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Chivas USA at Seattle Sounders - Game Thread

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Welcome everyone!  Dave and Jeremiah are out of town this weekend so I've taken over game thread duties today.  First off, Chivas USA at home is a winnable game. It's a game that most pundits expect the Sounders to win. However, make no mistake, this won't be an easy game. 

Coach Robin Fraser has done an admirable job in turning the Goats around in his first season as head coach starting with a new defensive mindset and organization that gives Chivas USA a puncher's chance in almost any match. He's supplemented the defense with some very good defenders in Heath Pearce and rookie Zarek Valentin. Valentin, while he has the potential to be a league-leading right back, will need to be on top form to contain Alvaro Fernandez and Mauro Rosales. Keeper Dan Kennedy, a top-five keeper by goals-against-average (GAA) is perfectly capable of keeping the Goats in games when the defense struggles. The Sounders will need to provide continuous offensive pressure to crack the Chivas USA defense.

The Chivas USA offense has been much better than expected especially in the back-half of the season. However, they rely heavily on attacking midfielder Nick LaBrocca and striker Justin Braun so shutting those two down will go a long way towards containing the Goats. Shutting down LaBrocca will likely fall to Osvaldo Alonso and that's one area where I'm fairly confident. Braun, on the other hand, has been a real enigma for the Goats this season. Some games he looks absolutely dominate. Others he barely registers on the field. I want the Seattle defense to make him a non-entity for 90+ minutes. To do that, the Seattle center-back team will need to do a much better job marking Braun in the box than they have recently with strikers like Kei Kamara and Brian Ching.   

More info on the game and your game-thread are after the jump:      

The game will be on King 5 and on 97.3 FM with the amazing Arlo White doing play-by-play. If you click on the 97.3 FM link it will take you to the MyNorthwest homepage. The radio link is to your right on the page.  You can also check-out Arlo White's scouting report here.

Pre Match Build-up: Lineup Card | Three Questions | SBN Seattle Preview

Lineups:

Seattle: GK: Keller; DEF: Riley, Parke, Scott, Wahl; MID: Rosales, Alonso, Friberg, Fernandez; FWD: Montero, Noonan

-Seattle Bench: Boss, Carrasco, Fucito, Ianni, Jaqua, Levesque, Neagle

Chivas USA: GK Kennedy, DEF: Valentin, Umana, Pearce, Jazic, MID: Gavin, Elliott, LaBrocca, Flores, Mondaini, Moreno

-Chivas Bench: Thornton, Braun, Chijindu, Courtois, Nagamura, Trujillo, Zemanski

Tactical Keys:

  • Apply Continuous Offensive Pressure
  • Win the Battle of the Fullbacks
  • Closely Mark Key Players for Chivas USA
  • Shut-down Freddy Adu

Player Matchups

  • Osvaldo Alonso vs. Nick Labrocca
  • Jeff Parke vs. Justin Braun
  • Alvaro Fernandez vs. Zarek Valentin

Statistics

Goals Assists Save % GAA
Chivas USA 31 32 Kennedy (72%) 1.05
Seattle Sounders 37 31 Keller (72%) 1.13
Additional PP90
Chivas USA Moreno (1.00)
Seattle Sounders Montero (.98)