This Saturday night, the Red Bulls travel to Qwest Field to take on the Seattle Sounders. We thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look at the Sounders through the eyes of those over at Sounder At Heart, SBNation's fantastic Sounders blog. Also, they asked us some questions about your favorite Red Bulls, which you can see by clicking here. Hopefully we'll be doing these type of previews often with the other MLS blogs on the network. Below are the questions I asked about Seattle, and the responses from Sounder At Heart.
What is it about the Sounders that has made them a heavy MLS Cup favorite?
Sounder At Heart: Stability is where it starts. Last year they had a very talented team that underacheived. While they started hot, it was apparent that there were issues in communication and function on the team. Everyone wanted to add more talent, but I actually think that this team will be much better just by having a full year together under Sigi.
What are the Sounders' weaknesses?
Sounder At Heart: Long range service and direct kicks. The team doesn't have a player outside of James Riley who during the run of play can provide long service towards a target type player. They don't have a target type either. Nate Jaqua is better facing up on the wing, or collecting rebounds than as a target man. The lack of a solid kick taker in non-corner situations means that opposing teams can foul the Sounders with little danger.
How long can Seattle count on having Fredy Montero around? Will this be his last year?
Sounder At Heart: I would be surprised if Montero makes it through the Summer transfer window. With the addition of Blaise Nkufo I think the Sounders can afford to lose Fredy Montero this summer. While today's DP changes may be used to keep Montero around for one more year, the attacking positions will be crowded. I would expect the team to move Fredy and get something rather than lose him on a Free later.
We'll have our full match preview coming up soon.