The Seattle Sounders trot out another underwhelming lineup against another underwhelming opponent, the Colorado Rapids.
The Sounders have lost 5 of their last 7 and somehow still sit tied for first atop the Western Conference at 32 points. Though this standing is tenuous, as Seattle could find themselves just inside the red line by the end of the weekend. SKC is currently holding the sixth and final playoff spot on 30 points, just two behind first place Seattle. A win against Colorado would give the Sounders some breathing room and some good juju.
The Rapids, comfortably out of the playoff picture, are on a little roll lately winning their last two (and thereby doubling their total wins on the year). Most of the year they’ve acquitted themselves like drunken sloths, but a recent lineup change to a 4-3-3 has put some heat in their attack. Colorado has 5 goals in their last two. They traditionally build their game from the back, as the Rapids define “bunker and counter.”
The offense under the microscope won’t be Colorado’s. Seattle’s attack has dried up with the absence of their DP strikers. Barrett and Neagle have not been getting the job done up top and word out of Starfire, from both Lagerwey and Sigi, is that much more is expected. Luckily Seattle will have the creative and goal-dangerous Marco Pappa back, at least in the 18, as Guatemala lost to Cuba. That’s a major let-down for Guatemala who took second in the 2014 Copa Centroamericana to World Cup darlings Costa Rica. Though keeping with the tradition of our recent lineup problems, Andy Craven is questionable. Craven had a run-in with backup GK Charlie Lyon in training and is probably out. I was really hoping Craven would get a chance at playing more than minimal sub minutes.
This may be the game where Sigi is forced to get creative, especially if the attack continues to sputter. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again, but expecting different results. How many times can we expect these Sounders, and especially Barrett and Neagle, to get the job done?