MATCH: Philadelphia Union (2-4-1, 7 points, East Conf.) at Seattle Sounders FC (5-1-1, 13 points, 4th, West Conf.). TYPE: MLS. WHEN: Saturday, 1:30 p.m., CenturyLink Field. MEETING: 5th (Union leads 2-1-1 in MLS). TV: KONG 6/16. RADIO: 97.3 KIRO FM; SPANISH RADIO: La Gran D 99.3 FM.
Minus its starting goalkeeper, Seattle Sounders FC aims its fourth consecutive victory hey’ve isolated it to the particular muscle. Saturday when it hosts the Philadelphia Union in a matinee at. The Sounders are third in the Western Conference, while the Union is in eighth place in the East. Philadelphia has won two of its last three matches.
Michael Gspurning will be out two to three weeks after an MRI exam Thursday disclosed an inflammation of a muscle in his right hip. Gspurning aggravated the muscle on a kick Wednesday just before halftime of the Sounders’ 2-0 over the Galaxy.
“He’s never had it before — it’s just one particular movement that it catches on,” said coach Sigi Schmid of the soreness that has nagged Gspurning for a couple of weeks. Gspurning was replaced by Bryan Meredith, who made his MLS debut and will start Saturday. He was a first-round draft choice in the 2011 draft. Backup keeper Andrew Weber, who was cleared this week after recovering from a high ankle sprain, has practiced the last two days and will be on the bench.
“It’s tremendous for Bryan to come in and keep a clean sheet for 45 minutes,” said Schmid. “I think he showed what I said last week, in that I think there are a lot of teams in this league he can be starting for. He’s a quality goalkeeper and we have a lot of faith in him.”
Sounders and Union have played two common opponents, San Jose and Colorado. Both lost to the Earthquakes. Seattle defeated Colorado, 1-0, and the Union lost to the Rapids 2-1.
SERIES: Dates to March 25, 2010, when the Sounders launched that season with a 2-0 win at CenturyLink Field, receiving goals from Brad Evans and Fredy Montero. Sounders haven’t beaten the Union since and trail in the all-time series 2-1-1. In the last meeting, Oct. 9, the Union defeated Seattle 2-0 on goals by Freddy Adu and Brian Carroll.
LAST MATCH (Sounders, May 2): Eddie Johnson scored his second goal in two games and Fredy Montero notched his first of the season as the Sounders extended the best start in club history — 5-1-1, 13 points — with a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy. Johnson scored in the 40th minute and Montero followed in the 48th with a 35-yard bomb past Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
LAST MATCH (Union, April 28): The Union fell to San Jose 2-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,581 at PPL Park in Chester, PA. Philadelphia’s Gabriel Gomez scored his club-leading third goal, but a 93rd-minute goal from Steven Lenhart, his second of the half, gave San Jose all three points.
SOUNDERS STATS / NOTES
- The new FieldTurf Revolution surface installed in February at CenturyLink Field has received a FIFA 2-star rating. “The new field has met all our expectations,” said Seahawks, Sounders FC and FGI president Peter McLoughlin. “The FIFA 2-star rating validates the overall quality of the playing surface.”
- Fredy Montero’s 48th-minute goal against the L.A. Galaxy ended a 1,083-minute scoreless streak that dated to Oct. 18 when the Sounders played Mexico’s Monterrey in a CONCACAF match.
- Sounders have allowed just three goals tied with Sporting KC for fewest in MLS this season and have recorded shutouts in four games.
- Sounders have outscored their opponents 10-3, outshot their opponents 93-71, and have a 29-20 edge in shots on goal.
- Eddie Johnson and David Estrada each have two game-winning goals, tops on the team.
- Gspurning has 16 of Seattle’s 17 saves.
- Sounders are L-T-W-W-W in their past five; are 4-1-0 at home and 1-0-1 away; 3-0-1 vs. East, 2-1-0 vs. West.
- Midfielder Mauro Rosales is probable with a foot contusion; Patrick Ianni is questionable with lower back pain.
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.
Peter Nowak: In his third year as team manager, Nowak also serves the club as Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations. After an extensive playing career in Europe, Nowak moved to the U.S. in 1998 and joined the Chicago Fire. He promptly established himself as one of the best players in the League, leading the Fire to a MLS Cup (98) and two Open Cups (98, 00).
Nowak patrolled midfield for the Fire for 114 league games, registering 26 goals and 48 assists. He played with Chicago for five seasons and retired in 2003. He entered the coaching ranks with D.C. United and directed the club to the MLS championship. He remains the only man in league history to win the MLS Cup as both a player and a coach.
COMING UP: The Sounders play at FC Dallas May 9, then return to CenturyLink Field for a May 12 meeting with Real Salt Lake.
Seattle Sounders FC 2012 Schedule / Results
(4-1-1, 13 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||KING||—||—||—|
|6/30||^vs. New England||4:30||KING||—||—||—|
|7/15||^at New York||1:00||ESPN||—||—||—|
|8/5||^vs. LA Galaxy||7:00||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