Tag Archive | "Kasey Keller"

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Sounders Win Third US Open Cup

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Kyle Alm

Seattle Sounders have won the US Open Cup in each of the three years of their existence in MLS. Continue Reading

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Keller serves up beers and stories at the Atlantic Crossing Aug 17

Posted on 22 August 2011 by crouchinho

Keller Serves Up Beers and Stories to Seattle Fans at the Atlantic Crossing

It was a beautiful night in Seattle last Wednesday and the beers were flowing at Atlantic Crossing for the Kasey Keller-Arlo White meet and greet.  Arlo and Kasey make a great pair on the microphone with a lot of interesting banter covering the Sounders games, EPL and Kaseys’ stories from his successful career overseas and of course the topic all of Seattle is interested in his retirement and what will happen next for Keller.

Kasey will be hanging up his boots after this season with the Sounders and is optimistic about finishing with some hardware in the case as the team is playing really well. When asked about retiring when he is clearly still able to perform as a top goalkeeper in the MLS, Kasey simply said he didn’t want to “fade away”. He wanted to end his career playing well and not by pushing it until the fire has burnt out. He feels good about where he is at right now and rumor has it he’s just ready to relax with his family off the pitch.

There is a clear void coming to the Sounders in the leadership dept after Keller leaves. Keller is definitely the most qualified and best captain for the Sounders and when asked about who might fill his role after his departure, Kasey seemed unsure.  “I believe it is going to be central position on the field, a player that sees the game from the middle of the field and can lead from that position.” But who that would be he could not predict, Osvaldo Alonso was one person that he mentioned that shows potential but the Sounders will be missing out on a key leader and player for next year. He did not seem to be showing any signs of “favre-esc” wavering, he will retire.

The Atlantic Crossing bar and Budweiser presented this night through Rezin Marketing with giveaways and promos. Kasey is a true talent on the microphone and from the looks of things he should be doing more work with Arlo broadcasting we hope.

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Sounders Fail To Finish off Chivas USA

Posted on 14 August 2011 by Kyle Alm

Kevin Stott pointed to the spot before pointing upfield in a sweeping motion.

Kevin Stott pointed to the spot before pointing upfield in a sweeping motion.

Although the fans will probably remember Referee Kevin Stott’s no calls on penalty kicks, or Alvaro Fernandez’s missed penalty kick, this game will go down as a wasted opportunity for Sounders to level the series with Chivas while they rebuild the roster. Sounders seemed to have control of the possession through the midfield with Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg and Mauro Rosales for much of the game. Although Sigi Schmid gave Chivas credit for the better first half they only created one shot in the first half.

Fernandez created a couple of opportunities running up the left flank and created a couple of shots on runs into the box before he drew a unintentional handball from Michael Umana in the box in the 19th minute of play. Umana gained control of the ball, even though his handball was unintentional advantage was gained as he tried to play it out of the box. A bit unusual for a player to take his own penalty kick, nevertheless, El Flaco stepped up to the spot hit the ball to his left, just passed a diving Dan Kennedy into the post, off the goalkeepers back and out of bounds.

Dan Kennedy only made two saves the entire game. An amazing statistic when Sounders took ten shots. Two of ten shots were put on frame and had both saved. Credit is certainly given to Chivas defenders Umana in particular for stopping several chances in the box. It seemed that whenever Sounders took a shot they were off-balance which can be given at least partially to Chivas’ defense.

Two saves.

Kasey Keller made three. Thirty minute mark first half, the only shot on goal for both sides in the first half. Two more fairly routine saves in the second half. Keller also snuffed out a good opportunity in the first half intended for LaBrocca that didn’t make the stat sheet.

Even Sigi Schmid claimed that there should have been a penalty called on Umana for pushing Jaqua to the ground on a cross into the box, but in the end it was lack of finishing profiency that cost Sounders two points at home and Chivas get a point on the road.

