Friday, March 18, 2011

Seattle Sounders FC vs Red Bull New York preview

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders, coming off a 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Tuesday, hit the road to Harrison, New Jersey, to take on the New York Red Bulls. Last year, the two sides split the season series with the Red Bulls winning 1-0 at Qwest Field with Macoumba Kandji scoring the winner. Seattle returned the favor by defeated them on their home turf 1-0 thanks to an 85th minute goal by Fredy Montero, it was also the Red Bulls first defeat at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls look to start their season on a good note, while the Sounders look to bounce back from their defeat against Los Angeles.

Injury Report:

Seattle Sounders FC - The Sounders have battled a lot of injuries last season and continue to do so at the start of this season. Mike Fucito is out for at least another 2-3 weeks with a right adductor strain. Also out is Mike Seamon with right leg neuritis. Nate Jaqua is still recovering from hip surgery, he is listed as doubtful. Brad Evans is battling a right hamstring strain and Pat Noonan is suffering from a left adductor strain. Both of them are listed as probable. Steve Zakuani picked up a hip injury in the Sounders final preseason match against Colorado, but managed to play in the opener against the LA Galaxy and I don't see why he won't play in this match. Finally, Roger Levesque picked up a knock in the opening match. We have not heard anything on that.

New York Red Bulls - For the Red Bulls, they got a pretty healthy squad. Chris Albright and Brian Nielson are both recovering from knee surgery and are both out for this match. Also, 18-year old Juan Agudelo picked up a groin injury in the Red Bulls preseason match against NASL side, Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Red Bulls coach Hans Backe thinks Agudelo may miss the opener, but I'd list him as Questionable.

Key Matchups:

Dane Richards vs Leonardo Gonzalez: The reason I think this is key is because Dane Richards can find ways to beat you so easily and make you look like an idiot. A Jamaican footballer who played for the Jamaican senior national team before even playing college soccer at Clemson University, Richards has the ability show off his dribbling skills from the wing. He also has the ability to score goals and create opportunities. If Leo Gonzalez can keep him contained out there for 90 minutes, it could limit New York's scoring chances. If not, Richards, with his skill, can wear down the Sounders back line quickly.

Fredy Montero vs Tim Ream: I'm expecting Red Bulls coach Hans Backe to turn to Tim Ream to try to shut down Fredy Montero. Montero has scored in 3 of the 4 times the Sounders and Red Bulls faced off against each other, including that two goal night in the Sounders inaugural match on March 19, 2009. If this were to be the matchup, I think it would decide the game.

Area's Seattle needs to improve on:

FINISH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! The Sounders had so many opportunities against the LA Galaxy. When you have a golden opportunity to score, you need to take advantage of it. Despite how good the Sounders are, this is one area where they have struggled in. And in a big road game in New York............well, New Jersey, this team can't afford to continue wasting all their opportunities.

New Signing:

The Sounders earlier today have completed the signing of Argentine international Mauro Rosales and should be available for the match this weekend. Rosales began his career with Newell's Old Boys in Argentina from 1999 to 2004, scoring 30 goals in 199 matches. He then spent two seasons at Ajax where he won the Dutch Cup in 2005. After returning home to Argentina to play for River Plate of Argentina from 2007 to 2010, Rosales originally agreed to play for Mexican club Queretaro FC, however, the deal broke down after Rosales was unable to pass his physical. Rosales joined the team on a trial while they were in Florida. After all speculation, he and the club came to an agreement earlier this week and now he is officially a Sounders FC player.

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