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Can the Rapids steal points in Seattle?

The Sounders and Pids are both competing for the final playoff spots in the West

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

We exchanged questions with Seattle blog, SounderAtHeart ahead of Saturday’s match in Washington.

Saturday’s match will be the year's second and final regular-season meeting between the clubs. In their previous encounter, a 1-0 Colorado Rapids win at home on May 22, Jonathan Lewis scored the night's lone goal in the second half, 10 minutes after substituting into the match.

Dave Clark and I went back and forth. To read my thoughts, click here. What Dave had to say on the Seattle Sounders is below:

1 How are the Sounders different than in May when we saw the Rapids beat them?

DC: Colorado snagged that victory back when Seattle recovered from their two-match week run that won the Concacaf Champions League. Since then, Raul Ruidiaz came back for basically a half, Obed Vargas has a stress fracture in his back, and the three-back set has seen more work lately.

It might be odd, but the Sounders look tired, sloppy. Playing 29 matches before August will do that to any team. Toss in injuries along the spine and Seattle’s lost four of five matches.

2 What’s the Sounders key to this weekend’s match?

DC: They have to find someone who scores. Since losing Raul the other strong attackers aren’t finishing. Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan and Nicolas Lodeiro should be scorers, not just scoring threats. No matter how good the defense is, a team can’t win when it is shutout in four of five matches. For Jordan, this means a little more greed — he needs to shoot rather than pass in a couple situations. For Cristian, this likely means more off-ball runs to take advantage of transitions. For Nico to score more, he has to be effective on set pieces, whether that’s direct or service; the Sounders are in a downswing for dead ball effectiveness.

And in general, moving the ball from the d-midline to either of the attacking bands has to be better.

3 Are Seattle fans worried about not making the postseason?

DC: That segment of the fanbase is growing. The Champions League win was all the way back in May. In the pandemic era, that’s basically seven years. So it’s easy to forget the victory that no other team has. Thanks to MLS scheduling there are also eight more home games. No one wants to attend a half-season of mediocre soccer, no matter how good the early season was (it was really good!).

With all of that in mind, Seattle doesn’t have a lot of cap space to add talent. The best they can do is take an extra game or two to get their top talent back and fully functional. They beat Pumas without Joao Paolo and Nouhou. They can beat most of MLS without JP too, if the rest are healthy.