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June 17, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Sounders FC vs. Toronto FC, preview and prediction

Toronto FC Logo.jpgSounders FC (5-4-7) vs. Toronto FC (2-5-9)

Saturday, June 18, 4 p.m., BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario

Dual broadcast: KONG-TV 6/16, KIRO 97.3 FM (Arlo White, Erin Mayovsky)

Spanish TV: THIS-TV/KOMO 4.2 (Comcast ch. 114)

Spanish radio: La Gran D 99.3 FM

Referee: Yader Reyes

KEY TORONTO PLAYERS

GK Stefan Frei — The team MVP in my opinion. Has made a league-high 86 saves, perhaps an inflated total due to the huge amount of shots faced. Has allowed 25 goals this season, which is the most in MLS, but the 25-year-old Cal product is still one of the best talents in the league.

F/M Maicon Santos — Became the first non-Canadian to captain the Reds earlier this season. The talented Brazilian has scored a team-leading five goals this season. Versatile with a dangerous shot from distance, expect him to be the focus of the offense if Alan Gordon can’t go.

D Danleigh Borman — Midseason acquisition has a team-high three assists, all of which were earned in the last four games. A dual-threat, he’ll also face a tough defensive assignment on the left side against (most likely) Mauro Rosales.

KEY MATCH-UPS

Fredy Montero vs. Toronto’s CBs — It’s time for Seattle’s DP to get some goals. Understatement? Yeah, but it’s true, and the match-up sets up pretty well for him. Doneil Henry is talented, but young. Ty Harden is a tough, blue-collar UW product that has come in and out of the lineup.

Joao Plata vs. James Riley — If anyone can handle Toronto’s dynamic rookie from Ecuador, it’s the Sounders workhorse right back. Physically the match-up between the 5-foot-3 Plata and the 5-foot-10 Riley is about as close as you’ll get.

Favored Sounders vs. another struggling team — First Seattle had a three-game homestand to earn points and didn’t take advantage. Then the schedule presented Chicago and Vancouver, each with new coaches, but the Sounders managed just two points. Will Saturday be more of the same?

PREDICTION

A lot of talk this week was on a lack of offensive production, especially from the forwards. Without prompting, both Sigi Schmid and Adrian Hanauer pointed out that the best teams in the league are led by defense.

Getting a clean sheet will be key for the visitors, but the Sounders have continued to leak goals this season. You’d like to see the forwards step up as well, and certainly Montero and Mike Fucito are due.

Not sure I’m confident enough to pick a win. Call it another draw.

Sounders FC 1, Toronto FC 1

SEA: Montero (Rosales) 54′

TOR: Santos (Nathan Sturgis) 61′

* * *

Not sure any result would surprise me, but what do you think?

COMMENTS

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