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Sounders begin stretch against struggling teams

Up first for Seattle is game with low-scoring Chicago

Don Ruiz Tacoma News Tribune

The three Major League Soccer teams at the bottom of the points table are the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids and Montreal Impact.

Those also just happen to be the next three opponents for the Seattle Sounders.

Naturally, the Sounders say they take none of those games for granted, starting with their match tonight at Chicago.

“Chicago’s a good team in the sense that they’ve had a lot of injuries and naturally for us they all get healthy,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “So (Mike) Magee’s healthy now and (Patrick) Nyarko’s healthy. I don’t know is (David) Accam’s going to be back for them in time. … Certainly up front with the addition of Magee and Nyarko they become a better team.”

The Sounders continue to have roster issues of their own spread across every portion of the pitch. At forward, Clint Dempsey is out due to U.S. national team duty and Obafemi Martins is out due to injury. At midfield, Marco Pappa is away with the Guatemala national team. At central defense, Brad Evans is with the U.S. national team. And for the first time this season, goalkeeper Stefan Frei is expected to miss a start due to a shoulder injury suffered last week against D.C. United.

Schmid never quite ruled Frei out for Chicago, but indications point to veteran reserve Troy Perkins, who preserved the shutout through the second half against D.C.

“Troy is a pretty good goalkeeper,” Seattle defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso said. “He’s been in the league a lot of years, so I think it’s going to be good for us that we got him. Now we’ve got to play the same to keep winning three points.”

Perkins said he is ready, and that he feels no additional pressure to be perfect due to the absences of Dempsey and Martins – Seattle’s goals co-leaders with seven each.

“I’ve learned early (not to) start doing things that are out of your hands or out of your control,” Perkins said. “I don’t score goals, it’s not my job. You just worry about what you have to do, and that’s all you can do. Chad Barrett might show up and score three goals; but you do what you do and just keep guys focused and calm.”

Chicago is at the bottom of the MLS standings and has managed a league-low 18 goals.

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