Three up, three down. What’s next? Wednesday in Frisco, Texas with FC Dallas.
- Match starts at 5:30 pm (PST) on KONG stations 6 & 16. There will be no radio broadcast for this match. You can also follow the live match-day blog on SoundersFC.com
The last time Sounders traveled to FC Dallas Stadium, they were facing eight matches in August. The most challenging portion of their 2011 schedule. How did they do? Sounders went 7-W, 0-L, 1-D. Including a rare Champions League win in Mexico. Only the second MLS squad to succeed in Mexico. The only other is FC Dallas, who did it one week before Sounders FC.
The Champions League win was followed by a 1-nil win over FC Dallas. Zach Scott took on growing US Men’s National Team star, and FC Dallas playmaker Brek Shea. Scott was impressive in shutting down the rising US star.
Currently In the middle of their first scheduling challenge of 2012 the Sounders are rising to the occasion. They are turning into a club with a well oiled baseball like player and lineup rotation. And a skipper with a nose for who needs to be on the pitch. If you accurately predict the Sounders starting XI for Wednesday, buy a lottery ticket.
The Sounders baseball like player rotations and lineup changes have produced three wins in a stretch of five matches over 15 days. Sounders Coach, Sigi Schmid continues to show his Lou Piniella like sharpness with his defensive rotation. About his defenders, Sigi said, “I think we’ve got seven starters. Any of those seven, we don’t miss a beat in the back”.
Seattle is undefeated in its last five matches. Winning four in a row. MLSSoccer.com took note of the Sounders recent success in their current power rankings. There is not much to glean from power rankings while you are in the midst of a tight regular season schedule. That said, they make for fun talking points. If you’re winning, then you’re climbing the ladder. While the teams you defeat, like the LA Galaxy fall. Which is kind of fun to watch.
Early success can be completely forgotten by the time the Sounders hit the showers after Real Salt Lake on Saturday. The Sounders are 6-W, 1-L, 1-D and 19 points on the season. (3 pts = Win, 1pt = Draw) In the West, they are third behind San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake. Both with 22 points. Sounders have played two fewer matches than San Jose, and one fewer than Salt Lake. If they enter the Century Link locker room on Saturday after facing a second loss in 4 days, momentum and power ranking talking-points will reverse against them. That is the downside of any short-term success in a compact schedule.
It’s not one position, or one tactical grouping of players going through rotations. It’s the entire squad. Sounders starting Keeper, Michael Gspurning left after the first half of the LA Galaxy match last Wednesday. Brian Meredith stepped in to finish the shutout win. Meredith got the start last Saturday against the Philadelphia Union. Earning his first win and complete game shutout.
Some rotation decisions are tactical, and some like Meredith coming in for Gspurning are for injury. Meredith is likely to finish the May schedule for Gspurning.
As the Sounders continue to roll through their tight May baseball schedule, they continue to roll through their rotation. The brightest star for the club is perhaps the depth of their bench. If the entire club continues to buy into shared minutes throughout the full season, there could be a healthy reward at the finish.
Please welcome Paul Kahl to Sales on Sounders for his photography contributions.
© 2012 Sales on Sounders by Ryan J Sales