Seattle Sounders FC seeks its first road win of the season as it travels across the country to the new home of the Eastern Conference leading New York Red Bulls for a match on Saturday night. First kick at Red Bull Arena is set for 4:30 p.m. PT.
Both the Sounders FC (2-3-3, 9 points) and Red Bulls (5-2-0, 15 points) are coming off unexpected 4-0 defeats. Seattle allowed three second half goals as it lost to the L.A. Galaxy at home on Saturday. The Red Bulls picked up an early red card and were beaten on the road at San Jose.
Seattle enters uncharted territory as it is last place in the West for the first time in club history. Still, Seattle sits just one point out of a playoff spot after its first eight matches.
New York, who leads the East by four points, plays a U.S. Open Cup match against the New England Revolution on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena.
The match marks the second and final league match between the two sides. In week two of the season, Seattle fell to New York 1-0 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.
KONG 6/16 and News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM will broadcast Saturday’s match with Arlo White calling the play. In Spanish the match can be seen on THIS-TV (Digital 4.2/Comcast 114) with Jaime Mendez and Hugo Alcaraz-Cueller and heard on 1210 AM Ke Buena with Rene Aleman, Noe Menendez and Victor Hernandez.
Sounders FC returns home to the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field for a league match against San Jose on May 22 and a friendly against Argentine side Boca Juniors on May 26.
Upcoming Competition Schedule (All times Pacific)
Saturday, May 15, 4:30 p.m. – New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ
Saturday, May 22, 12 p.m. – San Jose Earthquakes, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
Wednesday, May 26, 7:30 p.m.- Boca Juniors, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
Saturday, May 29, 6 p.m. – at Colorado Rapids, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
Saturday, June 5, 7:30 p.m. – New England Revolution, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
Note: Time Change for July 25
Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field first kick on July 25 has been changed to 7:30 p.m. PT. The match will be nationally televised on Fox Soccer Channel.
Nkufo In Seattle
Blaise Nkufo will be in Seattle on Tuesday, May 11 to meet the team in person for the first time. Nkufo completed his seven-year run with FC Twente on a spectacularly high note, lifting Dutch Eredivisie trophy for the first time in Twente’s history. Not since 1926 had the city of Enschede won a domestic title. Twente finished with 27 wins and only two losses (five draws) in 34 matches. Nkufo is Twente’s all-time scoring leader with 114 goals in the Eredivisie, including 12 this season. He signed with the Sounders FC on March 4, and will officially join the team in July following the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Let the Mileage Begin
For the second year in a row, no MLS team will travel more miles (49,740) than Sounders FC. With a trip to Philadelphia this season (instead of a second trip to Chivas USA a year ago), Seattle will log 2,842 more miles in 2010. Now the only team from the Pacific Northwest, Sounders FC will travel far fewer miles in 2011 with the addition of Portland (173 miles south) and Vancouver (141 miles north). The round trip to New York is 4,816 miles. Only distance further the club will travel this MLS season is to and from New England (4,984 miles).
Regaining Defensive Form
Seattle’s defense, which shared the MLS top mark in 2009 with only 29 goals allowed in 30 matches, seeks to regain that form after surrendering 12 goals in eight games this season. It has allowed nine goals in the last four outings. Last season through eight games, Seattle had allowed just five goals.
The Road Show
After three games (0-1-2), Seattle is seeking its first road win on the road this season. Seattle tied at Dallas and at Salt Lake, both games finishing 2-2. Its one loss came at Toronto, 2-0.
Iron Man Ozzy
Prior to suffering a thigh injury in Saturday’s match, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was the only Sounders FC player to have played every minute of every game this season. Alonso left the game in the 37th minute after straining his right quadricep. Even though he logged just 37 minutes, Alonso ended with a team-high three shots, including a rocket from outside the 18 that sailed just over the crossbar. He entered the weekend tied for top in the league with 630 minutes played in seven games.
Been There Before
The Sounders FC endured two stretches in its inaugural season that yielded fewer points per game than this current stretch. Seattle has earned nine points in its first eight games this season for a points per game average of 1.125. Match 4 through 12 of last season, Sounders FC averaged just 0.89 points per game, beginning with a loss at home against Kansas City and ending with a June 6th loss at Chivas USA. The club went 1-3-5 during that period, earning just eight points. Later that season, Seattle had a similar stretch in which points were hard to come by. Match 18 through 27, a 10 game stretch from July 25 to September 26, the club earned only 10 points (2-4-4) and a points per game average of 1.
The Fountain of Youth
Miguel Montano, 18, made his first appearance Saturday, becoming the youngest player to don the rave green. Montano, who turns 19 on June 25, played 33 minutes with attacking energy against the Galaxy and had one shot. Montano replaces Sanna Nyassi as the youngest player to see action for Sounders FC. Nyassi, a starter at age 20 in the 2009 opener against New York, remains the youngest to have started for Seattle.
Marshall of the Defense
Sounders FC defender Tyrone Marshall’s start against the L.A. Galaxy last Saturday marked his 253rd start in MLS, ranking him 8th among active players. Marshall is 13th all-time with 281 games played and 18th all-time with 253 games started. He has started all seven appearances this season.
Fucito Placed on IR
Seattle Sounders FC placed midfielder/forward Michael Fucito on injured reserve due to a right knee contusion on May 7. As a result, Fucito is required to miss six games. He is eligible to return to league play for the June 27 game in Philadelphia against the Union. Fucito, 24, has appeared in two Major League Soccer games, both as a reserve with Seattle, and has one goal. He scored the game-winner in extra time of a 1-0 win over Kansas City on April 17.
A Tribute to the Fans
The Seattle Sounders FC announced that a refund for Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy will be issued to season ticket holders in the form of credit towards 2011 season tickets.
Sounders FC allowed four goals for the first time at home in club history as the Galaxy won 4-0 in front of a franchise record crowd of 36,273 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. It was only the second time the club has allowed more than one goal at home in a league match.
“That wasn’t Sounders soccer and it was quite frankly embarrassing, humiliating and the fans don’t deserve that,” said Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer. “The refund will come in the form of a credit against next year’s season tickets. We want our fans committed for the long haul and we think this is the right thing to do for our fans.”
“As the owners of the club we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”
In its inaugural season, Sounders FC capped season tickets at 22,000 and averaged 30,943 fans per match, establishing a new MLS record for highest fan average per match. This season 32,000 Sounders FC season tickets were sold at a 96 percent renewal rate with a league-high average attendance of 36,144 over five games.
“I think it is a fair tribute to our fans,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid in reaction to the decision. “I said to the team today that the fans support throughout the game and the way they remained and they supported us after the game was phenomenal.”
“I think the organization has made all the right marketing decisions and all the right moves and they feel that this is what is needed to show our fans we are appreciative of what they do week in and week out.”
Seattle – New York Series Recap
Seattle and New York are even in the series 1-1-1, having defeated New York, 3-0, at home on March 19, 2009, drawing 1-1 away on June 20, 2009, and losing 1-0 a home on April 3, 2010.
In MLS First Kick 2009, Fredy Montero scored twice and assisted on a third goal. Montero put Seattle in front in the 12th minute on a 16-yard roller to the left corner following a feed from Sebastien Le Toux. Brad Evans made it 2-0 in the 25th minute, running on to a ball from Montero and poking it under NYRB keeper Danny Cepero. A steal by Montero in the 75th minute led to the third goal, as he faked a defender then blasted to the upper right corner past Cepero.
In the second meeting, played in the rain at Giants Stadium, Montero scored in his third straight match, equalizing three minutes in to first-half stoppage time. He headed off the crossbar in the 33rd minute and shot off the left post in the 85th. Sounders FC finished with a 16-11 advantage in shots. New York snapped a five-game losing streak. The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 40th minute when Juan Pablo Angel scored unassisted after Tyrone Marshall’s attempted clearance caromed off teammate Patrick Ianni. Seattle played without Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who went home to celebrate the birth of his first child.
In this year’s first meeting, Macoumba Kandji scored the game’s lone goal to give the New York Red Bulls a 1-0 victory on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Seattle Sounders FC (1-1-0, 3 points) set club records with nine corner kicks in the first half and 12 for the game. Bouna Coundoul made five saves as Red Bulls (2-0-0, 6 points) posted their second straight shutout and snapped a 29-game road winless streak. New York scored in the 21st minute. Seattle knocked down a corner kick that Kandji volleyed left-footed off of the underside of the crossbar and into the net. Sounders FC finished with a 17-10 advantage in shots.
Seattle – New York Connections
Taylor Graham, Seattle central defender, played for New York in 2006-07, seeing action in 15 games. Roy Miller and Seattle left back Leo Gonzalez have been teammates on the Costa Rica National Team.Chris Henderson, the Sounders FC technical director, finished his 11-year MLS career with the Red Bulls in 2006. Jeff Agoos, the New York director of scouting and player recruitment, is the older brother of Seattle University men’s soccer coach Brad Agoos. Red Bulls midfielder/forward Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani attended University of Akron.
The Colombian Connection
Colombia is the homeland of the game’s two featured forwards, Seattle’s Fredy Montero and New York’s Juan Pablo Angel. Montero has represented his country four times and was the Colombian league’s top scorer twice. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, a friend and teammate of Montero at Deportivo Cali, is the starting central defender for Sounders FC. Miguel Montano, recent signee from Quilmes Atletico Club, appeared in a Colombia Under-20 National Team match against Ecuador on April 22.
Red Bulls Notables
After going 5-19-6 in 2009, the overhauled New York Red Bulls sit atop the Eastern Conference after its first seven games (5-2-0). New York brought in several new players, plus a new coach in Hans Backe for the 2010 season. For the past two years, Backe was assistant manager at Manchester City, the Mexico National Team and Notts County, all under fellow Swedish countryman Sven-Goran Eriksson (now coach of the Ivory Coast National Team). Juan Pablo Angel, the Colombian forward, is now in his fourth season with the Red Bulls. Angel has scored 49 goals in 79 matches and is tied for third in MLS with four goals this season. Angel also scored the first goal in New York’s 1-1 home draw with Seattle last June. Macoumba Kandji scored the game’s lone goal when the two club’s met earlier this season. Kandji suffered an injury in training and underwent foot surgery in late April and is expected to miss 2-3 months.
