Sounders FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, July 19; 1 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: ESPN2; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; ESPN Deportes Radio, 1490 AM (Spanish)
Sounders FC hosts Tottenham Hotspur in its only friendly of the 2014 season and first since hosting Chelsea in 2012. Spurs is a team loaded with talent and here are three matchups to watch at CenturyLink Field and on national television on ESPN2.
Obafemi Martins vs. Younes Kaboul
Martins has an impressive resume in matches against Tottenham Hotspur, netting four goals and three assists in six matches. That includes a goal in his only matchup against Kaboul, a 3-1 win for Martins’ Newcastle side in 2007. Kaboul, 28, was on the edge of the roster for France heading into the 2012 Euros, but a knee injury kept him from playing in the prestigious tournament. He has been a staple since returning to White Hart Lane in 2010 and serves as vice-captain for Spurs.
Osvaldo Alonso vs. Christian Eriksen
Alonso is always up for a challenge and he will be faced with a difficult one in Eriksen, the 2013-2014 Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year. At just 22 years old, Eriksen already has 44 caps for Denmark and is among the top young players in the Premier League. He came to London from Ajax, where he was a three-time Eredivisie champion. Now a main cog in the Tottenham Hotspur lineup, Eriksen will be a central figure on Saturday and a focus for the four-time Sounders FC MVP Alonso.
Sigi Schmid vs. Mauricio Pochettino
These matches are often touted as opportunities for players to measure themselves against Premier League talent, but the same can be said of the coaches. Pochettino has made a quick rise to Tottenham Hotspur, starting his coaching tenure at Espnayol just three years after his retirement. During his fourth season at the helm, he left and a few months later took over at Southampton, where he stayed for 18 months before signing on with Spurs in May. His style is one of frenetic defensive pressure and playing possession soccer - a good match to the style played by Sounders FC this year under Schmid.