Rosales Keys to Game

Carl's Keys to the 'Caps first Cascadia win


If you look at the games we have just played against LA, Portland and Montreal (home and away), they have all been good performances. Add to that our road win in New York last weekend and you have to say that we’re on a pretty decent run right now. Now, with 50,000 plus in Seattle on Saturday, we have a chance to continue that momentum in a big way.

'Caps prepare for big match in Seattle

You can see the level of confidence rise in our players, especially after getting a big monkey off their backs in New York. We now need to come out strong and make sure the tempo of the game suits our needs. Seattle will be pumped to play in front of their biggest crowd of the season and they will feel pressure to put on a good performance for them. But we can use that to our advantage by putting them on their back foot, which could make the Seattle fans a bit nervous and anxious, which creates a nervous energy for the home team as well.

I really feel that this team is ready to go to the next level, and what better way to start than getting consecutive away wins for the first time and picking up our first Cascadia victory.

That would certainly keep our momentum going.

Maruo Rosales

Stop playmaker Mauro Rosales and it will go a long way to shutting down the Sounders.

The Argentinean has been used out wide when everybody is fit, but he does have a license to roam. With so many of Seattle’s experienced attacking players out, their maestro will be heavily relied on.

Rosales scores on a volley in Philadelphia

Wherever Rosales picks up the ball he is a threat. If he gets the ball deep he has a fantastic range of passing and can pick out players making runs into the box. Since joining the Sounders in 2011, only Houston’s Brad Davis has recorded more assists in MLS.

And if he picks the ball up around the penalty box he is a danger to score and already has two goals for his team this season. He also likes to arrive late in the box to try and get on the end of any crosses.

Shut him down and we will be a step closer to our first Cascadia win.

Men in the middle

We really get a break with Seattle’s glue, Osvaldo Alonso, expected to be out of their lineup.

Quick read from Kobayashi in the middle leads to chance

Seattle normally plays with a 4-4-2 against our preferred 4-3-3 featuring a diamond midfield, which means that we will have three players in the middle of the park compared to the Sounders two. Alonso is a key player for them, so we must take advantage of his absence and the extra man we should have in the middle of the park.

If Seattle get control in this area, their mids will look to get their wide players involved and running at our fullbacks, which could spell trouble. For us, we need to make use of the extra player in the middle enabling us to maintain possession of the ball and frustrate Seattle and their fans.

Controlling the midfield gives us a chance to take control of the match.