Stuff Happens in Stoppage
The defense has appeared in command for long stretches, yet has proven susceptible to untimely strikes. Stoppage time goals by Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas (both in the second half) and Columbus have resulted in draws rather than wins for Seattle. In its inaugural season Sounders FC did not allow a single goal in second half stoppage time.
A Month to Be Tied No Longer
Six matches played with no winner in the month of May. That is until this past weekend’s loss. May seemed to be a month in which Sounders FC was fit to be tied. Before Saturday all six regular season fixtures played by Seattle in May finished in draws. In 2009, Sounders FC finished level with Chicago (1-1), L.A. (1-1), FC Dallas (1-1), Colorado (2-2) and Columbus (1-1). The 1-1 draw with the Crew extended the trend into 2010.
Drew Carey Invites Sounders FC Fans to Help Prevent Malaria in Africa
Seattle Sounders FC announced the launch of a six-week fundraising campaign to help raise money and awareness for the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign-a global, grassroots initiative to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Sounders FC owner Drew Carey and midfielder Sanna Nyassi will serve as honorary co-chairs of the fundraising initiative that will begin on May 1 and run through June 10.
Long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of malaria. A $10 donation allows Nothing But Nets to purchase a net, deliver it to a family, and educate on its use. Fans who donate $30 or more will receive a limited edition Drew Carey bobblehead.
For more information visit www.soundersfc.com.
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. It costs just $10 to provide a long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net to prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life. To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $30 million and distributed over 3 million nets to protect children and families in Africa. One bed net can protect a family of four for up to five years.
Sounders FC Announce Two International Friendlies
Sounders FC will host Argentina’s Boca Juniors on May 26 and Scotland’s Celtic on July 18 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.
The two friendlies are part of the 18-match season-ticket holder package. A third match will be announced soon. Tickets are now on sale for Boca Juniors. Tickets will go on sale for Celtic on Tuesday, June 1 at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available at www.soundersfc.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Qwest Field Box Office, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Boca Juniors is Argentina’s most popular club, as well as the most successful on the international front, with three world club championships and six Copa Libertadores (South America titles). Boca, founded in 1905 and named for the Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Boca, wears a distinctive all blue strip with a yellow panel across the chest. Among its famous players is Diego Maradona, the co-player of the 20th century who retired there in 1997.
Celtic is making its fourth trip to Seattle and its third to Qwest Field. Winners of a record 34 Scottish cups and 42 league championships, the “Bhoys” from Glasgow boast a huge worldwide fan base. They are instantly recognizable for their green-and-white hooped jerseys. Celtic was the first British club to win a European championship in 1967. It met the NASL Sounders in 1981, and returned to face Manchester United in 2003 and Chelsea in 2004.
Among the Leaders
Fredy Montero and Freddie Ljungberg are tied for third among MLS leaders in fouls suffered with 17. Kasey Keller is tied for sixth in MLS goalkeeping shutouts with two. Montero is tied for sixth in assists with three. Montero is third in shots taken with 24
Sounders FC Top Attendances
The top 10 attendances are as follows:
66,848 August 5, 2009 Seattle v Barcelona (friendly)
65,289 July 18, 2009 Seattle v Chelsea (friendly)
36,273 May 8, 2010 Seattle v Los Angeles
36,241 March 25, 2010 Seattle v Philadelphia
36,219 May 1, 2010 Seattle v Columbus
36,066 April 3, 2010 Seattle v New York
35,924 April 17, 2010 Seattle v Kansas City
35,807 October 29, 2009 Seattle v Houston (MLS playoffs)
33,108 October 24, 2009 Seattle v FC Dallas
32,776 August 20, 2009 Seattle v New England
32,740 September 19, 2009 Seattle v Chivas USA
*46,011 November 22, 2009 MLS Cup (Real Salt Lake v L.A.)
The following players are currently training with Sounders FC: Goalkeepers (4): Terry Boss, Derby Carillo*, Chris Eylander*, Kasey Keller; Defenders (9): Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, James Riley, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Jamel Wallace#; Midfielders (9): Osvaldo Alonso, Raphael Cox*, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Stephen King, Freddie Ljungberg, Sanna Nyassi, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas; Forwards (7): Michael Fucito, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montano, Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan, Steve Zakuani.
#SuperDraft selection, *invitee
The May 22 home match with San Jose will now be carried by Fox Soccer Channel as well as KONG 6/16…Sounders FC gave up four goals against Los Angeles for the second time in its existence; the first coming in San Jose (8/2/09)…The reserves defeated the PDL Yakima Reds 2-1 on Sunday morning with both goals scored by Roger Levesque…David Estrada will be signing autographs at Pacific Place Pro Shop from 6-7p.m. on Tuesday, May 11…Jhon Kennedy Hurtado turns 26 on Sunday, May 16.