Matchday Central: vs. New York Red Bulls

Matchday Central: vs. New York Red Bulls

A win for Sounders FC would put it back atop the Supporters' Shield standings as Seattle meets the top team in the Eastern Conference.

Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls
September 29, 2013, 6 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: ESPN; 97.3 FM

New York’s Record: The Red Bulls are second in MLS at 15-9-6 (51 points), one point ahead of Seattle at 15-8-5.

All-Time Series: Seattle edges out New York at 3-2-2 in the seven all-time meetings, outscoring the Red Bulls 11-7. Sounders FC played its inaugural match against New York at CenturyLink Field on March 19, 2009, winning 3-0.

Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: F Will Bates (R knee); GK Josh Ford (R patella fracture). QUESTIONABLE: M Clint Dempsey (R hamstring strain); GK Marcus Hahnemann (R knee injury); M Shalrie Joseph (R knee sprain). Red Bulls – OUT: M Ian Christianson (R foot surgery); D Connor Lade (R knee injury); D Roy Miller (L Achilles injury); D Heath Pearce (hip surgery); F Bradley Wright-Phillips (R hamstring strain). QUESTIONABLE: M Lloyd Sam (groin strain)

Key player: Few teams have been able to keep the trio of Lamar Neagle, Obafemi Martins and Eddie Johnson out of the net at CenturyLink Field. The last time one of those three didn’t score at home was July 20, when DeAndre Yedlin scored the only goal in a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids. That streak spans six matches – all victories for Seattle. That puts heavy emphasis on goalkeeper Luis Robles, who has two straight shutouts for the Red Bulls, giving him 10 on the season. However, he has allowed three goals in a game five times this season.

Notes: Midfielder Mauro Rosales tied Fredy Montero for the club record with 34 assists in his career. He shares the league-lead with five game-winning assists this season. … Among the 18 goalkeepers who have started 20 games this season, Seattle’s Michael Gspurning ranks third with a 1.02 GAA, while New York’s Luis Robles ranks sixth at 1.20. Both are tied for second in the league with 10 shutouts. … Sounders FC is on a 13-match home unbeaten streak, going 10-0-3 in that stretch. … New York is 5-7-3 on the road this season. … Johnson, Martins and Neagle have combined for 19 goals at home and have tallied in 11 of Seattle’s 14 home matches. … Seattle will clinch a playoff spot with a win on Sunday and a Dallas loss against Columbus on Sunday and a San Jose loss to Chivas USA on Sunday. … Seattle and New York are tied for the best record in MLS since the halfway point in the season, with both teams earning 26 points. Seattle has gone 8-1-2 while New York is 8-3-2. They have the two longest active unbeaten streaks too, with Seattle at 5-0-1 and New York at 4-0-0. ... Seattle defender Zach Scott is out on a red card suspension.

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