Keller quells Fire in Seattle's victory

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Keller quells Fire in Seattle's victory

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Posted: 6:16 p.m.

By Dieter Kurtenbach
CSNChicago.com

SEATTLE Goals from Steve Zakuani and OBrian White gave the Seattle Sounders the lead, and critical saves from Kasey Keller preserved it, as Seattle won its first game of the season 2-1 over the Chicago Fire Saturday at Qwest Field.

White put Seattle on the board in the seventh minute, using a precision cross from Mauro Rosales, whose service found Whites head 16 yards from goal, and the Jamaican striker, despite being double-marked, expertly bent the header inside the goalpost.

The Fire responded a minute later, with Patrick Nyarko streaking up the right flank and sending a low cross into the box. Diego Chaves found the other end of the pass and, with a deft touch, slid the ball past Keller to equalize, quieting the raucous Qwest Field crowd.

Chaves has now scored in each of his first three games for the Fire, becoming the first player in franchise history to do so.

Seattle bombarded Chicago from the wings throughout the game, with Zakuani leading the charge. Zakuani and Whites give-and-go along the left sideline in the twenty-fifth minute sprung Zakuani from two Chicago defenders, giving the speedy winger a one-on-one with Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Zakuani caught the indecisive Johnson flat-footed and blasted a shot inside the near post for the game-winning goal.

Chicagos offensive game came around in the second half, but the play of Keller prevented great chances from becoming equalizers.

Keller, the 41-year-old Seattle captain, first stopped Chaves in the fifty-eighth minute after a blocked free kick pinballed in the box and fell to the feet of the unmarked Chicago striker ten-yards out. Keller was able to recover his positioning just in time to make a diving reaction save to Chaves shot.

Minutes later, a through ball from Chaves gave Gaston Puerari a breakaway. Keller came out to cut Pueraris angle and was able to deflect the Uruguayans shot with his foot.

Puerari has had breakaway opportunities in each of his first three games for the Fire. Against Sporting Kansas City he scored, but Saturday and in the season opener against FC Dallas, the crafty forward was foiled by top-notch saves.

The loss is the first of the season for the Fire, whose record is now a poetic 1-1-1.

The team will remain on the West Coast this week in preparation for its game against the expansion Portland Timbers on Thursday night. That game will be the first home game for Portland (0-2-1) as an MLS franchise. The Timbers played in the USL and USSF Division 2 between 2001 and 2010, before becoming the eighteenth member of MLS.

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

Blackhawks acquire Michael Latta from Kings in swap of minor leaguers

The Blackhawks made a minor league deal on Saturday, announcing the acquisition of forward Michael Latta from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for defenseman Cameron Schilling.

Latta, 25, has two goals and four assists in 29 games this season with the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the American Hockey League.

He has four goals and 13 assists in 113 career games in the National Hockey League, all with the Washington Capitals from 2013-16.

Latta, who was a third-round pick (No. 72 overall) by the Nashville Predators in 2009, will report to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. He carries a $600,000 cap hit, and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Schilling ranked second among defensemen on the IceHogs with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 40 games, and had a minus-3 rating. The 28-year-old blue liner signed a two-year contract worth $575,000 per season with the Blackhawks in July 2015.

Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

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Sunday on CSN: UIC travels to Valparaiso

Horizon League basketball returns to CSN on Sunday as UIC travels to Valparaiso. This game tips at 2:00 p.m. live on CSN.

The Flames (11-8, 4-2) have won three straight games and have played pretty good ball after the loss of Dikembe Dixson to a torn ACL. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor graduate, is playing well along with former St. Rita product Dominique Matthews.

Valparaiso (15-4, 5-1) is hoping to maintain its conference lead behind senior All-American candidate Alec Peters. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 23.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game on the season.

The Crusaders won the first time these two teams played at UIC on Dec. 30 as Tevonn Walker had 23 points.