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April 22, 2011 at 12:48 AM

Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids, preview and prediction

Colorado Rapids Logo.jpgSounders FC (1-2-3) at Colorado Rapids (3-2-0)

Friday, April 22, 6:30 p.m., Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, Colo.

TV broadcast: FOX Soccer (JP Dellacamera, Kyle Martino and Brian Dunseth)

Radio broadcast: 97.3 KIRO-FM (Arlo White)

Referee: Silviu Petrescu

KEY RAPIDS PLAYERS

F Omar Cummings — If I were picking an MLS team, he’d be on it. The Jamaican international has blazing speed and continue to develop a lethal scoring touch. Spent time with Aston Villa earlier in the year and only work permit issues prevented an official loan. A player to watch with Conor Casey on the mend.

M Jeff Larentowicz — Kind of in the Chris Wondolowski mold as he blossoms into an impact player midway through his professional career, especially after finding a good fit with a new team. Tenancious in midfield and has committed eight fouls (second most on the team to Brian Mullan’s 13). Also has a goal, an assist and five shots on goal.

D Drew Moor — The leader of the Rapids backline, the 27-year-old could play in the middle or on the left. One of five players that has played every minute for his team. With just three fouls committed and one yellow card, he’s done it pretty efficiently I’d say.

KEY MATCH-UPS

Caleb Folan vs. Jeff Parke — At 6-foot-2, 178 pounds, Folan is a beast. The English-born, Irish international comes to MLS by way of the EPL. He already has a pair of goals and will be a handful for the Seattle backline as everyone expects Casey to miss another start.

O’Brian White vs. Marvell Wynne — I’ll go ahead and assume White gets the start again despite what was a down week in Philadelphia (to be fair it was for almost all the Sounders). Wynne has the pace to match the Jamaican, but at 5-foot-9 is giving up some height to the 6-foot-1 forward.

Fredy Montero vs. playing time — Sure, I’ve written a couple times about how he hasn’t scored in a while, but he’s still the biggest game-changer in rave green. Does he get the start? Does he come off the bench? I’m sure coach Sigi Schmid will look to get the most out of him.

PREDICTION

Both teams are eager for a win. Colorado hasn’t had one in a few weeks. Seattle hasn’t had many at all. That should provide for a physical, entertaining game in my opinion. A lot of Sounders FC road games are since they open up play.

I must say, little from Seattle’s start to the season has me thinking it can hold the Rapids to zero in the back. Goals have been coming from nowhere and everywhere for the team’s opponents.

I haven’t predicted a Sounders FC loss yet this season (clearly an indictment on my prognosis skills), but this is one I have trouble seeing the road team winning. A draw would be a good result.

Sounders FC 1, Colorado Rapids 2

COL — Omar Cummings (Jamie Smith) 33′

COL — Cummings (Larentowicz) 47′

SEA — Fredy Montero (Erik Friberg) 68′

* * *

What do you think? More optimistic? The slow start continues? Have at it in the comments section…

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