Key Matchups

Three matchups to watch when the Seattle Sounders visit FC Cincinnati on Saturday

The Seattle Sounders travel to Ohio to take on FC Cincinnati on Saturday (4:30 p.m. PT | Watch free on Apple TV) in the third match of the MLS season. Here are three matchups to watch:

Yeimar & Jackson Ragen vs. Brenner & Brandon Vazquez


Defenders Yeimar and Jackson Ragen have showcased their strength in the backline this season after shutting out the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake attack. As they enter the unfamiliar territory of TQL stadium, however, a challenging front-two awaits them. After scoring 18 goals each last season, forwards Brandon Vazquez and Brenner will be utilized as FC Cincinnati's main targets for the upcoming match. FC Cincinnati’s last two opponents managed to keep the dangerous attackers off the scoresheet, so it’ll be up to Yeimar and Ragen to continue that streak.

Albert Rusnák vs. Obinna Nwobodo


Since arriving to Seattle in 2022, midfielder Albert Rusnák has proven his ability to impact both sides of the pitch. While he’s positioned alongside João Paulo in the holding midfield spots, he manages to get into the attack when the opportunity presents itself. Similarly, FC Cincinnati defensive midfielder Obinna Nwobodo brings that unpredictability to his game as well, most recently securing the Orange and Blue’s first win of the season with a goal and an assist against Houston Dynamo FC. Rusnák will need to sustain possession throughout the duration of the match in order to keep Nwobodo pinned back.

João Paulo vs. Luciano Acosta


While midfielder João Paulo plays a key role in the tempo and buildup of the attack, he also has a significant impact on defense as well. Last game, João Paulo tallied a combined six tackles and interceptions against Real Salt Lake, making him an integral part of the defensive efforts displayed in the match. It’ll be crucial for him to shut down FC Cincinnati Captain Luciano Acosta this Saturday as the attacking midfielder is a major asset to the team’s offense. Last season, Acosta tallied 10 goals and 19 assists over the course of 30 games.

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