Referee Stott does have some explaining to do, he’s fortunate in a sense to have lost control late in the game rather than early. There was chippiness and cynical midfield tackles. In fact Simon Elliot tackled Fernandez by his face in the first half, caution was given. The most poignant questions: Did Stott point at the spot after Neagle was tackled? Did he decide that the ball was going out of bounds? Schmid may also have a point, it doesn’t make sense to play Jaqua if he can be obstructed on a crossing ball by a much shorter player and that a penalty kick should be awarded for those situations. It is a foul in the box after all.


“It’s not the refereeing. We had a penalty and other chances to score.”

Although it seems perfectly obvious to everyone else in the stands that the best opportunity to score late in the match was a penalty that was not awarded the game should have been won several times over. Sounders easily handled a team that has historically always given Sounders trouble. Chivas have won 2 games, Sounders 1, with two draws in their short MLS history. Chivas have turned over much of their roster, Zach Thornton, Sasha Klejstan and Jonathan Bornstein have all moved on. Chivas have not been an overly impressive side this season.

As far as bad refeeing goes, this isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen. Sad thing is that isn’t the worst Sounders finishing I’ve ever seen either. Try to relax, exhale and picture Pat Noonan scoring.

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Game #5 Preview: Seattle at Philadelphia

Posted on 14 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Seattle visits PPL Park after registering their first win of the season without star Fredy Montero. Their motivation, however, will come more from last year’s 3-1 loss in PPL Park’s opener. The Eastern Conference leading Union will look to break the Sounders momentum and experience a game where both the offense and defense are firing on all cylinders. Sebastien Le Toux, yet to revisit his 2010 form, could be the man to start that process.

Philadelphia Union (3-1-0) vs. Seattle Sounders (1-2-2)
Saturday, April 16, 2011, 4:00PM
PPL Park, Chester, PA, The Comcast Network

 Philadelphia Union Probable Starting XI

——————————–Mondragon——————————–

Williams————Califf——————–Valdes————-Harvey

———————-Miglioranzi———–Okugo————————

Mapp—————————————————————–Daniel

————————-Le Toux————-Ruiz—————————

OUT: MF Gabe Farfan (R toe dislocation); DOUBTFUL: MF Brian Carroll (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: FW Carlos Ruiz (L hamstring strain)

Seattle Sounders Probable Starting XI

————————————Keller————————————-

Riley——————-Parke——————Hurtado———-Gonzalez

Friberg—————Alonso——————Evans————-Zakuani

————————–White—————–Rosales———————-

QUESTIONABLE: FW Fredy Montero (R wrist fracture)

Game Notes:

If Montero can’t go (although, signs point to him getting minutes somehow) it would mean that Rosales, one of Seattle’s better players over the last few games will continue to partner on the attacking front with target man O’Brian White. Erik Friberg is subject to replacement this week after a couple down showings. With Designated Player Alvaro Fernandez waiting in the wings, I would assume there’s not much room for error.

Seattle grabbed their first three points of the season at home last weekend with their defense playing a huge role shutting down a relatively efficient Chicago attack led by two Uruguayans Diego Chaves and Gaston Puerari. Kasey Keller earned Best XI honors for the week making several clutch saves in the late going. O’Brian White’s first goal against the Chicago defense was impressive – outleaping and beating two Fire defenders to power a header past Sean Johnson. The gamewinner, however, was an example of how Steve Zakuani can affect a game. He can sit off to the side for some time only to make one run, one play that changes the course of the whole game. The battle on the wings will prove decisive in Saturday’s match-up as will the competition between Migs/Okugo (if Carroll can’t go) and Evans/Alonso. 

Seattle dominated Chicago in possession last weekend – 66% to 34% – and we can expect them to do so again on Saturday. As we saw last weekend vs. New York, will it matter if the chances the Union do create are converted?

Local native Jeff Parke will return to Philadelphia. Parke, born in Abington, PA, played collegiate soccer at Drexel before joining the professional ranks. He was the last overall pick (60th) in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft and became a staple in the defense for the New York Red Bulls before choosing to test the waters overseas. It didn’t work out after a trial in Belgium and he returned, played for Vancouver (then in the USL) before signing last season with Seattle.

