The restarted MLS season is in full stride now and the games are going to be coming fast and furious. Just a few days after the Seattle Sounders dispatched the Portland Timbers, they’ve got another road game against the LA Galaxy. The match is scheduled to kick off at 8 PM and will be the Sounders’ debut match on Amazon Prime.
Keep the points rolling
Much has been made about the schedule for this phase of the re-restart, and rightfully so. It would be grueling for the richest teams in the world, not to mention MLS teams. It’s not realistic to expect the Sounders to win every game, especially when they’re playing on short rest. But it’s important for the Sounders to continue to pick up points where they can. Things usually get weird when Seattle plays in LA, so expecting a point out of this one is just fine. Obviously a win would be great.
Rotation is key
It’s likely that a few starters will be rotated. Jordan Morris has already come off the bench twice this season when the team was on short rest. Perhaps we will see Nouhou start at LB, as well. Xavier Arreaga’s fitness levels are unknown after he missed the match against Portland, so this might be too soon to see him. It’s important to figure out just enough changes to keep the squad fresh but also make sure the team stays in rhythm.
Try out the diamond
In addition to any personnel changes, this seems like an opportune time to try out a new formation. If Brian Schmetzer is really keen to see a two-forward setup, the one that seems to make the most is the diamond. With Morris likely to come off the bench anyway, Will Bruin has shown he deserves a shot at extended minutes and has worked well with Raúl Ruidíaz in the past. That leaves a potential midfield of Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan, João Paulo and Gustav Svensson, who are well-suited for this formation. This isn’t likely to become a first-choice lineup, but it makes sense when rotation calls for it.
Get some rest
The Sounders may only rotate a few starters, but they should absolutely make maximum use of their five substitutes. With another big game just around the corner — they’ll host LAFC on Sunday in their first home game in nearly six months — Schmetzer needs to prioritize early moves, even if it comes at the cost of some quality.
Run Right By Him, the remix
It wouldn’t at all be surprising to see Morris on the bench in this one, but he has a knack for terrorizing the backline in LA.
Daniel Steres is still LA’s best defender....which says a lot. The Galaxy managed to keep a clean sheet against LAFC last weekend, but it was their first clean sheet in over a year. Now imagine Morris coming on as a second-half sub and running at tired-legged defenders...