Chicago hosts winless Sounders

BY foxsports • April 8, 2011

The Seattle Sounders have earned a point each of the past two weeks, but that's hardly satisfying for coach Sigi Schmid, who is still waiting for his team to pick up its first win.

The Sounders may have a good shot to do so Saturday as they try to remain unbeaten against the visiting Chicago Fire.

Seattle (0-2-2) opened the season with 1-0 defeats to Los Angeles and New York before managing a 1-all draw with Houston on March 25. Seattle was denied the elusive first victory again last Saturday when San Jose scored early in the second half to forge a 2-all tie.

The loss of star forward Fredy Montero to wrist surgery isn't helping matters for the Sounders, who got goals from Brad Evans and O'Brian White in the first half against the Earthquakes.

Montero, who has 22 goals and 17 assists in his first two MLS seasons, is questionable for Saturday. He scored both goals in a 2-1 home victory over the Fire on Aug. 28, and Seattle won 1-0 at Chicago on Sept. 25.

The Sounders appear to have a decent chance to at least extend their point streak Saturday, as they're 2-0-2 all-time against the Fire (1-0-1). Schmid wants more than just that from his team, however, as Seattle only plays twice at home over the next five weeks.

"We want to get three points," he said. "We just got to be sure we can put 90 minutes together on the field."

Chicago defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-2 on March 26 in its last MLS contest as Marco Pappa provided a pivotal goal and Diego Chaves scored for the second straight game. Chaves' goal against FC Dallas on March 19 helped the Fire to a 1-all tie.

Chicago, which defeated Colorado 2-1 in U.S. Open Cup play Wednesday, enters this match with some health concerns.

Josip Mikulic is not with the team after straining his left quad, while fellow defender Cory Gibbs' status is uncertain because of an injured right groin.

"Cory is traveling with us," coach Carlos de los Cobos told the league's official website Thursday. "He's feeling better. The doctor made some studies and it's not a really serious injury. ... I'll wait for Saturday to make a decision whether he plays or not."

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson is expected to start after missing time due to illness, and midfielders Bratislav Ristic and Marko Maric could be available after sitting out the past couple of weeks with injuries.


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