MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Western Conference Final – First Leg) Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Tuesday, November 22 – 22:00 ET (03:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Seattle 4/5 – Draw 23/10 – Colorado 7/2

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders take on Colorado Rapids in the first leg of the 2016 Western Conference Final, with both sides now two games away from a place in this year’s MLS Cup Final.

The Sounders have been in incredible form since August and look in a strong position to go all the way after winning seven of their last eight games at CenturyLink Field.

As the home side, the pressure is on Seattle to breakdown a strong Colorado defence. They might be missing Tim Howard, but the Sounders know they need to be at their absolute best if they are to take a strong lead into the second leg.

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas - Sounders Celebrate

A 2-1 loss at Dallas last time out was disappointing, but Seattle advanced easily because of their 3-0 win in the home leg a week before. A similar plan will be in place for this clash.

Colorado edged past LA Galaxy on penalties last time out but they have only scored two goals in their last four and are struggling for form at a pivotal stage of the season.

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They head to Seattle as underdogs and will be looking to remain tight at the back and try and hit the hosts on the counter. Avoiding a heavy loss will be crucial if they are to reach the MLS Cup Final in a month’s time.

These two sides met twice during the regular season with Colorado winning both games. They are looking for a fourth-straight win against the Sounders here. They have only met in the playoffs once before, with the Sounders eliminating the Rapids 2-0 in 2013.

Team News

Clint Dempsey remains out for the Sounders, who have a number of players that are in danger of missing the game. Jordan Morris, Andreas Ivanschitz, Alvaro Fernandez and Roman Torres are listed as questionable, while Dylan Remick is likely to miss out again with concussion.

Colorado have been rocked by the loss of Tim Howard, who has been ruled out for four months with a groin injury. Dillon Serna is also out, while Shkelzen Gashi is a doubt with an ankle problem.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/W/W/W/L

Colorado Rapid’s last five: W/L/D/L/W

Key Stat: Seattle have won their last five home playoff games, while Colorado have lost each of their last five road games in the playoffs, dating back ten years.

Key Player: Nicolas Lodeiro – The Sounders playmaker is one of the league’s most creative players and he’s proven his worth time and time again. If Seattle are going to win the first leg, they need Lodeiro at his best to carve open a resolute Colorado defence.

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas - Nicolas Lodeiro

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-0 Colorado Rapids – The Sounders have had an incredible ride into the playoffs and their strong form should continue with another win here. They have kept back-to-back home clean sheets in the playoffs this season and look poised to keep another here, with the bigger challenge coming at the other end of the field. The Rapids are the best defensive team in the league and so Seattle will need to create something special to break them down. They should get at least one goal and take a narrow lead into the second leg.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids

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

Match Preview

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.

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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 Chad Barrett

Score Prediction

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.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Wednesday, May 27 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Colorado 4/1

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders host Colorado Rapids in a key Western Conference clash on Wednesday night in the first of two games for both clubs this week.

The Sounders are preparing for the second of three straight home games, and will be hoping to do better against the Rapids than they did in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City.

Head coach Sigi Schmid labelled that draw as disappointing and he knows that his side need to be picking up maximum points from their game on Wednesday, with a tricky game against New York Red Bulls in store on Sunday night.

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Seattle Sounders fans behind the Sporting KC goal at CenturyLink Field (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

The Sounders have only lost one of their last six and go into the game in good confidence despite the draw at the weekend. Obafemi Martins missed a second straight game on Saturday and supporters will hope he’s back in the team in time for kickoff.

Colorado Rapids head to Seattle in good confidence themselves despite still sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference after 12 weeks.

Saturday’s 1-0 win against Vancouver Whitecaps was their first in five but they have not lost any of those games after recording four consecutive 1-1 draws prior to that win at the weekend.

The Rapids have not lost an away game this season and have already beaten FC Dallas 4-0 on the road. They will be out for revenge against Seattle after losing the reverse fixture at the start of the month.

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Seattle beat Colorado 3-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on May 9 and the Sounders have now won the past five meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Seattle have doubts hanging over two of their star players as Obafemi Martins and Chad Marshall could both miss the game. Chad Barrett will be hoping to play a third straight game in attack if Martins doesn’t make the starting lineup.

Colorado Rapids have one injury concern as Marcelo Sarvas is still out. Kevin Doyle made his debut off the bench in Saturday’s game and will be pushing for a start, with Luc Solignac also pressing for a game.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/L/W/D

Colorado Rapids’ last five: D/D/D/D/W

Key Stat: There have been 23 goals in the last six games between these two sides, an average of 3.8 per game.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – Difficult to overlook the Sounders attacker, especially at home. He scored three times in the two home games against Colorado last season and will look to get back on the scoresheet in this one.

Clint Dempsey warms up before the Sounders game against Sporting KC (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Clint Dempsey warms up before the Sounders game against Sporting KC (Photo: Denisemccooey©)

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-2 Colorado Rapids – Seattle are overwhelming favourites for the win but the Rapids have proven to be tough to beat, especially on the road. There should be goals in this one but if Seattle are missing Marshall and Martins, they may struggle to pick up all three points.