“There’s a lot at stake because obviously they are the team that knocked us out of the playoffs, so we want to come out and we want to play well for that reason,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said.
Seattle Sounders FC
A sense of urgency has pervaded Seattle’s preseason as the expectations have risen in the franchise’s third year. Schmid presides over a roster bolstered in the offseason by the arrivals of Erik Friberg (BK Häcken, Sweden) and O’Brian White (Toronto FC).
There have been some changes in the City of Angels. With Edson Buddle leaving in the offseason to try his hand in the German 2.Bundesliga, Bruce Arena brought in Juan Pablo Angel (formerly of New York) and Chad Barrett (Toronto FC) to lead the line. With Landon Donovan and David Beckham serving up crosses, both players could be primed for big years.
OUT: FW Mike Fucito (R adductor strain); FW Nate Jaqua (hip surgery recovery); FW Michael Seamon (R leg neuritis); QUESTIONABLE: MF Steve Zakuani (hip injury); PROBABLE: MF Brad Evans (R hamstring strain)
OUT: FW Adam Cristman (L knee inflammation); Dan Keat (L heel fracture); DOUBTFUL – DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); QUESTIONABLE – GK Donovan Ricketts (R hamstring strain)
Keys To The Game
- Win the middle: Osvaldo Alonso must nullify Juninho and Chris Birchall.
- Shut out Ángel: Seattle’s defenders must not let the DP get on track in his new home.
- Cross the ball: Early crosses directed at Barrett, Ángel could cause trouble.
- Test Jhon Kennedy Hurtado: Seattle’s Colombian CB is coming off a knee injury.
First games of the season are always the hardest to predict, but with a fit Beckham, Donovan and Angel, the Galaxy might have too much firepower for the Sounders.
Score: Seattle 1 Galaxy 2
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