Los Angeles Football Club are in the middle of a busy week, as they have to shake off their loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps midweek and gear up for their first of two consecutive meetings against the team right behind them in the standings in the Seattle Sounders. The first of those two meetings is Sunday at The Banc.
To get ready for the Sounders, we talked to our friends at SB Nation Sounders site Sounder at Heart. Our good pal Dave Clark has moved on to working for Tacoma Defiance and Reign FC, so welcome Mark Kastner in to take over the 3 Questions duties. Many thanks to Mark for taking the time to answer my questions!
Angels on Parade asks Sounder at Heart:
1. The Sounders are one of two undefeated teams in MLS, and have shaken off the “slow start” pattern they fell into the last few years. What’s changed this year? What’s behind their hot start?
I wish I had a better and more exciting answer to this question, but the answer really is “all the good players are healthy at once.” This was mostly true until Raul Ruidiaz got hurt against Vancouver, but having Will Bruin as your backup striker is pretty helpful. Not having to constantly chop and change the lineup each week because of CCL or injuries has given Brian Schmetzer the opportunity to play the team he wants to play them, the same way that we saw at the end of last season.
2. Like LAFC, it doesn’t seem like the Sounders made many big signings ahead of this season. Is there a newcomer who has started well this year?
There’s two players that come to mind here, even though neither of them are technically newcomers. The first is Brad Smith, the left back that came in on loan last summer from Bournemouth. He started brightly last summer, but injuries kept him out of the lineup during the run in. The second is Jordan Morris, who missed all of 2018 due to a major knee injury. He has been like a new signing, to borrow the overworked cliché. He’s also playing a new position, so that only amplifies the impact he’s had on the team’s play.
3. It feels like the Sounders games have either been goal-filled romps or one-goal grinders. Is it a credit or a concern that they seem to play differently game to game?
I think it’s a credit to the team’s veteran core that they can adapt to any set of circumstances in game. Although, if you ask Schmetzer, I’d bet he’d be a little more concerned with the team’s inability to dictate the tempo of games more. Either way, I think it’s good for the team to have to deal with some adversity.
4. (Bonus) Prediction for Sunday’s game?
I wasn’t feeling very good about this one before LAFC dropped points to VWFC, but now I feel a little bit more confident. However, I think it’ll be a draw. Let’s say 2-2.
You can find my answers to Mark’s questions over at Sounder at Heart.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!