The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Seattle Sounders FC returns to the Pacific Northwest after six days away for a rare one-game home week. Sounders FC hosts Chivas USA in the first September home match of the season on Saturday afternoon on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT.
The 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. Spanish broadcasts will be available on KOMO2 and La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Sounders FC (12-6-8, 44 points) concluded an arduous two-game road trip with a draw in Dallas on Sunday evening. MLS assist leader Mauro Rosales provided Seattle’s lone goal but it was the return of Steve Zakuani that garnered most of the attention. The 24-year-old winger made his first start in 500 days and provided a highlight assist to help his team earn a valuable point on the road.
Keeper Michael Gspurning continued his strong play in his first MLS campaign with a season-high five saves to thwart a dangerous Dallas attack and preserve the draw.
Sounders FC is now in sole possession of third in the Western Conference with eight regular season games remaining. The Rave Green has lost just once in the past 10 league outings, and has scored multiple goals in six of its last eight games.
The club also remained atop its group in CONCACAF Champions League group play with another 3-1 victory over Caledonia AIA. Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero all recorded a goal and assist last Thursday in Trinidad as Seattle took control of group four with two games remaining.
Sounders FC returns to Seattle with hopes to continue its strong home form as the club has won its past three home MLS matches by a combined score of 8-1. And with five of the remaining eight contests at CenturyLink Field, the club will look to pile up the points to secure one of the top spots in the West.
Saturday’s match against Chivas USA (7-11-7, 28 points) is the third and final meeting of the season, and second in just two weeks. The previous matchup featured some Rave Green fireworks as Seattle traveled to Los Angeles and struck for a record six goals in a four-goal victory on August 25.
MLS Reserve League action will resume on Sunday as Sounders FC hosts Chivas USA. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash.
There is no charge for admission at Sounders FC Reserves home matches. However donations will be accepted at the gate ($5 suggested) with proceeds directed toward the Sounders FC community partners. Parking is $5 or free with a Starfire membership.
Sounders FC will also host a free coaches clinic this Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. Visit SoundersFC.com for more information.
A highly anticipated Cascadia Cup match is on the horizon for Sounders FC on September 15 as NBC will broadcast the clash between Seattle and Portland at JELD-WEN Field.
Seattle will stay on the road to visit CD Marathon in Champions League play on September 19 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras before returning home for a meeting with the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes on September 22.
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
* Sounders FC Fast Facts
* Sigi at the Helm: Seattle’s Skipper Leading the Way
* Zak’s Back: Speedy Winger Returns in Impressive Form
* The Rave Green D: Seattle’s Defense Among League’s Best
* Keeping Pace: 2012 Squad on Track with Last Year’s Team
* Plenty in the Tank: Eight Games to Go
* A Month to Remember: Fredy’s Amazing August
* Mauro Takes Over: Seattle’s Captain Comes Through
* Muy Caliente: Hot Times for Sounders FC
* First Strike: Seattle Strong when Scoring First
* Meet the Opposition: Chivas USA
* Sounders FC to Host Free Coaches Clinic on September 6
* Throw-ins: Meet Sammy Ochoa, Seattle’s CCL Experience
Upcoming Competition Schedule (times are Pacific & subject to change)
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
Saturday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field, Seattle
Saturday, September 29, 6 p.m. – Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, BC Place, Vancouver, BC
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
Sounders FC Fast Facts
* Michael Gspurning leads MLS with a 0.72 goals against average
* Mauro Rosales leads MLS with 13 assists and five game-winning assists
* Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero are tied for fourth in the Budweiser Golden Boot Race with 11 goals
* Sounders FC is fifth in scoring with an average of 1.58 goals per game, and second in road scoring with 23 away goals
* Seattle is 5-3-3 all-time in the month of September, outscoring opponents 17-10
* Sounders FC has won its past three home MLS matches, and is unbeaten in its past four (3-0-1)
* Seattle has just three more two-game weeks remaining in the final seven weeks of the season (two are Wednesday/Sunday matchups)
* It has been 531 days since Seattle last lost consecutive MLS matches; the longest stretch in MLS history.
* Seattle’s average attendance of 42,666 is on track to set the league record. It is over 19,500 more than second-highest Montreal. The biggest attendance for an MLS game this season was 60,908 when Sounders FC hosted the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field on August 5.
