New England Soccer Today

First Look: Seattle Sounders

It’s the match that many Revolution supporters circled once the schedule was released: May 11 vs. the Seattle Sounders a.k.a. the Clint Dempsey game.

With Deuce ready to return to the town where he kicked off his MLS career, tensions will surely run higher than your standard intra-conference clash at Foxboro.

Seattle enters Sunday’s contest off a 2-1 midweek win against FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field, while the Revolution will ride the momentum of their four-game unbeaten streak in the hopes of making it five following a 2-1 win of their own at BMO Field.

Here are a few things to know about the Sounders before they step onto the pitch at Gillette Stadium:

Not that any club can afford to sleep on Seattle, but the Revolution must be wide-awake after the 60th minute. As good as the Sounders are, they’re not especially known for getting off to great starts. The latest example came on Wednesday, when Brad Evans tangled with Blas Perez inside the area to concede an early penalty. While they’re not known for their first half form, they’re absolutely torrid after the 60th minute. In fact, they’ve scored a league-high 12 goals after the witching hour, proving that a strong finish can certainly make up for a groggy start.

Upcoming National Team callups mean Seattle will be gunning for maximum points. It’s safe to say that this will not be the kind of game in which the Sounders will try to grind out a result. With Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, DeAndre Yedlin all likely to get called into Jurgen Klinsmann’s training camp next week, Sunday’s game could very well mark their goodbyes until the U.S. exits Brazil. That said, expect a strong effort from the Sounders, especially on turf, a surface they’ve done some of their best handiwork on this season.

Seattle may score a lot, but they’re almost as likely to concede. The Sounders offense has been a juggernaut this season, and they’ve used it to great effect. Clint Dempsey’s scoring, Obafemi Martins is scoring, and heck, even Kenny Cooper’s finding the back of the net. But the prolific attack has done well to mask a suspect defense that is missing the likes of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni and Marc Burch. The Revolution defense may have a tough task on their hands, to be sure, but their offense must be sharpening their knives at the thought of facing a defense that sits in the bottom half of the goals against chart in the west.

Last week’s stat of promise: Although he only collected 31 touches against Toronto, Diego Fagundez connected on 81 percent of his passes, up from the 59 percent clip he recorded against Sporting Kansas City the week before.

Early forecast: 76 degrees and partly cloudy.

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