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Sounders FC News & Notes

May 6, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Seattle Sounders FC

Sounders FC Visits Kansas City Wednesday, then Home to Host San Jose Saturday

Seattle Sounders FC wraps up its two-game road trip on Wednesday night against Sporting Kansas City before returning home for the first time in four weeks to host the defending Supporters' Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday's match against Kansas City kicks off at 5:30 p.m. PT from Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. The match will be televised live on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action. The Spanish broadcasts are available on THIS-TV (KOMO 4.2) and La Gran D 99.3 FM.

Kickoff for Saturday's match against the Earthquakes is set for 1 p.m. PT from the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field. The match will broadcast on KONG 6/16 and KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, and Univision Deportes Network will televise the match live in Spanish.

Following Saturday's match, Sounders FC will host Orlando City SC of the USL-PRO on Sunday in MLS Reserve League action at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash. Kickoff for the reserve match is scheduled for 4 p.m. PT with a live audio stream on SoundersFC.com.

Tickets to the reserve match are available at www.TacomaRainiers.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 253-752-7700. Tickets start at $10 with discounts for senior citizens and military. Children three and under are free. Gates open at 3 p.m.

The upcoming two-match week is Seattle's first in league play this season as they face both of last year's conference winners. Wednesday will mark the club's third-straight road match, having gone unbeaten in the previous two, while Saturday's match will be the first home game since April 13.

Coming off a wild 2-2 draw at the Philadelphia Union last Saturday, Sounders FC (1-3-3, 6 points) looks to extend its three-game (1-0-2) unbeaten stretch in MLS play (four straight across all competitions 1-0-3). Seattle captain Mauro Rosales salvaged the comeback draw with a goal and assist at Philadelphia, and Eddie Johnson scored his second goal of the MLS campaign.

In a rematch of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, Sounders FC visits Sporting Kansas City (5-3-2, 17 points) for the lone meeting this season. After its 4-nil home win over Chivas USA on Sunday, Sporting jumped into a four-way tie for first place in the East. Seattle leads the all-time MLS series with Kansas City at 5-1-1 and is unbeaten in six straight meetings, including six goals scored in the final 15 minutes of the game.

The scene then shifts back to the Pacific Northwest where Sounders FC hosts the San Jose Earthquakes (2-3-5, 11 points) in the second of three meetings this season. The Quakes, who won the first meeting 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 23, earned a late 2-2 home draw against the red-hot Montreal Impact last Saturday evening. Seattle trails the all-time series at 4-6-1 following losses in the past four MLS meetings.

The team will continue to stay busy with the first of two reserve league matches against Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon in the club's first-ever competitive match at the historic Cheney Stadium. Coming off a 7-2 drubbing of Antigua Barracuda FC last Saturday, Orlando City (5-1-1, 16 points) sits atop the USL-PRO standings and features the league's top two goalscorers in English forward Dominic Dwyer and former Real Salt Lake midfielder Jamie Watson. Seattle reserves will visit Orlando City on August 11 at the Citrus Bowl.

Sounders FC will stay in the Emerald City to host the league-leading FC Dallas on May 18 before visiting the LA Galaxy on May 26.

Single-match tickets to Sounders FC home matches are available through SoundersFC.com, all Ticketmaster Outlets, the CenturyLink Field Box Office or by calling 800-745-3000.

Sounders FC 4-Match ticket packages are available by phone at 1-877-MLS-GOAL or online at www.SoundersFC.com . The package includes Sounders FC home matches versus the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 8, Portland Timbers on August 25, Real Salt Lake on September 13 and the Los Angeles Galaxy on October 27.

Sounders FC Fast Facts

* Sounders FC is 7-7-10 all-time in May, including 3-2-2 last season.

* Seattle is amidst a stretch of three games in eight days. There have been nine occasions in club history when Sounders FC has played three league matches in eight days, going 12-7-8 and outscoring opponents 38-32.

