They’ve been world-beaters on the road, but below average at home. The Seattle Sounders FC are eager to reward their faithful fans with improved play and hopefully some winning results over the next two weeks.
“Rave Green” came from behind for a thrilling 4-4 tie at Portland, rallied in Texas for a victory over first-place FC Dallas, and last weekend grabbed another road victory against Chivas USA. The big factor in all three matches was offensive threat of Clint Dempsey, with 5 goals and 2 assists in that span.
“Confidence plays an important role in how we feel moving forward, and we’re in a good rhythm with confidence in the team, ” Dempsey told reporters after Thursday’s practice.
Unlike last season, Dempsey is healthy and not being called away for U.S. national team duty every other week. He’s also developing a chemistry with Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins as witnessed with their game-winning combination goal against Chivas.
Seattle is yet to be held scoreless this season and Dempsey’s 6 goals leads the golden boot race in Major League Soccer. Martins has a league best four assists.
The Sounders three-game home stand starts Saturday against one of MLS top road teams, the Colorado Rapids. Like Seattle, they’ve done well away from home, (2-0-1). Seattle holds an 8-2-2 record all time against Colorado, which is a club record for most wins against an MLS opponent.
First year Rapids’ head coach Pablo Mastroeni has emphasized defense, and the 0.83 goals against is the third best average in the league. U.S. National team hopeful Edson Buddle and Jamaican Dashorn Brown provide the offensive threat for Colorado with one goal apiece this season. Former Sounder Marc Burch has started four of his five appearances for the Rapids and will have extra motivation against Seattle.
Saturday’s match at CenturyLink Field kicks off at 1 p.m. and will be televised on Q13 FOX.
-Bill Swartz, 1090thefan-
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