Can the Sounders conjure a win?
The Sounders continue a busy stretch of matches with a trip to New England to pair up against the Revolution on Saturday.
Kickoff: 7:30 PM EST
SEA 7-5-4 (2-2-3 V)
NE 5-7-3 (4-1-2)
The first 3 matches the stretch have been dismal with Seattle losing 2 while drawing once. Although both losses were on the road, they were against teams clearly less talented than the Seattle side. The team cannot seem to find a win.
This week’s match appears very similar on paper. The Revolution are ranked 7th in the Eastern Conference. They should be an easy team for Seattle to beat. But their play has improved as of late, and they have a 0 goal differential.
When you combine the improved play of the Revolution with the miles the Sounders have traveled in the last few weeks, this game could be their toughest road match of the stretch.
New England Revolution
Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph lead the New England Revolution from midfield. The question is whether Joseph is able to perform after coming off a groin injury.
New England is enjoying a relatively solid 3-match unbeaten streak in which they’ve tied 2 and won 1. They have also been pretty dominant at home so far.
Outside the talented midfielders (Feilhaber, Joseph, and Lee Nguyen), forward Saer Sene is the player to watch. He’s shown a nose for goal so far this year and will look to add to his 7 tallies on Saturday.
Seattle Sounders FC
Trouble is brewing in the Sounders camp. The team is now winless in 7 and has lost 2 of the last 3 matches against subpar teams.
The slide was tempered somewhat by a gritty win in the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals in San Francisco on Tuesday. The match revealed that rookie Cordell Cato is hungry to perform.
He should see playing time this weekend. Sigi will want the form of the goalscorer from midweek to continue.
A disconcerting lack of discipline has crept into the side during the slide. For the 3rd game in a row last week, a Sounder received a red card. This time it was Designated Player Fredy Montero.
The team will play without one of their leaders because he couldn’t keep his cool in the tumultuous ending to the Portland match.
Seattle’s fans are getting restless. So is General Manager Adrian Hanaeur. This week he put the team on notice, stating that no one was safe during the summer transfer window, unless they perform.
Matchup to watch: Osvaldo Alonso vs. Shalrie Joseph
This match features a battle between 2 of the best midfielders in the league. Although Shalrie Joseph has clearly lost a step compared to a few years back, he still remains a dominant force in midfield.
Osvaldo Alonso, in contrast, is in his prime. His ball-winning skills are second to none. The Sounders also rely on him to help them maintain possession through the midfield.
If I was a betting man, I would say that the game will be won or lost depending on who can control the middle of the park.
This is a difficult game to call. The Sounders will be motivated after receiving just short of an ultimatum form their General Manager. But will that be enough?
Fatigue could play a factor into this match, as could the Revolution’s excellent home record.
Although Seattle is the more talented team I think we’ll see a low scoring draw today.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 – New England Revolution 1
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