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Sounders look ahead to two-game week (three, counting Reserves match in Tacoma on Sunday)

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on May 7, 2013 at 10:35 am with No Comments »
May 7, 2013 10:36 am

The Sounders are in Kansas City today, with no scheduled media access. So, with a relatively quiet new day looming, here are some notes provided by the club:

Seattle Sounders FC wraps up its two-game road trip on Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City before returning home for the first time in four weeks to host the defending Supporters’ Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday’s match against Kansas City kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT from Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The match will be televised live on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action. The Spanish broadcasts are available on THIS-TV (KOMO 4.2) and La Gran D 99.3 FM.

Kickoff for Saturday’s match against the Earthquakes is set for 1 p.m. PT from the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The match will broadcast on KONG 6/16 and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, and Univision Deportes Network will televise the match live in Spanish.

Following Saturday’s match, Sounders FC will host Orlando City SC of the USL-PRO on Sunday in MLS Reserve League action at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash. Kickoff for the reserve match is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT with a live audio stream on SoundersFC.com.

Tickets to the reserve match are available at www.TacomaRainiers.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 253-752-7700. Tickets start at $10 with discounts for senior citizens and military. Children three and under are free. Gates open at 3 p.m.

The upcoming two-match week is Seattle’s first in league play this season as they face both of last year’s conference winners. Wednesday will mark the club’s third-straight road match, having gone unbeaten in the previous two, while Saturday’s match will be the first home game since April 13.

Coming off a wild 2-2 draw at the Philadelphia Union last Saturday, Sounders FC (1-3-3, 6 points) looks to extend its three-game (1-0-2) unbeaten stretch in MLS play (four straight across all competitions 1-0-3). Seattle captain Mauro Rosales salvaged the comeback draw with a goal and assist at Philadelphia, and Eddie Johnson scored his second goal of the MLS campaign.

In a rematch of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, Sounders FC visits Sporting Kansas City (5-3-2, 17 points) for the lone meeting this season. After its 4-nil home win over Chivas USA on Sunday, Sporting jumped into a four-way tie for first place in the East. Seattle leads the all-time MLS series with Kansas City at 5-1-1 and is unbeaten in six straight meetings, including six goals scored in the final 15 minutes of the game.

The scene then shifts back to the Pacific Northwest where Sounders FC hosts the San Jose Earthquakes (2-3-5, 11 points) in the second of three meetings this season. The Quakes, who won the first meeting 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 23, earned a late 2-2 home draw against the red-hot Montreal Impact last Saturday evening. Seattle trails the all-time series at 4-6-1 following losses in the past four MLS meetings.

The team will continue to stay busy with the first of two reserve league matches against Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon in the club’s first-ever competitive match at the historic Cheney Stadium. Coming off a 7-2 drubbing of Antigua Barracuda FC last Saturday, Orlando City (5-1-1, 16 points) sits atop the USL-PRO standings and features the league’s top two goalscorers in English forward Dominic Dwyer and former Real Salt Lake midfielder Jamie Watson. Seattle reserves will visit Orlando City on August 11 at the Citrus Bowl.

Sounders FC will stay in the Emerald City to host the league-leading FC Dallas on May 18 before visiting the LA Galaxy on May 26.

Single-match tickets to Sounders FC home matches are available through SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, the CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.

Sounders FC 4-Match ticket packages are available by phone at 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at www.SoundersFC.com. The package includes Sounders FC home matches versus the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 8, Portland Timbers on August 25, Real Salt Lake on September 13 and the Los Angeles Galaxy on October 27.

Coaches Corner
Seattle skipper Sigi Schmid will face off against two of the league’s top coaches this week in Kansas City’s Peter Vermes and San Jose’s Frank Yallop. Vermes, who took over as head coach of Sporting during the 2009 season, has gone 50-38-32 over the past five seasons, though he is yet to beat Schmid’s Seattle side in six attempts (0-5-1).

Yallop, a two-time MLS Coach of the Year and reigning winner, is one of just three foreign coaches to earn the award. He ranks fourth all-time among active coaches with 116 wins, 57 fewer than Schmid’s all-time mark. With his win earlier this season, Yallop took the advantage in the head-to-head series at 12-11-4.

KC Series Notes
Sounders FC has had great success against Sporting Kansas City in league play, posting a record of 5-1-1. Seattle’s five wins against Kansas City are the club’s second-most over any MLS side, and the lone loss came in the first matchup in 2009. Following that loss, Seattle won five straight before earning a 1-1 draw in the last meeting on June 20, 2012. Sounders FC twice clinched a playoff berth against Kansas City, and three games were won by stoppage time goals. Kasey Keller won Save of the Year by stopping Chance Myers shot in 2010 and Patrick Ianni earned Goal of the Year with his side-winding equalizer last season. Wednesday’s match will be Seattle’s first regular-season game at Sporting Park since the late 2-1 win in 2011. The team’s last visit to the stadium was in last year’s U.S. Open Cup final when Seattle lost in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw. Six of Seattle’s 10 goals scored have come in the final 15 minutes, and just twice has Seattle scored in the opening hour of the match.

About KC
Sporting has picked up 17 points (5-3-2) through 10 games so far in 2013, currently locked in a four-way tie for first place in the Eastern Conference. They are tied-third with 14 goals scored this season and tied-second with a plus-six goal differential. They also lead the league in shots (146), rank fifth in shots on goal (43), and second with 16 assists. Coach Peter Vermes’ club is 3-1-1 at home this season with a 9-3 goal advantage, with the lone loss coming to Portland on April 27. SKC finished atop the Eastern Conference standings in 2012 with 63 points (18-7-9), just three points short of San Jose for the Supporter’s Shield.

Sporting Notables
New designated player Claudio Bieler is tied for the league-lead with six goals in his first MLS season, including a brace in a 4-0 win over Chivas USA on Sunday. The 29-year-old Argentine signed with Kansas City in December after a successful career in South America. Graham Zusi, last year’s second runner-up for MLS MVP, is tied for the league-lead with four assists and recently earned MLS Player of the Week honors for scoring a goal and an assist against Chivas. Striker Kei Kamara, who has 45 career MLS goals seven seasons, recently re-joined the team after a loan spell with English Premier League side Norwich City.

Defending MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Nielsen leads the league with six shutouts and his clean sheet Sunday gave him the franchise record with 38 in his career. The 35-year-old Dane is fourth in MLS with a 0.80 goals against average.

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