Burgundy Wave: Besides the obvious big-name players, who should the Rapids watch out for?
Sounder at Heart: It may seem weird, but I think the Rapids need to watch out for centerback Xavier Arreaga. The Ecuadorian defender is really great on the ball and he’s able to pick out some line breaking passes. Teams are usually so focused on stopping Seattle’s lethal front 4. That means they’re happy to let the centerbacks have the ball. With Arreaga, the Sounders have someone who is very good on the ball.
BW: What’s the key to shutting down the Sounders offense?
SaH: Basically, the key to beating the Sounders is to be the Portland Timbers. I’m being silly of course, but Seattle really struggles against teams that sit really deep and can counter quickly. A bunker is seemingly the kryptonite this season. Their last match against Vancouver was the same story, but the Whitecaps made some mistakes and the Sounders were able to capitalize with two goals in the second half.
BW: Do you think Brian Schmetzer will come out with a strong lineup or start resting players since there are only a couple of games left?
SaH: The Sounders just recently got all of their international players back, and some more players are coming off injuries. So, I’d expect a pretty strong lineup. It’ll be interesting to see if Joevin Jones comes back into the starting XI and Brad Smith is back in training. Either of them could start at LB, but I’d expect Jones to play on the wing.
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