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June 25, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Sounders FC vs. N.E. Revolution, preview and prediction

New England Revolution Logo.jpgSounders FC (7-4-7) vs. New England Revolution (3-7-6)

Sunday, June 26, 1 p.m., CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.

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

Spanish radio: La Gran D 99.3 FM

Referee: Geoff Gamble

KEY REVOLUTION PLAYERS

M Shalrie Joseph — Not necessarily known for his offensive prowess, but he does lead the team with four goals. I think that has more to do with teammates’ failings (New England has a paltry 8 non-Joseph goals this season as a team). One of the more established central midfielders in league history and has always performed well against Seattle.

M Benny Feilhaber — The U.S. international has been deemed healthy after spraining his ankle and is expected to play. Adds a little flair and skill to the attack. Has a history with Sigi Schmid, so I’m sure he’ll be motivated to play in front of his old coach. A rare game-changer for New England.

D AJ Soares — Defense has actually allowed the third-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference, and it’s led in part by the rookie from Cal. A good friend of Seattle’s Servando Carrasco, Soares has played nearly every minute (out only due to a red card early in the season). He’s also one of the team’s six all-star nominees.

KEY MATCH-UPS

Rajko Lekic vs. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — New England is desperate to find offense and the Danish forward is expected to shoulder a lot of that burden. He has two goals this season in 11 games, which isn’t awful, but he’ll face a tough test in a rested Hurtado. The Colombian might feel like he has something to prove after the red card in Toronto.

Servando Carrasco vs. Joseph/Feilhaber — With Osvaldo Alonso suspended and Brad Evans’ status uncertain, I expect the rookie to get the call in the middle of the field. Has started four games and has looked the part, especially with his defensive skills. I’m not entirely sure what New England’s formation looks like, but both Rev stars figure to roam in the middle often.

Rest vs. form — Seattle has only two days rest before this one, leaving guys little time to recover from lingering knocks. Erik Friberg and Fredy Montero are some others who aren’t quite 100-percent. New England is rested but hasn’t won in six games. Will they snap out of it Sunday?

PREDICTION

It’s hard to know what to expect from the Sounders. There could be a handful of changes, especially since two are forced with the Alonso and Leo Gonzalez suspensions. This is Pat Noonan’s last MLS game before his contract expires, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a last run against his former team. Nate Jaqua?

In my opinion, I think New England might be willing to sit back a little to make it more of a defensive game. The last two MLS games in Seattle have seen 10 goals combined, and I don’t expect anything like that.

In fact I’m not sure I see any…

Sounders FC 0, New England Revolution 0

* * *

What do you think? Is it possible Seattle drops points in this one?

COMMENTS

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