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Preview: Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls

It’s been almost four years since these two teams have played.

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders look to shake off a month’s worth of malaise as they take on Red Bull New York this Saturday night. This is the first time in almost four (!!) years these two clubs have played each other, with the COVID-19 pandemic and expansion to blame for that. Can the Sounders restart their season with a win against RBNY? Let’s see how this will play out.

One key stat

191 — RBNY has taken 191 shots this season, tied with LAFC for thirst most in the league. LAFC has scored 13 more goals than RBNY.

What the Sounders will try to do

The Sounders have just bookended a bad month with two losses to their closest rivals. First, they got dunked on in the final 20 minutes against the Portland Timbers, then they got outclassed in every facet of the game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. In between, the Sounders picked up some fine wins and played okay in losses. Regardless, it’s not been a fun month, to say the least.

So, what do the Sounders need to do to get back to winning ways? It’s back to basics. They’re playing another team that they should be better than, but they’re also playing a team that should give him plenty of opportunities to get beat. Seattle needs to be competitive all over the field against the Red Bulls if they want to win.

What Red Bull will try to do

RBNY has had one of, if not the most, distinctive styles in MLS for going on a decade now. Energy Drink Soccer, as they call it, is high intensity all the time. High press, quick movements, try to score as soon as possible. And then do it again. Like if Mike D’Antoni’s 7-seconds-or-less Phoenix Suns were a soccer team.

The issue this season for them is that they aren’t very good at it. They’ve already fired Gerhard Struber for “performance issues” and the club insists his dismissal has nothing to do with how he handled one of his players saying a racist slur to an opponent. While I find that hard to believe, his performance as a manager warranted being fired. Troy Lesesne has taken over for 2023 and has been undefeated in three league matches.

Vibe check

Here’s another match at Lumen Field where the Sounders should be the better team. An issue they’ve had is they aren’t winning these games. Can Seattle finally win a trap game? Let’s see.

How close to full strength is everyone?

  • RBNY has a whole slew of injuries, including to two of their DPs.
  • The Sounders are slowly creeping towards a reasonably healthy bill of health. Cristian Roldan is still “weeks” away, but we could see Raúl Ruidíaz on the bench in this one.

Projected lineups

Sounders (4-2-3-1): Frei; Nouhou, Ragen, Yeimar, A. Roldan; Rusnák, João Paulo; Chú, Lodeiro, Morris; Héber

Opponent (4-5-1): Coronel; Tolkin, Reyes, S. Nealis, Harper; Manoel, Fernandez, Yearwood, Casseres, Stroud; Barlow

What you need to know

Sounders record (2nd in the West, 5th in the Shield): 7-5-2, +7 GD

RBNY record (11th in the East, 20th in the Shield): 3-4-7, -2 GD

Where: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA

Kickoff time: 7:39pm PT

Commentators (AppleTV): Steve Cangialosi and Danny Higginbotham

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