The dog days of the Seattle Sounders’ schedule is about to start. Including last Saturday’s nil-nil draw against Sporting Kansas City, May 23rd, the Sounders will play 9 games in the next 37 days, culminating with Portland away on June 28th. 9 games in 37 days averages out to a game every 4.1 days. That is quite a pace to maintain for over a month.
And aside from our next opponent, the matches won’t be easy ones. Seattle will face Eastern power the New York Red Bulls, Western leader FC Dallas, personal bugaboo San Jose Earthquakes, and Sporting Kansas City in this stretch. Oh yeah, and they’ll play hated rival Portland twice. The USOC matchup against the Timbers on June 16th is going to be very emotional (it is difficult not to predict a let-down 4 days later against those pesky Quakes). We do play Philly, the league doormat, but that’s after a cross-country flight to Chester, PA. This stretch is really going to test the Sounders.
Good news? Of these 9 games, only 3 are away (but 2 are in other time zones: Philly and SKC). Bad news? Seattle only has a full week off between games once between NYRB and SKC. Our depth is going to be tested.
The Sounders have mostly been rolling out a consistent lineup this season. But things will get intersecting. Obafemi Martins should be back this Wednesday night against Colorado. But Gonzalo Pineda picked up a seemingly serious knock against Vermes’s thugs. Expect to see either Andy Rose or Cristian Roldan pick up his slack. I wonder is Azira will spell Ozzie some, or Leo will get some starts as well.
Realistically, I hope the boys bag 12 points in the 8 MLS games during this run. 1.5 ppg seems low for so many home games but, against this competition and considering the grind, that would be a solid take-away. I’d gladly trade some of those points, say 9 (or even 8) in 12 to ensure we beat Portland at Starfire in the 4th Round of the Open Cup. We have silverware to defend.