After three straight at home, the Sounders head to Sporting Park to face Sporting Kansas City. The two teams played just under two weeks ago but will be back at it again on Saturday. Sounders broadcaster Steve Zakuani looks at the match in Off Camera Observations.
Zakuani will also be hosting a viewing party at The NINETY for the SKCvSEA match, starting at 4:30 p.m. PT. It's just $10 at the door and all proceeds benefit his nonprofit, Kingdom Hope.
On the Sounders recent performance:
For the Sounders, the key is just to continue to do what they've been doing. They had a good home stretch in Seattle with two wins and the draw against SKC. They just have to keep the momentum going. You don't want to peak too soon and I don't think they have just yet. The Sounders will see a different kind of team than the one they saw a few weeks back when Kansas City came to CenturyLink Field, but still it's a game that they can go into and get a good result.
On overcoming a solid Sporting Kansas City team:
Sporting Kansas city is always a strong team. They had slow start this season in terms of wins but they have definitely picked up as the season has progressed. I think if you go back to the game in Seattle, you can see they were very organized and willing to play to zero. They also try to catch their opposition on the counterattack if they can.
At home, they may be a bit more aggressive. The Sounders need to be prepared for a battle. It might not be a pretty soccer game in Kansas City because their team will apply pressure. The Sounders have to be ready for that. SKC won't allow them to play their preferred style of possessive play. They're going to be aggressive and they are a team that likes to get in your face so the Sounders have to be ready to fight back. If they do that, I think they'll get their chances.
On Zach Scott and Andy Rose stepping up in the middle:
It's a big loss to have both Brad Evans and Ozzie Alonso out this week. Brad has been playing very well in his new role and Ozzie is always consistent. The last match that Zach Scott played in, though, he was phenomenal. By now, we all know what we're going to get when he plays. He knows the game, he knows the Sounders better than anyone. There are no concerns there.
Year by year, Andy Rose is really growing. He played excellently as a back-up to Gonzalo Pineda for a few games earlier this season and he didn't miss a beat. I'm not concerned with his performance. Andy Rose and Zach Scott both bring great experience and they know what it's all about. If you have to have two players miss a match, it's great to have experienced players like Andy and Zach to replace them.