COLORADO RAPIDS v. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – Pre-Match Analysis

by Charles Therrell (DISK DOKTOR)

Greetings to my brothers and sisters in Green. It’s been quite a past couple weeks. We crashed out of the US Open Cup (arguably a more prestigious, and certainly an older trophy than the MLS Cup). We signed Kelvin Leerdam from Vitesse in the Netherlands. Welcome to the club Kelvin, I along with the rest of our lot hope you settle in well and enjoy your time in the Evergreen. Eventful times. Statistically, our chances of winning the league are also quickly fading, if not gone entirely. Chicago Fire lead the league and are 16 points clear of us. I don’t have to illustrate what it would require to overtake them. All that remains is MLS Cup. Can we qualify, and if we manage to do so, will we make a reasonable run at it? The Cup loss in San Jose was bitter, and there’s no skirting it. Unlike our USOC fixture against Portland, San Jose fielded a line-up featuring their first team. The results were predictable. I have faith in our boys. I have faith in our Academy system, but that just wasn’t a tenable matchup. We haven’t the depth to play our reserves against a full-strength MLS side. That’s the last I’ll say about that. Our Boys in Green are headed to Victory Way, Commerce City, Colorado. We’ll have a match at altitude, against a side we have consistently beaten over the years. The problem is that our side has nearly an entirely new composition from the teams that compiled that record. Again statistics are nearly useless for forming reasonable metrics of prediction. Again, MLS suits are happy at what they cheerfully call parity as they walk away with their money bags (MLS revenue charted at €536M) and watch our clubs get cut apart in international competition. And now we put the politics of the league aside, as we focus on the fortunes of our club which now sit on a tenuous precipice. If you have the means to make your way to Victory Way and join the away support, by all means, do so. If you’re with the rest of us lot in Seattle, the West Sound, and the rest of the country, do the Sounders FC proud by showing our colours in your local pubs as you sit to a viewing of yet another Sounders match. I haven’t lost faith, neither should ye. Join me in the auld toast: TO THE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FOOTBALL CLUB…AND VICTORY!!!

pint
Nobody knows…the trouble I’ve seen…

The Good News
We’ve had slightly better performance in the league than Colorado. Against common opponents we have taken more points, but not by much. The addition of Leerdam is welcome and will add skill and experience to the team. All-time we’ve kicked the crap out of Colorado in league play (13-2-5), so that’s not for nothing. All time at Colorado we’ve only lost three out of nine. We have the recent better form if you want to measure two draws against two losses. Colorado are 19th in the table to our 17th and we are two points clear of them. Both sides are having trouble scoring and defending which makes it an even wash.

The Bad News
The resemblance of our current side to those responsible for delivering a steady course of defeat to our friends on the mountain top is very pale, indeed. Although Colorado have lost three more matches than we, they only have one draw in their 17 matches. They have also won one more match than we have. They are all-risk, all-reward. A measured approach won’t suffice. Out of the last five matches in the league, Colorado have taken nine points, whilst we have only managed five. We have only won once on the road in the league in 10 matches. Colorado have won six of 10 at home. Both sides are having trouble scoring and defending which makes it an even wash.

Know Thine Enemy
Goalkeeper – Tim Howard shouldn’t need an introduction. One of the world’s top keepers, even as he’s getting on in years. Continually fights a harder opponent than any football team, Tourettes, and holds his head high as he triumphs over it. Nearly 400 matches in English football with Everton and Manchester United. 115 United States caps. Difficult to beat, regardless of the team in front of him. If the Rapids start any of their apprentices over him, they’re more foolish than I’d imagined.

Defence – da Fonte, 26, Is a domestic product of American universities and has seven matches of MLS experience. Miller, 24, Product of Minnesota Thunder and Creighton (NCAA). Has 70 matches of MLS experience and has started every match for Colorado this season. Castillo, 24, a Costa Rican-born footballer, developed by Saprissa and VCU (NCAA), has played only 6 matches in MLS. Williams, 26, is Colorado by way of Trinidad & Tobago, Poland, and Denmark. Has 30 matches of MLS experience, all with Colorado.

Midfield – Hairston, 23, was developed by Louisville (NCAA) and has 63 appearances in MLS, all for Colorado. Boateng, 23, has 85 matches and 16 goals with Strømgodset under his belt and has played five times for Colorado. Saeid, 26, who has 65 matches of MLS experience, may miss the match as his knee was hurt so badly he was examined by MRI. Still, the club did not list him as out on the MLS website, so we’ll see. Serna, 23, a local lad, is a product of Colorado Rapids and Akron (NCAA). He has 52 appearances for the Rapids and seven goals. Serna also has 25 USA youth caps.

Forward – Doyle, 33, is a deadly striker with 62 appearances for Colorado and 15 goals. Doyle has over 320 matches of top level English football with Reading and Wolverhampton, scoring 85 goals in the process. Doyle has 64 caps for Eire and 14 goals. Badji, 24, has 58 matches and 12 goals for Colorado. The Senegalese forward is a product of Boston University (NCAA).

Familiar Faces
Marc Burch played 49 times for the Sounders FC. Michael Azira played 25 times for the Sounders.

Squads
Colorado from: Howard, Berner, MacMath, Mizell, da Fonte, Miller, Burch, Williams, Ford, Castillo, Watts, Sjoberg, Cronin, Powers, Hamilton, Serna, Perez, Adjei-Boateng, Azira, Calvert, Hairston, Doyle, Gashi, Badji, Gordon.

Sounders FC from: Frei, Miller, Meredith, Tolo, Marshall, Alfaro, Torres, Jones, Leerdam, Fisher, Svensson, Alonso, Roldan, Fernandez, Lodeiro, Kovar, Shipp, Delem, Wingo, Mathers, Dempsey, Adekoya, Morris, Bruin.

Injury List
Colorado –
OUT: Burling (foot).
MATCHDAY DECISION: Gashi (hamstring), Gatt (groin), Powers (groin), Sjoberg (hamstring), Saeid (knee).

Seattle –
OUT: none.
MATCHDAY DECISION: Adekoya (ankle).

Discipline
Colorado: none.
Seattle: Evans (sent off).

Fun Fact
New boy, Kelvin Leerdam was a footballer at Feyenoord Rotterdam’s academy. He played a tonne of matches for both Feyenoord and Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie. As such, we’re lucky to have him. Leerdam is of Suriname. Suriname is a colony of The Netherlands and the Netherlands often pulls top football talent from Suriname. Typical.

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