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September 20, 2014 at 9:17 AM

What to watch for: Sounders FC vs. New York Red Bulls

The Sounders return to action following Tuesday’s Open Cup triumph with a trip to Harrison, N.J., and a Saturday night showdown with the New York Red Bulls. Here’s what to what for:

Last time out: Sounders 1, Red Bulls 1 on September 29, 2013 at CenturyLink Field — Goals from Brad Evans and Tim Cahill cancelled each out as Seattle began its late-season slump.

Battle to watch: Sounders versus complacency

Seattle checked off the first of what coach Sigi Schmid calls the team’s “boxes” — the Open Cup, the Supporter’s Shield and MLS Cup — via its 3-1, extra-time victory over the Union earlier in the week.

To keep pace for the other two, they’ll have to focus quickly back in, not only for tonight’s match, but also for next week’s trip to Dallas and a game that could potentially foreshadow a playoff series.

“We have to make sure we don’t give something away,” Schmid said. “… But we wanted to enjoy our Open Cup victory. It’s important that teams are able to enjoy it when they have a significant occasion. I think we’ve had that opportunity and I think we’re ready to get back to work.”

Player to watch: NYRB midfielder Tim Cahill

The Sounders are likely to field a patchwork lineup given the current busy run of games and the full 120 minutes of action Tuesday. That bodes especially ominously at the back, where the defense has wrestled with periods of inconsistency, particularly when defending set plays.

“They have great individuals,” Schmid said. “Thierry Henry, if you forget about him and give him time and space, he’ll carve you up. Wright-Phillips has obviously had a great season, so we have to know where he is.

“We have to know where Henry is — and we have to know where Cahill is, coming late on crosses and set pieces because he’s so phenomenal in the air.”

How to watch: The match will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network and is scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. PST kickoff.

| More in NASL, Preview and prediction, Sounders FC

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