Sounders Insider

Sounders look ahead to visit from Sporting KC

With the excitement of the Portland derby now behind them, the Sounders will turn their attention this week to Sporting Kansas City, the re-branded Wizards.

Here are some preview notes from the club:

Resuming a three-match home stand, Seattle Sounders FC faces a foe that brings out the most riveting performances of the Rave Green. Sporting Kansas City comes to the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field on Saturday night for a 7 p.m. PT first kick. KONG 6/16 will air the game live.

Sounders FC (3-3-5, 14 points) can jump from fifth to second in the MLS Western Conference with a victory. They have lost only once in the last nine but have not won in their last three matches. Sporting KC (1-5-1, 4 points) has lost four in a row and rests at the bottom of the East.

Seattle is unbeaten in its last four at home and completes the home stand on May 25, hosting defending MLS Western Conference champion FC Dallas at 7 p.m. PT. For Kansas City, this will be the eighth of 10 consecutive road matches to start 2011. It moves into its new stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park, on June 9. Seattle visits on August 6.

Each time Sounders FC and KC have hooked-up in the past has produced a memorable 1-goal decision. Seattle leads the regular season series 3-1-0 and also owns a U.S. Open Cup play-in win versus the club formerly known as the Wizards.

Twice the Rave Green have clinched a playoff berth by winning in Kansas City. At home there have been a pair of last-minute game-winning goals. And KC can claim to be the first side to ever defeat Seattle, doing so in the Emerald City on April 11, 2009.

Last week's Cascadia Cup opener against Portland produced a spectacle in the stands, however Sounders FC was forced to settle for second straight draw, 1-1, before the 37th consecutive sell-out. The injury-plagued Rave Green has not won since a 3-0 rout of Toronto FC on April 30.

Sporting Kansas City fell, 4-1, at Los Angeles last week and are now winless since opening the season on March 19 with a victory over Chivas USA.

Calling Saturday's match on both KONG and 97.3 KIRO FM is the voice of Sounders FC, Arlo White. The game will also be carried by La Gran D 99.3 FM.

For tickets to Sounders FC home matches go to www.SoundersFC.com or call 877-MLS-GOAL.

Nate's KC MasterpiecesNate Jaqua has returned from offseason hip surgery to reclaim his starting job up front with Fredy Montero, and if history is any indication this Saturday could mark his return to the scoring column. Jaqua has totaled five goals and two assists in his last seven matches against Kansas City. He assisted on both goals in Seattle's 2-1 win last October. Jaqua's run of form against the then-Wizards began in 2006 while he played for Chicago. He scored twice for the Fire that season, then added a brace in 2008 while playing for Houston, and a single goal for Sounders FC in their initial win over KC in 2009.

Some Memorable MomentsEach of the five past meetings with Kansas City has etched at least one moment into the memories of Sounders FC players, staff and supporters. Foremost is likely the last time the two sides met on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. In the second minute of stoppage time, Mike Fucito cracked the winner off a quickly taken Brad Evans throw, setting off pandemonium throughout the stadium. Seconds later, Kasey Keller saved the win by stopping Chance Myers.

The Rave Green's visits to CommunityAmerica Ballpark were among the best of times as they celebrated clinching playoff berths on both occasions. In 2009 it was a come-from-behind, 3-2 effort by goals from Roger Levesque and Nate Jaqua in the final 21 minutes. They left it late in again last season; Sanna Nyassi and Alvaro Fernandez scored in the final half-hour of a 2-1 win.

The first encounter with KC actually brought the Sounders FC to earth after the expansion team started with three shutout wins in a row. Keller was red-carded in the 30th minute for a handball outside the box and the visitors prevailed, 1-nil. Three months later, in the quarterfinal round of the Open Cup, Seattle avenged that loss. Sebastien Le Toux struck a penalty kick in the 89th minute for a 1-0 triumph.

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