The Union’s first ever game was against the Sounders at Qwest Field, the First Kick of 2010 season. Two first half goals from Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani and the ejection of Toni Stahl (now with Fort Lauderdale of the NASL) sent the Union back to Philadelphia itching for a rematch. They got it and an inaugural win to open PPL Park in impressive fashion. The Union put on an offensive clinic winning 3-1 with goals from Seb Le Toux, Fred, and Danny Mwanga.

One of the bigger taking points after the Union’s 3-1 win over Seattle at PPL Park last year was the extreme heat. Saturday’s weather is expected to be pretty much the complete opposite – 55 degrees and rainy. Does that play into Seattle’s favor? Probably not but it’ll ensure they’ll feel much more at home.

Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid on the Union: “I wish we could get three goals and have it count for nine points, it’d be nice. Obviously defensively they haven’t given much up. Every game they’ve been in has been a 1-0 game either for them or against them. Defensively they’ve got a good mindset; all 11 guys get back and help on that defensive side of things. Their goalkeeper has kept them well organized. They’ve done well. They bend a little bit, sort of like a willow, but they don’t break. We have to find a way to get in behind them and obviously get goals.”

A Union affiliate club will start their season this weekend. The Harrisburg City Islanders will take on the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 7PM on Saturday at home. Reading United AC won’t start their PDL campaign until May 7th. A little surprised that the City Islanders haven’t picked up JT Noone yet. He’s the only former Union player left without a club.

Predict the Scoreline:

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Everything positive as Sounders put down the Revolution

Posted on 06 June 2010 by nschiffler

Where was this kind of play all season?

Inspired by an early goal by Leo Gonzalez, his first in MLS, the Seattle Sounders broke out of their offensive slump and routed the New England Revolution 3-0 at Qwest Field.

Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero added first-half goals as the Sounders controlled the run of play for 90 minutes, giving the home side a huge win that they desperately needed to get themselves back in the pack of playoff contending teams.

“We want to make this a tough place for teams to play,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I think we made it that way tonight, so it does a lot for our spirit, it does a lot for our confidence, it just does an awful lot for the morale. And it was good to win and score some fine goals.”

It didn’t take long for Seattle to get on the scoresheet with one of those fine goals. Montero held up with the ball well, allowing Gonzalez to arrive, and the Costa Rican played the ball to Zakuani. His touch back got away from him but fell right to Gonzalez, who hit a brilliant, swerving, unsaveable shot with the outside of his foot from the edge of the penalty area that found the back of the net.

Not to be outdone, Zakuani chipped in with a wonderful goal of his own about twenty minutes later. Again it was Montero, this time taking a quick throw-in, acting as the catalyst. The throw found Brad Evans in the box, and he controlled the ball before looping it back out to Zakuani. He took the ball out of mid-air, volleying it with his right foot off the crossbar and in, with the kind of accuracy no keeper in the world could have done anything about.

Pat Noonan tried to get in on the goal-scoring action in the 31st minute. He received the ball with two defenders on him, shook off one and juked past the second before smacking his shot off the post. The ball rebounded away to safety.

But Seattle wasn’t done putting the ball in the back of the net. In the 42nd minute Gonzalez passed to Noonan, who touched the ball over to Montero. He took his time with the ball at his feet, faking a shot to create a little more space, before smashing a low shot under beleaguered backup goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth and in for another score.

Schmid credited the change to a 4-4-2 formation, with Ljungberg playing on the wing and Noonan up top with Montero as a second striker, for some of the offensive production.

“Sometimes if we’re a little more clever, a little more composed, we’ll get even more goals,” he said. “It was definitely a huge step in the right direction and the change in formation helped us the most.”

Two of the Sounders’ highest profile offensive players, Ljungberg and Montero, shined in their new positions. Although Ljungberg didn’t get on the scoresheet, he was influential all game long, constantly breaking down the New England defense.

The Seattle domination continued in the second half even though they were unable to score again. But New England never threatened and they appeared beaten as soon as the second goal was scored against them.

