The opening stretch of schedule could hardly be tougher for the Seattle Sounders, but they’ve handled it well so far. Ironically, when the schedule first came out this looked like it might be one of their easier early-season matches, but that no longer appears to be the case. Here’s what we’re hoping to see this weekend:
What’s up with Yeimar?
I should probably preface this with the fact that there’s seemingly nothing wrong with the current Sounders lineup. They absolutely torched Minnesota United and took LAFC to a 1-1 draw in LA in a game where they were arguably the better team. So that’s just one goal allowed over the course of 180 minutes against two opponents that the Sounders faced in the playoffs last year.
However, Yeimar Gomez Andrade has only played 29 total minutes through two games. I understand that I’m just a soccer blogger and the Sounders coaching staff are, well, professional soccer coaches. But Yeimar needs to be on the field in order for the Sounders to be at their best for this season.
It does seem as though Brian Schmetzer plans to get him more playing time soon, though, saying on Friday “He’s been great at training. His confidence is fine. He will play a lot of minutes for this club. I’m not worried about it one iota.”
Atencio doesn’t deserve to be dropped
The early surprise of the 2021 season so far has been that Josh Atencio has played so well filling in for Nico Lodeiro. They play two completely different ways of course. But when Lodeiro does return, whether it’s against the LA Galaxy or later, the obvious adjustment seems to be sending Atencio to the bench. We’d like to see the Sounders be a bit more creative when it comes to that.
Stop Chicharito from breaking records
Most people spent last season laughing at the Galaxy because their big name Designated Player only scored two goals. Well, now Chicharito is doing the laughing now after scoring 5 goals through the first two games of his 2021 campaign. Former Sounders’ assistant coach Ante Razov scored 6 goals in the first 3 games in 1999, setting the MLS record. If the Sounders keep Chicharito quiet not only will they have a decent chance of winning this game, they’ll also make sure the Mexican star won’t break that record.
Put the hammer down
In the last two home games against the Galaxy the Sounders have scored an eye-watering amount of goals. Nine, in fact. Seattle never needs extra motivation to beat LA but needing to keep the Galaxy in their place is there. If the Seattle win by multiple goals this weekend they’ll almost certainly be find themselves sitting atop the Supporters’ Shield race.
There isn’t much to say here other than that this is just an awesome opportunity to get your COVID-19 vaccination. Plus you get a free hot dog! How can you not love that?