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

August 11, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Sounders FC weekly release of team news and notes

Riding the crest of a swelling wave, the Seattle Sounders FC storms into Southern California on Saturday night for the sole purpose of getting its first win against Chivas USA. The Rave Green is unbeaten in eight matches over all competitions during the past month and has won four straight in MLS. Saturday’s game begins at 8 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Since its last trip to the HDC on Independence Day, Sounders FC is a team reborn. It has leveled its league record (8-8-4, 28 points) and advanced up the standings and through to the next round of both CONCACAF Champions League and U.S. Open Cup. Seattle has reached its cruising speed and there is reason to believe there is still a couple of gears to go.

This will be the first of three meetings with Chivas USA (5-10-3, 18 points). The two sides are also pitted in an Open Cup semifinal on September 1 at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Wash., and play the return MLS match in Seattle’s final home match on October 15.

Sounders FC was unable to score a goal in three games against the Goats in 2009. Chivas USA won both home dates and earned a scoreless draw on its only trip to the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, the last meeting on September 19.

Seattle has started the second half of the league schedule by accumulating 13 of a possible 15 points. A squad shakeup following the 3-1 loss to the L.A. Galaxy on July 4 has reignited a passion to attack swiftly and defend with conviction. Sounders FC has allowed only two goals in the last five games and its offense has not been silenced in nine.

Last week Seattle beat the Houston Dynamo, 2-0, at home and, earlier, clinched a berth in the Champions League group stage by drawing 1-1 away at El Salvador’s Isidro Metapan,

Chivas USA has begun to turn its year around, going 2-1-2 in its last five. A four-game unbeaten run was snapped by a 2-1 road loss at Toronto FC last week. It had lost six in a row early on in the first season under new coach Martin Vasquez. In 2009 Chivas USA made the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fourth straight year.

With more matches played than any other MLS club, Sounders FC has an upcoming league bye week that coincides with the start of Champions League group play. Seattle travels to Honduras to face Marathon on August 19 then hosts Mexico’s Monterrey on August 25. League play resumes at home on August 28 against the Chicago Fire.

The Chivas USA game will be broadcast on KONG 6/16 and KIRO 97.3 FM with Arlo White’s play call. THIS-TV and Homero 1210 AM will also carry Saturday’s game.

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

Upcoming Competition Schedule (All times Pacific)

Sunday, August 14, 7:30 p.m. – at Chivas USA, The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.

Thursday, August 19, 7 p.m. – at CD Marathon, Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula Honduras(CONCACAF Champions League, Group Stage/Round One)

Wednesday, August 25, 7 p.m. – CF Monterrey, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle (CONCACAF Champions League, Group Stage/Round Two)

Saturday, August 28, 7:30 p.m. – Chicago Fire, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle

Wednesday, September 1, 7:30 p.m. – Chivas USA, Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila, Wash. (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal)

Saturday, September 4, 4:30 p.m. – at New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.

Fans: Opportunity Knocks

Sounders FC fans have filled the stadium to capacity for 27 consecutive MLS matches. Now comes the opportunity to see the Rave Green play some of the best teams in the region as CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) group games begin. Seattle will host three matches: August 25 versus Mexico’s CF Monterrey, September 29 versus CD Marathon of Honduras and October 19 versus CD Saprissa of Costa Rica.

Tickets are on sale now for all CCL home fixtures and $50 per seat deposits are being taken for new 2011 season ticket memberships. For tickets to Sounders FC home matches, call 1-877-MLS-GOAL or visit www.SoundersFC.com

Montero’s The Man

Fredy Montero was the MLS July Player of the Month, and he’s looking for more. Montero started August with a bang, scoring the game-winner against Houston and assisting on a second score in the waning minutes.

Montero has contributed either a goal or an assist in a league-best nine consecutive matches, dating back to June 5. He has scored (7) or assisted (7) on 14 of the last 17 goals scored by Sounders FC, dating back to April 22 and has been directly involved in each of the team’s eight goals during the current five-game league unbeaten run.

Each of his last three goals have been game-winners. Montero snapped a scoreless tie against the Dynamo in the 64th minute, chesting a long Kasey Keller punt, wheeling on his defender and firing a low drive from 15 yards. His clever pass played in Alvaro Fernandez for a second goal in the 88th minute and gave him a team record-tying nine assists. Montero ended July with decisive goals against San Jose and Metapan.

