Sounders win over Rapids would break MLS record

Staff writerJuly 19, 2013 

Sounders

Sounders forward Brad Evans, left, battling for position against Santos FC’s Osmar Mares in April, suffered a rib injury Sunday but will be in uniform when Seattle plays host to Colorado on Saturday.

TONY OVERMAN — Staff photographer

When Sounders FC played the Colorado Rapids earlier this season, Seattle won.

The Sounders also swept the series last season.

And the season before that.

Seattle has won its past seven games against the Rapids, matching the Major League Soccer record for consecutive wins over an opponent set by San Jose against Dallas from 2002-2004.

The Sounders will try for their record-breaking eighth straight win over Colorado at 1 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

“(Coach Sigi Schmid) always says it’s good to be the first team to do something,” said Sounders forward Lamar Neagle, who is from Federal Way. “This is another time that we can be the first to beat a team eight times in a row. I know they know that as well. I’m sure they’ve heard it. They don’t want that. And they’re doing well right now.”

Schmid might like his team to be the first to accomplish things, but he voiced other motivations after his team completed training Friday.

“All that’s important for us is we need to get a win Saturday for the current run that we’re in,” he said. “So if that means we’re the first team that wins eight, tremendous. But we’re not worried about what’s happened before or what’s going to transpire after. Our whole focus is on this game.”

Ten Sounders already have been ruled out of the match. Forward Eddie Johnson is away with the United States national team. Injuries will keep several players out, including central defender Djimi Traore, midfielder Shalrie Joseph, starting goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, backup goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and No. 3 goalkeeper Josh Ford.

“We’ve got some difficulties in terms of our lineup and our injuries,” Schmid said, “but we also have guys who are going on the field who are all capable of playing.”

Midfielder Brad Evans has recovered enough from a rib injury to be in uniform, but whether he starts will be a game-time decision.

Colorado also has had injury concerns this season and has taken on a new look under second-year coach Oscar Pareja.

“They had a lot of injuries at the beginning of the year, so he’s put some young guys in who have been forced into the lineup a little bit as well,” Schmid said. “ … I think it’s a team that’s playing with a lot of energy because of the youthfulness of the team, and that energy has gotten them some good results.”

Schmid said there are no personnel or technical matchup reasons why his team hasn’t lost to Colorado since May 29, 2010 – or why all seven wins have come by one goal.

“In soccer, sometimes you have what they call in Europe sometimes a ‘bogey team,’ ” he said. “There’s a team that you somehow do well against, and there’s a team that no matter how well you play, it seems you always come off on the short end. So, for Colorado, the results (for us) have gone well against them and hopefully will continue to do so.”

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808
don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer
@donruiztnt

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