Sounders Insider

Sounders conclude training for punchless Goats

LogoChivas[1]The Sounders trained a little earlier than usual this morning and then headed off to Southern California where they will meet Chivas USA at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Here's some of what coach Sigi Schmid had to say:

About facing Chivas which neither won nor scored in August: A team, even when they’re struggling, they’re still professional players and there’s still some quality out there. When you’ve got guys like Felix Borja, who’s played a lot of year in some of the top European Leagues; you’ve got a guy like (Nigel) Rio-Coker, who spent a lot of years in the Premiership; (former Sounder) Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, we know what he’s capable of; and (Dan) Kennedy their goalkeeper. There’s still a lot of quality there. For some reason it hasn’t come together, hasn’t resulted in wins. But you see it in our league all the time, that there’s no game you can take lightly.On the advantage of scoring early: We want to play well early on, and if we can get up a goal or two then some of the bad memories will come up for them. But that’s work. You saw in their game with the Galaxy, for 42 minutes it was pretty much an even game: 41 minutes until Zardes got the goal, and then their will broke a little bit. But it was work prior to that.

On Sounder Eriq Zavaleta's loan to Chivas USA: He’s coming along all right. He’s played a lot of games for them as a center back. That’s something we’ll make a decision on at the end of the season and see exactly where he fits in again with us, or see what his situation is with Chivas. Obviously he can’t play against us; that’s one of the rules of that sort of transaction. I think for him, he’s gotten a lot of minutes in the MLS this year, and that was a good positive step for him.

On the prospect of playing before an extremely small crowd: It is what it is. I’m sure some of the guys have Southern California ties, so I’m sure some of them will have friends out there. I know some of our fans will always travel, so I’m sure we’ll have some support there for our team. Again, the game is like that so you just have to deal with it. There’s nothing that’s going to happen that’s going to change it. I’ll try and get as many friends and family that I can think of out there to help us.

Some notes from the Sounders:

Looking to further its lead in the Supporters' Shield race, Seattle Sounders FC visits Chivas USA in a midweek matchup on Wednesday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Wednesday's match will be televised locally on Q-13 FOX and regionally on ROOT Sports with Ross Fletcher and Kasey Keller calling the action, and can be heard on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 1490 AM.

Sounders FC (15-7-3, 48 points) extended its unbeaten streak to three games (2-0-1) with Saturday's 1-nil win against the Colorado Rapids. Clint Dempsey netted his MLS career high 11th goal of the season while Stefan Frei posted his league best eighth shutout.

Seattle sits two points clear of D.C. United and the LA Galaxy in the Supporters' Shield standings, maintaining the top spot for 17 of 25 weeks this season. Sounders FC can become the first team to reach the 50-point mark with a win on Wednesday against Chivas USA.

Sounders FC has earned six straight wins in the regular season series against Chivas USA, going unbeaten in the past 12 (8-0-4) outings, dating back to the last loss on June 6, 2009. Seattle enters the match as the top road team in the Western Conference, going 6-4-2 away from home this season, including a 4-2 win at Portland in its last road outing on August 24.

Amidst a seven-game (0-6-1) winless stretch, Chivas USA (6-13-6, 24 points) currently sits at the bottom of the West. Chivas USA has struggled at home this season, posting a record of 3-7-2 with its last home win on July 5. Seattle won the previous meeting a the StubHub Center, 2-1, on April 19, and the sides will meet for the third and final time on September 27 at CenturyLink Field.

Chivas USA recently acquired former Sounders FC defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and former Whitecaps FC midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. Forward Erik Torres, who ranks third in MLS with 14 goals, will be unavailable for the match.

With a bye on the weekend, Sounders FC will resume regular season action on September 12 against Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field. Seattle will then embark on a three-game road trip to visit Philadelphia in the U.S. Open Cup Final on September 16, followed by league matches at New York (September 20) and Dallas (September 24).