* Saturday marked Seattle's first multi-goal game of the season, bringing the total to five goals in the opening seven matches. The club had scored three goals against Tigres UANL in CONCACAF Champions League play.

* Saturday's match at Philadelphia marked the first time since September 8, 2012, that Seattle earned at least a point after going down a goal.

Going Streaking: Scoring First & Staying Unbeaten

Saturday's result at Philadelphia extended two streaks for Seattle. Most importantly, the draw pushed the club's unbeaten run to three games (1-0-2) - the third-longest active streak in MLS. The last three-match unbeaten run lasted until October 21, 2012 when Sounders FC downed FC Dallas at home. Over all competitions, Seattle is unbeaten in four straight, including the 1-1 draw at Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals. Sounders FC also extended its league-best unbeaten streak when scoring first to 34 games (26-0-8). The all-time record of 58 games, set by the New York Red Bulls, was snapped earlier this season.

One of Seattle's streaks came to an end on Saturday as Danny Cruz's 50th minute goal snapped the club's 285-minute shutout streak - the third-longest shutout streak in MLS this season. The shutout streak was also the third-longest of Michael Gspurning's MLS career, and ranks seventh all-time in club history. Last year, Sounders FC posted two of the league's longest shutout streaks at 376 minutes (6th) and 335 minutes (10th).

Road Tested: Seattle Goes for Third Straight Road Result

Since entering the league in 2009, Sounders FC has had a knack for earning points away from home. On Wednesday night in Kansas City, the club will have the opportunity to extend its unbeaten streak on the road to three games, having previously beat Colorado 1-0 on April 20 and tied Philadelphia 2-2 on May 4. Overall, Sounders FC has posted the second-best road record in MLS since 2009 at 25-19-22, and had its 10-game road unbeaten streak (second-longest in league history) snapped last June in Montreal.

Home, Sweet Home: Sounders Return to CenturyLink on Saturday

Saturday can't come soon enough for Sounders FC. Following a week-long road trip, the club will play in front of the Sounders FC faithful for the first time since a scoreless draw with New England on April 13. It will be the fourth home match of the season in league play as Seattle continues to search for three points on its home turf. The lone home win of the season came in CONCACAF Champions League play against Tigres UANL on March 12. The last regular season home win was a 3-1 result against FC Dallas on October 21, 2012.

Point Man: Mauro Scores, Results Follow

When Mauro Rosales scores or assists, Sounders FC earns points. Last Saturday at Philadelphia, Rosales recorded one of each in the team's come-from-behind draw, marking the first time he scored and assisted in the same game since August 27, 2011 against the Columbus Crew. It was the fourth time in his MLS career that the Argentine playmaker accomplished the feat, with the previous three coming during a six-game stretch in the summer of 2011. Overall, Sounders FC has gone 18-2-7 when Rosales scores or assists. Six of his goals and 21 of his assists have come in wins while three goals and five assists were recorded in ties.

Trending Topics: Johnson and Rosales Connect

Eddie Johnson's opening goal in the 10th minute against Philadelphia marked the return of two major trends from the 2012 season. The goal was Johnson's second league goal of the year - his third in all competitions - but his first scored with his head. Last season, Johnson set the all-time mark with nine headed goals - the most in a single season since the league began tracking how goals were scored in 2003. The early tally also marked the first time Johnson and Mauro Rosales connected for a goal this season. Last year, the duo connected for a team-high six goals, equaling nearly half of Johnson's record-setting season total.

Game Changer: Martinez Records First Assist

It took just two minutes for Mario Martinez to change the game on Saturday as he entered as a second-half substitute and assisted on Mauro Rosales' equalizer just two minutes later. The helper was Martinez's first point in regular-season play, but the Honduran international brought much more than set-up play to Saturday's match. Martinez completed 13 of his 15 passes for a team-high 87-percent completion rate, and averaged one touch every 1.3 minutes. He also gained possession three times and won two duels in his 28 minutes of action.

