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RSL vs. Seattle: The Inside Look with Sounder at Heart

Dave Clark of Sounder at Heart chatted with me about today’s match — what can we expect when Seattle comes to town?

MLS: Concacaf Champions League-FC Motagua at Seattle Sounders FC Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

1 - I know you asked me an Albert Rusnak question first, but I promise I thought of this one before I read yours. How’s Albert Rusnak shaping up for Seattle in the few opportunities you’ve had to see him? Is he fitting in? More, should RSL fans be worried about him scoring a hat trick on Saturday?

He’s having a slow start, which reminds me a bit of last year, but may have a few causes that are unique to this situation. He has hardly worked for the Ideal XI in practices prior to the season starting, so many were at national team duty. There’s some question about his best space on the pitch — he’s played on the wing, the 10, and even as the 6. There’s this whole process going on, where trying to fit in the biggest internal MLS move in history isn’t having immediate results. Who cares if it’s a great move in March? Signing Rusnák is about trophies not a win on March 5th.

2 - Expectations are high around the league for Seattle. How much pressure is there on the team to find results early in the season?

From the club it seems the early season pressure is about succeeding in the CCL. Garth’s statements at YachtCon 22.5 seem to indicate that they are following the map that he used with RSL during that run. But I don’t know if that actually lowers the expectations of the fanbase. There’s some sourness from how the season ended, how that playoff game went. People want to see wins, at home, where Seattle was mediocre in 2021.

3 - Are you at all worried about the prospect of a snow game at Rio Tinto Stadium?

I’m of the opinion that the better team should never want bad weather. Poor conditions increase randomness, and a good team doesn’t want random. They want chalk. So, yes, I’m scared of the weather. The Sounders have been shutout twice already. A third time due to a snow game would be awful. Please don’t bring snow weather gods of the Wasatch. If it must snow in SLC, snow on Shah, Cosby, and Nguyen only.