Three Key Match-Ups: vs Colorado Rapids

Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids

MLS Regular Season
Saturday, April 26; 1 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: Q-13 FOX (locally); ROOT Sports (regionally); KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; THIS-TV (KOMO2, Spanish); ESPN Deportes Radio, 1490 AM (Spanish)

Sounders FC returns home to CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon to host the Colorado Rapids after three straight road matches. Here are some key matchups to watch out for as Seattle looks to maintain its three-match unbeaten streak after going 2-0-1 in those road matches.

Clint Dempsey vs. Drew Moor

Last week Dempsey faced his former Fulham and U.S. National Team colleague Carlos Bocanegra and he finished the night against Chivas USA with two assists in a 2-1 win. This week, he meets his former Furman University teammate in Moor, who is another athletic center back who is strong in the air. Colorado’s whole back line is a versatile, athletic group, so Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will need to work to continue their success they’ve had of late, but as they’ve done with each prior matchup this season, they will adapt and conquer.

Seattle’s wings vs. Colorado’s outside backs

The Rapids play a narrow, diamond-shaped midfield and that leaves a lot of space on the wings for Seattle’s outside midfielders. Whether it’s Brad Evans, Lamar Neagle, Marco Pappa or Kenny Cooper, Seattle could have many opportunities to create out of that space if they can get the ball into those positions. With the creativity of Pappa, the breakaway speed of Neagle, the ingenuity of Evans and the scorers mentality of Cooper, there are many options for Head Coach Sigi Schmid on the wings, and once the ball is there, they have to deal with Marvell Wynne or Thomas Piermayr on Colorado’s defensive right side and either Chris Klute or Marc Burch on the left. That’s no small task, but with so many different ways to attack it, Sounders FC could gain an advantage in that part of the field.

Sounders FC defense vs. Rapids speed

The Rapids have used speed to get into the box and earn penalties, taking five kicks from the mark in six matches this season. Vicente Sanchez scored on all four of his PKs while Deshorn Brown missed on his, but scored on the rebound. Meanwhile, Sounders FC has allowed three penalties in its first seven matches. That is an element Seattle has said it would like to clean up defensively and Saturday will be a good test of that progress.