He is tied for fourth in goals (8) and is second in MLS assists (9) and one of two players to rank among top 10 in both categories.

Battling Back

It’s been a battle for Sounders FC to reach .500 for the first time since May 15. There have been new lineup combinations, absences of key players due to injury and a demand for greater focus on the attack and unflinching commitment on defense. All the while, Sigi Schmid has used the cup competitions as a springboard for success and a means to keep his squad sharp yet refreshed.

The four-game win streak is the longest for a single season; there was also four successive victories carrying over from the end of 2009 to the first match of 2010. The back-to-back shutouts of San Jose and Houston are the first in 47 games and the defense’s current scoreless streak of 261 minutes is the longest since the 350 to open the inaugural year. Prior to the five-game unbeaten run, the defense had allowed nine goals in a three-game losing streak.

With 10 regular season games remaining, Sounders FC is only one point off the pace of its inaugural season, when it had 29 (7-5-8) at this stage.

Fernandez: Two Goals in Not Yet 90 Minutes

He is yet to start his first match and already Alvaro Fernandez has made a profound impact. Fernandez has come off the bench in his first three appearances since signing July 29, seeing a total of 68 minutes. In that time he has scored two goals, helping Seattle win twice and clinch a spot in the next round of the Champions League.

Fernandez scored the vital away goal to tie the second leg at Metapan, and he added an insurance goal to put down Houston at home last week. Those were his first two shots for Sounders FC.

Pulling the Strings

Sigi Schmid is seemingly making all the right moves. Only two goals have been allowed in 467 minutes of pairing Patrick Ianni and Jeff Parke in central defense since July 7. Tyrone Marshall has come on strong in relief of Parke and in two CCL starts, teaming with Ianni and Taylor Graham to allow just one goal in 253 minutes.

Lineup changes and substitutions have paid immediate dividends. Miguel Montano got the timely start against L.A. in the July 7 Open Cup semifinal and set-up both goals. Sanna Nyassi came on in the 88th minute at D.C. and promptly set in motion the game-winning goal. Fredy Montero scored the game-winner in the Metapan first leg only seconds after taking the pitch. Nine minutes into his substitute stint in the second leg, Alvaro Fernandez scored the equalizer. One minute after being inserted against Houston, Nate Jaqua won possession and his pass began the sequence for another Fernandez goal.

Focus on Frame

Although there was, at times, no shortage of shots being attempted by Sounders FC early in the season, the aim of late has been much more deadly. During the last five games 57 percent of the shots (30 of 53) have been on frame. In the first 15 games it was 34 percent.

Seattle’s nine shots on goal against the Dynamo was one shy of the team record. Scoring leader Fredy Montero has attempted 22 shots in the last five games, with 11 on target, plus another, a header off the crossbar at San Jose. Sounders FC is 6-2-0 this season when it has five or more shots on goal (it was 7-0-5 in 2009).

Newest Fernandez Meets Original

Alvaro Fernandez was introduced to fellow countryman and original Sounders player Pepe Fernandez after a training session last week. Pepe played for the NASL Sounders in 1974-75 and again, indoors, in 1981-82. He was named the league MVP while with Kansas City in 1969. A native of Montevideo, Pepe arrived for training wearing the unmistakable sky blue of the Uruguay National Team. Alvaro represented Uruguay during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, playing in four matches for the semifinalists. He scored in his home debut against the Houston Dynamo.

Keller: The Perfect Game?

From his standpoint, it may have been the perfect game. Not only did Kasey Keller notch his seventh shutout against Houston but he also earned his first MLS assist on Fredy Montero’s game-winning goal. However, Keller may take the greatest satisfaction from the fact that the Dynamo did not force him to make a single save and was limited to six shots altogether. It marked the first time an opponent has been held without a single attempt on goal.

Keller said it was his first assist since playing in Germany for Borussia Moenchengladbach. He leads all MLS players in minutes played with 1755 and his eight wins is fourth. The two-time MLS All-Star has yet to miss a league match due to injury and has played in 45 straight.

