Schedule permitting and all that, Los Angeles Football Club are set to play the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, this time at the Banc. It’s the teams’ fourth meeting this year, third in regular-season play, but hey, there’s been a lot of games and you may not be following the Sounders’ exploits. So we checked back in with our friend Mark Kastner of SB Nation’s Sounders site Sounder at Heart to see what’s happening in Seattle. Thanks, as always, to Mark for answering my questions!
Angels on Parade asks Sounder at Heart:
1. To me, the Sounders seem like a cut above the rest of the Western Conference. Is that how Seattle feels, too? And how are they avoiding all the pitfalls all the rest of the teams are hitting lately?
I think that’s probably a fair assessment, especially when you evaluate the messaging coming from Brian Schmetzer and the team. For instance, the Sounders just came off a pretty routine victory over Real Salt Lake. Not a whole lot to write home about in that match (I say that as a blogger!). But, a month ago they played the same team and couldn’t close out a one goal lead, ultimately conceding a late equalizer.
After that match Schmetzer said they dropped points and failed to put space between them and the Western Conference. It really seems like this team wants to finish top of the west, at least...And hopefully win the Supporters’ Shield, whatever that looks like this year.
Seattle’s obviously not perfect this year, but it seems like whenever they hit a bump, they learn their lesson and correct course.
2. Raul Ruidiaz has been pretty good in the past against LAFC, but he’s out on international duty. Who’s going to step up in his place on Sunday?
Unless something wild happens between now and then, it’ll be Will Bruin starting up top for Seattle. Bruin and Ruidiaz are basically polar opposites in terms of playing styles. Bruin is your classic hold up forward and he uses his big body and strength to occupy center backs.
But he’s not shy to make runs in behind to create space for midfielders to run into.
This is where we talk about Jordan Morris, even though you didn’t ask about him. With Bruin playing, it adds a completely different dimension to Morris’s attacking abilities. On the lineup sheet you’ll see Morris starting at the left midfielder position, but that’s just merely a suggestion. He’ll spend most of his time playing off Bruin up top. A great example of this is Seattle’s first goal against RSL on Wednesday, where Bruin and Morris were yards apart inside the penalty area.
So, Schmetzer kinda has to rejig the lineup a bit to replace Ruidiaz. But it works.
3. On a scale of “I love this!” to “Please make it stop,” how do you feel about playing the same handful of opponents like LAFC over and over again this year?
The only redeeming quality of playing the same teams all the time is that I get to talk with you. That’s it. I’m sick of this and I’m especially sick of playing Portland seemingly every 15 days. It’s awful.
You can read my answers to Mark’s questions over at Sounder at Heart.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.