While they will not look to take the Colorado Rapids (6-17-6, 24pts) lightly on Saturday afternoon the Seattle Sounders (13-11-5, 44pts) will fancy their chances against the Rockies who are on the heels of a five-game losing streak. The reason the Sounders will be looking to the Rapids for some redemption is that they the Sounders are in a little bit of a tailspin themselves.
Just six days removed from last Sundays bitter and stinging 3-0 loss to the LA Galaxy and 10 days removed from the streak-busting 1-0 home loss to the Philadelphia Union the message from Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer to the Rave Green players to step up and seize the moment.
This will be the second meeting between the two clubs with Sounders claiming victory with a 2-1 win over the Rapids July Fourth at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Sounder forward Will Bruin scored a pair of goals and the hulky goal scorer will be called upon at some point in Saturday’s game. With injuries to leftback Brad Smith and midfielder Harry Shipp, Schmetzer has several options in terms of how he sets up the midfield and the forward line.
Against the Galaxy, Schmetzer played Raul Ruidiaz and Bruin up top as part of a 4-4-2 formation with Nicolas Lodeiro, Osvaldo Alonso Gustav Svensson, and Cristian Roldan filling up the midfield. Nouhou looks to be a likely replacement for Smith with Kim Kee-hee and a health Chad Marshall in the center back positions with Kelvin Leerdam manning the right back spot. A healthy Victor Rodriguez will give the Sounders midfield the speed and depth needed to create space for Lodeiro to weave his magic. I would look for Rodriguez to start in the midfield with Roldan starting at left back keeping Nohou on the bench to start the game
For the Sounders, it will be about the what, not the whom. It does not matter who plays where the Sounders will need to win the possession battle as they do most games and do something with that possession. That creates chances in the Rapids half by being quick and decisive in front of the Rapids goal area. In the Sounders shut out in both losses.
The despite their current losing streak, the Rapids have scored 32 goals compared to the Sounders 37. If the Sounders want to keep their losing streak to stop, they will need to play sound fundamental defense. All players will need to close down on open players in space and communicate . Dominque Badji leads the Rapids with seven goals and as does Lodeiro who leads the Sounders in scoring. Colorado Rapids
Colorado defense Deklan Wynne’s red card against the Columbus Crew was rescinded by an independent panel and he will be able to play in Saturday’s match.
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