MLS is almost back! Nashville SC kick off their 2022 campaign with a difficult trip to Seattle. To catch up on the Sounders, we spoke with Dave Clark, who covers Seattle for Sounder At Heart. Let’s dive right in.
Ben Wright: Seattle seem to be the preseason-elect in MLS, with arguably the best roster and a history of success. What’s your outlook heading into the season?
Dave Clark: When a GM puts forward a roster this strong it is appropriate to take joy in that – revel in it even. There isn’t a hole in the XI. It’s fun. Which, is the point to this silly game.
From creating so much joy and anticipation will come pressure. There’s about tens of thousands of fans expecting amazing. Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment? Probably, but the journey will be a blast.
BW: Seattle arguably took an elite roster and made it even better, especially with Albert Rusnak’s arrival. How do you expect Brian Schmetzer to manage all this talent, and do you think Nico Lodeiro and Jordan Morris will start the season in pre-injury form?
DC: Jordan Morris is back. I have no questions about his status. Balancing Nico’s drive to play every minute with his obvious need for rest will be one of Schmetzer’s tougher assignments. Their history together can only help that
Of that Ideal XI expect Lodeiro to be the one most frequently rotated out for non-injury reasons. Thanks to Albert Rusnàk and Cristian Roldan’s role flexibility the hottest of the bench players will be Nico’s replacement.
BW: What effect will the CCL match on Thursday night have on Sunday night? Do you expect some squad rotation from Schmetzer?
DC: That big win meant several players were able to be pulled rather than play 90, though Raúl was removed for hamstring tightness. Rather handy, since two-game weeks this early in the season can be extra rough on the body.
4) Lastly, do you have a lineup prediction?
4-2-3-1. Frei; Nouhou, Arreaga, Yeimar, A.Roldan; João Paulo, C.Roldan; Chú, Rusnàk, Morris; Adeniran
Thanks to Dave for his time and expertise. Make sure to follow him and the great work Sounder At Heart is doing by visiting www.SounderAtHeart.com.