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June 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM

A “physical education” for Sounders FC

Has anyone ever had a “California burrito?” Yum. Carne asada, french fries, pico de gallo and guacamole all in a big flour tortilla. Just had one.

So this will be the first time Sounders FC has a repeat opponent, and talking to the players, they’ve learned something or things from the last meeting in April. The biggest thing taken from that game is how physical Chivas USA played, exerting its will with sheer force on Seattle. Chivas set the tone by playing rough and getting away with everything it could, no surprise considering it is the MLS leader in fouls committed and cautions.

Midfielder Jesse Marsch won’t play because he has accumulated five yellow cards. Two other starters, MID Sacha Kljestan and DEF Johnathan Bornstein, are with the U.S. national team for World Cup qualifiers and are not available tomorrow.

Makes me wonder: Will we see “El Emperador,” Claudio Suarez, in this game? He’s a Mexican national team veteran. I think we will see former USL Sounder Maykel Galindo, a forward, though.

“Defensively they’ve just been rock solid,” said Sounders FC DEF Pete Vagenas. “They seem to be able to just plug in guys when injuries come up, or what not, and not miss a beat.”

But that the same time, Vagenas said, he feels there are weaknesses Seattle can exploit.

“I’ve played against them a million times,” Vagenas said. “So I know what they do well and I know what they struggle with.”

“Usually the best teams are the most aggressive teams.”

Vagenas didn’t play in the first meeting but flew back to L.A., his hometown (Pasadena, to be exact) to watch it. He noticed the physical play right away and feels Sounders FC has to set the tone.

Here’s Sigi Schmid on Chivas USA widening the gap between it and the rest of the West and being the team to beat:

“It’s all about us to make our way into the playoffs. But certainly, Chivas has done very well. They’ve gotten good results. I know they were disappointed losing their last game at home, especially the way that it happened with the last minute penalty. But we have to go down there right now. One of the things you need to do in this league if you want to be a playoff team is you have to get points on the road, and if you want to win in the playoffs you’re going to need to get a result on the road at some point, maybe two. From that standpoint, it’s just a good test for us to go down, play a good team, and come out with something on the road. That’s what we’re all about this weekend.”

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