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July 15, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Sounders FC v. D.C. United, preview and prediction post

D.C. United 3-9-3, 7th in Eastern Conference

Head coach: Curt Onalfo, first year

Last week: Earned a 0-0 draw at New York

Last year: 9-8-13, missed playoffs on tiebreaker

KEY D.C. PLAYERS

M Chris Pontius — He’s the guy that played a part in all three goals against Seattle in the 3-2 win at Qwest. Sure, he scored one on a deflection and the other on a mistake by Keller, but this young guy has been a player since he arrived in the league. Might have a USMNT future.

M Andy Najar — One of the top prospects in MLS, the 17-year-old Honduran is a joy to watch. Give Leo Gonzalez trouble at times on the right flank with his pace. Keep an eye on this one, for sure.

M Branko Boskovic/F Pablo Hernandez — Both signings have received their international clearance according to the club, but we’ll see how much they play. I would think they’ll be rushed onto the field for a home debut against a struggling team instead of L.A. or RSL (their next two games).

KEY MATCHUPS

New signings v. New signings — Fans of both teams are eager to see the new guys. I’m sure Sounders fan wouldn’t mind the Blaise Nkufo debut coming thousands of miles away if it results in a win. D.C. also has its share of new international talent, so that certainly provides some intrigue.

Sounders FC forwards Jaqua/Montero v. D.C. centerbacks Jakovic/James — Last year, Seattle could be confident in one goal getting the team a result. With defensive struggles, Jaqua and Montero might be needed to get a couple goals at least to get out of RFK with at least a point.

The more things change the more they stay the same? — Sigi Schmid shuffled the lineup Sunday against Dallas, but the final result had a similar feeling of disappointment. With injuries and suspensions, we’re due to see another new-look Sounders lineup, but how well will it perform?

PREDICTION

I think Seattle is due for a result. Not sure why, call it a hunch or a gut feeling. Heck if Kansas City can go into Columbus and get the win, there’s no reason the Sounders can’t against D.C.

The injection of youth Sunday looked good against Dallas, but Miguel Montano is suspended for the game and Michael Seamon has been nursing an ankle injury. Seattle’s big three on offense will have a moment that changes the game.

Seattle Sounders FC 1, D.C. United 0

SEA: Jaqua (Zakuani, Montero) 40′

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