Sounders FC dead serious about winning for first time on road this season
Sounders FC (1-2-3) travels to defending MLS Cup champion Colorado for a 6:30 p.m. match.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ Colorado, 6:30 p.m., Fox Soccer
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TUKWILA — Coach Sigi Schmid set a straightforward goal for Sounders FC's first two-game road trip of the season.
Four points minimum.
One win. One tie.
"I was hoping to get three in Philly and one in Colorado," said Schmid.
The Sounders FC coach had to revise that late in a 1-1 tie Saturday in Philadelphia, a game in which Seattle scored during injury time.
"OK," he said to himself, "I'll take one today and we'll save the three for Colorado."
The in-game audible was recounted with a smile, but Seattle's desire to win after a mediocre 1-2-3 start is dead serious. The road doesn't get any easier Friday with a 6:30 p.m. contest against the reigning MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids at over 5,000 feet of elevation.
"Anytime the coach says he expects to have four points out of two games, obviously everyone's going to respond and do the best they can to lift themselves," said midfielder Brad Evans.
"It's kind of unsaid within the team, but we know we still have more losses than we do wins. That's something that for us isn't acceptable."
Colorado (3-2) will be hungry for a win as well, having lost twice in a row in shutouts after a 3-0 start.
"They want to take revenge on somebody, and we are the next target," said Schmid, whose team is 2-0 at home against the Rapids, but 0-1-1 on the road.
But goalkeeper Kasey Keller said the Sounders can build on the momentum of last week's thrilling comeback in Philadelphia. Seattle leads the league in shots (85) and shots on goal (30) and is unbeaten in its last four games (1-0-3), including two road ties.
"We have gotten some decent results on the road," said Keller, who has started 61 consecutive league games. "Now it's, 'Can we take it that bit further and push that little bit harder to get that first (road) win?' It'd be a great achievement. Before the game you might say a draw wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but we have to go in with the attitude that we want the three points. We know we're capable of doing it."
• The match will be broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer Channel, available only through premium cable packages.
• Seattle's injury report is uncharacteristically light this week, with just one player listed: forward/midfielder Pat Noonan has a strained thigh muscle. For Colorado, star forward Conor Casey has a hamstring strain and veteran midfielder Pablo Mastroeni is recovering from an Achilles strain.
• Sounders FC midfielder Steve Zakuani was retroactively awarded an assist for his role in a game-tying goal Saturday against Philadelphia. The stat change gives the 23-year-old either a goal or assist in Seattle's past four games.
• According to Jeff Sagarin's ratings in USA Today, Sounders FC has played the third-hardest schedule in MLS, behind only Los Angeles and New England. Keller said the six-game start has felt a little tougher than normal, but it's difficult to read too much into those kinds of stats early in the season.
• Defender Danny Earls was traded from Colorado to Seattle in the offseason and spent preseason with Sounders FC before being released in March. His short journey went full circle when the Rapids signed him again later that month.
• Seattle's James Riley is from Colorado Springs.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
|Before this season, Sounders FC had never taken more than four games to earn its second win.|
|Year||Six-game record||Games to reach two wins|
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