Sounders go mile high looking for first road win

Apr 22, 2011, 8:59 AM | Updated: 11:25 am

They’ve produced close losses and several ties. Can Sounders FC finally get that elusive victory away from Seattle?

It won’t be easy tonight when they face the defending MLS champion Colorado Rapids in mile high altitude.

“They’re definitely a dangerous team, and a quality team,” says Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid.” They’ve lost their last two matches, and you sort of get mad at yourself and get hungry. You want to take it out on somebody. I know that’s the attitude they’re going to come out with today, and we have to combat that.”

Sounders FC were unlucky not to get a winning result last Saturday against the Philadelphia Union. Seattle brought in designated players Fredy Montero and Alvaro Fernandez late in the second half and produced immediate offensive pressure and the equalizing goal.

Getting Montero and Fernandez back creates some options and tough decisions for coach Schmid.

“We’re still tinkering a little and trying to find the best pieces of the puzzle that fit together,” Schmid told me. “We have an idea of our top players and are trying to get Montero and Mauro Rosales on the field at the same time when possible.”

Fernandez, the Uruguayan midfielder, was benched for two matches because he wasn’t doing the things Schmid was looking for.

“Alvaro’s reaction to not being in the starting lineup was very positive,” said Schmid. “He showed he’s a great pro, and brought into the game things we’ve been asking. He scored a great goal.”

Playing at mile high elevation doesn’t seem to worry Schmid.

“You can’t spend two weeks training in Colorado to prepare for it,” he said. “So we just came in as late as we could. We’re a pretty healthy team right now, and have plenty of substitute options.”

Colorado is not a healthy side. Goal-scoring threat Conor Casey is not expected to play with a strained hamstring. Midfielders Pablo Mastroeni and former Sounder Sanna Nyassi are listed as probable with Achilles and hamstring injuries, respectively.

The Rapids’ big threat is still Omar Cummings.

“He’s got great speed, and good size,” said Schmid. “Caleb Folan is the Irish forward they brought in, and Jamie Smith serves a nice ball. Sanna Nyassi’s speed is always a concern if he gets in the game. But the No. 1 guy is Cummings.”

Arlo White starts play-by-play on 97.3 KIRO FM at 6:30 tonight.

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