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August 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA, preview and prediction

Chivas USA Logo.jpgSounders FC (11-6-7) vs. Chivas USA (7-9-6)

Saturday, Aug. 25, 7:30 p.m., The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.

TV/radio: KING-5 TV, 97.3 KIRO-FM (Ross Fletcher, Kasey Keller)

Spanish radio: La Gran D 99.3

Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero


GK Dan Kennedy — Has been a standout on a mediocre team for a couple years now. Extremely impressive in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Starfire with five big saves. The 30 year old has a 1.18 goals-against average and a 72 save percentage, ranking him among the league leaders. His shot stopping is sublime, which has saved his team dozens of points over the years.

D James Riley — The former Sounder is the only field player who’s played all 1,980 league minutes this season. Had an assist in the previous meeting between these two teams and we’ll have to see who he’s facing on the left defensively. His two assists and seven shots on the season already match his totals from last year in Seattle.

F Juan Pablo Angel — Will he start? Hard to say. He’s played the last six games but come off the bench in three. Either way, he’s the team leading scorer with four goals and has 72 goals in his fine MLS career. Good in the air and has that veteran savvy of an experienced forward that always makes his potentially dangerous. A bit removed from his great years in New York, though.


Fredy Montero vs. Danny Califf — The Sounders forward is in great form with goals in his last three games, including a couple off the bench. He’s got eight on the season and is right on pace for another 11-12. Things won’t be easy in the offensive third. Chivas is a great defensive team (just 26 goals allowed, 2nd to Seattle in the West) and its big center back, a midseason acquisition, is as tough as they get.

Christian Tiffert vs. Oswaldo Minda/Shalrie Joseph — The new Seattle DP will have a tough task in this one in the middle of the park. His Ecuadorian counterpart is a bruiser and has been a great pickup for the Goats. Another new addition, MLS mainstay and New England Revolution legend, Shalrie Joseph, isn’t too bad either.

Desperate Chivas vs. Can’t-score-especially-at-home Chivas — It’s just about must-win time for the home team if there’s any hope for the playoffs. Sure, Robin Fraser’s side has games in hand, but that doesn’t mean anything unless they turn into points. Chivas has six home goals and five first-half goals, each of which is an MLS low — not only that but half the total (or more) of the 18th worst team.


Ready to see the Big Four? Well, this should be the game we see all three Seattle DPs and Eddie Johnson in the starting lineup in what could be an incredibly dangerous attack. We’ll also have to see how Mario Martinez falls into that mix (as a starter or off the bench).

Couple that talent with the Sounders’ momentum — on a 4-1-1 run in league — and it’s hard to see the hosts keeping up in this one. Personally, I can’t pick a team that being outscored by a single player (Chivas USA has 15 goals, San Jose star Chris Wondolowski has 18 goals).

And I see the goals going Fredy’s way tonight…

Sounders FC 2, Chivas USA 0

SEA — Fredy Montero (Adam Johansson) 9′

SEA — Fredy Montero (Mario Martinez) 63′

* * *

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


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