Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sounders make some progress
by Ridge Mahoney, March 28th, 2011 1:54AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
What They're Saying: Dwight Yorke    
"I couldn't quite believe what was happening. I have lost count of the number of times ...
U.S. Abroad: Brooks' Hertha holds Bayern    
John Brooks' Hertha Berlin was seconds away from beating Bayern Munich when Robert Lewandowski scored to ...
USA loses opener of U-20 World Cup qualifying     
The USA's qualifying campaign for the 2017 U-20 World Cup started poorly when it fell, 1-0, ...
USL: John Harkes is fired as FC Cincinnati coach    
FC Cincinnati is one the feel-good stories of recent years, a team that caught fire in ...
What They're Saying: Jakson Follmann    
"It's not for me to stay stuck in a corner, sad and begging for my leg, ...
MLS Focus: Homegrown players face stiff competition    
The 2017 season marks the 10th year of MLS's Homegrown program. Two rookies -- Ian Harkes ...
Datebook: D.C. United to hold groundbreaking on Feb. 27    
D.C. United will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for 20,000-seat Audi Field on Feb. 27 after it ...
MLS Moves: Stertzer parlays trial into NYCFC contract    
Known more for blockbuster deals rather than shrewd signings of role players, New York City FC ...
What They're Saying: Dax McCarty    
"Thank you for the 2 most successful seasons in club history. Don't let the door hit ...
MLS Preseason: Revs encouraged by Kouassi's brief debut    
A long, long wait for Xavier Kouassi ended Wednesday when he started and played 17 minutes ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives