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August Looks To Be Month Of Frustration For Seattle Sounders Fans

In August the Seattle Sounders are firmly entrenched in three tournaments, and none will be easy. The schedule isn't just rough. It is downright brutal. Within League play the opportunity for points will be rare. While in the CONCACAF Champions League there will either be one more match (against San Fransisco FC of Panama on Wednesday night, tickets still available) or after that knockout match the Group Stage will start and Seattle will have to face Monterrey again. The month ends with one of the few MLS sides clearly better than the Sounders in the US Open Cup Semi-Final at Starfire, as FC Dallas attempts to stop Seattle strong history in this tournament.

Team Location PPM locPPM Last 5 Sagarin aGF aGA
Sporks Away 1.29 -0.87 7 -0.04 0.15 -0.10
Chivas Home 1.18 0.91 8 0.33 0.00 0.14
Toros Away 1.83 -0.66 8 -0.49 0.07 -0.32
Crew Home 1.55 0.82 10 0.36 -0.14 -0.32

Green is good for Seattle. Red is bad.

Sporting Kansas City in their new home is a good team. Seattle's away ppm minus the SporKs home record (locPPM) shows how favored the blue should be. Now the Sagarin system says that the Sounders aren't huge underdogs, but it may be hiding the home/away split a little too heavily. With the defense currently struggling a bit facing a team that puts up more goals than average could emphasize the issues, particularly when facing a 4-3-3.

The easiest game of the month is the fringe playoff caliber squad down of Chivas USA. The good news is that they come here. In the quest for the playoffs every opportunity for points must be grabbed. With just an average offense, and slightly below average defense Seattle should be able to grab this chance. The best news will be that Seattle only plays one match that week.

If Seattle advances to the Group Stage of the CCL they will play Comunicaciones midweek in Seattle and then travel back to Texas to face the Toros of Dallas. Not only are the Sounders winless in Texas in their young MLS life, Dallas is a great team with decent offense and great defense. A win in the heat of Frisco is unlikely. Even a draw would be fortunate.

Ideally Seattle would then travel to Mexico to face Monterrey again in the perennial MLS quest for a win there. Yes, there was a positive first 70 minutes last season, but then those worst few (non-injury) minutes for the MLS Seattle Sounders and 3 goals in about 6 minutes. The road trip to the heat of Dallas and Monterrey in August ends with Seattle facing the Columbus Crew at the CLink. The signs looking at that Crew match are contradictory. Some point to victory (bad offense, bad road record), and others point to a struggle (great defense, hot streak that likely ends) so this final match in League play for August has draw written all over it.

The month ends with the potential to make the US Open Cup Final again. All it will take is the ability to beat a team that Seattle will have already faced once in the month. They will take on FCD on short rest, but in the friendly confines of Starfire. For all of the likely frustrations in MLS play for August it is just as likely that the month ends with the historic moment of advancing to the Final in a third straight year. But the month on a whole will be fairly rough, for League play, the emphasis of any team, will be brutal with rare positive results. The way you feel about the club will probably be determined by the Champions League, because the USOC and MLS play should be a split.

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