The San Jose Earthquakes will make their first midweek look of the 2021 season on Wednesday, once they host the Seattle Sounders for the groups’ first assembly of the yr. To gear up for the conflict, I spoke to my previous pal Dave Clark of SB Nation’s Seattle-area soccer web site Sounder at Coronary heart to get the inside track. Many because of Dave for taking the time to reply my questions!
Middle Line Soccer asks Sounder at Coronary heart:
1. The Sounders are atop the Supporters’ Protect standings at current, only a level forward of the Quakes. We all know Seattle is sweet, however did you count on them to start out the season unbeaten and be on the high of the heap proper now?
Sounders followers most likely anticipated Garth Lagerwey and Brian Schmetzer to work their typical late season magic. There have been simply too many questions on the roster — no Jordan Morris, no Gustav Svensson, no Kelvin Leerdam, different much less vital gamers. Plus, the harm to Nicolas Lodeiro added to that doubt. Combine in a brand new formation and a pandemic-reduced preseason, there was little purpose to really feel that Seattle would burst out like this. Even the schedule was in opposition to such a run.
Right here we’re within the sixth season of Schmetzer’s MLS teaching tenure and individuals are nonetheless doubting him. He’s bought two MLS Cups, two different appearances, wins 50% of his video games, and but folks doubt. He coaches gamers up into nationwide workforce appearances, into Greatest XI appearances, and but folks doubt him — even the individuals who love him, doubt him.
There’s no purpose that this roster ought to be on the high of the desk proper now, apart from Brian Schmetzer.
2. Are there any gamers (new or returning) having breakthrough begins to the season for the Sounders? How and why?
One previous, one new.
Outdated is a former left again who Schmetzer discovered a significantly better function for. Now that Nouhou nearly solely focuses on protection his magic is extra highly effective. The hype prepare was already enormous. It ought to develop, as a result of Sounders have solely given up 2 objectives, neither from the run of play. Sure, it’s a workforce sport, however none of Seattle’s defenders has taken to the brand new system in addition to Nouhou. A number of the opposing groups thought that he was the height level. They didn’t rating, didn’t even threaten actually. Is it too early to start out the Chad Marshall Defender of the Yr dialog? Possibly. However not when Nouhou is outperforming the final three winners of the award.
The brand new needs to be the returnee to his hometown membership for which he’s by no means performed. All indications from the previous few years was that Kelyn Rowe was completed as a major contributor. Rowe has greater than confirmed this doubter incorrect. As a starter he’s a succesful defensive midfielder who strikes the ball into the assault fairly effectively. Off the bench Kelyn provides a top quality utility knife able to enjoying each midfield function within the 3-5-2 and the 3-4-2-1 that Seattle’s used late. As a type of doubters I’m having fun with the crow that he’s served me, with a beautiful wine.
3. Provided that the Sounders have incessantly had the Earthquakes’ quantity the final couple years and this can be a midweek sport, do you count on Seattle to make some changes, possibly usher in some new gamers for Wednesday’s sport, or simply retaining going with the group that’s in an early rhythm because the video games haven’t but piled up for them?
Any changes that Schmetzer makes to the lineup won’t be primarily based on his historical past in opposition to San Jose. As a coach that typically rides his most well-liked hand, there’ll most likely be comparatively few lineup modifications. Nicolas Lodeiro will nearly definitely not begin, as he didn’t make the bench and Brian’s historical past is with a sluggish re-insertion to XIs.
Adjustments to count on shall be on the backline the place he has 4 beginning high quality gamers and remains to be making an attempt to determine which triplet is the perfect. There’s additionally an opportunity that Fredy Montero will get the beginning. He’s most likely near full health now. With the best way that Seattle is urgent up the pitch extra rotating the forwards is smart.
Projected lineup: Frei; Nouhou, Arreaga, Yeimar; Smith, João Paulo, Rowe, A.Roldan; C.Roldan; Montero, Ruidíaz
You may learn my solutions to Dave’s questions at Sounder at Coronary heart.
What do you suppose? Depart a remark beneath.