Sounders Insider

Sounders off; a look ahead to Red Bulls

LogoNYThe Sounders aren't training today, so no media availabilities either. So, we'll fill the void with some updates on the Sunday visit from the New York Red Bulls.

First from the Sounders:

Series Preview: Sounders FC vs. New York Red BullsSunday's match against the New York Red Bulls marks the lone meeting of the season between the two teams. Sounders FC leads the all-time series with a 3-2-2 record, including a come-from-behind draw in the previous meeting last July. Seattle has held strong at home, earning two wins with one draw in the three all-time meetings at CenturyLink Field. The two home wins featured seven total goals as Sounders FC downed the Red Bulls, 3-0, in the club's first-ever MLS match in 2009, and also ousted New York, 4-2, in the previous home meeting in 2011, highlighted by Roger Levesque's second-half brace and famous "scuba dive" goal celebration.

* Seattle has outscored New York, 11-7, including four goals in the opening 15 minutes.* Seattle has scored multiple goals in three of the seven all-time meetings, including two straight multi-goal games. * Two active Sounders FC players (Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso) have scored against New York. * Michael Gspurning is yet to face NYRB after missing the 2012 meeting due to injury. New York starting keeper Luis Robles is also yet to play in the series. * The two teams met in the 2013 FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup on February 20. Seattle beat New York, 2-0, with goals from Alex Caskey and Mario Martinez. Flashback to Inaugural GameSounders FC hosted the New York Red Bulls in the club's inaugural MLS game on March 19, 2009. Fredy Montero staked Seattle to an early lead and Brad Evans added a first-half tally as Seattle took a 2-nil halftime lead. Montero completed his brace in the 75th minute as Sounders FC won its first-ever MLS match, 3-0, in front of a crowd of 32,608 at CenturyLink Field.

Four of Seattle's starters for the inaugural match are still with the team. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Zach Scott started across the backline, and Alonso and Evans partnered in the midfield. In addition, Steve Zakuani-the top selection in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft-made his debut in the 68th minute. Mike Petke, the current head coach of New York, started the match and played the full 90 minutes for the Red Bulls.

Throw-ins Defender Zach Scott will serve a one-game suspension for his red card ejection last Saturday at Los Angeles. Scott has received four yellow card cautions and will receive a suspension on his next yellow card. He has three remaining games before receiving the good behavior incentive...Leo Gonzalez has four yellow cards and is one game from receiving his good behavior incentive. Djimi Traore will be suspended on his next yellow card. He can no longer use his good behavior incentive.

And below, these notes from the Red Bulls:

Boasting a MLS-best 51 points and a four-game winning streak, the New York Red Bulls travel to CenturyLink Field Sunday to face Western Conference leader, Seattle Sounders FC, in a match between the two first place teams in MLS. The game will be shown live nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes starting at 9:00 PM ET.

New York can potentially clinch a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 10th time in 11 seasons via the following ways:

New York Red Bulls will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup PlayoffsIF · New York Red Bulls win vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday ANDEITHER · Philadelphia Union tie or lose vs. Sporting Kansas City on Friday OR· Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. Montreal Impact on SaturdayOR · New York Red Bulls tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday AND EITHER · Philadelphia Union lose vs. Sporting Kansas City on Friday OR· Chicago Fire lose vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday

Red Bulls-Seattle Sounders FC PreviewThe Red Bulls will hit the road and face Seattle Sounders FC for the only time in the 2013 MLS regular season on Sunday.

New York recorded its fourth-straight win in a tight 1-0 victory over FC Dallas last Sunday at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls’ defense earned its 10th shutout of the year while New York benefited from an Erick 76th minute own goal to move into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with 51 points off a 15-9-6 record, giving the club a three-point lead over second place Sporting Kansas City. With four regular season matches remaining, the Red Bulls are also atop the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings.

New York travels to face the team that is one point behind it in the Supporters’ Shield race – Seattle Sounders FC. Currently holding a two point lead over Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference, Seattle (15-8-5, 50 pts.) has been one of the hottest teams in MLS over the second half of the season, winning five of its last six and losing just once in its past 11 contests. The Sounders were able to earn a point following a 1-1 tie against the LA Galaxy last Saturday at the StubHub Center, with Seattle forward and U.S. National Team international Eddie Johnson scoring his eighth goal of the season. Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle pace Seattle with eight goals apiece while midfielder Mauro Rosales has a team-high eight assists. Seattle will be missing defender Zach Scott, who picked up a red card in the Galaxy match and will serve a one-game suspension.

New York is 2-3-2 all-time against Seattle and 1-2-0 at CenturyLink Field. The teams played to a 2-2 tie in their last match on July 15, 2012 at Red Bull Arena.