The dog days of summer are truly upon us as the Seattle Sounders head to Colorado to take on the young upstart Rapids. The Sounders are coming off a draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps and have a whole slew of injuries to deal with. That’s no excuse, though, so here’s the five things we’d like to see on Sunday night.
Jimmy Medranda’s time to shine
The Sounders are used to having unlikely role players coming up big during important times. This season, Medranda could be that player. He’s gone from being a make-weight add-on in the Handwalla Bwana trade to scoring a huge goal to keep the Sounders’ unbeaten run going. I hope he starts against Colorado given the Sounders’ roster is slim pickings right now. But in what position?
Old reliable, the 4-2-3-1
Given that the Sounders are in a bit of a pickle with healthy players, we may see Brian Schmetzer rely on the 4-2-3-1 formation that has been a staple for the team for years. We could see Medranda start at left-mid with Cristian Roldan on the right side. It seems like the natural replacement for Lodeiro in the No. 10 position would be Fredy Montero. Josh Antencio and João Paulo would play in the pivot, and any three of the healthy CBs could play in a pairing at the back.
Not the same Rapids
The Rapids haven’t been very good for a long time. It wasn’t too long ago when they had a head coach who was complaining to the media that his players simply weren’t good enough. Those days may be behind us, though. They hired Robin Fraser, long-time assistant coach for Toronto FC, and have a promising group of youngsters to pair with some decent veteranss. Seattle’s last two trips to Commerce City have ended in losses and this Rapids team is actually favored. It’ll be a tough 90 minutes.
Raul’s Golden Boot quest
Our fearless assassin currently sits second in the Major League Soccer Golden Boot race, one goal behind Chicharito with nine goals. He’s played the Rapids three times in his career, scoring three goals. He’ll need to be on point regardless if the Sounders are hoping for a win, but one or two goals would be nice to see on Sunday night.
July 4th means Sounders wins in Colorado
So this is a pretty quirky stat. The Sounders have played on July 4th five times since entering MLS, with a record of 2-1-2 (W-L-T format). Both of their Independence Day wins have happened in Colorado against the Rapids in 2017 and 2018. Matches in Colorado seem to either produce Sounders golazos or stinkers, but when they play on the 4th of July, it means wins. Let’s make it 3 straight wins!