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Fireside Chat: Talking Fire v Sounders with Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart

The only pregame ritual that includes cross-gender lineup suggestions, a discussion of 'Ameritrash,' and several quotations from Zarathustra

Have you any idea how hard it is to find a photo from a Sounders-Fire match that includes players still on their respective teams? It's hard.
Have you any idea how hard it is to find a photo from a Sounders-Fire match that includes players still on their respective teams? It's hard.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

HTiOT: Which Seattle Rain/Reign/Rayne player would you add to the Sounders, and why?

SaH: I was thinking of sending you someone off script and go with Jess Fishlock or Kim Little, but that would be me being cute. I'd love Pinoe. Her spirit is bright and wonderful, so seeing more of that would be terrific. And she'd have a great use as a set-play specialist. Any team can use a set-play specialist.

HTiOT: 'Ameritrash' is a board-game genre characterized (at least in part) by sprawling, Byzantine, sometimes self-contradictory sets of rules. With the addition of Targetted Allocation Money to the ruleset, can MLS now be considered a true example of Ameritrash? And how will Seattle's horrifically competent front office turn this into some kind of mind-blowing competitive advantage? (I.e., who you gonna buy once Alonso's mortal again?)

SaH: Whoever we want? I know that sounds arrogant, but before Michael Bradley there was Clint Dempsey, before Giovinco there was Obafemi Martins. If the LA Galaxy are the cutting edge of roster moves, the Seattle Sounders are early adopters. The first time they had 3 DPs they had a young Montero, a young Uruguay World Cup player and an old Swiss World Cup player. This is a team that's been connected with the likes of Forlan, Drogba, Tagoe, Ledesma, Melo, Xavi, etc. Players and agents know that Seattle is a big money club that has a fanbase that can build a post-playing career. Adrian, Garth & Co will be able to collect the man that they feel fit and Sigi will have to make it work.

HTiOT: Does Sigi Schmid change the team's shape or approach in the face of so many hugely talented absentees? Or does he favor consistency over pragmatism?

SaH: While Sigi sets up his standard tactics based off of ideal personal he only rarely deviates from that. Now with Alonso back he'll continue with his 442/4231 hybrid that focuses on central possession and quick strikes out to burst through the defense. It will be less effective since Lamar Neagle and Chad Barrett are not Clinfemi. But this means that the defensive lines don't need to change their behavior. They can be solid in the back and middle, giving up a goal at most. That's got a lot of value in MLS, and on the road.

HTiOT: The Sounders have never lost to the Fire, never. They're 3-0-2 in Toyota Park, for the luvva Zoroaster. And this particular edition of the Fire comes into the game at a low ebb, winless in five games, limping and bleeding and in need of a hug. My question is: Is this a Trap Game?

SaH: He who abhors and shuns the light of the Sun,

He who refuses to behold with respect the living creation of God,

He who leads the good to wickedness,

He who makes the meadows waterless and the pastures desolate,

He who lets fly his weapon against the innocent,

An enemy of my faith, a destroyer of Thy principles is he, O Lord!

By the literature I must say, it is not a trap. We are water flowing swiftly, the good and pure, under grey clouds. We are the Eternal Blue, Forever Green.

Our thanks to Dave Clark, eminent purveyor of Sounder goodness at Sounder at Heart, for participating in our question-and-answer ritual.

• • •

We would, however, like to point out that Zarathustra also spake thus:

By Thy perfect Intelligence, O Mazda
Thou didst first create us having bodies and spiritual consciences,
And by Thy Thought gave our selves the power of thought, word, and deed.
Thus leaving us free to choose our faith at our own will.

... which all right-thinking people interpret as "Choosing to support the Sounders is a betrayal of Mazda's trust." I think. Maybe.

• • •

Check out my answers to Dave's questions here on Sounder at Heart.