Perhaps the best way to summarize the one-sidedness of the match is through the comments of New England coach Steve Nicol, who was understandably disappointed with the match.

“There is nothing we can take away from this game that is positive,” Nicol said.

If nothing about the match was positive for New England, then everything was positive for the Sounders.

Sounders Player Ratings
Kasey Keller 6.5 – Came out very well to punch clear a couple times when he was needed, but had very little to do.
James Riley 6 – Not much action on his side but he was reasonably solid when called upon.
Jeff Parke 6 – Played bigger than he is. He did misjudge one ball that led to a New England free header, and while not winning every ball always put pressure on the opposing player.
Tyrone Marshall 6.5 – Did well in the air early even when under pressure, and was winning most everything. New England weren’t offering much going forward, though.
Leo Gonzalez 8 – Incredible game. After scoring an absolute golazo, it seemed like he got an extreme boost of confidence and was a monster on offense and defense. Got forward fearlessly and was still able to recover defensively. He was subbed out in the 90th minute just so he could get a huge ovation. That says a lot.
Freddie Ljungberg 7.5 – Very good work on the ball on wing throughout the entire game, was able to use his pace and trickery to get free. To his credit he stayed out on the wing, keeping the formation in good shape, and he appeared to be much more effective there. Although he didn’t always link up perfectly with the other attackers, still had his best game in a long time.
Patrick Ianni 5.5 – Stepped into a few hard challenges early and always won the ball. Was effectively physical and helped take Joseph out of the match. His passing was really bad though, as he had quite a few weird giveaways and balls played to nobody.
Brad Evans 6.5 – Constantly was getting himself in good spaces, and his being in the right place led to goal number two. Probably in his best position as an all-purpose central midfielder.
Steve Zakuani 7 – Combined extremely well down the left wing, and was very dangerous early. Scored his goal on a ridiculously good volley. Shifted to right side in second half sometimes and drifted out of the match occasionally, but it was over already then.
Pat Noonan 7 – Quietly effective. One really good run to beat two defenders and hit the post. Played intelligently, especially to get it to Montero for the third goal. He did look like he had tired legs toward the end and was subbed out in the 81st minute.
Fredy Montero 7.5 – Good holding-up play on the ball throughout the game. He just looks so much more comfortable as a second striker, I cannot emphasize this enough. Fantastic composure on his goal, and was involved in the other two. Showed just how good he can be.
Roger Levesque 5.5 (sub 81) He’s a hustler, even though the game was completely out of reach. Missed a pretty good chance.
Sanna Nyassi (sub 85) Not on long and barely touched the ball.
Taylor Graham (sub 90) Not on long and I’m not sure if he ever touched the ball.

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Photo gallery: Sounders 3, Revs 0

Posted on 06 June 2010 by dlindsay

The Seattle Sounders soundly defeated the New England Revolution by a score of 3-0 in the final MLS match before the World Cup break. Here is a photo gallery supplied by David Lindsay.

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Freddie Ljungberg

Posted on 25 May 2010 by Kyle Alm

Although this is not the first time Freddie Ljungberg has been questioned about his on pitch demeanor by fans or commentators, this is the first time that any of the Sounders has been criticized so harshly by Coach Sigi Schmid. Ljungberg has higher expectation than any player at the club with possible exceptions being Kasey Keller and Fredy Montero. The expectations on Keller may be lower given his age and past performances for the US Men’s National Team. Montero has high expectations that are based on “potential.” Ljungberg’s expectations are rooted in his status as a Designated Player and his large, by MLS standards, salary on the happy side of $1 million.

Ljungberg’s multiple outbursts directed at referee Alex Prus on Saturday while a good game was going on indicated that the Swede is far from happy on the pitch in Seattle. Ljungberg shouts at his teammates, argues with the officials, and recently he was on the sidelines arguing with Schmid. Ljungberg’s demonstrations on the pitch on Saturday had to be seen to believed. He totally lost his cool as he shook his fist at an opposing player after complaining to Prus about not getting foul called. But there is a reason why Freddie Ljungberg doesn’t get every call.

