Against Chivas USA in SoCal, Sounders will look to stay unbeaten on the road

Sounders FC vs. Chivas USA

MLS Regular Season
Saturday, April 19; 7:30 pm PT; StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
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 is unbeaten in its last 11 matches against Chivas USA, going 7-0-4 while holding a 21-7 scoring edge. The last defeat to Chivas came on June 6, 2009.

None of that will matter when Seattle takes the field on Saturday against Chivas USA at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Both teams have undergone big changes since last season, let alone since that last Seattle defeat to Chivas 58 months ago.

“Every game is a new game. I know sometimes you have streaks against certain teams but we really don’t think about that when we go into a game,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “We just think about the opponent this week. This is who they’re putting on the field. This is who we’re putting on the field. This is what we need to do in order to have success this week.”

While Seattle’s changes over the offseason have been well-represented in the standings, as the club sits in a tie for second in the Western Conference at 3-2-1 (10 points), Chivas has had a tougher start to the season. After winning the opener, 3-2, over the Chicago Fire, Chivas has gone winless at 0-2-3. However, Seattle is quick to point out the progress made over the Chivas club from previous years.

With faces like Carlos Bocanegra and former Sounders FC midfielder Mauro Rosales leading the charge, Chivas is also getting strong contributions from forwards Erick Torres and Leandro Barrera. While the results haven’t been there, the play on the field has shown improvement under new Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera.

“They’re a much-improved team. They’re a team that’s better organized, that has a better understanding within the players of their roles within their team,” Schmid said. “I think they’ve improved the depth of their team as well. They’re definitely a much tougher club than they were last year.”

That should create an entertaining clash at the StubHub Center.

“It’s a new attitude and endeavor for them,” Seattle midfielder Brad Evans said. “I think it will be a good battle. They’re at home. They want to make a statement and we’re a good road team.”

Seattle will have a familiar face across the field when Rosales lines up for Chivas. For three years, the Argentine midfielder was a leader on and off the field for Sounders FC, wearing the captain’s armband in 2012 and 2013 and equaling the club record for with 34 career assists.

Now, he has three assists through his first six matches and is a key player for Chivas.

“He’s going to be motivated. He’s going to want to play well, but our guys are going to be motivated also,” Schmid said.

Seattle will be looking to extend its 11-match unbeaten streak against Chivas, but also to continue an unbeaten road start to the 2014 season, going 2-0-1 in its first three matches away from CenturyLink Field.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 7:30 pm PT with television coverage on JOEtv (channel 22/cable 10).