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Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

July 12, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Sounders FC weekly release of team news and notes

Seattle Sounders FC returns to the nation’s capital and scene of its biggest achievement to date when it faces D.C. United in a nationally televised match on Thursday night. First kick is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Seattle then completes a stretch of seven matches in 22 days by hosting Scotland’s Celtic FC in a friendly on Sunday, again before a national TV audience. It begins at 12 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Both matches will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. J.P. Dellecamera and Kyle Martino will call the match from D.C.

This week could mark the debut of Blaise Nkufo, the team’s key offseason signing. Nkufo is eligible to be added to the roster on Thursday.

Seattle (4-8-4, 16 points) snapped a three-game losing streak by drawing with FC Dallas, 1-1, at home last week. However, the Sounders FC has not won in four games dating back to June 5. All four of the team’s wins have come by shutout against clubs in the Eastern Conference.

D.C. United (3-9-3, 12 points) is 2-4-1 at home and seventh in the East. United’s goal differential of minus-14 ranks last in MLS and the 11 goals scored is tied with Kansas City for the fewest.

Sounders FC claimed its first trophy at RFK Stadium on September 2, 2009 after defeating D.C. United, 2-1, in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Ten days later, Seattle beat United by an identical score in MLS play. The series is tied 1-1-2 after D.C. United held on for a 3-2 victory at Seattle on June 10. That was the first of three consecutive defeats.

Since beating Seattle, D.C. United has gone 0-1-2, scoring one goal. However it has played four in a row on the road.

The Rave Green is now one win away from punching its ticket to the 2010 Open Cup Final. Sounders FC ousted the L.A. Galaxy, 2-0, in the quarterfinal round last week. Seattle will host Chivas USA in a semifinal encounter on September 1 at Starfire Sports Stadium.

Thursday’s match will be broadcast live on mynorthwest.com with Thom Beuning and Pete Fewing calling the action from Washington, D.C. Sunday’s friendly against Celtic will be broadcast on ESPN 710 with Arlo White in the booth. Both matches can also be heard on ESPN Deportes Radio.

Another busy week begins on July 25, when Seattle meets the Colorado Rapids at home. The CONCACAF Champions League play-in series opens July 28 against El Salvador’s Metapan on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.

For tickets to Sounders FC home matches, call 1-877-MLS-GOAL or visit www.SoundersFC.com.

Upcoming Competition Schedule (All times Pacific)

Thursday, July 15, 5 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

Sunday, July 25, 7:30 p.m. – Colorado Rapids, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle

Wednesday, July 28, 7 p.m. – Metapan, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle (CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round)

Saturday, July 31, 7 p.m. – at San Jose Earthquakes, Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Tuesday, August 3, 7 p.m. – at Metapan, Estadio Cuscatlan, San Salvador, El Salvador (CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round)

Nkufo to Meet Teammates on Tuesday in D.C.

Blaise Nkufo will meet his new Sounders FC teammates in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Nkufo will be arriving from the Netherlands. The supporters of FC Twente honored him on Sunday, unveiling a statue outside De Grolsch Veste, the team’s home stadium.

Nkufo, the Swiss National Team striker, is eligible to be added to the active roster on Thursday. He signed with Sounders FC on March 4, and then completed the season in Holland by leading Twente to the Eredivisie title. Nkufo started all three group stage matches for Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In seven seasons for Twente, Nkufo scored a club record 114 goals in league play.

Fresh Faced Foursome

Sigi Schmid made four changes in the starting XI against FC Dallas, including three in midfield, where the four players averaged just over 21 years of age. There were two MLS rookies and one sophomore. The elder member of the quartet at age 23, Nathan Sturgis got his third start of the season and first since May 22. Michael Seamon (21) and Miguel Montano (19) earned their first starts in MLS, with Seamon earning an assist on the lone goal. Steve Zakuani (22) held down the left wing as he has in 15 of the 16 matches. Altogether, there were six starters and two substitutes ages 25 and under in the first XI. None of the outfield players were over 29.

