After posting a regular season attendance record Thursday, Seattle turns around quickly to host New England on Sunday.
Seattle Sounders FC: Super substitute Roger Levesque entered the match in the 58th minute and led the Sounders to an impressive 4-2 victory over a depleted New York Red Bulls squad. He promptly scored his first two goals of the year, including the game-winning tally in the 67th minute. The other strikes came from midfielders Erik Friberg, his first of the year, and Osvaldo Alonso. The four goals were a season high for the Rave Green and extended its unbeaten streak to five.
New England Revolution: Last weekend against the Chicago Fire, New England once again found its offensive form in a 1-1 tie. Rajko Lekic broke his scoring slump early in the second half. Once the striker found the back of the net it seemed to spark him, and as the game went into its late stage he was extremely active. If Lekic continues to be hungry for the ball, his team might start winning games.
Seattle: Defender Leo Gonzalez and Alonso received their fifth yellow cards of the year in the matchup against the Red Bulls. They’ll both be sitting out Sunday’s match against the New England Revolution due to yellow card accumulations. Gonzalez received credit for an assist on the first goal, while Alonso scored his second of the year in the first half. They’ll be missed and it forces head coach Sigi Schmid to reshuffle his lineup to make up for their absences.
New England: New England's defense struggled against the counter attack early in the match against the Fire. The team did move forward well, but as soon as possession was lost, the Fire earned many goal scoring opportunities on the break. Chicago may have been the fastest team the Revolution has played this season, but the team certainly showed a huge weakness in the normally sturdy defense of the Revs.
Seattle: With Gonzalez and Alonso out of the starting lineup, Schmid may opt for a less aggressive approach on offense. Seattle’s been playing a 4-3-3 to generate more scoring opportunities, but could revert to a more conservative 4-4-2 for defensive purposes. Forward Fredy Montero exited Thursday's match in the 81st minute due to a tight quad. If the Colombian does not recover, Levesque may find himself starting up front as a reward for his two-goal performance against the Bulls. In his post match press conference, Schmid indicated that the versatile Brad Evans should be ready to play on Sunday. He may end up replacing Alonso as the holding midfielder.
New England: Another week goes by and more opportunities are created by a 4-4-2 formation. Coach Steve Nicol has found the setup, now all there needs to be is patience. New England needs to not rush play, complete passes, and cross threatening balls. Often times recently the passing of the ball has been behind players, impeding progress.
New England also needs to play with a mentality that does not overcompensate offensively or defensively, as it has done throughout the season. With the team's place in the standings being relatively low, it may be time to take some risks on the road for points.
Seattle: The match against the Red Bulls generated a fair amount of buzz and intensity. A record Sounders regular season crowd of 46,065 at newly renamed CenturyLink Field provided a loud and intense atmosphere. With the Revs struggling, Seattle cannot afford a letdown, and will be playing with only three days rest between matches. Fatigue could be a factor in the later stages of the game.
New England: The team should be boosted by the return of midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who is listed on the injury report as probable with a right ankle sprain. Feilhaber was training with the team prior to both matches last week so expect him to be ready to play on Sunday.
John Zielonka: The Sounders extend their unbeaten streak to six and beat the Revs by a score of 3-1.
Justin Churchill: Seattle is a good team at home. I expect New England to struggle offensively against the Sounders. 2-0 Seattle.
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