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Three Questions with Sounder at Heart

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Dave Clark of Seattle Sounders blog Sounder at Heart shares his perspective on Friday's first leg of the Western Conference semi-final in yet another installment of Three Questions.

Otto Greule Jr

Matt Montgomery, RSL Soapbox: If Eddie Johnson's not in the side, how will Seattle cope in attack?

Dave Clark, Sounder at Heart: If Zakuani or Estrada start up top it will be their speed that is used to provide space for Montero to work. Zakauni will work wider if he's the forward, while Estrada will harry the RSL defense when they have possession. Sigi could go with Sammy Ochoa to provide a back to goal type player to pop a ball into and he'd bounce it ou to running mids or Montero. No matter what it changes how Seattle plays up top as only Eddie has the combination of all their skills.

Real Salt Lake has tended to do better in home-first playoff series. How important for Seattle is playing the home game first? Does it make a difference?

The Sounders have hosted first legs and lost, hosted second legs and lost. For the sake of momentum they seem to want this first match. It gives them the opportunity to build on last year's strong leg two. But the two leg aggregate really damages home field advantage, so it won't matter much.

What's been holding Seattle back in the playoffs? Is it something palpable, or is it a bit harder to explain?

Last year was the only year they were favored and it wasn't by much. In 2010 LA was clearly the better team and played like it. I don't think it's a case of being held back, juding a team which has played nearly 200 competitive matches by only six games seems silly.

Extra question: Given the drama between these two sides, if there's any more, will the universe actually implode?

A dozen matches in four years with two more to come. We both know exactly how each team plays tactically. Each side can claim to be the second best team over the past four years. Guess what? This playoff series won't settle that argument either.