After a 7-1-1 start, the Sounders have broken down offensively and defensively, and now must play without suspended Osvaldo Alonso Saturday against Chivas USA.
MATCH: Seattle Sounders FC (7-2-3, 23 points, 3rd, West Conf.) at Chivas USA (4-6-2, 13 points, 6th, West Conf.). TYPE: MLS. WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Home Depot Center, Carson, CA. MEETING: 8th (series tied 2-2-3, MLS; Sounders lead 3-2-3, all competitions). TV: KONG 6/16. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
The Sounders have blown two big opportunities at home, losing to Real Salt Lake (1-0) and the Columbus Crew (2-0), and now five of the club’s next six MLS matches are on the road, starting with Chivas USA Saturday.
Over their past three matches (two losses and a tie), the Sounders have allowed five goals after allowing three in the previous eight contests.
It’s (MLS) always been a streaky league,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “You’re going to have good streaks, you’re going to have bad streaks. There’s going to be streaks where you average a point a game and there’s going to be streaks where you average two points a game.
“Right now we’re giving away some games in hand, so I’m not happy about that and obviously, going 0-2-1 in the last three games is also something that we’re not happy about. But we’ve got to make this streak as short as possible and get out of it.”
Schmid said that the Sounders’ recent opponents have been playing so tough defensively that Seattle has been unable to get many scoring opportunities.
There’s not a lot of space for us sometimes to get in behind them, said Schmid. So the quality of the service has to be a little bit better, the quality of the runs has to be a little bit better and that’s something that we’re going to continue to work on.
The defense will be shorthanded Saturday. Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is suspended for two games by the league’s discipline committee for a dangrous tackle Wednesday in the loss to Columbus.
Out with injuries are Adam Johansson (hamstring), Patrick Ianni (back), Leo Gonzales (thigh) and goalie Michael Gspurning (hip). Gspurning may not be back until the Montreal match June 16. Andrew Weber was the backup to Bryan Meredith for the Columbus match. Meredith allowed two goals.
Chivas is coming off a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls and is sixth in the Western Conference with 14 points.
SERIES: Dates to April 18, 2009, when Chivas USA defeated the Sounders 2-0 in Carson. In three subsequent matches, the Sounders had one loss and two draws. Seattle has won three of the past four with a draw, including a 3-1 victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Sept. 1, 2010. The clubs last met Oct. 22, at Carson, the Sounders winning 3-1.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, May 23:) Goals by Justin Meram and Emilio Renteria made the difference as the Sounders (7-3-2, 23 points) lost to the Columbus Crew (4-4-3, 15 points) 2-0 in front of 38,311 at CenturyLink Field. Columbus (1-3-3 vs. Seattle) defeated the Sounders for the first time in club history. Seattle has gone three consecutive matches without a win (0-2-1) after starting the season 7-1-1. Seattle’s last consecutive home losses were May 8 and May 22, 2010.
LAST MATCH (Chivas, USA, May 23): Chivas USA picked up a valuable point on the road with a 1-1 draw against the Eastern Conference-leading New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Juan Pablo Ángel scored the opener early in the second half in his return to Red Bull Arena, but Kenny Cooper of New York continued his torrid scoring streak by knocking in the equalizer shortly after. The draw gave Chivas USA a 4-6-2 record, and extended its unbeaten streak to three games.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
|Starts||Estrada 11, Montero 11, Alonso 11, Parke 9|
|Goals||Estrada 4, Montero 4, Johnson 3, Rosales 1, Evans 1, Scott 1|
|Assists||Fernandez 2, Rosales 2, Caskey 2, Montero 2|
|Shots||Montero 61, Johnson 21, Estrada 20, Alonso 10, Evans 10|
|Shots On Goal||Montero 23, Estrada 8, Johnson 4, Evans 4, Alonso 3|
|Fouls Caused||Montero 23, Alonso 18, Johnson 15, Scott 10, Parke 9|
|Fouls Suffered||Montero 32, Alonso 20, Fernandez 13, 2 with 12|
|Offsides||Johnson 12, Montero 6, Estrada 4, Fernandez 1|
|Corner Kicks||Rosales 20, Fernandez 16, Montero 10, Caskey 9|
|Cautions||Montero 3, Johnson 3, Scott 3, Alonso 3|
COACHES: Sigi Schmid became first head coach of Seattle Sounders FC Dec. 16, 2008, and is in his fourth year. Born in Tübingen, Germany, Schmid relocated with his family to the U.S. in 1956, and to Torrance, CA., in 1962. He was a four-year starter at UCLA (1972-75) and graduated with a B.S. degree in economics in 1976.
Schmid later earned a M.A. in business administration from Southern California. A certified public accountant, Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999 through 2004, winning four major competitions: 2002 MLS Cup, 2002 MLS Supporters Shield, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2001 CONCACAF Champions Cup. He coached the Columbus Crew from 2006-08, winning the MLS Cup in his final season.
In 2009, under Schmid’s direction, the Sounders became the first expansion team to reach the MLS playoffs since the 1998 Chicago Fire. The Sounders also won the U.S. Open Cup in Schmid’s first season. They added their second and third U.S. Open Cup titles in 2010 and 2011.
Robin Fraser: Chivas USA named Fraser its sixth head coach Jan. 4, 2011. He took the role after a distinguished 10-year MLS playing career and four successful seasons as an assistant coach with Real Salt Lake. Fraser was a standout for several MLS clubs and a veteran of the United States National Team.
COMING UP: Sounders return to Seattle to host the Atlanta Silverbacks Wednesday in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contest. The Sounders take a break until June 16, when they play at Montreal. The Sounders will not return to Seattle until June 20.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(7-2-3, 23 points, MLS; 1-1 CCL)
|4/7||^at DC United||4:30||KING||D||0-0||2-1-1|
|5/9||^at FC Dallas||5:30||KONG||W||2-0||7-1-1|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN2||—||—||—|
|8/11||^at San Jose||7:30||KING||—||—||—|
|9/2||^at FC Dallas||4:00||KING||—||—||—|
|10/21||^vs. FC Dallas||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|10/28||^at LA Galaxy||6:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
*=CONCACAF; ^=Major League Soccer; #=International friendly; &=U.S. Open Cup