Kansas City is off to a hot start, but let's also remember that they have a lot of turnover and are implementing a new system. They aren't the next "Invincibles" they are merely Wizards. Look again at the scouting report from earlier this week and yes, the 4-3-3 or what ever they run, is oriented towards offense. They are young and fast.
Ignore last year's home loss, it has nothing to do with this match. The turnover has been too much, highlighted by the lack of Kevin Hartman. One could even ignore the Sounder last home game, as there are few similarities between Red Bull and the Wizards.
Focus instead on the simple keys to the Sounders playing their game, they are still the more talented side.
1 - Freddyain - These two really have to find a way to work well together. Whether it is a difference in styles, or a difference in attitudes the team can't afford two players this talented to ignore each other while playing. In any given match the lack of interplay for the two gives up at least one quality scoring chance.
Last year there was the excuse that they didn't have a pre-season together. Later it was that they were too close with Ljungberg as CAM and Montero as WF. Eventually we saw both as forwards. It lost the team a target man, even if he's really only a Target Midfielder, but that final month of the season let us think things were decent-ish. Now after another pre-season with them both up top we are seeing the same problems.
Solve this and I would go so far to say that the Sounders would average another half goal per game. This could be a Casey/Cummings pairing, a Donovan/Buddle, instead it currently winds up like an Angel/Kandji.
2 - Wingback awareness- With Smith, Wolff, Kamara all playing well forward the wingbacks (that's Leo and Riley) have be much more aware when they push forward. They can't just leave the backline without its shape, yet at the same time they provide the width in attack. The key may be to have better communication with the Central Mids so that if one of the wingbacks rushes up at least one Center Mid is ready to cover a long clearance.
This may seem intuitive, but at the same time this requires that the Sounders shift someone like Alonso wide once in a while to win a long punt on the counter. This still leaves the Sounders in a four man defense of the three man attack. It also cuts down on the chances at the late run by a Center Mid on scoring opportunity.
3 - Secondary/late runs from Central Midfield- Yet that's exactly what the offense needs. They need a charging player, like Evans in his first goal. Or even better a junk collector. Yes, the goals in a 4-2-3-1 generally come from the line of three, but with a box clogged so often the shots tend to be available off of rebound. Last year that man was Nate Jaqua. This year that man is ?
With more frequent secondary runs from the midfield, or even a tertiary run, but a Center Forward formerly in the box the Sounders are set up better for the rebound, or the types of crosses that Zakuani has come more profecient at delivering.
Notes - I will not be in the 214. This is my first miss for a League match. No I will not be able to watch the match. Instead I will be experiencing the match as an Emerald City Supporter. I will be writing about that later. Gorilla and NES I may make a day with you in the future. This was on odd confluence of opportunity and necessity.
Gamethread will be hosted by BayAreaRefugee. He'll update the Quick Reference Card, but go here if you want our best guess coming into formal announcements.
KONG and KIRO-FM tomorrow. Arlo White weaving the yarn.
When I rewatch I'm going to focus on Noonan, unless something requires much more attention.
I hate Noon starts.
New Uniform/Kit unveiled next week. A third kit is required by CCL rules.
Which of the Five for Fighting will start? Who will be on the bench? What do you see as the keys?