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October 1, 2011 at 8:01 AM

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

New England Revolution Logo.jpgSounders FC (15-6-9) vs. N.E. Revolution (5-13-12)

Saturday, Oct. 1, 4:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.

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

Spanish radio: La Gran D 99.3 FM

Referee: Jorge Gonzalez

KEY REVOLUTION PLAYERS

M Shalrie Joseph — It’s almost cliche to mention him first, but he’s had another solid year in an otherwise forgettable season. Leads the team with eight goals and his 2,500 minutes are second only to Kevin Alston (2,594). Big, strong, skilled, talented, four MLS Best XI awards — it’s too bad we never got to see him make that move to Europe.

D A.J. Soares — Someone to consider for MLS Rookie of the Year, though if the team wasn’t in last place in the Eastern Conference it’d help him out a bit. Was listed a doubtful earlier in the week with an adductor strain, but is probable now. Would certainly like to get some bragging rights back after losing to old pal Servando Carrasco earlier in the year.

F Milton Caraglio — The 22-year-old Argentine joined the Revolution as a midseason DP signing. He netted a pair of goals in late August against the New York Red Bulls, but that’s been the extent of his scoring in eight games. Has had assists in two of the last three games.

KEY MATCHUPS

Benny Feilhaber vs. Carrasco — I’m guessing Osvaldo Alonso gets some much-deserved rest on Saturday and the aforementioned Cal product will be called upon for Seattle. Facing a supremely skilled midfielder with U.S. men’s national team experience will be a good test. Feilhaber’s got one goal and one assist in the last six games. Due or slumping?

Ryan Guy vs. Tyson Wahl — The speedy Revolution winger scored twice last week (albeit very late in a 3-2 loss to Chicago), so I’m guessing he gets the start on the right. Also, the Sounders are comfortable with their two left backs, so I’ll say the rotation continues. Wahl hasn’t had a goal/assist since June. Time for some more set piece magic?

Travel vs. depth — Seattle nearly has it’s entire squad in New England to train this weekend and I think there will be quite a bit of shuffling in the lineup. The Sounders’ reserves have earned some quality results this season, enough I think to give the first team a rest before Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final.

PREDICTION

Not a very exciting one, but the points count just the same. Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid has kept his sights on the league-leading L.A. Galaxy, but even if the Supporters’ Shield is out of reach, finishing second is important as well. There are home-field advantage implications in the playoffs as well as CONCACAF Champions League insurance.

I don’t think it’ll be pretty — the turf, the weather forecast — but New England’s been decently competitive at home (4-4-6) this season. I’m thinking Seattle comes from behind to earn a point in its last trip to the East.

Sounders FC 1, New England Revolution 1

NE — Zack Schilawski (Feilhaber) 12′

SEA — Roger Levesque (Erik Friberg) 59′

* * *

What do you think? How do you see this one playing out?

COMMENTS

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