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MLS: Seattle Sounders Set for Deja Vu Clash With Philadelphia Union

Bill HareCorrespondent IJune 24, 2010

SEATTLE - JUNE 10:  Steve Zakuani #11 of the Seattle Sounders FC dribbles against D.C. United on June 10, 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It's déjà vu time for the Seattle Sounders. 

They hope to reconnect with the good times from their first meeting with the Philadelphia Union, who the Sounders visit Sunday afternoon.

It was a grand evening when Seattle opened the season against the Philadelphia visitors in the MLS opener, as 36,241 fans at the Xbox pitch of Qwest Field saw the home team prevail 2-0 over the Eastern visitors.

First half goals by strikers Fredy Montero and Brad Evans supplied all the necessary scoring, as the defense shut down Philadelphia and the Sounders began the season on a winning note.

The following week, Seattle looked for momentum in the form of a second win in a row when trouble ensued, revealing early the kind of topsy turvy activity that has defined their season to this point.

The Sounders hosted the New York Red Bulls and lost 1-0, despite tough defense coupled with successful ball possession offense. The locals set a team record for corner kicks, with 12, but ended up with an upset loss due to their inability to convert scoring opportunities.

The Sounders hope to prevent that pattern from this point forward. Just before the World Cup break, following a stirring 3-0 home win over the New England Revolution, Seattle hoped to carry a .500 record into the dead period with a win over D.C. United.

The visitors jumped to a 3-0 lead. Chris Pontius accomplished a hat tricky by scoring all three of their goals. The team rallied with two late scores, but ran out of time while searching for an equalizing goal.

The Sounders now stand at 4-6-3 with 15 points, residing in sixth place in the Western Conference. The early part of the season was comparable to the final two games, a promising win followed by a disappointing loss.

The team hopes to start a playoff run in recounting déjà vu memories of how the year began, with the hopes of launching a fresh beginning against the same Philadelphia team Seattle defeated in the season opener. 

Another good omen for the Sounders, hopefully, is that the Philadelphia Union is a member of the Eastern Conference. 

Every Seattle win thus far has come against eastern rivals.

The Sounders encounter a team that is in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-7-1 mark and 7 points. Philadelphia has played the fewest games in the MLS. The Union has carved out an unbeaten 1-0-1 record on its new home field.

Sunday’s game, slated to begin at 2 p.m. Pacific time, is sold out. It will be played in Philadelphia’s new soccer specific home at PPL Park in suburban Chester, which has a seating capacity of 18,500.

Weather forecasts call for sunny skies and a temperature in the high 80s.

The Sounders hope to turn their scoring duo of speedster strikers Fredy Montero and Steve Zakuani loose.

Good things happen when they score. 

When Montero scored in the 2009 season, Seattle was 7-1-3. When Zakuani scored, the team was a perfect 4-0-0.

Seattle is unbeaten since its inception when Zakuani has scored, with a 5-0-3 mark, and has lost just twice when goals are scored by either player, with a 12-2-6 record.

Seattle is 10-2-4 all-time when Montero has scored.

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