SAH: There are still gaps in the defense at times. If a team can get into the the space between Osvaldo Alonso and the center backs faster than Alonso can fill it there will be an opportunity there (Toronto FC did it). There other opportunity that teams are trying to explore is where DeAndre Yedlin would be if it wasn't awesome. A left winger with a great cross may be able to take advantage of that. But it means slipping a cross through Chad Marshall's air defense zone.
Most teams are really just stuck trying to hope that Seattle makes a dumb mistake.
tBG: How much of Seattle's success is due to Clint Dempsey? Was he worth the price?
SAH: A lot of it, but not all of it. The team would have to play a lot differently, but the scoring ability of Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle, Kenny Cooper and Chad Barrett is pretty obvious. What Clint does is move the peak ability of the squad from one that is decent when compared to MLS sides to one that looks as good as any team in the DP era. My main regret is that Seattle isn't in the CCL right now.
tBG: Seattle is a team full of big name players. Who flies under the radar that Union fan should know about?
SAH: Gonzalo Pineda is a recent addition from Liga MX. He's kind of a left-footed version of Brad Evans. He occupies space well, is a quick passer and is able to serve a good dead ball. You aren't going to notice what he does, but the support that he provides sitting next to Alonso is quite valuable in Seattle's system.
Projected Starting XI: Stefan Frei; Dylan Remick, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, DeAndre Yedlin; Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso; Lamar Neagle, Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans; Obafemi Martins
Prediction: 4-nil Sounders