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Sounders FC News & Notes

June 17, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Seattle Sounders FC

Sounders FC Returns to Action Saturday at Real Salt Lake

Seattle Sounders FC returns from the bye week for a Western Conference clash with Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Saturday's match will be televised live on KONG 6/16 with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can also be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. The match will also be broadcast live in Spanish on KOMO2 and on La Gran D 99.3 FM.

With five wins in the past six games, Sounders FC (6-4-3, 21 points) looks to continue its climb up the standings with the second visit of the season to Salt Lake City. A win for Seattle - holders of the best record in MLS over the past nine games - would match a record for most points in a 10-game stretch in club history.

Seattle currently sits fourth in the West, just seven points from the Supporters' Shield with two games in hand. Saturday's match will be the first in a string of road matches for Sounders FC, including three of the next four.

Real Salt Lake (8-5-3, 27 points) is second in the race for the Supporters' Shield, one point behind league-leading FC Dallas. Salt Lake is unbeaten over the past four outings (3-0-1) - the second-longest active streak in MLS - and has lost just once (April 27 versus LA Galaxy) at home in eight games, going 5-1-2 this season.

The meeting will be the second of the season and final match between the two sides at Rio Tinto Stadium. Seattle fell to RSL, 2-1, on March 30. The third and final meeting will be in Seattle on September 13.

Prior to Saturday's match, three Sounders FC players will be in action at Rio Tinto Stadium. On Tuesday night, Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson (United States) will face Mario Martinez (Honduras) in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier. Evans and Johnson have each scored in the previous two qualifiers, and with a goal on Tuesday Johnson could match the all-time record for most career goals in World Cup Qualifying in U.S. history.

Sounders FC will have next weekend off before returning to MLS action with a midweek match against DC United. Kickoff is set for Wednesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.

Sounders FC Competition Schedule (all times Pacific; subject to change)

Saturday, June 22, 6:30 p.m. - Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake

Wednesday, July 3, 7:00 p.m. - Sounders FC vs. DC United

Saturday, July 6, 8:00 p.m. - Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m. - Sounders FC at San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, July 20, 1 p.m. - Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids

Sounders FC Fast Facts

*Two - Seattle and Salt Lake are the only two MLS sides to win its last two contests.

*Three - Seattle's three road wins are tied for the most in MLS this season.

*Four - Entering Saturday's match, there are four players (two per team) who have scored or assisted in the last two games: Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle of Sounders FC and Javier Morales and Robbie Findley for Real Salt Lake.

*Six - At 1.62 points per game, Sounders FC holds the sixth-best average in the league.

*Nine - At 6-1-2, Sounders FC holds the best record in MLS over the past nine games.

*Ten - A win on Saturday would match the best 10-game stretch in club history.

*Sixteen - Saturday's match will be the 16th meeting between Seattle and Salt Lake across all competitions since 2009, matching the club record for most competitive games against one opponent. Overall, Sounders FC is level at 5-5-5 against RSL across all competitions.

*Thirty-nine - Sounders FC is unbeaten over its past 39 games (31-0-8) when scoring first.

Steady Sounders Remain Hottest in League

Sounders FC remains the best team in MLS over the past nine matches, earning 20 of the possible 27 points since April 13, including wins in five of the last six outings. Seattle has also scored the second-most goals (17) with the second-best goal differential (+7) in that span, and the team's winning percentage of .778 bests second-place Portland and Salt Lake (.722).

Best Record Over Past Nine MLS Matches

Team Record (points) Goal Differential

Sounders FC 6-1-2 (20 pts.) +7 (17/10)

Salt Lake 6-2-1 (19 pts.) +9 (18/9)

Portland 4-0-5 (17 pts.) +7 (15/8)

New York 5-2-2 (17 pts.) +5 (14/9)

Colorado 4-2-3 (15 pts.) +4 (11/7)

Dallas 4-2-3 (15 pts.) +2 (13/11)

Montreal 4-3-2 (14 pts.) +1 (16/15)

Best in 10: Going for Club History this Saturday

A Sounders FC win at Real Salt Lake would match the club record for most wins (7) and most points (23) over a 10-game stretch. There have been three occasions in which Sounders FC has earned 23 of a possible 30 points, but the team has not accomplished the feat since the summer of 2011. Seattle is currently two points from the best nine-game record in club history, when the club went 7-1-1 to begin the 2012 season.

Best 10-game Record in Club History

Season Dates Record (points)

2010 Aug. 8-Oct. 15 7-1-2 (23 pts.)

2011 June 18-Aug. 20 7-1-2 (23 pts.)

2011 June 23-Aug. 27 7-1-2 (23 pts.)

2011 July 10-Sept. 24 7-2-1 (22 pts.)

2011 July 16-Oct. 1 7-2-1 (22 pts.)

2011 Aug. 6-Oct. 15 7-2-1 (22 pts.)

2011 Aug. 13-Oct. 22 7-2-1 (22 pts.)

2012 March 17-May 12 7-2-1 (22 pts.)

Seattle in Sole Possession of Fourth in West

The light league schedule last weekend afforded Sounders FC the opportunity to sit back and watch as several matches ended in favorable results. First, the Portland Timbers extended its unbeaten run to 13 games as top-seeded FC Dallas lost, putting Seattle just seven points behind the Supporters' Shield leaders with two games in hand. Later, sixth-place Colorado fell to San Jose, 2-1, keeping the Rapids one point behind Sounders FC. At 1.62 points per game, Seattle holds the sixth-best average in the league, ahead of the pace of the inaugural campaign and looking to match its best-ever points per game output (1.85) from 2011.

We Meet Again

Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake have become familiar foes over the past five seasons, meeting 10 times in the regular season, four times in the MLS Cup Playoffs and once in the U.S. Open Cup. The 15 total meetings between the two sides are the second-most in club history, and Saturday's match will put the series even with the LA Galaxy, who Seattle has faced 16 times over all competitions. Additionally, Salt Lake is one of just three teams that Sounders FC has played five times in a single season, joining the Houston Dynamo (2009) and LA Galaxy (2010 and 2012).

Most All-Time Meetings (all competitions)*

Team GP MLS Playoffs USOC

LA Galaxy 16 3-5-2 1-3-0 2-0-0

Real Salt Lake 15 2-4-4 2-1-1 1-0-0

Chivas USA 13 5-2-4 0-0-0 2-0-0

San Jose Earthquakes 13 5-6-1 0-0-0 1-0-0

*Since 2009

Playing from a Winning Position

The win over Vancouver marked the first comeback victory of the season for Sounders FC, and just the fifth time in MLS this season that a team won after trailing at the half. The win extended Seattle's unbeaten streak when scoring first to a league-best 39 games (31-0-8). Seattle has trailed for just 316 minutes (27-percent) this season, and the four losses are the fourth-fewest in MLS.

A Look Ahead: Three of Next Four Away

Sounders FC will hit the road for three of the next four contests, beginning this Saturday at Real Salt Lake. The three road trips are among the shortest of the year in Salt Lake City (840 miles), Vancouver (138) and San Jose (837) for a total of 3,630 miles, equaling just over half the total miles traveled (6,700) from May 26 to June 2. Sounders FC is one of nine teams to hold at least a .500 record on the road this season, and the team's three road wins are tied for the most in MLS. Overall, Seattle is 27-21-23, earning the second-most road points (104) since entering the league in 2009.

Best Road Records - 2013

Team Record Winning Percentage

Portland 2-0-6 .625

Kansas City 3-2-2 .571

Seattle 3-3-1 .500

Montreal 3-3-1 .500

New York 3-3-2 .500

Philadelphia 3-3-2 .500

Columbus 3-3-2 .500

Houston 2-2-3 .500

Colorado 2-2-3 .500

Home Goals: Seattle Averaging Two Goals per Game

Sounders FC has scored 11 goals over the past three home matches, the most goals in MLS this season over a three-game home stretch. The recent scoring outburst is the best three-game home stretch in club history, and upped Seattle's total to 12 home goals this season, ranking second with an average of two goals per game.

Most Goals at Home over Three-Game Span - 2013 Season

Team Goals Start-Finish

Seattle 11 May 11-June 8

Montreal 10 April 27-May 25

Vancouver 9 May 11-June 15

New England 8 May 11-June 2

Seattle 8 April 13-May 18

Most Goals at Home over Three-Game Span - Club History

Year Goals Start-Finish

2013 11 May 11-June 8

2011 10 June 23-July 16

2011 10 July 16-Aug. 27

2011 10 Aug. 27-Sept. 17

Yedlin Begins U-20 World Cup Play on Thursday

Fresh off of his U-20 MNT debut last week against Portugal, Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin begins 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup play late Thursday night against Spain. The match will mark the first time that an active Sounders FC player has participated in the World Cup at any level. Thursday's match kicks of 10:45 p.m. PT on ESPN2. On Monday, the MNT will face France at 7:45 a.m. on ESPN2, and the group stage will conclude on Thursday, June 27 at 10:45 a.m. versus Ghana on ESPNU.

