The Seattle Sounders face Real Salt Lake tomorrow in a battle for the thin red line. Or at least that’s how the hype-masters are selling the game at Rio Tinto.
Realistically, RSL is cooked. Salt Lake has only won 3 games since May 24th and are sitting on only 29 points in 25 games following a heartbreaking loss to Nat “turncoat” Borchers and TPFC. Granted Seattle’s recent form is worse, but that shouldn’t be situation normal for long.
Seattle has gotten its groove back. The Sounders will make the playoffs if they play , at least, equal to San Jose. The Quakes and Houston both have a game-in-hand on Seattle, but a slightly worse ppg. And neither team can claim a clearly delineated context for their form over the season. Despite some sexy acquisitions (Godoy for SJ and Cubo for Houston), the Dynamo and Quakes are what they are and we shouldn’t really expect any deviation from their 1.3 ppg pace. Whereas Seattle has had a geologic shift in form over the 2015 season: 9 wins (11 results) in their first 15 games, with Oba and Clint and company, versus 8 losses in their last 10 with the junior varsity.
The only potential complication this weekend for Seattle is the aforementioned fixture congestion. The Sounders travel to Sandy days before Tegucigalpa and then hosting the Timbers. We are playing our third match of 5 in 14 days. Fatigue and a lack of chemistry is the thing to worry most about in the Rockies.
However the packed slate does blood the new guys sooner and faster. Hell, Roman Torres has already clocked in twice in Rave Green and been instrumental in Ws. I am still waiting to see Ivanschitz who may be rusty, but is allegedly fit. Also the old Sounders need to learn to play with the new guys. Pappa is training with the team again and Clint should (big should) be fit soon.
Creating chemistry and an identity now will go along way to being dangerous come October. RSL is essentially a preseason opponent for a strengthening Sounders side eyeing the postseason.