Every Minute Men

The minutes are mounting at a rapid rate with twice weekly matches of late. Right back James Riley has played each minute (450) of the last five MLS and Champions League matches played since July 25, as has keeper Kasey Keller. In fact, Riley has not come out of a league match since April 25. Also logging lots of minutes during the five matches in a fortnight were Osvaldo Alonso (436), Sanna Nyassi (409), Fredy Montero (390), Leo Gonzalez (360), Patrick Ianni (360), Nathan Sturgis (344) and Steve Zakuani (324).

The Kids Are Alright

While some youth movements can take a considerable amount of time to pay off, in the case of Sounders FC it has had an immediate impact. During the five-game unbeaten run the regular starting midfield quartet-Sanna Nyassi (21), Osvaldo Alonso (24), Nathan Sturgis (23) and Steve Zakuani (22)-averages 22.5 years of age. Nyassi has three assists in the last four MLS games and Zakuani has three goals and an assist in the past seven.

Rookie Michael Seamon (22) has seen action in nine of the last 11 matches in all competitions, starting five. He had one assist versus FC Dallas. Nineteen-year-old Miguel Montano had two assists against the L.A. Galaxy in the Open Cup.

The other members of the 25-and-under set have made their mark. Fredy Montero (23) is on a scoring tear. Uruguayan international Alvaro Fernandez (24) has scored twice in three relief appearances and center back Patrick Ianni (25) has helped the back four become stout again.

Meet Sounders FC Player Tyrone Marshall

Seattle Sounders FC fans can meet star defender Tyrone Marshall at Seattle Bank’s Wallingford Banking Center, including the opportunity to get his autograph. Also, fans who open a Sounders FC-themed Full 90 Checking account get a complementary autographed mini soccer ball as well.

Marshall’s appearance is scheduled for 5:00-6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 11 at Seattle Bank’s banking center at 1227 North Allen Place. This special fan event is coordinated through Seattle Bank as the Official Bank of Seattle Sounders FC.

At the player appearance, fans will be introduced to Seattle Bank’s new Full 90 Checking account. Designed in partnership with Sounders FC exclusively for die-hard fans, it offers:

– Co-branded Seattle Sounders FC Debit Rewards Card, the first ever Sounders FC-branded card

– Rewards points for every purchase over $4.00, redeemable for merchandise, travel, activities, giftcards, entertainment and more

– Seattle Sounders FC-logo checkbook cover

– No-fee ATM access nationwide at KeyBank™ and MoneyPass® network ATMs

– Free online banking with free bill pay and check imaging

– Free Concierge Desk services to assist you in switching accounts to Seattle Bank, setting up bill pay, direct deposit and automatic payments

– Overdraft protection available

– Unlimited check writing

– No monthly minimum balance* or service charge; minimum opening balance of $100

A native of Florida, Marshall was named Seattle’s Defender of the Year after starting 25 of 26 matches and notching two goals and two assists in 2009. He is also among the top 10 active players, with 280 games played.

Seattle Bank became the Official Bank of Seattle Sounders FC and the Seattle Seahawks in March, creating a partnership that brings together a local community bank and our local sports teams in winning ways for both fans and consumers.

About Seattle Bank

Locally owned and managed, Seattle Bank offers a full suite of financial solutions for personal and business banking clients. With over $550 million in assets and five banking centers in the Puget Sound area, its goal is to become Seattle’s premiere community bank, continuing its long-standing commitment to being an independent, local and entrepreneurial provider of first-class financial services with an interactive and neighborly approach to service. Seattle Bank specializes in helping family-owned businesses compete and grow and in helping consumers with all their financial needs. Affiliated companies include Seattle Escrow and Seattle Mortgage Company, one of the state’s oldest independent mortgage banking firms. Visit us at www.seattlebank.com.

It’s About to Get Busy

While the next 10 days are relatively calm, soon the Sounders FC will be swirling in activity. By qualifying for the Champions League group stage, Seattle will now play at least 17 times before the MLS regular season ends in late October. Playoffs, a friendly and a berth in the Open Cup final could potentially push that total to 23 matches between now and November 21, the date of MLS Cup 2010.

Sounders FC played a total of 40 competitive and friendly matches in 2009. It is guaranteed to play a minimum of 44 this season.

Champions League: Welcome to Group C

Sounders FC is among four MLS teams competing in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. The top two teams in each four-team group advances to the knockout rounds in early 2011. Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew and Toronto FC are the other MLS teams in contention. The L.A. Galaxy was eliminated in the preliminary round last week.

