COLORADO RAPIDS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. Sounders FC make the trip to Victory Way, Commerce City where they will face Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. https://youtu.be/h0tu6kclScY With both sides seemingly rounding into form, we can expect stiff competition in the high-altitude environs of the South Platte River Valley. Sounders have a prime chance to spoil Rapids’ perfect home record this season, and in doing so, extend our three match unbeaten run. Victory in Commerce City would lend further legitimacy to the Sounders’ ambition of making a legitimate challenge in all three domestic competitions. Sounders FC are currently 13th in the MLS league table ten points adrift of FC Dallas who are top on 17 points. Each time our boys in Green feast on a three point meal, the higher we will climb the table and fortify our rightful place in the league as one of its most successful clubs. Sounders supporters all around the country: Link up with your mates at a local pub viewing party and join me in the toast…”TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!”

The Good News
If all Colorado’s players on injury list are unfit to play, Particularly #9 Kevin Doyle (117 career goals) our chances of holding them scoreless greatly increase. The overall stats favour us historically since 2009, as we have dominated the series against Colorado with a all-time record of 13-2-3. Our record at Victory Way over the years is an encouraging 5-1-2. With seven goals for and five conceded, Colorado seem to concede nearly as many goals as they score. We are currently riding a three match unbeaten streak, scoring four goals and conceding two against Philadelphia, Houston, and Montreal. Dempsey has scored four goals against Colorado in league play. The only Sounder to have scored more is Obafemi Martins with five goals. If for some reason Colorado goalkeeper Zac MacMath should become unfit to play, his backup, Chris Froschauer has zero professional appearances that I can confirm, for any professional football club.

The Bad News
Rapids have not yet lost at Victory Way (3-0). Rapids are riding a two match winning streak having dispatched both Sporting Kansas City and NY Red Donkeys. In addition they have only dropped one result in the last six matches. Colorado currently sit third in the league table, ten places above us. Jermaine Jones (Colorado & United States) is extremely difficult to play against, and we can expect it to be difficult to move the football through midfield. Jermaine Jones is hard in the tackle, and is generally excellent at man-marking. He is the textbook destroyer/defensive midfielder/stopper centre-half. Saturday would be a good night to wear the thicker shin-guards, lads.

The Rest
Commerce City’s rarefied elevation of over 5,100 feet may see our lads huffing and puffing in the waning minutes of the match due to the thin air. Hopefully the club has gotten the side into town early enough to adapt to the altitude. Colorado manager, Pablo Mastroeni, was known as being an uncompromising defender for the United States. Is he just as hard a manager as he was a player? What is it with hard-as-nails defenders becoming MLS managers? Sounders most likely to score: Dempsey, Ivanschitz, and Morris. Colorado players most likely to score a goal: #21 Solignac, #11 Gashi, and #9 Kevin Doyle (provided that he has recovered from his shin problem).

Familiar Faces
Colorado players #10 Marco Pappa, #22 Micheal Azira, and #4 Marc Burch all used to be Seattle Sounders. For Pappa and Azira, both won trophies whilst playing for Seattle in 2014 – The MLS League Championship (Supporter’s Shield), and the US Open Cup. Burch won nothing playing for Seattle, but won a MLS League Championship in 2007 and a US Open Cup in 2008 for DC United. Azira also won a USL Pro Cup in 2012 with Charleston Battery. All three players were in the starting eleven for Rapids last week at Victory Way to defeat the visiting NY Red Donkeys.

Selections for Last Match
Colorado: MacMath, Williams, Burling, Eric Miller, Burch, Cronin, Azira, Pappa, Jermaine Jones, Gashi, Solignac.

Bench: Froschauer (gk), Powers, Pfeffer, Serna, Badji, Conor Doyle.

Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Marshall, Remick, Alonso, Dempsey, Roldan, Anderson, Morris, Ivanschitz.

Bench: Tyler Miller (gk), Scott, Gómez, Farfan, Kovar, Valdez, Joevin Jones.

Injury List
Colorado
OUT: St. Ledger (knee), Hairston (hamstring), Pappa (knee).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Sjöberg (hamstring), Powers (hamstring), Kevin Doyle (shin), Watts (hamstring).

Sounders FC
OUT: Torres (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Friberg (MCL), Farfan (hamstring).

Discipline
no suspensions.

Fun Fact
Colorado players, Dillon Powers and Conor Doyle have an interesting thing in common. Their fathers both played indoor football in the American MISL. David Doyle played for Kansas City Comets, Dallas Sidekicks, St. Louis Ambush, and the Wichita Wings as a forward, whilst Michael Powers played 15 years with the Dallas Sidekicks. In fact, the lads’ fathers were teammates on the Dallas Sidekicks from 1991-2002. Trip.

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