You’ve read the previews and heard the podcasts from a KC perspective. Now is the time to catch a glimpse of Sunday’s Western Conference showdown between Sporting KC and the Seattle Sounders from across the field. Dave Clark from our sister blog Sounder at Heart took the time to answer questions.
- Two defeats in a row for the Sounders. When we reach the final stretch, is there cause for concern?
Since that teen-powered win over Austin FC, the Sounders have been 4-4-1, +1. That’s fine, but not good. Ultimately, the injuries and mistakes catch up with a team. Starting at a record pace and holding out is impossible. The fall was to be expected, even if it is further than any of us would like. There is reason to be hopeful. A few more weeks and maybe Jordan Morris will come back. Stefan Frei and Nouhou are already back. Things should be bright and cheerful. Optimism should rule the day. This three-game stretch will determine the behavior of the fan base, because against KC-atSan Jose-v. Colorado in a week is a tough road. Do well there and the prospect of a playoff run should be high.
2. Do you expect Wednesday’s League Cup game to have an impact on Brian Smetzer’s starting XI this weekend?
Little. He rotated before this game and should be able to play most of these starters on Sunday. There’s no point in getting out of this match. Seattle must restore Lumen Field to a place opponents fear as the Sounders intend to make a playoff run, mostly at home. The win against Sporting KC and next week’s game against Colorado are playoff previews. You don’t rest against the best. The time to rest would be mid-week to play in San Jose.
Schmetzer should go down in his squad by about fifteen outfield players. After that, they get weaker. He’s also more confident than most fans at this point in the next five.
3. How do you stop Raúl Ruidíaz from scoring goals?
We’re not at Josef Martinez level yet, but the best tactic might be to think Raúl will score a goal (mathematically, one says two goals every three games). So keep him from getting two by reducing his touch. The side effect of this technique is that it also limits the chance he’ll get even one. Then all you have to do is switch off – I don’t know for sure. There is no constant second goal danger. Yes, 11 other players have a goal in the league game. Fredy Montero has 6 and Brad Smith has 3, for the third on the team. Most recently, he scored a goal before 19 MLS games. Seattle’s Attack isn’t a one-note song, but it definitely lacks a melody.