Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of struggling teams contending to
advance to the Western Conference semifinals will square off at CenturyLink
Field on Wednesday as Seattle Sounders FC plays host to the Colorado Rapids.
Neither club enters the postseason in particularly great form as the Rapids
suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in their final
regular season outing while the Sounders ended the campaign with four losses
from their last five league contests.
Seattle's descent has been especially puzzling given the manner in which the
club strengthened its squad during the summer with the addition of Clint
But with injuries and international call-ups denying the Sounders any sort of
continuity from week to week, it has been difficult for head coach Sigi Schmid
to tinker with his tactics and personnel.
The Sounders boss managed to try a new formation in the club's regular season
finale, deploying a diamond midfield for its meeting with the Los Angeles
Galaxy on Sunday. It resulted in the Sounders getting more possession on the
night, something that helped them claim a point from the contest as the two
sides finished level at a goal apiece.
"We're looking for the right combination where we can get Clint the ball and
he has options that he can play to, as well," Schmid told the Sounders'
official website. "So playing with two forwards and Clint in that attacking
midfield, everybody seemed a little more comfortable with that."
Colorado's form heading into the postseason has been a bit more up-and-down,
but the club's most recent defeat at the hands of Vancouver has left head
coach Oscar Pareja in an uncomfortable position.
"When you lose a game like that, you can say that we're not really in a
playoff mode that you want to see a team in," the Rapids boss said after the
Colorado will be looking to recapture the form that saw the Rapids earn an
impressive 7-1-4 record from June 29 to Sept. 14.
"You can't feel sorry for yourself (in MLS) if you didn't achieve things, the
boys did great to get into the playoffs," said Pareja. "We were fighting today
for important things, we tried to get an advantage at home in third place; but
I have to recognize this group of players have done a tremendous job getting
into the playoffs - that is not easy."
The Sports Network