Montero on the Mark

Fredy Montero, the 22-year-old Colombian forward, started the second half of the season just as he did the first, by scoring a goal. Montero headed home a cross from James Riley in the 14th minute against FC Dallas. It was his sixth goal of the year, tying him for fifth in MLS, and he has 18 goals in 43 career appearances for Sounders FC. Montero’s six assists is tied for fourth in the league.

Montero has scored in each of his three previous games against D.C. United, including the Open Cup Final. Four of his strikes this year have come against teams from the East, beginning with a goal on opening night versus Philadelphia.

Montero has either scored (5) or assisted (4) on nine of the last 11 goals scored by Sounders FC, dating back to April 22.

Answers on the Road

Although Sounders FC has lost three in a row away since winning at New York, 1-0, on May 15, it has solved issues on the road before. In 2009 it ended a three-game winless run by prevailing 2-0 at L.A. Another three-game winless stretch ensued only to be solved with a 2-1 win at D.C., and its final three-game win skein at the end of the regular season began with an unlikely 1-0 win at Columbus, snapping the Crew’s record home unbeaten streak.

Reinforcements on the Way

The arrival of Blaise Nkufo and the return of several key players from injury should help solve Seattle’s struggles. Forward Nate Jaqua, last year’s No. 2 scorer, has played in the past three matches after missing the first 13 with an abdominal injury. He scored three times in Open Cup games against Portland and L.A. to earn a starting spot against FC Dallas last week.

Osvaldo Alonso also returned to action against Dallas following a seven-game absence due to a strained quadriceps. Brad Evans has missed the past three games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee on June 22. Evans is expected to return to full training before the end of July.

Increase the Pressure

Since blanking New England for its last win, 3-0, on June 5, Sounders FC has allowed three goals in three consecutive MLS fixtures, ending last Sunday when it held Dallas to one. Sigi Schmid has said that one answer would be to increase pressure on the opponents upfield. In the last three games, Philadelphia, L.A. and Dallas were able to move forward into shooting range. The 12 shots on goal by Union and the seven by the Galaxy rank second and third, respectively, on the opponent list. The 17 total shots by Dallas ties an opponent record for most shots in a game, including 12 when playing a man up in the second half. The 11 corners taken by the Galaxy are second only to the 12 by Real Salt Lake last season. Of the six games in which Seattle has yielded more than two goals, four came in the first half of this season. In 2009 Sounders FC shared the top goals-against average in MLS at 0.97.

The Injury Factor

Seattle has yet to put its projected first XI on the pitch in 2010. Injuries have sidelined key players such as Nate Jaqua (the first 13 matches), Osvaldo Alonso (seven games), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (the past six) and Brad Evans (three). Michael Fucito has been lost to a knee injury since scoring the winner versus Kansas City on April 17.

Only four players have appeared in each of the 16 matches. Kasey Keller is the only player to start each fixture and he is the leader in minutes (1395). Defender James Riley tops all outfield players (1338). Already Sigi Schmid has used 26 different players in MLS matches, compared to 22 in all of the inaugural season.

Celtic Tickets on Sale

Sunday’s summer friendly with Celtic will attract the season’s largest crowd to date. It will be Seattle’s second friendly and, along with the Boca Juniors friendly, is part of the 18-match season-ticket holder package. A third match will be announced soon. Tickets are available at www.SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, the Qwest Field Box Office, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Heroes Fundraising Gala

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. Sounders FC broadcaster Arlo White will serve as master of ceremonies. Tickets are available at WSYSA.com.

Tickets Now Available for CONCACAF Match

Tickets are also on sale 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, with the Sounders FC traveling to San 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.

CONCACAF Announces Opening Dates for Group Stage

Pairings and schedules have been announced for the first two dates in the Champions League group stage. If the Sounders FC advances from its preliminary round series with Metapan of El Salvador, it will visit either Marathon of Honduras or Tauro of Panama on August 19. Marathon and Tauro meet in the preliminary round. Seattle’s first home date in the group stage would be August 25 against Mexico’s Monterrey.

The remainder of the group stage schedule will be announced following completion of the preliminary round.

