, that a return to the team from injury for Ramirez and the recent transfer additions generate a scenario in which the MUFC side for tomorrow may be substantially different from the one we faced in Minneapolis. The above musings are the closest I can come to finding a scrap of doubt about tonight’s result.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper –
Shuttleworth, 30, is a domestic product developed by Loyola and SUNY Buffalo (NCAA). He has played nearly 150 matches at MLS level between his time with New England and now with Minnesota United.

Defence –
Thiesson, 29, is a Swiss national with over 200 matches experience in the Swiss league.

Boxall, 28, is a New Zealand national who played 19 times for Vancouver Whitecaps and then bounced from Australian league clubs to a South African side before moving to Minneapolis. He has over 120 matches as a professional under his belt, and 27 caps for New Zealand.

Calvo, 25, is a Costa Rican national developed by CD Saprissa. Between matches, at Herediano and Saprissa he has totalled nearly 140 matches of Costa Rican league football. Calvo has 25 caps and three goals for Costa Rica.

Burch, 33, is a US-born player, developed by Evansville (NCAA), and Maryland (NCAA). His MLS experience currently resides at 224 matches, 49 of which were played with Sounders FC. In 2003, Burch earned five caps with USA youth sides.

Midfield –
Cronin, 30, is a domestic product, produced by Wake Forest (NCAA). He has played over 240 matches of MLS football with Toronto FC, San Jose, Colorado, and now Minnesota United. Cronin has two caps for United States.

Ibson, 33, is a Brazilian national produced by Flamengo. He’s done a bit of travelling over the years with stays at Porto, Spartak Moscow, and Bologna before moving to Minneapolis. He has nearly 370 professional matches under his belt having scored 36 goals.

Nicholson, 22, is a Scottish national produced by Heart of Midlothian. He has 109 matches and 13 goals for Hearts before joining the Loons this year. He has 14 caps for Scotland youth sides.

Ibarra, 27, is a domestic product produced by Ambush Soccer Club, Taft Cougars, and UC Irvine (NCAA). He has 165 pro matches of experience but only 8 with Liga MX side Leon, and 20 with the Loons. He has scored 32 goals for his clubs and has three United States caps.

Molino, 27, is a Trinidadian national with nearly 60 matches of MLS experience and over 140 pro matches under his belt in general. He has scored 43 goals in his career. He has 39 caps and 18 goals for Trinidad & Tobago.

Forward –
Ramirez, 26, is a domestic product from the Los Angeles metro area, developed by La Quinta High School, UC Santa Barbara (NCAA), and Concordia (NCAA II). At Concordia, Ramirez scored 41 goals in 42 matches. He has 22 matches of MLS experience and has recently rehabbed from a hamstring problem. He is United’s leading goalscorer with 11.

Familiar Faces
Minnesota United defender, Marc Burch played 49 times for the Sounders FC between 2012-13.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Mallace, Dempsey, Morris, Bruin, Neagle, Adekoya.

Minnesota United from: Shuttleworth, McLain, Kapp, Davis, Thiesson, Taylor, Calvo, Demidov, Burch, Kallman, Kevin Venegas, Boxall, Ibson, Ibarra, Johan Venegas, Martin, Molino, Cronin, Warner, Nicholson, Finlay, Leiton, Danladi, Jome, Kadrii, Ramirez.

Injury List
Seattle –
OUT: Evans (back).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Minnesota –
OUT: Anor (leg), de Villardi (Achilles), Greenspan (head).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Burch (hernia), Ramirez (hamstring), Cronin (neck)

Discipline
none suspended. Ibsen of MUFC is one booking away from a suspension.

Fun Fact
SoundersFC.com reported that on Thursday’s match between the Treecutters Reserves and S2, S2 Defender, Sam Rogers celebrated the occasion by imitating the tree-chopping celebration coined by legendary Sounder, Roger Levesque. Hilarious. The S2 would go on to win 2:1. Another victory for the Sounders Reserves!

