U.S. Open Cup: Goats face Sounders in all-Western battle
7:30 p.m. PT, available via webcast at SoundersFC.com.
A berth in the US Open Cup final is up for grabs as Chivas USA
travel north to take on the reigning champions. The Sounders used the
home-field advantage to get to the final last season, defeating Houston
in one of the most exciting matches of the year.
This match will be played at the Starfire Sports Stadium, not Qwest
Field. The compressed dimensions of Starfire and the
high-school-rivalry-game atmosphere makes for physical, entertaining
Seattle Sounders FC
If you don't count the two losses in the CONCACAF Champions League,
Seattle haven’t lost a competitive match since July 4. It’s quite a
streak considering the club’s 4-8-3 start to the season.
The primary reason is Fredy Montero.
The July Player of the Month is in the running again for the August
award. If he’s healthy, he should play a role in this important match. Sanna Nyassi is out for Seattle, having been called up the Gambian National Team.
The 2010 Chivas USA squad bears very little resemblance to the team
Preki led in 2009. New coach Martin Vasquez has overhauled the lineup
and given a starting role to youngster Justin Braun, a.k.a. "Braunaldinho."
Effectively out of the playoff race and trophy-less since their
inception, the Goats are expected to field a full-strength starting
lineup. The club has historically had good success against the
Sounders, who have tied two and lost two to Chivas USA.
Heroes & Villains
Osvaldo Alonso vs. Paulo Nagamura: Chivas
USA had good success this season against Seattle, especially Nagamura.
The holding midfielder’s shot set up the winning goal when the teams
played last June and his defense has continually stymied Seattle’s flow.
Now that the Brazilian is back with the Red-and-White, his play in
the midfield is a bellwether for his team’s success. If he wins the
battle against Alonso, Chivas have a very good chance to win.
Stat that makes you go "Hmm..."
Seattle haven't scored a single goal in four regular-season games against Chivas USA.