Open Cup Pairings

Sounders FC will host Chivas USA in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal round on September 1 at Starfire Sports Stadium. The winner advances to the Cup Final, to be played on October 5.

The Columbus Crew awaits the winner of the D.C. United-Harrisburg City Islanders quarterfinal on July 21. The Crew will either visit United on September 1 or host Harrisburg City on August 31.

MLS Target: 45 Points

Sigi Schmid predicts that it will require 45 points for an MLS side to breathe easy about securing a playoff position. With only 16 points to date, that means Sounders FC must average more than two points per match over the final 14 matches to reach Schmid’s safety zone. In the league’s 14 seasons to date, only one club with 45 or more points (Kansas City in 2005) has missed the cut and only four teams with 40 or more points have been eliminated (including D.C. United and Colorado last season).

In 2009, Real Salt Lake qualified for the eighth and final postseason spot with 40 points (it totaled 20 points after 16 games) and went on to win MLS Cup. New York had 20 points in its first 16 games of 2008. The Red Bulls went to earn a place in MLS Cup.

Return of the Bhoys

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.

Celtic’s first Seattle stop was at the Kingdome in 1981 as a participant in the Trans-Atlantic Challenge Cup. The NASL Sounders won, 2-1, on a pair of goals by Jeff Bourne. Brian Schmetzer, now the top assistant coach for Sounders FC, appeared as a substitute. Charlie Nicholas scored for the Celtic side which also featured Packie Bonner in goal and Roy Aitken in midfield.

The Bhoys returned in 2003 to face Manchester United, falling 4-0, and again in 2004, losing 4-2 to Chelsea. The first date attracted a then-stadium record crowd of 66,722.

About Celtic

Neil Lennon, current Celtic manager, started in both Seattle friendlies in 2003 and 2004. Aiden McGeady is the only remaining Celtic player who played in Seattle in 2004.

Three members of the Celtic travel roster recently saw action in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Georgios Samaras played in all three group stage matches for Greece. Cha Du Ri and Ki Sung Yeung represented South Korea. Samaras scored 10 goals in league play last season for Celtic and McGeady added nine, plus 14 assists. Starting keeper Artur Boruc has over 200 appearances for Celtic and was Poland’s starter at the Euro 2008. One American is on the roster. Goalkeeper Dominic Cervi, 24, was chosen by Chicago in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, but did not sign with the Fire. Cervi played college soccer for Tulsa.

Celtic’s three-match summer tour of North America begins Wednesday in Philadelphia, against Union at PPL Park. It faces Manchester United at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Friday.

Celtic Travel Roster

Goalkeepers – Artur Boruc, Dominic Cervi, Lukasz Zaluska

Defenders – Andreas Hinkel, Glenn Loovens, Jos Hooiveld, Darren O’Dea, Mark Wilson, Paul Caddis, Milan Misun, Charles Mulgrew, Cha Du Ri, Thomas Rogne

Midfielders – Scott Brown, Marc Crosas, Shaun Maloney, Patrick McCourt, Aiden McGeady, Simon Ferry, James Forrest, Ki Sung Yueng

Forwards – Marc Fortune, Georgios Samaras, Morten Rasmussen, Benjamin Hutchison, Paul McGowan

Head Coach – Neil Lennon

Keller at RFK

RFK Stadium continues to hold some good karma for Kasey Keller. In nine career starts at the stadium he remains unbeaten (7-0-2). He is 2-0-0 for Sounders FC, allowing two goals. In seven starts for the U.S. National Team in Washington, Keller was unbeaten (5-0-2) while yielding only one goal. The opposition was formidable. Included in those matches was a 1-0 shutout of Argentina in 1999 and a record 4-0 victory over Mexico in 1995. Keller’s last USMNT game at RFK was in 2004, a 6-0 romp over Panama in World Cup qualifying.

Keller is coming off some strong performances since the World Cup break. He made a season-high nine saves at Philadelphia on June 27, stopped two Portland shots in a penalty shootout in the third round of the Open Cup on June 30 and came up with spectacular stops on Brek Shea and David Ferreira of FC Dallas in the second half of Sunday’s match.

