In light of the amazing weather, and a little brier patch issue (not the Brer Rabbit story, more like just a huge tangle of blackberry bushes) I'm getting this out a little later. Heck, maybe someone will even read it before the game actually starts this evening, but with a HUGE Seahawks preseason game (game is not huge) probably not.
So far results are generally in the Sounders favor. Philly has picked up two points in two games, Colorado only 1 for one, while New York may have finished off Toronto though they aren't safe themselves.
How does Seattle pick up at least 1 and maybe 3 points against Chivas USA tonight?
Continue to Play Sigi's Game - we are seeing a rapid counter-attacking team that uses occasional long balls to a target forward, but most uses quick passing with only 2 or 3 touches before the next movement. It is the style that we not only enjoy as fans, but one that gets results in an otherwise overly physical league.
Seattle no longer looking to get the foul called and instead playing the rapid restart and continuing the attack. When the Sounders are the defense are on defense they are attacking the ball again. This forces mistakes, both high up the pitch, and within the defensive third.
Take Advantage of Unfamiliarity - With Chivas being in midst of a high turnover mid-season transition Seattle's rapid ball movement and interchanging should be able to capitalize. While Chivas is now more talented than they were, they are using Bornstein in a newish role, Paulo Nagamura is back, but not yet integrated. These are their two most familiar changes, but not their only ones.
Sigi's team on the other hand will only have 1 or 2 newish players on the pitch to start the match. The early season injuries have prepared so many to fill-in at a moments notice. This should lead to some mistaken passes by the Goats as well as occasional unmarked men for the Sounders on offense.
Make Zach Thornton Move Laterally - Maybe this is just unfair because he isn't the mountain of a man that he once was, but he still isn't the best side-to-side keeper. With Seattle being a team that is used to over-passing inside the 18 they should be used to pressuring a keeper without the best movement.
Seattle though MUST shoot on goal if they see him out of position. The offense can't afford patience. They instead must constantly pressure the Red and White.
The emphasis of these keys is really on Seattle. The game is there for the Sounders to extend their run to five (wins) and six (without a loss in League play) matches. If this is to be a battle of establishment of will, then it will be a contest. If it is a battle of what team is made up of better individual players it will not.