Head-to-head: James Riley vs Fredy Montero
After a two games in five days, Chivas USA returns to The Home Depot Center to face fellow Western Conference team Seattle Sounders in search of the team’s second consecutive victory at home. After defeating arch rivals LA Galaxy last Saturday for the first time in five years, the Red-and-White headed to New York with new found confidence and faced the Red Bulls to a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena. Now, the Goats prepare for their third match in eight days before going off to a three-week MLS break. For first year Chiva James Riley, this match will be a special one; the defender will be facing off against players that he shared a locker room with for three years, including Seattle’s leading scorer Fredy Montero.
Starting off his career in 2005 with New England Revolution, Riley has played in 190 games (172 starts), scoring two goals and adding 15 assists in his MLS career. In 2009, Riley joined then expansion team Seattle Sounders after one year with San Jose Earthquakes to help the team’s back line to three consecutive MLS Cup Playoff runs as well as three consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles. Since joining the Red-and-White, Riley has played in all 12 games (all starts), helping the team be among the top four best back lines in the Western Conference.
But for the Colorado native, facing his old teammates will be more fun than difficult.
“I think I’ve already moved on from that chapter in my life,” Riley said. “I don’t think it will be difficult; I don’t have any grudges against them. It’s a measurement stick, obviously they’re in the top of the league, and they have been since the beginning of the season. It’s always a challenge when facing your old team, you obviously always want to go in and win and get your points.”
Watch: Riley rejects San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski a chance at goal:
Meanwhile, Colombian forward Fredy Montero leads as top goalscorer for the Sounders since their integration to Major League Soccer in 2009. In his four seasons with the Sounders, Montero has played in 98 games (92 starts), notching 47 goals and adding 34 assists. In just this season, Montero is tied with forward David Estrada as team’s top goalscorer with four goals so far, participating in 12 games (11 starts). Just last week, Montero scored his fourth goal of the season in the last minute of the match as Seattle came to a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.
Check out Montero’s goal against the LA Galaxy that earned him MLS Goal of the Week honors: