The Seattle Sounders visit D.C. United on Sunday (5:00 p.m. PT; JOEtv, YouTube TV, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). Here are three matchups to watch, presented by Toyota.
Raúl Ruidíaz vs. Bill Hamid
Sunday will feature a matchup between Ruidíaz, one of the best pure goal-scorers in the league, and Hamid, who sits in the upper-echelon of shot-stoppers in MLS. Among goalkeepers in the top ten for saves – Hamid sits at 118 entering Week 29 – he has the lowest goals-against average with 1.23. He could be in for a long night at Audi Field, though, as Ruidíaz has racked up 11 goals and three assists in just over 1,500 minutes this season.
Make no mistake, Hamid is one of the most athletic, acrobatic goalkeepers in North America, boasting world-class reflexes and explosive technique. But he has two key weaknesses: he gives up lots of rebounds and he struggles with his distribution. That’s a recipe for success for Seattle’s striker, as he thrives on capitalizing on defensive miscues and poaching goals.
Kim Kee-hee vs. Wayne Rooney
With Xavier Arreaga suspended for the match after picking up a pair of yellow cards against FC Dallas, Kim will have a new center back partner on Sunday. Compounding Arreaga’s suspension is the knock Jonathan Campbell picked up in the match against the Colorado Rapids. It’s unclear who will take Arreaga’s place, but it will be an unfamiliar partner for Kim. He’ll have to be on his toes and organizing the space around him, as Rooney is one of the most tactically astute strikers in MLS. While he hasn’t been as productive this season as he was in 2018, the former Manchester United star still has 11 goals and 7 assists. Keeping him quiet will be paramount to picking up points on the road.
Jordan Morris vs. Russell Canouse
Morris is in the form of his life right now, with five goals and six assists from his last ten starts. On Sunday, he’ll likely go head-to-head with Russell Canouse, a dedicated No. 6 who has lined up as a right back in each of D.C. United’s last two matches. While Canouse is a hard-nosed player and one of the better defensive midfielders in the league, he lacks the mobility and ability to defend in the open field necessary against a player like Morris. Look for the Sounders winger to replicate his performance in Seattle’s 2-1 road win over the Portland Timbers, taking on Canouse 1-v-1 early and often.