The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
After a quick turnaround in Seattle, Sounders FC hits the road for a two-game, 11,150-mile road trip that spans across two competitions in two countries over a six-day stretch. The journey begins on Thursday when the Rave Green visits Caledonia AIA for round two of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage. The match kicks off at 5 p.m. PT at Ato Bolden Stadium in Couva, Trinidad.
Sounders FC then heads to Frisco, Texas for the second time this season for a Western Conference matchup with FC Dallas on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. PT from FC Dallas Stadium.
Thursday’s match will be televised live on FOX Soccer. There will be no radio broadcast available. Sunday’s match will be televised live on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller on the call, and can also be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM.
A red-hot Seattle squad (12-6-7, 43 points) moved into a tie for second in the West with an entertaining 6-2 win at Chivas USA on Saturday night. Seattle is just seven points behind the Supporters’ Shield-leaders with one game in hand, and the start has been the best through 25 games in club history.
The four-goal margin of victory matched a franchise record, and Fredy Montero became just the fourth player in club history to score a hat trick – the first of the young Colombian’s MLS career. Montero and Eddie Johnson are now tied for fourth in the Budweiser Golden Boot race, and MLS assist leader Mauro Rosales has matched his club record of 13.
The focus now changes to Champions League play as Seattle (1-0-0, 3 points in CCL) visits Caledonia (0-0-1, 1 point in CCL) in the return leg of the group stage series. Sounders FC won the first meeting, 3-1 at CenturyLink Field on August 2.
Seattle is currently atop group four with three points through one game. Sounders FC will finish the group stage with a two-leg series against Honduras’ CD Marathon, beginning in San Pedro Sula on September 19 and concluding in Seattle on October 24.
A stretch of four of five away matches continues on Sunday as Sounders FC attempts to win its third in a row when it travels to Texas to meet a surging FC Dallas side (8-12-8, 32 points), who had won three straight before falling to Los Angeles on Sunday. Dallas is currently five points out of the fifth and final playoff spot in the West.
Sounders FC will return to the Emerald City in six days for a rare one-game home week. Seattle will host Chivas USA for the third and final meeting of the season on September 8 on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Tickets to home MLS matches are available through http://www.SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 877-MLS-GOAL.
In This Issue
* For the Record
* Red-Hot Montero
* The Argentine Engine
* A Stellar August
* First Strike
* Playoff Picture
* On the Road, Again
* The Fredy and Eddie Show
* Champions League Preview
* Meet the Opposition: Caledonia and FC Dallas
* Throw-ins: Montero Goes for Goal of the Week; Christensen Called Into U.S. Residency Program
Upcoming Competition Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Thursday, August 30, 5 p.m. – Sounders FC at Caledonia AIA, Ato Bolden Stadium, Couva, Trinidad
Sunday, September 2, 4 p.m. – Sounders FC at FC Dallas, FC Dallas Stadium, Frisco, TX
Saturday, September 8, 1 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Saturday, September 15, 12:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at Portland Timbers, JELD-WEN Field, Portland, OR
Wednesday, September 19, 7 p.m. – Sounders FC at Marathon, Estadio Olimpico, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Upcoming MLS Reserve League Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
Sunday, September 9, 11 a.m. – Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA, Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA
Sunday, September 16, 2 p.m. – Sounders FC at Portland Timbers, JELD-WEN Field, Portland, OR
Sunday, September 23, 2 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA
For the Record
* Two Times Six: Seattle is the only club in MLS to score six goals twice in the past 365 days (6-2 vs. Columbus on August 27, 2011 and 6-2 at Chivas USA on August 25, 2012). The last club to score six goals was Philadelphia at Toronto on May 28, 2011. There are five MLS teams yet to score six or more goals in a single game.
* Tricked You: Sounders FC is the only team to have two players score a hat trick this season (David Estrada on March 17 and Fredy Montero on August 25).
* Top-10: Seattle is one of three teams to have two players (Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson) ranked in the top-10 of the Budweiser Golden Boot race. San Jose and New York also have a pair of top-10 goal scorers.
* Hot 25: The record of 12-6-7 is the best through 25 games in franchise history.
* GAA: Austrian keeper Michael Gspurning leads MLS with a 0.70 goals against average (the all-time single-season record is 0.62 GAA set by Kevin Hartman in 2010). No goalkeeper from outside of the CONCACAF region has ever lead MLS in single-season goals against average.
* Big D: Seattle’s defense has the second-best goals against average in MLS (1.04).
* No Loss: Seattle has the fewest losses in MLS (6), tied with Houston and San Jose.
* Keeping Clean: Sounders FC has nine shutouts in MLS, two behind leader Sporting KC.
