The Colorado Rapids are a bad soccer team. The only team worse than them are the Chicago Fire. In case you forgot, the Fire just beat the Seattle Sounders. The Sounders are not a bad soccer team, but they are really awful right now earning only six points in the seven matches in June and July. Colorado nabbed eight points in their six matches in that time, that includes winning their last two. Either team could leave this 7 PM July 18th match thinking they've turned the Summer around.
jpatrickrosch from Burgundy Wave answers Three Questions to prepare you for the match.
SaH: Are Colorado fans looking at the weak Sounders June/July and seeing a theft of three points?
BW: I don't think that Colorado fans are so concerned with the Sounders current form as they are concerned with the Rapids grabbing a third win in a row. The Rapids have not won three games in a row since 2011 and to do so they will have to beat a Seattle team that, to be quite honest, has owned the Rapids since they came into the league. So whether Seattle is in a poor run of form or not, it is going to be a heck of challenge for the Burgundy Boys.
SaH: Thirteen Rapids players have an MLS goal this season. It's hard to say the offense is good, but that's great variety. What's unlocked that lately?
BW: It really is as simple as change to a 4-3-3. Since the switch, the Rapids have won two in a row, scored five goals and won for the first time in 2015 after giving up the first goal. They don't have one person who is lighting it up in front of net, and in the last two games Vicente Sanchez, Kevin Doyle, Drew Moor, Jared Watts and Juan Ramirez have all scored and this has everything to do with the 4-3-3. The formation switch has allowed the midfield more space and freedom to be creative sending the ball forward and with the additional forward up front, opportunities are coming in front of goal that were not there previously.
SaH: If Colorado could acquire one non-starter from Seattle, who would you want? (Consider a starter someone who starts 50% or more of matches)
BW: Wow, this is a great question and one that requires some thought. Seattle has a tremendous team and there are a number of possibilities and Sigi seems to do a good job of squad rotation so finding one person to fit this requirement is difficult. So I went through where the Rapids are thinnest and I think the spot on the pitch (right now) would be forward, so maybe someone like a Chad Barrett (if the price was right) would be a good addition. To be fair though, I do like the Rapids roster as it is now and the players on the team are not necessarily what has led to the poor performances this year.
Absences: Dillon Serna (back), Gabriel Torres (Gold Cup), Luis Solignac (hamstring), Bobby Burling (yellow card accumulation)
Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Michael Harrington, Marcelo Sarvas, Sam Cronin, Juan Ramirez, Charles Eloundou, Kevin Doyle, Vicente Sanchez
BW: C-Link has natural grass this weekend for the Man United-Club America match on Friday. Does this help or hurt the Rapids going into Seattle?
SaH: Does Colorado enjoy sod overlay that hosted One Direction on Wednesday night and a stupid ICC friendly on Friday night? Any of them that talk to Conor Casey the answer will be no. Friendlies are dumb. Friendlies that change the surface are worse. Both teams will be unfamiliar with it, so there may be a small advantage for the visitors.
BW: With Oba out and Clint off with the USMNT, where are the goals coming from for Seattle?
SaH: They aren't. Since that dire US Open Cup match when Martins got injured and Dempsey ripped that ref's notebook the Sounders have two goals. One wound up not mattering when Lamar Neagle leveled the Portland match 1-1. Seattle would lose 4-1. The other was from right back Tyrone Mears in the only win since they crashed out of the Open Cup. Ideally Neagle would slip up top and start with Chad Barrett and the two would get a couple goals each during June and July. It's not ideal. It's so not ideal that the club signed S2's best direct signing. Andy Craven is now the first forward off the bench. He's also not scoring.
BW: Seattle has lost 4 of 5 matches. Is this a major cause of concern for the Sounders? Is Sigi feeling any heat?
SaH: Yes, it's an issue. It's not a Sigi issue as much as it is a Neagle, Barrett, stupid MLS schedule against the Gold Cup, stupid Dempsey tearing a notebook and damn injury issue. It's a horrible confluence of a lot of events. Prior to the losing the Sounders looked to be runaway Supporters Shield winners. The very real potential to get only 6 points in June and July is scary. Having just one of Clinfemi would breed confidence. At this point the fanbase won't be confident until another DP comes in or the dynamic duo is back. August should be fun, but this team already lost one major trophy and may have lost any chance at the Shield by the time the transfer window closes.
Lineup: Perkins; Remick, Scott, Marshall, Mears; Thomas, Rose, Alonso, Neagle; Craven, Jones
Predicted Outcome: 2-1 loss