Over an eight-day span beginning this week the Seattle Sounders FC will play three home matches of great significance in separate competitions. First up for the Rave Green is Mexico’s CF Monterrey on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. PT and the opportunity to take its first points in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. Then comes the resumption of MLS play against the Chicago Fire on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field.
The home stand concludes on September 1 with a U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Wash., against Chivas USA. First kick is 7:30 p.m.
Sounders FC aims to re-establish its mid-summer momentum against Monterrey after having a nine-game unbeaten run across all competitions snapped by CD Marathon, 2-1, in Honduras last week. Seattle is 10-9-7 overall and fifth in the Western Conference at 8-8-5 (29 points).
Monterrey won its Group C opener at home, 1-0, over CD Saprissa of Costa Rica. In the other group game this week Saprissa hosts Marathon on Thursday night.
Tickets for the Monterrey match are available by calling 1-877-MLS-GOAL or visiting www.SoundersFC.com.
Undefeated in its last six league matches, Sounders FC meets a fellow postseason contender and former teammate when Chicago (6-6-6, 24 points) arrives on the weekend. It marks the first return of Freddie Ljungberg to the Emerald City since being traded to the Fire on July 30. Ljungberg was a two-time MLS All-Star and the club’s assists leader in 2009.
Chicago’s three-game unbeaten streak ended with a 4-3 loss at Houston last week. The first two meetings with Sounders FC ended in draws, with three ejections and just two goals. The sides meet again on September 25 at Toyota Park.
Saturday’s game will be the 28th consecutive sellout for a league match. Seattle has won its last three matches played at Qwest, including a Champions League preliminary round game. Sounders FC is returning to its league schedule following a bye week and a 0-0 draw at Chivas USA on August 14.
Wednesday’s match with Monterey will be televised nationally on Fox Soccer Channel and available via live streaming on CONCACAF.com. KONG 6/16 and THIS-TV will carry local broadcasts on Saturday. Both matches can be heard on KIRO 97.3 FM with Arlo White calling the action.
Seattle travels to New England to play the Revolution on September 4 at 4:30 p.m. PT. Champions League play resumes September 14 against Saprissa in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Upcoming Competition Schedule (All times Pacific)
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.
Thursday, September 9, 8 p.m. – Real Salt Lake, Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field, Seattle
Good to be Home
This is the longest competitive home stand since July of 2009, when there were four straight MLS and Open Cup games played at Qwest and Starfire, with Sounders FC going 3-0-1. In its last five competitive home fixtures this season Seattle is 4-0-1, conceding only two goals since July 7.
Been There, Done That
Seattle returned home on August 20 after its second trip to Central America (via California) in 16 days. The flight to San Pedro Sula, Honduras was 2,953 miles each way and came two days after flights back and forth to the Los Angeles area. The month began with Sounders FC traveling to San Salvador via San Jose, a combined distance of 6,332 miles round trip.
Levesque: As Seen on TV
Having played virtually his entire seven-year professional career in Seattle, Roger Levesque scored a number of goals in front of the hometown fans. However, each of his six goals while wearing the Rave Green of Sounders FC has come on the road. Levesque scored Seattle’s only goal at Marathon. His only MLS strike this season was the game-winner at D.C. United on July 15. In 2009 Levesque’s goals came at Portland (Open Cup), D.C. United (Open Cup), Columbus and Kansas City.
Ljungberg: A Look Back
Freddie Ljungberg’s season and a half in Seattle was highlighted by being voted to the MLS First XI and two All-Star teams. Ljungberg, the club’s first Designated Player signing, sparked the run to the playoffs in 2009, assisting on the final four goals of the regular season and finishing with a league-best five game-winning assists. His last of 37 appearances for Sounders FC was on July 4 at L.A. He totaled two goals and 12 assists with the club. Ljungberg has three assists in his first four appearances for Chicago. His only MLS ejection came against the Fire on July 25 last season.
Over the Hump
Seattle will be trying to go over .500 in MLS play for the first time since April 22. Beginning April 25 in Toronto, Sounders FC collected only seven points in 10 games. The turnaround began on July 11 versus FC Dallas when, despite finishing shorthanded, the Rave Green earned a 1-1 draw. A late goal at D.C. United on July 15 ignited a record four-game win streak. The key this season has been scoring first. Seattle is 8-1-3 when doing so. Seven of the eight MLS wins (and nine of 10 overall) have been by shutout. Going into the week Sounders FC is tied for the eighth and final playoff slot with San Jose.
Although it surrendered two goals (including a penalty) at Marathon, the Sounders FC defense has been in solid form for the past seven weeks. It allowed only three goals during the nine-game unbeaten string. Seattle has clean sheets in its last three MLS games and the current opponent scoreless streak of 351 minutes is now the longest in the team’s existence, surpassing the 350 minutes to begin the inaugural season. It is the fifth-longest scoreless run in MLS this season. Seattle has risen to ninth (1.19 average) in scoring defense after ending the first half of the season at 13th (1.53).
