Seattle Sounders v Colorado Rapids 4-3-3 | Projected Lineups

Brad Evans won't have as much space as he usually does during today's match. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

As sidereal points out in the Scouting Report, the Colorado Rapids put their own twist on a 4-3-3. It is lopsided to the right offensively with Brian Mullan occupying the farthest right space. He is more of a defensive winger in this system. On the opposite wing Tony Cascio could start which would help Seattle as there will be a less effective right sided partnership with Sigi Schmid resting Mauro Rosales and Adam Johansson for another 14 days.

It will be important for Seattle Sounders FC to create effective attacks via the wings in today's 1 PM match. As Brad Evans points out the center will be more crowded than a typical MLS match.

In the past four games the play has come out of the midfield and been kind of free-flowing, this one might be a bit more congested finding wingers and finding those outside gaps as their fullbacks get forward. It's different, but we're going to face these teams all throughout the season. Kansas City plays with that kind of plays the same way with that deep-lying defensive midfielder and they kind of crowd and when they lose the ball they attack to win the ball as best they can.

You have to overcome these challenges as the season goes on to put your team to the next level, and you personally to the next level.

This should mean that switches will either see the ball leave the surface for long crosses over the danger area or that resets will drop deeper before reinserted. It will also place a premium on wing speed to help create caution in Oscar Pareja's fullbacks. On defense Sigi Schmid reminds us that the Rapids will leave only one forward up top.

[I]t’s a 4-3-3, they possess the ball. They try and possess the ball through all parts of the field and they try and get a lot of passes in, a lot of touches, so you’ve got to sort of get through that. And when they defend, a lot of times it looks like a 4-5-1 when they’re defending, so they get a lot of people behind the ball.

The way the Rapids play, combined with the health of the team creates some interesting lineup choices. There is also a player who is capable of MVP caliber performances for Colorado in Omar Cummings. While he won't finish the year at the top of the hunt, he is a potent force in MLS. Schmid talked about his play as the center forward in their new 4-3-3.

Omar has speed. He's a very fast player. We have to make sure we keep him in front of us as much as possible and not get caught with a high line and have pressure on the ball. We have to make sure we know where he is. He's going to hold up the ball for their team and get other people into the attack.

In light of these shifts we foresee a lineup with more passing creativity and overall speed in the wingers and forwards then we've seen yet this year. But at the same time it should be the more defensive posture along the back four.

Johnson

Montero

Fernandez

Estrada

Evans

Alonso

Gonzalez

Scott

Ianni

Parke

Gspurning

Yes, that's a significant change. But it may be time, and the matchups suit this perfectly.

From the Rapids, per Burgundy Wave

Cummings

Cascio

Mullan

Castrillon

Rivero

Larentowicz

Zapata

Kimura

Moor

Wynne

Pickens

Standard lineup card to return next week.

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