Sounders FC (0-3-1) vs. N.E. Revolution (1-2-1)
Saturday, April 13, 1 p.m., CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Wash.
TV/radio: KONG 6/16, KIRO 97.3 (Ross Fletcher, Kasey Keller)
Spanish TV/radio: Univision Deportes Network, La Gran D 99.3 FM
Referee: Chris Penso
KEY REVOLUTION PLAYERS
F Jerry Bengston — Well, he has the team’s only goal this season. That’s right. New England has fewer goals (1) than Seattle (2). But back to Bengston, the Honduran national is a quality forward in this league, even if his production has been sporadic. He’s played in lots of big games on the international level, and he’s being called upon to step up with Saer Sene (the team’s leading scorer last year) on his way back from an ACL tear.
D A.J. Soares — The childhood friend of Seattle’s Servando Carrasco has been a mainstay in the Revolution back line since being drafted in 2011. The 6-foot center back is a pretty physical guy, and many Sounders fans might remember a hard tackle he made on Mauro Rosales in preseason. All three of his MLS goals have come off set pieces, so keep an eye on No. 5 in dead-ball situations.
M Lee Nguyen — If New England comes in with a defense-first mentality, this dynamic midfielder might be someone who could lead the Revs on the counter, whether it’s on the flank or inside. Has a team-high 10 shots this season and had a Goal of the Year candidate in 2012. Was an exciting prospect at the youth national team level, and while that has faded, he is starting to establish himself with his club.
Clyde Simms vs. Shalrie Joseph — These are two control-the-game type of guys, and their stats are rarely too flashy. Not knowing too much about the situation, Simms’ addition in 2012 might have actually made Joseph expendable as they can play a similar holding role in midfield. Of course, we have to see how Seattle’s new DP does against his former team. He had two goals against N.E. with Chivas USA last year.
Mario Martinez vs. Andrew Farrell — Without knowing much about the Sounders lineup, I think Martinez might end up on the left (Mauro Rosales on the right, Steve Zakuani up top?), which would match him up with the reigning No. 1 overall draft pick. Farrell has been another exciting right back in the league — we’ve come to know one here in Seattle — and it’ll be fun to get an in-person look.
Two-game week vs. bye week — Both teams will be motivated as cellar dwellers and both have injury issues. Might rest play a factor? The Sounders got back from Mexico on Wednesday and have had just two days to prepare. New England had a cross-country flight but will be playing its first game in two weeks.
I’m tempted to pick 0-0. These teams have combined for three goals in 720 combined MLS minutes.
Not only that, the Revolution have conceded just twice this season and are going up against an offense that could be without Obafemi Martins, Eddie Johnson, David Estrada and Brad Evans.
But let’s be honest. The Sounders have to win this game. Injuries. No rest. Doesn’t matter. I have New England ranked as the worst team in the league (though Seattle just above that), and three points were always going to be the expectation in this fixture. No more analysis, just get it done. I think they will grind it out.
Sounders FC 1, New England 0
SEA — Mario Martinez (Mauro Rosales) 29′
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How do you see this one playing out?