Feb 13, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen (24) and Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) collides with during the first half at Kino Sports Complex. Seattle beat New England 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Sounders Look To Move Past Early Season Struggles

It’s easy to talk about getting focused and moving on to the next task on the slate. It’s quite another to actually follow suite. Unfortunately in Major League Soccer the talent disparity between the top club and the bottom isn’t what it is in other leagues. This could be considered a good thing but it also bad. Considering the problems up top in the attack and the uncertainty of Eddie Johnson and the probability that Obafemi Martins won’t make an appearance as well as midfielder, The Colonel, Brad Evans.

Which means the Sounders are looking at another outing from Sammy Ochoa or the 253′s own Lamar Neagle, who scored the lone Sounders goal during the Semi-Final legs. We’ve yet to see much from Neagle since the start of the season. The local standout returned this past off-season from Montreal, after being included in the trade that brought Eddie Johnson to Seattle.

The Revolution aren’t the same club they were last decade with the likes of Clint Dempsey, Taylor Twellman, Michael Parkhurst and even a good version of Andy Dorman all but whispers of ghosts from trophies past. But with the help of former defender Jay Heaps, the Revolution have rebuilt that defense. The addition Jose Goncalves,  a renewed A.J. Soares and a young up and coming Andrew Farrell have rev’s currently boasting one of the top defenses right now in MLS, allowing only 2 goals in 4 games.

They’ve been so good in fact, they are the only team to score fewer goals than the Sounders (only 1 goal!!!! vs. the Sounders 2) and yet still boast have 4 points to only our 1. All this despite issues of injury (Kelyn Rowe) and missing pieces (Jerry Bengtson) in their attack. However, they may have a potentially weakness in the fact that stalwart Matt Reis is nursing a knee injury, which would leave the newly extended Bobby Shuttleworth between the sticks.The 25-year old from  Tonawanda, New York appears to be the future of the Revolution and it’s not as if he’s a huge step down. In fact this may even be his time to shine if Coach Jay Heaps decides to sit Reis.

The problems on the attack were thought to be cured by the acquisition of Jerry Bengtson last summer. Unfortunately for most fans of the Massachusetts based franchise that hasn’t yet be solved as he has only placed 4 shots on frame through 3 games and less just over 250 minutes. Though that’s not entirely his fault as he’s missed sometime while traveling with his national team, trying to carry them to a World Cup. His speed could absolutely wreck havoc and executed against the likes of Zach Scott or Jhon Kennedy Hurtado would cause chaos and allow many looks at Michael Gspurning’s net. The hope is that Djimi Traore works him much the same he did with Darwin Quintero the last two weeks.

Most concerns by me thought, currently lay with creative mid-fielder Lee Nguyen. The 26 year old from Texas, may be recognized by Sounders from his time in Vancouver. He is currently second on the club in Key Passes (5), first in big chances created (2), and leads the club in shots taken. His teaming with Bengston is a concern and one not to be taken likely.

The Sounders aren’t going to have simple 3 point road win. The Rev’s aren’t going to just hand over those points willingly. But, considering what the Rave Green did down in Mexico against a better team with more depth they certainly have what it takes and will put forth a starting XI that is worthy of “taking them all” this Saturday.

Tags: Bobby Shuttleworth Djimi Traore Jerry Bengston Kelyn Rowe Matt Reis