Macoumba Kandji was the difference maker when an underdog New York Red Bulls team scored an early season surprise win over Sounders FC on the road in Seattle.
Kandji scored the game's only goal in a 1-0 triumph that gave New York the impetus to build and demonstrate great improvement thus far this season.
The angular Senegalese, standing 6-4 and weighing 175, was named MLS Player of the Week last season for the first time, having a hand in all four goals in a 4-1 win over San Jose May 8.
Sweden's Hans Backe is in his first season as New York Red Bulls coach.
He hopes to secure a sweep against Seattle Saturday before the home fans and erase memories of New York's 4-0 setback on the road last weekend against San Jose. An early Red Bulls red carding put the visitors in a hole and they never recovered.
Backe has had almost three decades of European coaching experience. His most recent stints were with English clubs. After serving as an assistant manager with Manchester City he served in the top post with Notts County in English League Two.
Over the past three seasons New York forward Juan Pablo Angel has been the most prolific scorer in the MLS.
After signing with the Red Bulls as their Second Designated Player, he has notched records in goals scored in all competitions with 45, regular season goals at 45, and is the league's leader in goals between 2007 and 2009.
Angel was born in Medelin, Colombia. He is 34, stands 6-1, and weighs 170.
Since joining New York in the middle of the 2009 campaign Bouna Coundoul has become renowned for quick reflexes and solid net-minding instincts.
The 6-2, 197 pound Senegal product made eight appearances for New York last season.
The Sounders did not score in the first meeting between the teams this season. The 28-year-old goalkeeper is hoping for a repeat performance this time out as well.