Seventeen days after breaking for the World Cup, Seattle Sounders FC begins a very busy stretch of the season by becoming the first visitor to Philadelphia Union’s new soccer specific home, PPL Park. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air the match, which is set to kickoff at 2 p.m. PT at PPL Park in Chester, Penn.
It is the first of three consecutive road matches over an 8-day period, and conceivably Seattle could play seven MLS, cup and friendly games in 21 days, through July 18. Sounders FC will begin defense of its Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title on June 30, visiting either the Portland Timbers of U.S. Soccer’s Division 2 or the Kitsap Pumas of PDL. On July 4, Seattle plays at the Los Angeles Galaxy, the MLS Western Conference leader.
Although it has won just once in the last four matches, Sounders FC figures to be stronger to start the summer, by virtue of several key players returning to fitness.
Sounders FC is coming off a 3-2 home loss to D.C. United on June 10. Seattle (4-6-3, 15 points) currently sits in 6th place in the Western Conference. Its four wins have all come against teams in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia Union (2-7-1, 7 points) is currently last in the league for the lowest point total; the caveat being they have played the fewest total games (10) and only two at home. It is yet to lose a home match (1-0-1) but enters Sunday on a two-game losing streak. In its last match, the Union lost 2-0 at Kansas City.
This marks the second match between the two sides, as Philadelphia opened its inaugural season on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field in front of 36,241 fans in rave green. Sounders FC defeated Union, 2-0, getting first-half goals from Brad Evans and Fredy Montero.
Sunday’s game at PPL Park (capacity 18,500) is sold out. Seven of Union’s next 10 will be played at home. Weather forecasts for matchday in Philadelphia are for sun and temperatures reaching the high 80s.
Glenn Davis and Kyle Martino will call the match on ESPN2. Locally the match can be heard on ESPN Deportes Radio and, in English, on News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM with Arlo White calling the action.
Seattle will next travel to Los Angeles to play the Galaxy on July 4 at 8 p.m. PT. The next scheduled home fixture is July 11 versus FC Dallas at 7:30 p.m. PT.
For tickets to Sounders FC home matches, call 1-877-MLS-GOAL or visit www.SoundersFC.com.
Upcoming Competition Schedule (All times Pacific)
Sunday, June 27, 2 p.m. — at Philadelphia Union, PPL Park, Chester, Penn.
Wednesday, June 30 — Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round (time, site tbd)
Sunday, July 4, 8 p.m. — at L.A. Galaxy, Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
Sunday, July 11, 7:30 p.m. — FC Dallas, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
Thursday, July 15, 4:30 p.m. – at D.C. United, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Sunday, July 18, 12 p.m. — Celtic FC, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
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 Philadelphia is 4,760 miles. It is the second longest remaining trip for Seattle to travel this MLS season to New England (4,984 miles roundtrip).
On the Road Again
After five road games, Seattle has earned five points (1-2-2). Sounders FC tied at FC Dallas and at Real Salt Lake, both games were decided in stoppage time. Its two losses came at Toronto FC, 2-0, and at Colorado, 1-0. Seattle’s lone road win of the season came at New York when Fredy Montero entered the match in the 78th minute and scored the game’s lone goal in the 85th minute.
At this time last season, Sounders FC had earned seven points in seven road games (1-4-2), matching this season’s average of one point per road game (five points in five road games). In addition, Seattle has already allowed multiple goals in five fixtures, something they did only six times in all of 2009. Most recently, Sounders FC allowed three goals against D.C. United. In 2009, Seattle’s sole win when conceding multiple goals came at Kansas City in a 3-2 victory on October 17 to clinch a playoff spot, marking Seattle’s only win (1-6-4) in its existence when allowing more than one goal.
When Montero or Zakuani Scores…
When Fredy Montero scored in the 2009 season, Seattle was 7-1-3, and when Steve Zakuani scored, 4-0-0. In fact, Seattle is unbeaten since its inception when Zakuani has scored (5-0-3), and has lost just twice when goals are scored by either player (12-2-6). Seattle is 10-2-4 all-time when Montero has scored.
Upon Further Review
MLS officials have adjusted the scoring on Seattle’s first goal versus D.C. United. Originally, James Riley was credited with the goal and Nathan Sturgis an assist in the 90th minute. It would have been Riley’s first goal and Sturgis’ first assist for Sounders FC. The goal is now credited as an own goal after it was determined Riley’s shot was re-directed by D.C. United defender Barry Rice.
Ready to Go
Three players who have been out of action for extended periods have returned to full training this week. Forward Nate Jaqua, the No. 2 scorer in 2009, has been on the disabled list for the first 13 games after undergoing surgery to repair a lower abdominal fascial tear. Jaqua played and scored in a training game with the reserves on June 11. Midfielders Osvaldo Alonso and Peter Vagenas, who have started eight and five games, respectively, are also nearing their return to action. Both have been out with quadriceps strains. Alonso last played May 8 and Vagenas has been out since sustaining the injury May 15 at New York.
