By John Boyle Herald Writer
Opponent: Colorado Rapids
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.
TV: KONG 6/16
Radio: 97.3 KIRO FM
Sounders FC (8-5-7) is back in action following a nine-day layoff, and while the rest certainly was welcome for a team that had been playing two games a week almost routinely, one possible concern is that the break could hurt the momentum Seattle seemed to be building the past couple of weeks.
“You don’t want to have a break when you’re in a really good rhythm, and I thought we were coming back into a good rhythm, so from that standpoint, yeah, we’ve got to make sure we can jump start that right away,” Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said. “… But based on the amount of games we’ve played, I think the break was still important for us.”
Seattle hopes to finally get goalkeeper Michael Gspurning back after a long layoff with a hip injury, but will be down one important player after Friday’s big transactions that saw Sounders FC trade midfielder Alvaro Fernandez to Chicago and sign German midfielder Christian Tiffert, who is not yet with the team. Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and forward Eddie Johnson both played in Wednesday’s MLS All-Star game, but Schmid said both are available today.
Sounders FC is looking for a third win this season over the Rapids, having won 1-0 in Colorado (7-13-1) in April, then 2-1 in Seattle earlier this month. Despite the Rapids’ struggles, however, Schmid says they aren’t a team to be taken lightly.
“The difference between top and bottom is not very big,” he said. “You can see that when you look at the results every week. … Obviously, when a team hasn’t won games for a while, there’s a little extra bite to their game. There’s a little extra effort, pressure that’s being put on from the coaching staff and players themselves, so they’re going to be rearing to go.”