Sounders go goat-herding on Wednesday

Sounders go goat-herding on Wednesday

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Looking to further its lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, Seattle Sounders FC visits Chivas USA in a midweek matchup on Wednesdaynight. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Wednesday’s match will be televised locally on Q-13 FOX and regionally on ROOT Sports with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 1490 AM.

Sounders FC (15-7-3, 48 points) extended its unbeaten streak to three games (2-0-1) with Saturday’s 1-nil win against the Colorado Rapids. Clint Dempsey netted his MLS career high 11th goal of the season while Stefan Frei posted his league best eighth shutout.

Seattle sits two points clear of D.C. United and the LA Galaxy in the Supporters’ Shield standings, maintaining the top spot for 17 of 25 weeks this season. Sounders FC can become the first team to reach the 50-point mark with a win on Wednesday against Chivas USA.

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Sounders FC has earned six straight wins in the regular season series against Chivas USA, going unbeaten in the past 12 (8-0-4) outings, dating back to the last loss on June 6, 2009. Seattle enters the match as the top road team in the Western Conference, going 6-4-2 away from home this season, including a 4-2 win at Portland in its last road outing on August 24.

Amidst a seven-game (0-6-1) winless stretch, Chivas USA (6-13-6, 24 points) currently sits at the bottom of the West. Chivas USA has struggled at home this season, posting a record of 3-7-2 with its last home win on July 5. Seattle won the previous meeting a the StubHub Center, 2-1, on April 19, and the sides will meet for the third and final time on September 27 at CenturyLink Field.

Chivas USA recently acquired former Sounders FC defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and former Whitecaps FC midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. Forward Erik Torres, who ranks third in MLS with 14 goals, will be unavailable for the match.

With a bye on the weekend, Sounders FC will resume regular season action on September 12 against Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field. Seattle will then embark on a three-game road trip to visit Philadelphia in the U.S. Open Cup Final on September 16, followed by league matches at New York (September 20) and Dallas (September 24).

Tickets for Sounders FC home matches are available now at www.SoundersFC.com and 1-877-MLS-GOAL.

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Competition Schedule (All times Pacific; subject to change)

Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at Chivas USA, StubHub Center

Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake, CenturyLink Field

Sept. 16, 4:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at Philadelphia Union, PPL Park

Sept. 20, 4:30 p.m. – Sounders FC at New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Arena

Sept. 24, 6 p.m. – Sounders FC at FC Dallas, Toyota Stadium

Sept. 27, 1 p.m. – Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA, CenturyLink Field

 

Leading the Way

Sounders FC continues to lead the way this season, sitting first in the full table for 17 of 25 weeks while boasting one of the league’s most potent attacks. Seattle enters Wednesday’s match with a two point lead over D.C. United in the Supporters’ Shield race and one game in hand, and leads the LA Galaxy by two points in the Western Conference standings. Sounders FC leads MLS with 15 wins and 1.92 points per game, and averages the second-most goals per game (1.76).

Several Seattle players are among the league leaders as Clint Dempsey (11 goals, 5 assists) and Obafemi Martins (10 goals, 9 assists) are both having strong seasons. Seattle is one of two teams (LA Galaxy) to have two players in the top 10 of the MLS Golden Boot race, and Martins is one of two players (Robbie Keane) to rank in the top 10 for both goals and assists this season. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei leads the league with eight shutouts, matching his career high from 2010 with Toronto FC.

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First to 50

Sounders FC will look to become the first club to reach the 50-point mark with a win over Chivas USA on Wednesday night. Seattle previously became the first to 40 points with a home win against Houston on August 10, reaching the 40-point plateau in two fewer games than FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy. Sounders FC is also on club record pace, amassing 48 points in two fewer games than the 2011 season. The club record for fastest to 50 points was 28 games played, set in the 2013 season.

Seattle is also on track to set the club record for most wins in a single season, having already matched its season total of 15 wins in 2012 and 2013. Sounders FC set the club record with 18 wins in 2011, earning its 15th victory after 30 games.

 

September Record

Wednesday night marks the first match of the month for Sounders FC, kicking off a stretch of six games over the next four weeks. Sounders FC will play five regular season matches, including three away (Chivas USA, New York and Dallas) and two at home (Salt Lake and Chivas USA), and will also visit the Philadelphia Union on September 16 in the U.S. Open Cup Final, kicking off a three-game, 10-day road trip.

