The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Amidst a dip in form in league play, Seattle Sounders FC turns its attention to the quest for a record fourth straight U.S. Open Cup with a quarterfinal matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday evening at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. The Rave Green will stay on the road for the remainder of the week for a Saturday night match against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Sounders FC Press Release
The Seattle Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes game notes are now available at http://SoundersFC.com/notes.
Tuesday’s match can be heard live on 97.3 KIRO FM and SoundersFC.com with Ross Fletcher and Taylor Graham on the call. Saturday’s match will be televised live on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM and in Spanish on La Gran D 99.3 FM.
The recent struggles continued for Sounders FC (7-5-4, 25 points) on Sunday afternoon as the team dropped its first Cascadia Cup fixture of the MLS-era, falling 2-1 at Portland. Eddie Johnson scored Seattle’s lone goal and is now tied for the team lead with five tallies this season.
The loss extended Seattle’s winless streak to seven games (0-4-3), totaling the longest winless stretch in club history. The club now sits fourth in the West and seventh overall.
Earlier last week, Sounders FC came back to earn a 1-1 home draw with Sporting Kansas City. Defender Patrick Ianni scored a highlight goal on a side-winding volley in the first half. The centerback’s impressive strike is nominated for MLS Goal of the Week alongside Johnson’s goal against Portland.
Sounders FC will once again look to the Open Cup to provide the spark needed to climb out of the seven-game winless slump. The quarterfinal match will be Seattle’s first against an MLS opponent in this year’s tournament, and the game is the only matchup featuring two MLS sides. Seattle has been the highest scoring team over the third and fourth rounds, and have a 16-game (15-0-1) unbeaten run in Open Cup play.
Following Tuesday’s match, the Rave Green will fly cross-country for this season’s lone league match against the New England Revolution (5-7-3, 18 points). The Revs are seventh in the East and are riding a three-game unbeaten run (1-0-2), including a 2-2 draw at Toronto last Saturday.
Seattle will continue its road tour next week with a visit to Real Salt Lake on July 4, and will return to the Emerald City for the lone home match of July against the Colorado Rapids. Sounders FC will round out the month with two more road games, plus an international friendly on July 18 against Champions League winners Chelsea on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Upcoming Competition Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Tuesday, June 26, 7:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes, Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA
Saturday, June 30, 4:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Wednesday, July 4, 7 p.m. – Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT
Saturday, July 7, 8 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Sunday, July 15, 1 p.m. – Sounders FC at New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
Upcoming MLS Reserve League Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Monday, August 6, 7 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA
Sunday, August 12, 11 a.m. – Sounders FC at San Jose, Nutrilite Training Facility, San Jose, CA
Sounders FC Training Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Wednesday, June 27 – Travel to Boston
Thursday, June 28 – TBD
Friday, June 29 – TBD
Sunday, July 1 – Travel to Seattle
Open Cup Quarterfinal Preview
Seattle Sounders FC began its quest for a record fourth straight Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 30 with a 5-1 victory over the North American Soccer League’s Atlanta Silverbacks at Starfire. The pursuit continued a week later as the Rave Green ousted the U.S. Adult Soccer Association’s Cal FC, 5-0. Seattle now faces its stiffest competition in MLS Western Conference foe San Jose Earthquakes.
Seattle has been the highest scoring team over the third and fourth rounds of this year’s tournament, and has extended its unbeaten run in Open Cup play to 16 games (15-0-1), dating back to April 28, 2009. Sounders FC has been dominant in the opening rounds, setting club records for largest margin of victory (five) and most goals scored in a half (five). The match against Cal FC also marked the first time two Seattle players scored multiple goals in the same game as both Osvaldo Alonso and Fredy Montero netted a brace. Alonso leads the team with three goals in the 2012 tournament. Not only have the goals come frequently, but they have been scored in bunches. Seattle scored five goals in 22 minutes against Atlanta and set a club record with five goals in just 20 minutes against Cal FC.
Sounders FC now sets its sights on the San Jose Earthquakes – the first MLS team Seattle will face in this year’s competition. Seattle is 11-0-0 against MLS sides in Open Cup play since 2009, outscoring their top-tier opponents 23-6. The match against San Jose is the only quarterfinal matchup that features two MLS teams. The Philadelphia Union, Sporting Kansas City and Chivas USA will all host USL PRO teams.
San Jose reached the quarterfinals by beating the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, 2-1, in the third-round and the Minnesota Stars, 1-0, in the fourth-round, both at home. The winner of the Charlotte Eagles/Chivas USA match will visit the winner of Seattle/San Jose in the semifinals on July 10.
Sounders FC have used the U.S. Open Cup as a spark plug for league play over the past three seasons. In both 2010 and 2011, Sounders FC earned eight MLS victories while participating in the Open Cup. Seattle secured over half (27) of their season point total during Cup play in 2010 and earned 26 of 63 points in 2011. Despite the schedule congestion caused by the additional Open Cup games, Seattle has earned points in nine of 14 matches immediately following a Cup match.
Year Record during Cup Play Record following Cup Match
2009 4-4-10 2-0-3
2010 8-2-3 1-2-1
2011 8-2-2 1-2-1
2012 0-2-1 0-1-0
Totals: 20-10-16 4-5-5
First Nine, Last Seven
Sounders FC has followed up the best start in franchise history with the poorest run of form to date, going winless in the past seven matches (0-4-3). In the first nine games, Seattle earned seven wins and outscored opponents 13-3. In the past seven matches, Seattle has no wins and has allowed 13 goals, scoring just six times. After securing 22 points through the first nine games, the club has just three points to show for the past seven games, setting the mark for the poorest seven-game stretch in club history. Seattle has never gone winless in seven games, and the last six-game winless streak was in 2009 and featured five draws.
Tale of Two Halves
The disappointing seven-game stretch has been a tale of two halves. Seattle has conceded the first goal in the past seven matches, which the team did just once in the first nine outings. Playing from behind has become a trend this season, and the club has not earned a comeback victory yet, a feat the team accomplished seven times in 2011. In the past seven games, Sounders FC has been outscored 6-1 in the first half after allowing just one first-half goal in the first nine games of the season. Five of Seattle’s six goals in the winless stretch have been scored in the final 45 minutes and, overall this season, Seattle has scored 13 of its 19 goals in the second half.
Eddie in Form
Eddie Johnson has brought quality production in his return to MLS. The offseason acquisition is paying off for Sounders FC as Johnson scored his fifth goal of the season on Sunday. The U.S. international brought the ball into the box, cut back across his defenders and placed a curling ball with his left foot into the far upper corner of the net, pulling Seattle one back. Johnson’s five goals are tied for the team lead, and he is tied-eleventh in MLS alongside players such as Dwayne De Rosario and Landon Donovan. He has scored two goals in the last three games, and he is averaging 0.49 goals per 90 minutes. His five-goal output already equals his third-most in his eight MLS seasons. His best season was his last in MLS with 15 goals and six assists in 2007.
The top scoring team in MLS last season has struggled to find its touch this year. Seattle has scored 19 goals in its first 16 matches for an average of 1.19 goals per game (12th in MLS). Sounders FC led the league with 56 goals in 2011, averaging 1.64 goals per game. Despite leading the league, Seattle is nearly on pace with last season’s scoring output. After 16 games in 2011, the team had scored just two more goals (18).
Sounders FC has always had a well-balanced attack, featuring a variety of goal scorers who produce from all areas of the field. So far this season, Seattle has seen the majority of its goals scored by forwards (14), with just two from the midfield and two from defenders. Conversely, 33 of Seattle’s 56 goals in 2011 came from the midfield, with 18 scored by forwards and three by defenders. Overall, forwards have accounted for 70 goals, midfielders have scored 66 and defenders have added 12.
Year Forwards Midfielders Defenders Totals (own goals not included)
2009 21 13 4 38
2010 17 18 3 38
2011 18 33 3 54
2012 14 2 2 18
Totals: 70 66 12 148
A Rave Green Road Trip
Sounders FC will travel over 14,000 miles over the next four weeks as five of the next six competitive matches are away from home. Sounders FC will first visit San Jose just 48 hours after playing at Portland, but there’s no rest for the weary. Following Tuesday’s game, the team will travel 2,700 miles across the country for a match against the New England Revolution on Saturday evening. The team will then return to Seattle for a night at home before embarking to Salt Lake City for an Independence Day meeting with Real Salt Lake. A rare home game awaits Sounders FC on July 7 before the team hits the road again for games at New York and Colorado.
Date Depart Arrive Air Miles
June 25 Seattle San Francisco 680
June 27 San Francisco Boston 2,701
July 1 Boston Seattle 2,492
July 3 Seattle Salt Lake City 688
July 5 Salt Lake City Seattle 688
July 13 Seattle New York 2,418
July 16 New York Seattle 2,418
July 27 Seattle Denver 1,023
July 29 Denver Seattle 1,023
Totals: Nine flights to five cities in 34 days 14,131
Champions League Schedule Set
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced the complete Group Stage schedule last week for the 2012-13 Champions League.
Seattle Sounders FC will be in Group 4 with CD Marathon (Honduras) and newly-crowned Caribbean champion Caledonia AIA (Trinidad & Tobago). The first group stage match will be at home on Thursday, August 2 against Caledonia and group play will conclude at home on Wednesday, October 24 against CD Marathon.
The Group Stage will feature six weeks of play and will consist of eight groups of three teams each. The eight group winners will advance to the knockout round where the quarterfinalists will be ranked 1-8 based on their results from the Group Stage and paired accordingly.
Seattle faced Marathon in the 2010-11 Champions League, winning 2-0 at home and losing 2-1 on the road. Sounders FC has participated in the Champions League the past two years, and advanced to the quarterfinals in the 2011-12 tournament. Overall, Seattle is 7-9-2 in Champions League play with a minus-4 goal differential (23 goals for/27 goals against).
Group 4:Seattle Sounders (United States), CD Marathon (Honduras), Caledonia AIA (Trinidad)
Thursday, August 2
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Caledonia AIA (TRI), 7 p.m. PT
Thursday, August 30
Caledonia AIA (TRI) at Seattle Sounders (USA), 5 p.m. PT
Wednesday, September 19
CD Marathon (HON) at Seattle Sounders (USA), 7 p.m. PT
Wednesday, October 24
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. CD Marathon (HON), 7 p.m. PT
CONCACAF “The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football” is one of six continental confederations of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and serves as the governing body of football in this part of the world. It is composed of 40 national associations, from Canada in the north to Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana in the south.
Sounders FC Signs Defender Daniel Steres
The Seattle Sounders FC signed defender Daniel Steres, the club announced last Friday. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed. Additionally, the club parted ways with midfielder Christian Sivebaek. He was placed on waivers by mutual agreement.
Steres, 21, was selected by Seattle in the 2012 MLS Waiver Draft on June 6. He was originally picked by Chivas USA ninth in the second round (28th overall) of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.
Steres played four seasons with San Diego State where he was a co-captain his final two years. He was named to the All-Pac-10 second team as a junior and also earned College Soccer News National Team of the Week honors in September 2010.
Sivebaek, 24, made three appearances with one start for Seattle. He also made a substitute appearance in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League and started four of five MLS Reserve League matches.