Chivas USA-Sounders Preview

SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN (STATS Senior Writer)
The Associated Press

The Seattle Sounders say they are taking nothing for granted against Chivas USA.

The Sounders won the last meeting between these teams by four goals and have never lost at home to struggling Chivas USA heading into Saturday's matchup.

Seattle (12-6-8) will be trying for a fourth straight home victory while Chivas USA (7-11-7) enters on an 0-3-2 overall slide.

The Sounders are guarding against overconfidence after a 6-2 victory at Chivas on Aug. 25. They matched a franchise record for goals in an MLS game, also beating Columbus by the same score Aug. 27, 2011.

While Seattle can move ahead of Real Salt Lake into second place in the Western Conference with a victory, Chivas enters with the West's second-worst record.

"Every game is a separate occurrence and is mutually exclusive from the past," coach Sigi Schmid told the Sounders' official website. "That's the way we have to approach it. Just because they had a bad game against us in L.A., doesn't mean they are going to have a bad game again."

Mauro Rosales assisted on all of Fredy Montero's three goals in that contest. Brad Evans and substitute Sammy Ochoa also scored, and Seattle's final tally was put in by Chivas defender Ante Jazic.

The Sounders have two draws and a victory in three home games against Chivas, part of their seven-game unbeaten streak in this series (3-0-4). Chivas goes into its lone 2012 visit to Seattle with a 1-3-5 road record in league play since late April.

"There is no chance to relax," Montero insisted. "There is no chance to come here and expect that they will be an easy team to play against. We know the responsibility we have in front of our fans."

These teams also played to a 1-1 draw May 26, but Chivas was a much better defensive team at that time. It has yielded 18 goals during this winless run, including 13 over a three-game stretch that began with the defeat to Seattle and continued Sunday with a 4-0 loss at San Jose.

Despite those woes, Chivas still has a chance to catch Vancouver for the fifth and final playoff spot in the West. The Whitecaps have 37 points while eighth-place Chivas has 28, but with three games in hand.

"As crazy as it's been, there's still something to play for," goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told Chivas' official website. "We've been fortunate that ... even though (results) haven't gone our way, the results in the league have gone our way."

A back line that features former Sounders defender James Riley will have to improve. Riley is returning to Seattle for the first time after spending the previous three seasons with the club.

Jazic, however, won't play for Chivas since he is with Canada's national team for World Cup qualifying. Midfielder Oswaldo Minda is also absent while joining Ecuador.

Seattle forward Eddie Johnson is expected to be available after he missed Sunday's 1-1 draw with FC Dallas due to a sore adductor. Johnson and Montero each has 11 goals to lead the team.

Rosales, who leads MLS with 13 assists, and Osvaldo Alonso should both be available for Seattle after being limited in training this week.

Chivas teenage forward Juan Agudelo could be dangerous Saturday since both of his 2012 goals have come against Seattle.

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