Last time Sounders FC met the Colorado Rapids on April 20, the two teams were at very different stages of their seasons. Seattle earned its first win of the season while the loss was the lone defeat for Colorado during a 10-game stretch (5-1-4).
Now, that is again the case as Seattle is 1-3-0 in its last four matches and Colorado is an unbeaten 3-0-1 in its last four.
With nine players out of action with injuries and another out on international duty, Sounders FC will have a different look than the last time the two sides met, but so will the Rapids in a new 4-3-3 formation.
Here are three matchups to look for on Saturday.
Dillon Powers vs. Osvaldo Alonso
Powers has shown his class in his rookie season in earning a starting role with the Rapids and helping solidify their midfield with his creative attacking play. He has three goals and three assists in his first 20 matches of the season, including one assist in a 2-1 win over New England on Wednesday. He will square off with Alonso, who will remain in the Seattle lineup after his red card against San Jose last week was rescinded. Powers was able to get a long-range shot away in their previous meeting, but was otherwise kept quiet by Alonso.
DeShorn Brown vs. DeAndre Yedlin
Two of the league’s front-runners in the Rookie of the Year race will be paired up for a good portion of the match on Saturday as Brown has been featured mostly up the offensive left side and Yedlin will line up at right back. Brown missed the last meeting with an injury, leaving Yedlin to deal with the physical battles with Atiba Harris and the setup play of Nick LaBrocca and Kamani Hill, all multi-year MLS veterans. Brown has a distinct size advantage at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds over the 5-foot-8 and 150-pound Yedlin. Yedlin will need all of his recovery speed to keep up with the speedy Brown, who has five goals and four assists this season.
Obafemi Martins vs. Drew Moor
Martins scored his first MLS goal against a center back tandem of Moor and Marvell Wynne, juking around Wynne to power in a rebounded shot in the 1-0 win in April. Between Moor and 19-year-old Shane O’Neill, who has assumed the starting role for much of the season, Moor is likely to match up against Martins, who is coming off of a one-game absence with a calf injury. Moor is a savvy player in MLS and the captain for Colorado. His play against Martins will set the tone for the rest of the team, so getting Martins early opportunities could prove important for Seattle.