3 Reasons the Sounders Will Win the 2014 Supporters’ Shield
The Seattle Sounders, after their brilliant comeback in Los Angeles last weekend to earn a 2-2 draw with the Galaxy, need only a draw to win the Supporters’ Shield this Saturday (live on NBC at 2:30pm ET).
It’s a been a long, arduous journey for the Sounders, and they’ve already added one trophy to their cabinet this season. But the club is far from perfect; too many mistakes have come back to haunt them, leaving it to the last match of the season to decide their Supporters’ Shield fate.
Here are 3 reasons why the Sounders will produce a result this Saturday at CenturyLink Field:
1. Quality and Desire
The Sounders have one of the most well-rounded rosters in all of Major League Soccer, and many of the injuries that plagued the club all season have healed up. The club’s mid-season slump came down to injuries and losing players to the World Cup and international duty, but most of the team are healthy and ready to fight for the Shield.
Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins are two of the best forwards in all of MLS, and when they’re firing on all cylinders they are absolutely dynamic on the pitch. Players like Lamar Neagle and Osvaldo Alonso showed their drive and passion for success in the draw in Los Angeles last weekend, and expect them to be fired up in front of home fans on the last day of the regular season.
You can also expect DeAndre Yedlin to play extremely hard, as it will likely be his last regular season match for his hometown club if he will be ending his loan move and returning to Tottenham in January.
2. They Can Handle the Pressure
The Sounders have had great runs of form this season, but every time they make it to the top, they seem to let off the gas a little. A win in their recent match against the Vancouver Whitecaps would have nearly secured the Shield, but the Sounders simply couldn’t find the goal.
The Sounders take it too easy when they think they’ve got it made, and often succumb to counterattacks or high pressure.
The upside to this is that the Sounders thrive under pressure. They score far more goals late in games than early, and their performance to win the US Open Cup earlier this season was decided by two goals in extra time against the Philadelphia Union. The club fought back to earn a draw at the Galaxy, knowing that it would help with their final match on Saturday.