Keller at 50 (Appearances)
Kasey Keller marked his 50th league appearance with a shutout at Chivas USA, his fourth in the last six games and seventh on the year. He has 18 total shutouts and owns a GAA of 1.02 for his career. Keller’s current run of 351 scoreless minutes between the pipes is 106 away from his club record of 457, set last season. He is No. 5 among all MLS players and second amongst keepers in minutes played with 1845 and his eight wins are sixth. The two-time MLS All-Star has yet to miss a league match due to injury and has played in 46 straight.
Ahead of the Pack
Entering the week Seattle has played three more matches than Chicago’s league low of 18. By the end of the regular season, Sounders FC will have played at least 41 competitive matches. It played 38, including MLS Cup playoffs, in 2009. The only other MLS club competing in three competitions is Columbus, which is also active in the CCL and Open Cup.
Still Among the Hottest
The nine-game undefeated streak in all competitions was the longest for Sounders FC and the six games without a loss in MLS equals two such runs in 2009. Only FC Dallas’ 11-game unbeaten run is longer and Seattle’s record of 5-3-2 in the last 10 games is third-best behind only Dallas (7-0-4) and Real Salt Lake (5-1-4). The Rave Green is seeking its third straight league home win against Chicago.
From the outset, Sounders FC has professed to be a club with ambitions to win trophies and compete on a world stage. The silverware haul began with the U.S. Open Cup in 2009 and that victory earned Seattle a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League. A byproduct of playing for championships is more matches, especially in the final nine weeks of the regular season. There will be two matches scheduled for at least six of those weeks.
In addition to the nine remaining regular season games, Sounders FC will play five CCL group stage fixtures, plus at least one more Open Cup game, the September 1 semifinal with Chivas USA. Playoffs, a friendly and a berth in the Open Cup final could potentially push that total to 21 matches between now and November 21, the date of MLS Cup 2010.
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 11) and Brad Evans (the last eight). Mike Fucito has been out with 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 (1845). Fredy Montero is the only outfield player with 21 appearances. Defender James Riley tops all outfield players in minutes (1788) and ranks fourth in MLS. Already Sigi Schmid has used 28 different players in MLS matches, compared to 22 in all of the inaugural season.
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
Although his streak of nine consecutive games contributing a goal or an assist was snapped at Chivas USA, Fredy Montero perhaps began another prolific run in Honduras. Montero’s steal and cross set-up the lone Seattle goal against Marathon. Montero has scored (7) or assisted (7) on 14 of the last 17 goals scored by Sounders FC in MLS games, dating back to April 22. In addition, he scored the game-winner in the first leg Champions League preliminary win over Metapan. Montero is tied for fifthin goals (8) and second in MLS assists (9) and one of two players to rank among top 10 in both categories.He has 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions.
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 (630) of the last seven 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 more than 500 minutes during the seven matches since July 25 were Osvaldo Alonso (616), Fredy Montero (566), Leo Gonzalez (540) and Nathan Sturgis (524).
The Kids Are Alright
During the six-game MLS unbeaten run the regular starting midfield quartet has consisted of players ages 24 and under. Sanna Nyassi (21), Osvaldo Alonso (24), Nathan Sturgis (23) and Alvaro Fernandez (24) teamed up at Chivas USA. Fernandez was making his first start for Sounders FC since signing on July 29. He replaced Steve Zakuani (22), who missed his first match of the regular season.
Rookie Michael Seamon (22) has seen action in 10 of the last 13 matches in all competitions, starting five. Nineteen-year-old Miguel Montano had two assists against the L.A. Galaxy in the Open Cup and started against FC Dallas on July 11. Montano made his first MLS appearance since then at Chivas USA, replacing Fernandez in the 67th minute.
The other members of the 25-and-under set have made their mark. Fredy Montero (23) is on a scoring tear and center back Patrick Ianni (25) has helped the back four become stout again.
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 advance 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):
Tuesday, August 17
Monterrey (MEX) 1 vs. Saprissa (CRC) 0
Thursday, August 19
Marathon (HON) 2 vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA) 1
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
Tuesday, September 14
Monterrey (MEX) vs. Marathon (HON), 5 p.m. PT
Saprissa (CRC) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA), 7 p.m. PT
Wednesday, September 22
Monterrey (MEX) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA), 5 p.m. PT
Marathon (HON) vs. Saprissa (CRC), 7 p.m. PT
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
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
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.
Among the Leaders
Sounders FC leads the league in corner kicks (128), fouls suffered (250) and is third in assists (30). Seattle is seventh in shots (237) and sixth in shots on goal (93). It is fourth in offside (70). Sounders FC also ranks fifth in fouls committed with 231. Fredy Montero is tied for fifth in MLS with eight goals and second with nine assists. Steve Zakuani has added seven goals (T-9th). Montero has taken 64 shots (4th) with 26 on goal (4th). Montero is tied for fourth with 42 fouls suffered. Kasey Keller is fifth with 1845 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 Monterrey (Courtesy of CONCACAF)
Club: Club de Futbol Monterrey
City: Monterrey, Mexico
Stadium: Estadio Tecnologico
Manager: Victor Manuel Vucetich
Qualification method: Mexican Apertura winner
Previous Champions League appearances: None
Honors: Mexico league – 3 (1986, 2003, 2009); Copa Mexico – 1 (1991); CONCACAF Cup Winners Cup – 1 (1993)
Official Web site: http://www.terra.com.mx/rayados
Monterrey’s Champions League debut featured a goal by Aldo De Negris midway through the first half of its home victory over Saprissa on August 17. In its Mexican Primera Division match on August 21 at Pachuca, Monterrey struck twice in nine minutes to take the lead but eventually settled for a 2-2 draw. The Rayados, undefeated (3-0-2) in the first five games of the Apertura, qualified by winning the 2009 Apertura title, beating Cruz Azul 6-4 on aggregate. Chilean Humberto Suazo, who has since joined Spain’s Real Zaragoza on loan, helped lead the Rayados to their third major Mexican league crown. Although Suazo is gone, Monterrey is home to Mexican international Luis Perez, longtime former Mexican center back Duilo Davino and Jesus Arellano. Monterrey plays at 32,000-seat Estadio Tecnologico, the second oldest stadium in Mexico after Estadio Azul. Plans are in the works for the club to move to Estadio de Futbol Monterrey in Guadalupe, a 50,000-seat stadium pattered after Wembley Stadium in England. The team is owned by FEMSA, the largest beverage company in Mexico and Mexican Victor Manuel Vucetich is the manager, the team’s 25th since 1962.
Last CCL Match: Seattle Sounders FC 1, CD Marathon 2- August 19, 2010 – Recap
Despite taking an early lead and pressing the action throughout the second half, the Sounders FC dropped its opening match of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula. A disputed penalty call shortly before intermission proved to be the difference.
The loss ended Seattle’s unbeaten streak of nine matches (6-0-3) over all competitions.
Seattle opened up the scoring in the 17th minute. Fredy Montero dispossessed a defender in the right corner and served a low cross toward the middle of the box. Blaise Nkufo touched the ball through to Roger Levesque who beat keeper Shane Orio with a low, right-footed strike from 15 yards.
It was Levesque’s first goal since his game-winner in the 89th minute at D.C. United on July 18 and his second goal in all competitions this season.Nkufo recorded his first point for Sounders FC.
Marathon equalized in the 27th minute. Orvin Paz took a ball from Randy Diamond and touched it once before he beat Kasey Keller with a low shot to the near post.
Marathon added another tally to take the lead in the 45th on a penalty kick by Nicolas Cardozo. Tyrone Marshall had been called for a foul against Randy Diamond on an attempted clearance.
Sounders FC threatened to equalize several times in the second half. Nathan Sturgis’ corner in the 78th minute found a darting Michael Seamon near the 6-yard box but his header hit the crossbar. Nate Jaqua shot high from close range two minutes later and Montero nearly scored in the 89th minute when he latched on to a loose ball in the box. He wheeled and struck a bouncing ball but it rolled just wide of the post.
It was the first loss for Sounders FC in a non-MLS competitive match (8-1-2). It played without wingers Steve Zakuani (injured) and Sanna Nyassi (suspended).
Last MLS Match: Seattle Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 0 – August 14, 2010 – Recap
Kasey Keller earned his eighth shutout of the season as the Seattle Sounders FC extended its unbeaten streak to six league matches with a draw at The Home Depot Center.
Keller made three saves, including a stop on Alan Gordon’s shot from the top of the box in the 66th minute as well as Paulo Nagamura’s strike in the 68th minute.Sounders FC defense has conceded one goal in the last 450 minutes of MLS play, dating back to July 15.
Despite 10 shots (four on goal) for Seattle, the match resulted in a scoreless draw for the first time this season. It has yet to score in four meetings with Chivas USA and keeper Zach Thornton.
Sanna Nyassi nearly found the net in the 62nd minute. Blaise Nkufo served a cross to the far post where Nyassi sent a bouncing header off the right upright. Fredy Montero tested Thornton with a free kick in the 70th minute and Osvaldo Alonso hit a 25-yard blast in the 89th minute that Thornton tipped around the right post.
Montero had collided with Thornton in the box as he leapt to meet a Nathan Sturgis cross in the 38th minute. After a six-minute delay, Montero remained in the game with a thigh contusion.
Seattle’s Leo Gonzalez and Mariano Trujillo of Chivas USA were both sent off with red cards in second-half stoppage time.
Alvaro Fernandez made his first start for Sounders FC, going 67 minutes before being replaced by Miguel Montano.
Chicago (6-6-6, 24 points) is fourth in the Eastern Conference after 18 games. The Fire has as many wins on the road as it does at home (3) and has captured 11 of the possible 23 road points. After just two wins through its first nine matches, Chicago made key midseason personnel changes and has since earned points in six of the last nine matches. In its last match, the Fire battled back from a 3-1 deficit but still lost, 4-3, to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.
Mexican international striker Nery Castillo and former Sounder Freddie Ljungberg joined the Fire midseason. Castillo has started two of three appearances in the midfield and Ljungberg has recorded three assists in four appearances with the club, including two assists in last Saturday’s loss at Houston. Brian McBride returned to the club after an injury shortened season last year. McBride has four goals and two assists in 17 appearances. Chicago purchased Marco Pappa during the offseason. Pappa has helped spark the Fire’s offense with seven goals and four assists in 18 appearances. Defender Gonzalo Segares has started both appearances since returning to the Fire. Another player returned to action on Saturday to help steady the Fire’s attack. Patrick Nyarko suffered a concussion on July 3 and missed six of the last seven games. He entered the match on Saturday as a second-half substitute and helped his team climb back from a two-goal deficit. The Ghanaian midfielder/forward has seven assists in 15 appearances. Sean Johnson, the 21 year-old goalkeeper, has started the last four games in net. He has allowed seven goals for a goals against average of 1.75.
Previous Sounders FC-Chicago Fire Meetings
Sounders FC 1, Chicago Fire 1 – May 2, 2009 – Toyota Park
Tyrone Marshall’s goal in the 74th minute earned the shorthanded Sounders FC a draw with the unbeaten Fire. Seattle played the final 42 minutes with 10 men following a red card to top scorer Fredy Montero. Montero was ejected in the 48th minute after his elbow struck Gonzalo Segares as the two battled for a header. Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the 68th minute on an 18-yard shot by Marco Pappa, a first-time hit following a pass by Cuauhtemoc Blanco. It was the first goal allowed by Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller after an MLS record 457 scoreless minutes to begin the season. Marshall’s goal, the first in two years by the central defender, came from close range as his outstretched left foot poked home a corner kick from Freddie Ljungberg. It was Ljungberg’s first MLS assist and it was also Seattle’s first goal off a set piece this season. Keller made four saves as Chicago finished with a 15-4 advantage in shots, including 5-1 on goal.
Sounders FC 0, Chicago Fire 0 – July 25, 2009 – Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field
Two red cards issued early in the second half contributed to a scoreless draw which lengthened Seattle’s unbeaten string to six games (3-0-3). Nate Jaqua got on the end of Freddie Ljungberg’s corner in the 2nd minute with the ball hitting the post and Fire keeper Jon Busch pushing out the rebound. Fredy Montero hit the crossbar in the 80th minute and Chicago’s Brandon Prideaux sent a shot off the crossbar with two minutes left on the clock. In the 54th minute Seattle went a man up for the first time during the season as the Fire’s John Thorrington drew his second yellow for a foul against Ljungberg. However, the advantage didn’t last long. Ljungberg was issued two cautions that resulted in an ejection in the 59th minute. It was the first scoreless draw for the Sounders FC.
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)
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.
Anniversaries in Seattle Soccer History
The dates of the two Sounders FC matches this week fall on the 33rd anniversaries of two memorable games of the original NASL Sounders. On August 25, 1977 Seattle earned its first trip to a league championship game, defeating George Best and the Los Angeles Aztecs, 1-0, on a header by Jocky Scott before 56,256 in the Kingdome. Three days later, On August 28, 1977, Seattle played the New York Cosmos in the final competitive match for Brazilian legend Pele. The Cosmos defeated the Sounders, 2-1, before a record crowd of 35,548 at Portland’s Civic Stadium to win Soccer Bowl ’77 and the NASL title
Leo Gonzalez is due to miss Saturday’s match after being ejected from the Chivas USA game…Steve Zakuani’s next MLS appearance will be his 50th…At Marathon rookie midfielder David Estrada saw his first action in a competitive match since July 7, coming on for the final three minutes…Mike Fucito was in uniform at Marathon for the first time since April 17. Fucito came off the Disabled List on August 13…Michael Seamon celebrates his 22nd birthday on August 30…Chivas USA was the first team to hold Sounders FC scoreless since Colorado on May 29…The Rave Green is now 3-0-2 in its last five meetings with Western Conference opponents after starting off 0-4-3. It is 5-4-1 against the East.