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Sounders-Red Bulls Preview

Jun 19, 2009 - 8:35 PM By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

Seattle (5-3-6) at New York (2-10-3), 7:30 p.m. EDT

The last time the New York Red Bulls had a losing streak reach six games, they went on to set a pair of records for MLS futility.

The last-place Red Bulls will try to avoid another six-game skid Saturday night when they host Seattle Sounders FC.

New York (2-10-3) is at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, tied with San Jose for the fewest points in the league (nine).

The club's downward spiral comes after its first MLS Cup final appearance, a 3-1 loss to Columbus on Nov. 23.

The Red Bulls are seven points worse than any other team in the East following a 2-1 defeat at Toronto last Saturday for their fifth consecutive loss. They've been outscored 12-3 during the slide.

New York last dropped six in a row during a league-record 12-game losing streak from July 4-Sept. 5, 1999. That season, the team went on to finish with 15 points, the fewest ever by an MLS side.

The Bulls are 0-5-1 since beating the Earthquakes 4-1 on May 8. They haven't gone seven games without a win since May 19-June 30, 2001, a skid during which current coach Juan Carlos Osorio left the club as an assistant to become the fitness coach at Manchester City in England.

The recent troubles, which also include a 5-3 loss at D.C. in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier May 20, may be putting pressure on Osorio. However, the club has reportedly denied that a coaching change is imminent.

The Red Bulls are looking to make adjustments to the roster, with goalkeeping being a major concern.

"We have a window coming up and we want to strengthen the team in many different positions," Red Bulls technical director Jeff Agoos said. "Goalkeeping is one of them. ... We have players available right now we can bring in to take a look."

Osorio opted for Danny Cepero in goal against Toronto after Jon Conway lost the previous four games while allowing 10 goals on 26 shots. Conway is 1-7-1 with a 1.78 goals-against average.

Cepero made six saves last Saturday to fall to 1-3-2 with a 1.57 GAA.

New York also is struggling to find the back of the net, scoring a league-low 13 goals while netting more than one in only four games.

The Red Bulls struggled in every facet in their last meeting with the Sounders (5-3-6), losing 3-0 in Seattle on March 19 in the expansion club's inaugural game.

The Sounders, who are 1-2-3 on the road, have totaled five goals in the last two games but only won one, 2-1 over San Jose last Saturday. They appeared to be headed to another win Wednesday but squandered a two-goal, second-half lead to tie United 3-all.

"You got to forget about it and you got to get focused on the next task," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "New York, in New York, is going to be difficult. Their backs are against the wall. They're a desperate team. They're playing for their jobs right now. They're playing for their coach. They're playing for more things than just trying to get a result."

Fredy Montero has scored in each of the last two games, giving him a team-high six goals. The Colombian forward scored twice against Cepero on March 19.