It's that time again; Dave Clark from Sounder at Heart has stopped by to give us thoughts on the upcoming match.
Q: Obafemi Martins had his red card rescinded, and will play tomorrow. How big of a plus is that for Seattle?
A: Sigi Schmid's choices are quite depleted for the weekend so keeping Obafemi on the field is a big deal. He's a true difference maker in how he uses his speed, his touch is world class and he strikes the ball quite well. Without him Seattle would be using a 3rd and 4th forward, a 4th choice left mid, 3rd and 5th choice centermids.
That is no way to face a rival. Even with him that's a weakened roster, but at least with him they have one of the men capable of changing a game with a single touch. When a team is playing with a dramatically reduced midfield the forwards must take advantage of their rare touches.
Q: Besides Martins, who do the Whitecaps need to pay attention to?
A: Lamar Neagle is having a breakout year where he's redefined who he is as a player, but most of your attention should be at the backline. DeAndre Yedlin is going to burst forward from right back and both over & under lap with Mauro Rosales. 'Caps fans will think that means that there is open space behind him, but his recovery speed is amazing. Some attention should also be paid to Djimi Traore.
Originally brought in as the third CB after a competition between he and Portland's Silvestre he has become a stalwart on the backline. His strong aerial ability and the way he reads the game means that the best way to beat him is to not go at him.
Q: What's up with the Sounders struggles this season? What do they need to do better?
A: Early in the season they were creating more chances but not finishing them. Now there are less chances but they so often become goals. It seems really simple, but Seattle is a good team with significant injuries and national team call-ups that is merely average due to that. When they finish they look great, when they don't they don't. When they play LA they don't finish and forget how to play defense.