Commerce City, CO (Sports Network) - Two teams trending in opposite directions
will meet at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday as the Colorado Rapids
host Seattle Sounders FC.
Seattle has been a perennial MLS powerhouse since entering the league in 2009,
but the early part of this season has not been nearly as successful for the
Western Conference club.
Through the first five games of the campaign, the Sounders are the only MLS
side without a win, a club-record winless streak to start a season.
The club's once-formidable attacking line, led by Fredy Montero, has been
deserted with the replacements failing to pick up the slack. The Sounders have
managed just two goals thus far, a far cry from the five goals that they
netted in just the first two matches of last season.
Seattle has been crippled by injuries to Brad Evans, Eddie Johnson and Obafemi
Martins throughout the start of the new season, but finding success on the
offensive end will not simply come about getting those players healthy.
"You can't say once those guys come back, all our problems are solved," said
Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said. "At the same time, the reality is that
we haven't had a full practice. We haven't had a chance to work on any of
these combinations with the whole group. We have played nine different lineups
in nine games [including CONCACAF Champions League]. We've had to mix the
lineup all the time. We haven't found any consistency in that form."
Colorado also started with an 0-3-2 record through its first five games of the
season, but the Rapids have managed to piece together a two-game winning
streak since then.
Following a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on March 30, the club turned
its poor start around with back-to-back 1-0 wins against Real Salt Lake and
Chivas USA. Head coach Oscar Pareja deployed the same back line for both
victories, a decision that raised some eyebrows given the fact that it meant
leaving Drew Moor on the bench.
"I'm a competitive guy," Moor said. "I want to be playing 90 minutes as much
as possible. Obviously, I'm not okay with me not starting, but in a positive
way because I understand why I didn't start. The defense has been playing
extremely well over the course of the last three games."
According to Pareja, though, Moor still figures prominently into his plans for
"Drew is a leader of this group," Pareja said. "Drew is a starter and he knows
it. The [defense] played a good game against Portland, [and they] played a
good game against Salt Lake. ... I thought he came on in the second half and
played very well."
The Sports Network