Mileage Report

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 Washington, D.C. is 4,658 miles.

SUM Cup Schedule Set for Sounders FC U-17

The Sounders FC boys travel to Houston and San Diego later this month to compete in the fourth annual SUM Under-17 Cup and Surf Cup, respectively.

All 16 Major League Soccer teams will be represented and competing for the SUM Cup 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 Sounders FC is in the Boys U16 Super division of the Surf Cup. On July 31, it faces the Portuguese Athletic Tigres at 9:20 a.m. PT and LAFC at 2:40 p.m. PT. Its final group game is on August 1 against Chula Vista Rangers at 12 noon. The Surf Cup quarterfinals follow that afternoon, with the semifinals and final on August 2.

Sounders FC Youth Development Director Darren Sawatzky will join Sounders FC Academy Manager/Head Coach Dick McCormick and his staff of Bill Crook and Sean Henderson on the trips.

Registration Opens Wednesday for Beach Blast

The second annual Sounders FC Soccer Beach Blast Tournament, presented by Super Supplements, is set for August 22 at Alki Beach. Registration opens on Wednesday at www.SoundersFC.com. Registration is $100 per team and $10 of that will benefit Washington Youth Soccer.

The 3-on-3 tournament will be played on sand at Alki, located in West Seattle. Space is limited to the first 48 team entries (24 male and 24 female). Each team is allowed up to five players and all participants must be 18-years-old.

Among the Leaders

Sounders FC leads the league in corner kicks (94) and fouls suffered (202). Seattle is second in shots and offside, 181 and 57, respectively. Sounders FC also ranks third in fouls committed with 175 and fourth in assists with 23. Fredy Montero is top five in MLS with six goals (T0inh) and six assists (T-3rd). Steve Zakuani has five goals (T0inh). Montero has taken 42 shots (T-3rd) with 15 shots on goal (T0inh). Montero and Freddie Ljungberg are tied for second with 35 fouls suffered. Ljungberg leads the league with 75 corner kicks. Two Seattle veterans are among the top five in minutes played. Kasey Keller leads the league with 1395 minutes played in net and defender James Riley is sixth amongst all players with 1338 minutes played.

Cup History in Seattle

A Seattle team has now advanced to the Open Cup semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Sounders FC won the title in 2009 and the USL-1 Sounders reached that stage in both 2007 (against FC Dallas) and 2008 (Charleston). Prior to the Sounders FC victory last year, the only Seattle club to qualify for an Open Cup final was the amateur Mitre Eagles in 1987. The Eagles fell to Club Espana of Washington, D.C., on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

While the NASL Sounders did not participate in the Open Cup, the A-League Sounders competed on an annual basis, beginning in 1995. They lost to El Paso in the semifinals that season, and also advanced to the final four in 1996.

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 D.C. United

After losing its first five matches of the season, D.C. United is unbeaten in its last two (0-0-2) and have lost just once in its past six matches (2-1-3). United is tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference with 12 points. The club ranks last in MLS scoring offense with 11 goals (0.73 per game) and is 14th in the league with 25 goals allowed (1.67 per game). It held the East’s second-best club, the New York Red Bulls, scoreless in a road draw last Saturday, earning just the second shutout this season.

D.C. United Notables

Chris Pontius has scored three goals and assisted on another in his three career MLS meetings with Seattle, including two strikes in the last meeting between the two clubs. There have been six different goal scorers, four of whom have scored multiple goals (Danny Allsopp, Adam Cristman, Andy Najar and Chris Pontius). Najar, 17, is a native of Honduras and came up through United’s youth academy system. All-time leading scorer in MLS, Jaime Moreno (132 goals), has scored just once this season. Defender Dejan Jakovic has started every match since returning from a broken clavicle injury earlier in the season. Head coach Curt Onalfo is yet to lose or draw with Sounders FC as he was the first visiting coach to win at Qwest Field when his Kansas City Wizards won 1-0 (4/11/09) and he coach D.C. United to a road victory on June 10.