Here’s the URL to compare the two: https://www.soundersfc.com/post/2017/08/18/watch-s2-defender-sam-rogers-does-tree-chop-celebration-providence-park

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. SPORTING KANSAS CITY – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It is well to address you this day, as we are currently experiencing the best form of the 2017 MLS season. After our humbling 3:0 defeat in May at State Avenue, we have loaded for bear, signing Victor Rodriguez, Callum Mallace, and set up a return for our dear Lamar Neagle. Good days indeed. This match against Sporting KC marks the first stern test since our revival that began in June. Sporting boast a top defence and have been shredding their way through the league ever since we sent them packing in MLS Cup last year. This means that our boys in Green will require our utmost support this afternoon. At Royal Brougham Park, at all the viewing parties around the Puget Sound area and beyond, we shall need all voices as one, united in our common cause. Eyes bright. Voices loud. We will make a collective noise that will shake the fabric of the very earth itself. Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

mccloud
With us unbeaten in our last seven matches and Sporting unbeaten in their last nine, THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!!! (Millenials, this is a reference to the film “Highlander”)

The Good News
We are in the best vein of form just now. We are unbeaten in our last seven matches and have won four of the last five. If you walk it back a bit further, we are 7-3-2 (W-D-L) in our last 12 matches. Sporting have only one win in their last five matches. We lead the all-time series in the league 7-3-5. Playing at home, we have only lost two out of seven matches against Kansas City. Our record against common opponents is very similar to Kansas City’s. We score goals at a slightly higher rate per match compared to Sporting. We have recently added midfielders, Victor Rodriguez, Lamar Neagle, and Callum Mallace. These signings significantly improve our depth in the midfield as we proceed through the end of the league schedule, and have our runs at the MLS Cup and the upcoming 2018 run in the CONCACAF Champions League. As Dom Dwyer was swapped to Orlando City, we do not have to face him. This is well as Kansas City has had trouble scoring goals ever since his departure.

The Bad News
We have failed to score on SKC in the league since the 2015 season. After the heated exchanges in our MLS Cup tie against KC, it looks like we’ve given Sporting the motivation to obliterate all in their path this season. They have only lost four matches out of 23 in the breadth of the season so far. They defeated a Chicago Fire side that soundly thrashed us 4:1. Although Sporting has only three wins in their last nine matches, they are unbeaten in that stretch. Sporting have only lost two matches in their last 13. There were hard feelings between the two clubs after we defeated them in the MLS Cup. Feilhaber (and others) looked fit to slap someone during that match. They hate us, and they play up to their full, scary potential when they face us, as we witnessed in our 3:0 defeat at State Avenue this May. Gerson Fernandes torched us for a hat-trick in that match. Unless our centre-halves can solve him, it will be another long day at the office. Sporting boast the best defence in the league having only allowed 18 goals all season. An average of less than a goal per match. Two days ago, Sounders 2 forward, Victor Mansaray was waived. He was a promising home grown prospect, and it’s sad to see him go.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper
Melia, 31, has 71 MLS matches under his belt and is the undisputed first choice between the pipes for Sporting.

Defence
Abdul-Salaam, 25, has 55 matches for Sporting and has been with them since 2015.

Opara, 28, has 103 MLS matches under his belt, 68 for Sporting. He was a third overall selection in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. He has 11 caps for USA youth sides.

Besler, 30, is their skipper and has played well over 200 matches for Sporting. He has 44 United States caps. He is a premier centre-half in the league.

Sinovic, 30, is a veteran of over 150 MLS matches, 133 of which have been with Sporting. He has been with Kansas City since 2011.

Midfield
Espinoza, 30, has played over 170 matches for Sporting and played 36 matches for Wigan Athletic FC of England. He has 46 caps for Honduras and is on a Designated Player contract.

