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Preview: Seattle Sounders Vs. Chivas USA, September 8, 2012

Chivas USA has only nine games left to revive their flickering playoff hopes. The onus will be on the Goats to leave Jet City with the full three points despite playing a Seattle Sounders side that clearly has their number scoring 11 goals against Chivas in two league games and one US Open Cup Match.

Meanwhile Seattle is hitting on all cylinders. The Sounders have not lost in nearly a month and you have to go back to May to the team's last home loss. Meanwhile, their league success hasn't come at the expense of the team's CONCACAF Champions aspirations; the Sounders have won both matches in their CONCACAF group and look primed for a deep run.

Chivas may be able to escape with a draw, or even a win, if the Goats are able to catch Seattle looking ahead.

Following today's match, Seattle heads south to face their bitter rival, the Portland Timbers. The Timbers won their first match, Portland's first win against Seattle since either club joined MLS, and with Portland's pride and the Cascadia Cup bragging rights at stake you can expect a fired up Sounders squad.

Following that match, the squad heads to the Central America to face Club Deportivo Marathón, a Honduran football club. The squad treks back to then face Western conference leaders, the San Jose Earthquakes followed by the Vancouver Whitecaps who are seeing their playoff chances diminish with FC Dallas hot on their heels. All this before they face Portland again.

Taking advantage of a combination of team fatigue and looking ahead, Chivas may be able to score and lock down the middle.

Match ups, predictions and other notes after the jump!



Key Match Up: Danny Califf vs Fredy Montero: Dan Kennedy has seven shutouts on the year but not one in the entire month of August. Since then the goaltender has been exposed allowing 18 goals on 81 shots. Players are getting behind defenders with ease that the Goats have been reliant on getting 20 offsides calls from referrees.

Califf has his hands full with the creative Venezuelan dynamo. He will need to keep the backline flat and in order against the multiple angles and attacking threats the Sounders possess.

Wildcard: Shalrie Joseph. He wanted to prove that he still "has" it. This will be his chance.

Other wildcard: Eddie Johnson and Fredy Montero both face a game suspension after receiving their next yellow card. Will this affect how they play?

Injuries:

Seattle: David Estrada (L foot fracture) is out. Osvaldo Alonso (head injury) is probable.
Chivas: Ryan Smith (hamstring) and Shalrie Joseph (elbow) are both probable.

Chivas will win if: The team can play 90 minutes of tight man marking and defense. Dan Kennedy is given the support he needs and makes some incredible saves. And the team manages to put it together in the offensive section and scores. Chivas has scored three goals of their 20 goals against the Sounders this year.

Seattle will win if: both teams keep with their current trends. i.e. Seattle is able to find and exploit the holes in Chivas' defense and the Goats can't mount any meaningful attack in the final third.