Today's match makes KING5 rather than their younger sibling on KONG6/16. The early afternoon start avoids competing with the Huskies as well. For Seattle this match is about MLS Cup Playoff positioning from a nearly impossible 3rd seed in the West to a possible 8th seed and lack of automatic qualification for the US Open Cup.
My gut says Sigi plays to win and the only significant lineup change will be Fredy Montero sitting for accumulation, though there is a possibility that Patrick Ianni sits to rest his ankle. While I would prefer that Mike Fucito get the start, it may not matter. It is likely that the "other" forward will only play a half. So we should see both Nate Jaqua and Fucito with significant minutes today.
How will Seattle get the win?
1 - As always, flank speed - Like most MLS teams the Houston Dynamo don't have the defenders who can keep up with the speed of the Sounders wing players. Steve Zakuani and Sanna Nyassi change gameplans and force a flatter four limiting the opposition's attack from the wide positions. Seeing cleaner passing from Nyassi is more important seeing him score one of his opportune goals. If either player gets 3 or more points today they enter the October Player of the Month conversation. Zakuani gets 5 points today he enters the MVP conversation. Steve will be wearing pink shoes today as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
2 - Keep Osvaldo Alonso standing - Ozzie has a propensity to lay himself out to make the spectacular defensive play. I don't want to see that today. Those plays carry an unnecessary risk of injury, and that would be more crushing than any goal today. Plus, if he's standing up when he wins the ball his passes can be crisp and clean moving into the attack.
Next isn't a key, but two things to watch as the team heads into the Playoffs
1 - Twin Towers - When Jaqua and Blaise Nkufo are on the pitch together how do they interact? How does set-play offense and defense change? Will the slower center means that one of the central mids need to come up into the attack more?
2 - Fucito on the Attack - Who ever is paired with Fucito as we are likely to see him with first team minutes how are the passes to/from him? Can he continue his scoring rate? Is the team putting more shots on frame with Mike on the pitch? Does he continue to harry the defense in ways that the other speed burners don't?
TV is KING5/105
Radio is 97.3FM
This is your gamethread
Today's beer is Full Sail's Wassail. The spice and body warm my soul on a day of wind and rain.
Today's jersey is the "One Nation Under Sigi" t-shirt. Today's scarf is the 2009 Season Ticket Holder.