The Seattle Sounders go back on the road against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, the first of two matches between the two teams this season. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the game.
WHEN AND WHERE: Kickoff is Saturday at 6 p.m. PT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
WHERE TO WATCH: The game will be telecast on Q13 FOX, with a pregame show beginning at 5:30 p.m PT. The game will also be live in Spanish on Univision-Seattle. Click here for the full listing of Sounders FC Pub Partners.
WHERE TO LISTEN: The game will be aired on KIRO 97.3 FM in English and on El Rey 1360AM in Spanish.
RECORDS AND STANDINGS: Sounders (2-3-1, 7 pts., 8th in Western Conference), Rapids (4-2-1, 13 pts., 3rd in Western Conference)
REFEREES: Jorge Gonzalez will be the man in the middle for this Week 8 matchup, with assistant referees Adam Garner and Kyle Longville. Younes Marrakchi is set to serve as the fourth official.
ALL-TIME HISTORY: The all-time series between the two teams heavily favors the Sounders, who are 13-3-2 against Colorado since the series began in 2009. The Rapids took the last meeting between the two teams in 2015 when they rode into CenturyLink Field during the dire days of summer (a nine-game stretch in which the Sounders only earned three points) and left with a 1-0 victory. The Sounders, however, are 2-0 in their last two trips to Commerce City.
MOMENTUM FOR SEATTLE: After an unprecedented 0-3-0 start, the Sounders are now unbeaten in three, bringing them up out of the basement of the Western Conference. However, the Rave Green are still below the red line and face a Colorado side that has won two in a row and been one of the biggest surprises in the league so far this season.
OPEN THE FLOODGATES: Homegrown forward Jordan Morris scored his first professional goal for the Sounders last week against the Philadelphia Union, offering some much needed relief of pressure on the touted youngster. Said captain Brad Evans: “The floodgates are now open ... you hope that’s the one that breaks the bank and they keep flowing from here on out.”
INJURY UPDATE: News broke Friday that both Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez are questionable for the game with groin injuries, meaning potentially more time for Oalex Anderson, who made his first professional start last weekend. Midfielder Erik Friberg is still struggling with an MCL strain, though head coach Sigi Schmid indicated in training last week that he is very close to returning. His status for this Saturday is still unclear.
JONESIN’: Midfielder Jermaine Jones made his Rapids debut last weekend after completing a six-game suspension to start the season. The longtime USMNT veteran made an immediate impact, logging a goal and an assist in the match and earning the No. 3 spot on Audi MLS Player Index for Week 7.
NO PAPPA, NO PARTY: Pappa will not get to face off against his former club on Saturday. The Rapids will have to play without the creative midfielder due to an MCL strain he suffered in last weekend’s match against the New York Red Bulls. The Rapids will also be without DP striker Kevin Doyle due to a major shin injury, and midfielder Dillon Powers is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
RAPIDS RENEWED: The Rapids had a busy offseason with the addition of Jones and Pappa, but also USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard, who will join the club in the summer and Albanian international Shkëlzen Gashi. Gashi is a two-time Golden Boot winner in the Swiss Super League and signed a Designed Player contract with the Rapids on Feb. 1. He has one goal in six starts.
SNOW MAN’S LAND: Last week's match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park was nearly cancelled because of weather conditions, but the Rapids and Red Bulls played on through the cold. This weekend’s conditions are supposed to improve dramatically in Commerce City - the weather forecast calls for temperatures in the high 70s on Saturday.