Seattle/D.C United Connections

Midfielder Stephen King plays host to his former team as he was traded to D.C. on April 30. King has started six of seven appearances, recording an assist at San Jose on July 3. D.C. United forward Marc Burch played seven games for Sigi Schmid’s Columbus Crew in 2006.

Last Meeting: Seattle Sounders FC 2, D.C. United 3 – 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 2-0-0 at Seattle, having guided Kansas City to a victory in 2009.

Previous Sounders FC-D.C. United Meetings

Seattle Sounders FC 3, D.C. United 3 – June 17, 2009 – Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field

A late own goal foiled Seattle’s bid for victory in a high-scoring, nationally-televised draw with the Eastern Conference leaders. D.C. United rookie Chris Pontius opened the scoring in the 34th minute, converting a long cross by midfielder Santino Quaranta. Sounders FC stormed back to take the lead before the break. Osvaldo Alonso sent the crowd into a frenzy when he cracked a 30-yard blast past the right upright to make it 1-1. Just before halftime Nate Jaqua gave Sounders FC the lead, 2-1, knocking his shot off United’s Marc Burch. Seattle’s lead grew to 3-1 on Fredy Montero’s sixth goal of the season in the 57th minute. The visitors began their comeback when Christian Gomez scored in the 67th minute, slotting a shot far post past Kasey Keller. The equalizer for D.C. United came in the 87th minute of the match from an own goal by defender Tyrone Marshall, who deflected a Pontius cross into the net. It was the first time the Sounders FC allowed three goals in a match. Seattle finished with a 17-10 advantage in shots.

Seattle Sounders FC 2, D.C. United 1 – September 12, 2009 – RFK Stadium

Fredy Montero’s game-winning goal in the 84th minute moved Seattle back into third in the West as the Sounders FC returned to the site of their triumphant display in the U.S. Open Cup Final 10 days earlier. Steve Zakuani scored the game’s first goal in the 5th minute. Peter Vagenas freed Zakuani with a long pass out of his own end, dissecting the D.C. United defense and leaving the left winger one-on-one with defender Bryan Namoff. Zakuani shot through the open legs of onrushing goalkeeper Josh Wicks, for his fourth goal of the season. D.C. United answered back with a goal in the 55th minute. A tackle by Sounders FC defender James Riley sent the ball to the center of the box where United’s Rodney Wallace knocked it past Kasey Keller. Riley responded by setting up Montero’s winner. He slid a ball into the right side of the box, where Montero quickly turned and crushed his shot high into the near post corner for his 11th goal of the season. It was his third goal in as many games against United for the season. All-Star midfielder Freddie Ljungberg missed the match due to yellow card accumulation and defender Tyrone Marshall sat out most of the game as a result of injury.

Seattle Sounders FC 2, D.C. United 1 – September 2, 2009 – RFK Stadium

Scoring twice in the final 23 minutes, the Sounders FC became the second MLS expansion franchise to win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title. Although aggressive on the attack from the outset, Seattle was unable to break through until the 67th minute. Steve Zakuani found Freddie Ljungberg going into the box. Wicks stopped Ljungberg’s toe-poke but Montero scrambled in the rebound for a 1-0 lead. Roger Levesque put the visitors up 2-0 in the 86th minute after Sebastien Le Toux beat his defender and hit a low ball through across the goalmouth. Levesque slid the ball home at the far post. D.C. United’s lone goal came in the 89th minute when a free kick was deflected off the wall to Clyde Simms, who converted into the open net.

Seattle Sounders FC 1, FC Dallas 1 – July 11, 2010 – Recap

Fredy Montero’s early header was equalized on a late David Ferreira goal as the Sounders FC drew with FC Dallas in front of 36,091, the 25th consecutive sellout crowd on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.

The draw ended a Seattle three-game losing skid and extended the visitors’ unbeaten streak to five matches.

Seattle took an early lead in the 14th minute. James Riley took a ball from Michael Seamon on the right wing and sent a cross into the box where Montero headed it inside the near post from 10 yards for his team-high sixth goal of the season.

