SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC v. COLORADO RAPIDS Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR), Oakland, CA

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. The 3:1 loss in Commerce City cut deep. Even though it was nearly a month ago, I can still feel the disappointment and the hurt of it. Losing to Rapids hurt even the more, knowing that in the past we had so thoroughly dominated them in league play. Last week, in Frisco, Texas, we were dealt another dent in the form book, losing 2:0. Five results out of our last seven is a decent achievement. Dropping two of the last four matches, not so much. Still, with most of our injury woes fading into the vanishing point of the rear-view mirror, there is reason for cautious optimism. I could site our overwhelming statistical dominance against Colorado, but I think for both our sides, this would not shed much light on the outcome. We can win this. We expect it. The lads expect it. This is Seattle Sounders football, under the lights at Royal Brougham Park on a Saturday night! At your respective supporter’s viewing parties, or Brougham End with the ECS, raise your glasses with me in the auld toast: “TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!”

The Good News
Salazar not refereeing this match. Dempsey and Morris both healthy. Neither Dempsey nor Valdez were available for selection in our last meeting at Victory Way, as they were both injured. For tonight’s match at least we’ve got Dempsey in the team for sure, and hopefully Valdez passes his fitness test. Colorado will likely have to wear their awful away colours, which are reminiscent of the costuming for a children’s television programme. In 10 matches at Royal Brougham Park, we have only lost one time to the Rapids.

The Bad News
It doesn’t take a particle physicist to figure out that we keenly feel the loss of Roman Torres at centre-half every match. Marshall and Valdez face late fitness tests to be available for selection. Let’s hope they are fit and ready to go for Saturday night’s kick-off. We are a much better side with them, than without them. Particularly we need Marshall, as our boys in Green are desperately thin at centre-half. Colorado haven’t lost in their last seven matches. Rapids are currently top of the league, whilst we sit well beneath them in 12th place.

The Rest
Regarding our last meeting with Colorado on 23rd April: Dempsey and Valdez were both out due to injury. We gave up two goals at the near post, one a header to Jermaine Jones, the other a toe poke volley from Kevin Doyle, which (upon recent review) appeared to be offside. We gave up a goal to Solignac from a cross on the deck that went right through the six yard box. So the Solignac and Doyle goals clearly demonstrate that our marking of the opposition wingers was inadequate to poor. Caitlin Murray reported on mlssoccer.com that Jermaine Jones argued with Gashi over who was to be the penalty taker (We had committed a foul in the penalty area during a corner kick) in the 3:1 loss in Commerce City, going so far as to strip the ball out of Gashi’s hands. There could be some unhappiness infecting the Colorado dressing room. The above spat between Gashi and Jermaine Jones over who is the penalty taker is one issue. The second is that Tim Howard will soon be headed to Victory Way, making current starter Zac MacMath into his understudy. One wonders if MacMath will handle the demotion with grace.

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. Coming soon: Colorado and United States goalkeeper, Tim Howard – following the conclusion of his fine service at Goodison Park. You have some very big boots to fill Mr. Robles – hope you’re up to the task.

Selections for Last Match
Sounders FC: Frei, Mears, Evans, Marshall, Joevin Jones, Roldan, Friberg, Alonso, Morris, Dempsey, Gómez.

Bench: Miller (gk), Scott, Remick, Sturgis, Kovar, Anderson, Ivanschitz.

Colorado: MacMath, Williams, Watts, Sjoberg, Burch, Cronin, Azira, Solignac, Jermaine Jones, Gashi, Kevin Doyle.

Bench: Froschauer (gk), Burling, Castillo, Hairston, Powers, Serna, Badji.

Injury List
Sounders FC:
OUT: Torres (ACL).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Valdez (calf), Marshall (hamstring).

Colorado:
OUT: St. Ledger (knee), Miller (groin), Pappa (knee).

Discipline
No players suspended from either side.

Fun Fact
Before our loss in Frisco last week, Jordan Morris had tied an MLS rookie record by scoring goals in four consecutive games. Well done, Jordan!!!

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