Pre-Match Report: Seattle Sounders FC

March 10, 2015

This one will be rough.  The Quakes are coming off a tough 1-0 loss on the road to Dallas.  Seattle beat MLS Cup runner-up New England Revolution 3-0 last week, although New England was without its two stars: Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones.  According to ESPNFC, Seattle is the #1 ranked team in MLS, the Quakes are 19th, just in front of Chicago for last overall.  On paper, Seattle should roll over the Quakes, but it would be a huge mistake to count out the Quakes at CenturyLink Field.

Last season, the Quakes had an even split with Seattle 1-1-1, with an aggregate score of 2-2, despite playing twice in Seattle.  In the 2014 U.S. Open Cup, Seattle and San Jose went to a shoot-out to determine the winner (Seattle advanced and eventually won the U.S. Open Cup).  When these two teams play, it’s usually a close game.

Seattle fields an offensively potent team.  DP forwards Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will be starting and will be a constant threat for our defenders.  Dempsey and Martins will be set up by Guatemalan sensation midfielder Marco Pappa, Mexican National Team veteran midfielder Gonzalo Pineda, and speedy attacking midfielder Lamar Neagle.  One piece of good news: Osvaldo Alonso is coming off groin surgery and will be out.

Defensively, Seattle has international players such as Swiss GK Stefan Frei, USMNT veteran Brad Evans, Costa Rican defender Leo Gonzalez (Costa Rica is currently ranked 13th in the world in FIFA World Rankings), and an ace-in-the-hole with 2008 and 2009 defender of the year Chad Marshall.

In order to win this game, we CANNOT have a repeat of Dallas where Seattle players, especially Dempsey and Martins, go unmarked in the penalty area when Pappa or Neagle have the ball.  We also have to have a squad which can match the speed of Martins and Neagle, so expect Nyassi to start.  I would also expect Alashe to be on the bench and ready to come in to help defensively with Martins, along with Cato.

Offensively, we MUST start two forwards.  At Dallas, Kinnear went with a conservative 4-2-3-1, and we paid the price for it with zero goals scored, and a handful of scoring chances.  We cannot play a one-forward formation and expect to win any points in Seattle, so I predict both Wondo and Emeghara will start, with Jahn on the bench for a third attacker late in the game.  Emeghara has the speed and Wondo has the finish.

I predict a 4-4-2 formation with Goodson and Bernardez starting at CB, Wynne at RB and Francis at LB, Nyassi and Shea as right and left midfielders, MPG and Koval Pierazzi as CMs, and Wondo and Emeghara as forwards.

Bench/Subs: I expect Pierazzi Koval, Barrera, Thompson, Alashe, and Jahn all to have a good chance of being subbed into the game.  Other potential subs: Cato for speed, and Renato for Goodson if CG is not ready for a full 90 minutes.

Notable Quakes Injuries besides Lenny and Sherrod:

  • Jordan Stewart – OUT (right calf strain)
  • Clarence Goodson – QUESTIONABLE (left foot sprain)

Final Score Prediction: 2-2

VIEWING PARTIES!

San Jose/South Bay Quakes Fans:

The Quakes are hosting a viewing party at Rookie’s Sports Lodge: 1535 Meridian Ave (near Hamilton) San Jose, CA 95125.  Game starts at 7:00pm.

San Francisco Quakes Fans:

  • Nickies Bar 66 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
  • SF Athletic Club 1750 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94115

East Bay Quakes Fans:

  • The Commonwealth 2882 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

North Bay & Marin Quakes fans:

  • The Mayflower Pub 1533 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901

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