April 20, 3:00 pm PT, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
TV/Radio: KONG 6/16/KIRO radio 97.3
Colorado’s Record: The Rapids are 2-3-2 (8 points) and tied for fourth on points, but sixth in the Western Conference with a -1 goal difference.
When the Sounders meet the Colorado Rapids at 3 pm PT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Saturday, they will be looking for their seventh straight victory over the Rapids.
Here are three matchups to watch for in the match.
Veterans vs. Youth
It seems that both sides have matchups of young players going against veterans that may be taken advantage of, one way or the other. Take Nick LaBrocca on the left wing for Colorado. He has had standout seasons in the past and may be matched up against DeAndre Yedlin for Seattle. The 19-year-old right back has proven up to the task thus far. Can it continue against the cagey LaBrocca? On the other side, Dillon Powers has started in the middle of midfield for Colorado and would be matched up against the combo of Osvaldo Alonso and Shalrie Joseph, pitting a rookie against two of the best defensive midfielders in recent league history. Similarly, DeShorn Brown may have a difficult matchup against the centerback combo of Djimi Traore and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
Size vs. Speed
Whereas the Rapids tout plenty of size in their retooled lineup, the Sounders have speed on their side. Among Yedlin, Steve Zakuani and Osvaldo Alonso, the Sounders have three players who use their quickness to take advantage of the opposition, while Colorado has the bulk of Edson Buddle, Atiba Harris and Hendry Thomas on their side.
Mauro Rosales vs. Chris Klute
This is another example of youth against experience. Klute has made a rise from the USL PRO reserves, where he played with the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2011 before earning a full roster spot in 2012, though not early enough to appear against the Sounders in the US Open Cup. After 12 matches with Atlanta, he made the jump once again to MLS with the Rapids and now will likely go head-to-head with a veteran of the top leagues in Argentina and Holland in Rosales. Just how much of an advantage can that be for the Sounders as they look to break down a defense that hasn’t allowed a goal in 199 minutes after they posted shutouts against Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA.