Simple stuff for this game that won’t play out quite so simply; never does. But in keeping it simple here are my three WTWF’s as the game unfolds in a couple of hours.
WTWF #1 Back Four: Seattle has an aggressive and talented front line – if we play defense like we do on the road this game could get ugly. Playing tight and flat with plenty of support from the midfield is critical. I cannot imagine this team looking to risk an early goal against by getting out of shape early on. With Wallace most probably starting in place of Smith there will be a rusty player having to deal with Montero – how we manage that side (as we saw in Colorado) directly influences the far side. The wider we get pulled the worse… the midfielders must rotate back to support.
WTWF #2 Set Pieces: It’s always a possibility that a Set Piece will win a game between these two; the difference between 3 points and 1 point last time was a header by David Horst – perhaps we see that again.
WTWF #3 Penetration into their 18 yard box: Variation in penetrating their 18 is good; it stretches the defense and helps create unplanned 1-v-1’s. How our talent directly matches up with their defenders is just as critical to them as it is to us. My focus today is not on a particular player but instead on the collective approach by the team to systematically work the edges and pound the goal with shots.
Not much else this morning; a bit pushed for time. Should be a good game; I hope it’s a good game.