As part of our MLS playoff preview coverage, I came up with five key questions for Sounders FC…
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1. Does form matter?
Going into the playoffs without a win since Sept. 13 isn’t ideal, but lower seeds have thrived the past few postseasons. Will the Sounders take advantage of the fresh start or will the momentum of a seven-game winless drought carry over?
2. Can this team get to full strength (or at least close to it)?
Injuries, international duty and other personnel woes have kept us from seeing the Sounders at their best for any extended period of time. The main question now surrounds the status of DP forward Obafemi Martins.
3. Is this a championship defense?
Seattle hasn’t had a shutout in seven games and counting, and 42 goals allowed for the season were a franchise worst. Seven players have cycled in and out of the lineup on the back line.
4. Will a new-look offense have time to develop chemistry?
The Sounders unveiled a formation Sunday that could be the best answer to a talent-rich attack. Shifting to a diamond-shaped midfield will require adjustment, but could let Clint Dempsey shine.
5. Might CenturyLink Field make the difference?
The Sounders host the play-in game Wednesday and would potentially have the first leg of every series at home after that. A fast start could be key, particularly as Seattle has struggled when the first leg is on the road.