Sounders FC has gone 9-4-7 in 20 all-time matches in September, outscoring opponents 28-17. Seattle is unbeaten in its past six (3-0-3) September outings, dating back to September 29, 2012, and has not lost on the road in September in the past seven (3-0-4) games, dating back to September 4, 2010.

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Second-half Sounders

Sounders FC leads the league with 29 goals scored (1.16) and 13 goals allowed (0.52) in the second half of games. Seattle’s 217 total shots in the second half ranks second in MLS and bests the club’s first-half total (140) by 77 shots. Of Seattle’s 29 second-half goals, 11 have been game-winners while three were the eventual equalizers. Seattle’s past four victories have all featured second-half game-winners, dating back to the 2-0 win against Portland on July 13.

Dempsey Nets 11th Goal of Season

Clint Dempsey’s second-half volley against the Colorado Rapids marked his MLS career-high 11th goal of the season (T-6th). Just two other players in club history have scored 11 goals or more in a single season, including Fredy Montero (2009, 2011, 2012) and Eddie Johnson (2012). With just 17 games played, Dempsey reached the 11-goal mark fastest in club history, besting Johnson by four games and Montero by five (2009).

Dempsey’s 2014 MLS Statistics

Category Total MLS Rank
Goals 11 T-6th
Shots 79 T-4th
Shots on Goal 33 5th
Game-winning Goals 4 T-6th
Game-winning Assists 4 T-2nd
Multi-goal Games 3 T-3rd
Goals Per Game 0.65 4th

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Pappa Called Into Guatemala National Team

Sounders FC midfielder Marco Pappa has been called into the Guatemala National Team for the 2014 Copa Centroamericana fromSeptember 3-13. Pappa will miss Seattle’s match at Chivas USA on September 3 and against Real Salt Lake on September 12.

Pappa has been capped 31 times by the Guatemala National Team, scoring six goals with three assists. He has scored three goals in 15 World Cup Qualifiers, including one goal against the United States in 2012. In his first season with Seattle, Pappa has recorded three goals and three assists in 22 MLS appearances, including the game-winning assist in Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.

Guatemala Competition Schedule

Date Opponent Location Round
September 3 El Salvador RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Group B – rd. 1
September 7 Belize Cotton Bowl, Dallas Group B – rd. 2
September 10 Honduras BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston Group B – rd. 3
September 13 TBD LA Coliseum, Los Angeles Knockout Stage

 

SEA-CHV Series Fast Facts

* Sounders FC has won six straight matches against Chivas USA and is unbeaten in the last 12 (8-0-4).

* Seattle has scored nine of its 21 all-time goals in the first 30 minutes, while also outscoring the Goats 10-5 in the second half.

* Chivas USA has scored multiple goals just twice in 14 all-time meetings while Seattle has not been shutout in the series since August 13, 2011.

* Sigi Schmid’s club is 4-2-2 all-time against Chivas USA at the StubHub Center, including a 6-2 win on August 25, 2012.

 

About Chivas USA

Chivas USA is last in the Western Conference with 24 points (6-13-6), and ranks at the bottom of the league with a minus-19 goal differential. The team has lost six of its last seven games and has not scored since a 3-1 loss to D.C. United on July 20, going scoreless over the past five games. Chivas USA has been outscored 8-21 at the StubHub Center this season, going just 3-7-2 at home. The team ranks last in MLS in goals (21), assists (19), shots (247) and shots on goal (77).

 

Goats Notables

Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera’s club is without two its two most productive offensive players this week. Forward Erick Torres has 14 of the club’s 21 goals this season, but will be out on international duty after being called into the Mexican national team. Chivas USA also recently traded former Sounders FC midfielder Mauro Rosales, who led the club with eight assists this season. Chivas USA acquired Nigel Reo-Coker in the trade with Vancouver, who made his club debut in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy.

Forward Leandro Barrera has started 18 of 25 appearances this season, recording one goal and two assists. Midfielders Eric Avila and Agustin Pelletieri have been staples in the lineup this season, making 23 and 22 appearances, respectively. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy has again been a stalwart in net for the Goats, starting 24 of 25 games with a 1.51 goals against average. Former Sounders FC defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was recently acquired by Chivas USA from the Chicago Fire and made hisclub debut on Sunday. Hurtado had started 19 games for Chicago after spending the previous five seasons with Seattle.

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