Group C consists of Seattle, Monterrey (Mexico), Saprissa (Costa Rica) and Marathon (Honduras). Sounders FC eliminated Isidro Metapan (El Salvador), 2-1 on aggregate, in the preliminary round while Marathon defeated Tauro (Panama), 4-2 on aggregate.

In group play each team plays one another twice, home and away. All Sounders FC games in Champions League will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel. The schedule for Group C (home teams listed first):

Round One

Tuesday, August 17

Monterrey (MEX) vs. Saprissa (CRC), 7 p.m. PT

Thursday, August 19

Marathon (HON) vs. or Seattle Sounders FC (USA), 7 p.m. PT

Round Two

Wednesday, August 25

Seattle Sounders FC (USA) vs. Monterrey (MEX), 7 p.m. PT

Thursday, August 26

Saprissa (CRC) vs. Marathon (HON), 7 p.m. PT

Round Three

Tuesday, September 14

Monterrey (MEX) vs. Marathon (HON), 5 p.m. PT

Saprissa (CRC) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA), 7 p.m. PT

Round Four

Wednesday, September 22

Monterrey (MEX) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA), 5 p.m. PT

Marathon (HON) vs. Saprissa (CRC), 7 p.m. PT

Round Five

Tuesday, September 28

Saprissa (CRC) vs. Monterrey (MEX), 7 p.m. PT

Wednesday, September 29

Seattle Sounders FC (USA) vs. Marathon (HON), 7 p.m. PT

Round Six

Tuesday, October 19

Seattle Sounders FC (USA) vs. Saprissa (CRC), 7 p.m. PT

Wednesday, October 20

Marathon (HON) vs. Monterrey (MEX), 7 p.m. PT

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 MLS matches), Osvaldo Alonso (seven games), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (the past 10) and Brad Evans (the last seven). Mike Fucito has been lost to a knee injury since scoring the winner versus Kansas City on April 17.

Only three players have appeared in each of the 20 matches. Kasey Keller is the only player to start each fixture and he is the leader in minutes (1755). Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani are the only outfield players with 20 appearances. Defender James Riley tops all outfield players in minutes (1698). Already Sigi Schmid has used 28 different players in MLS matches, compared to 22 in all of the inaugural season.

Second Time Around

During the first season, Sounders FC earned victories over 11 of the other 14 MLS teams. The exceptions were Chicago (0-0-2), Chivas USA (0-2-1) and New England (0-2-0). Seattle solved the Revs with a 3-0 home win on June 5 this season. It has yet to face Chivas USA or Chicago.

Sounders FC Corporate Cup Outcomes

The Seattle Sounders FC Corporate Cup concluded on August 8 at Qwest Field with Starbucks winning the men’s division and the Sounders FC staff claiming the coed crown. The Sounders FC Corporate Cup brings together local businesses for some soccer and corporate networking while raising funds for America SCORES Seattle.

America SCORES Seattle’s after school program empowers students using soccer, writing, creative expression and service learning. With teamwork as the unifying value, SCORES inspires over 200 youth in six Seattle area elementary schools to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students and become agents of change in their communities.

Starbucks edged Microsoft in the men’s final and the Sounders FC defeated Microsoft, 4-0, in the coed final. Soccer West took third place in the coed division with a 2-0 win over Expedia.

Second Leg Recap – Seattle Sounders FC 1 at AD Isidro Metapan 1- August 2, 2010

A second-half header by Alvaro Fernandez earned the Sounders FC a 1-1 draw against AD Isidro Metapan in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary series before 3,500 spectators at San Salvador’s Estadio Cuscatlan.

With the result, Sounders FC advances to the group stage on aggregate goals, 2-1. Seattle defeated Metapan, 1-0, in the first leg on July 28 at Qwest Field.

Fernandez scored the equalizer in the 73rd minute, just nine minutes after entering the match. James Riley crossed a ball into the box from the right side and Fernandez snapped a header inside the near post.

It was the first goal by Fernandez for Sounders FC and it came on his first shot. He made his debut on July 31 in San Jose after signing with the club on July 29.

Metapan took the early lead with a goal in the 17th minute. Rodolfo Suarez chipped a cross from the end line that found Anel Canalez in the box. Canalez’s header from 6 yards snuck inside the far post.

