Following last weekend's disappointing 1-0 loss in Chicago versus the Fire, the Seattle Sounders are on the outside looking in. More specifically, they find themselves in ninth place in the Western Conference, out of a playoff position.
In fairness, the Sounders are only one point out of the seventh and final playoff spot, with 14 games still remaining in the regular season. Regardless, they still need to buck up their ideas after a recent run of poor form and results.
In this respect, Saturday's clash with the Colorado Rapids takes on extra significance. Here are 10 things to know, ahead of the game at Lumen Field.
1) The Sounders are currently on a three-game regular season losing streak (and four defeats in five games). The franchise record for consecutive losses is five, which was set back in 2015. *
As the Seattle Sounders prepare for what will be a crucial game against the Colorado Rapids, we share 10 things to note ahead of Saturday's clash at Lumen Field
2) The Sounders have not scored for 300 minutes, since their second goal in a 2-0 win over Toronto FC. They are also on their first three-game regular season scoring drought since 2018.
3) Both sides have struggled for goals this season, with the Sounders scoring 26 and the Rapids just 24 (both in 20 regular season games). Seattle has averaged 12.2 shots per game this season, compared to 13.2 by Colorado, with both averaging 4.3 on target per contest. *
4) Stefan Frei is set to return in goal for the clash with the Rapids. He missed the last two games due to being in Health and Safety Protocols.
5) The Sounders will be missing Raul Ruidiaz (hamstring), Obed Vargas (back) and Joao Paulo (knee) on Saturday. Only Ruidiaz is relatively close to returning, with Vargas out for multiple weeks and Paulo lost for the season.
6) The Sounders have struggled of late against the Rapids, with just one win in their previous six games against them. The two sides last met in Colorado back in May, with the home side emerging as 1-0 victors.
7) As per Jeremiah Oshan of Sounder at Heart, the Sounders have revamped their training this week, in an attempt to revitalize the team. More specifically, they have increased the intensity, while also shortening the length of sessions.
8) The Rapids are one of just two MLS clubs to not yet record a win on the road this season. In nine away games, they have managed just three draws.
9) While speaking to the media on Wednesday, head coach Brian Schmetzer was asked what it will take to turn things around. He said:
""It requires hard work, dedication, good coaching and everybody participating. So that overall club thing, we have to get back to some of the basics. (We must) make sure we get those right and then try to work on new and different ways to be a little bit more creative in front of goal." "
10) Also speaking with the media on Wednesday, Jordan Morris was asked how the team balances being confident from what they've achieved this season, versus doing enough to get out of the current slump. He said:
""It's important to know what we've accomplished this year. It's been amazing, but we can't rest on that obviously. We're a team that's competitive, we feel like we can challenge and do really well in the league. But I think for us, it's a one game at a time mentality from now on. Focus on each game, what we can do to get three points and continue to build." "