It's win or go home for the Sounders tonight. Here are the match-ups to key on with the Rapids in town.
Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids
MLS Cup Playoffs; Knockout Round
October 30, 2013, 7:30 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: KONG 6/16 (in Seattle); ROOT Sports (regionally); NBC Sports Network (nationally); KOMO2 (Spanish TV); 97.3 FM (English radio); La Gran D 99.3 FM (Spanish radio)
Sounders FC has met the Colorado Rapids three times this season, with a different result in each contest. Here are three matchups to watch as the two teams square off again in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
DeShorn Brown vs. DeAndre Yedlin
The two youngsters have met in two of the three matches between the two sides. In the first, Brown was matched up mostly on the attacking right side and was shut down by Leo Gonzalez. In the second, he was lined up more centrally, but pushed often to the offensive left side, where he and Yedlin clashed often. It was Brown that scored just 14 seconds into the October 5 meeting, adding another later in the match when he outmuscled Yedlin for a ball from the midfield. Yedlin will no doubt be out for redemption against Brown, while the Jamaican forward will be looking to duplicate his brace at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Clint Dempsey vs. Nathan Sturgis and Hendry Thomas
If Seattle plays the diamond-shaped midfield again, that will put Dempsey right up against the two defensive midfielders in Colorado’s 4-2-3-1 formation. If the Sunday match against the Galaxy is any indication, Dempsey will clear space for his teammates when he can occupy both players and cause havoc for the defense when they defend him 1v1. He got his first goal in the final match of the regular season and is hungry for more. Sturgis, a former Sounder, had career-highs with 25 appearances and four goals this year while Thomas played 27 matches and led the Rapids with 59 fouls, seventh-most in MLS.
Eddie Johnson vs. Drew Moor
The two former FC Dallas teammates will go head-to-head, so to speak, as the two aerial specialists will both provide targets on set pieces for their respective teams. Johnson led Sounders FC with nine goals, giving him 23 tallies in two seasons in Seattle. In 18 career matches against the Rapids, Johnson has seven goals, including three in four matches for Sounders FC. Meanwhile, the Colorado captain has three goals in 11 career matches against Seattle, two of which came this season.