Sanchez, 26, is a Spanish national that joined Kansas City just this season. He previously played for Barcelona B 114 times and also played over 20 matches at 1860 Munich and Elche. Safe to call him a veteran of Spanish football.

Lobato, 28, is also a Spanish national that joined Kansas City just this season. He played nearly 60 matches for Barcelona B and also had a brief spell at Osasuna.

Forward
Gerso Fernandes, 26, was a veteran of Portuguese football before joining Sporting this season. He played over 90 times for Estoril and had spells at Academica and Belenenses before heading to Kansas City. He is a veteran of Guinea-Bissau and touched us for three goals to humble us in our meeting in May.

Blessing, 20, is a Ghanian national who came to Kansas City this season from Liberty Professionals, where he hit 17 goals in 21 matches.

Salloi, 21, is a Hungarian national who joined Sporting in 2016. He was developed by Ujpest FC and Sporting. He has less than 30 matches of top level football. He was once capped for Hungary U-18s.

Familiar Faces
Not a one.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Evans, Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Mallace, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Neagle.

Sporting KC from: Melia, Zendejas, Dykstra, Palmer-Brown, Opara, Ellis, Besler, Zusi, Sinovic, Abdul-Salaam, Storm, Didic, Sanchez, Feilhaber, Lobato, Espinoza, Pasher, Mustivar, Medranda, Gerso Fernandes, Blessing, Rubio, Saad, Iwasa, Salloi.

Injury List
Sounders FC –
OUT: Alonso (MCL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: None.

Sporting KC –
OUT: Porter (broken leg).
MATCHDAY DECISION: None.

Discipline
None suspended for either club.

Fun Fact
Sounders’ newboy, Callum Mallace, was born in Scotland but grew up in Minnesota. He was developed by Marquette (NCAA) and has 112 pro matches under his belt, 80 at the MLS level. He played with Harry Shipp and Lamar Neagle at Montreal. Here are some Callum Mallace quotes reported by SoundersFC.com:

“The technical director in Montreal gave me a call and gave the news,”

“I was ecstatic – what a club, what a city. As soon as I found out the news I was smiling from ear-to-ear. I am happy to be here.”

“They have built this quality team from the ground up and I am excited to be a part of it,”

You are well come in the Evergreen, Callum. Good on ye.

MINNESOTA UNITED FC v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Nestled between Merriam Park East and Lexington – Hamline North lies St. Anthony Avenue. That’s where you’ll find the football ground of the Loons. Minnesota United Football Club. The Sounders trip to St. Paul marks a historic first meeting of the sides in MLS league play. We’ll be treading on ground where most lads don a pair of skates to make noise in the world. We meet our new league opponent with great respect. This includes that we will play our very best to win, and expect them to do the same. There will be handshakes at the beginning and hopefully handshakes when the full-time whistle blows. This is the way to greet a new club to the league. Try the hardest to defeat them, but at the end there is respect. Gather your Green Family where they may be. If you’re away at the St. Anthony Avenue Ground, yell your heart out. If you’re with mates in Seattle, or anywhere we have Family, in the Southland, in the Bay, or any of the many places around the nation where we keep it Green, be seen, be heard, and be kind. A new dawn awakens, as we face a new opponent in the league. Let’s experience it together and join in the pre-match auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB AND VICTORY!!!

victorR
Will new boy Victor Rodriguez make Brian Schmetzer’s matchday selection?

The Good News
We are climbing the table to 11th position, whilst our new friends from Minnesota are struggling to keep pace at 20th of 22 clubs. In recent form, the Sounders are unbeaten in six matches marking their best form of the season. Minnesota United have dropped three of the last five matches. Although we struggle to make gains on the road (2-4-6), Minnesota have scarce better than a 50% record at home (6-2-5). The Loons concede over two goals per match (2.05). Sounders have added former Sporting Gijon midfielder, Victor Rodriguez. He is a proper footballer with resumé to match, having played the better part of 300 matches of Spanish football. Ryan Krasnoo, of SoundersFC.com, reports that Minnesota United forward, Christian Ramirez is out this match with a hamstring problem. With eight goals, Ramirez is the top goal scorer in the side for the Loons.

