The Colorado Rapids take on Seattle Sounders this Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and for the Rapids it is an excellent chance to let Major League Soccer know that they are for real. But playing against the Sounder has never been easy for the Rapids, and this will be a major test. But I suspect it's a test they are ready for.
I spoke with Dave, Managing Editor at Sounder at Heart about this match and here is what we spoke about:
Burgundy Wave: Why should a Rapids fan care or be excited about Jordan Morris? And can he ever live up to the hype?
Sounder at Heart: First I need to understand what the hype he's supposed to live up to is. There are those expecting some kind of wunderkind - they're wrong. He's going to be good. What he did prior to signing a pro deal is more than the following list of players - Stolz, Mullins, Wenger, Nagbe, Tracy, and White. But what will that mean on the field? It's probably 8-10 goals, which is really good for a rookie. Only four MLS rookies have scored in double digits.
Why should Rapids fans care is a harder question to answer. If you are also a USMNT fan you want him to do well because the USA needs forwards that can score goals, at the same time you don't want him playing well against Colorado. If you are a Rapids fan and not a USMNT fan you shouldn't care about Jordan's success. He's not going to move the MLS TV ratings needle significantly and he plays for an opponent.
BW: Seattle started slowly but appears to have righted the ship. What has changed?
SAH: It took a while to figure out, but it looks like Sigi Schmid found a formation that can score once-in-a-while. With the great defense of Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans and Stefan Frei the Sounders don't need to score many goals, but they still need to score. They are still stronger on set-pieces than run-of-play, at least until more talent is added, but at this point they look to have an average offense with strong defense. That's good enough to buy time and figure out the future.
BW: The Sounders have an open DP spot. Where do you think they will target (as in position on field)
SAH: They are looking at an attacking midfielder, whether that's someone centrally as the #10 or a hybrid winger will depend upon which price is best. Seattle's scouts have focused on France, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Chile with shorter visits to Ecuador and Brazil. According to President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey they also have room for a TAM player. That could be a box-to-box midfielder or forward and may be signed prior to the bigger target. At this point I expect one of the two signings prior to the May 11th transfer window close and the other in the secondary transfer window this Summer.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-1-3): Frei; Remick, Marshall, Evans, Mears; Alonso, Friberg; Dempsey; Ivanschitz, Morris, Valdez
Score: 2-1 Seattle
You can see my answers to their questions over at Sounder at Heart