The Seattle Sounders are visiting the Chicago Fire (5:08 p.m. PT; FOX 13+, Prime Video, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360AM) on Saturday in their first and final meeting of the season. Here are three matchups to watch:
Will Bruin vs. Carlos Terán
With Fredy Montero getting the nod in Raúl Ruidíaz’s absence against Nashville on Wednesday, Bruin could be in line for a start against the Fire. Bruin changed the tempo of the game when he entered as a substitute at midweek, providing a physical focal point up top to help the Sounders retain possession.
Bruin, a 12-year veteran of Major League Soccer, faces an intriguing matchup against the relatively inexperienced Terán. Still just 21 years old, Terán is a solid defender, but he struggles to pass out of the back and is less aerially dominant than his center back partner, Rafael Czichos. Look for Bruin to play back-to-goal and post-up the young Colombian international all afternoon and apply pressure when he’s on the ball.
Kelyn Rowe vs. Xherdan Shaqiri
After being rested in midweek, Rowe could resume his holding midfield spot alongside Albert Rusnák. He’ll have a difficult task on his hands in keeping former Bayern Munich and Liverpool FC player Shaqiri quiet.
While Shaqiri’s box score stats might not be overwhelming – he has just three goals and two assists in 16 starts – he’s been a quality chance creator. The Swiss international has dished out 39 key passes this season, which is good for ninth in the league. If Rowe can limit Shaqiri’s influence in possession, it will go a long way to disrupting the Fire’s attack.
Yeimar vs Jhon Durán
Yeimar will have a critical matchup with fellow countryman Durán on Saturday. Coming off a Player of the Week award following his match-winning performance against Toronto FC on Wednesday, the 18-year-old forward is in a rich vein of form. With three goals and three assists from just 481 minutes, Yeimar and his center back partner will need to work in tandem to cut off service to the young striker.
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