Holy flash back batman I feel like I’m trippin’ balls and have been transported back in time to 2011. We head to Rio Tinto without Mauro Rosales, again. But wait, the injury report comes out yesterday and Mauro Rosales isn’t listed. So ugh… what the hell is going on here?
There is a lot of smoke and mirrors going on here and I have to think that there maybe a little bit of not trying to tip your hand too soon. Jeremiah Osian talked about replacing him with moving Christian Tiffert outwide and putting Andy Rose in the middle, but I personally dislike that idea.
Assuming that we are going to take the “The Castle” there is an absolute need to stretch those wing backs as documented pretty much everywhere. The Sounders were pretty successful in the first leg despite not seeing any of the attempts penetrate the goal line. I feel like moving Tiffert out wide limits some of his ability to find space and create chances and narrows the Sounders attack.
I would rather see Zakuani or Mario Martinez in that position. I really like the idea that Mario Martinez could come in and do something very similar to Mauro Rosales. Find Eddie Johnson in the box and then also is stlll really good with the ball at his feet and can create his own chances is dangerous from range that potentially could take further pressure of Fredy Montero.
There are draw backs to Martienz that I can certainly can consider. We haven’t seen him much with the first team and it’s fair question of how much he’s going to really meld with the unit. He also doesn’t have the engine that Rosales has and isn’t the field marshal that can help manage the attack from off the ball when things aren’t going the Sounders way.
Steve Zakuani would do a similar job with pushing Tony Beltran deep into his own zone and forcing him out of the attack. If Beltran cheats Zak can easily make him pay on the counter, which I expect to see the Sounders very active on tomorrow night.
I’m not saying Andy Rose doesn’t bring some positives to the game. It just seems… less positive? I don’t know. I’m a big fan of Mario Martinez and I’ve disappointed with how little action he’s gotten. The Sounders have done an amazing job with finding talent they just need to find a way to get it all on the field.
Looking back at putting together a cohesive attack, the Sounders really need to pull something out. Regardless of who they put out on the pitch their attack is going to be better than what Salt Lake can provide, as our depth on attack is arguably the best in MLS. The real question is how will they make the adjustments to finally break Nick Rimando? It’ll be interesting to see what exactly they’ll implement and what the differences between the two games are going to be.