Zavaleta Goes Full 90 Minutes for San Antonio

Sounders FC forward Eriq Zavaleta started and played 90 minutes for the San Antonio Scorpions on Saturday night, marking his first of two games while on loan to the NASL side. Zavaleta started at forward and nearly scored the winner in the 87th minute but he was unable to beat the keeper. The Scorpions eventually scored the winner in stoppage time for the team's first road win of the season. Zavaleta will remain with San Antonio for their game against FC Edmonton on June 22 before returning to Sounders FC on June 23.

Salt Lake Series Notes

Sounders FC has struggled against Real Salt Lake in MLS play, going 2-4-4 in 10 all-time regular-season meetings. Seattle's last win in the regular season series came on May 28, 2011, snapping Salt Lake's league record home unbeaten run. Brad Evans' goal earlier this season marked Seattle's first regular season goal against RSL in over 270 minutes of play. Five of Seattle's eight goals have been scored in the final 45 minutes while six of Salt Lake's nine goals have been scored in the second half. The two sides have also met four times in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with Salt Lake winning the 2011 series and Seattle advancing in 2012. Overall, Seattle is level at 5-5-5 against RSL across all competitions since 2009.

About RSL

Salt Lake is currently second in the Western Conference with 27 points (8-5-3) and are riding a four-match unbeaten streak (3-0-1) in which they have outscored their opponents 11-3. They are second in MLS with 24 goals scored and a plus-eight goal differential, and have lost once (5-1-2) in eight games at home. Since 2009, RSL is third in MLS with 230 points (65-43-35) and has made the playoffs in each of the past four seasons.

RSL Notables

Jason Kreis' attack is led by forward Alvaro Saborio, who co-leads the team with four goals in 2012 but has scored just once since March 16. Now in his fourth MLS season, the Costa Rican has netted 44 goals in 77 starts, including 17 in 2012. 20-year-old Olmes Garcia, is tied with Saborio with four goals in his first MLS season, and most recently scored a brace in a 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy on June 8. Javier Morales has one goal and three assists in the last two games and leads the team with five assists (tied-second in MLS) and is second with three goals. Holding midfielder Kyle Beckerman has started all 14 of his appearances so far this season, adding a goal and three assists. The American has 29 goals and 40 assists in 313 appearances dating back to 2000. Nick Rimando patrols the goal for the Claret and Cobalt, and in his 15th MLS season, the UCLA product is third all-time in games (334) and minutes (30,213) in goal, second in wins (145) and shutouts (103), third in saves (1,187), and tied-sixth in goals against average (1.19).

SEA/RSL Connections

Seattle striker Eddie Johnson and Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis played together for four seasons (2001-2004) with the Dallas Burn. Both Leo Gonzalez and Alvaro Saborio began playing for the Costa Rica National Team in 2002. Saborio played for Gonzalez's rival club, Saprissa, for five seasons. Seattle's Mauro Rosales and Salt Lake's Javier Morales are from Argentina. Sigi Schmid coached Ned Grabavoy for one season at Los Angeles (2004). Brad Evans and Robbie Findley are both from Phoenix, and Findley attended nearby Oregon State.

Starfire Sounders FC Cup

Starfire Sports will host the Sounders FC Cup from July 5-7. The deadline to register is June 20. The tournament is open to boys and girls teams from ages 9 to 19. Each team will play at least three games, and the 1st and 2nd place teams will receive awards. The tournament will feature teams and referees from around Washington as well as out of state. For more information and to register, visit www.StarfireSports.com .

Throw-ins

The referee for Saturday's match is Armando Villarreal. His assistants are Gregory Barkey and Caludio Badea, with fourth official Ricardo Salazar...Sounders FC will wear Rave Green shirt and shorts with blue socks. Salt Lake will wear all red...Eddie Johnson is the only Sounders FC player on four yellow card cautions, one caution away from suspension. Johnson has three games remaining before receiving the good behavior incentive. No other Sounders FC player has more than two yellow card cautions...Saturday will count as the first of six matches that Steve Zakuani must miss after he was placed on the Disabled List last week. Zakuani will be eligible for the August 3 home match against FC Dallas.

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