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Three questions about Seattle Sounders with Sounder At Heart

Sounder At Heart's Managing Editor, Dave Clark, has some answers to our questions.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Sounders come to Red Bull Arena for their only meeting with the New York Red Bulls in 2016, unless MLS Cup or USOC says different.

Sounder At Heart's Dave Clark kindly gave us a moment to answer some questions about RBNY's visitors.

1. What is Clint Dempsey's impact on the Sounders this season?

It hasn't been enough. He will be out with the United States in the Copa America semifinal, but even when he was here his value to the club was fairly average. Clint Dempsey, when he's on, is an MVP caliber player. Some of that might have been related to his partnership with Obafemi Martins, but he just did it with Bobby Woods. Sure, Jordan Morris isn't at the Copa, but he's pretty good too. Nelson Valdez was at the Copa. Clint does not fit with those two, yet.

There are some hopes that Seattle can learn from what Dempsey is doing in the tournament and get that type of production here. If they do that they offense might only be MLS average, but with such a strong defense that is enough to be a playoff team, and maybe more.

2. Your Sounders and our Red Bulls have very similar records: lost 7, drawn 1, won 5 or 6. That's a losing record, of course, but RBNY went into the break with a string of wins, so we're feeling pretty alright about ourselves. What's the mood in Seattle?

Poor. The mood is poor. There is anger, disappointment and rage. Fans of the Sounders are not used to regular season failure. The Sigi Out chorus gets louder everyday. Recently an undertone of Lagerwey Out joined in as well. The problems related to both roster construction and in-game execution. Both will probably be corrected during the season, but will they be corrected in time to make a run at a trophy?

At this point it feels unlikely.

Outside of the Sounders, Seattle sports fans know failure. Now, the expectation of failure is part of our soccer psyche as well. While there are those that think a single year missing the playoffs will help the organization. I would disagree with that for what it will do is plant the seed that the Sounders are just another Seattle sports team that is incapable of greatness (Pete Carroll being the exception).

3. How do you expect the Sounders to set up against RBNY?

They will probably play a cautious game with a lot of passing in their own defensive third and the central third, as they patiently wait to spring one of Jordan Morris and Aaron Kovar. Those two and Joevin Jones are the only speed threats, but with effective long ball service from both centerbacks and both central midfielders, the Sounders can strike out quickly and just maybe steal a goal on a break. The other route to a goal will be through set pieces. Marshall, Evans, Gomez and Morris can be effective targets, and both Ivanschitz and Kovar can serve the ball well.

Seattle can be confident in their defense. While there are five matches with two or more goals, most of those involve horrible calls. The standard defense from the Sounders is to sit back and let the other team shoot from distance. They play a low line, and play it well.

Predicted lineup:

Stefan Frei; Joevin Jones, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans, Tyrone Mears; Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg; Andreas Ivanschitz; Herculez Gomez, Jordan Morris, Aaron Kovar

Predicted score: 1-1

Many thanks, Dave. Follow Dave Clark on Twitter @bedirthan. And head over to Sounder At Heart to see what OaM had to say about RBNY.