* Road Goals: Seattle has scored the second most goals on the road this season (22). LA Galaxy leads with 25 away goals.
* Back-to-Back: It has been 525 days since Seattle last lost consecutive MLS matches; the longest stretch in MLS history.
* Crowds Swell: An average of 42,666 fans have packed CenturyLink Field for 12 MLS matches this season, over 19,500 more than second-most Montreal. The highest attendance in MLS this season was 60,908 when Sounders FC hosted the LAGalaxy on August 5.
Fredy Montero has once again heated up in the summer months, and his three-goal display on Saturday night was perhaps the most impressive performance of his MLS career. It was the first hat trick for the Colombian goal scorer, becoming just the fourth player in club history to accomplish the feat. His 11 league goals are tied for the team lead with Eddie Johnson (fourth in MLS), and both are one-goal from tying Montero’s club record. He has scored six goals in his last four games – the only player in MLS to score in the past four and one away from tying the season record of five consecutive games with a goal.
Montero has scored 45 goals since joining MLS in 2009, the third-most behind Chris Wondolowski (57) and Dwayne De Rosario (48). His 45 goals ranks 14th among active players, and he became just the seventh player in MLS history to score 10-plus goals in his first four seasons. Of Montero’s 45 goals, 41 have come in wins (33) or draws (eight). Overall, he has 16 game-winning goals, which ranks ninth among active players.
The Argentine Engine
Mauro Rosales put on a great show on Saturday, assisting on all three Fredy Montero goals to tie his team record from last season. Rosales’s 13 assists ranks first in MLS, two more than David Beckham, Dwayne De Rosario and Graham Zusi. He has recorded 11 assists in his past 11 league outings, bringing his assists per 90 minutes to 0.76. Rosales has supported Seattle’s strikers effectively as 10 of his 13 assists have served Montero (four) or Eddie Johnson (six). His five game-winning assists is best in MLS, and he is three away from tying Mauricio Cienfuegoes’ (1999) and Steve Ralston’s (2000) all-time record of eight game-winning assists. Overall, he needs six assists in the last nine regular-season games to tie for second all-time.
All-Time MLS Single-Season Assist Leaders
Year Player Team GP A
2000 Carlos Valderrama Tampa Bay 32 26
1996 Marco Etcheverry DC United 26 19
1997 Carlos Valderrama Tampa Bay 20 19
1998 Marco Etcheverry DC United 29 19
2002 Steve Ralston New England 27 19
2008 Guillermo Barros Schelotto Columbus 27 19
2012 Mauro Rosales Seattle 21 13
A Stellar August
The month of August concluded in sensational fashion with the offensive fireworks at The Home Depot Center. In the four August MLS games this season, Seattle is 3-1-0 with a plus-seven goal differential, including three multi-goal games and two games of four or more goals. Overall, Seattle is 9-4-4 in 17 August matches, having gone undefeated (5-0-2) in 2010 and 2011. Sounders FC has outscored opponents 29-15 in August games, for an average of 1.71 goals per game. Fredy Montero joins in on the fun as he scored six goals in the four August games this year, marking the best four-game stretch of his career. Montero now has 10 career goals in August, his most productive month ahead of May, June and July (seven goals).
Sounders FC knows how to close out games when scoring first, improving to a league-best 12-0-1 in such games this season. Seattle was one of seven teams to go undefeated (11-0-3) when scoring first last season, and its current 27-game unbeaten streak (23-0-4) when scoring first is the second-longest active streak. The New York Red Bulls are undefeated in their last 54 games (39-0-15) when scoring first – the longest in league history.
Along with Seattle and New York, Chicago (7-0-1) and Houston (10-0-4) are the only other teams to go unbeaten when scoring first this season. The best record for a full season is 14-0-0 by Kansas City in 1997. A total of six teams have had streaks of 28 or more games.
Sounders FC continued to gain ground in the MLS Cup Playoffs with the win over Chivas USA, moving into a tie for second in the West with Real Salt Lake with two games in hand and a plus-three advantage in goals scored. Seattle is seven points behind Supporters’ Shield-leaders San Jose with one game in hand. Sounders FC is 5-3-5 against teams in playoff positions and has four games remaining against Western Conference teams currently in playoff positions (San Jose, Vancouver, Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy). The Rave Green currently ranks fourth in points per game at 1.72. San Jose (1.92), Sporting KC (1.81) and New York (1.73) are ahead of Sounders FC.
On the Road, Again
Sounders FC returned from SoCal to the Pacific Northwest for a 40-hour stay before departing for a seven-day, 11,150-mile journey to Trinidad and then onto Dallas. Seattle will play four of the next five games across all competitions away from home. Overall, six of the team’s remaining 12 games will be played on the road. Seattle will travel an estimated 55,000 air miles in the 2012 season.
