Toronto and Sounders kick off at 12:30 at Qwest. (Here's the TNT preview.) Big game for the Sounders, but downright crucial for the visitors. A Sounders win would assure that Toronto cannot catch them in the playoff race. Depending on other results, it also could eliminate Toronto from playoff contention.
“A team that is desperate like they are you always have to take seriously because for them it’s a playoff game," coach Sigi Schmid said. "Tomorrow is a playoff game. Playoffs don’t start in November for them. They start right now. So we have to come out with that same mentality because if we don’t match their intensity, if we don’t match their mentality, then that sometimes becomes the difference in the game. When you play a desperate team, you know it’s a playoff game for them and you really have to work on making sure you match their mentality.”
On how Toronto has changed in the two weeks since Preki was dismissed as coach: “They have probably juggled the lineup around a little bit more. He has played [Dan] Gargan in the middle of the field where he was playing more on the outside under Preki. He has tried Ty Harden at left back. He has played different combinations and different units so it’s a little harder to predict who is going to be starting or what their starting group is going to be.”
On Dwayne De Rosario: We’ve got to know where he is at all times. We’ve got to make sure when he gets the ball whoever is closest has to get and limit his space as quick as possible. We’re not going to mark him man-to-man or go personal, but we’ve got to limit his space. He’s a player who’s been around this league a long time and he’s a guy who’s shown he can consistently score goals and set up goals. You’ve got to be aware of where he is, because he can beat you with his speed, and he can beat you with his shot from distance. KASEY KELLEROn the team's road sweep of its last two league games: "I think if your would have asked up before if we were going to pick up six points from Columbus and Chicago away, well, OK that would be great … we would have settled for less. But to be able to collect those with the results of the other teams was huge. Now what we need to do is really concentrate on those last four games and make sure we pick up the points needed. Because it would be a real shame to dig ourselves out of the hole we put ourselves in, to put ourselves in such good position to be able to look at this section of the section and how busy that it was the with the away games that we had, and to be able to pick up maximum points in the league, and then to throw that away by slipping up in future games would be a shame. We put ourselves in a good position, but that’s all we’ve done."
A quick look at the game:
TORONTO FC (8-11-7; 31 pts.)SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (11-9-6; 39 pts.)12:30 p.m., Qwest Field.TV: KONG 6/16.RADIO: 97.3 FM (1210 AM in Spanish).HEAD TO HEAD: The series is even, 1-1-1. The Reds won, 2-0, April 25 in Toronto. The teams played to a scoreless draw last season at Qwest.TEAM LEADERS: For Toronto – G 12, Dwayne De Rosario; A 4, Dan Gargan; S 60, De Rosario; SOG 31, De Rosario; GAA 1.19, Stefan Frei. For Seattle – G 10, Fredy Montero; A 9, Montero; S 82, Montero; SOG 32, Montero; GAA 1.10, Kasey Keller. NOTES: The Reds are 1-5-2 over their last eight games, including a 3-2 loss to San Jose last weekend. The club is 1-1 under coach Nick Dasovic, who replaced Preki on Sept. 14. … Seattle is 3-0-2 in its last five league home games. Toronto is 2-8-2 away from home. … Both teams played midweek CONCACAF Champions League matches. Seattle beat Marathon, 2-0, on Wednesday, and Toronto drew with Salt Lake on Tuesday. … Over two seasons, De Rosario has become Toronto’s career scoring leader with 23 goals and nine assists. … Frei’s 102 saves are the most in MLS. … The Reds have two designated players: Julian de Guzman and Mista. They have combined for no goals and three assists. … Sounders DP Blaise Nkufo has four goals over his last two league games. … Seattle defenders James Riley and Tyrone Marshall are one caution away from yellow-card suspensions. So are Toronto’s Adrian Cann, Julian de Guzman and De Rosario. … Sounders reserve goalkeeper Terry Boss is absent due to duty with the Puerto Rican national team. Kevin Guppy, who has played for Chivas USA, will serve as Seattle’s emergency keeper. … The game is sold out. … A pink version of the normal Adidas ball will be used to raise awareness for breast cancer research. … The referee is Mark GeigerNEXT: Seattle meets Columbus in the U.S. Open Cup final at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Qwest Field. The Sounders return to league play Oct. 9 at Kansas City.