In the 53rd minute, Roger Levesque knocked in the rebound of Osvaldo Alonso’s long-range shot but the goal was disallowed due to offside.

Seattle held the advantage in shots 9-7 (7-5 on goal), including six second-half shots on target. Kasey Keller made four saves with three before halftime.

Past Champions

Several members of the Sounders FC have tasted success in the Champions League predecessor, the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Ezra Hendrickson, now an assistant coach, scored two goals in the 2000 Final as the L.A. Galaxy defeated Olimpia of Honduras, 3-2, at the Coliseum. Peter Vagenas was a teammate of Hendrickson and Sigi Schmid was the Galaxy coach.

From Here to There

Sounders FC qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League by winning the 2009 Lamar hunt U.S. Open Cup. The other U.S. berths went to Real Salt Lake (MLS Cup champion), Columbus Crew (MLS Supporters’ Shield winner) and L.A. Galaxy (MLS Cup runner-up). The former two receive automatic passage to the group stage. Toronto FC is Canada’s representative.

The CONCACAF Champions League is open to the leading teams from federations throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Pachuca of Mexico won the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League. It finished tied, 2-2, on aggregate with Cruz Azul, but prevailed on away goals. Pachuca will represent CONCACAF in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in December. Barcelona is the reigning world champion.

The Champions League consists of three stages: preliminary rounds, group play and knockout rounds. Group play will begin in mid-August and conclude in late October. Two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals, to be played in February 2011. The quarterfinals, semifinals and final are two-match series with the winner determined by total aggregate goals. Away goals will be used as the tiebreaker. If teams remain tied after extra time in the second game, the outcome will be decided by penalty kicks.

Champions League Experience

Altogether, seven current Sounders FC players have seen action in Champions League or Champions Cup competition previously in their career: Patrick Ianni (HOU 2007-08), Nate Jaqua (CHI 2004, HOU 2008), Tyrone Marshall (LA 2003, 2006), Pat Noonan (NE 2003, 2006), James Riley (NE 2006), Nathan Sturgis (LA 2006) and Peter Vagenas (LA 2000, 2003, 2006). Sigi Schmid coached the L.A. Galaxy during tournament appearances in 1999, 2000 and 2003.

CONCACAF Heavyweights

Mexico’s Cruz Azuland Club America each have five CONCACAF championships. Defending champion Pachuca has won four times, all since 2002. Mexican clubs have dominated the tournament, winning 27 titles since it began in 1962. The only two U.S. clubs to win were D.C. United (1998) and the L.A. Galaxy (2000). No MLS side has advanced to the final since 2000 and none have won a quarterfinal since 2008.

Registration Open for Beach Blast

The men’s and women’s fields are fast filling up for the second annual Sounders FC Soccer Beach Blast Tournament, presented by Super Supplements. The tournament is set for August 22 at Alki Beach and registration is now open 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 (123), fouls suffered (242) and is second in assists (31). Seattle is fourth in shots (227) and shots on goal (89). It is third in offside (66). Sounders FC also ranks third in fouls committed with 220. Fredy Montero is tied for fourth in MLS with eight goals and is second with nine assists. Steve Zakuani has added seven goals (T-7th). Montero has taken 60 shots (3rd) with 24 shots on goal (T-4th). Montero is third with 41 fouls suffered. Two Seattle veterans are among the top five in minutes played. Kasey Keller leads the league with 1755 minutes played and defender James Riley is fourth with 1698 minutes played.

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. In the other semifinal, the Columbus Crew will visit D.C. United on September 1.

Open 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.

About Chivas USA

Chivas USA sits in last place in the Western Conference with 18 points after as many games. However, with the addition of several new players, the Red-and-White’s are starting to get results. Following a six-game stretch where it lost every match, Chivas USA went on a four-game unbeaten run, drawing with Philadelphia and Real Salt Lake and defeating Kansas City and Columbus. The unbeaten streak came to an end last weekend when the team lost at Toronto, 2-1. The goal scorer for Chivas USA was newcomer Giancarlo Maldonado. It came in the second-half on a penalty kick, marking his first MLS goal. After a busy July when the club played eight matches in four weeks (including three SuperLiga fixtures and the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal), it has only played once in the month of August. Saturday will be the first meeting between the two clubs since a scoreless draw last September at Qwest Field. The teams will meet again on September 1 for the U.S. Open Cup semifinal.

