Sounders FC (5-4-5) vs. Chicago Fire (1-4-6)
Saturday, June 4, 5:30 p.m., Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
TV/radio broadcast: KONG-TV 6/16, 97.3 KIRO FM (Arlo White, Erin Mayovsky)
Spanish radio: La Gran D 99.3 FM
Referee: Terry Vaughn
KEY CHICAGO PLAYERS
F Diego Chaves — Tied for the team-high in goals (4), but the other guy (Marco Pappa) is out on international duty with Guatemala. I think I saw something, surely from OptaJack, that’s he’s hit the post/crossbar a league-high three times this season. Also had the lone goal at Qwest Field in April.
M Logan Pause — The team captain is the leader as a holding midfielder. Veteran presence will be key to disrupt Seattle’s diamond, should that formation stick. I’m not sure what changes to expect from Chicago with the coaching change, but it’s pretty safe to assume he’ll be involved.
F Cristian Nazarit — The 20-year-old got high marks from Sigi Schmid after his debut last week against San Jose. Had three shots, including one that hit both posts before getting finished by Dominic Oduro. The young Colombian could develop into a game-changer.
Brad Evans vs. Gonzalo Segares — The Sounders FC midfielder remains Seattle’s leading scorer and has probably put in his best minutes on the right side. He’ll face an experienced defender over there, and one that has the ability to push forward. Should be an interesting one to watch.
Fredy Montero vs. Cory Gibbs — I’m guessing the Colombian comes back into the lineup for this one. The message is surely received by now. Not sure who his partner will be, but I’m guessing he gets matched up defensively with the veteran center back quite a bit. Advantage Montero?
Old Fire vs. New Fire — Lots of warning from Sounders FC camp this week that the coaching change will spark the players. Many expect Chicago guys to be motivated and energetic to try and secure a place and express the new coach. Will that translate into an inspired performance?
Tough one to call, but Chicago made a coaching change for a reason: nine games winless. The Fire haven’t performed disastrously, but they haven’t performed well either. Seattle will come in with confidence after winning in Salt Lake last week, too.
I think both sides will be willing to open up, hopefully resulting in an entertaining game of chances on either end. I think that suits the road team well, and I see the Sounders coming out on top.
Might not be without a scare or two, just like last week.
Sounders FC 2, Chicago Fire 1
SEA: Montero (Evans) 30′
SEA: Fucito (Rosales) 62′
CHI: Chaves (pk) 79′
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What do you think? Foresee three more points?