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There is a school of thought, that basketball fans will surely recognize, that dictates that if you foul enough you will get away with enough fouls to have effectively changed the pace and tempo of a game to your favor. Ljungberg is the most second most fouled player in MLS currently after leading the league in 2009. He gets that call more than anyone in the league and he’s complaining that he doesn’t get enough calls?

In defense of Ljungberg, he’s the second most fouled player in the league currently after leading the league in 2009. The sheer volume of which are enough to believe they are part of a deliberate and cynical defensive strategic against Ljungberg and Montero. Ljungberg has missed games due to injury a few different times after getting roughed up by opposing players. It’s a frustrating game where you take 18 shots and can’t score. When you don’t connect passes with teammates well or when you have only scored on goal in your Sounders career, and have yet to score a goal at Qwest it must be very frustrating. Especially when you are the team’s captain, highest paid player and should be the best player on the team. I doubt very seriously that Arsene Wenger would tolerate that kind of behavior for Arsenal, but it’s OK for the Sigi and for the Sounders. That d of attitude doesn’t carry much water in my opinion. The fans deserve better than what they have been getting from Ljungberg he’s a professional athlete, not a petulant child, and it’s time showed some maturity.

Arsène Wenger

“I played on the biggest teams in the world and you need to get upset if the ref is not doing the right thing,” Ljungberg said. “If you lose your passion, you won’t play. I don’t agree on that.”

You know who else quipped about their pedigree like that? David Beckham. It’s indefensible Euro-snobbery. Freddie, you play for Sounders FC currently. Played is the right word, because it is played out. Played, as in used to play? Players who talk about the past aren’t passionate, they are complacent. How many times has a referee ever reversed a call on the pitch? Exactly zero. None. Plus I don’t think that was what your coach was saying to you.

“You need to have your passion to play and I think that’s what the fans want to see as well. People that care, reaction if there is something that happens.”

Wrong again. Passion to “play” is not what fans want to see. Fans want see a passion to compete and to win. Not to “play.” Kids “play.” Professionals compete to win. What Ljungberg did on the pitch did nothing to help his team win. Did nothing to help him get a call. Do you know how many times I have seen a referee reverse a call? Exactly zero.

Pretty good advice from the other Sounders captain. Sounds like he gave it yesterday instead of pre-2009, maybe it will finally sink in.

PS How about a goal Freddie? Score a goal. At home in front of your fans.. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that you have done that. Perhaps that should be your focus.

Qwest Field with Seattle in the background
Image via Wikipedia
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Michael Fucito Goal Celebration

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Fucito winner saves Sounders at Qwest

Posted on 18 April 2010 by Kyle Alm

The gray Seattle sky served as an appropriate backdrop for the Sounders on Saturday. Both teams started quickly in the first half and had chances to score, but the game became quite slow with both teams seemingly content to play from their defensive half when the other team had the ball. After 91 minutes of dreary dullness that seemed so pervasive during the Sounders vs Kansas City match a single bright spot stood out. Michael Fucito netted his first goal as a Sounder after coming on in the 85th minute for Steve Zakuani. It was first goal that Kansas City has allowed all season, first goal in stoppage time in Sounders history, and probably the first assist off of a throw-in. Evans to Fucito. Substitute to substitute.

“I saw Brad had the ball and I just kind of ran through trying to stretch them. It was a great throw great pass, and I turned and I was one on one with the goalie, hit it, and you know, I finished it well, it was unbelievable.”

Michael Fucito goal celebration

The fans at Qwest erupt as Michael Fucito scores the winner in the 92nd minute.

I wonder if the Wizards defenders are going to receive calls from their old coaches asking them about how Fucito got so open? Fucito had no one around him and only needed one touch to beat Jimmy Nielsen for the winner. Fans at Qwest who had been loud all game suddenly exploded with delight.

But it only took a few moments for the Sounders to show weakness as Kansas City promptly came down and shot the ball just wide of Kasey Keller’s post. That would have been a major letdown. Talk about the air going out of the building. Questions galore at that point.

There are still plenty of questions about the starting lineup that the Sounders put on the pitch. Ljungberg was not sharp today, nor was he sharp against Real Salt Lake last week. His touch was heavy, he isn’t going to beat anyone off the dribble and his passing was off. He was called offsides at a point late in the game that cost the Sounders a scoring opportunity. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid in his post-game statement was quick to mention how well Vagenas controls the ball in midfield and how important it was to his game plan against KC. It worked. Despite a couple of dangerous turnovers that lead to KC chances. Still Vagenas’ mistakes didn’t hurt, so he can be forgiven.

Now that we are four games into the season I’ll revisit my Seven questions for the Seattle Sounders 2010 Season post from the beginning of the season.

Nate Jaqua: I’ve heard he’s “training,” but he’s not going to be playing real soon, probably in a couple of weeks. Hasn’t had a chance to produce.

James Riley: Riley has been solid since he has been back. He does give players a lot of space up til the edge of the box. Hasn’t hurt him consistently that I can tell.

Fredy Montero: Has really improved getting the ball to his teammates with the exception of Freddie Ljungberg. For some reason the two best players on the pitch are never on the same page. He’s got assists and goals and will be in the running for a Golden Boot if he doesn’t transfer to CSKA Moscow or wherever the next rumor takes him.

Steve Zakuani: Major improvement, may be having the best season of any Sounder, Montero has a major stake in that argument. But Zakuani hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. That yellow card today was silly, he should have put his hands on the ref. In his defense the ref did come towards him and I think Zakuani was letting him know he was close enough, but I digress. Zakuani is a dangerous player and has continued to show improvement from game to game.

Freddie Ljungberg: Truculent at times, talks to the ref too much, and hasn’t been able to sync up with Montero well, which is a tragedy when you think about how much better the team would be. In the past I thought that the problem was with Montero not releasing the ball early enough or not looking for passes but I am wondering if Freddie Ljungberg has more to do with it that I would like to admit.

Kasey Keller: Solid in goal. As usual. No worries there.

Corner Kicks & Set Pieces: Ugh. This needs it’s own post later this week devoted to this subject. I’ll just say that they are probably productive compared to the rest of the league and are really lacking in creativity, there are few instances where the ball doesn’t go exactly where you expect it to. A little misdirection can be a good way to find some space.

Rookie Class: Fucito got us three points today, I’d say that the 2010 Rookie Class for the Sounders is meeting or exceeding expectations for being productive. Estrada hasn’t had a breakthrough yet. Fucito remarked that his second game was a more settled affair for him. The same will also be true for Estrada .

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What awaits the Sounders tonight

Posted on 03 April 2010 by Kyle Alm

For the New York Red Bulls 2009 had to be disappointing. As runners up for the MLS Cup in 2008 they were expected to compete for a championship again. The Red Bulls came into Seattle as a team to beat and left as a study in moppishness. By any measure the Red Bulls tanked last season. Lowest point total in the league. Fewest goals scored.

The other side of that argument is that the Red Bulls were never really that good in the first place. Lowest point total for MLS 2008 playoff teams and the worst Goals Against of any playoff team. They were fortunate to wind up in the final and it may have been too optimistic to place them among the elite in the league. There has been a lot of discussion with a similar theme, “new stadium, new coach, new players, new team,” but who are these “new” Red Bulls?

Hans Backe has been brought in as head coach; he’s a newcomer to MLS, but has a lot of experience in “lower” European leagues and has won championships. Joel Lindpere has certainly been a noteworthy and productive midfielder so far, but it is still only one match into the season. Juan Pablo Angel is apparently still getting fit from his knee injury and may not be the player that he once was. Winning can cover any number of sins and shortcomings. When you lose everything is under a microscope. The win against the Chicago Fire doesn’t really prove anything for the Red Bulls, let’s see how they do away from their new stadium.

