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Sounders FC look to continue dominance

Pappa forcused on ball
Pappa forcused on ballPhoto by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Seattle Sounders FC (9-3-2, 29) will look to continue their dominance over the Chicago Fire (2-3-8, 14) Saturday Night (5:30pm PT) at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, ILL

MLS top team in points (29) and goals scored (29) is coming off an impressive 4-0 home win over Real Salt Lake and looks to continue its winning ways as it hits the road against a familiar opponent.

Sounders FC is unbeaten (5-0-3) in eight MLS meetings with the Fire including the last two games. The last time Chicago picked up a point against the Sounders FC was a 0-0 draw on June 4th 2011.

“The history is there but most of those players weren’t there, they are a tough team to break down because they play in blocks of fours,” Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid said of the Chicago Fire.

The Fire offense is led by Quincy Amarikwa’s five goals and rookie sensation Harry Shipp four assists. Shipp is a crafty midfielder with good vision and an eye for the goal.

The Fire will be playing at home Saturday night after two consecutive road draws. The Fire are coming off their first clean sheet of the season in there scoreless draw against the Colorado Rapids.

“I think it is very important for us to get a shutout, especially in a tough game on the road in a tough stretch with three games, said Fire goal keeper Sean Johnson.

After the 4 goal explosion against Real Salt Lake, Sounders FC are looking to improve their defense to complement the high octane offense that is firing on all cylinders.

“That was one of the things we've been working on-defensively playing a little bit better.

Once it was 3-0 they had a few chances at that point, but we also had some chances to score some more,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid.

“I was pleased with the team's effort and pleased with the commitment to the game.”

The meeting between the Sounders FC and the Chicago Fire will be a reunion of sorts for players on both sides of the touchline.

Fire defenders Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Patrick Ianni joined the Fire in a trade on Jan. 15, 2014 in exchange for Sounders FC defender Jalil Anibaba.

Hurtado signed with the Sounders in 2009 and made 108 regular season appearances for the

Sounders in five seasons. Ianni also spent five seasons with the Sounders, scoring three goals in 83 appearances, including the 2012 MLS Goal of the Year.

Three current Sounders got their MLS starts with the Fire. Chad Barrett was selected third overall in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the Fire, scoring 18 goals in 82 regular season appearances before he was traded to Toronto FC in 2008.

Midfielder Marco Pappa joined the Fire on loan from Guatemalan side C.S.D. Municipal in 2008 and officially signed with the Fire after a two-year loan. Pappa made 112 appearances and scored 26 goals before he departed for Dutch side Heerenveen in August 2012.

"I'm really happy to be here. We're in a good spot and we have a good team," Pappa said. "Chicago is a big part of my career for sure, but business is business. I put on my Sounders jersey. This is my team now. I'm a professional player and I'm going to do my best over there. It's going to be nice to see some people, but the first thing we are thinking about is the game."

Game Notes:

  • Seattle has amassed two more wins (9) than any other MLS side and is the only team to average over two points per game (2.07).
  • Obafemi Martins leads the league with six assist and added his sixth goal of the season in the win against Real Salt Lake
  • Fire forward and last year’s MLS player of the year has played just eight games this season due to a calf strain.