Two Dozen: Count ‘Em
Injuries have undoubtedly contributed to not only a slow start but also a greater number of players shuffling through the lineup. Already Sigi Schmid has used 24 different players in MLS matches, compared to 22 in all of the inaugural season. There have been 20 different starters (there were 21 in 2009) and each of the players currently under contract has been in uniform for a match, except Nate Jaqua, who has been on the IR since March 24.
Elite Youth Tournament Set for July
Sounders FC and Starfire Sports announced that the second annual Sounders FC Cup presented by adidas will be held July 9-11 at Starfire Sports in Tukwila. The tournament is open to boys and girls teams in the U-11 through U-19 divisions.
Sounders FC Cup participants will have exclusive access to meet Sounders FC players, participate in prize drawings featuring autographed merchandise and the opportunity to purchase Sounders FC match tickets at a discounted price.
Youth coaches participating in the tournament will be invited to a coaches clinic featuring Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. The winning teams will also be recognized during the Sounders FC vs. FC Dallas match on July 11 at Qwest Field.
For more information and to register visit http://starfiresports.com/homepr.asp
Sounders FC Youth Camps see Huge Increase in Registration
The Sounders FC announced that 3,600 youth has already signed up for the soccer camps and five locations have already reached full capacity. Registration is up by nearly 1200 campers from the same point in 2009.
As co-presenting partner of the youth camps, Group Health will work with Sounders FC staff to integrate nutrition and healthy lifestyle tips into the summer camp curriculum. They also offered 15 scholarships to area youth that was matched by the Robert Vasen Foundation.
The Seattle Sounders FC will host 55 soccer skills camps for boys and girls ages 4-15 throughout the Northwest this summer. The camps will feature a diverse and expert coaching staff composed of local high school, college, professional and former professional players. Each camp will include a skill based curriculum, adidas soccer ball, Sounders FC t-shirt, appearances by Sounders FC technical staff, discount coupon for Sounders FC merchandise, and the opportunity to meet the team at the Sounders FC Camper Appreciation Day.
All-Star Voting Underway
Fan voting for the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star First XI is underway. Fans may vote online at http://www.mlssoccer.com/all-star. For the first time in League history, fans may also vote by texting a last name from the ballot to “22442.” Additionally, fans can text an MLS club name to “22442” to vote for all nominees from that team. Fan voting will comprise one quarter of the total vote for the First XI selections, with MLS players, coaches & GM’s, and media each accounting for one of the other three quarters.
The MLS All-Stars will take on Manchester United in the 2010 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Reliant Stadium, in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, July 28 (live on ESPN2 and TeleFutura at 8:30 p.m. ET).
Celtic on Sale
Tickets are now on sale for the summer friendly between Sounders FC and Scotland’s Celtic on July 18 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. It will be Seattle’s second friendly and, along with last week’s Boca Juniors friendly, is part of the 18-match season-ticket holder package. A third match will be announced soon. Tickets will be available at www.soundersfc.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Qwest Field Box Office, or by calling 800-745-3000.
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.
Tickets Now Available for CONCACAF Match
Tickets went on Sale June 21 for the home leg of the Sounders FC first foray into international competition. Seattle will host Metapan of El Salvador on Wednesday, July 28 at Qwest Field. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.
The return leg is scheduled for August 3, with the Sounders FC traveling to El Salvador to play Metapan to determine the series winner.
Based on aggregate scoring, the winner will advance to the Group Stage on August 17-19. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the knockout quarterfinals, set for February and March of 2011. CONCACAF Champions League winner will advance to FIFA Club World Cup.
Tickets will be available at www.SoundersFC.com, by calling 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster outlets and the Qwest Field Box office.
Papa John’s Becomes Official Pizza of Seahawks, Sounders FC
The Seattle Seahawks and Sounders FC announced a partnership with Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) to serve individual slices and eight-inch personal pizzas at Qwest Field, which began on Thursday, June 10, at the Sounders FC vs. DC United match.
Fans can purchase fresh Papa John’s pizza slices at five general concession stands and two Club level Papa John’s Specialty Pizza locations.
For each Sounders FC match, home or away, fans can purchase a large cheese pizza for only $9.00 and will receive two free toppings for every Sounders FC goal. During all Seahawks pre-season and regular season games fans can purchase a large cheese pizza for only $9.00 and will receive one free topping for every Seahawks touchdown. Both promotions will be valid for one day or 24 hours following every home or away game. Papa John’s has 40 locationsthroughout the Puget Sound.
