When the Colorado Rapids visit the Seattle Sounders this Saturday they will be greeted by a rare sight in Seattle: Natural Grass. Yep, that's right, a Natural Grass Field (NGF) has been laid over the artificial turf in Seattle so that the Manchester United vs Club America match can be played on grass. This could be a major factor for the Rapids and Sounders as they look to navigate a (possibly) terrible surface up at Century Link.
The Goal for the Rapids: come back to Colorado with all three points.
What to Watch For
1) Rapids are Hot, Seattle is Not: WHAT? Yep, that is right. Seattle is playing some of their worst football in ages as they have lost four of five matches. Whereas our Burgundy Boys have won two in a row. This is a reversal of fortune for both clubs with the Sounders looking to stop the rot and the Rapids hoping for the first three game winning streak since 2011.
2) If ever a time to pip a win: If the Rapids were ever going to win in Seattle, this is the time. The Sounders are severely depleted missing four starters (Martins, Dempsey, Frei, Evans) and the Rapids are playing their best soccer in nearly two years. Let alone the current form of the Rapids, a victory over Seattle would send a message that the Rapids are really trying to climb back into the playoff race.
3) Five Days Off: After the Seattle match, the Rapids will have five days off before coming back to Colorado to resume training. Thanks to some scheduling changes, the Rapids do not play again in July and should use this time to get health and get ready for the rest of the season as they look to pull back into contention.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner and Eduardo Mariscal
Fourth Official: Kevin Terry, Jr
Injuries: Colorado--OUT: Luis Solignac and Dillon Serna. Seattle--OUT: Obafemi Martins. LISTED ON REPORT: Andres Correa and Stefan Frei
Suspensions: Colorado--Bobby Burling
International Call-Ups: Colorado--Gabriel Torres. Seattle--Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, July 18 at 8:00 PM MDT
Venue: Century Link Field--Seattle, Washington
TV Information: Altitude Sports
Radio Information: 1600 AM (English) or 1650 AM (Spanish)
OnLine Viewing: MLS Live (Blacked out in Colorado)
Predicted Starting XI
The Rapids are coming off two wins on the trot and I have to think they do not tinker much with the Starting XI or formation in this one:
Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, James Riley, Juan Ramirez, Marcelo Sarvas, Sam Cronin, Charles Eloundou, Kevin Doyle, Vicente Sanchez
This will serve as your official Burgundy Wave game thread for this Western Conference clash. Check back for commentary, opinion, other witty thoughts as we look to take three points in Seattle