Sounders Prepare For Real Salt Lake

Here is a little snippet from Joshua Mayers today

It’s no secret that speed will be an advantage with a Martins/Johnson front line. So how does that change things? “I think it changes things for the opponent’s defense,” Schmid said. “I think they have to be a little more aware. Do they want to play a high line? Do they want to take that risk? Do they drop off a little bit more because they respect the speed? If they drop off, it gives us a little more space to play.

This is interesting to me, simply because this hasn’t been an avenue of attack yet featured by the Sounders this season. The squad, by and large, has attack through the air, putting over 84 crosses into the attacking third. Good for a 26% success rate and 6 of their total 21 key passes. Despite the fact they have a pretty league average success rate on crosses, they’ve only gotten headed shots on 5 of them, 3 of which were on target.

It’s easy in general to become a bit, maybe, disenchanted with the options that they’ve put out on the field.  I know Sammy Ochoa has been criticized quiet a bit by those on twitter. But his heat maps speak to his work rate and ability to track back and provide some help on the defensive half, as well as his holding play helped give the Sounders some opportunities and looks at Jon Buschs’ goal.

Right now, the Sounders have seen all of 5 balls played over the top of opposing defenses and only one with success according to Opta data. If they want to capitalize on the Lakers in this up coming match Mauro Rosales is going to have to step up. His passing ability went rather silent against the Quakes and he’ll need to find it to properly execute Sigi’s game plan.

There is already a bit of uncertainty among RSL the back-line with Nat Boarchers returning last week from injury and a coin flip between what could either be Lovel Palmer or  Chris Schuler in place of the former Jamison Olave, traded to New York this past off-season.

The defense may have been much of the talk during the off-season but 3 games into this early season it appears the attack is what has been lacking from the Rave Green. Visiting Rio Tinto has not always been kind to teams in the past and being in the middle of a scoring draught doesn’t boost confidence among many supporters.

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