Sigi at the Helm: Seattle’s Skipper Leading the Way
Sigi Schmid is putting together another strong season for Sounders FC. The Seattle skipper has used 25 different starting lineups in the team’s 26 MLS matches. Twenty-five players have been included in the Starting XI, and 27 of 33 available players throughout the season have seen MLS action. Six of Schmid’s substitutes this season have either scored (seven) or assisted (three), including two game-winning goals and one winning assist. Schmid has also employed different formations throughout the year. Most recently the team played a 4-3-3 in Dallas as Schmid pushed midfielders Mauro Rosales (goal) and Steve Zakuani (assist) up top with Fredy Montero.
Schmid’s career winning percentage is .570, and this season he is slightly above at .615, which ranks sixth-best in the coach’s 13-year MLS career.
Schmid’s Top-5 Single Season Records
Year Team Record Winning pct.
2008 Columbus Crew 17-7-6 .667
2011 Seattle Sounders FC 18-7-9 .662
1999 LA Galaxy 17-9-0 .654
2001 LA Galaxy 14-7-5 .635
2002 LA Galaxy 16-9-3 .625
2012 Seattle Sounders FC 12-6-8 .615
Zak’s Back: Speedy Winger Returns in Impressive Form
A much-anticipated sight for the Sounders FC faithful was the inclusion of Steve Zakuani in Seattle’s Starting XI on Sunday at Dallas. It was the first start in 500 days for Zakuani, who had suffered a fractured right tibia and fibula at Colorado on April 22, 2011. It didn’t take long for Zakuani to show flashes of his speed and skill as he burst past Dallas defender Zach Lloyd in the 20th minute and served a great ball across the goal mouth for Mauro Rosales to tap-in. It was his first league point since April 16, 2011. Zakuani has 16 goals and 13 assists in his fourth year in MLS.
The Rave Green D: Seattle’s Defense Among League’s Best
Michael Gspurning and the Seattle defense are challenging for tops in MLS. Seattle’s six-foot-five Austrian netminder leads all MLS goalkeepers with a .769 winning percentage (9-2-2) and a 0.72 goals against average. No keeper from outside of the CONCACAF region has led MLS in single-season goals against average. Gspurning has been called upon more often in recent weeks as he has made a season-high five saves in the past two games. His saves percentage of 75.0 is just 1.6-percent from the league lead.
Overall, Sounders FC is second in MLS with a 1.04 goals against average and has kept nine clean sheets (tied for fourth in MLS). The best defensive effort in club history was the inaugural season when the team allowed less than one goal per game (0.97 GAA) and posted 10 shutouts.
Team Defense Year-by-Year
Year GP Goals Against Average Shutouts Shots Against
2009 30 0.97 10 114
2010 30 1.17 11 121
2011 34 1.09 9 145
2012 26 1.04 9 89
Keeping Pace: 2012 Squad on Track with Last Year’s Team
The important road point in Dallas on Sunday kept the 2012 Seattle squad on pace with the records of years’ past. With 44 points through 26 games, Sounders FC is just one point off of their 2011 pace – the best point total in club history. Seattle has picked it up in recent weeks with just one loss in the past 10 league outings (5-1-4), scoring multiple goals in seven of those games for an average of 2.2 goals per game. The team has also raised its points per game average to 1.69, level with Chicago for fourth in MLS. Sounders FC has the fewest losses this season (six; tied with San Jose). Last season, Seattle didn’t suffer its sixth loss until the 28th match. The fewest losses in a single season in club history were seven in 2009 and 2011.
Best Record through 26 Games
Year GP Record (Points)
2011 26 12-5-9 (45 points)
2012 26 12-6-8 (44 points)
2010 26 11-9-6 (39 points)
2009 26 9-6-11 (38 points)
Plenty in the Tank: Eight Games to Go
Seattle’s postseason fate is far from settled as there are still 24 points on the table for Sounders FC, the most amongst teams currently in Western Conference playoff positions. Seattle has two games in hand on three of the four West playoff teams, and only two teams currently occupying East playoff spots have the same amount of games to go. Half of Seattle’s remaining matchups are against playoff teams (San Jose, Vancouver, Salt Lake and Los Angeles). Overall, the Rave Green holds a 5-4-4 record this season against its upcoming opponents.
The playoffs continue to take shape as teams enter the final stretch of the MLS regular season. Sounders FC is currently in sole possession of third in the West, two points behind Real Salt Lake and nine points behind Supporters’ Shield-leaders San Jose Earthquakes. Seattle has scored the third-most goals (41) in the West behind San Jose (56) and Los Angeles (48).
A Month to Remember: Fredy’s Amazing August
Fredy Montero’s form over the month of August is rarely seen in MLS. Seattle’s crafty Colombian striker scored six goals in four league games in August, and scored eight goals with one assist in seven games across all competitions – bookended by goals in Champions League play against Trinidad’s Caledonia. He led MLS in scoring this August and his six-goal output was double that of any other MLS player. It was just the second time this season in MLS that a player has scored six goals in one month. Montero scored in every August league match, marking the most productive four-game stretch of his MLS career. He averaged 2.73 goals per 90 minutes of league action in August.
Montero is quickly approaching his season highs in both MLS and all competitions.
Year MLS Goals (GWG) MLS Assists (GWA) Total Goals (GWG) Total Assists (GWA)
2009 12 (4) 7 (0) 13 (4) 7 (0)
2010 10 (4) 10 (4) 12 (6) 11 (4)
2011 12 (5) 9 (2) 18 (9) 12 (3)
2012 11 (3) 5 (1) 15 (4) 9 (2)
Totals: 45 (16) 31 (7) 58 (23) 39 (9)
Vote Fredy for FIFA13 Cover
EA Sports will be creating custom downloadable covers with players from each of your favorite MLS clubs. Three of these players will join the top-ranked player on MLSsoccer.com’s third annual “24 Under 24″ list on the custom MLS FIFA SOCCER 13 downloadable cover. Which three players do you think deserve the honor of being on the cover? Visit MLSsoccer.com/easports-fifa13cover to vote.
Mauro Takes Over: Seattle’s Captain Comes Through
Last week he supplied the service. This week he went for goals. Mauro Rosales again helped lead Seattle to a result in tough conditions on Sunday afternoon in Dallas. The MLS assist leader was on the receiving end of quality service this time as he knocked in a well-placed cross from Steve Zakuani for Seattle’s only goal. It was Rosales’ seventh career goal and first since May 5. The Argentine playmaker has now scored (one) or assisted (four) in three straight games.
Rosales currently leads the league with 13 assists, including 11 assists in his past 12 MLS matches. Ten of his 13 assists have served strikers Fredy Montero (four) and 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 eight regular-season games to tie for second all-time.
Muy Caliente: Hot Times for Sounders FC
Sunday’s match at Dallas was one of the hottest in club history. The kickoff temperature of 99-degrees was the second-hottest for a Sounders FC MLS game. In Seattle’s trip to Dallas on August 22, 2011, the kickoff temperature was 104-degrees. Earlier that same month, Seattle played in 94-degree weather in Kansas City. Overall, Seattle is 2-2-1 when the temperature is over 90-degrees.
One constant to Seattle’s success in hot games is team captain Mauro Rosales. Just as he did in Dallas on Sunday, Rosales was the lone goal scorer in last year’s scorcher in Dallas and he also scored and assisted in the Kansas City heat last season to give Seattle the 2-1 comeback victory.
The two coldest games in club history came in the inaugural campaign as Seattle played in 39-degree weather twice in the first three games, both resulting in 2-0 wins in Seattle and at Toronto.
Below 50 5-3-1
First Strike: Seattle Strong when Scoring First
Sounders FC knows how to close out games when scoring first, improving to a league-best 12-0-2 in such games this season with the draw at Dallas. Seattle was one of seven teams to go undefeated (11-0-3) when scoring first last season, and its current 28-game unbeaten streak (23-0-5) when scoring first is the second-longest active streak. The New York Red Bulls are undefeated in their last 55 games (39-0-16) when scoring first – the longest in league history.
Along with Seattle and New York, Chicago (8-0-1) 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.
Chivas Series Notes
Seattle is 3-2-4 against Chivas USA in MLS play, having gone unbeaten in the last seven meetings (3-0-4). The Rave Green has outscored the Red-and-Whites, 12-8 all-time. Sounders FC matched its club record with six goals in a 6-2 win in the previous matchup – the most goals scored on the road in franchise history. The two sides tied, 1-1, in the first meeting of the season on May 26. Seattle also twice ousted Chivas from the U.S. Open Cup semifinals: 4-1 in 2012 and 3-1 in 2010.
