Like we promised, we’re going to try to do one of these things before every match where we wrap up everything you need to know ahead of every Sounders match. These posts will mostly be links and raw information.
This week, though, some quick housekeeping: We’re in the process of adding a few elements explicitly for our paid subscribers.
- We’ve created a living depth chart that will effectively reflect the organization’s positional hierarchy as it pertains to the first team. What that means is beyond the first team, the players we list aren’t necessarily the starters and reserves for their respective teams but where they sit in relation to the first team. We’ll eventually add basic scouting reports and other information that is designed to keep you up to date on the players you most need to be aware of.
- We’ve also created an injury report that will also be updated regularly. The idea here is to give more insight than the basic report the Sounders release to the public, adding observations from training and anything else we might know about the availability of various players.
- You can also expect us to update the “Game-by-Game Tactical Notes” after each match. So far, we have one-paragraph breakdowns that look at things like the formation, some advanced data like xG and various tactical tendencies we’ve noticed.
- This week we plan to release our first extended interview. This one is with Sounders GM Craig Waibel. The first half or so will be available to the public, but we’ll put out an extended version just for our paid Substack subscribers. You can either listen to it here on you can subscribe to our Substack RSS feed in your favorite podcast app.
- Once we have a better idea of everyone’s salary, we’ll put out our best attempt at assessing the Sounders’ salary-cap situation. We’ll also do our best to keep that updated as things change.
- If you have other sort of regularly updated items you think would add value to this Substack, by all means leave your ideas in the comments and we’ll see what we can do.
Everything you need to know
- The Sounders face a Real Salt Lake opponent who’s had their numbers recently. RSL has won three straight regular-season meetings and also eliminated the Sounders from the 2021 MLS Playoffs in penalties. The game kicks off at 7:39 PM and is only available to stream on AppleTV’s MLS Season Pass. Unlike last week’s game, this game does require a subscription.
- We previewed the game with our friend in blogging Matt Montgomery of the excellent Wasatch Soccer Sentinel.
- The Sounders should be very close to full strength with Brian Schmetzer declaring Raúl Ruidíaz “fully fit.” It’s probably too soon for the striker to start, but he should at least be available off the bench.
- Obed Vargas has also been removed from the injury list, but he was not training with the first team this week so probably won’t feature.
- RSL will be missing a couple key contributors, though, as midfielder Pablo Ruiz (visa) and Jasper Löffelsend (suspension) are both out.
- While it may be overstating things to suggest the Sounders are actively shopping Xavier Arreaga, I have confirmed that they are at least listening to offers.