The Fredy and Eddie Show
Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson have become one of the league’s most lethal forward pairings. Already the most productive pair in club history, Montero and Johnson have combined for 22 goals this season, third amongst MLS forward pairings. The duo has scored in the same game four times, and both average around one goal every other game (Johnson – 0.50 goals per game; Montero – 0.46). Both players are challenging for the club record of 12, set by Montero in 2009 and 2011.
Team Forward Pairing Total Goals
1. San Jose Chris Wondolowski – 18 29
Alan Gordon – 11
2. New York Kenny Cooper – 14 25
Thierry Henry – 11
3. Seattle Eddie Johnson – 11 22
Fredy Montero – 11
4. Real Salt Lake Alvaro Saborio – 14 20
Fabian Espindola – 6
5. Los Angeles Robbie Keane – 11 18
Landon Donovan – 7*
*Two of Donovan’s nine goals this season came when playing as a midfielder.
Champions League Preview
In round two of this year’s CONCACAF Champions League group stage, Sounders FC travels to Trinidad for the away leg of the series with Caledonia AIA. Seattle beat Caledonia, 3-1, in Seattle on August 2 in the opening round. Sounders FC sits atop group four with three points in one game. Caledonia and Honduras’ Marathon are tied with one point after a scoreless draw in Couva, Trinidad last Wednesday. As the only team to have played two games, Caledonia faces possible elimination with a loss.
Team Record Goals For/Against
Sounders FC 1-0-0, 3 points 3/1
CD Marathon 0-0-1, 1 point 0/0
Caledonia AIA 0-0-1, 1 point 0/0
Group 4 Schedule
Date Teams/Results Location
August 2 Sounders FC 3 vs. Caledonia AIA 1 Seattle
August 22 Caledonia AIA 0 vs. CD Marathon 0 Couva, Trinidad
August 30 Caledonia AIA vs. Sounders FC Couva, Trinidad
September 19 CD Marathon vs. Sounders FC San Pedro Sula, Honduras
September 26 CD Marathon vs. Caledonia AIA San Pedro Sula, Honduras
October 24 Sounders FC vs. CD Marathon Seattle
Club: Caledonia AIA (TRI)
City: Malabar, Trinidad & Tobago
Stadium: Hasley Crawford Stadium
Manager: Jamaal Shabazz
Qualification method: 2012 CFU Club Champions Cup champion
Previous CONCACAF Champions League appearances: None
Honors: Trinidad and Tobago Cup – 1 (2008)
After capturing the Caribbean club championship for the first time in the club’s 32-year history, Caledonia AIA is making its first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League. Caledonia AIA edged four-time champions W Connection 4-3 on penalty kicks after the teams played to a 1-1 draw June 21 at Manny Ramjohn Stadium. Making his first start for Caledonia AIA, goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel made a save in the fifth round of kicks to seal the title. Caledonia AIA captured three out of five domestic titles this year, winning the First Citizens Cup, FA Trophy and the Lucozade Sport Goal Shield. Returning for Caledonia are center backs Nuru Abdallah Muhammad and Radanfah Abu Bakr, Guyanese wing back Walter Moore and international teammate goalkeeper Ronson Williams as well as Trinidad U-23 goalkeeper Samuel. Up front, the squad is led by Trinidad and Tobago international Devorn Jorsling and U-23 teammates Jamal Gay and Trevin Caesar. The club is coached by Jamaal Shabazz, who is also guiding the Guyanese national team in the third round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Seattle-Dallas Series Notes
Sounders FC holds a 3-1-3 advantage over FC Dallas, including a 2-0-2 record in Dallas. Seattle holds a 9-6 goal advantage despite being out-shot 102-84, and the Rave Green have outscored FCD 5-2 in the second half of games. Fredy Montero leads all players with 10 points in the series (four goals, two assists), including a brace in their previous meeting on May 9 of this season. The red-hot Colombian also leads all players in the series with 25 shots and 10 shots on goal. No current FC Dallas player has scored more than one goal or one assist against Seattle in their seven meetings.
About FC Dallas
FC Dallas currently sits sixth in the Western Conference with 32 points (8-12-8), but have found form of recent, going 3-1-1 in the month of August. They are 14th in MLS with 1.18 goals per game, and 10th with 1.32 goals allowed per game. After going winless in their first eight games (0-4-4) against the Western Conference, FCD has gone 5-3-2 against conference foes since the beginning of July. Dallas has more success in the second half of games, scoring 20 or their 33 goals after halftime, including eight in the final 15 minutes. However, they have also had trouble stopping teams in the second half, allowing 28 of the 37 goals surrendered in the second half, including 22 in the final half hour.
