Time for the second game in a stretch of eight days as ex-Sounder Freddie Ljungberg and the Chicago Fire come to Qwest Field for a big MLS match against Seattle. Lots of playoff implications in this one and I expect a hard-fought, entertaining game.
Despite some recent struggles in the CONCACAF Champions League, Sounders FC still boasts a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) in league play — starting coincidentally (or not, depending on your opinion) with the Ljungberg trade.
Even considering a 4-3 loss to Houston, Chicago has been a significantly improved team of late, perhaps due in part to the playmaker acquired from Seattle. Ljungberg already has three assists for the Fire, which equals his output in rave green this season.
One final note: Seattle has held league opponents scoreless for 351 minutes. Can they keep it up?
Seattle Sounders FC starting lineup: GK Kasey Keller, D James Riley, D Jeff Parke, D Patrick Ianni, D Tyson Wahl, M Osvaldo Alonso, M Nathan Sturgis, M Sanna Nyassi, M Alvaro Fernandez, F Blaise Nkufo, F Fredy Montero
Seattle Sounders FC reserves: GK Terry Boss, D Zach Scott, D Tyrone Marshall, M Mike Seamon, M Steve Zakuani, F/M Roger Levesque, F Nate Jaqua
Chicago Fire starting lineup: GK Sean Johnson, D Steven Kinney, D C.J. Brown, D Gonzalo Segares, D Krzysztof Krol, M Patrick Nyarko, M Logan Pause, M John Thorrington, M Baggio Husidic, F Collins John, F Freddie Ljungberg
Chicago Fire reserves: GK Andrew Dykstra, D Mike Banner, M Marco Pappa, F Brian McBride, F Calen Carr, D Deris Umanzor, D Kwame Watson-Siriboe