Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Sounders make some progress
by Ridge Mahoney, March 28th, 2011 1:54AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls, seattle sounders

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] It took 260 minutes for Seattle to score its first goal of 2011, and with that Steve Zakuani tally in the 80th minute the Sounders managed a 1-1 tie with Houston Friday night at Qwest Field. The abrupt departure of Designated Player Blaise Nkufo just hours before the season opener March 15 certainly weakened the Seattle front line. Yet in its first two matches – a 2-0 loss to the Galaxy at home and a 1-0 defeat in New York – the Sounders' midfield also sputtered.

Strong midfield work against the Dynamo by Zakuani, Brad Evans, Oswaldo Alonso and Erik Friberg reversed that trend.

Friberg, playing smart and effective soccer despite playing on turf slickened by a downpour, added punch to attack from the right flank and maintained his influence in the middle when recently signed Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales took over on the right flank. Oswaldo shouldered his usual mountain of work all over the field, and Zakuani – who sat out the Red Bulls game after aggravating a groin strain in the opener – worked the wing effectively and also occasionally knifed towards goal. Evans -- limited by injury to just 12 games last year – came back into the lineup after missing first two matches and contributed 70 solid minutes before Rosales replaced him.

Sitting out the game entirely was Designated Player Alvaro Fernandez, who with the arrival of Rosales faces another challenger, along with Friberg, for playing time on the right side or in the middle. The return of Evans unquestionably boosted Seattle’s midfield, as his range and workrate and experience complements the other players, regardless of their strengths or styles, and Fernandez may benefit from his presence when they get on the field together.

It appears Rosales and Friberg have more quickly accepted the more direct, sometimes hurly-burly style of many MLS matches than Fernandez, who at times has failed to cope with the pressure and pace. Coach Sigi Schmid could of course use Fernandez in certain spots, but not many teams can afford the luxury of a DP who only fits certain opponents or competitions.

The Sounders get another good test this weekend when they travel to San Jose, which lost its opener at home to Real Salt Lake, 1-0, in a monsoon and thumped FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park last weekend with two goals by Chris Wondolowski. How Seattle copes with Wondo will be critical to the game’s outcome, yet the Quakes have also altered their formation and added Tottenham on-loan attacking mid Simon Dawkins, which presents different problems for Schmid and whomever he chooses to play in midfield.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Gyau, Morse and Haley move up with U-18 women    
The U.S. under-18 women's national team will hold a one-week training camp that begins Sunday at ...
Video Pick: The Magic of the FA Cup?    
The folks at The Guardian have become suspicious about the marketing of the FA Cup, the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes opened preseason play with shutout victories in scrimmages on ...
USA falls to Chile, 3-2, in 2015 opener    
The U.S. men's national team opened its 2015 season wtih a 3-2 loss at Chile on ...
W-League will return for 21st season with just 18 teams    
A slimmed down W-League will kick off the 2015 season in May with 18 teams, down ...
Red Bull dealing pays off; Sacha Kljestan arrives     
The New York Red Bulls have succeeded in outflanking the Los Angeles Galaxy to land U.S. ...
2015 MLS Preseason Schedule    
Most of the first week of MLS training camp will be spent working in-house and on ...
Indy pushes 'Stadium for Indiana' campaign    
Indy Eleven, which sold out all 14 games during its debut season in the North American ...
Real Salt Lake forges forward in wake of Plata injury    
A good season ended badly for RSL, which has cut loose several veterans as it reboots ...
Video Pick: Journeyman hits volley golazo off corner kick    
Victor Curto Ortiz, a 32-year-old Spaniard who 11 years ago played for Barcelona's reserves and has ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives