Friday, April 8, 2011

Seattle Sounders FC vs Chicago Fire preview

By Money Mike

The Seattle Sounders get ready for their 5th of 34 matches this season at home against the Chicago Fire. Last year, Seattle swept the season series against the Fire with some late drama. On August 28, it was Fredy Montero leading the team to a 2-1 victory at home. John Thorrington, who now plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps, got the Fire on the board from the penalty spot in the 28th minute of that match, but Montero answered with a 36th minute goal and a 91st minute goal to claim the victory for the Sounders. The Sounders needed more late drama on September 25th to sweep the Fire in 2010. It was Blaise Nkufo's turn to be the hero in the 89th minute of that match with his game winning goal. The Sounders are 2-0-2 so far against Chicago dating back to 2009 and look to keep their unbeaten record in tact against them and also win their first match of the 2011 season.

Injury report:

Chicago Fire - Mike Banner has inflammation on his left achillies tendon and he is out. Steven Kinney is also out with what I believe with a torn right achillies tendon. Gabriel Ferrari with suffering from a right hip flexor strain, he is listed as doubtful. Josip Mikulic with a left quadriceps strain, he's also listed as doubtful.

Seattle Sounders FC - Fredy Montero was expected to play, but he has not fully recovered from his right wrist surgery and I think Sigi Schmid is doing the right thing and not rushing Montero back into full fitness. So, Fredy Montero is out. Mike Fucito is listed as questionable with a right ankle sprain. Pat Noonan, Taylor Graham and Josh Ford are listed as probable, not that it matters because neither of them will be on the 18-man squad tomorrow. Finally, Erik Friberg has a flu, the MLS website is saying he will be out and Friberg is saying he feels alot better. Right now, I don't know whether or not Sigi will put him on the pitch.

Key matchups:

Steve Zakuani vs Jalil Anibaba - Right backs always have a tough assignment with Zakuani on the wing, and this is no exception for Anibaba. The rookie out of the University of North Carolina trained with the Sounders last season. This looks a good matchup here.

Patrick Nyarko vs Leonardo Gonzalez - Leo is gonna be tested again on the wing. Nyarko has already drawn seven fouls this season and Gonzalez already has 3 yellow cards this season. I think it's the Ghanaian footballer with the edge over the Costa Rican international. As I said, Gonzalez will be tested a lot in this match.

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