Goats Notables

Justin Braun leads the offense with seven goals (T-7th in MLS) and three assists. He has taken 42 shots, which also ranks 7th in the league. Jesus Padilla has added four goals. Newly signed midfielder Rodolfo Espinoza has started all three appearances with one assist and rookie Ben Zemanski has started 11 of 15 matches, recording one assist.Forward Alan Gordon joined the team in training this week after being traded from the Galaxy. Keeper Dan Kennedy replaced Zach Thornton in net on July 10 and has since started all four MLS matches. He has allowed eight goals for a goals against average of 1.21.

Three Chivas USA players will play for their National Teams in midweek friendlies before rejoining the squad for the Saturday matchup with Seattle. Jonathan Bornstein is with the United States for its match against Brazil on Tuesday night at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Giancarlo Maldonado will travel to Panama to play for his native Venezuela and Michael Umana will join Costa Rica for its match at Paraguay.

Previous Sounders FC-Chivas USA Meetings

Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 2 – April 18, 2009 – The Home Depot Center

In a matchup for the best record in the Western Conference, the Sounders FC could not convert a number of early chances into goals and then paid for some costly mistakes. An own goal by James Riley in the first half was coupled with a late breakthrough by Chukwudi Chijindu in the 84th minute, sending Seattle to a second straight defeat. The hosts capitalized on their first opportunity. Jonathan Bornstein controlled the ball near the left post and crossed it into the crease. Riley inadvertently redirected it past keeper Chris Eylander in the 32nd minute. With the Sounders FC pressing forward in the final minutes, Bojan Stepanovic’s cross put Chijindu clear to beat Eylander in the 84th. Sounders FC finished with an 11-6 edge in shots. Eylander made his first MLS start in place of Kasey Keller, serving a suspension for his red card one week earlier.

Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 1 – June 6, 2009 – The Home Depot Center

Seattle’s streak of six games without a loss, which included five consecutive ties, ended by being blanked by the Western Conference leaders. Despite controlling possession for much of the game and finishing with superior totals in almost every offensive category, Seattle suffered its first loss and first shutout since losing at Chivas on April 18. Chivas USA got the sole goal of the game from Eduardo Lillingston late in the first half. In the 38th minute, from the left side of the box Maykel Galindo found Paulo Nagamura, whose low near-post shot was parried by Kasey Keller. But the ball fell to Lillingston and he knocked it straight in for the score. Perhaps the best Seattle opportunity was in the 68th minute when Freddie Ljungberg’s free kick from the right set up a Jhon Kennedy Hurtado header in front of the net that skipped over the bar. Seattle finished the game down a man for the fifth time as Jaqua was sent off in the 88th minute with his second yellow card.

Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 0 – September 19, 2009 – Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field

Held scoreless for the fourth consecutive match at home, Seattle was forced to settle for a draw as Zach Thornton made six saves for his third shutout against Sounders FC. Nine of Seattle’s 12 shots came in the second half, beginning with a Steve Zakuani header which was stopped by a leaping Thornton. It was a physical match with eight cards issued, including a red card to Chivas USA’s Marcelona Saragosa in the 71st minute of the match. Seattle outshot Chivas USA 12-4 and also finished with a 10-3 advantage in corner kicks.

About Marathon (Courtesy of CONCACAF)

Club: Club Deportivo Marathon

Founded: 1925

City: San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Stadium: Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano

Manager: Nicolas Suazo

Qualification method: Honduran Apertura 2009 winner

Previous Champions League appearances: 2 (2008-09, 2009-10)

Honors: Honduran league – 8 (1979-80, 1985-86, 2001-02 Clausura, 2002-03 Clausura, 2004-05 Apertura, 2007-08 Apertura, 2008-09 Apertura, 2009-10 Apertura); Honduran Cup – 1 (1994)

Official Web site: http://www.cdmarathon.com

CD Marathon, the second-most popular club team in Honduras, is making its third appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League. In the 2008-09 tournament, Marathon topped its group, but was upset by the Puerto Rico Islanders in the quarterfinals, 3-1. Last year, Nicolas Suazo’s squad finished second in Group B and was ousted by Mexican side Pumas UNAM 6-3 on aggregate in the knockout stage. Marathon plays its matches at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, a 40,000-seat stadium in San Pedro Sula which also doubles as the preferred home of the Honduran national team. El Monstruo Verde (the Green Monster), the only Honduran team to beat Argentine great River Plate, has won eight Liga National de Futbol Honduras titles and finished second 11 times, often to rival Olimpia. Forward Walter Martinez played for Honduras in the 2010 World Cup and Marathon is also led by defender Erick Norales, who converted the final penalty kick to book Honduras’ spot in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Last MLS Match: Seattle Sounders FC 2, Houston Dynamo 0 – August 8, 2010 – Recap

Fredy Montero and Alvaro Fernandez scored second-half goals as the Sounders FC won its fourth match in a row before 36,111 on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.

