Thursday Night Preview: Union at Sounders

Thursday Night Preview: Union at Sounders

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 25, 2010
  • 2010 First Kick, Fredy Montero, MLS Primetime Thursday, Peter Nowak, Piotr Nowak, Qwest Field, Sigi Schmid

Qwest Field will be packed for tonight's opener. (Getty Images)

Well First Kick is finally here. A couple months ago some folks thought it may not happen due to a possible lockout or strike but all of those issues are behind us and we now get to focus on theĀ beautifulĀ game itself. A new season is here and there’s not a better place to open it up I think then at Qwest Field with the Seattle Sounders FC hosting the new kids in town Philadelphia Union.

Piotr Nowak has spent nearly a year putting together this expansion side for Philadelphia. From the expansion draft in November to the SuperDraft in January, along with several other pickups along the way Nowak faced a tough task to live up to last year’s expansion darling, the Sounders.

Seattle has grown stronger in the winter months as manager Sigi Schmid kept most of his bunch from a season ago that was just a few points off of the Supporter’s Shield mark. Schmid will once again lean on young Colombian Fredy Montero and Swedish star Freddy Ljungberg to guide their attack in 2010.

For Philly to win tonight they’ll have to take the crowd at Qwest Field out of it early. Their attack will have to get going which has been a huge question mark on a lot of folks mind this winter. We know Alejandro Moreno can score and we know former Sounder Sebastian Le Toux can be a hand full but will they really be enough against Seattle’s defense? I kind of doubt it.

Look for Seattle to control things in the midfield with Ljungberg and Osvaldo Alonso. Seattle also has an advantage on the wings with Steve Zakuani and Nate Jaqua.

Matchup to watch: Stefani Miglioranzi vs. Osvaldo Alonso

With Fred suspended due to a red card from 2009 (I hate that cards carry over like that), Migloranzi will be called to do a lot of work on the wings and in the midfield for Philadelphia. Alonso was one of the better defensive midfielders in the game last season, look for him to match up well against Migloranzi.

Player to watch for: Fredy Montero – He’ll scored the goals in this one.

At the end of the night I see Seattle’s crowd and talent on the field being too much for the young Union to overcome. I like Nowak’s side but not enough on the road in a very tough first game. Schmid’s team will show exactly how good they will be this year in the opener.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 2, Philadelphia 0