FC Dallas Notables
Coach Schellas Hyndman’s attack has seen goals by 16 different players, with no one player scoring more than five. Forwards Blas Perez and Fabian Castillo lead the team with five goals apiece, while midfielders David Ferreira and Jackson have each contributed six assists. Brek Shea has three goals and two assists this season, and most recently set up David Ferreira’s 94th minute winner in a 2-1 win at RSL on August 18. The 22-year-old U.S. National team midfielder netted 11 goals and four assists in 2011.
Defender Zach Loyd leads the squad with 26 starts and 2275 minutes, while adding two goals and three assists from the back. Overall, FCD defenders have accounted for seven goals and four assists in 2012. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, the MLS all-time leader in games played (410) and wins (179), has five shutouts and is seventh in MLS with 74 saves this season.
Recap: Seattle Sounders FC 6 at Chivas USA 2 – August 25, 2012
Fredy Montero became the fourth Sounders FC player to score a hat trick as Seattle defeated Chivas USA, 6-2, at the Home Depot Center. Mauro Rosales set a team-record with three assists as the Rave Green tied the franchise record for most goals in a single game.
Brad Evans got Sounders FC on the board first in the 10th minute. Eddie Johnson flicked on a header to Montero, who slipped a ball to Evans behind the defense on the left side. Evans then beat Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy one-on-one with his right foot inside the far post. It was the second goal of the season for Evans, and his first since converting a penalty kick against Houston on March 23.
Montero scored his first goal in the 27th minute when he slipped into space in the box to receive a pass from Rosales. He finished from a tight angle eight-yards out to make 2-0.
In the 34th minute, Rosales played a ball to Montero in the box after getting behind the defense, and the Colombian chipped the oncoming Kennedy to make it 3-0.
Just three minutes later, Chivas was awarded a penalty kick after a Seattle hand ball in the box. Juan Agudelo converted past Michael Gspurning to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Goats made it 3-2 in the 64th minute when Miller Bolanos fired low a shot from the top of the box past a diving Gspurning.
Three minutes later, Rosales played a through ball to Montero in space in the box, who then turned and blasted a low shot inside the far post to net the hat trick. Montero is the second player to record a hat trick this season for Sounders FC after David Estrada’s three goal performance in the season opener against Toronto FC.
Sammy Ochoa made it 5-2 when he headed in a Christian Tiffert cross in the 80th minute. It was the first MLS goal of the season for Ochoa, who has five goals across all competitions in 2012. The striker came on for Eddie Johnson in the 73rd minute.
It was the first MLS point for Tiffert, who was acquired as a designated player on July 27.
In second half stoppage time, Chivas defender Ante Jazic mis-directed a Montero cross into the goal for an own-goal, increasing Seattle’s lead to 6-2.
Gspurning made five saves en route to his ninth MLS win, improving his league-best record to 9-2-1. In the 26th minute, he charged out and made a sliding stop on a Casey Townsend breakaway. Six minutes later he punched away a powerful Agudelo header for a corner kick, in the 75th he smothered a loose ball on the line after Jose Correa hit the post.
Mario Martinez made his Sounders FC debut when he came on for Rosales in the 78th minute. The Honduran national was acquired on loan on August 1.
Steve Zakuani made his second appearance of 2012 when he came on for Tiffert in the 83rd minute.
Date Change: Sounders FC to Host San Jose on September 22
As a reminder, Seattle’s match versus the San Jose Earthquakes originally scheduled for September 23 at CenturyLink Field has been moved to Saturday, September 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT on KONG 6/16.
Brad Evans has been credited with a second assist on Sammy Ochoa’s goal against Chivas USA…Fredy Montero’s third goal against Chivas USA is nominated for MLS Goal of the Week…Michael Gspurning’s save on Juan Agudelo’s header in the 32nd minute has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week…Midfielder Michael Seamon turns 24 on Thursday, August 30…The stadium location for the CCL match against Caledonia AIA is to Ato Bolden Stadium in Couva, Trinidad…Paul Christensen has again been called into the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Residency Program for the 2012 Fall Semester in Bradenton, Florida. A native of nearby Woodinville, Christensen is a product of the Sounders FC Academy…Sounders FC broadcaster Pete Fewing won in his return to head coach of Seattle University men’s soccer, 1-0 over Cal Poly on Friday. The Redhawks are 1-1-0 after a loss to Gonzaga…Eddie Johnson is one yellow card caution away from receiving a one-game suspension. Osvaldo Alonso, Marc Burch, Fredy Montero, Andy Rose and Zach Scott are all two cards away from suspension.