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Downstream Game 10: Home against Seattle

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Colorado Rapids Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Sounders Stats

2021 Record: 7-0-4 WLT, 25 points for 2.27 PPG

Goals: 20 for, 7 allowed, +13 differential

Power Rankings: Seattle #1 (-), Rapids #9 (-)

Last Result: 2-2 tie against Vancouver Whitecaps

UGGGGGHHHHHHHHH why them. Of all the teams to be playing on our Fourth of July game, with the biggest crowd of the year, why did it have to be against the best team in the league?

Seattle is always excellent. That’s just a fact. An inevitability in a league of chaos. They’ve made their way to four MLS Cup finals in the last five years, winning two of them. They were second in the Western Conference in terms of points per game last year with the lowest goals allowed. They’ve allowed the fewest goals this season while being second in goals for, and subsequently have the best differential. This team is, put quite simply, very very good. Last weekend they let in a goal from open play for the very first time in 2021. That’s right, over 11 games they’ve only allowed seven goals total, and six of them were from set pieces. That’s incredible.

To add salt to the wounds, the Sounders are also still pretty much the same team that has gotten them deep into the playoffs the last few years. After sending their beloved homegrown Jordan Morris out on loan to Swansea in the English Championship, he unfortunately tore his ACL and is out for the season. They said farewell to Gustav Svensson, Kelvin Leerdam, and Joevin Jones, all of whom were out of contract or had their option declined. They signed João Paulo on a permanent deal, as he was previously on loan from Botafogo. They signed Kelyn Rowe as a free agent, and… that’s about it. Their team is still functionally the same that got them to the final last season, and even with a number of players out with injuries and for international duty, they are still extremely dangerous.

I think this game more than any other game we’ve had so far is going to be a major challenge. But, that isn’t to say that Seattle is invincible. For one, they do have a weakness on set-piece goals, which is something that the Colorado Rapids are usually very strong in. The Vancouver Whitecaps very nearly got the win against them with a 2-2 tie, even with the Sounders playing at home. They are also going to be on the road at altitude. This is certainly going to be a tough game, sure, and the Rapids had better be planning on one heck of a challenge. The last time Seattle came to town, I said roughly the same thing, and the Rapids got the win. If we stick with what we do best, a 4-4-2 with the usual suspects, we might be able to upset the strongest team so far through the 2021 season.

Regardless of the result, this game is going to be special. For the first time since the start of 2020, the Rapids will have a full capacity stadium. We’ll be retiring the legendary Pablo Mastroeni’s jersey number after the game, and for the first time since 2018, we will have fireworks on the Fourth of July. Let’s get excited and cheer on our Burgundy Boys as we get back to a normal season and a great holiday celebration.