The Sounders FC take to the road for their first MLS road match of 2012 on Saturday, taking on DC United at RFK Stadium.
In reality, though, they’ve made the nation’s capital their home away from home since 2009, going 3-1-0 in road games against DC United, including a win in the 2009 US Open Cup final. For that reason, DC has come to be a special place for the Sounders.
“We got our first championship here,” forward Fredy Montero said. “I got the opportunity to score in the final game. We are ready to play and we need to score goals to get some points here.”
Scoring goals hadn’t been a problem for the Sounders in their first two matches, tallying five times in wins over Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo. They came up empty, though, in a 1-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes and are looking to get back to their winning ways on Saturday against a DC United team that is coming in with the momentum of a 4-1 win over FC Dallas last week.
DC is led by midfielder Dwayne DeRosario, who earned league MVP honors last season with 16 goals and 12 assists. He has yet to score this season, but picked up two assists against Dallas last week. He has solidified a young attacking core for DC, who have since added Maicon Santos and Hamdi Salihi at the forward spots.
“He’s one of the best players in the league,” defender Jeff Parke said of De Rosario. “You have to keep an eye on him all game.”
United will be without defender Brandon McDonald, suspended by the league disciplinary committee for a tackle in DC’s 4-1 win over FC Dallas last week. With top goalkeeper Bill Hamid unlikely to play after suffering an ankle injury in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying and defender Dejan Jakovic hampered by injuries, the DC defense may be a bit suspect.
However, they have only allowed more than one goal in one of their four matches this season, a 3-1 road loss to the LA Galaxy.
For Seattle, getting a good start on the road is important. Last year, they had the best road record in the league at 9-3-5 and they are looking to continue that success.
“We did well last year on the road,” Parke said. “I think this year we have to start off on the same foot.”
Kickoff is slated for 4:30 Pacific Time with the live television broadcast on KONG 6/16 and the radio call on 97.3 KIRO FM.