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August 12, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA, preview and prediction

Chivas USA Logo.jpgSounders FC (11-5-8) vs. Chivas USA (7-8-8)

Saturday, August 13, 1 p.m., CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.

TV/radio: KING-TV 5, KIRO-FM 97.3 (Arlo White, Erin Mayovsky)

Spanish TV/radio: THIS-TV/KOMO 4.2 (Comcast ch. 114), La Gran D 99.3 FM

Referee: Kevin Stott

KEY CHIVAS USA PLAYERS

M Nick Labrocca — Perhaps the biggest surprise in the league with his seven goals (tied for a team-high) and four assists. Came into the season with just five career goals, so he has to be a little surprised as well. Earned an MLS All-Star nod and has carried the Goats to playoff contention.

D Heath Pearce — No one has played more minutes for Robin Fraser’s side this season. Another MLS All-Star and was a part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad that faced Mexico on Wednesday. Extremely versatile as he’s able to play a couple positions in midfield and a couple positions in defense (though he’s played mainly as a center back).

GK Dan Kennedy — Perhaps the unsung hero of the season and the Sounders are no stranger to big performances from opposing goalkeepers. His 1.05 goals-against average, seven shutouts and 72-percent save percentage all stack up very nicely league-wide.

KEY MATCH-UPS

Justin Braun vs. Jeff Parke — Chivas’ young forward has been scoring in bunches this season, with his seven goals scored in three games (including two hat-tricks). Parke is seemingly the sure thing in the back for the Sounders these days with Hurtado an injury doubt and Ianni and Scott exchanging time.

Mauro Rosales vs. Ante Jazic — Both guys lead their respective team in assists. Seattle’s star has seven this season and has been wreaking havoc on defenses. Jazic is an offensive-minded left back that has six. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic works on the flank.

Comeback spirit vs. form — The Sounders have incredibly come back to win a handful of games recently, but that means they’ve gone down early in games… a lot. While it’s an incredible stat, Seattle surely can’t keep up a 4-5-3 record when conceding first. Whatever happened to winning the conventional way?

PREDICTION

I’m not sure I see Chivas coming into CenturyLink Field and winning. The visitors have overachieved this season, but I think that evens out a bit on Saturday. Confidence will also be hampered by fatigue, as Robin Fraser’s side is facing the third game in a five-game road trip. And who knows? Maybe skipping out on Freddy Adu will have a negative impact.

After a couple sluggish performances in Kansas City, I think the duo of Montero and Fernandez leads the way for Seattle. One more win for the Sounders would equal all of 2009’s total.

Sounders FC 3, Chivas USA 1

SEA: Montero (Alonso) 34′

SEA: Fernandez (Rosales) 51′

CHV: Braun (Zemanski) 63′

SEA: Montero (Friberg) 85′

* * *

What do you think? Three more points for the guys in green?

COMMENTS

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