Are you ready for a little Sunday afternoon football?! Sounders FC is back in action for its third match in just eight days as it hosts the New York Red Bulls at CenturyLink Field. After a win on Wednesday night against the Rapids, the Sounders will look to finish the homestand on a high against this Eastern Conference opponent.
Since the team’s last trip to the Emerald City, the Red Bulls have seen major roster moves and front office shake-ups. To get a better understanding of this new-look team, SoundersFC.com spoke with Franco Panizo of Soccer By Ives. Panizo covers the U.S. Men’s National Team and MLS for the site.
He is not a guy that gets his name in the headlines very often, but the key to the team is Lloyd Sam because of what he does and what he brings to the table on the right side of the midfield. He can send in crosses, he’s been more aggressive this year with creating chances for himself, he can run at guys, and he just give the Red Bulls attack that dimension.
When he’s been on, the Red Bulls have done very well. He’s gotten Bradley Wright-Phillips involved. Sam is the facilitator that gets Wright-Phillips the ball.
In most of the successful games this year, Lloyd Sam has been a big part of it. In this recent stretch, he’s kind of been quiet and held in check. And that hurts the Red Bulls in a big way.
Looking for a Comeback
The Red Bulls are definitely hungry. They’re trying to get back on track. They are in a rough stretch right now, going winless in the last two games after having a hot start to the season. I think they’re hungry and want to win, but Seattle is not an easy place to go and pick up a result.
You can expect a keen, organized attack. They’ll try to do the high press again, because that’s been their M.O. this year. They’ll try to be smart about how they defend. They’re missing a few guys to injuries and international call-ups, so they’re trying to figure things out at the back. I think they’ll give Seattle a good match.
Best Stat of the Season
Position-wise, they’re doing a good job. They’re keeping the ball, but it’s what they’re doing with the ball where they need to improve. That’s been missing. They haven’t been scoring much in this recent stretch. I think possession – That’s the key thing for them right now. But they have to do more with it.
Final Thoughts on the SEAvNY
With the attack that the Sounders have, it’s going to be a tough task for the Red Bulls, given their depleted backline. They could be playing for a draw, could come out a little more organized and defensive than they have in other games.
They will likely high press, but they need to be smart about picking when to do it. I think Seattle’s going to keep the Red Bulls quite busy with Clint [Dempsey] and Oba [Martins]. I think it’s going to be an interesting matchup.