Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, July 18 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Seattle Sounders 11/10 – Draw 9/4 – Colorado Rapids 13/5
Seattle Sounders face Colorado Rapids for the third time this season as the Sounders look to get back to winning ways after this loss last week away at Chicago Fire. While the Rapids will look to not end up on the receiving end of a third loss to the hosts this term.
Seattle may be sitting at the top of the Western Conference but they have been less than convincing since Clint Dempsey picked up his red card in the US Open Cup. One win in their last five in MLS has seen the mighty fall greatly in terms of performances and results.
Seattle are on level points with second placed sides FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps with first and sixth place in the Western separated by just two points.
With Obafemi Martins also injured for this one, Chad Barrett will likely earn another start and fill in for the Nigerian who is expected to be out for a number of weeks.
With six games left at home, the Sounders need home comforts to sustain their position in the playoff places as failure to make the top six would be seen as a major disappointment from the supporters’ perspective.
Last weekend saw Colorado Rapids pick up a 3-1 victory over Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake in a compelling match down at the lower end of the Western.
Colorado are still nine points away from the playoff places as it looks as though several draws and failure to win matches is what will cost the Rapids a precious spot in the top six come the end of the regular season.
In their back-to-back wins coming into this one, they scored five goals with five different players getting on the scoresheet.
They will now look to win in Seattle for a first time. That will be no easy achievement as the Sounders have won nine of the last ten home games between the two.
The previous fixture saw Seattle Sounders win 1-0 at CenturyLink Field, compliments of a Marco Pappa goal, while the meeting in Colorado ended 3-1 to last year’s Supporters’ Shield champions.
Seattle Sounders will miss Obafemi Martins (adductor) Andres Correa could be brought back and also Stefen Frei. The Sounders will also miss Marco Pappa, Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey due to playing in the Gold Cup
Colorado Rapids will be without Luis Solignac (hamstring), but could welcome back both Axel Sjoberg and Dillon Serna. Bobby Burling will miss out due to suspension. Gabriel Torres is away on international duty.
Seattle Sounders last five in MLS: L/L/L/W/L
Colorado Rapids last five in MLS: D/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: Although they are at opposite ends of the table, both sides have conceded 29 goals so far this term.
Key Player: Chad Barrett – The 30-year-old attacker has three goals this season. When Martins and Dempsey have been missing, he has shown he has got talent to find the back of the net and he has the task of getting the goals to break down a resilient Colorado Rapids defence on Saturday night.
Seattle Sounders 2-0 Colorado Rapids – History suggests Seattle will be comfortable winners, which is likely seeing as they have more star quality in the side. Even with injuries and international absentees affecting them, the Sounders still look stronger. Home win.