In Action: Carrasco Starts, Estrada Returns

Two former SuperDraft picks returned to the Sounders FC lineup on Saturday as Servando Carrasco started in place of Osvaldo Alonso and David Estrada replaced Mauro Rosales late in the second half. Carrasco's start was the 10th of his three-year MLS career and first since July 4, 2012, at Real Salt Lake. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder had a team-high 61 touches and also completed 74-percent of his team-high 46 passes. Estrada made just his third appearance of the season after injuries to his ankle and eye sidelined him for over a month. His last league appearance was at Real Salt Lake on March 30, though he played 33 minutes in an MLS Reserve League match on April 23.

Pulling the Strings: Schmid Uses 11th Different Lineup

The Starting XI last Saturday was head coach Sigi Schmid's 11th different lineup in 11 games across all competitions as national team call-ups, injuries, suspensions and child births have forced his hand. It marked the first time that Eddie Johnson paired with Lamar Neagle up top, and just the third time that Johnson played while Mauro Rosales assumed the right midfielder role. Overall, Schmid has started 21 different players and 24 have made an appearance.

Coaches Corner

Seattle skipper Sigi Schmid will face off against two of the league's top coaches this week in Kansas City's Peter Vermes and San Jose's Frank Yallop. Vermes, who took over as head coach of Sporting during the 2009 season, has gone 50-38-32 over the past five seasons, though he is yet to beat Schmid's Seattle side in six attempts (0-5-1).

Yallop, a two-time MLS Coach of the Year and reigning winner, is one of just three foreign coaches to earn the award. He ranks fourth all-time among active coaches with 116 wins, 57 fewer than Schmid's all-time mark. With his win earlier this season, Yallop took the advantage in the head-to-head series at 12-11-4.

KC Series Notes

Sounders FC has had great success against Sporting Kansas City in league play, posting a record of 5-1-1. Seattle's five wins against Kansas City are the club's second-most over any MLS side, and the lone loss came in the first matchup in 2009. Following that loss, Seattle won five straight before earning a 1-1 draw in the last meeting on June 20, 2012. Sounders FC twice clinched a playoff berth against Kansas City, and three games were won by stoppage time goals. Kasey Keller won Save of the Year by stopping Chance Myers shot in 2010 and Patrick Ianni earned Goal of the Year with his side-winding equalizer last season. Wednesday's match will be Seattle's first regular-season game at Sporting Park since the late 2-1 win in 2011. The team's last visit to the stadium was in last year's U.S. Open Cup final when Seattle lost in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw. Six of Seattle's 10 goals scored have come in the final 15 minutes, and just twice has Seattle scored in the opening hour of the match.

About KC

Sporting has picked up 17 points (5-3-2) through 10 games so far in 2013, currently locked in a four-way tie for first place in the Eastern Conference. They are tied-third with 14 goals scored this season and tied-second with a plus-six goal differential. They also lead the league in shots (146), rank fifth in shots on goal (43), and second with 16 assists. Coach Peter Vermes' club is 3-1-1 at home this season with a 9-3 goal advantage, with the lone loss coming to Portland on April 27. SKC finished atop the Eastern Conference standings in 2012 with 63 points (18-7-9), just three points short of San Jose for the Supporter's Shield.

Sporting Notables

New designated player Claudio Bieler is tied for the league-lead with six goals in his first MLS season, including a brace in a 4-0 win over Chivas USA on Sunday. The 29-year-old Argentine signed with Kansas City in December after a successful career in South America. Graham Zusi, last year's second runner-up for MLS MVP, is tied for the league-lead with four assists and recently earned MLS Player of the Week honors for scoring a goal and an assist against Chivas. Striker Kei Kamara, who has 45 career MLS goals seven seasons, recently re-joined the team after a loan spell with English Premier League side Norwich City.

Defending MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Nielsen leads the league with six shutouts and his clean sheet Sunday gave him the franchise record with 38 in his career. The 35-year-old Dane is fourth in MLS with a 0.80 goals against average.

SJ Series Notes

Sounders FC has struggled recently against the reigning Supporters' Shield winners. San Jose leads the all-time series at 4-6-1 after winning the past four meetings. The last win for Sounders FC came on October 15, 2011, when Seattle downed the Quakes, 2-1, in Kasey Keller's final regular-season home match. San Jose holds the advantage with 15 goals scored to Seattle's 11, and the Rave Green have held a shutout just twice. The two teams will meet one more time in regular-season play on July 13 at San Jose.

About SJ

Frank Yallop's club has 11 points (2-3-5) through 10 games this season after winning the Supporter's Shield with 66 (19-6-9) in 2012. The Quakes are currently riding a six-match winless streak (0-2-4) and have not won since March 23. They also have yet to win (0-2-2) on the road this season and have been outscored 6-3 away from Buck Shaw Stadium. After finishing top-three in every offensive statistical category last season, San Jose hasn't showed the same offensive firepower in 2013. However, they have continued they're knack for late-game heroics, netting five goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season (four equalizers, one game-winner) after leading the league with 22 goals scored in the final 15 last season.

Earthquakes Notables

Defending MLS MVP Chris Wondolowski leads San Jose with 4 goals in this season, but most recently recorded two assists in a 2-2 draw with Montreal. The American designated player, who has scored 65 goals since the start of the 2010 season, netted the lone goal in a 1-0 San Jose win over Seattle on March 23. Rookie forward Adam Jahn has also scored three goals this season-all equalizers in the final 10 minutes. Midfielder Shea Salinas leads the club and is tied-third in MLS with three assists in this season, including two in a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA.

The Earthquake defense is led by 2012 Defender of the Year finalist Victor Bernardez, who was also a finalist for 2012 Newcomer of the Year. 2013 U.S. National Team camp invitee Steven Beitashour has started the last three games after missing the first seven. Justin Morrow, who scored the equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Columbus earlier this season, started 33 games for the Quakes in 2012. Ty Harden, Jason Hernandez, and Nana Attakora have all seen significant time in the back this season.

Academy Update: Academy Wins Three of Four at Home

Sounders FC Academy came away 3-1-0 this weekend against Cal Odyssey and the San Jose Earthquakes at Starfire Sports Complex. Jordan Morris and Ike Crook scored two goals apiece over the weekend as the U18's won, 4-0, over Cal Odyssey, but fell, 3-1, to the Earthquakes. The U16's continued their strong run with a 5-1 and 1-0 wins over Cal and San Jose, respectively.

The U18's May 5 loss ended a three match winning streak and a five-match unbeaten streak (4-0-1), and they are currently tied for first in the USSDA Northwest Division standings with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The U16's have just one loss (11-1-4) in their past 16 matches and sit second in the Northwest Division, trailing first-place DeAnza Force by five points with one game in hand.

Sounders FC U18 (USSDA) (15-5-6, 51 points)

Sounders FC vs. Cal Odyssey (May 4) - W, 4-0

SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): David Olsen (Jordan Morris), Ike Crook, Ike Crook, Jordan Morris (Cody Crook)

Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (May 5) - L, 1-3

SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Jordan Morris (Kenny Sweet)

Sounders FC U16 (USSDA) (16-3-7, 55 points)

Sounders FC vs. Cal Odyssey (May 4) - W, 5-1

SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Harrison Kurtz (Marcus Machado), Abdi Abdullah, Marcus Machado (Abdi Abdullah), Vic Mansaray (Sean Bowman), Marcus Machado

Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes (May 5) - W, 1-0

SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Marcus Machado

Throw-ins

Marc Burch (29) and Lamar Neagle (26) celebrate their birthdays on May 7. Later in the month, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado turns 29 on May 16, Dylan Remick turns 22 on May 19 and Shalrie Joseph will celebrate his 35 birthday on May 24... DeAndre Yedlin and Lamar Neagle will serve a one-game suspension on Wednesday at Kansas City.

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Major League Soccer Stories from May 6, 2013


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