The Seahawks and Sounders sponsorship builds upon Papa John’s announcement earlier this week that it has signed a three-year agreement through the 2012 season as the Official Pizza Sponsor of the NFL and Super Bowl XLV, XLVI and XLVII.
Papa John’s is also the Official Pizza of the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins.
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For nine of the last 10 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2009 Gold Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.
Among the Leaders
Sounders FC leads the league in three statistical categories: shots (160), corner kicks (86) and fouls suffered (176). Fredy Montero is tied for sixth in MLS with five goals and tied for eighth with four assists. Montero has taken 34 shots (3rd) with 13 shots on goal (T-6th). Montero is tied for third with 26 fouls suffered and Freddie Ljungberg is second with 30. Ljungberg leads the league with 71 corner kicks. Kasey Keller leads the league with 1125 minutes played in net and is tied for fourth with four shutouts.
Blaise Nkufo and the Swiss National Team pulled off the first big upset of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, shocking Spain with a 1-0 win in its opening match. Switzerland lost its second game, 1-0, playing down a man to Chile for the final 59 minutes. Switzerland currently is tied with Spain for second in Group H standings with three points, three points behind Chile. The Swiss play their final group stage match on Friday, June 25, against Honduras. The match is set for 11:30 a.m. PT. Nkufo started both of the pre-World Cup friendlies, assisting on Switzerland’s goal in a 1-1 draw with defending champion Italy. Nkufo completed his seven-year run with FC Twente on May 2 by helping the Enschede club win its first Dutch Eredivisie championship. He is Twente’s all-time scoring leader with 114 goals in the Eredivisie, including 12 this past season. He signed with the Sounders FC on March 4, and will join the team in July following the World Cup. Nkufo scored five goals for the Swiss during World Cup qualification.
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.
About Philadelphia Union
Philadelphia has the lowest point total in MLS (7) and is near the bottom with 21 goals allowed and only 11 goals scored. It is yet to lose a home match (1-0-1) but enters Sunday on a two-game losing streak. Union looks for its first shutout in club history as it is the only MLS side yet to earn a clean sheet this season. Union also hopes to score its first goal against Seattle as it was shut out, 2-0, in 2010 MLS First Kick at Qwest Field.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. Philadelphia Union 0 – March 25, 2010 – Recap
Brad Evans and Fredy Montero scored first-half goals as the Seattle Sounders FC opened the MLS season with a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia Union before a crowd of 36,241 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.
Evans struck in the 12th minute and Montero scored on a header in the 43rd minute, shortly after Philadelphia went a man down following the second yellow card issued to Toni Stahl.
Kasey Keller made four saves to earn the shutout for Seattle. It was the inaugural match for Union.
The first Sounders FC goal began with Montero passing the ball to an overlapping Steve Zakuani who crossed the ball into the crease. Evans knocked it past goalkeeper Chris Seitz from 10 yards.
Seattle’s second goal came from a Freddie Ljungberg corner kick that was cleared out to Osvaldo Alonso, who drove the ball through a crowd from 25 yards out. The ball was going wide but Montero dove at the right post, heading it into the net.
Sounders FC regular starting right back James Riley sat out the match, serving a one-game suspension, and midfielder/forward Michael Fucito made his MLS debut, entering the match in the 76th minute.
The Philly Connection
A homecoming of sorts is in store for two members of the Seattle squad. Defender Jeff Parke, who has started all three appearances since signing with the club on May 13, is from Downingtown, Penn., 37 miles west of downtown Philly. Michael Seamon, Seattle’s No. 2 draft pick, grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, an hour’s drive away. Seamon graduated from Villanova in May and signed with Seattle on June 2. Philadelphia was the site of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, where Seattle selected midfielder David Estrada, Seamon and Jamel Wallace. Union forward Danny Mwanga, the 1st overall pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, attended Oregon State University (2008-09). Sigi Schmid coached Philadelphia forward Alejandro Moreno at Columbus from 2007-08. Seattle forward Miguel Montano and Union midfielder Roger Torres both played for Envigado FC’s youth team in Colombia before joining MLS in 2010.
Former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux is the featured striker of Philly’s attack. He has five goals and three assists this season, good for nearly half the team’s goals and tied for sixth in MLS goal scoring. Le Toux was taken by Philadelphia in the expansion draft last November. He appeared in 28 games for the Sounders FC in 2009, scoring one goal and three assists. He also had three goals and three assists in U.S. Open Cup play. Le Toux’s first two seasons in America were spent with the USL-1 Sounders. He scored 24 goals in 54 league matches and was the 2007 USL-1 MVP.
To support Le Toux’s efforts, Alejandro Moreno has added a team-high five assists. Two rookies also factor big in Philly’s offense. Danny Mwanga has three goals and one assist in seven appearances this season and Roger Torres has three assists in 10 appearances. Goalkeeper Chris Seitz has allowed the most goals in MLS (21) for a GAA of 2.10.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 vs. D.C. United 0 – June 10, 2010 – Recap
Despite two second half goals scored in record fashion, the Seattle Sounders FC was unable to pull even with D.C. United and lost, 3-2, in front of 36,146 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.
Chris Pontius was credited with two goals for United, which extended its unbeaten run to three games.
Seattle scored from an own goal in the 90th minute and Fredy Montero scored in the first minute of second half stoppage time to set a club record for shortest time to score two goals. Sounders FC also attempted a record 20 shots.
The first two goals of the game came from Pontius, both off deflections in the first half, and United added a third goal in the 79th minute.
Down 3-0, Seattle pulled a goal back on the own goal. James Riley took down a ball from Nathan Sturgis and his 12-yard shot deflected off a D.C. United defender and into the net for an own goal.
Seconds later, Montero headed home a cross from Freddie Ljungberg. It was Montero’s fifth goal of the season and his fourth in as many meetings with United (including the U.S. Open Cup Final).
United opened the scoring in the 39th minute, Pontius blasted a 25-yard shot off of Seattle midfielder Patrick Ianni’s back and into the net. Just before halftime, Pontius’ drive from 17 yards deflected off the hands of Keller and rolled inside the left post, making it 2-0. Pontius assisted on Adam Cristman’s 79th minute goal when he headed down a free kick from Santino Quaranta.
D.C. United coach Curt Onalfo is now 2-0-0 at Seattle, having guided Kansas City to a victory in 2009.
Sounders FC Top Attendances
66,848 August 5, 2009 Seattle v Barcelona (friendly)
65,289 July 18, 2009 Seattle v Chelsea (friendly)
40,122 May 26, 2010 Seattle v Boca Juniors (friendly)
36,344 June 5, 2010 Seattle v New England
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
36,146 June 10, 2010 Seattle v D.C. United
36,066 April 3, 2010 Seattle v New York
35,953 May 22, 2010 Seattle v San Jose
35,924 April 17, 2010 Seattle v Kansas City
*46,011 November 22, 2009 MLS Cup (Real Salt Lake v L.A.)
SUM Cup Schedule Set for Sounders FC U-17
The schedule is now set for the Sounders FC boys Under-17 at the fourth annual SUM Under-17 Cup. All 16 Major League Soccer teams will be represented and competing for the title in Houston, from July 23 through July 28.
Seattle has been drawn into Group B and opens against FC Dallas on July 23 at 4:30 p.m. PT. Sounders FC faces Philadelphia on July 24 at 6 p.m. PT and the final group stage game is against Columbus on July 26 at 4:30 p.m. PT.
The group phase will be held at Centennial Park in Houston. The four group winners advance to the semifinals, to be played at both Centennial Park and Carl Lewis Field on July 27. The 2010 SUM U-17 Cup final will be played on July 28 and placement games conducted on July 29.
Returning to the tournament are the two-time SUM U-17 Cup champions, D.C. United U-17 Academy Team, as well as the 2008 SUM U-17 Cup champions Real Salt Lake.
The following players are currently training with Sounders FC: Goalkeepers (4): Terry Boss, Chris Eylander*, Kasey Keller, Josh Wagenaar*; Defenders (10): Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl, Bobby Warshaw*; Midfielders (8): Osvaldo Alonso, David Estrada, Brad Evans, Freddie Ljungberg, Sanna Nyassi, Michael Seamon, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas; Forwards (7): Michael Fucito, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montano, Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan, Steve Zakuani.
This will be the fifth sold-out audience Seattle has faced. Sounders FC regularly plays to capacity crowds at home (24 straight and counting in MLS play), and on the road Seattle has performed well before full houses. It was 2-0-0 before MLS road sellouts in 2009 (at Toronto and Kansas City). In Open Cup play, Sounders FC won, 2-1, before a packed house at Portland. This season, Sounders FC fell to Colorado, 1-0, before a capacity crowd on May 29…Sounders FC is 2-2-3 in ESPN2 matches, with both wins coming in season-opening matches at home…For the first time this season, Seattle started the same XI in three consecutive matches…All four Sounders FC wins have come by way of shutout against Eastern Conference opponents…Sanna Nyassi and Taylor Graham will be at the Azteca restaurant in Everett on Tuesday, June 22, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m…Sounders FC players and coaches will join representatives from Celtic FC and other international soccer stars for a dinner and auction at Qwest Field Event Center on Saturday, July 17, at 5 p.m. All proceeds from the event will be dedicated to provide funding to further develop soccer players in Washington State…