For tomorrow's showdown against the Seattle Sounders, HTIOT reached out to Dave Clark, writer and editor for Sounder At Heart, to exchange 3 questions. Below are the questions we asked Dave with his responses. To find the questions Dave had for us, please feel free to venture over here.
1) What happened to Fredy Montero? To the outsider, it seemed like he was poised to become the next big young star. Yet the Sounders have him out on loan. Why hasn't he cut it in Seattle? Is there a possibility that he could return at some point? (via Ryan Sealock)
I'd argue that Montero was a star. Very few had more goals than he did in his four years in Seattle, and he combined that with assists, footwork and trophies. It isn't that he didn't cut it with Sounders FC. It's more like he's too good for MLS, as his performance with Sporting Lisbon has shown (five goals in three matches over in Portugal). While it is structured as a loan, that is primarily so that Seattle can be assured that they receive all payments on time and maintain his MLS' rights. So yes, there's a possibility that he returns at some point, but it will probably be after he stops at another team or two along his career path. His family stayed in Seattle and this became his second home.
2) The Fire have re-discovered defensive solidity with the introduction of Edigio Arevalo Rios to the midfield, but he will be playing for Uruguay this weekend, not Chicago. What aspect of their game will the Sounders be lacking due to the national-team callups of Dempsey and EJ (and the injury to Evans)? (via Sean Spence)
It's a huge loss. Dempsey is clearly world class and has a creative spark that no one else on the Sounders has. EJ resuscitated his career here and could make a leap to a better league. Brad Evans may have more soccer smarts than any other two players in the league. That all hurts the chances for victory, but clearly doesn't eliminate them.
Seattle has to become more of a pressure team that uses defense and speed to create chances without those men on the field. They will also look to capitalize on what has become a potent attack when teams are silly enough to foul close to goal.
3) Mauro Rosales has had an up-and-down year, but looks to be returning to form. How much tread is left of his tires? (via Sean Spence)
Rosales is having to become a central player in run of play while still serving great dead balls. It is an interesting transition, but somehow in the middle the number of short passing options he has means that he can get the ball off before getting hammered by defenders now that he's lost a step. Mauro also can't go as many minutes in a week as he used to go, so Sigi's had to adjust his playing time a bit.
All-in-all if it means a healthy Rosales in the MLS Cup Playoffs the club will be in a much better position to make a run that at any point in the past.
Any absences of injuries this week?
Dempsey and Johnson are both away being amazing for America. Brad Evans and Steve Zakuani are players that would be in the 18 but are injured. Obafemi Martins is likely going to be a gameday decision again
Gspurning; Gonzalez, Traore, Hurtado, Yedlin; Estrada, Carrasco, Alonso, Rosales; Neagle, Martins - but this is a wild ass guess. Injury and fitness on top of the call ups make this one way too tough for me to get more than seven right.