The Bad News
We were less than convincing in Carson last week, although we managed a draw. Our away record is less than sterling as we have dropped all the points in half our away matches. In the same amount of matches, Minnesota United have only earned nine fewer points. In their last match, MUFC triumphed over the DC United 4:0. We struggled to an epic 4:3 comeback against the same side after spotting them three goals. At season’s end, we have to say goodbye to an old friend. Joevin Jones is leaving us for greener pastures in the 2 Bundesliga and will sign on a free transfer with SV Darmstadt 98.

Intangibles
Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used in this match, meaning that an off pitch official who is monitoring the match on video can potentially override an on-pitch decision.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper –
Shuttleworth, 30, is a domestic product developed by Loyola and SUNY Buffalo (NCAA). He has played nearly 150 matches at MLS level between his time with New England and now with Minnesota United.

Defence –
Thiesson, 29, is a Swiss national with over 200 matches experience in the Swiss league.

Boxall, 28, is a New Zealand national who played 19 times for Vancouver Whitecaps and then bounced from Australian league clubs to a South African side before moving to St. Paul. He has over 120 matches as a professional under his belt, and 27 caps for New Zealand.

Calvo, 25, is a Costa Rican national developed by CD Saprissa. Between matches, at Herediano and Saprissa he has totalled nearly 140 matches of Costa Rican league football. Calvo has 25 caps and three goals for Costa Rica.

Jome, 22, is a Gambian national developed by Prairie Seeds Academy and UC Santa Barbara (NCAA). Jome has less than 40 professional matches under his belt. Of those, only 10 of them are at MLS level.

Midfield –
Danladi, 21, is a Ghanian national developed by Santa Barbara Soccer Club and UCLA (NCAA). He has 16 pro matches, 15 of which are with Minnesota United.

Cronin, 30, is a domestic product, produced by Wake Forest (NCAA). He has played over 240 matches of MLS football with Toronto FC, San Jose, Colorado, and now Minnesota United. Cronin has two caps for United States.

Ibson, 33, is a Brazilian national produced by Flamengo. He’s done a bit of travelling over the years with stays at Porto, Spartak Moscow, and Bologna before moving to St. Paul. He has nearly 370 professional matches under his belt having scored 36 goals.

Nicholson, 22, is a Scottish national produced by Heart of Midlothian. He has 109 matches and 13 goals for Hearts before joining the Loons this year. He has 14 caps for Scotland youth sides.

Forward –
Molino, 27, is a Trinidadian national with nearly 60 matches of MLS experience and over 140 pro matches under his belt in general. He has scored 43 goals in his career. He has 39 caps and 18 goals for Trinidad & Tobago.

Ibarra, 27, is a domestic product produced by Ambush Soccer Club, Taft Cougars, and UC Irvine (NCAA). He has 165 pro matches of experience but only 8 with Liga MX Leon, and 20 with the Loons. He has scored 32 goals for his clubs and has three United States caps.

Familiar Faces
Minnesota United defender, Marc Burch played 49 times for the Sounders FC between 2012-13.

Squads
Minnesota United from: Shuttleworth, McLain, Thiesson, Taylor, Calvo, Demidov, Kallman, Venegas, Boxall, Ibson, Ibarra, Venegas, Martin, Molino, Cronin, Warner, Nicholson, Danladi, Jome, Kadrii.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Evans, Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Roldan, Rodriguez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Mansaray.

Injury List
Minnesota –
OUT: Anor (leg), Burch (groin), DeVillardi (Achilles), Davis (foot), Greenspan (head), Ramirez (hamstring), Schuller (thigh).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Alonso (MCL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
None suspended from either club.

Fun Fact
Not only did Sounders’ new boy, Victor Rodriguez spend four years at FC Barcelona academy. He has two caps for Catalonia as well. We’re lucky to have him here with us in the Evergreen.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Time to venture into the Southland to face LA Galaxy on a Saturday night. It’s Opposite Day in Carson, as the Sounders, riding high on an unprecedented run of good form face the beleaguered home side who have lost their last five matches. You have to ask, which LA Galaxy will we face? Will it be the side that lost its last five matches in a row or the side that was unbeaten in the eight matches preceding those? Also, Ex-Sounders manager, Sigi Schmid, has replaced Curt Onalfo as LA Galaxy’s new Manager, setting the stage for Schmid and his new charges to face the club that presided over his sacking last season. LA will have Zardes back from Gold Cup, and Seattle will recover Dempsey, Morris, and Fisher. However, it’s possible none of them will play a role in tonight’s match as the Final was only three days ago. Find your Green Family where ye may. At the match on Avalon Boulevard, or at one of the many Sounders-friendly pubs in the Greater Puget Sound Area. Before kick-off, join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

SchmetzvSigi
SATURDAY! SATURDAY! SATURDAY! CLASH OF THE TITANS! SIGI v. SCHMETZ, LA v. SEATTLE, IF YOU HAVE TO WORK, QUIT YOUR JOB, IF YOUR IN JAIL, BREAK OUT!!!

The Good News
Sounders are sitting in the lofty mid-table heights of 11th place in the league. Riding their best form of the season, Seattle have won a season-best three matches in a row, and are unbeaten in their last five, also a record for this season. By comparison, Los Angeles find themselves in the unusual position of not only being only three places above bottom-dwellers DC United but also having lost their last five matches, their worst run of form this season. The Sounders have won the only match played between the sides, defeating the Galaxy 0:3 in Carson some three months ago. LA are having a hard time winning at home in general, having won only once in 10 attempts. Against common opponents, including each other, Seattle have done much better taking 29 out of 51 points, as opposed to the Galaxy’s 18 points of 51. In terms of defending, the Sounders have allowed less than a goal and a half per match whilst their rivals from the Southland are allowing closer to two goals per match. This is a slight advantage, but it favours the Sounders nonetheless. We no longer have to face Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane anymore. I think we can all agree that is something to be grateful for. Roldan is on fine form, doing a fantastic job as Lodeiro’s understudy in the 3:0 victory over San Jose on Sunday. Morris has returned from the Gold Cup Final match, where he hit the winner in stunning fashion, earning the Yanks a zonal championship, and in general had a very successful tournament. Dempsey and Fisher also return, as does Lodeiro having served his one-match ban. Lodeiro has a tough act to follow, as Roldan cut apart the Quakes defence filling in as his understudy. Could Morris, Dempsey, and Fisher start? Or will they play roles off the bench with muscles still recovering three days after playing the Gold Cup final?

The Bad News
Although recent form would suggest that such results are inapplicable, history leans favourably to Los Angeles defeating us in general, and doing particularly well against us in the shadow of Dominguez Hills. The overall numbers are sobering as the Sounders have only managed to defeat the Galaxy six times in 22 matches in the all-time series between the sides. When playing on the road in Los Angeles, the Sounders have won only three out of 11 all-time. The Sounders’ away record is not appalling but could use a bit of sprucing up as we have only won two matches out of 11 this season. We can take some measure of solace though, in that one of those road victories was against the Galaxy this season. As additional sauce for the goose, former Sounders Manager, Sigi Schmid has taken the managerial position at Los Angeles and I can’t see him not wanting his boys to take a scalp off the Sounders who gave him the sack last season, shortly before the crucial transfer that brought Lodeiro to the Evergreen from Boca Juniors. The media are reporting that the Galaxy see this match as a must-win. There are few things in football harder to deal with than a club with their backs to the wall. Expect things to get woolly in a hurry, as Los Angeles will likely come out hard with their challenges applied in similar fashion. Before the five loss tailspin, between April and June, the Galaxy were on sharp form having been unbeaten in eight matches. You have to wonder which LA side will show up tonight.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – Rowe, 28, has 75 pro appearances, 54 with the Galaxy and was developed by UCLA. In those 54 appearances, he has 15 clean sheets. A fine goalkeeper, but outside the radar of the United States national team.

