No Sounders training today. While we're awaiting whatever news comes out of their Thursday morning session, here are some notes from the club:
The top spot in Major League Soccer is on the line this Saturday as the league-leading Seattle Sounders FC returns home to host second-place Real Salt Lake. The winner of Saturday's match will be the Supporters' Shield leader while a draw would allow Seattle to retain first overall. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Saturday's match will be televised locally on Q-13 FOX and regionally on ROOT Sports with Ross Fletcher and Taylor Graham on the call, and can be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. Spanish radio is available on ESPN Deportes 1490 AM with Rene Aleman and Noe Menendez calling the action.
Sounders FC (8-3-2, 26 points) remained first in the race for the Supporters' Shield with Saturday's late comeback draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Seattle has earned 17 of its league-high 26 points in the final 10 minutes of matches, including five game-winners and two equalizers.
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Two Seattle newcomers shined in Saturday's Cascadia Cup draw as Chad Barrett scored in his first start and Gonzalo Pineda converted a late penalty for his first MLS goal. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei kept Seattle in the match with four saves, including a last-second stop that is nominated for MLS Save of the Week.
Saturday's match against Salt Lake marks the last home game until July 13 as the team will play three-straight road games with a three-week World Cup break. Sounders FC has earned the most points (15) at home this season, including a league-best four-game home winning streak - two short of the club record.
Real Salt Lake (6-0-6, 24 points) sits second in the full table, matching the MLS record for longest unbeaten streak to start a season. RSL has won its past two road outings by a combined score of 8-4 and enter Saturday's match with a 2-2-2 regular-season record at CenturyLink Field.
The two sides will meet again on August 16 at Rio Tinto Stadium before concluding the season series at CenturyLink Field on September 12.
Following Saturday's match, Sounders FC will continue MLS Reserve League play on Sunday with a match against the LA Galaxy II. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash.
Sounders FC will learn its opponent for the fourth round of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night when the LA Galaxy II host PSA Elite at 7:30 p.m. PT. Sounders FC would either host PSA Elite (USASA) or visit the LA Galaxy II (USL PRO).
The MLS regular season continues on June 7 with a visit to the Chicago Fire, and will resume on June 28 at D.C. United. The next home match is July 13 against the Portland Timbers on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
Tickets for Sounders FC home matches, including the Tottenham Hotspur friendly, are available now at www.SoundersFC.com and 1-877-MLS-GOAL. The 6-Match ticket package is also available now with expanded seating to include the upper bowl at CenturyLink Field.