I'm not talking the political revolution where an incumbent mayor can't even make it past the top two primary.
It is the New England Revolution here, and yet the revolution they will be seeing is a pure partnership between both Vulcan properties - the Seahawks and the Sounders. Seriously, here in Seattle the partnership is obvious in the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. When you wait to have a face to face with Bart Wiley Patrick Kearney walks by the front desk. The phone is answered with Seahawks and Sounders, or Sounders and Seahawks. While New England is owned by the same man that owns the Patriots they do not have the synergy nor the marketing success of the Seattle club. This is key because their organization is spending as much time focusing on this as they are the actual match.
What they do have is a history similar to the Red Sox, good but not great. One of the oldest teams in the league they only have 2 Cup trophies (US OC '07, SuperLiga '08) but a full 6 times as runners up. This year they were hit with the loss of Micheal Parkhurst to Europe (their best defender) and Taylor Twellman to concussion.
The patchwork squad has somehow managed to not join Kansas City in the slide to irrelevancy and are pacing for a just missed the playoffs point total of 40. They get there by riding the back of Matt Reis, and really it is on him. The Revs are 12th in Goals For, and 9th in Goals Against, but it is Reis with the 2nd highest Saves total that makes their porous defense look good.
Their lineup and formation has shifted a lot during the season, but there are a few consistencies that will dictate this match. A match that finds Sounders FC without Freddie Ljungberg.
Right wing matchups - The Sounders right wing could be anything from Brad Evans to Seb Le Toux, from Fredy Montero to James Riley, no matter who the Sounders slot out there they will be facing a basketball national championship winner and US MNT member Jay Heaps. If I'm Sigi and facing an older player who gets by with positioning I have to go with Le Toux, Nyassi or Montero on that right flank. Take it to the veteran and force him into situations where he must either foul or give up the penalty area.
Two-Man Game - New England has to go through one of two men in order to be effective this season. Sharlie Joseph (5&6) and Steve Ralston (6&5) have more PP90 then Montero and Jaqua. The Revs don't really have a third option, while Sanna's brother is out on their right flank, he just isn't the contributor that Zakuani, Ljungberg, Evans or even Le Toux are. Both have been playing centrally, either midfield or forward this year, and so Alonso and Ianni/Hurtado are going to be tied up with marking so either Ianni/Hurtado/Graham are going to have to play a strong sweeper in Marshall's stead,
because either that because the New England duo can see the lanes as effectively as any in the league and will score on Seattle.
Win the Corners - Sounders have now scored off of five corners according to the league. With a league average at basically 2% for success, the Rave Green are at a solid 4.3% and are second in the league at winning the free cross. In sweet synergy the Revolution have given up five goals on the corner, in addition they have given up 3 goals for Direct/Indirect Free Kicks. The Sounders have yet to score on those, but also haven't given up any. Vagenas or Le Toux should likely take the corners and feed Jaqua and the rest.
Sounders are taking deposits for 2010 if you want to ADD seats, or are currently not a season ticket holder. That list is already larger than several teams 2009 sold list, and does NOT include current season ticket holders.
Sanna and Sainey will likely be the first twins to take the pitch at the same time. Only likely because Sanna is a frequent sub.
80% of New England's Goals For are in the Second Half - 16 of 20 - beware the comeback and don't leave early.
The Alliance Council's next conference call is next week. Please email any of us if you have issues that you feel need to be addressed. We are currently in planning for the Supporters Summit '09, as well as discussing with the club the horns, standing/sitting debate, as well as issues related to the 2011 league expansion.
The swing for Sounders FC's playoff chances is 24% based on tomorrow's result and could put them on pace for 46 points, which would be 3rd in the West, Chivas with games in hand is pacing at 48.
Watch the ECS during pre-game for something truly unique, a tribute to a member of the Mile High Boys (ECS sub-group) who passed away this week.