As for the Sounders everything seems to be lining up favorably. Ljungberg seemed to do whatever he wanted on the pitch, the only way that the Union seemed able to contain him by fouling him repeatedly. James Riley will be returning from a one-match suspension and will likely get the start tonight. Riley may not be the best defender in MLS but he doesn’t seem to make a lot of mistakes and he gets forward very well and had a career high in assists (and games) in 2009. The Sounders are definitely better with Riley on the pitch.

Key Matchups

Steve Zakuani – Jeremy Hall
Zakuani beat the Union defenders like a pack of rented mules. Zakuani could be one of the fastest wings in MLS and was instrumental in creating a goal for Evans and left a sitter for Roger Levesque that went into the North End stands.
Advantage SOUNDERS

Brad Evans – Joel Lindpere

Lindpere’s goal against the Chicago Fire was a very decent volley, the setup wasn’t all that great, it just kind of bounced to him and he got a shot. Lindpere is not the kind of player you can allow to shoot. He doesn’t need much space to get his shot off. Evans is a good midfielder, and a decent defender, should match up well with Lindpere physically. If Evans can keep Lindpere contained and keep him off of his goal pace it will be considered a successful outing.
Advantage EVEN

Questions:

Will Freddie Ljungberg start?
He’s been in training and is available for today’s match, but is a game time decision after due to heavy bruising from the Union.
LIKELY YES

Who starts on the right wing for Sounders FC Roger Levesque or Sanna Nyassi?
Levesque missed a couple of opportunities to score against the Union, but at least he had a chance to score and it didn’t hurt his team’s result. Sanna Nyassi looked good with the ball on his foot, which is a big improvement from last season, and was also able to use his speed to his advantage. Nyassi was trigger happy coming on and had a couple of shots where he had players open. Nyassi is also as fast as he is undersized. Nyassi could be more vulnerable to getting knocked off the ball.
TOSSUP (but look for both of them to play no matter who starts)

PREDICTION
2-0 Sounders, another clean sheet for Man of the Match Kasey Keller and deja vu for the Red Bulls.

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Ready for Sounders 2.0?

Posted on 25 March 2010 by Kyle Alm

Today is the opening game of MLS season XV. There will be rejoicing in Seattle for we have a collective bargaining agreement and we have a season. And we are playing host to First Kick for the second time in a row, itself a fortunate turn of events. It’s a safe bet that this game would be played in Philadelphia if their stadium was ready.

Seb Le Toux as a Sounder ©ASN/David Lindsay

It’s been said over and over again. So by now everyone has heard that the Seattle Sounders had one of, if not the best seasons an expansion side has ever had–both from a business perspective and on the pitch. In terms of ticket sales and money spent at the stadium, Seattle is one of the top in the league. The new expansion teams in Philadelphia, Portland, and Vancouver will be measured against us. Tonight, it should be interesting to see the Philadelphia soccer fan in action. They booed Santa Claus right?

The Union have done things in more low-key manner compared to the Sounders. Seattle made a pair of big signings with Freddie Ljungberg and Kasey Keller and rolled the dice on Fredy Montero. Seems like a no-brainer now, but no one else did it.

Philadelphia has hired a coach in Peter Nowak with a proven track record in and out of MLS.

A couple of questions for today’s match:

1. Will Sebastien Le Toux play for a full 90? Will he even start?

2. How does Danny Mwanga, #1 pick in this year’s draft, compare to Steve Zakuani? Estrada probably won’t play today but it will be worth noting how productive a player he can be. Estrada looked pretty good against Portland.

3. How are the pieces of Philadelphia’s expansion draft coming together compared to Seattle’s? Several people were surprised that Riley wasn’t taken along with Le Toux in the expansion draft. Although Riley won’t be playing today serving a suspension from last season, it will be worth evaluating how Philly’s back line holds up against Seattle’s attack.

Ultimately if the Sounders have difficulty creating opportunities today their scoring woes could continue. Evans will probably fill in at right back for Riley. Although it wasn’t necessarily Evans’ fault, the goal that the USL Timbers scored two weeks ago came right up his side.

Win, lose, or draw I’m sure most people will be happy that the season is starting. Unless there’s some kind of atrocious mistake that leads to a draw or a loss.

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