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Know Your Opponent: Seattle Sounders FC

By Myles Bridgewater-Jackman, 06/06/18, 8:30AM PDT

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Scout our MLS opponent for our Fourth Round U.S. Open Cup match

After a 1-0 shutout of Reno 1868 FC in the Third Round, Sacramento Republic FC move on to face MLS-side Seattle Sounders FC in the Fourth Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Republic FC are one of only 12 non-MLS teams remaining in the round’s 32-team bracket and will look to move past Seattle at Papa Murphy’s Park on Wednesday en route to the Open Cup’s Round of 16.

Ahead of the Wednesday night match, reacquaint yourself with Republic FC’s opponent, Seattle Sounders FC.

Seattle’s 2017 U.S. Open CUP

Poised for a potential clash with Sacramento in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, both Seattle Sounders FC and Republic FC proved unable to move past their Fifth Round opponents in last year’s domestic tournament.

Seattle defeated Cascadia-rival Portland Timbers 2-1 in a Fourth-Round battle in front of 3,937 fans at Starfire Sports Complex thanks to a 54th minute penalty kick by Zach Mathers, before seeing their Open Cup run end just two weeks later.

In the Fifth Round, Seattle faced off against San Jose Earthquakes for a hard-fought battle at Avaya Stadium. Shea Salinas paced his side with a sixth-minute opening goal which lead the Quakes to a 1-0 line through the first half. Seattle went short-handed in the 35th minute, but managed to stay strong defensively, and pulled level on a 48th minute goal from Aaron Kovar. However, Danny Hoesen slotted the game-winner in final minutes of the game, leading San Jose to a 2-1 victory at home.

Key Players

Three of Seattle’s seven goals this season have come courtesy of 28-year-old Will Bruin. An eight-year veteran of Major League Soccer, Bruin saw minutes in 31 games in 2017, scoring 11 times in his first year with the Sounders. In addition to his three goals, the 6-foot-2 forward has notched a pair of assists and leads his squad in shots (18) and shots on goal (9). An attacking staple of the Houston Dynamo from 2011-2016, Bruin has averaged 2095 minutes a season over the past seven years, amassing 64 goals and 24 assists in his eight-year career.

Former 2015 MLS SuperDraft First Round pick, Christian Roldan has led his side as a playmaker for through 11 games this season. Coming off a breakout 2017 (6 G, 3 A) for the Sounders, which earned the midfielder his first caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Roldan has already matched his season-best assist mark (3) through just a third of the season, while netting a goal along the way.

Of Wednesday’s match, the 23-year-old noted, “We have a huge history of winning Open Cups; hopefully we can keep it that way. It is a tournament that we take very seriously.” Despite Seattle’s congested June schedule and recent injuries, Roldan maintains that, “the guys that do play—if that’s me, if that’s a starting player, or a bench guy, or a guy coming from S2—we expect a lot of things from those type of players. We’re not playing that game just to get by, we’re going to try to win it.”

2018 SEASON So Far

Seattle enters Wednesday night’s match in the midst of a funk and positioning the Indomitable Club to upset their MLS opponent. Shutout in three-straight matches, the Sounders have only scored twice in their last six contests, both goals coming in their 2-1 defeat of Toronto FC on May 9. The MLS side currently sits in 11th place within the Western Conference and is tied with Colorado Rapids for the fewest points collected in 2018 (8). The Sounders struggled out of the gates this season, dropping their first three games before netting their first goals of the season in a 2-2 Week 4 draw with Sporting Kansas City. The draw sparked the offense for a subsequent 3-1 victory over Minnesota United FC at CenturyLink Field on April 22, but the goals all but disappeared over the next six matches as the Sounders faced five shutouts.

Last Time They Met

Republic FC and Seattle Sounders last met for a preseason match back in February with the Sounders besting Sacramento 3-1 at Papa Murphy’s Park. Star forward, Jordan Morris put Seattle on the board early with a second minute goal, before the visitors doubled up in the 27th minute on a far post volley off the right foot of Henry Wingo. Republic FC put themselves on the board in the early minutes of the second half as defender Josh Turnley keyed a left-footed cross from the left wing to the forehead of striker Christian Eissele who flicked the ball into the back of the net. Morris would go on to record a brace in the 79th minute, sealing Seattle’s 3-1 victory over the Quails.

Wednesday’s MATCH

Wednesday’s match between Republic FC and Seattle Sounders FC will kick off at 8:00 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.

Livestream: SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide or on the USL Match Center

Updates will be provided via Twitter at @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvSEA.

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