Defence – Diallo, 27, is a French national developed by Olympique Marseille, his hometown team. He never featured in the first team for Marseille in his three years at the club. Trips to Oldham and RWS Bruxelles were short-lived. He moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and he has played 10 matches for the Galaxy. Steres, 26, developed by San Diego Aztecs (NCAA) is an old hand and has played nearly 130 pro matches, 45 of them for Los Angeles. Van Damme, 33, is a seasoned professional with over 200 matches in Belgian football for Anderlecht and Standard Liège. Add to that 31 caps for Belgium. Van Damme has featured 45 times for Los Angeles. The venerable Ashley Cole, 36, needs no introduction. His 107 England caps and over 400 matches of English football, many of them with Arsenal, firmly establish his credentials as a professional.

Midfield – Garcia, 28, developed by Cal State Northridge (NCAA), has appeared 39 times for the Galaxy, and 84 times as a professional. Jermaine Jones, 35, is a fierce competitor whose resumé is well known. He has played over 300 times as a professional. Much of that experience was hard-earned in the German Bundesliga. He has nearly 70 United States caps. He is a known commodity as a holding midfielder, and can occasionally score goals. He is as well known for his skill as he is for his volatile temperament. I met him once at a pub in San Francisco. He seemed utterly cheerless. Alessandrini, 28, is a serious attacking threat and is amongst the most likely of his teammates to score a goal. He has over 100 matches of French football under his belt and would have featured for Les Bleus if not for injury. Alessandrini has a career strike rate of 27%. He has featured 19 times for the Galaxy this season. Giovanni dos Santos, 28, has played for Spurs, Barcelona, Galatasaray, and Villarreal before moving to Los Angeles. Although listed as a midfielder in the last match, he is truly a withdrawn centre-forward playing in the number 10 role with kit number to match. He has played for LA 52 times scoring 23 goals. dos Santos has 95 caps and 18 goals for Mexico. At any given time, one of the most dangerous strikers on the pitch. Boateng, 23, is a Ghanian national developed by Right to Dream Academy, the Cate School, and UC Santa Barbara (NCAA). He played nearly 40 matches for Helsingborgs IF in Sweden, moving to Avalon Boulevard in 2016. Since then he’s played 46 times for the Galaxy scoring four goals. It is possible, with so much reportedly at stake in this match, that Schmid will select Zardes, 25, over Boateng for reasons of both pedigree and experience. Zardes has 119 appearances for the Galaxy, scoring 32 goals. He also has 37 goals and six caps for United States and was a part of their Gold Cup winning squad this week, playing in the final match this Wednesday.

Forward – With McBean out this match due to suspension, Simon Borg of MLS.com, predicts that Ariel Lassiter, 22, Son of former USA international and record MLS league goal scorer, Roy Lassiter, will start as the target striker for the Galaxy. The younger Lassiter has played only 10 times for Los Angeles in his career scoring a single goal. I believe that Schmid will select a much more experienced striker for the same reasons we expect Zardes to play over Boateng. I predict he will select Jonathan dos Santos, 27, Giovanni’s younger brother. Recently arrived in Carson from Villarreal this month, the Mexican national has played 81 times for Barcelona reserves, 14 times in the Barca first team, and 87 times for Villarreal. He has yet to play in the LA first team. He has 27 caps for Mexico.

 

Familiar Faces
LA defender Daniel Steres was with the Sounders in 2012 but never played for the first team.

