Rapids vs. Sounders - Three Keys to the Game

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 07: Mauro Rosales #10 and Eddie Johnson #7 of the Seattle Sounders battle Marvell Wynne #22 of the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field on July 7, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The Rapids showed some good stuff against Swansea City, but against a team playing at about 20% speed who hadn't played together in months, at least a little bit of good stuff was kind of expected. On Saturday, we probably can't expect the Seattle Sounders to be quite so nice as to play at half of their actual potential.

Saturday's match will be the last chance for the Rapids to get any points out of July, a month that has so far produced absolutely nothing outside of the Swansea friendly. If they lose, we can probably give an official good-bye wave to any chances of a playoff position, which might not actually be a bad thing.

If the Rapids want to win this game though, here's three things that could help...

Help Out Martin Rivero - In the second match between these two teams this season, Martin Rivero was completely marked out of the game and nobody looked particularly eager to help him out in that regard. If Sigi Schmid is going to have his team keep Martin Rivero out of the game by double-covering him, other players need to step in and take some of those defenders away.

It wouldn't hurt if the referee would make a call or two that wasn't in Seattle's favor this time around as well, but Rivero is surely going to get marked hard and fast all game long regardless. He's the creative engine of the Rapids midfield, and if they want to score goals he'll be key.

Keep Em Back - The team has played with the defense getting into the attack a lot this season, and under the best circumstances that's the way it should be under Pareja's system. Keeping Tyson Wahl back a bit has helped things out a bit as more of a 'stay at home defender' but the defense is still making a lot of mistakes as they come too far forward, giving up 1 on 1 opportunities. Oscar Pareja could do well to keep his defense playing very deep against Seattle's solid attack.

Don't Play Scott Palguta Edu - This sounds like a joke entry, but seriously. There's absolutely no reason to keep playing Edu, except for trying to give him enough minutes to help him earn his exorbitant salary. If they want to win games, they'll probably be best off keeping their short, slow Brazilian off the pitch as much as possible. With Kamani Hill and Andre Akpan showing that they still have plenty to offer as well, there's not a single reason for Oscar Pareja to start Edu unless he's really just tanking the season after all.

(Here at Burgundy Wave we're secretly hoping that if we keep ragging on him, he'll suddenly turn on some Brazilian Super Powers and prove us all wrong by scoring a hat trick in his next start. We're not holding our collective breath.)

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