David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: goalseattle@gmail.com
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Seattle Soccer Examiner

Seattle Soccer Examiner

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sounders host Miami tonight

From the Sounders:
(Seattle, Wa)- The Seattle Sounders (4-2-5) return to league play hosting the Miami FC Blues (3-6-5) Friday, June 20. Kickoff at Starfire is set for 7:00pm.

With one-third of the season complete, the Sounders are in fourth place in the USL-1 with 17 points and only five points behind the league-leading Vancouver Whitecaps. Considering obstacles, such as; player shortages due to injuries and seven of the 11 matches having been played on the road, Seattle is in good position in the race to retain the Commissioner’s Cup.

Seattle will be well rested coming into Friday night's game. The Sounders last match came in an international friendly eight days ago against Italian club Juventus Primavera. In that match, Seattle tallied three goals in a shutout win, while only playing two of their regular starters.

Next up is Miami, a team the Sounders played in the final match of their hectic three-game road trip just a few weeks ago. Seattle’s third in five days, the match ended in a nil-nil draw and was proof of this Sounders team’s mental toughness.

Says Coach Brian Schmetzer: “We were dead tired and Miami’s not a bad team at home. We were able to match them and their effort and eke out a point. That was a telltale sign that this team is very strong mentally.”

To find the goal this time around, Seattle will have to break through a Blues defense that has five consecutive shutouts, and has not allowed a single goal in 495 minutes of play. The Sounders attack led by striker Sebastien Le Toux has a formidable task ahead, but is up for the challenge. Le Toux scored twice in last week’s friendly. He ranks third in USL-1 with five goals and 11 points, and was selected to the USL-1 Team of the Week for the
second time after scoring once and impacting all three goals in the Sounders 3-1 win over Minnesota on June 5.

Seattle will have the option to play former number one pick in the 2005 MLS Superdraft, midfielder Nik Besagno, who was acquired on loan from Real Salt Lake. Besagno is scheduled to be with the Sounders through Sept. 9.

About Miami

The Blues’ 495 minutes-and-counting of shutout defense along with the one-two punch of Brazilian midfielder Leo Inácio, the club’s latest signing, and forward Alex Afonso presents a challenging assignment for Seattle. Inácio and Afonso have combined for a total of five goals between them in the club's last two matches.

Afonso also won USL-1 Team of the Week honors for the third time this season with his efforts in the 2-0 win this past Saturday against the Carolina Railhawks (3-3-4).

Miami is 2-0-3 in their last five league matches, and earned a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup first round win, 4-2, over the Bradenton Academics.

Today's Seattle Times: Sounders glad to have local guy Besagno for a while
Maple Valley native joins Sounders

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