Squads
Los Angeles from: Rowe, Kempin, Diop, van Anholt, Cole, Steres, Smith, Diallo, Arellano, Van Damme, Alessandrini, Joao Pedro, Jermaine Jones, Jaime Villarreal, Garcia, Mendiola, Jonathan dos Santos, Giovanni dos Santos, Zardes, Lassiter, McInerney, Boateng, Jose Villareal, Jamieson IV.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Evans, Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Leerdam, Torres, Joevin Jones, Fisher, Svensson, Roldan, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin, Mansaray.

Injury List
Los Angeles –
OUT: Rogers (ankle), Lletget (foot), Husidic (broken leg), Romney (hamstring).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Sounders FC –
OUT: Alonso (MCL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
Los Angeles: McBean (Disciplinary Committee Decision).
Sounders FC: None suspended.

Fun Fact
Tied for second on the Sounders’ all-time goal scoring list against LA, is…wait for it…the other team! You just read that correctly. One of the second highest goal scorers for the Sounders in their all-time series against the LA Galaxy is the LA Galaxy themselves. To top that, both own goals occurred in our last two meetings. So, Mr. Van Damme, Mr. Cole, you have our thanks. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, good day!

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. As the sands run through the hourglass, so are the days of our football. Sunday night brings us fixture number 21 on the league list. Making the voyage all the way from the Bay Area are our auld rivals San Jose Earthquakes. They must face us in the Evergreen at Royal Brougham Park, where opposition football dreams come to die. Green Hell, I believe, the supporters call it. These lads in black and blue, with the horrible identity crisis (San Jose Clash, Earthquakes v. 1.0, Earthquakes v. 2.0???) generally give us the worst time home or away and in fact lead the all-time series in the MLS era with 10 wins to our seven. Worries though? Nah. You’ll have to pry the points out of our cold, dead hands. HAAA! Link up with the Green Family at the known places. Preferably at the park, but if that’s not manageable find the right pub and the right company and join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

marshallandcup
“But can you stop Wondo, Chad?” Hope that Torres and Marshall have something in mind to contain the destructive goalscoring force that is Chris Wondolowski.

The Good News
The Sounders are in an unprecedented vein of good form that has seen our boys in Green mark their longest unbeaten streak of the season at four matches, and tying their best winning streak at two matches in a row. Sounders are coming off a guts-for-glory comeback victory that saw them erase a 0:3 deficit to the DC United and then a Roldan stunner through the goalkeeper’s legs for a 4:3 victory at Occidental Avenue last Wednesday night. This constitutes the largest comeback for the Sounders in MLS history. We are climbing the league table, albeit slowly, with the Sounders currently finding themselves in 13th position. San Jose has not beaten us in the league this season. Seattle have only lost once at home this season in nine matches. In stark relief, San Jose have only managed two wins out of 10 matches on the road. Against common opponents, the Sounders have taken 24 out of 48 points, where as San Jose have taken only 19 of 51 points. San Jose have not only lost their last two matches but have had an extremely leaky defence in doing so giving up nine goals. As Urena played with Los Ticos in a losing effort against the Yanks tonight, he will be unavailable for selection in the Quakes’ eleven. Leerdam looked smart in his league debut, let’s hope more consistency follows.

The Bad News
Although we’re unbeaten in four matches, the fact that that’s our season best to date is a cause for concern. Equally troubling are the three goals we spotted the DC United before assembling our resolute and epic comeback. It’s never a good sign when you spot three straight goals to the club that is bottom of the league. Kasey Keller commented during the match though that the parity of MLS is such that the differences between the bottom of table club and those above them are mostly cosmetic in nature. A sobering thought on many levels. I took this to heart as I very much respect Keller’s analysis, and remember the days when he made the leagues of Europe mark his top ability as a goalkeeper at such clubs as Millwall, Leicester, Rayo Vallecano, Spurs, Southampton, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Fulham. Before dropping the last two matches in such awful style, San Jose were unbeaten in three. The Fauxquakes were good enough to knock us out of the US Open Cup, even though we were dense enough to think we could field a lineup of teenagers against their first team and somehow get a result. We score ever so slightly more than the Quakes, but who ever won a match by three-tenths of a goal? The defences of both sides have conceded exactly 31 goals in 20 matches each. Wondolowski is the x-factor in most of the meetings we’ve had. He’s a good enough striker that he is often the difference between defeat and victory for San Jose. Wondo has scored 11 goals against Seattle alone in the league. It’s a problem – one that Torres and Marshall will have to attempt to sort out. The Sounders are again without Dempsey, Morris, and Fisher as they still have Gold Cup obligations to the Yanks and Jamaica. We are also without Lodeiro as he lost his head and kicked out at a DC United player who had pushed him in the back. Although DC United suffered nothing other than a simple foul for this, Lodeiro was sent off and is out this match due to suspension. Ultimately we are without our two top strikers and best midfield player. Bad enough to be down Dempsey and Morris, but losing Lodeiro, even for a match, is a serious liability. Can you think of anyone else in the team capable of doing the job he does?

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – David Bingham is a proper goalkeeper. He played for the University of California, a fine programme featuring stylish football. He now has nearly 100 pro appearances and three caps for the USA. His understudy Tarbell is extremely green with only 14 appearances as a professional.

Defence – Castro Valley born Lima played 72 times for Cal. Grimes wouldn’t have played him if he didn’t see something in him. Jungwirth has things to prove, and a fair chip on his shoulder as the German national team has ignored him since 2009 after capping him at youth levels 48 times. Jungwirth also played nearly 90 times for Dinamo Dresden. So fair experience acknowledged. Imperiale, an Argentinian national played a lot of football for some very good clubs in South and Central America. Cato has played nearly 100 matches for San Jose scoring seven goals and has 20 caps for Trinidad & Tobago. Bernardez is a 35-year-old Honduran national and the Vice-Captain of the San Jose side. He has played 153 times for San Jose by way of Motagua and Anderlecht. He has 78 caps for Honduras.

Midfield – Thompson is a mere 21 years old but has 62 matches under his belt at pro level and also 21 matches for USA youth sides. Alashe is a 23-year-old domestic product that has played as a pro 76 times. Godoy has played 45 times for San Jose and has 55 caps for Panama. He has over 180 matches of experience as a professional. Hyka is a 29-year-old Albanian national who earned the bulk of his experience in the Swiss league playing over 160 times for Luzern. He has played 20 times for San Jose and 44 times for Albania.

Forward – Chris Wondolowski needs no introduction. He has a strike rate for San Jose in excess of 50%. He has over 260 matches of experience in MLS. He scores goals, period. Hoesen is a 26-year-old Dutch national who played with both Ajax and Groningen before making his way to California. He has appeared nearly 20 times for San Jose and has 13 Dutch youth caps.

Familiar Faces
San Jose midfielder, Cordell Cato played eight times for Sounders FC.

Squads
Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Torres, Marshall, Alfaro, Evans, Tolo, Leerdam, Jones, Svensson, Roldan, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Adekoya, Bruin, Mansaray.

San Jose from: Bingham, Tarbell, Wynne, Bernardez, Imperiale, Lima, Affolter, Salinas, Cato, Hyka, Qazaishvili, Yuell, Ceren, Thompson, Jungwirth, Alashe, Godoy, Silva, Wondolowski, Hoesen, Amarikwa, Dawkins.

Injury List
Sounders FC –
OUT: Alonso (knee).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Frei (hip), Wingo (ankle).

San Jose –
OUT: Sarkodie (calf), Pelosi (knee), Cummings (leg surgery), Colvey (knee).
MATCHDAY DECISION: none.

Discipline
Sounders FC: Lodeiro (sent off).

Fun Fact
Did you know that Sounders’ centre-half, Roman Torres has 103 caps and 9 Goals for Panama?