Chivas USA is currently seventh in the West with 28 points through 25 games (the fewest games played in the league). The club has suffered a tough stretch recently, going winless in its past five outings (0-3-2). Chivas has allowed 20 goals over the past five games, including three games of four or more goals, which totals over half of their season total for goals allowed (39). Chivas has gone 4-3-5 on the road this season with a minus-six goal differential.
The club has started a handful of forwards this season. Team leader Juan Pablo Angel has tallied four goals and midfielder Miller Bolanos has added three. Forwards Jose Correa and Alejandra Moreno have each tallied twice. Juan Agudelo has scored two goals and three assists, including strikes in both games against Seattle this season. The Goats also recently added former Revs standout Shalrie Joseph to the mix. Joseph has started five games since joining the team. Defenders Danny Califf and James Riley shore up the backline, and Dan Kennedy has remained strong in net, starting all 25 matches.
Former Sounders FC defender James Riley joined Chivas USA in the offseason. The Montreal Impact selected Riley in the Expansion Draft and immediately dealt him to Chivas for Justin Braun and Gerson Mayen. Riley has played every minute for the Goats this season. In his three seasons with Seattle, Riley made 82 appearances. Sigi Schmid coached Robin Fraser for two seasons (1999-2000) at Los Angeles. Technical Director Chris Henderson played with Fraser for two seasons (2002-03) at Colorado. Schmid coached Alejandro Moreno at Columbus. Steve Zakuani (2007-08) played alongside Chivas’ Ben Zemanski (2006-09) at the University of Akron.
Sounders FC to Host Free Coaches Clinic on September 6
WHO:Soccer coaches from all levels, club administrators, technical directors and athletic directors are invited to attend this free clinic to be held at CenturyLink Field.
WHAT:The clinic will include an exclusive look inside the technical, tactical and mental aspects of soccer. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the coaching staff.
The clinic is sponsored by the Sounders FC, Washington Youth Soccer and The Pacific Institute.
WHEN: Thursday, September 6 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: CenturyLink Field – 800 Occidental Avenue South
HOW:Registered attendees will observe the Sounders FC team training session at CenturyLink Field followed by complimentary lunch and a classroom workshop led by Sounders FC coaches including: head coach Sigi Schmid, assistant coach Brian Schmetzer, goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra, fitness coach David Tenney with featured speaker Jim Madrid from The Pacific Institute.
TOPICS: Topics include but are not limited to the following:
-How to maximize training schedule
-How to prepare for opponent
-Position specific training
-Advances in sports science training and recovery
-Effective strategies for building teamwork
Parking is available at the CenturyLink Field garage for $6.
Registration is required, visit http://bit.ly/QkovUs
Johansson and Martinez Called In for World Cup Qualifying Matches
Seattle Sounders FC announced last week that the Sweden National Team has called in defender Adam Johansson and the Honduras National Team has called in midfielder Mario Martinez for upcoming 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
Johansson, 29, will join Sweden for one qualifier against Kazakhstan on September 11 in Malmo, Sweden. Johansson currently has 11 caps for Sweden.
Sweden is in Europe’s Group C with Germany, Ireland, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan. No European teams have played a qualifier yet. The top two teams from each group will advance.
Martinez, 23, will join Honduras for two qualifiers. The first match is against Cuba on September 7 in Havana, Cuba. The second match is also against Cuba on September 11 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Martinez currently has 17 caps for Honduras.
Honduras is in CONCACAF’s Group C with Panama, Canada and Cuba. Panama is currently atop the group and Canada is second. Honduras is in third after a scoreless draw with Canada and a 2-0 loss to Panama. The top two teams from each group advance to round four.
Both Johansson and Martinez should be available for Seattle’s September 2 match at FC Dallas. Both players will miss the September 8 home match against Chivas USA and should rejoin Sounders FC for the September 15 match at Portland.
MLS Recap: Seattle Sounders FC 1 at FC Dallas 1 – September 2, 2012
Mauro Rosales and Jackson each scored goals as Sounders FC and FC Dallas played to a 1-1 draw Sunday at FC Dallas Stadium. Steve Zakuani recorded an assist in his first start since suffering a broken leg on April 22, 2011.
In the 20th minute, Zakuani burst past a defender on the left side and sent a low cross that found Rosales at the far post for a tap-in. It was the second goal of the season for Rosales, who leads the league with 13 assists.
Just 12 minutes later, Dallas equalized when Jackson knocked in a cross from Blas Perez.