Montero, who scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 64th minute, has tallied a goal or an assist in a league-best nine consecutive matches. The newly signed Uruguayan international, Fernandez scored his first league goal in his home debut.

Sounders FC (8-8-4, 28 points) are in fourth place in the Western Conference. It is undefeated in five MLS games, including a four-game win streak. Seattle is 6-0-2 in its last eight matches in all competitions.

Montero scored his eighth goal of the season after a long punt by Kasey Keller. With a Dynamo defender draped on his back, Montero chested the ball down, spun to his left and cracked a low 15-yard drive past Tally Hall to the far post.Keller’s assist was the first point for a Sounders FC goalkeeper.

Seattle added a second goal in the 88th minute. From near midfield Montero played Fernandez through with a ball toward the top of the box. Fernandez, who had come on as a substitute in the 69th minute, pushed the ball forward and then slid a right-footed shot past Hall.

It was Fernandez’s first goal in MLS for Sounders FC. He also scored a goal at Metapan as he secured Seattle a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw.

Sounders FC held a commanding advantage in shots 14-6 (9-0 on goal) and 10-5 on corner kicks. Keller was not required to make a save in securing his seventh shutout. The team has allowed only one goal during the win streak.

Seattle/Chivas USA Connections

Former USL-1 Sounder Maykel Galindo joined FC Tampa Bay of the USSF Division 2 Professional League on loan from Chivas USA this past week. Zach Scott, Taylor Graham and Roger Levesque were all teammates of Galindo while in Seattle. The team was coached by Brian Schmetzer. Steve Zakuani played alongside Chivas USA rookie Ben Zemanski at the University of Akron.

Sounders FC Top Attendances

66,848        August 5, 2009      Seattle v Barcelona (friendly)

65,289 July 18, 2009 Seattle v Chelsea (friendly)

45,631 July 18, 2010 Seattle v Celtic (friendly)

40,122 May 26, 2010 Seattle v Boca Juniors (friendly)

36,344 June 5, 2010 Seattle v New England

36,333 July 25, 2010 Seattle v Colorado

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

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

Sounders FC Roster

The following players are currently training with Sounders FC: Goalkeepers (2): Terry Boss, 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, Alvaro Fernandez, Sanna Nyassi, Michael Seamon, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas; Forwards (8): Mike Fucito, Blaise Nkufo, Nate Jaqua, Roger Levesque, Miguel Montano, Fredy Montero, Pat Noonan, Steve Zakuani.

Throw-ins

Nate Jaqua was named U.S. Open Cup Player of the Quarterfinal Round by TheCup.us. Jaqua scored both goals in the 2-0 win over the L.A. Galaxy…Sanna Nyassi will miss the Marathon match after picking up a yellow card at Metapan. He had also drawn a caution in the first leg of the series…Seattle was issued a season-high four yellow cards versus the Dynamo…Fredy Montero has nine assists, which ties Freddie Ljungberg’s season record set last season. Montero has 20 career goals in 47 MLS appearances and 22 in all competitions with Seattle…The all-competition unbeaten string of eight matches (6-0-2) equals two others achieved last year: 3-0-5 from April 25-May 30 and 6-0-2 from June 13-July 21…Sounders FC reached double digits in corner kicks for the fifth time this season with 10 versus the Dynamo. Seattle’s total of 123 leads MLS…Former German National Team striker and coach Jurgen Klinsmann attended training and last Sunday’s match. Klinsmann, a friend of Sigi Schmid, is vacationing in the Pacific Northwest…Sounders FC is now 8-1-3 this season and 18-2-5 all-time when scoring first…The Rave Green is now 3-0-1 in its last three meetings with Western Conference opponents after starting off 0-4-3.

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