Sounders FC vs DC United
July 3, 2013, 7 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: KONG 6/16; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; KOMO2 (Spanish); La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish).
DC’s Record: After reaching the Eastern Conference championships in 2012, DC has struggled in 2013 at just 2-12-3 after a 13-match winless streak.
All-time series: The Sounders lead the all-time series at 3-2-2 in MLS play and 4-2-2 overall after winning their first US Open Cup title at RFK Stadium in 2009. Seattle has a 212 minute shutout streak against DC, dating back to May 4, 2011.
Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: GK Josh Ford (R patella fracture); M Steve Zakuani (athletic pubalgia). QUESTIONABLE: M Osvaldo Alonso (L quad strain). DC United – M Dwayne De Rosario (R hip flexor strain); M Nick DeLeon (R ankle sprain); D Lewis Neal (abdominal/groin injury); Dejan Jakovic (L adductor strain).
Key player: Last year, Chris Pontius was named MLS Best XI after posting 12 goals and four assists in helping DC to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and an appearance in the Eastern Conference championships. This year, his enigmatic play has been indicative of United as a whole. He has just one goal and two assists in 13 appearances, but could break out to his 2012 form at any moment. With De Rosario and DeLeon out, he becomes the sure focus of their offense, but will have to step up to that challenge for DC to succeed.
Notes: DC United goalkeeper Bill Hamid is away with the U.S. National Team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, leaving Joe Willis for the goalkeeping duties. In two starts this season, Willis has allowed four goals. In his three years in MLS, he is 5-8-3 with a 1.71 goals against average. In two career starts against Sounders FC, he posted a clean sheet in 2012 and allowed three goals in 2011. … Alonso was ruled out of Wednesday’s match on Tuesday by Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid, who hopes to have Alonso ready for Saturday’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. … Seattle is unbeaten at 3-0-2 in their last five home matches, with wins in each of their last three at CenturyLink Field. … Sounders FC has amassed the second-most points from July 1 through the end of the regular season since 2009, posting a 34-13-15 record after July 1, just behind the LA Galaxy at 37-15-11. … Seattle has done well against DC late in halves, with eight of their 12 goals coming in the final 15 minutes of a half. … In addition to defender James Riley (2009-2011), DC United has one other Seattle connection in goalkeeper coach Preston Burpo, who played with the Sounders in the USL/A-League from 1997-2005.