Sounders FC has just one loss (4-1-1) in their past six league matches, and is 8-2-2 in their last 12 across all competitions.
It was the first start in 500 days for Zakuani and his first point since April 16, 2011. The 24-year-old has made two appearances as a substitute in 2012. He nearly put Seattle up 2-1 in the 64th minute when he got behind the defense on a ball from Montero, but his shot was saved by Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman.
Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning matched his season-high from last week with five saves and improved his record to 9-2-2. He made back-to-back stops around the 69-minute mark, first diving to tip away a point-blank shot from Jackson and then catching a strong header from Blas Perez in the box.
Defender Patrick Ianni came up big on multiple occasions in the back for Sounders FC. In the eighth minute, he cleared an Andrew Jacobson glancing header off the line after a free kick from the corner. In first half stoppage, he broke up two consecutive Dallas chances in the box, and in the 90th minute he cleared a hard cross from mid-air in front of the goal mouth.
CCL Recap: Seattle Sounders FC 3 at Caledonia AIA 1 – August 30, 2012
Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero all scored a goal and an assist as Sounders FC (2-0-0, 6 points) defeated Caledonia AIA (0-2-1, 1 point) in CONCACAF Champions League group play at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad on Thursday night.
With the win, Seattle took a commanding five-point lead of Group 4 with just two games to play. Caledonia is eliminated with just one point through three games.
The Rave Green got on the board first right before halftime. Ochoa played a ball to Zach Scott on the right side of the box, who sent a low cross to Caskey for a tap-in inside the far post. It was the first goal in CCL play for Caskey, who assisted on Ochoa’s goal in the previous meeting against Caledonia.
Ochoa doubled the lead in the 60th minute when he blasted a shot into the top of the net after Montero found him at the top of the box. The goal marked the second straight game with a goal for Ochoa, who has six goals across all-competitions in 2012.
In the 66th minute, Caledonia was awarded a penalty kick after a Seattle foul in the box. Kareem Joseph, who netted a penalty in the previous meeting, converted it past Michael Gspurning to cut the lead to 2-1.
Three minutes later, Caskey made a couple of moves on the left side to create some space, sent a cross into the box and Montero tapped it in to regain the two-goal lead. Montero has scored in four straight games and has eight goals in his last seven games across all-competitions.
Mario Martinez made his first start for Seattle since joining the club on July 27. In the 10th minute, the Honduran midfielder crossed to Ochoa wide open in the box, but Caledonia keeper Glenroy Samuel saved Ochoa’s point blank header with his face.
Champions League Update
After the first two rounds of this year’s CONCACAF Champions League group stage, Seattle (2-0-0, 6 points) sits atop group four with six points through two games. Sounders FC beat Caledonia home and away by the same score line of 3-1, giving Seattle a group-best plus-four goal differential. Caledonia (0-2-1, 1 point) has been eliminated from the tournament with one match remaining. Seattle’s final two matches will be against CD Marathon (0-0-1, 1 point) of Honduras. The two-leg series begins September 19 in San Pedro Sula and concludes October 24 in Seattle.
Overall, five teams have earned six points in the first two group stage matches of this year’s tournament: Mexico’s Santos Laguna and Monterrey, Costa Rica’s Herediano, and the Seattle Sounders FC and LA Galaxy. Seattle’s plus-four goal differential is tied for fourth-best in the tournament.
Team Record Goals For/Against
Sounders FC 2-0-0, 6 points 6/2
CD Marathon 0-0-1, 1 point 0/0
Caledonia AIA 0-2-1, 1 point 2/6
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 1 vs. Sounders FC 3 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
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.
Sammy Ochoa will meet fans and sign autographs on the downtown Pro Shop on Tuesday, September 4 from 6 -7 p.m. The following Tuesday, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado will be at the Pro Shop…Seattle has played the second-most Champions League games of any MLS team since qualifying for the 2010/11 tournament. Seattle has played 20 CCL games, two fewer than Toronto FC (22). LA Galaxy is third with 18 games played and Salt Lake is next at 14…Saturday was just the third September match of Mauro Rosales’ career…Kevin Stott will be the referee for Saturday’s match against Chivas USA…Seattle Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson are both one yellow card caution away from receiving a one-game suspension. Osvaldo Alonso, Marc Burch, Andy Rose and Zach Scott are all two cards away from suspension. Montero is the only Seattle player cautioned in Champions League this year.