It marked the second assist for Riley and the first career assist for Seamon, who also earned his first MLS start.

Playing a man up, Dallas tied in the 87th minute on a goal by Ferreira. He took a return ball from Heath Pearce and volleyed a shot off the far post and into the back of the net.

Sounders FC has never lost at home when it scores first (8-0-3).

Seattle played shorthanded for the final 34 minutes after Miguel Montano was issued a red card in the 56th minute following a scuffle with Brek Shea of FC Dallas. Shea drew a yellow card for an initial foul on Montano.

It was the first red card for Sounders FC this season, and the first in 25 matches, dating back 25 matches (8/15/09 at L.A. Galaxy).

Kasey Keller made five saves, including a diving, one-handed save on Ferreira’s header in the 71st minute.

FC Dallas finished with a 17-7 advantage in shots, taking 11 of those after the red card. The visitors had an 8-3 edge in corner kicks.

At age 19 years and 16 days, Montano became the youngest player ever to start for Seattle in league play.

Nate Jaqua made his first start of the season and Osvaldo Alonso returned to action as a reserve, making his first appearance since suffering a quadriceps strain against the L.A. Galaxy on May 8.

Seattle Sounders FC 2, L.A. Galaxy 0 – July 7, 2010 – U.S. Open Cup Recap

Nate Jaqua scored two second-half goals as the Seattle Sounders FC defeated the L.A. Galaxy, 2-0, in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match in front of a capacity crowd at Starfire Sports Complex.

Sounders FC is unbeaten in eight consecutive cup-related games, dating back to the 2009 Open Cup play-in matches. Seattle is 5-0-0 in tournament games played at Starfire.

After a scoreless first half, Jaqua struck in the 50th minute. Miguel Montano took a ball from Michael Seamon and blasted two shots, the later bouncing off the crossbar. With keeper Josh Saunders off his line, Jaqua headed the rebound into an open net. Just 12 minutes later, Montano crossed the ball to the far-post where Jaqua headed in his second goal of the match. Jaqua has scored in three straight Open Cup appearances, including a goal in the 89th minute of last season’s semifinal match against Houston as well as the goal in the July 1 third-round match at Portland. The Timbers extended Seattle to penalty kicks after the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Terry Boss got his first start in goal for Sounders FC and made two saves to earn the shutout.Seattle remains undefeated in its Electricity kit, improving to 2-0-1 (1-0-1 in competitive play).

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)

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

36,091 July 11, 2010 Seattle v FC Dallas

36,066 April 3, 2010 Seattle v New York

*46,011 November 22, 2009 MLS Cup (Real Salt Lake v L.A.)

Training List

The following players are currently training with Sounders FC: Goalkeepers (3): Terry Boss, Chris Eylander*, Kasey Keller; Defenders (9): Taylor Graham, Leo Gonzalez, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyrone Marshall, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Zach Scott, Tyson Wahl. 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.

*invitee

Throw-ins

Miguel Montano is the first Seattle player in 25 games to be ejected. As a result he will miss the trip to D.C. United…Sounders FC is now 0-3-5 in matches when it finishes shorthanded…Against FC Dallas was the first match in which Seattle has not started either Tyrone Marshall or Jhon Kennedy Hurtado in central defense. Hurtado has been out since sustaining a torn ACL on May 22. Before that injury, Marshall and Hurtado had been paired together in 29 of the franchise’s first 40 matches…Kasey Keller has been nominated for an ESPY as Best MLS Player. The 18th annual ESPYS will be televised live on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN…Leo Gonzalez saw his fourth yellow card versus Dallas. If Gonzalez goes three matches without accumulating another that total will be rolled back to three. Otherwise, both he and Marshall are one caution from receiving a one-game suspension…Seattle remains winless (0-4-3) against MLS Western Conference opposition. It was 6-4-5 in 2009…Sounders FC is now 2-0-1 when wearing its Electricity kit. Seattle wore the bright yellow strip for its 3-0 friendly win over Boca Juniors and each of its Open Cup matches.

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