Toronto FC doesn't see the Seattle Sounders very much, in fact recently, it has only been once a year. So one can't really blame Toronto supporters for not knowing much about their west coast opponents for today's match. With that in mind, Waking the Red caught up with Sounder at Heart, SB Nation's Seattle Sounders blog, to talk about their current season.
We asked them three key questions about their season so far, looking to gain insight into what Toronto can expect today. Below is also what they expect today's starting lineup to be, as the Sounders look for just their second win on the road of the season.
1. The Sounders are the worst offensive team in the league. The hope will obviously be that a strong Copa America has woken up Clint Dempsey, but what else is this offence missing right now?
A clear partner for Dempsey. That could wind up being Jordan Morris, but they don't have a vibe or connection yet. When Morris has scored so far, it's from his own success rather than creating with Clint. That's part of why the Sounders need another DP. Clint was at his best, with two seasons of 10+ goals and 10 assists in a row, working with Obafemi Martins. Since Nelson Haedo Valdez is a good effort/team guy, but not creative nor a scorer.
Since nearly halfway through the season the offence remains broken and the team is not getting enough from their best attacking talent it is time to sign the type of talents that amplify those around them. Seattle will be adding a DP and a TAM player by the end of the window, which is good timing for Toronto.
2. Seattle has struggled away from home this season, what is the root cause of these struggles, and how big would a win in Toronto be in terms of turning things around?
On the road, the Sounders are even more cautious than they are at home. This year's squad is focused on maintaining possession, slowing the game down, and just maybe finding quick route out from the back. But on the road, they do this even more so. That means even fewer good goal scoring opportunities, which they are not converting. They sit deeper in possession away from CenturyLink only rarely getting into the attacking third. So the broken offense is even more broken on the road.
3. The Sounders have the least draws in Major League Soccer, what about their style has led them to either win games or lose games and not settle for a tie?
With 60% of Sounders games being a draw or decided by one goal or less one would think that there would be a lot of draws. A team with a bad attack and pretty good defense should set itself up to have a lot of 0-0 or 1-1 results. But with a truly horrible attack there are seven losses by only a goal. Three of those were by a shutout. With a better offense the club would get more draws (same with some better refereeing). Let's say the Sounders had an average offense, just hypothetically, it would be easy to see three or four of those one-goal losses being a draw. At four the Sounders would be a completely average team with a 5-5-5 -2 record. Things wouldn't be dire, just mediocre.