The Seattle Sounders face darling expansion Orlando City SC this Sunday in another nationally televised game.
For the sake of wooing indifferent domestic soccer fans, let’s hope Seattle gets out of its little lull (how’s that for euphemisms?). Last week’s showing against L.A. was embarrassing. Sure, we can contextualize the game, but Joe and Jane Soccer-Curious just saw these unique green jerseys get pooped on.
Arguably the two most popular MLS franchises in South America are L.A. Galaxy and Orlando City. LA. is, of course, L.A. Everyone has heard of the city and the big name stars who’ve plied their trade in blue and yellow. Orlando City is a fresh second-place. The team has wide exposure in Brazil, as the city capitalized on their large Brazilian community by signing the former Canarinho star, Kaka. If Seattle wants to increase their brand, they need to impress Sunday night’s TV audience.
Luckily, we’re getting the band back together. After playing multiple games down all three DPs, we should field 2 on Sunday. Both Deuce and Ozzie are still out, but Seattle’s freshest DP, Nelson Haedo Valdez, should start up top with Seattle’s Sounders number 9, Obafemi Martins. It will be great to see Oba back. His creativity and skill should be enough to open the floodgates of Seattle’s impotent offense. And we should expect quick chemistry between the 2 DP forwards.
Haedo Valdez and Martins were strike partners for Rubin Kazan in 2011 and 2012. They both played and tallied goals in 5 games together, in both Europa League and the Russian Premiere League play. In one match, a 4-1 smack down of Shamrock Rovers in Group Play of the 2011 Europa League, Valdez had a brace and Oba a goal. We shouldn’t expect a 100% matchfit Valdez, but we can hope for fireworks.
And Seattle’s defense, which in its defense has played defensibly well, even in the lull, will be even stronger with a good-to-go Roman Torres teaming up with Chad Marshall at centerback. This moving bolsters the backline and midfield as it allows Captain Brad to slot in for Ozzie as CDM. This should be the best Sounders team we’ve seen take the field in quite some time. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.