Sounders FC vs. Chicago Fire
MLS Regular Season
Saturday, June 6; 5:30 pm PT; Toyota Park
TV/Radio: JOEtv (KZJO, channel 22/cable 10); KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; THIS-TV (KOMO2, Spanish); ESPN Deportes Radio, 1490 AM (Spanish)
Sounders FC meets the Chicago Fire Saturday for the only time this season. As Seattle looks to extend its nine-game unbeaten streak across all competitions against Chicago, here are three matchups to watch at Toyota Park.
Quincy Amarikwa vs. Chad Marshall
After scoring in four straight matches from April 12 to May 10, Amarikwa has gone scoreless in the last four for Chicago. He is dangerous in the attack and has notched five goals and one assist in 12 appearances this season, already a career-high after five seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids and Toronto FC. A speedy forward who gets behind defenses with his quickness, he poses a tough test for Marshall and the Seattle back line, but coming off of a shutout last week against Real Salt Lake, the Sounders FC defense is full of confidence heading into this week's match.
Marco Pappa vs. Nostalgia
For five seasons, Pappa called Chicago home and he was embraced by the Fire supporters tremendously. He has said that the return trip to the Windy City is just a business trip for him, but it won't be easy to completely block out the emotion of playing at Toyota Park again. He had a lot of success with the Fire, garnering 26 goals and 16 assists from 2008-2012 before leaving to ply his trade with Heerenveen in Holland. He has found his groove of late with Seattle and has combined well with his teammates. And of course, who can forget the last time Seattle was at Toyota Park in 2012 and Pappa scored directly off a corner kick against the Sounders?
Obafemi Martins vs. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
Speaking of familiar faces, the longtime Sounders defender Hurtado will go up against his old team for the first time, as well. He will be put to the test against Martins, who was up for Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month after tallying three goals and two assists to help Seattle go 4-1-1 in May. Martins and Hurtado went head-to-head in training throughout the 2013 season with Seattle and now the Sounders original will likely face Martins in direct competition. He has been Chicago's most consistent starter on the backline, but has already played in two matches this week with the Fire facing a busy schedule before the World Cup break.